Break Up and Divorce The 5 Worst Breakup Mistakes You Must Avoid

The 5 Worst Breakup Mistakes You Must Avoid

5 Worst Breakup Mistakes

“You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.”
— Groucho Marx

When I had my very first serious breakup, I made all the mistakes you can possibly make, #3 (details below) being my preferable one.

And I continued to make them until that last life-changing breakup I had.

Had I known back then what I know today, my life would've taken a much different turn.

I would've been able to take control of my life much earlier.

And as a result, I would have been doing what I was destined to do and being with the people I really wanted to be with, instead of pleasing others and taking every partner who came along.

I’ve learned that knowing what you want and taking control is the key in life.

Nobody taught me that early on.

Now that I look back, I know what my worst mistakes were … and I also know that 95 percent of the people going through a breakup or divorce are making them as well.

Still thinking about your Ex? Click here to take the test to learn how long it takes to heal... and how you can speed up the process.

Are you one of them?

It’s time to rethink.

How We Can Profit From Mistakes in Our Recovery

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
”• George Bernard Shaw

It is common knowledge that some mistakes are meant to be made: we learn and evolve by doing and correcting mistakes.

Mistakes let you know what doesn’t work and give you the opportunity to re-evaluate and take another approach.

Or they brutally show us their negative consequences so we avoid making them in the future (putting your hand on a hot stove, for example).

In breakup recovery, I consider breaking the No-Contact Rule one such path-correcting mistake.

This can help you realize how important the rule really is and help you stay on course further on.

But on the other hand, there are mistakes that you should avoid at all cost because they can not only delay your recovery but even prevent it completely from happening.

Here is a list of the five mistakes that I consider to be the worst and that you should NOT be making at all.

The Top 5 Worst Breakup Mistakes

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
”• L.M. Montgomery

Mistake #1: Wanting them back

Admittedly, this is a forgivable one because it's part of a significant breakup stage you go through. But nonetheless, it's a mistake that will hold you back.

Your job now is to do the work: accept that the breakup happened and that reconciliation is not what’s in your best interest. By doing so, you can move on to the next healing stage.

Mistake #2: Trying to be friends

I've written about this extensively since 2007. The gist is that it's impossible to stay friends when one party is still emotionally involved.

Following the No-Contact Rule for 60 days is the only way to go here.

(MORE: Is being friends with an Ex possible? Listen to my father …)

Mistake #3: Rebounding immediately

I used to go from bad relationship to breakup to bad relationship and so forth. I never took the time to work through my experience and learn from what went wrong.

I “cured” one breakup with the next relationship. Fighting fire with fire, right?

The thing is ”• this never works.

Sooner or later, everything will catch up to you, and the pain will be a 100 times worse.

My final breakup was the culmination of all the breakups I made in my life that I didn’t have the courage to resolve. And that was the reason why it felt like an emotional nuclear blast.

Don’t let it come to that.

Mistake #4: Being stuck in the “acceptance stage” forever

I often get emails from people telling me that they can’t get over their Ex for many years (the longest period I’ve ever been told was 30 years).

People can get stuck in their recovery for an unusually long time, and they are unable to move on.

While they have accepted that the breakup happened, they never continue into the next phase, which is the “Letting Go” stage.

Why does that happen?

There are many reasons.

For one, we tend to over-idealize our Ex as the “ultimate perfect partner.”

'When you put your Ex on a pedestal, who could ever be a match?' Click to Tweet

We put them on a pedestal, and nobody else can be a match for that.

Also, we often start to identify with the pain in such a way that we start needing it … it becomes our identity.

And that is when things start to become dangerous.

Mistake #5: Not using this opportunity to shape your future love life

As I've so often preached, you must use this breakup as a catalyst to have better relationships in the future ”• to find your perfect fit partner, as opposed to continuously running into the ones who are not good for you.

Because most of us experience just that: the same bad relationship over and over again in their life.


Breakup Mistakes of Others

You must work through this breakup according to the phases you are in or else you've wasted this precious opportunity, and all you’ve accomplished is enduring the pain.

That’s not what your recovery is about.

Your recovery is about using this breakup or divorce as a catalyst for better and more fulfilled relationships in the future.

