Ex-boyfriend. Ex-girlfriend. Ex-husband. Ex-wife or ex-lover, we all have them. Some people have many. Though, your relationship with your ex(es) (or lack thereof) is unique to you and differs from person to person. Perhaps you still talk to your ex from college, while just the idea of your most recent ex angers you to the core. Or you may be co-parenting with your ex-spouse, but still deeply suffering from the pain of that relationship.

Whether a relationship ended twenty years or twenty days ago, the agony caused by a hurtful breakup can create a deep wound. Harboring hate for an ex, which usually stems from pain and fear, can keep you feeling bitter, angry and emotionally stuck. You may even have built up a wall around your heart that blocks you from experiencing true intimacy with others.

As a therapist, I have heard thousands of breakup stories ranging from very sweet to straight-up scary. The one thing I can tell you is that no matter what, breaking up is rarely ever easy. It’s often dealing with your emotions after the fact, that is most challenging. Letting your negative feelings fester and turning towards hate can be tempting because anger is an easier emotion for many people to handle than hurt.

If you hate your ex then please know you’re not alone. Though, it’s important that you also know that until you release that hate, your heart will never truly heal. Holding on to hate is as the Buddha said like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” The hate you carry causes you so much more suffering than it does them.

When you hold hate in your heart for someone you are giving them your time and attention. You are elevating their status and gifting them prime real estate in your mind. From a therapeutic standpoint, you also, most likely have unfinished business with them. When an emotional injury or painful situation is not processed properly or honored appropriately, it continues to draw energy from you.

You deserve over the moon, healthy and happy love. Though, until you forgive your ex for what has been done and take responsibility for your part of the relationship (even if your only part was not ending it sooner), it may be very difficult to create more love in your life.

Want MORE LOVE, joy, and peace in your life?! Join my FREE 21-Day MORE LOVE Meditation Series! Click HERE to sign up!

Every relationship is comprised of good and bad, and in order to see it for how it actually was, not just the way you think it was, you must acknowledge both sides. If you’re still holding on to hate, or even a tiny bit of ill feelings towards an ex (or anyone for that matter) I encourage you to make a list. In this list I want you to create two columns, one where you will list all of the bad and hurtful parts of your past relationship and another where you focus solely on what was good. (If you’re holding onto resentment in your current relationships, you can use this exercise to release that as well.)

This list can help open up your heart and mind and hopefully will bring you to a place where the love that you once shared with your ex overrides the hate. As always, it’s important to remind yourself that forgiveness does not mean condoning. What they did may have been terrible. Forgiveness simply means you are not going to carry the weight of that terrible thing in your heart any longer. Forgiveness is for you.

Remember that forgiveness is a process, so if you don’t feel completely free from hate after writing your first list, that’s okay. As you continue to focus not only on what was bad but also what was good, your heart and mind will continue to feel lighter and lighter. Then one day you may notice it’s been a week since you thought about so-and-so, and then a month, until one day your ex simply becomes someone you used to know. Ahh, sweet indifference. Imagine not having a single ounce of hate towards the person whose mere existence once caused you such pain. If that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is.

To take things a step further, I invite you to check out my interview with yoga psychologists, Ashley Turner, on my new podcast, HELLO FREEDOM. Ashley and I dive super deep into the idea of conscious uncoupling and she’ll help guide you through the steps of letting go in a way that feels intentional and freeing. You can access the podcast HERE or search Hello Freedom on iTunes. Be sure to subscribe.

Now I want to hear from you. In the comments below share with me one good thing about an ex, particularly the one with whom you are mostly unresolved. I know this may be difficult, but I promise you focusing on the good can only help free you from the pain you carry. If you continue to hold hurt and hate in your heart then I strongly suggest seeking professional help from a trained therapist, you don’t have to do this alone.

There’s always more healing to be done and on this journey, I hope you remember to as always, take care of you.

 

Love Love Love,

Terri

 

 

*image courtesy of Hayley Bouchard

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  1. What I enjoyed were the intellectual conversations where because of them, I could still live out my fantasy of being a scientist. I also enjoyed his hugs, his sense of humor, and the way his eyes would crinkle when he saw me.

    He grew up in an abusive household so he did not learn appropriate skills for emotional control, validation of feelings, ( even his own), conflict management, boundary setting, sharing, compassion. At times, he could engage in narcissistic emotionally abusive behavior which combined with my diagnosis of BPD, caused terribly hurt feelings on both sides. He would not learn ways to know the difference between physical, intellectual and emotional intimacy. I craved emotional intimacy which based on his upbringing and unwillingness to change, he could not provide. I need lots of emotional support and am learning how to give myself that from a great therapist.

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      I’m holding space for you with so much compassion ❤️ Thank you for sharing and for being here.

