My Ex Hates Me: 8 Reasons Why He’s Angry And Hateful Towards You

my ex hates me

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Have you ever just felt like, ‘My ex hates me’? Sure you have, and it’s frustrating. It’s hard to understand how a person who used to be your husband (or wife) can switch gears so abruptly in a divorce. What I mean by that is, once loving, kind and caring towards you in your marriage, now your ex is angry and hateful towards you. It’s not only strange and shocking almost, but it’s sad and hurtful.

 

When someone says “I want a divorce” and then the couple gets separated—I mean when they both know the divorce is really happening, they turn that corner and on come the gloves.

 

The person you slept in a bed with and made babies with is now like a stranger—a really mean stranger. He or she won’t speak to you, won’t say hello, goes out of his or her way to make you feel bad and uncomfortable, and at times, screams insults and obscenities in your face. You are now at war with the person you ironically stood in front of an audience and God and promised to love and cherish forever, while gazing longingly into each other’s eyes. It’s almost hard to grasp the change when it happens.

 

“My ex hates me,” i.e. an ex’s anger and hate can go on for months, years, and even a lifetime. I remember a friend told me her 90 year old mom was dying, and told her children that their father (who was her ex-husband) was not to attend her funeral. I couldn’t believe it.

 

But understanding why your ex is angry and hateful can help you accept it for now, tolerate it, and not play into his hands by fighting back and being mean and angry and hateful back.

 

For those who feel like “My ex hates me,” here are 8 reasons why he might be angry and hateful towards you:

 

1. Stress and Fear.

Separation, the divorce process, and the huge life change of divorce might be one of the most stressful situations a person will endure. It also causes tremendous fear. Fear of finances, fear of “will the kids be OK?”, fear of having to sell the house, fear of having to refinance the mortgage, fear of being alone, etc. And, when people have anxiety and fear, they get angry and mean. Who better to take out their anger and hate to? You, the person who caused all of this! (Not that that’s really the case, but in his or her mind, you are the cause, you did this, you are causing him or her all this stress and fear.)

 

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2. Guilt.

Here is a typical scenario. A guy leaves his wife for another woman. At first, he is really nice about it, feels terrible, etc. Then, the wife hires a divorce attorney and starts defending herself in litigation. The husband decides he hates her, and becomes really angry with her. In other words, he channels his guilt into hate for his ex because it’s easier to blame her. By the way, women do this too, it’s not just men.

3. Self-hate.

I personally find that people are most hateful to others when they hate themselves. For someone who lacks self-awareness, it’s easy to transfer the hate they have for themselves to their ex. How many times has your ex come to pick up the kids and is really really mean to you that day, for reasons you have no idea? You’re thinking, ‘OK….what did I do now?” My answer to you is nothing! Something happened to your ex and he hates himself or herself for it, and so he or she decided to hate you instead. It’s easier that way. (To an unhealthy person with no self-awareness, that is.)

 

4. His new girlfriend/wife.

Let’s say a guy is with a woman who has a horrible relationship with her ex. They treat each other with hate and anger. So, for her, that is the only way she knows for divorced parents. So, when her new husband is trying to co-parent with his ex wife, she can’t understand the friendship. In her mind, he is supposed to hate his ex, just like she hates hers. So, she might be putting pressure on him, fueling the fire, and almost convincing him that you are this horrible person who did this, this and this in the past, and that he shouldn’t forget it or ever be your friend. And, because she is now the woman in his life, he listens because he doesn’t want to create tension in his new relationship.

 

 

 

5. Addiction issues or mental illness.

These are areas that you have absolutely no control over. Say this to yourself: I am not a doctor, I am not an addiction counselor, I am not a psychiatrist. Your ex needs to get help from a professional, and you need to take a step back. A big step back. Addicts blame everyone else for their problems. That’s addiction 101.

 

 

6. Hurt and pain.

People cover up intense pain and hurt with anger and hate. Anger and hate are the protective shields over the wounds that aren’t healing. I could cry when I think of how sad this is, and how common. If they could acknowledge that their ex hurt them like hell, and that the pain they caused is still very much there, they might find alternative ways to channel the pain. I’m not saying the person should forgive an ex immediately for what he or she did, but being mean and angry for years is unproductive and very very bad for them, the ex and the kids.

 

 

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7. Unhappiness.

If someone is unhappy, they don’t want anyone else to be happy, especially the ex. So, if he or she senses you are happy, they want war. They are pissed. In their eyes, you don’t deserve happiness! You ruined their life! On the flip side, if you are miserable, you will find that your ex will be nicer.

 

8. It’s expected.

Being amicable seems foreign to most people getting divorced, since most divorce stories are ugly. So, they automatically feel like it’s not right to be kind and courteous to an ex.

 

The good news is, countless couples are able to let go of the anger and hate after a divorce, which fosters acceptance, peace and a happier, better future for both partners.

Letting go of anger and hate also benefits the kids. Not only can parents who are friends co-parent so much more effectively, but kids thrive when their parents get along. It takes so much pressure off of a kid, and makes the kids feel more like a family.

