Divorce Advice for “I Hate My Ex Husband”

I hate my ex-husband

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

From a Divorced Girl Smiling reader: I hate my ex husband.  I know it is not good to hold on to anger.  I have even emailed him and told him I forgive him for what he did.  I have tried really hard to forgive him.  But deep down I hate him and I can’t let it go completely.  If I see him driving around town and he waves at me, I will wave back.  But I secretly want to flip him off and ram his truck with my car. 

I am my ex’s second ex-wife if that says anything.  When he was with his first wife they had children together and he had a vasectomy.  While we were dating we had a heart to heart and I told him I really wanted to be a mom.  He said
if we got serious we could definitely adopt. 
Fast forward a year after we
were married I brought up the subject of adopting again.  He told me he
lied to me and never had any attention of adopting that if I wanted to
leave him I could that he would understand.  (I should have!).
He was very verbally abusive and said horrible hateful things to me.  


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I am now dating an amazing guy who is night and
day different from my ex husband.  But I just can’t seem to let go of the
anger completely when it comes to my ex.  Is that normal?  Our divorce was final last year.  As soon as we broke up he moved his new girl friend he cheated on me with into our home.  I can’t seem to let go completely with how bad he hurt me.

Here is my advice for “I hate my ex-husband”

What a complete nightmare. What you’ve been through sounds awful. I’m so so sorry. You sound very angry with lots of resentment and I want to validate you and say that you have every right to be.


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This guy robbed you out of many years of your life, and out of having kids. On a side note, I have no idea how old you are, but a friend of mine had twins at 47, so I hope that gives you hope for the future, if you still want kids. And, you are never too old to adopt.

Here’s how I feel about your comment, “I hate my ex-husband.” When a divorced person is angry, hurt and resentful, they can feel deep deep hatred—hatred they never even knew existed in them. Feeling that kind of hatred only makes you feel worse, because no one wants to be that kind of person, right?


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That is why it’s important to try to let it go. That’s not easy to do, but here are a few things you can do to get rid of that hate of your ex-husband.

1. Write down your feelings.

Write down how much you hate his guts and why, and all the things he did to you to make you feel that way. Read it a few times and then destroy it. No one should see it.

The purpose of it is for you to get rid of it. Validate all he did and how he made you feel by writing it down so that you have “evidence.” Tearing it up is symbolizing that you are too strong for it to hurt you forever, that you are choosing to be rid of it, and that you are survivor.


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2. Think about his future and your future.

He is now just past divorce #2, and living with a woman who is OK with being in a relationship that started out with lies and cheating. Do you think she’s happy with him? I’d bet no. As for you, your new guy sounds great! Enjoy him and be thankful of where you are in your life right now versus where you were.

3. Keep saying to yourself, “I’m not going to have hate in me anymore because that’s not who I am.”

It’s very hard to do, but say it enough and it will start to sink in. Don’t hate him. Feel pity for him. Feel disrespect. Feel that he is weak and a bully. Feel that he isn’t truthful. Feel that he is a cheater. None of those are good. So, there’s no reason to hate him. Instead feel grateful that you got away from him.


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Hate isn’t productive. What is? Working on yourself and focusing on the new and wonderful life you have ahead of you! I wouldn’t feel hatred if I were you, I’d feel lucky to be out of the toxicity.  Best wishes!!

Like this article? Check out, “Keep Hating Your Ex–It’s Really Good for You”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    35 Responses to “Divorce Advice for “I Hate My Ex Husband””

    1. Tamara

      The resentment is so hard to let go of. Just when I think I have something he does just brings it all roaring back and I realize I haven’t let it go yet. *sigh*

      • Eric l. Sledge

        Tamara Embrace it My Hatred and resentment got me through the worst of it and is still fresh I Still hold all the Rage of my betrayal I Forgive Nothing

      • LookingforAmnesia

        I know the feeling I hate my X i was in college and here he comes 10 yrs older with his mess up life and basically kidnapped me from college/I hate my 2nd X he is a cold hearted person with a cold snake family who have done nothing but stolen money from me to the tune of 30,000 and they stole his biz which they never admit to say the least it has been hard to go through life forgive and forget I think Amnesia would be better.