  2. I tried to get closure from my ex but he just kept lying. It started in March. He went from saying he will have to cut his toxic mother out of his life because she will never let us be happy. I told him he needed to go to therapy before he makes a big decision like that. A week or two later he told me he wasn't in love with me anymore, then back to we have to get away from his mother. He convinced me to go stay with my mother so I would be "safe" from his mother. I left in April and from April to June he was telling me he made a big mistake and he wanted to come get me and run away so we could be together. July he stopped contacting me and would ignore me when I contacted him. It was until September/October that I was in his area for other reasons and he came to my hotel to being me some of my things. I just unlocked my car so he didn't have to see me.. He wanted to. He came in and started crying saying he made a mistake and he doesn't know what's wrong with him. He also admitted one of his new roommates (women) had a crush on him in June and forced coke in his mouth. He claims she was kicked out and that was that. He then told me he and his other female roommate developed feelings for each other but they didn't act on them. This whole time from March I was still trying to work on things and all I asked of him was that we go to therapy so we could find a way back to each other or a healthy way out of the relationship. After that meeting I started to just think about everything from a clear view and I asked him if I could meet him one last time that December so I can get closure. This time he was cold and distant and wasn't helpful at all. Before he left he said "maybe" we'll get back together and asked for hug. Tatt was all I was going to get and needed to hear I guess. I thought about it for about 2 weeks and I told him I wanted a divorce. He kinda changed his tune but I was firm. I stopped contacting him and so he started to contact me! More and more frequently. I would only answer thing about the divorce and ignore everything else. He was suppose to final and it wasn't until I tried to file my taxes that I found out I was STILL MARRIED! I messaged him and he said some bull about missing a deadline but he told me nothing about it and didn't file again. I told him you started all this nonsense so YOU file. If this happens again I WILL file. He kept emailing me just talking about nothing. After I signed the paperwork and knew it was for real happening I let him know he needed to stop emailing me because how he went about everything and end us we could never be cool. He wrote me again and I just never responded. My hate comes from all the lies and the out of no where switch from loving me to frankly hating me. His mother also put me through so much shit the 15 YEARS we were together. I just got beat down so much just for him to turn on me.like that. He has an autoimmune disorder and he came very close to dying three times and I was there for him every time. I just have so many unresolved issues and questions and it really gets to me sometimes. I hate him and his mother and I hope karma his their new best friend.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story ❤️ I hear your pain and I’m holding space for you with so much compassion. Keep working on yourself and your boundaries ❤️❤️

  3. Terri
    Im a liitle surprised at the similarities my situation has with so many others. Maybe because i've never
    talked to anyone about it. It's now been a little over four years and …. well… i wont ever forgive her i'll tell you that. Because she didn't have to do what she did. And some days, hell yea i hate her, i hate the

    shit
    out of her. But not always. I guess i should have mentioned that the breakup was not the same a some others too. We didn't fight or argue ever. She was my best friend, my everything. Its is so true that you lose yourself completely trying to hold on to someone that doesn't mind losing you. We lived together just over 12 years. I thought that would be it. Her too, thats what she said anyway. Super long story short, we had begun to experiences the first ever real strain on things financially. I'd lost my job of 10 years but we were screwed without that money. I found work again but little did i know plans had been made. She was stressed and i knew it she thought it best if she could go stay with her sister for a bit,
    rest, recharge and energize. She told me not to worry she'd be back soon and with some money. The night before she left we slept together and it was really something. That morning she left and i cried like a little girl. Pretty much all day. She called me when she got there and we talked once after that and i never heard from her or seen her again. Im in california and shes in florida, which makes it hard to stop by. Ive been there with her before so if i had a mind to i could find her easy but im not doing that. Anyway another long story short, this is what i meant by she didnt have to do it that way. And i wish she hadnt because this destroyed my life. Like a atom bomb landed on my lap. pieces of eveything everywhere and i recognized nothing . Its been a long road, one i never dreamed i have to take. I hate this road, i didn't pick it and i don't want it but options i still don't have. Can you imagine what this has been like? and the kicker is she doesn't even know. So, right now i hate her. It is still so weird to say that about her because i used to not . but what awful thing to do to somebody. I'll never forgive her for it. She took way to much from me. But i think i will get to point when i've forgotten about her. I hope so anyway cause she damn sure forgot about me.

    1. I hope seeing that others have similar stories brings some amount of comfort! Thank you for sharing this story. I’m holding space for you with so much compassion ❤️❤️

  4. I despise my ex with every ounce of my being and do not believe in forgiving someone who ruined and stole ten years of my life. I will take
    my hatred of this person and those involved in our break up to my death and do not care to spend energy on trying to vanguish my disgust for him. My healing has zero to do with my hatred for him. I believe it’z possible to have both. I will never make room in my heart to think of him as someone who deserves anything but my disgust,

    1. I spent 25 years with my ex, and like you, will hate him forever. I would prefer to be indifferent, but I will never forgive him, so I’m not sure I’ll get there.

  5. I hate my ex so much she lied and cheated I’ll never forgive her
    God help her if I see her and her new boyfriend

  6. My wife was never open and honest with me during our marriage. She routinely would carry on secret relationships (I never had any proof of anything physical) and would only complain of things she didn’t like, while never giving credit to the things I did to make her life better, make our marriage better. I was completely devoted to my wife, never kept friendships from her, and always invited her to participate in anything I was going to do. I didn’t share all of her interests, but would still make an effort to do them with her. In the end, she couldn’t see past the things I wasn’t doing “enough”, even though I was doing similar things to try to make up for when I couldn’t do the exact things. I’m at the beginning of the separation, and am trying to get past the hate and hurt, so that I can move forward in a positive way, to include treating her fairly and amicably through the process and after it is over.

    1. Hi Louis,
      I’m holding space for you with so much compassion as you start to navigate your separation and your feelings of grief, anger and confusion around your marriage ❤️ I hope you’re able to continue on your journey to self-knowledge and set boundaries for yourself with your ex-wife.

