Why does my ex hate me so much?

Why does my ex hate me so much?

If there was such a thing as a hierarchy of skills, I suspect making fire and cooking edible food would rank top 10.

‘Understanding why your ex hates you – and learning not to care’ might not rank so high, but it’s a skill I’ve been working on this past year. A lot.

So, I have this ex.

Well, strictly speaking, my exes are like regrets – I have a few. But this particular ex? He hates me.

I know. It’s weird because I’m basically adorable.

But there it is.

Why does my ex hate me so much? He cheated, we broke up, I was pretty miffed, but after some time, and a bit more Internet stalking than I should confess to in public, I moved on. These days, I’m a happily single Mum.

I’m a big believer that at some point after even the worst break-up, you realise that it wasn’t meant to be, and where you are NOW is better than when you were in an unhealthy relationship.

Holding on to anger at someone who’s no longer in your life just stops you enjoying The Happy today. Oh, and it also takes up valuable mental energy you could be using on something that – you know – actually makes life better.

But the ex doesn’t share those feelings.

He hates what I write, he hates where I go, he hates this blog, he hates my friends. He hates me for things that only happened in his imagination, and for things I might possibly do in the future. Maybe. His life is ruined, and I’m the one who did it. As post break-up rage goes, it’s pretty bad.

I’ll be honest. It hurts when someone hates you. Especially when you know that you don’t deserve it. I spend far too much time wondering why does my ex hate me so much? Nobody likes to think that someone is bad-mouthing them to people, telling lies, calling you names. It sucks.

If you’ve ever suffered through an acrimonious divorce or just dealt with the ex who can’t quite let it go, here’s what I’ve figured out over the past year or so:

Understand that his hate is nothing to do with you. I think staying angry lets someone feel connected to you. If they’re still raging about you, obsessing about where you go, how much fun you’re having, who you’re dating, then maybe you still feel like a part of their life. Especially if it wasn’t their choice to break up.

Also, if your ex is the manipulative sort, hate is a nice way of controlling you. “Look how angry and hurt I am because of what YOU did to me,” they say. If you’re anything like me, you can’t help the urge to keep trying to prove them wrong, to keep going out of your way to make them not angry with you.

Some exes love to badmouth you by venting to mutual friends and acquaintances. It’s an attempt to rally them to their cause, perhaps in hopes those people will be angry with you too, and then you’ll be sorry, or learn your lesson, or some crap like that. That doesn’t happen, BTW. Listening to people rage about their ex for too long is just… uncomfortable.

So what do you do when an ex hates you this way?

First, remember it’s not your problem. Unless you’re actually an axe-murderer, you probably don’t deserve to be subjected to a hate-fest for years on end. The issue is his (or hers).

Once I stopped feeling responsible for my ex’s anger, I lost that nagging feeling that I needed to “prove” to him that I wasn’t the terrible person he thought I was.

Next, cut all ties. Unfollow your ex on social media, block them on Facebook, change your mobile number, divert their emails to spam. DO NOT PICK UP THE PHONE.

Do whatever it takes not to let your ex find a route into your life/head. My friend Rachael describes it perfectly – imagine your ex is toxic slime. The slightest crack is all it takes for them to ooze their way in and poison the good stuff you’ve got going on.

Don’t fall into the trap of defending yourself, or telling everyone the “truth” about what went down. That’s letting the slime in, remember? Your ex can only hurt you if you’re paying attention.

It’s hard to begin with, but after a couple of months I realised I was so much happier having zero contact with my ex, that it seemed crazy I’d wasted so much time doing anything different. Rather than asking why does my ex hate me so much, think about why am I devoting my energy to worrying about my ex?

Basically, be happy.

A big part of the reason your ex acts like he hates you is anger. And his anger is probably because you’re happy. You’ve moved on, maybe you’re dating someone new, or have a great new job. Meanwhile he’s being tied down by bitterness and anger. He doesn’t like himself very much.

The best thing you can do is keep living your life. Keep thriving. Keep being happy. Do your thing and like me, keep hoping that one day your ex will follow suit and find happiness for himself. Just don’t put your life on hold waiting for it to happen.

Have you ever dealt with an angry ex? How did you cope? I’d love to hear your tips! 


Images: Shutterstock/Giphy 

34 thoughts on “Why does my ex hate me so much?”

  1. This is fantastic to read….
    I have an ex. The father of my eldest. He hasn’t seen either of us in 10 years and doesn’t want to but he is still tried to control us from afar. You are so right about cutting ties. I did a couple of years ago. He still oozes through now and again through emails but they are getting fewer and fewer…Phew! When I blocked him on everything he lost the control and I lost the fear….

    1. Oh Kim that sound really hard. I do think control is a big part of some ex/ex relationships – I spent years trying to “prove” to my ex that I wasn’t the person he seemed to think I was. Endlessly bending over backwards like, “See? I’m a nice person! See how kind I was? See how I helped you? See?” It took me a long, long time to realise it was a form of control, but it really is!

  2. Ah Sally, I can relate! Thankfully for me, my ex of bloody years ago is in Brazil, yet even about 8 years after we broke up because he cheated on me, apparently I had made him depressed by getting married and having a baby. I know right, I’m a bitch!

