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Love Letters

Was it my fault?


Q:

Meredith,

My boyfriend and I were together for two years. He loved my family, my family loved him, and we are both in our mid-20s. I felt we were great together and I considered him to be my best friend. One minor problem was that he has a female best friend and that made me jealous.

A month before we broke up, I could tell he wasn't happy. He was hanging out with his friends more, telling me he'd call back soon, and then calling hours later and would say hurtful things to me. I tried to make things better by cooking him dinner and trying to do what made him happy. We just started fighting more and more and then the final straw was when I noticed he deleted all texts from his girl best friend. He told me it was because he was questioning the relationship and had been venting to her. I got mad and left.

A week after breaking up with me, he said he was sorry and going to therapy because he was unhappy with himself and didn't know why he would treat someone he loved so much so badly. I didn't believe him. I became mean and jealous, wondering if he would ever want to get back with me or if he was just using me. I started canceling our plans and now we aren't talking. This has all happened in the past month.

I do love him and I'm worried I won't meet someone like him again. I've always believed relationships are all about fixing problems and making things work. Why do I feel like this is my fault? And what is the right thing to do at this point?

– Hurt, Los Angeles

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A: Relationships are about making things work, but ... this guy broke up with you. After a breakup, there isn't much of a relationship to fix. When it's over, you have to work on making yourself feel right again.

Please know that he had every right to have a back-and-forth with his best friend about the relationship. Those texts were his business. But you didn't really break up because of those texts, right? The relationship ended because he got mean. You were dancing around trying to please him, but he had no interest in pleasing you.

The right thing to do is to take space. If the relationship is over, you have to start building a life without him. It's natural to blame yourself after a breakup, but it's not useful. Give yourself some time to get comfortable on your own and then reevaluate how you feel about what happened. After some time without him, you should have more clarity.

Readers? Is this her fault? What about those texts? What should she do?

– Meredith