    2. arlyna

      WOW! I just found this blog and I so feel this post as well as what Tamara wrote. I also want to stop hating but every time, he does something and drags everything back out again. I’m still working on this…

      • Lisa

        I think i love u!! An answer to prayer this blog was. I have never felt such hate . I am going to write it down. everything i can think of. i too am not a hateful person, it is not who i am either. I think another benefit by writing them down it might make me more aware of the triggers that set me off. I am at the beginning. I think first step is getting options from lawyer .

    3. Barbara

      My soon to be ex of 33 years and I are trying to be amicable BUT he has SO much resentment, he is the one who filed for divorce and has moved on. Yet, he manages to call or text me when he needs something. I don’t understand him at all. He’s just starting a new relationship, hasn’t gotten the help that he desperately needs and if I even so much as say anything that he doesn’t like, he acts like a “victim”, talk about resentment!!!

    4. Michelle

      This story was verbatim what I went through with my ex-husband. So accurate a description that I could have written it myself, including the part of his now girlfriend. I loved the point Jackie said that his new girlfriend is “OK being in a relationship that was started based on lies and cheating.” That really hit home for me. I also think my ex will NEVER “get it” regarding the pain and heartbreak he caused me and there are many times that I wish he will be lied to and cheated on so he can be on the receiving end of what he did to me so and can feel what he put me through (a little “eye for an eye” treatment). Unfortunately, I am not in control of dishing out Karma or rest assured, he’d receive a healthy dose! But I still struggle with anger, bitterness and resentment over investing so many years to him and losing my child bearing years (I’m now 46) to a man who was only concerned about having his needs fulfilled at any cost.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        Just want to say two things to you. First, your ex “gets it.” trust me. Deep in his soul, he knows what he did. He just isn’t mentally healthy enough to sit you down and say, “Look I’m really really sorry for what I did.” Because, it’s easier to just blame you. He doesn’t have that self awareness. Might never have it. It’s sort of like OJ Simpson, who still doesn’t believe he killed his wife. Secondly, you are not in control of Karma, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come around. It will. It will just come from somewhere else. Lastly, stop focusing on the fact that you are 46. I’m turning 50 in a couple weeks and have never felt better. Your life is in full bloom. Forget the past and grab the life you want NOW. Best wishes. xoxo

    5. Gail

      Oh. My. Gosh! I can so relate to everything everyone is saying here! Every single time I think, “Cool! We’re finally moving on,” he does something to fuel the flames of hatred in me. After 17 years and 3 kids together, two weeks ago I get a letter from the Catholic church saying my ex wants to annul our marriage, so he can marry the person who came between us. Then this morning, I get papers in the mail saying that he wants to emancipate our son and that supposedly, I’m not upholding my end of our divorce agreement. He’s so full of crap and continually brings me down no matter how many times I try to get along and defend him to my children. My kids tell me, “Stop defending him, Mom! He doesn’t defend you,” but I keep hoping that THIS time, we’re going to finally get along for the sake of our kids. I am so tired of feeling like this! And I do feel sorry for him, I do pity him, I pray for him because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Pray for our enemies? But he keeps dragging me down into the murky depths of his sadistic garbage. when will this end?

    6. L

      Or, you can just realize there’s nothing wrong with hating someone. It’s better to strive for indifference, of course because it’s a a good neutral energy. But as long as you don’t act on it, you can just acknowledge to yourself, “I hate my ex.” And then move on. Own the hatred and let it go.