    2. I went through the same thing. I just happened on info about avoidance attachment and conflict avoidant people. It brought me compassion for my husband’s inability to love real, flawed individuals (including himself) and looking for the “one” perfect person who would complete him. His cheating was not a reflection on me. And hers was not about you!

      1. Hi Kim,
        Yes, so true! Thank you for sharing this wisdom. I can see your growth and insight, and I love that you’re here ❤️

  7. I’m very angry, and some days are worse than other. Husband of 15 years, 2 kids later, decided he was done. He left and weeks later was ‘with’ my friend. Almost a year later, they are still together and we’ve only been divorced 4 months. I thought we could work through anything, but hard to when your spouse doesn’t communicate. He says I wasn’t going to change and he couldn’t do it anymore. I now try so hard to be polite when the kids are around and we are there for their activities. I want nothing to do with him. He makes me feel worthless and unlovable. He never said how he was feeling so we could work on things together. I took my vows seriously and he know confides and loves my former good friend. I wasn’t worthy enough I suppose. He says I need more grace too. Seems I did everything wrong, and he can’t own any of this. I’m in therapy, meditate and read books, and I’m still angry most days. Even getting a text from him makes me ill.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      I’m holding so much space for your story and your anger ❤️ I hope therapy enables you to see the light you bring into your own life and the ways you can combat the pain he caused.

    2. I hope you’re doing better Elizabeth.
      My story is similar to yours. 20 years together, 1 child and not even 2 months after separating he started a relationship with a coworker “friend” of his. It’s been about 5 months since he moved out and they’re still together. I think my anger is slowly going (very slowly) as I really don’t want to carry this with me. I really draw a “before” & “after” line and am slowly accepting that this “after” is a new reality where he isn’t my person anymore. He can’t be. The person for me wouldn’t have walked away.
      I wish you all the best. It’s truly a horrible way to feel. Please know you’re not alone.

      1. Hi Dee,
        Thank you for sharing your story and supporting Elizabeth. I appreciate you that you’re both here and not alone ❤️❤️

  8. I’d had a relationship with an ex that ended up shaping my views on relationships and what I was into. Despite the hardships I was there for them, but I would be ignored by them and my issues would be downplayed. Eventually I foolishly tried to work things out when I wasn’t the problem there. Fast forward a bit and they ended up trying to cheat on me in the first relationship and I only figured it out because they wanted to be with me a second time, but asked for a poly relationship only to make me a safety net and abandon me later. They were waiting to tell me this until I’d figured it out on my own due to their repeated negligence and lack of communication toward me. Afterwards, they try to advertise themselves in places I’m at but they aren’t actively a part of.

    I found someone that actually cares about me that I want to protect; however, a month in for some reason the thought of physically beating my ex just became more appealing to me just to make them feel an ounce of the pain I’d felt… I’m not a violent person either as I’ve never physically been in a fight or wanted to engage in one, but this thought just frustrates me because I want the thoughts of my ex to just be gone.

      1. Hello
        Read your comment with great interest
        The problem I have with my ex is like most married couple we were working towards our retirement and now she wants out I have no financial plans in place. More fool me.
        So it’s the mediation route if she agrees to split her pension so I have some sort of retirement plan in place
        Not how I wanted it to end but hey ho
        Do I still love her? No not after the way she went a bout ending it
        Thank you

        1. Hi there ❤️
          Thank you for sharing this. I’m holding space for you with so much compassion as you navigate your separation. I appreciate you being here ❤️

  9. The first thing I did when he sent a text breaking up was to buy 150 pounds of sand to fill the army duffle bag of the step-father he hated, and hung it from an oak tree. I didn’t ever pretend it was him. It felt great to get my rage out though. A benefit was getting physically stronger. After a bit I realized what I was really missing was wrapping my strong arms and thighs around him — so I leaped up and wrapped myself around, and held on, swinging back and forth . It required strength to hold on and seemed to invoke better feelings … I was on fire and filled with improving myself … of diving into self-care, making myself better than ever.

    Nature abhors a vacuum – and he was suddenly gone. I didn’t expect it. Five men I enjoy started interacting. During pandemic we couldn’t freely interact, but the calls and attention helped. It’s been two months and four days. I’ve cried rivers. I felt better, but now that I know where he is and with whom – I don’t think anyone wants to see their loved one choose so poorly. Repercussions of “He chose HER over me?” are difficult, so hatred surfaced. This stage has me building pride in my exceptional wit or cleverness and ultimate willpower: clever because I could easily be stealthily vindictive (in ways non-violent to anything… and proud because it’s even better knowing I could but have the willpower not to!

    * It’s the hardest thing I’ve endured; worse than people dying, because a break-up delivers rejection. Some days have more dysfunction, but I’m investing more in me than the cord that bonded “us”, which feels more like “bondage” than a healthy bond, it’s a drag now. I’m sure if I keep writing and talking it out with a close wise experienced person, the bond will atrophy. I’ll throw those sand bags overboard and up up and away I’ll fly in my beautiful balloon. I have to wade through, and make peace with what’s most unimaginable to accept.

    Thank you for your sensible and well-written insights, the comments are helpful too. Stay safe. Stay sane.

