Overwhelmed By Guilt and Self-Hatred

I  have clinical depression and I just broke off a relationship of 2 years with someone I was very unhappy with, but he obviously was very much in love with me. In fact he was planning to marry me. Now he is so heart-broken that he needs a heart surgery (or so he says). I had tried to leave him a few times before this because: he was controlling (telling me what to wear, how to talk in public, how much time I could spend with other people, who I could and couldn't hang out with, etc), he made me feel unattractive by too often criticizing my body, we had major differences in our value system, and he constantly guilted me into doing things for him. However, when I tried to leave him those other times, his crying and pleading made me feel so guilty that I agreed to give him another chance. This time I knew I had to do it and stick to it because I was starting to have romantic feelings for another man, which I never had for my own partner (I did not cheat on my partner, though, to be very clear), but the guilt I am feeling now is overwhelming and I absolutely cannot stand it. I broke off the relationship for my own sake, to get my happiness back, but now my guilt is much worse than was the pain of being constantly controlled and manipulated in the relationship.

Saying I don't love him would be a lie - I do. As a very good friend. But not as a woman should love her romantic partner. It was not all bad either - life is never black and white. He had a lot of good qualities too, and we had a lot of good times together. But the bad was outweighing the good for me, and I was feeling smothered. But I feel so responsible for his well being. And now I have jeopardized that well being.

Sometimes I hear from him or his friends about how much he is hurting, but even on nights when I haven't heard from him, I cry so much and I have even started cutting myself with a knife; something about the self-punishment releases some of the pressure inside and so I can sleep. When I look in the mirror I hate my reflection , because I know I am a horrible person for being so selfish and choosing my happiness over his. But now I don't even think it was worth it - at least before, one of us was happy.

This guilt can't keep going on - something has to give. How do I get rid of it? I am on anti-depressant medication but it does not seem to be working. I go to sleep every night praying that I won't wake up in the morning. I need help.
Kelideghalbet Kelideghalbet
18-21, F
3 Responses Dec 7, 2012

First of all, no one should be in any relationship where one person is trying to control another. The purpose of having a relationship is to see if the two of you are suited for marriage (usually). Once married, the couple should be working together as a team in order to progress forward in their lives. If there's an imbalance of power in the marriage, you no longer have a team. You have a dictatorship. Who wants that?

Your feelings of guilt are normal. It's akin to survivor's guilt. You're feeling responsible for his pain and misery when in fact, he's the one who needs to own that pain. Every relationship will have it's trials and it's pains. He needs to understand that. He needs to man up and understand that he has no right to control other human beings, especially one he may consider being a life partner down the road.

Only time will help you with this. Time and a network of friends. I don't know what yo have for a network in real life, but, you can also build up a network of friends right her on EP.

It's a GOOD thing you got out, I can promise you it will only get worse. I recognize these characteristics, they are the characteristics of a person with Narcisistic personality disorder. They are controlling and everything you mentioned goes hand in hand with what they do even the crying and saying that they can't live without you. It's called supply and they NEED that, they crave it but it's only beneficial to THEM. I encourage you to read up on this disorder online and if you need a support group I have been a part of one that has been very helpful to me for more than a year. I too was in a Narcissistic relationship and I felt much like you describe, except I didn't love him nor want him back I wanted him to LEAVE! I am attaching the link to the forum....http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissism-recover
I hope you'll check the things out I suggested, you will be really glad you did, and you'll save yourself YEARS of pain, I can guarantee that. good luck! If you need to talk, I'm more than willing to talk about this!

Thank you very much for this reply. I will definitely check out this link - my father also has this disorder and I am surprised I didn't see it in this man I have spent the last 2 years of my life with. He was not completely bad though, he had a lot of good qualities as well. Just the negative was outweighing the positive for me.I would love to talk more about this, just not sure how this website works yet!

If you want to sene me a private message you can go to my profile and click on send message and it will send it to me and I will reply. I'm still learning too. And a comment to what you said, very often if one parent is a narcissist we will "fall" for a partner that has similar qualities because it's what we know and can understand.