      • Frankie

        It has taken me several years of feeling angry and betrayed by my serially cheating ex to accept that there are some things in life that are simply unforgivable. I have wasted a lot of time and energy feeling bad that I couldn’t let the anger go. I didn’t want to be this negative, bitter person. Realising that I can gradually let go of all the hurt without necessarily needing to forgive has brought me considerable peace. I wish someone had told me that at the beginning of this nightmare, but hopefully it might help someone else out there. It’s hard enough dealing with the stress and sadness without putting pressure on yourself to be superhuman.

        • Looking for Amnesia

          Frankie you sound like a sweet soul I hope you have a better life with people who really love you just for you!

    7. Choosing good feelings

      Hi my husband of 31 years left me on Christmas Day for a woman he had known for six weeks. I had no idea this was going to happen I thought we were happy. I have like all the people on here gone through lots of emotions. Now after five weeks he had the nerve to cry and tell me how heart broken he is that she kicked him out, up until this point I was holding things together better than I expected. The anger And hate came like a wave when his total lack of any empathy for what he did to me hit when he said he didn’t feel anything about leaving me like he feels for her, in fact he still feels nothing for me or what he did! Up until then I had felt more sadness and loss for him, even slight sympathy when I found out she left him – not now. I imagined all sorts of bad things happening to him wishing him ill. These feelings made me feel sick and unwell so this morning I have decided no more, I choose to find something good to feel, anything good will do doesn’t have to be regarding him, and put that in my mind and body, in little ways it’s already starting to work, it’s amazing how our thoughts and feeling affect our whole system. He is never going to acknowledge the distress he caused, too self absorbed. And I think most of the ex partners are the same don’t waste time on hating them or hoping bad thing happen to them. Those feelings are toxic to all of us. There is light in the world if you choose to look for it, don’t stay in dark places for these people they are defiantly not worth it.

    8. mi

      Why should we forgive people who treated us terribly? Where does all this 2 cent “wisdom” come from? Unforgiveness does not equate with hate (and there is nothing wrong with hate if you’ve interrogated and still have it — as L above says; hate ’em if they deserve it). Yep everybody is who they are and does what they do for a reason. That does not negate the fact that actions have consequences. Please stop superficial rosy femi redemptionist stuff and allow truth.

    9. Terri Bolton

      My husband of 22 years left me because “he hasn’t been happy”. I found out that mommy’t house and trust will not go to him unless we divorce. Not written into the trust, but the trustee has complete discretion over disbursements and wouldn’t disburse if we were still married. His mother hated me and resented the fact that I was only working evenings to be home during the day. She was a single mother and felt I was being lazy. For the past 20 years I was alienated and lied about to her friends and family members and not once did he support me or defend me. He was adept as denial and avoiding conflict. I became isolated and depressed. When she died in April, I was hopeful things would get better, but I was fooling myself. Now I am left with a looming divorce and I am terrified. Now, I find out he has already moved on and reconnected with an old flame. He has already met her twice. He is still living in our marital home. So resentment…check, hatred…check, low self esteem….check. I stuck it out because I really thought I would somehow magically become important again. I highly doubt I will ever shed this resentment, and yes hatred.

    10. Kathryn

      I think we were married to the same guy. Almost the exact same story! It took me over 2 years to even begin to think about dating again. Now I am with a man that I like a lot but time will tell. I still feel as though my ex does not deserve to be happy because he is such a horrible person.

    11. Chaya

      Ours was a very romantic start. I put him on a pedestal and we were very young. About the second month of marriage, he confessed that he was stalking women and doing other things, too, while we were dating and when we were engaged. I went for help as he refused to go. He begged me not to leave him and I stayed due to the deep love for him and the idea of us as a couple. I thought love would cure. Boy, was I idealistic. Secretly his activities got worse. I didn’t realize it. I was very young. During our 15 years of marriage, I started to lose my self-confidence, confidence in my own sexuality and feeling attractive, and felt incredibly lonely. He was full of secret behaviors that I discovered when we broke up. He said that I lied to him twice (I didn’t), but he needed to believe that to justify his lies.