        1. Hi Ashley,
          It’s not always about forgiveness! What mindset would be more helpful to YOU in your journey? Don’t worry about them or forgiving them. Focus on your needs and how to reframe your mindset to be able to move on and heal ❤️

  10. People need to stop acting as if anger, dislike and disgust are not natural biological, psychological responses to stimuli or events. Hate for hates sake isn’t at all rational, but we are talking emotions.

    We all act as if forgiveness is right all the time and the mantra it’s for you and not them, but we can and should discriminate on this basis. We shouldn’t actively seek revenge or do anything to act on these feelings, but if you’ve been wronged or hurt then it’s natural and normal.

    I feel like a lot of people act as if negative emotions must always be purged or be used as a means to channel positive ones, as if this side of our ego is wrong or dirty when it really isn’t. Self help guru style ideology isn’t always healthy either.

    1. Thank you for sharing this! Anger is definitely a useful emotion in so many instances. And it’s something we should honor, rather than pushing away or trying to force away. I think in cases where hanging onto anger isn’t useful, and is holding us back from moving on, we need to find a way to release it. It isn’t that all anger must be released, but rather determining if anger is helping or hurting. ❤️

    2. Well said. There’s a whole industry that’s been built up – encouraging divorce, facilitating divorce, helping people feel better after divorce except it doesn’t, building up a ‘me first’ ideology that’s done nothing but put us all into isolated bubbles – and to top it all we’re supposed to feel bad if we get pissed off about it. Routinely quoting the Buddha that anger is a poison misses the fact that it’s not half as poisonous as all the false-thinking that got us all into this mess and anger is an indication that your mind can see it’s a disaster and not pretending it isn’t.

  11. I needed to read your article when I came across it. I am going through a devastating breakup at the moment at 31. At first, the realization that my relationship had failed made me feel doomed. There was a time when I despised him and felt like because of him and my fear of being betrayed again so deeply , I would be alone for the rest of my life. Your article helped me understand why this relationship has ended, while also validating my reasons for ending it. Thank you.

    1. Hi there,
      I’m so so glad that this resonated for you and helped you find peace and understanding about the end of your relationship. ❤️ Thank you for being here and for sharing! ?

  12. I see that this post is old. But i have recently gone through a break up that has left me utterly lifeless. I turned 37 this year and i honestly thought i had my act together. I find myself hating my Ex with so much passion. I hate his stupid face even more. Seeing him makes me feel like throwing up. I hate the fact that he is allowed to breath and be happy. It feels very unfair that my baby didn’t live to see this world and he was happy about it.

    I keep asking myself why do i always have to be the cool one? Why do i have to be understanding? He has tried to make up with me, but that makes me hate him even more! Am i being too negative?

    This person i loved so much, and shared my heart with him. This person spat on my heart and stomped on it. What was worse is i thought were friends. He hurt me with his selfishness and arrogance.

    I can’t wait for the day i completely forget about him. Because the truth is i was too good for him. And that’s what’s so annoying!

    I am working on my emotions. Decided to get therapy because i hate him way too much to continue giving him more of my time. I want to forget him and bury all my memories of him.

    1. Hi Lizo,
      I’m holding space for you with so much compassion. You will get through this – especially because you sough help and you are working on your feelings. Keep doing the work, it’s worth it ❤️

  13. Great article. I lived hating my ex girlfriend for betraying me and destroying the life i wanted to create and live with her a couple of years after the break up. After that i totally forgot her but 20 years later i started getting emails from her, she even visited me at my job! (no idea how she found me) and started remembering… made my list and all the good was killed by the bad; she lied all the time, used me, manipulated me and threw me away when she decided, then life got hard for her after a life of getting away with everything, i thought i will enjoy to see her suffer but no, i felt detached, no more love or hate. I live happy now, how did it happen? I’m not sure, i learnt new things, met new people, found the world was awesome without her, if i had married her, our kids would have suffered a lot and i would have been a sad, empty, frustrated man. Thank God i found a way beyond wasting time obsessed with someone who was not worth it…

    1. Hi Gerry,
      I’m so happy to hear that you were able to keep your boundaries and look back with gratitude that you didn’t stay with her. Thank you for being here and for sharing!

  14. Hi Terri! It was my first time reading your blog and it made me realize how much I hate him because of the trauma that he gave me. It was really hard for me to forgive him right away, though we have good memories, what if not good memories are much greater than the good ones? I don’t recall any good memories with him, just few… no matter how hard I think how many the good one are.
    I think it was not easy to face this kind of stage where you need to deal with the good memories and not good memories, it makes my soul restless, but I guess dealing and facing those things are the only way for me to heal right?

    1. Hi Kirsten,
      Thank you for sharing and for being here. I’m holding space for you as you navigate your healing process around this break up ❤️

  15. I’m trying to not hate my ex, but I’m starting to with a passion. He stole $400,000 from me. I had 200,000 in bank which he spent nearly immediately (I stupidly trusted him and did joint accounts), and then he quit his job. For 5 years I supported him and his son – paid all the bills, all the food and alcohol, school fees, paid his child support, paid for his car, paid for his tools, paid off his debts without thinking of myself. He kept telling me he would work, and I trusted him. He never did. Every time he got a speeding ticket in my car, he said it was me driving. I lost so many demerit points from my license and now can’t get the job I want due to it. He’s totally ruined my life and it’s hard to stay upbeat.

