I used to be the kind of woman who blamed her exes for everything. A habit I picked up in adolescence, I never accepted accountability for my bad behavior, which caused my relationships to fail. What can I say? I was a self-absorbed teenager with a chip on my shoulder the size of Mount Everest. Even then, I blamed my anger on someone else – my father.
As I moved on from high school to college, my focus shifted. I realized that I sabotaged my love life. I chose the wrong men.
I remember the “aha” moment. As a freshman in college, I dated an athlete with a terrible reputation. I allowed Kurt to put me down. He’d look at my natural thin limbs and small breasts and smirk, claiming I should eat more to “fill up.” One day he’d say he had feelings for me and ignored me the next. Kurt even asked one of my friend’s sisters out in front of me. It was blatant disrespect but I still continued to see him. I even thought I was in love with him.
Enter another “K” – Kris. He was sweet and respectful. He was very cute and was also new on campus. Kris was boyfriend material and he liked me…a lot. What did I do? I chose the a-hole. I stuck with Kurt and broke Kris’ heart in the process.
That, my friends, was all me. That was my “aha” moment.
I get it now. I see how my low self-esteem and lack of self-love led me into the arms of a man who could never love me. I continued to live this pattern for years. In my early twenties, I’d get upset with men when our relationship failed. But it was my fault too. Breakups don’t just happen because one person messes up. Two people invest (or don’t invest) in a relationship. Our actions, or inaction, create outcomes. Our decisions manifest behavior. In my case, I made bad decisions therefore I had bad behavior. And it all affects the outcome. Sometimes the outcome is love and marriage. Other times it’s hate, separation or divorce.
No matter where we end up we have to take responsibility for who got us there – us.
So, “it’s not you, it’s me” doesn’t cut it anymore. Neither will male bashing. It takes two to tango and a breakup is also our fault.
Why have you learned from past breakups? Share your thoughts!
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Seyyed_Mostafa_Zamani.