      I found him in the kitchen with a woman I knew. He broke us up in 10 minutes. He was sure his life would be better with her. He blamed me for everything. He wanted an annulment after 14.5 years and said he didn’t want me to use his name. He even suggested that I move away. The whole thing broke my heart. People told me he was superficial. I didn’t realize it.

      I was devastated because I was unprepared in every way and I had stayed at his asking. I was in shock and mourning. There were many men who asked me out but I didn’t get the clues. I no longer trusted my own instincts.

      It has been many years. I’ve thrown myself into work and have become successful. And yet, I still think about the day we broke up and all the rotten things he said to me. It happens when mutual friends mention him (I’ve asked them not to) and I hear that the woman he was with when I found them are still married and living the good life. Sometimes I’m so resentful that I’ve had to work so hard while she and he live on what my expand I originally invested in. I think I’m jealous of their lifestyle. And, I miss being partnered. I can no longer have children. They have two. Most of all, I wish that I had spent more time looking and taking the risk with another. I feel like I missed the boat. I’ve let myself go because I thought there was never enough time. But the truth is, I was so scared that I worked to prove I wasn’t helpless and not that intelligent.

      I don’t hate him but I really resent him. I made the mistake of just defending myself from what he was saying. I only wish that I had told him how horrible and destructive he was. I took the high road. I think it was the wrong way to go because I was left with a lot of things I would have liked to say to him. I’ve done the write the letter thing then ripped it up. It doesn’t help me. I only wish we could have a grand verbal fight where I could let him have it. It would be so cathartic because he doesn’t have a clue about himself and the impact he made.

    12. Eleanor

      I hate my ex more now than I did when he left 3 1/2 months ago. We had a party for our 25th anniversary last year.
      He was having an affair with a woman who had spend the time they were together weaving into my life and becoming afriend to me. She came for dinner, went out with us and even came for Christmas day after breaking up with her partner. She stayed in our house after a New Years Eve Party and after we had lots of wine she wept on my shoulder telling me she did not know what to do, and I consoled her. Only found out 6 weeks after when he left, leaving me a note, and moved in with her, and then a few weeks later found out tthey had been having an affair since early December.
      We have teenage boys and I was the one who had to tell them their Dad had walked out.
      We have a business together and now he his getting her involved in the business and he cannot see why that might be a problem for me.
      Last year we bought an apartment to rent for holidays (we live in Portugal) it was our retirement plan that we had been working on for 5 years. Now he is going to get the apartment as part of the settlement, OK I kept the house but I feel bitter that he and her are going to live in the place that I planned, designed, bought furniture for and made into our retirement dream.
      I want to move on, I was in good place a few weeks ago, before he started her working in the business. I have written everything down but it has not helped. I always had short, mid and long term goals but now I just cannot focus on the future as I dont know what is going to happen apart from us getting divorced.
      I want to stop hating her but I just cant.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        I just want you to know that I feel for you, and I want to validate your feelings. The first word that comes to mind when reading this story is yuck. You should rise above this situation and be out of it. Let her live in YOU house in Portugal with YOUR furniture. I have to say, she disgusts me. Both of them do, actually. I know it hurts like hell, but you will see. Things will turn around. It just takes time. A long time. But remember that their relationship began from lies and cheating and deceit. All you have in front of you is a path that is blank. You have good things ahead of you. I know it doesn’t seem that way, but it’s true. What they have in front of them is that they are both cheaters and liars who hurt you and your kids. That isn’t easy to live with and it will come back to haunt them. But don’t even think about them anymore. Focus on: What life do I want for myself now? What do I want for the kids? that’s what matters. xoxo

    13. Shon M

      I hurt. I was working, cooking, cleaning. I moved me and my kids to be with him after his first wife died. He is evil. He was sleeping with our nanny and the neighbor. The neighbor texted me and told me. I had to move away, homeless. Lost my job, my daughter lost her friends and her school. She has some special needs. Everything I worked for is gone. And he had it all. I know he must have did this to his ex wife. He is a very evil, little man. I am starting over with nothing. He has his job we moved closer to for his work and everything. I lost all I worked for. I miss where we lived it is safe.