    1. Hi there,
      I’m holding space for you with so much compassion. It sounds like there was a lot of manipulation in your relationship with lasting repercussions for you, especially after all the money he took. Just remember to put yourself first, and focus on your own healing, rather than hatred, as this will be best for your process. ❤️

  16. Hi I’ve been reading your article and whilst looking for guidance I know I am truly struggling with moving forward after 3 years being split and divorced as he was emotionally abusive and my daughter chose to stay with him it took 12 years to end the relationship and my daughter resents me leaving her dad. Unfortunately I see her being very much like her dad and it hurts and I hate how he has destroyed my family
    I have a boyfriend now but know he has a lot to deal with my lack of trust and confidence
    I have had counselling and was told it was wrong the way I was treated
    How do I move on from not only ending an abusive relationship but losing my daughter as she has very little to do with me unless it is to give out money she is 16

    1. Hi Sue,
      That’s an incredibly difficult situation, and I want you to know that I’m holding space for you with so much compassion. ❤️ It will take time for you to work through these feelings of doubt and low self-esteem, as this was ingrained in you throughout your relationship. Stay the path of healing through counseling and work on yourself. It’s possible to heal your relationship with yourself and your daughter through modeling a healthy relationship, healthy boundaries, and self-love. ❤️

  17. My wife left after 30 years. It was a pretty good marriage until she decided it wasn’t enough for her. I don’t care about holding on to the resentment.I like the pain and occasional anger, it drives me, and I have done pretty well financially. I screwed up many a relationship because of my hurt and losing my family. She made her choice and destroyed our family. I don’t care about her anymore, it is how she did it. I have moved on. I do resent her and never want to see her again. My problem is I gave too much and expected nothing. Never again will I give up everything for anyone. I am pretty happy now have had a girlfriend for 8 years but I do miss the past occasionally.
    Philip

    1. Hi Philip,
      Thank you for sharing. It’s important to ask yourself what holding onto the anger and resentment is serving you. Is there another way you could be driven toward success that doesn’t require you holding onto your painful past? Living in the present in a healthy, mindful way may bring you some peace. ❤️

  18. Every article and every “professional” is for forgiveness of the woman. Forgive her. Notice when a woman responds with what her ex did it’s an outpouring of compassion and “what a jerk” empathy statements.
    I was plotted against. Had the neighbors helping her. She introduced the boyfriend 2 weeks after I left the house to my kids who were upset. Her response to them was “well, when does a relationship really end?” (Tee hee) She lied, stole, plotted and had help from everyone I knew to do so. She continues to manipulate my children and spend my time and money using them. Hate? Not strong enough. Heal my heart to love again? If that’s what “healing” is then no. I see this behavior in so many women I’m sick.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m witnessing you with compassion and holding space for you. You get to choose how you want to move forward from this experience.

  19. well, nice article. I feel hate is necessary step in proces. You just can;t stop it, for me it was a long process:
    1. cant believe what she did
    2. try harder, and harder
    3. being disappointed and miss the past, good past
    4. understanding past is past and it was fake
    5. trying again and again
    6. 4. understanding past is past and it was fake (reply 5 and
    6 several times)
    7. feel disguised with her, put some barriers, that are not
    easily broken
    8. feel disappointed again and again
    9. feel hate, for what she did, how the fuck could she do it?
    10. feel hate her as she minimize what she did and so my
    feelings
    11. understand she will not change and my hate is bad for
    me
    12. try to do sth about hate, here I am now reading this article

    1. I’m witnessing you with compassion. I offer what hopefully will bring people peace. But if you have methods that bring you a sense of peace, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

  20. I could really use some non-therapy resources to deal with the seething anger I have for my ex-wife. She took advantage of my generousity during the divorce and continues to do so, knowing I can’t pay for what I initially volunteered to do, and it’s way above what is expected for me to pay, because I wanted my daughters to be able to maintain their standard of living, meanwhile I live way below what I’ve been accustomed to for 45 years, and I get to witness her repeatedly moving men in and out of our old house, watching the damage it’s doing to my girls. I’m a trained (non-active) therapist and know exactly how this damage manifests itself. I felt I had moved on, and yet the constant barrage of ridiculous inequality that occurs on a weekly basis is too much. Are there online groups, etc that I can utilize to help with this anger? I know I shouldn’t think this way but I wish her the nastiest, awful existence and gutter to live in and I know it’s because I am hurt, gravely disappointed in how she chooses to live, treats my girls, while exposing them to a lifestyle never sanctioned in our house and it kills me every time I have to drop them off into that mess, as they’re asking to stay with me longer. Im very close to my girls, have good boundaries with them, but my anger is spilling over the top and I sometimes speak my mind in front of my girls and I know it’s not right or heathy, but I can’t keep smiling and pretend nothings wrong, or that I somehow condone what she does. Please help.

  21. I’m not married or anything just I have an ex we broke up three years ago, and lately for a past little while I been thinking about finally making amends with her even tho it ended poorly, I didn’t understand at the time why she did it cause I was so upset but now I think about what she said back
    Then and why she said she did it, I understand. She was a big part of my life from soccer pals great friends to eventually dating. Yes she did some really bad things like going back to an ex then back
    To me lies etc. and I wasn’t always the greatest but I tried hard and always worried about her during rough times she wouldn’t let me in on what’s bothering her. And after a while the break up she kept trying to add me on social media where I wouldn’t accept anything or just made no actions. Anyways I ask you here now, if it’s a great idea to make amends if I feel like I wanna send her a message and do it and I’m not worried if she will reply to
    It or anything. Just would like her to know I forgive and understand and I’m sorry on my own faults for how I took everything.

