How You Can Stop Beating Yourself Up About Your Ex

After a breakup, it’s normal to ruminate on what went wrong. But from what I see from my Love U clients, you’re probably focused on what YOU did rather than what HE did. In this Love U Podcast, let’s reframe your breakup and get really clear on why your relationship ended – he wasn’t a very good boyfriend at all.

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Hey, I’m Evan Marc Katz, dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, your personal trainer for love. Welcome to the Love U Podcast. Stick around until the end to discover how to stop beating yourself up when your relationship goes wrong. When we’re done, I’ll let you know how you could apply to Love U to create a passionate relationship that makes you feel safe, heard, and understood. 

So today, we’re going to talk about my client, Carmen. Carmen is a smart, strong, successful woman. She’s in her late 30s. She lives in Singapore and she has been beating herself up over a loss of Mr. Big Type Guy. Maybe it’s a dated reference, but I think it still holds up. He is an entrepreneur and tech startup guy. And they were dating for six months. I’m going to try to put it put a timeframe on that. Maybe six months. And he’s a guy who because he’s in the startup world, work comes first. There’s no judgment about anybody who puts work first. Just recognize that there’s always a cost to anything that’s great. And you end up with the person who is the self-made millionaire. The cost is he’s probably working a lot. 

So they work in the same field. He’s her boyfriend, but she feels like an afterthought in the relationship. And the problem is, when you feel like an afterthought in your relationship, there’s an underlying issue that your relationship isn’t as strong. You might have a relationship on paper. I mean, technically, you could say I have a boyfriend, but if your boyfriend doesn’t check in with you every day and you don’t get to see him every week because he’s so tied up at work or he’s traveling and he doesn’t really talk about where your future is headed and he doesn’t have that much time to take a vacation or even leave a weekend open for you, you just have a boyfriend in the name. But he gets the benefits of having a girlfriend, but you don’t really get the benefits of having a boyfriend. 

So this brings up a principle that I learned in five love languages, maybe. I think this was it. You’re only as needy as your unmet needs. I mentioned that was the title of the second episode of the Love U Podcast. You’re only as needy as your unmet needs. You can say, well, you know, your boyfriend can say, “you seem really needy.” Well, why am I needy? I have needs that are unmet. So my client, Carmen, is feeling neglected. And when she gets neglected or when any of us get neglected, how do we feel? We’re going to feel a little anxious. We feel a little anxious and unsafe in the relationship because it’s not being taken care of. We may engage in what is known as protest behavior, which is to lash out at the fact that you’re being ignored or neglected. So after months of his neglect and her lashing out that she didn’t feel safe, heard, and understood, he ended up breaking up with her. And so what has she done since then? She’s been beating herself up. Maybe she could have expressed herself better. Maybe she could have been nicer, or maybe she could have been more patient. And what is she doing? She’s taking all of the blame even though she didn’t do anything wrong. 

Like, I’m as secure as they come. You put me in a relationship with someone who doesn’t call me back. I’d feel anxious. I’d be upset. I get upset when contractors don’t call me back. I get upset when people on my Web team don’t respond to my emails or texts. I get upset when college friends don’t return my calls. It’s normal to say, “Hey, what’s going on?” I thought, we have something here. 

…he’s not a great husband candidate…

So my client, Carmen, has a normal reaction to a situation where she’s being neglected and all she can do is focus on what she may have done wrong. What she doesn’t recognize is that she had a great guy on paper, but he’s not a great husband candidate, regardless of how much she likes him, how much she loves him, how great they are together, how much chemistry they have because they’re rarely together. And her only crime was what? Speaking up for herself, speaking her mind. Very reasonable mind. Could she potentially be more artful about it? Sure. That’s not the real problem here. The real problem is when I’m coaching her, I can’t make any progress because all she’s trying to do is figure out how to get her guy back. She’s ruminating on what she did wrong to make him go away. And what could she do to reverse that, to get him back? The thought being, that if you just tried harder, that if you just ironed out your flaws and acted perfect, that man who is so distant, so non-communicative, so insensitive, would suddenly just come to his senses and come back. 

And that ignores the deeper truth. The deeper truth is that you can’t do the wrong thing with the right guy. 

Love is about recognizing each others’ flaws and willfully overlooking them for the good of the relationship. And that works to a point. 

The problem is that all Carmen is focused on is her own flaws, that she’s anxious and fearful. And she is. But she doesn’t seem to recognize that with a better man who is a better fit and a better boyfriend. All those fears go away because she’s now getting her needs met. The fact that he’s failing to be a good boyfriend is the real problem. It’s not her reaction to his failures. It’s his refusal to spend more time, to prioritize her more. To listen to her more and to talk about a path to marriage. 

So when you with the list, find your dating a guy like that, the answer is not to make him love you. It’s to break up with him. You can’t spend years trying to make a guy love you as if it’s your failing because he sucks at being a boyfriend. The only thing to do when you’re beating yourself up is to cut the guy loose forever and focus on the ways that he failed you. Not on the ways that you failed him. Got it? 

My name is Evan Marc Katz. Thank you for turning into the Love U Podcast. For more episodes like this click on the subscribe button, ring the bell to ensure that you get notified whenever there’s new content. And please share an honest review on Apple. 

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