    14. Ambir

      My story is similar… or verbatim… however you would like to look at it. But I disagree with the author.
      I have done serious soul searching. I mean, serious, no bullshitting, honest with myself, soul searching. And I have come to the conclusion that I am completely OK with hating certain people. Let me clarify.
      I have scoured the internet and every self-help book and listened to every person that would talk to me about their ill feelings. I found a lot of, “Hatred will harm you” “You must forgive” “I wish them happiness” and other things. And I honestly cannot relate. My ex is a horrible man. He doesn’t deserve happiness, he doesn’t deserve friends, he doesn’t deserve to achieve anything in life and he doesn’t deserve the admiration of others. That’s not to say he has not achieved admirable things. He has some good qualities. But he finds people and their feelings to be disposable. He has no sorrow for the path of irreversible destruction he causes. He says he is sorry, and I do believe him. I believe him that he does not like the outcome of his actions. But ask me if I think he will change. He won’t. He is like Mother Nature – hell on earth; a tornado that causes a path of destruction wherever it goes. I am grateful to be away. I am grateful to not have someone dictating my path in life with zero concern for where I actually want to be. But if it weren’t for the kids, I would wish him dead. I of course do not wish anything that would make my children sad, so I don’t, I just simply find him to be repulsive; physically and emotionally.
      I have searched my brain and soul – am I still in love with him? Am I afraid to let go for some unhealthy reason? Does the distaste allow me to somehow still have a connection? Am I so hurt by him that I simply cannot forgive? Does having the hatred make it easier to stay away? I have urged myself for more than 2 years to consider all these options. And when I say consider, I mean there were weeks where I would just try to admit to myself, I must still love him. But it simply isn’t true. I just flat out do not like the man. The anger or hatred I have for him does not really consume me. In fact, most days I don’t even think about it. I am really happy with my life. I am really enjoying my friends and my job and my little child, on my own terms. I just cannot forgive the person, and in the rare occasions I think about it, yes, it bothers me. No, I do not want to talk to him. I refuse to let him in my home. I hate having to text him about kid stuff. Bottom line, I would like my life a lot more, if he was not around. But, those aren’t the cards I was dealt; so I just deal with it. And by no means am I saying I was perfect, by the way. And quite honestly, I don’t care what he thinks of me for my horrible actions. I have zero desire to control him, or argue or let him have any more capacity of my mental space. I have learned that the reality is, he does exist, I do not like him, and I don’t have to. And yes, just like when someone brings up a nostalgic memory of the past, you think of it, and unfortunately for me, that memory has no nostalgia. The memory is only yuckiness. But I am not sitting around and thinking about it… most days pass without a thought. But the days it does come up – yes, I can feel it…. “Ugh. You again?”
      But I would like to formally correct all that you read or hear out there. Not all hate is bad. Hate is a natural emotion that responds to a stimulus. It’s only bad if you let hate (or any negative emotion) to manifest. If your hatred is so strong you can feel your heart race (I used to be there…), you probably need to work on that. But if you find yourself saying – I am really happy – only on the instances where I am forced to interact with this person, do I realize I have nothing positive to say… well, I say, then own that feeling. That person probably did something to create that feeling in you. Or that feeling is telling you to stay away; I’ve been burned by the stove enough times to know better than to touch it again. Most of us are not bad people. We don’t go around intentionally looking for people to prey on … (I said most of us… there are exceptions). But if your anger or hatred is not debilitating your life, then why put more energy into trying to fix it?
      Guess what? My ex sucks. I thought about going into the “whys” but does it matter? For every why I have, he has 10+ examples ready to go on why I am the bigger ass…. So I have learned, it doesn’t matter why. But what I do know is, it’s ok. It’s normal. YOU ARE NORMAL. I hope this post finds someone else, because as a person who spent a lot of energy trying to be the “peaceful, happy Buddha” who tried to follow the “Hatred is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” philosophies…. Sometimes you have to stop and say, there must be a reason for this. Much like scar tissue on an old injury – some injuries are so bad, they leave a permanent mark. Are we really expected to cover that mark up and say “I’m ok” and pretend it isn’t there? Or can we rather learn to say – So what? I hate him. I’m happy – I’m a good person. I love the majority of the world, and I will do my best to not let that “scar” interfere with my future relationships. Sometimes hatred is our compass, keeping us, guiding us, away from things we know are dangerous for us. It is what it is. Ahhhh – see? I feel better already.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        This is a great post and I respect everything you are saying. You don’t have to love your ex, you don’t have to forgive him, you dn’t even have to like him or respect him. You just have to co-exist with him because of the kids. And it sounds like you are doing that. I think you would benefit by taking the word hate out of your vocabulary when it comes to him. I think all that does is bring you down. You deserve better. I guess what I’m tyring to say is that you sound more indifferent at this point towards him versus hating him and that is great. I think people benefit by getting as far away from hating anyone as we can.

