is the breakup your fault? how to take ownership and move forward

let’s be real, going through a breakup is rough. i get it.

and on top of the heartbreak and pain, there’s that nagging question:

“was it my fault?”

i know. it’s not easy to think about. but stick with me here…

see, it’s normal to start blaming yourself after a split. you start wondering:

  • “if only i did this…”
  • “maybe i shouldn’t have said that…”
  • “did i do something wrong?”

it’s an endless spiral of “what-ifs” and regret.

but here’s the thing:

often, both people contribute to a breakup.

it’s rarely 100% one person’s fault. more like 60/40 or 70/30.

so you’re probably not entirely to blame either.

however, there are still two good reasons taking some ownership can help you. let’s look at them now…

1. it puts you back in control

when you take zero blame, it’s easy to see yourself as a victim with no power.

by acknowledging your role, you recognise your own influence.

this helps you stop feeling like a passive participant. you take back agency over yourself and your future.

2. it helps you grow

breakups present a valuable opportunity for self-improvement and growth.

when a relationship ends, take time for honest self-reflection. look back at your actions and mistakes to gain insight into yourself and your relationships.

though painful, being constructively self-critical now will help you become a better partner in the future.

ask yourself:

  • “what mistakes did i make in this relationship?”
  • “what lessons can i take from this breakup?”
  • “how can i communicate better next time?”

look for areas where you can improve. then use your answers to get stronger.

see, breakups teach us more about relationships than being in one. use this chance to grow wiser for next time.

the goal isn’t to beat yourself up. it’s to learn and evolve.

so don’t obsess over assigning blame. focus on the factors within your control. use hindsight to get insight.

then make a plan to be an even better partner for someone new. or, if reuniting makes sense you can take what you’ve learned to score a second chance with your ex.

either way, self-reflection now pays dividends for your future relationships. it all starts with taking ownership where you can.

why taking responsibility matters

taking responsibility for your role in the breakup is important for several reasons.

first, it shows maturity. blaming your ex for everything is childish. own up to your mistakes with grace.

second, it’s honest. no one is perfect. we all have flaws. admitting yours leads to growth.

third, it brings peace. when you stop finger-pointing, you stop battling your ex in your mind.

finally, it impresses your ex. handling the breakup with poise makes you more attractive, and leaves the door open.

so be the bigger person. don’t justify, make excuses, or shift blame. hold yourself accountable with dignity.

signs you’re taking too much blame

that said, some take too much credit for what went wrong. watch for these signs:

  1. you justify your ex’s bad behaviour
  2. you make endless apologies
  3. you accept verbal abuse
  4. you abandon your own needs
  5. you feel constant guilt and shame

if that’s you, remind yourself: it takes two. reflect humbly, but don’t surrender your self-worth.

when to let go of responsibility

also, know when to stop blaming yourself:

  • if your ex won’t acknowledge their role
  • if they use your ownership against you
  • if the relationship was abusive

you can’t single-handedly rescue a broken relationship. at some point, you may have to walk away.

how to take ownership in a healthy way

to take responsibility the right way, remember:

  • don’t rush. self-reflection takes time.
  • keep perspective. don’t inflate your faults.
  • be balanced. apportion blame fairly.
  • learn then let go. don’t dwell on regret.
  • set boundaries if needed. don’t accept abuse.

in summary:

  1. breakups are rarely one-sided. own your part, but don’t own everything.
  2. taking responsibility helps empower and mature you.
  3. self-reflection paves the way for self-improvement.
  4. admit flaws, but know when to stop blaming yourself.
  5. learn, forgive, grow. what matters most is your future.

you got this 🫡

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About the author: i’m a relationship coach specialising in breakup recovery. i’ve been doing this for 12+ years helping thousands worldwide. i created the Breakup Dojo, a popular program with over 1,000 members. i’ve authored several in-demand breakup recovery products, drawing from my deep fascination with psychology. i also publish the “ex-communication” newsletter that’s packed with actionable advice to over 10,000 subscribers worldwide.