How to Finally Stop Blaming Your Ex (Even When it Seems Impossible)
Alright, so you want to stop blaming your partner once and for all.
Mostly because you want to stop feeling so bad, and not because you want them to go free of any accountability for what they did in the relationship.
Oh my goodness, I have absolutely been here.
As a psycho-spiritual coach, it’s my calling to help my clients release these feelings, just like I did (after a lot of practice).
My clients find themselves here often; they don’t know how to release the blame as they don’t find their exes deserve it. They don’t know how to find the happy-medium between knowing what their ex did (cheated, lied, betrayed, withheld information), and how it made them feel (hurt, angry, confused, scared).
Ultimately, my clients feel stuck in this thought pattern. It’s not only distracting them from their every-day lives, but it’s causing a lot of tension in their bodies.
Before I reconnected with myself (which was after my long-term relationship ended in 2016), I blamed my ex a lot for triggering me (at the time I told him he was the one who made me feel a certain way, which I now realize is completely impossible), and I did that because I didn’t actually know how much responsibility I had about how I actually felt.
I thought people did things to make us feel a certain way.
I had no idea that we feel a certain way, and then people say or do things that trigger that emotion or subconscious thought.
Again, everything we feel starts with us.
It can seem like something in the external world does something to make us feel a certain way, but with a little noticing, you’ll see that it starts with us.
Back to blaming our partners: it’s so hard not to. Why? Because to not blame them would mean that we played a role in what happened. That might be too much to take in for now. We are all going through the grieving process at different paces.
But let’s say you are ready to see that what you’re seeing about your experience might start from you.
How would that guide you to making more powerful choices? How would that help you see more love for others and yourself? How would that release the ill feelings you’re harbouring?
The answer is: it would help you substantially.
And it’s okay if you’re not yet in a place to see where you come into the picture. I was there for a long time before I decided I wanted to see differently. I wanted to stop feeling so bad about myself and my ex.
I wanted to feel peaceful, but placing the blame on him wasn’t doing that. It was only making those feelings heavier, and taking me away from the present moment. One moment I’d be talking to a friend, and the next—feeling livid about something he did that triggered me.
I was triggered.
Something inside of me was triggered.
I thought initially he was “doing” something to me, and “making” me feel a certain way.
But actually…I was triggered by what was said by him.
How does this simple sentence structure change my perspective on the events that happened?
Well, firstly—I remove his intention from it. Although I had spent a lot of time with him, I didn’t realize I was creating a story about his intentions (which was ultimately guided by how I saw myself).
Secondly, I see my internal state when I remove his intention and make the story around my perspective.
But Nancy, what if our exes did try to be malicious in their intentions?
Good question. And this is something you’ll be able to see the more we get our perspective in check. We can’t see that distinction unless we get clear about our own mental state.
Let’s use an example here; let’s say you’re having a conversation, and someone called you a Yellow Dinosaur. (see to the right)
How would you react? Would you laugh? Would you think they were a little nutty? Would you believe them?
What would you think?
Most likely, you’d think what they were saying was untrue above all else.
You see that you’re not a dinosaur, and you know it deeply.
But what else do you see? You see that they must be in an “off” state to even cultivate such an idea. Right? You’re a human. You know this as fact.
What they see is just a reflection of their mental state. They’re the one that sees a yellow dinosaur, meanwhile you know that you couldn’t possibly be that. It’s not even up for debate.
If you’re thinking, Nancy, this is too untrue, can I have a more relatable example? Alright, let’s try another one. A prevalent one for many people.
Let’s say something called you a Big Dinosaur. (To the left)
You might find it odd if you believe you are a healthy and average-sized person. You know you’re not big nor a dinosaur.
But, if you have body insecurities (and are self-conscious about your weight) you might interpret the word “big” as them saying something about your physique. You might suddenly find yourself overcome with feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy. You might blame them for triggering that in you. You might even start hearing your mother’s voice about not eating all those bags of chips when you were a little kid.
If someone says or does something that triggers you, and you internalize it (it shakes you up in some way), that must mean on some level (we don’t know which one just yet) that you believe it yourself.
You believe what they’re saying. They said it, but you had to actually accept it as truth, on some level.
At all times, we are walking around the earth seeing things from our state of mind. We don’t realize the depth of this. We see things as true or not true, and not as our own perception.
People say a lot of things to us, but only the relevant stuff gets accounted for. That’s perception. It’s about it being real. It’s about it being relevant.
This is why it’s so important to look at why and how we blame our partners. We innocently think it’s them, but it’s actually them triggering something within us we just haven’t dealt with. Simply put, our past (childhood) is often the culprit for these deeply ingrained thoughts that pop out at us in the present time and stir up emotions). As children, we make meaning without knowing it. And then we see a familiar feeling as an adult, and we don’t bother to investigate it. We blame our partners instead.
Once we choose to see that we are triggered, we get to analyze what it is about our history that has been subconsciously ingrained in us.
And once we see that story being replayed in this scenario, we can free the other person of the blame.
They were just saying things—things about how they see the world. But we thought they were being malicious to us.
They were just doing things, and we interpreted that to mean they were trying to do something negative to us.
This is the impact of not checking in on our thinking about what actually happened with our ex.
Without checking in with ourselves, we place blame. And we feel it more than they ever will. We get so fired up and know we are feeling those thoughts 10x they are. We are carrying the weight of those feelings, not them. That’s how we know we’ve been deeply triggered, and haven't had a chance to look at our pasts that may have contributed to this experience.
This isn’t a concept that becomes an instant realization—it’s practiced. I mean, sometimes it clicks, but investigating and exploration is a true practice and way of being.
You’ve got to investigate how you think about something. You’ve got to notice when you’re triggered.
You get to see things a lot more clearly when you decide to see your role in what happened. It’s about about what you did wrong, or what was your fault—none of that. It’s just seeing your role, without judgment. Perception isn’t about judgment or being right. It just is.
This is very simple stuff, but very tough to look at.
I know this from first-hand experience; I had days where I wanted to hurt my spiritual mentors, but they stuck by my side, and continuously pointed me to see within.
They helped me see inside my own mental state.
And this is what I do with my clients; they want freedom from the anger. They want to be at peace with what happened.
If you’re looking to go from blame to a state of peace, please check out my online 1:1 programs here.
Breakup Coach Nancy