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3 Steps to Stop Taking the Blame for Your Breakup


Stop telling yourself it’s all your fault.

Do you ever wonder why some people take breakups harder than others? If you find yourself hung up and unable to move on from a recent — or even distant — breakup, it could be because of how you internalize rejection.

It’s a common question we ask ourselves after a breakup: what went wrong?

There’s a story you form for yourself as you analyze the relationship and breakup. If your story includes more questions than answers, that’s a sure sign that you won’t easily move on.

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Do you ever ask your self why you weren’t good enough? What’s “wrong” with you? Why he did this to you? Or question that he ever loved you in the first place? Questions like this are usually followed by self-deprecating comments about what you should or could have done to save the relationship.

You internalize the rejection and come out of the other side of the breakup story questioning your own self-worth.

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Language is powerful, and nothing shapes our lives more than the language we tell ourselves. The stories we tell ourselves about rejection can shape how, and how well, we cope with it. If you change the narrative of the story, then you can change the outcome of how you deal with it.

Reflecting on what you learned about your relationship and how you can improve on the next one is a healthy part of moving on. It only becomes unhealthy when you get stuck in the fault instead of in the lesson learned.

So what makes for a healthy breakup? One in which the person moves on with minimal emotional damage?

Follow these steps to know how to recover quickly from a heartbreaking breakup so you can function again — sooner rather than later:

1. Don’t Take Rejection As a Reflection of Your Own Self Worth.

In one study, some people drew much weaker connections between rejection and them selves. They described rejection as an arbitrary and unpredictable force rather than the result of some personal flaw.

Remove yourself from the equation and understand that rejection happens. Failure happens. It’s a part of life and growth. Not every relationship is mean to be, sometimes they are just meant to teach you something.

2. Understand That Your Ex’s Choices and Failures Are Not Your Own.

He didn’t do this to you. This is just what he does. It’s not that he didn’t choose you, he just chose another path. He didn’t fight for you, he most likely doesn’t fight for other things in his life.

You are not an isolated incident. You are not to be burdened by his faults. They are no reflection on who you are or how hard you tried.

It doesn’t matter how you showed up, you can’t change or fix a person unless they want that change.

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3. See the Breakup As an Opportunity for Growth.

Understand that you are not confined to living as the person that you are today, forever. You can learn and grow from this experience.

The story can easily end with, “I didn’t trust him. I guess I’m just not good at trusting people and therefore will never have a good relationship.” Instead, learn from it. “I didn’t trust him. Why do I not trust people? I will figure that out and next time I will trust my partner and have a better relationship.”

Change your story and you will change the outcome and finally move on.

This guest article originally appeared on 3 Ways To Stop Blaming Your Breakup On Yourself (And FINALLY Be OK).

3 Steps to Stop Taking the Blame for Your Breakup

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APA Reference
Guest Author, P. (2018). 3 Steps to Stop Taking the Blame for Your Breakup. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 10 Mar 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.