Seems to me he is STILL in control of your emotions and feelings, and of you. You said you broke up with him to feel happiness and get it back, but all that seems to be happening is he is manipulating you into feeling guilty about breaking up with him! Try to remember why you wanted to end it, make a list of all the negative energy-draining things you wanted to avoid by not being with him, and stop talking to him/his friends! You are free now, and should spend your time not worrying about someone you are no longer attached to (supposedly) and hang out with your own friends, doing things you didn't get to do when you were with him. If you can't enjoy your new status as single, then he is still winning by making you miserable and feeling guilty about being happy again. He will get over it. Best thing to do is avoid him for now, and find a way to love and respect yourself enough to not let someone else make you feel guilty for it.

Thank you so much for your reply. I think you are right that it would probably be best for both of us in the long run if we don't have contact with each other at least for a while. But, I am so weak and I feel so guilty and responsible for him that when he calls me or shows up at my door crying, and I see how much weight he has lost and he tells me he will feel so much better if he can only see me, I go see him, because I figure after all the hurt I have done him I am responsible to help him get through it. I want to help him, but I don't know if being compassionate means cutting him out or being there for him. My previous partner, before this one, was someone I was deeply in love with, and he dumped me and it took me years to get over that hurt. He did it by completely cutting me off, and I guess I don't want to do it that way because I want my partner to know that I am human and I do care about him and his well being.

You are right, he is definitely still in control of my life and my emotions. I wish i could break free. Maybe I just need more time?

So here's what I am thinking- you have to take back the control by setting the terms for when and if you see each other. If you go running to him every time he begs, then he is still controlling you and your emotions, by playing on your sympathies and concern for his well being. If he is failing health-wise, who better to help him than a doctor or counselor? You are neither of those two things. And the more you let him call the shots on when this cycle of him calling and you responding will end, it won't end at all. You really are NOT responsible for his happiness (or lack of it). You don't owe him any consolation. The person who ends the relationship is definitely not the right person to heal the one who was dumped, and it's obvious that he is playing on your sympathies to get you to continue to see him. He is only using your sympathy to get his way and see you more, so unless YOU are strong and break this co-dependency thing, it will never end. This person is manipulating you. That is not okay. If you stay in contact with him just to ease your guilt for hurting him, you are not being fair to yourself. He needs to be released emotionally from you, he won't start accepting your word as final until you show him you mean it by making yourself unavailable to him. No matter what he says, try to remember it is his own fault it didn't work out with you, you said he was controlling and smothering you and this type of person will never change his behavior by himself. You have to say to yourself, "I deserve to be happy, and so does he ". Keeping in touch with him is only going to keep him from letting go and accepting the truth. As long as you continue to let him convince you to keep seeing him, he will hold out hope that you will take him back. It's actually a lot more cruel to give him false hope of a reconciliation by continuing to see him and talk to him and get drawn in by his drama. He needs a friend to talk to, but that person cannot be you. The person who dumped you cold did you a favor in a way, because once you saw he meant it you didn't have to waste time clinging to false hopes of a reunion with him. If you absolutely have to keep seeing him, you need to take control of the visits by telling him when and where you will see him, how often, and for how long. No physical stuff. Stay neutral and calm. No home visits, only in a neutral public place where he can't get overly emotional or try something physical. I have seen people who, frustrated with the person who won't take them back, get very angry and do hurtful things. He will never accept you mean it until you back it up with these type of changes. And if you don't, then it means you are still emotionally attached to him and that will hurt him even more. It's always better to break things off clean if you can. He WILL get over you. He will. You won't feel this bad about it forever, I promise you. Try to remember the reasons you were unhappy with him and stand your ground. Don't let him use his health as an excuse to manipulate you anymore. Stay firm about your refusal to see him when he wants, and ask him is there someone you can call to help him through this, because you cannot. Good luck, this isn't easy to do but way kinder to him in the long run.