If you think about it, whether a couple is married or divorced, the kids cringe when their parents fight, and they can sense “my ex hates me.” It makes them uncomfortable, sad, insecure, and filled with anxiety. I know that when I get along with my ex, my kids beam with happiness.

 

Here’s the thing about divorce anger and hate. During a divorce and after, it’s so easy to conjure up memories that sustain resentment. It’s easier to blame the ex than to look in the mirror and say, “Maybe I played a role in this divorce, too.” It’s also easy to hate if you know you can’t have your ex back, and it’s easy to hate someone who moved on before you, i.e. has a girlfriend two minutes after the separation (which so many people do.) It’s also easy to say, “He took the best years of my life” and resent him or her for that.

 

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The key in letting go of anger and hate is to remember two things:

 

1. You have zero control over your ex’s journey, and his or her anger and hate towards you. Yes, you can try talking to him or her, writing a letter, apologizing for your role in the divorce, but that’s pretty much all you can do. He or she is the one who has to decide to let it go.

 

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2. You have all the control over letting your anger go. I remember a woman once said to me, “I want to let go of my anger, but I don’t know how.” My answer is, stop looking back. If you focus on your children and your own life, the road ahead, the life you want moving forward, and you do what you can to get what you want from this point forward, your anger and hate will go away. The wound will turn into a scab and eventually fall off. Will you have a small scar? For sure. But it won’t be noticeable.

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

20 Responses to “My Ex Hates Me: 8 Reasons Why He’s Angry And Hateful Towards You”

  1. mgm531

    Yeah, I’ve got a few reasons the be angry and hateful towards my ex. Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Eight reasons actually. ‘Cause that’s amount I have to pay her every month for alimony and CS while she sits on her butt and does NOTHING. Even though she has more education than I DO!

    Reply
    • Svetlana kouzko

      Dear mgm 531.
      This is your lazy ex “who sits on her butt and do nothing” After reading what you have to say about me all over social media and internet, when you calling me a passive-aggressive, immature and telling everyone how horrible I was in bed, I decide to write you my response.
      For a past 5 years I was busting my ass as a full-time medical student and part-time employee. I am sleeping 6 hours a day and don’t have a weekends. While you complaining all over internet about your harsh life, I am raising your child alone. For 5 years you never asked if we have anything to eat or need any kind of help. Why you don’t tell the truth: how much you own in child support and for how long you haven’t paid it, being employed?
      Should I mention request of payments spousal support FROM YOU while my daughter and I trying to survive on my Grand Plus student loan?
      I am sorry for being a horrible wife. I am sorry for all that suffering that you went through for all 16 years of living with me. I was working on low-paid jobs and taking care of family while you were building your career. I was moving from state to state with you and I was always with you and for you. Yes, I am well-educated women with a Foreign Degree and I gave up all my dreams for you and my family.
      I guess, after 16 years you decided that you don’t need me anymore. I can understand that.
      I never said anything bad about you because 16 years ago I made my choice to be with you and I respect that.
      Please, stop write all that nasty things about me. You disrespecting yourself with all that complaints.

      Sincerely, your horrible ex.

      Reply
  2. Brenda

    I think this is all very good advice, unless, there was abuse involved. Even in an abusive situation, like mine, letting go of the anger is absolutely the best. However, while I don’t yell and scream at him, I also do not speak to him and would go out of my way to avoid him. It’s just that scary.

    Reply
  3. A Grant

    This is really good information a lot to think about even for grandparents as u feel like you are going through it to ! I am the grand mother who helps with the grandchildren! It is very hard when u see your daughter for years doing everything for her children and the spouse does nothing !

    Reply
  4. jo

    This is what i liked of your article look to the future – great advice excerpt here:”stop looking back. If you focus on your children and your own life, the road ahead, the life you want moving forward, and you do what you can to get what you want from this point forward, your anger and hate will go away. The wound will turn into a scab and eventually fall off. Will you have a small scar? For sure. But it won’t be noticeable.”

    Reply
  5. Rob

    My ex-wife seems to loathe me. When she left she said that she still loved me but didn’t trust me. The entire time she was gone up until the day our divorce was final (9 months), I did nothing but continue to act like a husband and tried to prove everyday to her that I loved her very much. I am still trying! For some reason as each day goes non she seems to dislike me more and more. Now she cant even look at me. I don’t get it at all. I love her very much but it is much worse now than when he left me!

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      Here’s what I think about that. I’m really sorry, by the way. That is so difficult and I can completely relate. I think when someone decides to leave, they have years and years of pent up resentment (whether warranted or not) and it just keeps building and building and gets worse before it gets better. That’s just my opinion. I hope she is in therapy, and I hope you are too. That really does help.

      Reply
      • AJ Weaver Seal Man

        Jackie,

        No one cares what you think about that.

        This website is shit. What, because you weren’t able to keep your marriage going and you failed you decided to monetize it and start this shit? Talk about narcissism!

        You are a sheister and likely a racist and a trump supporting shit head.

        Do everyone a favor – you don’t have the qualified to give people advice. You lie for money on the internet.