As I've said, I've made all the above mistakes so you don’t have to. And I would’ve continued making them forever if I hadn't run into my relative who showed me the way (you've all read my story).

So I urge you, learn from my mistakes, and don’t make them after your breakups.

Have you already made one or more of the above mistakes? If yes, feel free to share in the comment section below.

Your friend and coach,
Eddie Corbano

  • My ex calls me daily, texts me daily, drives by my house, knocks when I have company and will not allow me to move on. This has gone on for about 1.5 years now.

    Once he didn’t call me or text for 2 weeks and I thought it was over but he showed up at my house again. He’s begged his way into my life many times and I find him lying again. He is the most unstable person I’ve met.

    I have called police. Other people have called police when he’s showed up at a restaurant and made a scene when I was out with a male friend (really only a friend).

    He has sat in my back yard for hours, hidden in my garage and terrified me, caused me to be late for work, caused me to miss social engagements I’d made by blocking me in my driveway.

    Last year I started dating a man and my ex became obsessed again. Texting me and calling until my new bf started answering his calls and texts then the ex began lying about me…telling the new bf I was sleeping with him, it wasn’t true but, the drama caused me to have to leave the relationship because of the seed of distrust that began blooming.

    I have blocked his number and he gets another one from online. Also, if someone makes their number private it can not be blocked – I asked AT&T and it’s impossible at this time.

    What can a person do to get someone like this off of their back? I have went NO CONTACT many times just to find him waiting in my back yard literally begging me to give him another chance. He has had MANY chances so I know there is no hope.

    What is his problem? Why can’t he leave me alone?

  • Andrea McAvoy says:

    Stupidly I made most of the mistakes listed. We were together 17 years and I was shocked at the age of 70 we would end up parting! To cut a long story short he chose to go back to his family after a row between us over them. This is where it get difficult because when time is of the essence you feel that u must try to ‘mend’ what should not have been broken. He unfortunately had been given an ultimatum. He left. I’ve been ill and suffered far worse rejection as a consequence of trying to get him back… if only read this rule I maybe happier now. Recovery period is taking longer. Fortunately I have a great social life and have more adventures now than ever. But I have stayed away from the if you can’t get over your ex ‘then get under the next!! Despite age is no barrier for offers! !!

  • I also was friend zoned… but I have decided now to cut her off completely… no more unnecessarily expectation. I have blocked her from everywhere.. and trust me now I can focus on my studies nd future opportunities even better…
    Go to hell …dear dill.
    We were in relationship since our school days……..multiple breakups made us think that it wasn’t going to work for any longer but we couldn’t be segregated either coz I used to call her, nd she didn’t quit either but told me not to have expectations.

    Noo….nooo…I love you but can’t talk you. Because priorities don’t allow me to dump my ass once again by myself.

  • I got dumped after 5 years together, reason being that he doesn’t trust me when I’ve not done anything wrong 😟. It’s been a month now, no contact with him and every day is a struggle. Gone from everything to nothing, got to know a side of him that I didn’t know existed, do wonder if I’ll ever hear from him again.

  • I’ve made the mistake of wanting him back. I still want him back. I tried no contact, and only got to 3 weeks. I just really believe in what we have… but I know I may be causing myself more heartbreak, because so far he hasn’t budged on the opinion that it’s not going to work between us. I feel pretty pathetic, but I just have too much hope still. This is so hard.

    • Andrea McAvoy says:

      I know that one serena. I also phoned and asked to talk about things and was told no it’s all done and dusted now .. just 5 weeks into the breakup and after 15 years of marriage! I started to tex to get his attention but he ignored them.. the rejection time and time again was undignified. The advice given is very good … just wished I had seen it before. Good luck and I hope you find happiness

  • I’m on the precipice of ending yet another 2-3 year long relationship. We got engaged shortly after I caused a major problem in our relationship. My intention was to prove that I could change and make up for my mistake and disrespect, because I really do love the shit out of her and want whatever is best for her.

    I’ve been feeling the urge on and off that I should have let her go, and that urge is multiplying. To top it off I’ve gone and made the same catastrophic mistake that I made in the beginning, 2 days ago. She still doesn’t want what we’ve made together to end (no kids). Seeing her cry and try to hang on hurts me so bad I can’t bring myself to end it. I’ve already tried and failed to make things right.

