“I hate my ex!” – a painful, frustrating, and agonizing sentiment we have all experienced at least once in our lives. And there is nothing wrong with going through this emotion especially if the breakup was nasty. We get it — Your ex broke your heart. They shattered the vision you had of a perfect future. Perhaps a house. Two beautiful kids and a kitten that sleeps its life away. Traveling the world after retirement, and growing old together.
Now, your future forecast has been smashed to smithereens because one person chose to be selfish. However, pent-up hatred, resentment, and negative emotions will neither change the past nor will it help you in moving forward. It’s okay to hate your ex and still let go of the past skilfully. Let’s discuss.
Is It Normal To Hate Your Ex?
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Nat, a 28-year-old nurse from Michigan, says, “I hate my ex for dumping me. He is one who constantly belittled me, gave me a difficult time, and made me feel unworthy. Even after the breakup, he continued to spread rumors and try to ruin my reputation. I should have been the one to break up instead. I have a strong feeling this sadness isn’t going to leave me soon. And I am sure I am not going to forgive him, ever.”
If you are going through the same negative feelings as Nat, then it’s pretty common and valid. You are hurting, so your resentment is natural. It IS okay to hate your ex. In fact, research suggests that negative emotions, including hate and anger, are common after a breakup. Anger is one of the most prevalent emotions reported by individuals following a romantic breakup.
13 Reasons It’s Alright To Feel “I Hate My Ex”
There could be several things they did to hurt you that eventually snowballed into deep hatred or one big unacceptable thing they did to break your trust. If you aren’t able to pinpoint the exact reason that you hate your ex, scroll down and try to find out what it could be:
1. Betrayal and loss of trust
I remember yelling “I hate my ex so much!” when I found out he was cheating on me. Years later, it still makes me angry. If you are going through similar negative emotions, then let it be known that there is nothing wrong with having so much hate for them; because they broke the very foundation of love – T-R-U-S-T. Relationships begin and end with trust.
It enables mutual confidence and understanding, and makes you want to rely on that person. It builds a connection where you feel safe with them. It’s not easy to forgive and forget when they tamper with your faith in them. This is one of the most awful things for someone to experience and hopefully, you will get over it. But for now, this is a valid reason for disliking your ex.
Related Reading: 7 Reasons Your Ex Is Hot And Cold – And How To Deal With It
2. Being disrespected brings up a lot of negative emotions
A healthy relationship is built on respect that flows both ways. You may feel hatred toward your ex if they constantly disrespected you and tried to put you down in private and in front of others. You hating your ex and fostering these negative feelings are completely understandable in that case. Some of the common signs of disrespect include:
- Not respecting your opinions
- Not asking for your thoughts during decision-making
- Often criticizing and insulting you
- Taking you for granted
- Comparing you to their ex or someone else
- Not compromising at all
- Considering their goals, career, and dreams as more important than yours
3. Abusive behavior of your ex can make you hate them
Abuse can take place in any form: psychological, physical, financial, and verbal. If any of these things took place in your past relationship, then you should be thankful you got out of such a toxic phase. You hating your ex in this scenario makes sense. Anyone in your place would do the same. You don’t have to force yourself to get over them, you just have to care about yourself more.
When a Reddit user shared their story of hating their abusive ex, a user replied, “My ex was horribly abusive, and it took me an embarrassing amount of time to get over him. Even after the relationship, he’d use me and keep me as a side hookup while pretending to care about me. Look at yourself in the mirror. Remind yourself that he’s everything that could hold you back from the best of your potential. Even if you don’t believe you deserve better than him, you certainly don’t deserve an a**hole who treats you like less than a full person.”
4. Manipulation and gaslighting
Both gaslighting phrases and manipulation can gradually erode a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. By constantly questioning their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, the victim may start to doubt their judgment and lose trust in their own perceptions. In addition to that, when you constantly manipulate someone, you undermine their sense of autonomy and agency. It can make them feel controlled, coerced, or influenced against their own desires or best interests.
If you are asking, “Why do I hate my ex so much?” it’s probably because they put you through so much pain. Both of these tactics are subtle and discreet because a) the perpetrators are extremely cunning and know how to mask their toxicity, b) you are so blind in love that you only focus on their good side or keep forgiving them. When the honeymoon phase fades and you finally see their true image, it could turn into another reason for hating your ex.
