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Stop Blaming Yourself for a Failed Relationship

Are you ready to get back out there after you’ve been sidelined by a heartbreak?

Well, first you need to stop blaming yourself for a failed relationship.

You may wonder to yourself,

“How will I trust again?”

“What if the next one is just like my EX?”

“What if I get hurt?”

All of these are natural questions; it’s your job to protect your heart.

You need to be able to confidently rely on the one person you expect the most from. (HINT: I’m talking about you!)

So, moving forward, the biggest question shouldn’t be how you’ll trust someone else but about how you’ll trust yourself.

The Most Important Person to Trust

According to the Healthline article, 6 Tips for Building Trust in Yourself,

“There’s no one more important to trust than yourself…

It can feel more difficult to make decisions when you can’t trust yourself because you fear you’ll make the wrong choice…

Building trust in yourself can help boost your decision-making skills and self-confidence,” and it will also help you stop blaming yourself for a failed relationship.

Finding Out Who’s to Blame

I don’t know who was at fault in your relationship ending. I don’t know if you were cheated on, lied to, mistreated or abused.

I don’t know if you have unfulfilled expectations, shattered dreams or broken promises.

What I do know is that after a relationship ends, whether it’s for 3 seconds or 3 years, there are moments when we rip ourselves apart.

Photo by Marcelo Chagas

Whether or not we were responsible for the failures in the relationship, we often lay the blame squarely at our feet.

We think and re-think the words we’ve said.

We wonder if we could have prevented it.

We ask ourselves why we didn’t ask more questions, see it sooner, react faster, pack our bags earlier or speaker louder in defense of ourselves.

We tell ourselves, “We’re the gatekeepers to our hearts” so if this happened, on our watch, who’s to blame but us.

Lies and False Narratives

Every negative word we allow to play in our minds tears at the fabric of trust that’s firmly knit together in each of our hearts.

Every failure we blame on ourselves reinforces the idea we can’t trust ourselves.

Every failed relationship plays into our false narratives.

We tell ourselves:

— We never attract good guys.

— We’ll never find love.

— We’re not good enough.

— She must have something we don’t have.

Until finally, one day, our words successfully erode the trust.

And the worst person to stop trusting is yourself.

How to Trust Yourself Again

As someone who is committed to helping women turn their breakups on their heads and come out more fabulous on the other side, I want to ask you, “How can we cautiously move forward while making sure we’re not too jaded to love?” How can we get you to stop blaming yourself for a failed relationship?

The answer is through intentional healing. It is the only thing that will allow us to trust ourselves again.

Fortunately, there are five things you can do to help re-build your confidence in your ability to protect your heart and rebuild trust in yourself.

1. A Feeling of Forgiveness

At this point in the article, most people would ask, “Have you started the process to forgive your EX?” And while I agree that’s important, I want to ask you, have you started the process of forgiving yourself?

If you were wronged by your EX, you may be blaming yourself.

Underneath all the anger — though you scream at him, are angry at him, talk bad to your friends about him, despise him and are disgusted by the sight of him — when you’re home alone, something inside of you still blames yourself.


You are responsible for your actions, and he is responsible for his. You cannot control how he acts, but you can control how you react.

It was his choice to _______________ (fill in the blank).

Now, it’s your move…

Forgive yourself.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Accept what you can accept and understand your part, but realise even if you would have asked more questions, seen it sooner, reacted faster, packed your bags earlier or spoken louder in defense of yourself, you may have still experienced the same outcome.

Forgive yourself for the red flags you may have ignored.

Forgive yourself for not speaking up in the moment.

Forgive yourself for beating yourself up, taking all the blame and holding on too long.

Forgive the one person you expect the most from. (HINT: I’m talking about you!)

Stop blaming yourself for a failed relationship.

2. A Safe Environment

In order to love again, you need to find yourself in a place where you feel comfortable physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

This should be a place where you can be your whole and true self.