    Now I’m suffering serious insomnia at times, some days everything is perfect, some days it seems like everything is going to be perfect and then blown to smithereens because we bump eachothers buttons and over react. Some days suck so bad I wake up 2 hours before my night shift and feel relieved when I leave the house only having been with her in the house for a short time.

    I have soooo much guilt on my shoulders I’ve never done this to anyone else and I feel that she deserves way better, and to stay would ultamitely be delaying the inevitable.

    My personal goals/social life has deteriorated ever since we moved in together and I feel isolated/confused/ashamed that I haven’t broke up with her and I’m sitting here at a cafe at 5am wracking my brain why she hasn’t left me a couple months ago. I’m still wrestling with the idea of me breaking up with her but I don’t want to. On the other hand I think it’s for the greater good.

    I apologize on behalf of cheaters to anyone that’s reading this and has been cheated on. I feel like an absolute sheister and want my old self back :/

    Anyone’s thoughts/input are appreciated, reading this article is helping me to prepare for the worst, or perhaps the best.


    • I was cheated on after 24 years with a man. It hurts pretty bad. It’s better to leave her than to keep hurting her. Be gracious in the breakup … let her keep the dog, the bed, the dishwasher…whatever. My point is don’t cause more damage … you will prove you’re a better person by leaving apologetically and graciously.

      Tell her she deserves better than what you can offer her. Build her up…even if she puts you down.

      Don’t beat yourself up anymore – just end it so you don’t beat up anyone else.

      Good luck

  • Sherry Miller says:

    Me and my ex broke up after 12years NC he just left and still have a key he said i lied to him i think its was just his way of saying he dont love me and than he butt called me and said he has been thinking about doing this for a month i want him back but i think he just want someone new i have cry for the last 10days im doing things i never would have done i just would like to no if hes ok im i wrong my best friend left and dont care i let him be my life and now im byself and so hurt i want him to come back

  • MaryLeigh says:

    I’m guilty of a few of these. I was recently dumped by the man of my dreams. He is 54 I’m 49. He felt I was like magic coming into his life-His words. He treated me like no other ever has. We were inseparable from day one. He had a tragic death take place in his life. With that he withdrew completely from me. Later telling me that with the death, the ending of a previous relationship came to the forefront of his emotions. A relationship he had not properly mourned. In essence, I most likely was his “rebound girl”… It sure felt real and nothing less than incredible. The thing is, now, while he is mourning another woman, I’m left with my heart wide open, broken and with nothing. Like it never happened. Like I never existed. We occasionally text simple how you’s and have a nice day msgs still. I cannot get passed what we shared. It was real! Maybe not meant to last any longer than it did, but real! He says, that right now, he just cannot open his heart to a relationship, he is broken hearted. I still have a few items at his house which i ask him to return unless he could see us getting back together again someday. He has yet to return them. I’ve recently reminded him that I can take them back if he needs to return them. He has yet to return them. I have never dealt with a man like this. He is so complex and intense. Feeling everything deeply. I was married 10 yrs prior to meeting him. I’m just not sure how to handle all this. I get angry somedays now and of course, sad. Its like he doesn’t even know I exist now. I feel I’m giving him “time” which is what I felt he ask for. But some days I feel he was just being nice and not wanting to hurt me by saying, It’s over… somedays I feel he just needs time… some days-like today, I just do not know. I feel sorry and pray for anyone dealing with this type situation.

    • Im going through something similar and feel all of the feelings you feel. It is really torture. I want to call, text, email. hell – even show up to his house to get my answers. It’s so hurtful and confusing. Some days I feel okay, others sad, still others, very angry. Today, I’m sad and very hurt.

      I don’t know what to do, so I just continue to do nothing. I’m dismayed at the fact that he wasn’t who I thought he was. That is so very devastating. He, too, acts as if I don’t exist and that the relationship, the closeness, and the promises he made never happened. This was said he was going to marry me and if it wasn’t me, it would be no one else.

      He’s a tragic commitmentphobe with insecurity issues. I know that now. He tried, but he gave up very easily and won’t even have a conversation with me about it. It’s like he thinks if he ignores the whole thing, it will all be just some dream he woke up from. The rat bastard.

      • He is a Narcissist, move on. You deserve so much better.