    1. I hear you and I am witnessing your situation with compassion Pat. Ask yourself why you want to make amends? What are you hoping to achieve? It may be just as useful to write a letter that you never send. Express everything you want to express and then burn it or throw it away to let it go.

    2. You sound like a really nice person and honestly if she hasnt made any action to apologize to you or make you feel understood and forgiven maybe don’t reach out. you’re giving your power away and again spending mental energy worrying and thinking about her which is probably what she wants or is trying to make you feel instead of her trying to make amends. I wish you the best out there

  22. I watched your video, it had some good thoughts, It’s hard to apply this when my ex left me because of my anxiety and depression for another man, I could not control that she hated my mental disabilities. I could not get her to understand what it was like and she lost interest. I will accept I was not the most physically affectionate guy, I’ve never been when I tried to explain that it didnt work out well. I’d just like some thoughts or insights into applying this to a situation based on your genetics.

    1. I hear you and I’m witnessing you with compassion. What are you doing to take care of yourself and address your anxiety and depression? You have been through a lot and I think you could benefit greatly from working with a trained professional. Wishing you the best.

  23. I am embarrassed to admit I have held onto bitter resentment for 10 years. I was with my husband for 7 years, 2 kids together. One day he up and leaves. Files for divorce. I had no idea til I got the papers. After a few years we settled down and began a great co parenting plan which worked for a long time. Until he got a girlfriend and stopped being a dad. Now, I find myself hating him all over again. I’m pissed that he proposed to his girlfriend, but didn’t get our kids ANYTHING for Christmas because “he ran out of money”, I’m pissed because he “forgets” his parenting time, I’m pissed because he hurts our children over and over. I want so badly to go into 2019 feeling nothing for him. It’s just so hard when my daughter is sobbing on Christmas because “her dad’s a POS”. I wish there was an easy way to move on. I’m thinking of therapy.

    1. No need to feel embarrassed, you have the right to your feelings. Process those feelings and therapy might help with that. You deserve to move on and you deserve to live without that bitter resentment. There is a whole world on the other side. Sending you so much strength and compassion. You got this.

  24. Hi, Terri. I’m writing because my ex-husband and I were married for more than 35 years. However, we’d been “in treatment” for too many years to count (almost as many years as we’d been married). So, here’s my question: (the last so-called “therapist” that we both saw together for over 2 1/2 years is who my ex decided to be with, after thinking that he had hidden this fact from me; she lost her license due to my complaints to her boards of certification): just how can people searching for therapeutic help navigate around these toxic so-called therapists who are out there solely to get someone?

    1. I’m sorry that happened to you, Cathy. You’re right that a therapist should never cross that line with a client as it is against our code of ethics and an abuse of power. When looking for a therapist, I would encourage you to do a little digging. Ask friends for recommendations. What kind of online reviews do these people have? You can ask any therapist to do a free consultation which they may or may not do but it always helps to inquire. Remember YOU are interviewing them. Book a session and then tune into your intuition to see if you have any warning signs go off- do you feel comfortable and like you could let go and trust this person? Do you feel safe? Do they have experience in the area that you specifically want to work on? You may have to go to more than one therapist before you find one that you groove with and you feel like you can be comfortable with, and that’s ok! When you say it was a “so-called” therapist, was this person lacking credentials and/or experience? Did you have red flags about the therapist that you can look for in the future? You can also check to see that they have a license in good standing by checking with the state licensing board of the state you’re located. There are many great and helpful therapists out there, and don’t let one bad apple ruin the entire bunch for you. I am sending you so much strength.

  25. Thank you. I am considering laying all my cards on the table with my wife to be honest about my feelings for my ex partner and how much she means to me, I appreciate this will not be met with smiles and happiness however My expectation is truth will be acknowledged..and I owe her that. Do you believe this is a good idea ?

    1. You are the only person that can decide what is a good idea for you. You know what is best for you, and I would encourage you to tune into your inner wisdom. You may also find it helpful to seek a counselor or therapist to talk to someone that can really get to know you and your situation. I am sending you so much strength.

  26. I really hope this gets read and at the same time i am scared to actually write this but here goes..
    I have been married for 12 years. It was a great relationship at the start and it was a big move for her coming from India. however she never really adapted to learning more English and being able to converse freely or generally getting to grips with the culture. I then met somebody at work where we both fell for each other. I told her everything about my current status i never lied and also was honest enough to say there was a baby on the way and I was expecting her to just leave this situation before it got deeper..but she didn’t. she fell in love with me…and hard.
    We had been together just over 5 years and it was amazing, so many memories made and holidays etc. actually found a soulmate for each other. things were hard in between of course in a situation like that and during these 5 years I have hurt her by certain things I have said or by my actions. Things got really bad this year as I embarked on a fitness journey which shifted my focus from her and I was less sociable, we didn’t do as many date nights etc. She decided to change herself because of how things were and petty arguments started happening…very frequently.

    it got so bad that she put us on a break. my wife started having doubts her existence in my life as we decided to do property investment together which wasn’t taken to kindly at first. but then my wife got really nasty and left her a vile voicemail. i think this was the start of things going badly wrong.