  3. Yep. Am still dealing with much of this – but I just think he is a complete saddo after 10 years and still concerning himself with me and how I live my life! He clearly has not got one of his own. One of the most abysmal things I have seen is what he wrote about me and Ross back in March. I was going to react to it but honestly, why bother? It means I care – but really, I actually don’t.

    1. Exactly! It’s not that I don’t care for my exes – obviously, I do – I want them to be happy and settled (for the most part, one or two I could happily watch explode in a ball of fire). But I don’t care enough for it to reduce my own happiness, if that makes sense.

  4. My relationship with my ex is, well, a bit weird. Let’s just say it’s a good job he gets on with my current partner and lives a few thousand miles away…the distance helps. But he has been to stay with us 😮
    Some great advice here though, it’s good to move on and not let someone control you.

  5. Sadly it’s not always possible to cut ties when the ex is the father of your children! So I practice detachment very hard indeed, and now I am (almost) completely indifferent no matter what. It’s like dog training, you just ignore the behaviours you don’t like until they give up doing them…

    1. No, you can’t cut ties but what you CAN do is loosen them, especially as the children get older. With Flea’s Dad, we discussed secondary school choice, and if there was a medical or financial matter, we can email about that. But the day to day stuff now I leave entirely to Flea and her Dad to sort out, and I make sure Flea knows I’m there if she needs me.

  6. Well done Sally, as a fellow member of the Avoid Confrontation at All Cost Yet Analysis it Endlessly if it Does Happen Brigade, you’ve definitely come on further than I have.

    1. I think the secret is moving on from “not having a confrontation but endlessly playing out potential confrontations in your head” to just “not having a confrontation and doing something else instead” – but it takes a lot of work!

  7. Bet he loves this post the most 🙂

    Truth is, he’s hurting still and that’s sad and difficult to manage – esp when there’s a child involved. Communications are needed to some extent, but you’re right, anger is not a part of it. In the wise words of the Frozen characters……let it go (him I mean, not you!)!

    Re your job, jealously is a terrible thing. He’s bitter. Don’t let it get to you.

    1. I think it’s difficult because there comes a point where working around someone else’s anger and hurt is at the expense of your own wellbeing. I do think it’s reasonable to draw a line and say, ok, we are no longer in a relationship and your feelings are a) not proportionate or reasonable and b) not my responsibility.

      It’s taken me a long time to not let it get to me, to not feel responsible or want to defend myself but honestly, it’s very much where I am now.

  8. These are such good tips, it’s so easy to get caught up in the whole thing and let someone convince you that you have things to feel guilty about. Not letting them into any corner of your life is the best way to do it.

  9. This is a fantastic post! Seriously I really enjoyed reading it and all your memes and gifs were so funny that I couldn’t stop smiling. Thank you for sharing this story with your blog’s readers and I think that everyone enjoyed it reading as much as I enjoyed it. I agree with all previous post’s comments and I also think that your ex is still hurting and it’s really sad. The child is involved and everything is more complicated than without child. I don’t really know what to say or how to help you in this situation. Just I believe that everything will be okay after some time. It may be a little bit hard, but it’s okay. You just have to keep going with your life. That’s my point of view. So good luck to you!!

    1. Thanks Janice – you’re right, ex relationships are way more complicated when there are children, and above all, you need to ensure they are happy and confident and have good relationships with everyone. I’m fortunate that Flea’s Dad and I have managed to raise a very happy and confident little girl 🙂

  10. Wonderful post, love the fact that you have moved on and lost the feeling of responsibility for his anger and hate.
    Now I have a different theory that may explain his anger and his nee to talk ugly of you. Maybe he still has feeling for you. You know hate is a very strong feeling and you just can not hate someone you do not care about. Maybe he has not discovered these feeling yet, he has them, it boders him and he has no other way of expressing them (since you are not together anymore) so he just expresses them through anger. I think he is actually angry at him self for not being able to let go:))).

    A little something for you to think about.

  11. This post can be about so many people, not just exes!!! Love the bit about thinking of them as toxic slime which can ooze through the cracks – brilliant way of thinking about it. I just think that if a person has the time to think about how much they hate you and enough time to Facebook stalk you and bad mouth you then they need to get a life as they have far too much time on their hands. People hate to see other people be happy or be successful. Instead of hating, they should go and sort their own lives out

  12. My ex husband is like this, not so bad now but he was. The annoying thing was he was the one who had the affair and left. His rage was more about control and trying to make himself look good. Letting go has been a long hard process for me as I couldn’t understand it. But I try not to waste my energy on him now. Eilidh x

  13. So they cheated on you now they are angry you’ve moved on??????? They’ve got no right to be angry at AT ALL how dare they cheat on you? #idiot

  14. This completely describes my ex husband and I no longer let his hatred get to me.

    The problem I have is my hatred for my other ex. The ex who tried to blackmail me into an abortion and then later blackmailed me into putting him on the birth certificate to give him parental responsibility. Putting him on the birth certificate has ruined my life. There are so many things that he is preventing me from doing by having PR and it seems PR can’t be taken away again. I can’t change my sons surname, I can’t move abroad, I can’t give my other half PR. There are so many things I can’t do because I allowed him to bully me into putting him on the birth certificate. And because of that, I am fuelling a deep hatred for him. I feel like he’s trying to control my life. How do I get past that hatred?

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