Being dumped from a relationship sucks! And being the dumper is not much better! Both suffer from pangs of guilt over what they have done (dumper) and what they should have done (dumped). But should you let those guilty feelings rule your life or should you forgive and forget?
Many reading this will say that forgiving either themselves or their ex is not something that they can easily do, either because of the hurt that has been caused to them or the hurt they have caused to their ex. But this feeling of not being able to forgive seems to me to come from a feeling of superiority over others, "why should I forgive when I have done nothing wrong?" Or "it is the other person who should forgive me first."
Let's have a look at that attitude from the point of view of both the dumped and the dumper.
Being a dumpee is not pleasant and for many people in this situation the feeling of guilt can be overwhelming. "Should I have done more/listened more/taken him /her out more?" Or the classic "if only I had realised how bad the relationship was I could have saved it". These recurring guilty feelings can be enough to stop a person in their tracks and prevent them from moving on. Similarly the feelings of anger about being dumped can turn into guilt at not being enough! Otherwise they think they would not have been dumped in the first place!
So want can you do about these feelings and bring yourself back into the real world. Well the first thing to do is try and forgive yourself. It does not matter if you were the cause of the breakup or it was your ex who initiated it. There is only one person in this world that you can truly control and that is you! Forgiving yourself for any mistakes you made no matter how big is a sign of responsibility and taking that responsibility for your life back will in turn help you gain strength to deal with the situation you are in.
Also self forgiveness is the first step towards forgiving your ex and that is something you must do. Harbouring feelings of anger and resentment towards your ex lover will only have the result of eating you up from the inside preventing you from either getting back with your ex on an equal footing or moving on and finding someone new.
If you are the dumper then the same principles of forgiveness apply. Maybe your ex cheated on you and you are finding it hard to forgive them. Perhaps you think that if only you had made more of an effort you would still have a relationship with your ex. Whatever the reason you must learn to forgive yourself first and then forgive your ex. If you are harbouring those feelings of superiority I mentioned earlier in this article then forgiving your ex will allow you to develop into a more mature person. None of us is perfect and holding a grudge towards another human being simply because you feel they have treated you badly is silly and life wasting. While you are wallowing in your feelings of self pity and the superiority that comes from it your ex is building themselves a new life! Think of that the next time you feel angry about what you think your ex has done!
A helpful technique you can learn is to set aside some time during your day when you know you will be alone and be able to think. Find a comfortable chair and sit down. Close your eyes and imagine you are somebody else. This does not have to be somebody you know, rather imagine that the person with the guilt and heartbreak is somebody you are talking to and trying to advise. In this conversation with your imaginary friend stress to them the importance of forgiveness, tell them that every one of us makes mistakes and that if they forgive themselves their life will be a lot easier to live.
This technique has its origins in self hypnosis and can be incredibly powerful but does need to be practised. So try and do it each day, once you can convince yourself that you are forgiven by you it will be so much easier to forgive your ex and move on with your life.