    I was very moved and hurt by the break because I was so eager to make things right as I didn’t want to be apart from her for too long..i dealt with things sometimes in completely the wrong way. i would end up saying the wrong thing and just not listen as I was desperate to make it right..I hurt her badly with things I was saying..I ended up saying I dont know if I could actually leave my kids and wife as I was scared but I didn’t want to lose her…I know I cant have it both ways. I was losing my mind..she was hurt and I was unable to come up with answers.

    my wife was also making it difficult at home. she didn’t actually know but had her suspicions. I was sinning i know this. but my partner was someone I really loved ..someone that I wish was my wife …but I was scared for what would happen..how would my kids feel ..she made things really horrid for me. really got nasty ..each time I tried getting closer she would erupt over small things (due to the hurt or something would trigger it off) and we would be arguing.

    I then suggested that I start looking at jobs away from where we reside, to move away and have a new job will give me more flexibility and we could live together to see where this relationship goes. living in secret wasn’t helping and in effect “running away” to another city would give us some freedom to be ourselves. she asked a lot of questions and I wasn’t able to provide answers. no answers to how it would happen. it was an idea. and I was desperate to make things work , slowly yes but surely it was a method to lessen the pain I was looking to give the kids I would be away from them.

    I did suggest that grudgingly we needed solid time apart..to heal …to actually get over this bitterness. but after much debating and more time passing..she has decided that i must be now divorced if we were ever to have anything together again …no time has been solidly spent apart without contact..constantly reminding me of my mistakes..im trying to change , really am. i maintain my love for her and time apart would allow me to reset. be in a better position financially and job wise which has been depressing for me but she is making things very difficult. we are very possessive of each other and protective too. but she mocked me recently and said some horrid things whilst I was in tears…yet tells me she will always love me and isn’t interested in finding someone else…I really am torn..on one hand a wife that would probably walk through fire for me but I struggle to have that happiness with her that my partner/GF was able to give me for 5 years …a soulmate..someone I am finding really hard to let go…I genuinely just do not know where I am going from here…

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and for being so vulnerable here. It is brave to tell the truth. I am witnessing you and sending you strength for your journey.

  27. Hi Terri! I searched “why am I still angry/devastated with my ex husband” & your article came up. I cannot thank you enough for your insight. It has been profound for me. I’m still deeply wounded 12 years after I left my ex. It turned out the Man I loved with my heart & soul didn’t actually exist. There were some truths but the commitment to have children & love each other forever was based on lies. He had a secret life & I’ve felt the man I loved died the day his extreme deceit was revealed. All of this happened during our youngest son’s terminal illness diagnosis & treatment. Why am I still so angry? I don’t want to feel anything about him. He is still a disappointing person/father & cant seem to cope as adult. I don’t want to feel so deeply hurt anymore. I feel like I’m still trying to work out what was real & who did I actually love?
    I am continuing with your exercise of pros/cons & I has helped reveal some truths. My son is terminally ill again 14 years later & I think this trauma is resurfacing due to the worry & being so alone through being a single parent when a child is ill. My ex was there the last time but hasn’t had anything to do with my son’s needs since before we split.
    Any advice on exercises to free my entangled spirit & heal it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so very much

    1. Josie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry that you experienced all this. Of course you have lots of emotions, you have dealt with loss of love and a terminally ill child. I encourage you to find ways to release your anger, because holding on to it is only poisoning you. Have you tried writing a letter to him to express all of your feelings towards him and what has happened? Write it all out, get all your feels and hurt on the page. When you are done, burn the letter and let it go. If you have a trusted friend to be witness to this process, all the better. I’m sending you much love and strength.

  28. Thank you for your article Terri! I can feel a bit of easier to move on.

    However, it is so difficult to move on after two years without contacting each other and now we work in the same place. I can feel the rage deep inside me emerging like waves! I feel so much rage and hatred inside me! I’m so lost, confused and don’t know how to move on with this obsession.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story here with us, Thanh. Sometimes writing out how you’re feeling can help. Also, if you can get into therapy it will accelerate your healing and releasing the anger. I am sending you good vibes!

  29. Terri,

    For me it’s my first experience, I was a relationship for 5 years and married for two years the last one short story I thought she was the best wife. she was. I thought we were good. then next thing you know one day she left saying nothing that she needs time then, post a new relationship on her status. she said its due date she left home but investigating it was a new relationship. I beg she treat me like trash. well, I let her treat me like that because I went back and beg. like if I was the one that did wrong. then she just became someone unknown. and I try everything but honestly haven’t kept it on the process. I’m very impatient and want the thing to happen at the moment won’t lie. but I don’t know what I feel. I don’t anything bad happen to her, we still talk once while making sure she’s okay but then she starts acting like a victim that her fault all this bs that I didn’t deserve this ect. so I stay away from her for awhile. then I go back check she’s okay. I don’t hate her or I don’t know care for her want best. but wen she try talk to me i feel like all lies idk. honestly, I don’t know its about to be a year and all I want to just leave everything in the past. let her be happy, as I will be happy. but just try everything writing, I even send the self-emails when I want to talk shit to her why-why. I keep asking why if I know I was always open with her told her just communicate with me but never cheat. idk I’m so lost or just an excuse is not let go keep being there I always said I’m not victim shit happens but I behave like one regress. i am bull of shit all i want let her go for good.