Related Reading: Expert Weighs In On Dangers Of Reconnecting With An Ex While Married
5. Lack of accountability
John, a 32-year-old architect from New York, says, “I detest my ex for cheating on me and for wasting my time. Not just that, she was also abusive. She would make comments about my appearance and I would unfortunately laugh it off. I broke up with her because she refused to take responsibility for her actions. She acted like a victim when I was the one who lost everything in that relationship. There is just so much hate inside me for her.”
If you are experiencing such negative feelings, then you need to accept that such people are usually narcissists and they will never take accountability for their wrongdoings. According to studies, this is because taking responsibility would require them to confront their shortcomings, which can be threatening to their self-image. It’s a defense mechanism to protect their fragile ego.
6. Lack of closure
It’s one thing to move on but a completely different ball game to move on without closure. It’s heartbreaking. In such cases, hating your ex not only becomes a coping mechanism but it also gives you an impetus to move on. Always know that this is a short-term pain that you need to process, without causing permanent harm to your mental health. Here are some ways you can start taking care of yourself:
- Understand that dealing with sadness and getting closure starts with yourself. A last conversation with your ex isn’t going to change anything
- Accept that you need to be patient if you want to get past these negative feelings for your ex
- Don’t blame and harbor negative emotions for yourself
- Write a message for your ex but don’t send it
- Try to focus on your present
7. They moved on quickly
Has your ex already started going on dates? Have they started posting pictures of their new partner on social media? If yes, then that’s one scenario where hating your ex comes easy to people. Resentment and sadness are justified here. But first, are you upset that your ex moved on quickly from you or are you jealous that they moved on before you could? You’ll overcome these negative feelings with time, with healing, by understanding what you need, by grieving. Finding a good partner and reconnecting with friends will help too.
8. Financial exploitation
A Reddit user shares their story of how they were financially exploited by their ex-spouse, “He started by stealing cash from me. A little at a time, gaslighting me to believe I lost it. Then he used my “only for emergencies credit card” my mother paid for so that was relinquished. Then he emptied my bank account. When we got married, the bank account was in his name only. I had no access to it. No checks, no debit card.
“When I worked, he confiscated my paycheck, so I stopped working because what was the point? Then he put accounts in my name and didn’t pay the bills, so not only was I penniless, but thousands of dollars in debt.” A valid reason for hating your ex (and to get him arrested), we’d say. If you relate to this anecdote, your sadness and hateful feelings are justified because it was your hard-earned money and your ex had no right to abuse you financially.
Related Reading: Why Am I Sad When I Broke Up With Him? 4 Reasons And 5 Tips To Cope
9. Broken promises are bound to make you experience negative emotions
Hollow promises to stay faithful, to never hurt you, to never cause pain and sadness, and to always stand by you through thick and thin. Phrases like “I will always love you,” “We are going to meet my family,” and “I will never break your heart” are empty promises that turn into reasons for hating your ex. It is nothing but future faking.
Listed below are some ways you can deal with broken promises:
- Avoid placing expectations on those who have broken your promises already. Don’t set yourself up for more hurt
- Ask yourself why those promises were important to you. It’s good to know about what you want for your future relationships
- Accept that those promises can’t be fulfilled, but also accept that your ex is not the only person who can fulfill those needs
- Have an honest conversation with yourself and try to let go of the resentment and feelings of betrayal
10. Emotional neglect
When you love someone and they neglect your emotional needs, you will find yourself hating them long after they’ve left your life. Similarly, if your ex didn’t validate your emotional needs and constantly kept ignoring them, it can become impossible to think about that person with fondness. Some of the signs of emotional neglect include:
- Not validating your feelings, thoughts, and opinions
- Blaming your for everything wrong in their life
- Making you feel like you are not worth their love, time, and energy
- Giving you the cold shoulder
- Not being there for you when you need them
- Stonewalling you after an argument
If any of these behaviors were present in your previous relationship, then it’s obvious why you have so much resentment against them and why you aren’t able to stop hating your ex.
11. Disregard for boundaries
All types of boundaries are very important for a relationship to survive including physical, sexual, financial, and emotional. If your ex-partner didn’t respect some or any of your boundaries, then it’s a good enough reason for having resentment toward and hating your ex.
Also, if they are still crossing your boundaries even when you specifically drew a no-contact rule, you need to call them out on their behavior. Otherwise, this will create a lot of problems for you and stall the process of moving forward from your ex.
12. Power imbalance
Power imbalance in a relationship refers to an unequal distribution of power, control, or influence between partners. It occurs when one partner possesses more authority, decision-making power, or social status than the other partner. This imbalance in power dynamics can exist in various aspects of the relationship, including emotional, financial, social, and physical dynamics.
