It's one of the most difficult situations we face in our life: letting go of an intimate relationship that has ended (for whatever reason). After all, we have invested a lot of energy into this person and we thought it was going to be a love that would last forever. We believe that the reason our partner gave us for ending the relationship—as we claim to anyone who will listen—can't be significant enough to justify the breakup. When we don't get a clear answer as to why the relationship ended, we struggle with the lack of closure and don't know how to move on.
But regardless of how we feel, the bottom line is that the relationship is over and we need to come to terms with moving on. But how do you do just that? You have to shift your thinking from having a victim mentality ("I am the one who is hurt" ... "It was not my fault") to learning to be accountable for your behavior.
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This kind of thinking will only prolong your feelings of rage and loss and keep you connected to your ex for longer than necessary. One client shared with me that his insistence on seeing his girlfriend as more than she was kept him in the relationship five extra years. The reason why he clung to these thoughts and feelings of inequality was to avoid being accountable for the outcome of the relationship. Where a person is in the face of accountability will greatly determine, in my view, how long it will take to move on from a breakup.
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I want to share some thoughts with you to help you recognize where you are on this accountability continuum. The first step is to admit to yourself that the breakup was your choice, regardless if you were the one ending it. You selected this person with all his/her characteristics. The ending decision was not a mistake, but merely a reflection of you and your ex. If you dated a puffed up little boy who denies his fear of commitment, it is no surprise that he may come on strong in the beginning and fade away just as quickly. Keep reading...
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