Blaming is deliciously satisfying, isn’t it? It feels so good to rant and rave about what a jerk he or she was, and go over and over all the bad things they did. And you are right I’m sure. They did do bad things. But if you’re really honest, so did you, and simply blaming your ex is telling only half the story. There is a time for spewing the venom, pointing the finger, being negative, etc., but if you stay there, you stunt your growth, collect mud in your heart and limit your ability to create something better with someone else.
Ever wonder why you keep meeting up with the same person with a different name and a different face? It’s because you’ve been so busy blaming that you’ve failed to look inward, the only place where you have a chance to expand and grow. The only place where you can gain the insights you need to choose better next time. If you stay small, you cannot attract BIG. You have to BE what you want to attract. That requires consciously going through the breakup, putting the focus where it belongs…on YOU. If you leave one relationship without taking responsibility for your part in creating it, you stay the same. And if you are the same, you cannot expect your next partner to be better than the last one.
Relationships are co-created; therefore, there is really no one to blame. It may appear that one person is the perpetrator, the other the victim, but in fact, both partners are equal contributors. If it doesn’t appear that way, look deeper for the truth. Try this exercise: list all of the bad things your ex did to you. Then ask this question: what did I do, or not do, that allowed this behavior? Well you say, they had angry outbursts. I didn’t contribute to that. You didn’t? Did you stick around and listen to the yelling and screaming? Or did you say “when you have calmed down and are willing to talk about this rationally, I am willing to listen, but I won’t stand here and be screamed at,” then walk away?
You say, they were selfish, always taking, never giving. Were you an over-giver? Did you give excessively so that you would be loved? So that you would be valued? So that they would need you and not leave? And was that your contribution to the situation? We teach people how to treat us. If we say what we want and how we feel, stand up for ourselves, have boundaries, we set a high standard for how others treat us. If you are treated badly, it’s because you treat yourself badly. That’s the bottom line.
Taking responsibility for your part in the “relationship dance” leads to a smarter, more confident you, which is the basis for forming deeper, more fulfilling, more joyful relationships. What a great incentive to do the work!
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for great tips and insights about finding peace and your internal wisdom. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com