As fans saw on Tuesday night's The Bachelor episode, Clayton had sex and confessed he was in love with both Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia during their overnight Fantasy Suite dates in Iceland, but then he told Susie Evans on his third date of the week that he was "the most in love" with her.
Susie, wanting to be Clayton's one and only in order to feel good about possibly accepting a marriage proposal in one week, expressed how she couldn't see herself moving forward in the process due to Clayton's apparent willingness to jeopardize their strong relationship.
But just as it appeared Susie was going to quit the show, Clayton essentially beat her to the punch and determined he was "done" with her because he didn't think she viewed their relationship as something worth fighting for and saving.
When looking back on his conversation with Susie at dinner during their Fantasy Suite, Clayton shared how their "conversation was very cordial at first" during a March 9 appearance on the "The Ben & Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast" co-hosted by Ashley Iaconetti and Ben Higgins.
"We were back and forth and there was no tone, no raised tone... [We] were having a discussion and working through it. About the third or fourth time she said, 'I can't work past this,' we stepped aside and she got up and she walked out," Clayton recalled.
"And then I started to have these really dangerous thoughts. I thought, 'Why does it seem like she's not fighting for this? Why does it seem like she can't even give me a chance?'"
Clayton said he didn't understand Susie's motive for dumping him in that moment because he wasn't aware of how she felt.
"I made assumptions and I wish I wouldn't have," Clayton said.
"But then I started to think, 'The way that she's acting, with everything else that had happened prior -- like [Sarah Hamrick] playing this game of trying to make the other women leave by making up lies... I thought realistically, 'Some of these women came here for other reasons, to push their own agenda."
Clayton therefore reiterated how "really dangerous thoughts" started creeping up in his mind.
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"[I was] being like, 'Well, what if Susie right now is just trying to get out of [The Bachelor]? What if she's just saying whatever she needs to say to leave me so that she can be the next Bachelorette?' And that was a thought that I had," Clayton confessed.
"When she came outside and I was talking to [The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer], that was my thought. And she was like, 'Do you want to go talk back inside?' And that's when you could see the tone shifted -- because at that point, I started looking at her as if she was playing me the entire time, as other women had."
Clayton apparently sunk into a bad headspace and then unleashed those emotions on Susie.
"I questioned her and that's why I said, 'I don't even know who I'm even looking at anymore,' because, in that moment, I really believed at that point that she was just feeding me whatever she needed to get out of there so she could be the next Bachelorette," Clayton said.
But Clayton insisted, "I don't believe that now. I didn't believe it the next day, but I believed it in that moment."
"And because of that, I allowed my emotions to take over. And at that point, nothing she said was going to get through to me at that point because I just convinced myself, 'You aren't here for me and you never were.'"
Clayton told Ben and Ashley that he "apologized for raising [his] voice" and knew the type of conversation they were having was no longer productive.
"It was too emotional, and I had to step away," Clayton noted.
"This is the type of conversation you step away from and revisit the next day, but because of the show, once she's gone, she's gone and that's it. I knew I was not in a good headspace and I had to just stop the conversation from continuing."
Clayton claimed that he lost his cool once he realized there was no hope of his relationship with Susie moving forward. He suggested the thought of not having a future with Susie tore him apart.
"I was just crushed watching this person I thought I may get engaged to essentially say, 'Hey, it's done and it's over and there's nothing you can do.' My emotions overcame me," Clayton said.
Ashley pointed out, however, that Clayton was essentially the one to tell Susie to leave.
It appeared Susie had been thinking things through and trying to justify a reason to stay because she believed what was in Clayton's heart before he told her that he was "done."
"I mean, yes and no," Clayton reasoned.
"I know from what people saw, she said, 'Hey, I can't look past this.' And multiple times in that conversation, I asked, 'Can we work past this?' And she just said, 'No, I can't. I'm not able to.' And so at that point, I realized there's so more reason for us to talk."
Clayton said he asked Susie "three or four times to work through" their problem.
"[I asked] if we could get past this and take some time off-camera to talk this through," he continued, "and she said, 'No, I don't think it's going to change anything.' So at that point, I felt there was no reason to keep it going."
Clayton was also accused of gaslighting Susie by telling her she had "invalidated" everything about their relationship. Clayton also scolded the bachelorette for not expressing her dealbreaker about sex earlier on.
Clayton was angry at the bachelorette for not forgiving him, and he told Susie at one point, "I don't even know who I'm looking at anymore... You just dropped a bombshell on me... I think it's B-S... Anything you say to me from this point doesn't matter anymore."
While Clayton was clearly disappointed Susie couldn't see past his intimate relationships with Gabby and Rachel, he ultimately commended Susie on staying true to herself and not bending to adapt toThe Bachelor's strange format or expectations.
"The disconnect is that I adapted and she didn't and we were on these two different fields of understanding," Clayton noted.
Clayton confirmed that Susie's side makes "complete sense" to him now, but in that moment, he was totally "entrenched in the idea that things work differently there" in The Bachelor environment.
A preview for next week's two-night finale of The Bachelor shows Clayton saying he's "broken" after Susie's departure.
Clayton also tells Rachel and Gabby that he was in love and had been intimate with the both of them in Fantasy Suites, which results in the women storming off and bawling their eyes out.
Even Clayton's own father, Brian, tells the Bachelor that he "screwed the pooch" in this situation.
"I wish I never would've fallen in love," Clayton admits to his parents in tears.