You need to feel free to make mistakes, to be goofy and silly or serious and serene.

Whoever you are, when the doors are closed and the curtains are drawn, is how you should show up.

When you feel like you never have to fake the funk, then you’ve found your safe place.

When you feel safe to be yourself, you’re moving down the road to being in a good place to love and trust again. And the right person can help create that environment.

3. A Safe Person

A safe environment is created by a safe person who gives you permission to be yourself. That person is rooting for you. They’re in your corner cheering you on. They know and love you because of the person you are.

Now, you won’t feel all of this at the beginning stages of a new love, but you can start to assess whether or not the person is going to be trustworthy enough to grow into your safe person.

Dr. John Van Epp, author of How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk emphasizes the importance of knowing your partner (and he’s not talking about knowing in the biblical sense 😉).

Knowing takes time.

Dr. Van Epp proposes a three-month rule.

Whoa, baby!

Three months?!

What happened to three dates?

Van Epp suggests, “Three months is the ‘magic number’. Not until around three months into a relationship do deep-seated patterns start to become evident…Without time, there is no such thing as a pattern.”

People give off little signs all the time. It’s your job to begin to read their cues.

So to find your safe person, you need to give them time to reveal themselves for who they truly are, and it’s your job to start picking up with they’re putting down.

4. A Feeling of Trust

When you’ve found a safe person and a safe environment, you’ll have the ability to develop a sense of trust.

Trust isn’t like a present you hand over all at once. It’s a seed you plant, water and nourish so it grows over time.

In his book, How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, Van Epp has a model that explains how to grow trust. He says, relationships should develop in this order:

  1. Know
  2. Trust
  3. Rely
  4. Commit
  5. Touch
Best Dating Books - Relationship Attachment Model

For example, after spending time together and getting to know someone, you’ll be able to tell if you can trust them. As they show you they’re trustworthy, you may begin to rely on them. This in turn will develop your commitment to one another, which will grow into a physical relationship.

However, what hasn’t been said is trust requires taking a risk.

In order to love, you need to be open to the process of love and to taking a risk.

And as you grow your confidence, you’ll feel more secure in taking it and in your ability to bounce back if things don’t go as you hoped they would.

5. A Sense of Confidence

The best way to rebuild your confidence and trust in yourself is to practice exercising it outside of romantic relationships.You can do this through setting and enforcing boundaries.

Establishing Boundaries

You can think of boundaries as

— understanding what you want,

— understanding what you’ll accept,

— understanding what you expect and

— following through.

Not only is it about enforcing your limits and expectations, but also respecting those of others as well.

Facing Your Fears

Another way to boost your confidence is to recognize what you’re scared of and face it.

What scares you the most? What’s something you’ve always wanted to try but have never had the courage?

Start confronting those things that scare you and you’ll find your self-confidence sky rocketing.

You’ll realise the only limits you have are the ones you put on yourself.

6. A Trustworthy Decision-Making Process

Do you trust your decision-making process?

Have you gotten in the habit of trusting your gut and listening to people in your support system who you trust to tell you the truth?

When you regularly do this — listen to your instincts and check your decisions against your moral compass and people you trust — you’ll begin to develop a process you can trust.

And the most important person for you to trust is yourself.

So as you consider getting back out there after your heart’s been broken tell yourself:

— I will trust again.

— The next one doesn’t have to be like my EX.

— Life’s unpredictable so maybe I will get hurt, but I’ll go out of my way to protect my heart as best as I can and to grow in my ability to trust.

—-I can stop blaming myself for a failed relationship.

As you follow this path, you will find you can confidently rely on the one person you expect the most from. (HINT: I’m talking about you!)

Moving to loving from taking blame for the relationship

Love feels amazing — especially new love. It’s soft and warm like a fresh load of laundry straight from the dryer, lightly scented with fabric softener.


It’s the best kind of love.

Are you ready?