Don’t know how to forgive myself

I’m having a hard time getting into new relationships or trying to get back out. I’m scared to let anyone too close. Someone I have been talking to is really into me but she says it seems like I’m uninterested. It makes me feel guilty because that isn’t the case. I’m very insecure about myself after my last relationship. I didn’t always make the right decisions. I was very mean at times and said horrible hurtful things in arguments. There were times I talked down to my ex or talked to her like she was stupid. I have lived with regret over those things even when we were still together. She ended up cheating on me with a married co worker. His wife messaged me 3 days before Christmas to tell me what she found out and she had just had a baby 4 days before that. I felt so terrible and I still blame myself. I feel like I made my best friend resent me so much she was willing to do something like that to make herself feel better. I miss her and feel like I didn’t value her as much as I should have. Every day I wake up feeling like I made the biggest mistake of my life breaking up with her. She always forgave me for my crap and maybe I should have given her a chance. I was so hurt at the time I knew I couldn’t live in the same house as her without it becoming constant arguments over what she had done so I just gave up. I feel like I destroyed my relationship and almost destroyed someone else’s marriage. I feel like if I had been a better man/ partner it wouldn’t have happened. All that being said it’s making it very hard for me to try and get close with someone. I know part of it is trust issues from being cheated on, but I also doubt myself and don’t think I deserve anyone. I feel like I’m just going to screw it all up again. I don’t want to become attached or love someone again just to make them resent me or me get rejected again. Part of me feels like I won’t ever be able to love someone properly because I don’t want to put all the effort I did into my past relationship and it not be fruitful.


Hello @Johnnydeez

I’m so sorry that you’re in this situation and are worried that you might treat this person the same as your ex. The fact that you are worried about it is a good thing because you’re aware that some things probably need to change. Treating your partner with love and respect is the goal and I know that’s something you can do.

There are steps to get to that place tho and one of them is working on yourself. Figuring out why you treated your ex the way you did is something to think about. Working out past traumas or things that happened in your life that have caused you be “mean at times” would really help you in a new relationship. Talking to a therapist could be a good start in this.

Just the fact that you are worried about this tells me that you are a good person.


@Johnnydeez Oh my friend, I’m so sorry that you are continuing to hurt from your last relationship. It’s hard when we want to keep on beating ourselves up over what we did or didn’t do in a relationship. And we can get very stuck there and not be able to move forward.

The one thing I see that sticks out to me is that you are blaming yourself and taking responsibility for your ex’s actions. You are not responsible for her deciding to have an affair with a married man who had a pregnant wife. She made that really bad decision, not you. You can’t be responsible for that. Let yourself off the hook there.

The fact that you are still beating yourself up is not good. You know what things about yourself that you would like to change but you don’t trust yourself to be able to do that. So have you considered talking with a counselor or therapist about this? It may help to better understand why and then how to change how you handle relationship issues. You are worth it and you deserve to love and be loved again. You matter.

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I’m in therapy but I still struggle with guilt. I understand that I didn’t control her actions. I knew we both needed counseling but I let fear over money and not having insurance at the time keep me from doing it. I put it off and it was desperately needed for both of us. I know she’s grown and made her own choices but I got with her when she was 18 and I was 21. Her dad was deported when she was 10 and her mom was a drug addict most of her life. She looked to me for guidance and I feel like I failed her. I feel like she trusted me and I wasn’t equipped for that kind of life. It was hard taking care of 2 people for so long and there were times I told her I felt more like a step dad than a boyfriend. Maybe I shouldn’t have said those things to her or gotten as frustrated as I did. I did my best to keep our bills paid and to take care of her as a man. At the end I let resentment cloud my judgement and had basically given up. I feel like that pushed her over the edge. I get I shouldn’t beat myself up but she was the first person that I was truly in love with. For almost 7 years o exhausted myself trying to build a life for us and had all these plans for our future and when it all came crashing down I was left lost and without a purpose. The loneliness definitely didn’t help either. She was there when my grandma died and I had an uncle die the week after she left. I also found out that same month that my grandpa has terminal cancer. It’s been hard not having someone to lean on when I’m down. It’s hard not having my best friend anymore. She makes passive aggressive post on social about me even though she’s in a relationship already and it makes me feel like shit about myself. Sometimes it all just gets overwhelming and no amount of counseling or medication makes it better.


Thank you so much for sharing more of your story. It really adds context to what you have shared before. You have a huge heart and a very caring soul. You love fully. For as young as she was, you too were very young in taking on that role of mentor and protector. And yet, you did the best you knew to do at the time with the limited resources (both financial and emotional) you had. Seven years is a long time and I understand how deep the connection can grow in those years. The pain is real and the guilt is real - even if the guilt isn’t deserved. I fully understand that feeling. Please keep doing the work in therapy because you deserve to forgive yourself, you deserve to process all of this and to move to healing. Staying stuck in that place that is the past won’t help you or her. I also want to say I’m so sorry for all of the loss and grief that you are working through with your own family. That journey takes it’s own time and path, so please be gentle with yourself there. All of this together can very much be overwhelming at times, so again - please stay with the counseling, the meds, and please be gentle with you. It’s going to take time to work through all of this but you are more than worth it. You make a difference in this world, even if you don’t believe that.