The partner with more power might make the other person feel worthless. They will make them feel unheard and even more marginalized. If you were in such a relationship where your ex-spouse had an upper hand and made you feel like a second-class citizen, it’s one of the obvious reasons for you to feel anger toward them and why you aren’t able to stop hating your ex.
13. They scarred you for life
Intense or lingering feelings of sadness, pain, low self-esteem, major trust issues, insecurities, self-pity, self-doubts, anxiety, emotional baggage, and trauma are just a few gifts an ex gives you when they walk out of your life. Of course, you hate your ex, and rightly so. Your chaotic feelings are chipping away at your sanity.
These are some of the reasons that you could possibly hate your ex. They are all substantial and credible enough to cause a deep wound that can only be healed by professional help. Once you acknowledge and accept that you hate your ex, you need to find out how you are going to course through this.
6 Tips To Help You Move Forward
It can be challenging to let go and to move past feelings of hate toward an ex-partner. However, it’s important for your own well-being and personal growth to work toward forgiveness and healing. Here are some steps you can take to stop hating your ex:
Related Reading: 15 Tips To Cope When You See Your Ex With A New Girlfriend
1. Don’t try to suppress your negative emotions
You have been through a lot. Whether it was infidelity, disrespect, or abuse, the deep wounds can’t be healed if you try to bottle up your emotions. Moving forward, you need to accept your feelings of resentment and not blame yourself for the downfall of your relationship. Whatever it is you are feeling, you can let it out by seeking professional help, by talking to your loved ones, or by jotting it down in your journal regularly.
2. Learn from your mistakes
People come into your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime. All of these three instances will teach you a lot about life, humanity, kindness, and eventually, they will help you become a better person. And whatever happened was meant to happen, because ‘maktub.’ It’s all written.
So, take your time to reflect on the relationship and identify any patterns or lessons that can be learned. When moving forward, you need to learn from your past mistakes. This can also benefit you in your future relationships. You can become a better partner by taking a look at what you gained from the relationship, even if it ultimately soured. This reflection can help shift your perspective and foster personal growth.
3. Practice self-care and release negative energy
Focus on self-care activities that promote your emotional and physical well-being like:
- Engaging in activities that bring you joy
- Spending time with loved ones
- Prioritizing your health
- Eating healthy food
- Tapping into your favorite hobbies
- Staying away from social media is one of the ways to love yourself again
- Validating your feelings but also checking your thoughts that make you upset and cause deep sadness
- Not comparing your life to other people’s
In addition to that, you also need to release your smothered negative energy by finding healthy ways to release these emotions. Engage in activities such as journaling, exercising, or practicing mindfulness and meditation. These practices can help you ease the knots and promote inner peace and positive emotions.
4. Seek professional help
If you hate your ex and don’t know how to come to terms with your hateful feelings, reach out to friends, family, or a therapist who can provide a listening ear and offer guidance. Talking about your negative emotions, resentment, lingering feelings, and bad experiences can help you gain perspective and process your emotions. You deserve to receive all the support during this healing process. If it’s help you’re looking for, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists are here to guide you through the process and paint a path for recovery.
5. Focus on forgiveness
Forgiveness is a powerful tool during the healing process as it helps in moving forward. Understand that forgiveness is not about condoning or forgetting the actions of your ex, but rather about releasing the emotional burden and freeing yourself from the negative energy associated with the hate. It may take time, but working toward forgiveness can be liberating. But remember, it’s not for everyone, and it’s not a precursor to moving forward at all.
6. Establish boundaries
Establish clear boundaries with your ex to protect yourself and prevent further emotional harm. This may include limiting contact, removing reminders of the relationship, or avoiding situations where you might be triggered. Boundaries will help create space for healing and personal growth.
We understand that you have so much hate for your ex. But instead of dwelling on negative emotions and drowning yourself in emotional baggage, redirect your energy toward positive endeavors. Set goals for yourself, explore new hobbies, invest in personal development, and focus on building a fulfilling life for yourself. This shift in focus will allow you to create a brighter future with you in it.
- It’s not unnatural to hate your ex after an ugly breakup. After all, they broke your heart, trust, and impacted your self-esteem
- Some of the reasons you hate your ex could be because they abused you, exploited you financially, and disrespected you in person or in front of your best friends and loved ones
- You can get over such hateful feelings and release negative energy by establishing boundaries with them
Remember, the process of letting go and moving on takes time, and it’s unique to each individual. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate your healing process. Most importantly, work toward forgiveness. Not because they need it, but because you deserve to be free from your own shackles of bitterness and grudges.