        The world needs less people like you to be better.

        Reply
    • Angry Breadwinner

      Once someone decides to leave, they may get angry when you finally become the man they always wished you should/could be.

      That was my case. My ex and I were in the midst of the reconciling process and I finally “got it” and I was being the man I should have been all along. But she got angry. I didn’t understand her anger until I found out that she had already given up and was having an emotional affair with another man and had moved on. I believe she was subconsciously going through the motions of reconciling with me so she could look back and say that she tried everything. But when the reconciling was working, that ruined her story and she got angry with my transformation. She was probably not conscious of this but after many years of Monday quarterbacking what happened, this is what I believe happened. It is sad. I loved her. She loved me. Our kids could have had us as role models for a healthy relationship. But alas it was not meant to be.

      Reply
  6. E. Audy

    This article sheds some light. My ex still hates me after 3 years and now that he has a new, good life with a new person. I wonder how long a person’s hateful energy can last, and get the feeling that his will last forever, and I’m trying to figure out why. I guess it’s deep hurt, deep wounds to the ego, resentment for building a dream and then being the driver of the divorce. He never was one to look at his own part of blame, but rather, always blame others. Guess that’s the answer.

    Reply
  7. Eric

    Almost Ten Years after Divorce I Still Dispise My EX-Wife I Don’t think I’ll Never Not Hate Her Not just because of her ADULTRY Her Domestic Violence against me Having me Jailed stealing my stuff but also Taking my Daughter This HATRED is forever

    Reply
  8. Dor

    Like the post and 2 things to remember
    Forgiveness is very hard especially when a divorce is new
    Letting go of anger is getting easier after 2 yrs
    Showing negativity around your children towards your ex is hard and takes effort
    It becomes easier with time
    I have no communication with my ex after 28 years of marriage
    This was his choice
    I try to not dwell on the past and block him from my thoughts

    Reply
  9. Tally

    My ex-husband still hates me after 9 years of divorce. I left him because he cheated on me when I was pregnant. He is remarried now. But he still has such mean anger towards me. He had told our son that he hopes I die from covid and calls me all kinds of names constantly and his wife is a part of it also. I feel so bad for my son. I even had to obtain a no-contact order at one point. I have no anger, I feel bad for my son. We have a very nice life. My ex is just so hateful, I feel bad for him that he carries such hate in his heart.

    Reply
  10. Martin

    I notice that in all of your eight reasons you place the blame on the person who is hating and none of the answers take responsibility for things that may have been done to the hater. You never consider that the hater may have very good, legitimate reasons for the hatred. My ex acted in despicable ways. Cheating, being deceitful and underhanded in financial dealings, refusing mediation and other despicable actions. Never once do you address the issue that the hate is perhaps justified. It is all the haters fault. They just “hate” for no reason and it is all their problem. Your eight answers take no responsabilty for the actual reason they may hate you.

    Reply
    • Martin

      #9 You Have done despicable things and their hatred is justified.

      If someone hates you that much maybe, just maybe, you could look at yourself and see what you have done to make them hate you so much.

      Reply
  11. Angry Breadwinner

    When one ex-spouse is still paying the other ex years after the marriage ended, then there is a good chance the paying ex will feel resentment and anger. If possible, it would be better if the divorce split the assets and NO financial support is given. The additional support does not allow the paying spouse to heal. To him, the hurt from the divorce is not in the past but in the present – every single week that he has to write a check.

    In my case, my ex wanted to leave. She had an affair at the end while we were trying to reconcile. I accept that we are both at fault for the failed marriage. We split up the marital assets 50/50. I was the breadwinner so it didn’t feel fair to split things in half but in a marriage things are both of yours – so I also accept that.

    However, what I do not accept is having to pay her spousal and child support after the divorce. I didn’t mind the child support while she was living by herself – even despite having 50/50 custody. The spousal support stopped her from working full time and advancing in her career which she could have easily done.

    Once she moved in and got engaged to her “mistress”, the spousal support ended but the child support continued. Legally she is in the right (in my state) to still receive child support (despite the 50/50 custody), but I do not think she is morally right. She wanted to leave. She had the affair making the reconciliation process impossible. Now her affair partner practically pays for everything and she still doesn’t have to work full time and his income doesn’t get considered when determining the child support. If she no longer received the child support, it would not affect their lifestyle, but it would help me greatly.

    Our culture (and sites like this one) teach women not to take on more responsibility. That men have no right to be angry for the loss of income. That indirectly the message is sometimes “a man is a plan” and a woman doesn’t have to be completely independent from a man. We should instead teach women that if they can afford to, they should not financially take advantage of a man. That the post-divorce relationship will be better and healthier and maybe it is worth it (especially if there are kids involved) to not receive support from the ex-husband after the divorce.

    (Note: everyone’s experience is different. I do acknowledge that there are cases when spousal and/or child support is needed: i.e. decades long marriages, uneven child custody arrangements, etc. But in my case and in many other people’s cases, financial support should be non-existent or temporary (so it is used as a temporary safety net not a crutch) ).

    Reply

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