The end of a relationship can feel surreal. At first we’re stunned that our partner is no longer our partner anymore. 

As the shock wears off, survival mode kicks in.

Our brain is wired to help us survive.

When a relationship ends we feel tremendous pain, and, to a certain extent,

we feel like our very survival is being threatened.

As a result. it’s our basic instinct to figure out why it ended and how to create a solution that helps us avoid future pain.

We enter into the blame game so that we can begin to answer the why. The blame game has two people that we can blame, ourselves or our ex-partner.

The first phase of the blame game is that

we start blaming them and seek out why it’s their fault.

We say things like he must have been cheating on me all along.

He never really loved me.

I hated that he always left the toilet seat up and refused to clean up after himself.

He’s a liar.

We go on and on about how he wasn’t any good, and he was probably up to no good the entire time we were with him.

Here’s the big problem though.

Nine times out of ten, we won’t get the resolve and closure that we need and desire.

Our brains are built to help us survive. Without getting closure, we keep searching for a reason why they moved on and left us.

Our brain still needs an answer that it can believe.

It has to fill in the missing information that we can’t get from the other person.

As a result, the next phase of the blame game is to place the blame on ourselves so we can find some resolve and closure.

We accept the blame by finding flaws with ourselves.

For example, I’m not pretty enough or I’m not good enough.

I should’ve changed (hair, weight, intelligence) for him.

I didn’t work hard enough or keep the house clean enough.

The self-blame game can sound really silly to other people.

Even while I’m writing these blame statements, they sound trite and simplistic. The truth is these statements, and statements like these, are what cross our mind while we’re lying in bed at night alone.

If I had only done…..

Or if only I was more…

Ultimately we accept some of the blame so that we can appease our brain. The problem is that we tend to accept the blame for the wrong things.  The blame game is a breeding ground for new Love Locks (toxic beliefs about ourselves).

Relationship End Scenario 1: You knew there were problems and were part of the problem.

If you knew what the problems were in the relationship and you feel like maybe you contributed to the end of the relationship, then you need to take some time to evaluate your behavior. You need to clearly see your role in those issues so that you don’t take them into the next relationship.

However, this can’t be done right after the breakup or divorce. Take the time to heal first.  Part of getting prepared for the next relationship is learning from the past and growing into a better you and a better partner.

Relationship End Scenario 2: The relationship ended because he wanted me to change into something I’m not. 

To be frank, this relationship wasn’t going to last. It’s good that it’s over so that you can find someone that is accepting of who you really are.

Make sure that you honor yourself and don’t create Love Locks that convince you that you aren’t lovable or good enough.  Your ex wasn’t the right partner for you. It can really be that simple. Don’t make it more complicated.

Relationship End Scenario 3: Out of the blue, it was over.

This ending is always the hardest because you will get absolutely no closure.  Probably anything that your ex has to say to you is a manipulation to allow them to feel better. They knew that they were being a snake in the grass. Yes, they probably were setting up another life without you knowing. They don’t care.

This ending will leave you completely stunned and madly searching for why.

Accept that you will never know and work on healing. This is one mystery that will never be solved.  Heal from the shock.  Then make sure that you don’t create Love Locks.  New Love Locks that come from trauma like this can have a very negative impact on your life going forward.

Going through a divorce or breakup is very hard and painful. Take the time to heal without creating bigger problems (Love Locks).  It’s okay to not know why or to have the “perfect” closure.  Searching for the closure and the why is a distraction that can prevent you from healing and moving on.

The best way to heal is to find ways to take the best care (<-find some tips) of yourself and get support.