I Stopped Playing The Victim In My Breakup & My Life Changed For The Better

Relationships come and go. I’ve heard that phrase so many times but up until recently, I never thought it applied to me. I’d like to think I’m the type of person you put a ring on, which is why when my boyfriend broke up with me, it was easy for me to point the finger at him. It ended so abruptly but I just knew it wasn’t my fault. Turns out, I had some learning to do.

  1. I stopped blaming him. Let’s be honest—people are capable of doing some pretty crappy things and it always seems like the one we love hurts us the most. I used to wonder why my ex would intentionally hurt me when all I ever wanted to do was make him happy. When we broke up, it felt really good to place all the blame on him. After all, he was the one who cheated. For a while, my friends entertained my pity parties but after a few months they grew bored of my rants. I had to look in the mirror and ask myself, what was my role in the demise of the relationship? I realized I wasn’t perfect and once I took the blame off of him, I was able to see things I could’ve done differently.
  2. I had to accept the apology I never got. I used to fantasize about him coming back to me maniacally crying with a combination of snot and tears streaming down his face, apologetic and begging for my forgiveness. I would imagine myself smirking at him, then telling him to F-off. Well, I never got that apology and I had to learn to be OK with that. He isn’t sorry, and if he is, apparently he won’t admit it. I realized that waiting for that apology was holding me back and giving me false hope that he would eventually see the error of his ways, so I made the choice to move on without it.
  3. I let go of the strings. After the breakup, not only was I playing the blame game, I was also hoping for some revenge. I was hurt, and I wanted to make him hurt too. Fortunately, my common sense kicked in before I did anything I would regret. Going tit-for-tat would only give him more power over my life which is something I didn’t want. I realized I needed to fully let go, live my life and let the universe sort out the rest.
  4. I learned to listen to that gut feeling. Every woman has an outstanding intuition but for some reason, I swore up-and-down that mine just didn’t work. In hindsight please allow me to say, not only did that bad boy work, it was loud AF. I just chose to ignore it. I ignored it because I wanted to be in love. I wanted to have a partner to “do life” with. I wanted him to be “The One.” Thankfully, that relationship taught me that when something feels off, it usually is. Ignoring the warning signs didn’t make the issues go away—it kept me in a situation that should’ve been over way sooner than it was.
  5. I found my voice. In the past, it was difficult for me to tell others how I really felt. I was a grade-A people pleaser set on not having an opinion about anything so I could always keep the peace. Doing this not only made me feel like I didn’t have a voice, it made room for people to walk all over me. My silence gave the impression that I would accept any type of behavior, good or bad. Wanting to stray away from this pattern, I began to speak up for myself. It was scary at first, but now I establish boundaries early and I keep my feelings a priority.
  6. He’s not a fixer-upper. For a long time, I thought I had the power to change my ex. I decided that I would be the girl to help him reach his full potential (don’t act like you haven’t been there). Once I realized I wasn’t getting what I wanted, I began to get upset and wonder what I was doing wrong? Why couldn’t I “fix” him? I had to realize he wasn’t a car. I couldn’t just take him to a shop, fix him up then drive him back home all shiny and like-new. He is who he is. I had the choice to either take it as-is or leave it.
  7. I changed my attitude. Once I became aware of my victim mentality, I decided that I had to make a change. I couldn’t afford to waste any more days feeling sorry for myself. Once I began to accept my flaws and forgive him for his, a burden was lifted off my shoulders and I was able to go enjoy my life, unchained to the past.
  8. The power was with me all along. I used to always feel like my power had been taken from me when in reality, I had been giving my power away! I was depending on my ex to make me happy and I thought I was supposed to make him happy—no wonder the relationship didn’t work! No one can handle that type of pressure and they’re not supposed to. I am responsible for my own happiness and vice versa.
  9. I treat myself with compassion. Somedays I’m proud of how far I’ve come since my relationship ended, and other days I feel like I haven’t come far enough. On those rough days I remind myself that growth is a never-ending process and as long as I keep one foot in front of the other, I will be just fine.
  10. I learned to express gratitude for my past. There is no such thing as failure. Everything is a lesson and once I embraced that, I no longer felt like life was attacking me. I’m thankful for the past because now I’m prepared for a better future.
Faith Grady is a mom, freelance writer and self-proclaimed badass.