        • Ambir

          Perhaps. I suppose it’s the definition of hate that differs. To me, the hugest amount of dislike and having zero positive thoughts about a person and caring less if they live or die, well, that equals hate. And I’ve learned it is ok. But, if you think hatred means actively pursuing negative thoughts and debilitating happiness, then no, to me that’s simply mental health. All in the interpretation of the word. I hope more people realize, having a negative opinion is not the same as being negative.

          • LIZA

            I stumbled on this post after I googled “How to get over hating my ex husband”. Ambir, I can relate to every.single.word. you wrote. I have read many books, done 2 years of therapy, am part of a divorce women’s group, and I am happy as pie to be divorced. My kids are well adjusted, we have a fair visitation schedule and he pays his required alimony/child support like clockwork. I have forgiven him and myself for our failed marriage. But I absolutely, 100% despise him, what he stands for, the choices he makes and their impact on my children. I hate texting him and arranging child related things because it is laborious and usually ends negatively. I want to have some sort of amicability – because I hate hating him. But quite frankly, it will never happen. When I don’t see him or am not in his vicinity, I never give him my time or energy. But as you said – without the bridge of the kids that connect us – my life would be better without having him in it. I am thankful daily that we are no longer married and when things get shitty texting or emailing (I won’t talk to him because it inevitably goes sour when in person), I remind myself this is just an example of why we aren’t together any more. Thank you so much for your thought provoking and well written response. It is validating. And I feel much better accepting the feelings instead of trying to change what simply, is.

            • Ambir

              Many congratulations to you on finding some solemnity! I am confident you deserve it! You are a good person for acknowledging and trying to address your feelings… But you are strong and courageous for knowing what you cannot fix and must live with. I admire that.

    15. Melissa

      My ex is a major trouble maker. He controls our 31 year old daughter. Only found out by accident she was in town with her husband. My ex slanders me everywhere. He now dates a 30 year old girl! He is a liar and cheat and everything in between. I can no longer have him interfere. My daughter is all I have. He needs to be stopped! I truly tried in the past 20 years to co-parent. Find it impossible. He hates me so much. Tries to take my daughter away from me. Will shortly need to hire an attorney to have this stopped once and for all!

    16. Dee Simmons

      I willl forever hate my ex. He’s suc a narcasstic prick. Glad he’s out of my life and herís gal he was cheating on with left him taking 40 grands. Dumb donkey ass

    17. Betty

      I have a story I doubt any of you have ever heard, but would like to hear from anyone who has ever gone through this.
      After being divorced for 40 years and being happily married to my new husband for 37 years, he passed away a little over 1 year go. I am now 75 years old. I now live with my son and his family and have to share the house with my ex-husband (my son’s father) who I cannot stand and want to puck every time I see him walk through the house. My room is right next door to his. The hatred I feel for this man is eating my alive.


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