  • Kiesha Jones says:

    Ive been with this guy for 8 years and we have a daughter together, however, for some reason he use to always shun me or neglect me whenever it comes to the bedroom, he is currently out of a job and he was still acting the same way then it reach to a point where i felt like I’m so fed up and I my feelings for him started drifting away… it was him that caused me to be different it has nothing to do with talking to other people, now he says I’m heartless i told him i don’t think we can make it and now he have gotten crazy and he don’t wanna let go, please I need advise because his actions and the way he is speaking sounds more like suicidal… I pity him but I don’t want him back I need a change in my life.

    He says that he never expected this from me, because all the things we went through together and I never give him up… someone please advise…

    He even told me that he is willing to take counseling, but I am just not feeling anything….

    • It’s been 49 days since me and my ex broke up . She enter in a relationship during the time we broke up. We spoke at least once a week after our break up but always start of good then our emotion take over and ends up bad. 9/3 I decided to do NC during that time cancel all my social media erase all her contact phone , email etc. During my two weeks of NC , week 1 she showed up at a event I Dj at and was flirting with some dude in front of me the whole night. Week 2 she showed up at the comedy club I Dj at with her new boyfriend .. both times we never made eye contact nor speak to each other .Have to be honest did do some IG and FB stalking …which made it worst . Did realize once she stop posting on social media once she she realize I’m not on social media to see anything. Before then she change her relationship status to show she’s in a relationship with her new friend , post pics of her going out to parties and having fun. Event post pics of them together which is crazy out of 2 1/2 yrs we have no pics together on social media. Can’t lie I wasn’t always the best boyfriend did some some dirty and lie so not mad at her action. Just never felt this kinda pain from leaving someone.she still hang with the friends we both close with. It’s hard to let go cause from the time we met , we spoke everyday and now we act like we never met. We are having a storm down in FLa and it hurt not to be able to check on her to she if she’s ok .. this NC is hard but would I break the rule to ask if she’s ok tho a friend ?

    • Sorry for you. I wish I knew what to advise you but I don’t because every situation is different. I will say that suicidal people frighten me…many become irrational and willing to take others with them. I’m not saying he’s this way however, I’ve witnessed this happen many times in my life – one time it was a woman I worked with and her husband killed her and himself.

      So, please be aware and careful. You’re in my thoughts and prayers Kiesha.

  • The woman i’m in love with has a new BF. I called and texted her frantically for days until finally her new BF decides to get in contact with me. But I didn’t stop, I kept trying to get into contact with her via email, mail and even through different phone numbers until she finally berated me for doing so. Threatened to call the police. I hated myself for letting things get to this point. But reading this gives me hope for the future. I never want to ever get to this point in my life.

  • 35 years married. Have tried to leave several times in the last 10years and broke every rule here only to return.
    Now I am prepared to leave and have everything in order except the ability to go no contact completely. We are in the process of downsizing. After several years of counseling and reading I now realize how emotionally abused and manipulated I have been. I leave and she turns it around and guilt is a millstone around my neck. Now that millstone is gone. But the reality is a lot has to be discussed when I do leave. Selling the old place and dealing with the new. Retirement finances and divorcing is not an immediate option when you are 65. I have tried an honest discussion with her only to be discredited and ignored. Then buttered up. I am buttered now worse than a piece of corn.
    But I am moving forward. I plan on spacing my contact out and making it when I want.
    I guess I am writing simply to point out that sometimes no contact can and should be controlled contact under some conditions. Especially older marriages.

  • Charlotte i read that with interest as im in a similar situation right now not easy! i wish you well

    • Well I have failed all of the above, and now I can’t be cruel but honest to my ex that I can’t have him in my life. You can’t let go and heal if you are talking to them every day. You can’t be friends either, so I have now said this ot will be fine of I don’t hear from him, day 1 no contact it is going to hurt but at the end of it. I would rather fall in love with the right person instead of the wrong and I want to be happy again and free and not feel guilty. Also work on ones self. Love is a lie lol, we have only 1 life and YOU create your own happiness no one else. I have bad anxiety to. Get your shoes off and walk in the grass get in to nature climb and hug a tree. Love in a world that is hating be free. 🐙

  • Charlotte says:

    I’ve made the mistake 1 of wanting him back. And mistake 2 of staying friends, best friends, in the hope that I can win him back like that. Additionally, I forced him to be friends with benefits, saying that since we have good chemistry and are young and single why not just have some fun. This was despite him dumping me after 1.5 years of relationship ( a very nice happy one with hardly any fights) because he “didn’t see a future for us”. I just couldn’t digest this sentence. I couldn’t even process the reason for our breakup but I still went ahead and smiled and made him a close friend, someone I’d message everyday and talk on the phone about everyday stuff and meet at least once a month (we live in different cities, I continued to travel to his monthly just like when we were dating since my parents are also there).
    I was so caught up in all this I didn’t even imagine rebounding with anyone else. Something weird had happened. I just wasn’t attracted to ANY man anymore. I just had eyes for him, which was alarming to me. Was I becoming asexual? Haha.
    It has been one year since the breakup. I have accepted we have broken up, yes. I haven’t yet ‘let go’. Mistake 4. But the last six months have been hell for me mentally. I have had depression in the past so I wasn’t too alarmed when I became depressed post breakup, but anxiety just came out of nowhere around my birthday. It started with a sinking feeling when I realised that he wouldn’t be surprising me on my birthday anymore. And it stayed. One panic attack a week, sometimes more than that. I would be locked in my office’s bathroom for up to two hours shivering and crying. All the tears I had bottled up the past few months decided to come out in a flood.
    I would say that the past year could be divided in two parts. First part, I was so numb and confused. Yes, I cried a lot in the first month but mostly I held it together and focused on work. But health wise, my acne and PCOS suddenly flared up. I barely ate one or two meals a day and lost 5 kgs. This was my body’s way of showing me that I was suppressing my emotions!
    Second part, my mind could only take so much, so it crumbled. Anxiety is so much more visible than depression. An attack can set off anytime, and can ruin everything. Slowly my friends started to distance from me. I still had one true friend long distance but I could feel her also getting tired of my suffering and ranting. All this while I was still talking to my ex. I’d put up a happy front when we met but our meetings and calls would end badly. He kept saying he wanted to be great friends with me but that line was destroying me now. Finally, one very bad day I said some very hurtful things to him over the phone, along the lines of, “You’ve been manipulating me and you never loved me, you used me and threw me away when you got bored.” I truly felt what I said at the moment. But I never should have said that because he is a good guy. It hurt him a lot and he said that we can never be friends now. This was what I was wanting but somehow it felt very brutal and not right to me. Since that day we have been in touch one more time, when I had a panic attack again and he had had enough.

    I began No Contact 15 days ago. It is still really painful when I go through conversations in my mind. But I haven’t had a panic attack since that day!!! 🙂
    I hope my anxiety leaves. I don’t have the patience to visit a therapist so I’m hoping it resolves on its own. I am going to throw myself into work and become the best version of myself. I just wish I had done this on Day 0 of breakup. If anyone stuck around to read this incoherent rant till here, please take this piece of advice.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this post. I’m NOT interested in working things out with my ex-boyfriend because he can’t be trusted. I wasn’t fully aware of being the “other woman” when he was cheating on his girlfriend with me. An apology won’t make any difference, since the damage is beyond repair. I refuse to be insecure due to his actions.

  • Thank you for this post. I haven’t made any of the mistakes, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted too. I guess that might be false, I have been stuck with the fact that what I thought was the reason for the breakup ended being a bunch of B.S. The real reason was he had been seeing a co-worker behind my back. I have come to terms with the breakup, but dealing with cheating brings it to a whole different level. Also, the fact that he hasn’t even contacted me once hurts quite a bit. I can’t say that I would respond, but it would be nice to see him for once take accountability for what he did.

    • Hi Erin, my situation is identical to yours. After 20 years he started an affair & when i found out he asked for a divorce (which was over in 30 days because he was in a BIG hurry) & said he had not loved me for a long time and didn’t feel we had a marriage any longer so it was justified to find someone else he had a “spark” with. i am trying to no contact which is easy because he doesn’t contact me because he is so involved with her. i am in the still obsessing and having him on a pedestal phase that i am trying to work through. I have so many up and down days right now but i am looking forward to healing & loving myself so i can successfully move on

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