    1. Monica, I’m witnessing you through this difficult time and sending you such compassion. You’re not alone, mama, and you deserve to be happy.

  30. Not sure if you still check this site or would be willing to talk to on phone or email. Wont detail here but i have been in a tough spot for many years. 12 years, 5 children, 7yo,6yo,4yo, 3yo, and 10months. 2 girls 3 boys. Wife to be. Manipulated me, mentally abused me, lied to medicade and benifets office. I never knew till i owed ,$4,500+ a few weeks ago. I did have good job and quit to help with kids and be stay at home dad for over 3 years. She continued to lie about money. Kept having relations with many guys. I found out about most of them because i started snooping. She lied and had me arrested for family violence but i got it dismissed. She said i choked her while she was pregnant. And no i honestly never in my life put my hands on her in an aggressive or controling way. She did unspeakable things behind my back. I lived with both her parents, her and our 5 kids. Her older sister lives next door with her 5 kids and hubby. I do so much to help her parents and her side of family. Alot. I take care of loose ends and think about what would help them in their daily routine. She walked out of our children’s evaluations, school meetings, hospital visits. Never truley involved herself in the family WE created. I have been a Dad and a Mom. Everything for them plus extras. Please. I need to get all this out of my head and put my story on paper in a correct way. She has been worse these past 4 months and its getting worse. I did alot of nice things for her that anyone in their right mind would never do if they were treated like she treated me constantly and i could never talk about it EVEN in a calm sensible reasonable way at the right time without her saying “quit throwing things in my face”. And i should trust her. Im lying. Im the crazy one. She even told me that she is invincible and noone is going to do anything about it. She is so messef up. I think about running away. I think about suicide. I think about making her dissapear or suffer tremendously. But im better than that. Im smarter than that. I know in my heart that i am the best thing for raising my children. Alot of people saw how big of a change in my kids ever since i moved in and been a stay at home dedicated parent of FIVE KIDS! Ahhhh! Let mr tell ya. Im a hard worker. Contruction doing Commercial doors and BIG expensive jobs. 20+story buildings, schools, hospitals. 2000+ 170lb on average doors and all the hardware being a co-foreman running the job and crew. Working 99hours in 6 days type hours. No overtime. 1099 straight pay. And sometimes taking care of the kids by myself with no help 90% of the time; i even get very tired and needing an army to help. Lol. Im very openrd minded. Helpful. Wise. Dumb at times but adkit mistakes. Ask questions till i figure things iut. Inspiration to other familys. My oldest has Autism. The mother is embarrassed and talks down about him. Her parents are aware of alot. But choose to take her side. All the time. Even when she wasted over $2,000 for her and her sister to fly from texas to boston Massachusetts to see Eminem in concert. And lied to me. New nice car, every income tax she files for the kids and gets over $10,000 in bank. Plus lives at her parents. Hardly is there only to sleep, eat, cause drama. Doesnt cook. Doesnt clean. Doesnt wash clothes. Nothing. Never interacts with the kids. She been recently doing Heroin, Meth, pills, weed, letting drug dealers drive her car that she still pays on. $6000 left till its paid. She helped them break into her new boyfriends house and steal about $5000 worth of electronics. Involved in a hit and run THEY ARE STILL DOING THINGS WITH EACH OTHER. She never got in trouble. She stays at hotels over night with random people. Sleeps in her car with people. Threatend me and my side of family. Saying to my 60 year old dad to go hang himself. She broke his window on his house and tried to kick the front door in. And so many MANY MANY MANY wrongful things. I really need REAL help. Im honest to the bones. The kids are hurt over this in a way. But they are safe and fine. Better than most actually. My 7 year old daughter will vouch for me on everything because im not going to lie about this. She is fucked up in the head and needs to change alot and make up for her actions but that i think still wont matter. Please. Someone. That has to be someone in this world that will look at the evidence, investigate, professional and has the pay grade level and experience to help me because im trying to get back workiny again, broken transmission in truck, living back with my dad, owe alot of money to attorney general due to her lies. I dont want to bash on her or say ANYTHING thats not true. Help. Please. Im scared and she has gone too far latley. I dont deserve this in my life. Im a great person. Actually realluly freaking awesome anf even a super dad. Really. Im thankful my 7yo is very very smart. And sees who is who and who does what and how. Sorry this is long. Hope someone will read all this and see what i been going through for years. I have so much to say and need to release. I need someone i can hug tightly and cry for as long as i need to. I need professional legal representation that will work with me on payments issues. I PROMISE IT WILL BE THE BEST RIGHT THING A LAWYER OR JUDGE WILL EVER DO FOR SOMEONE. i can prove my statements 100%. Thanks for reading.

    1. Rusty,
      I am witnessing your painful situation with so much compassion and understanding. Please get yourself into therapy. It is on you to find a way out and I know that you can do it. Look for legal and mental health agencies that work pro bono with people in need. YOu can also contact the National Association of Social Workers to find a clinic in your area http://www.helpstartshere.org/helpstartshere/?page_id=3677 I am sending you strength and protection from NYC!

  31. Thanks for the article it kind of helps although I feel my situation maybe a little different. A long time ago I dated a young woman for over a year. We never really made any commitment to each other buy went out as friends. She dated other guys I dated other girls but always seemed be together. I eventually fell hard for her but she did not seem to feel the same for me. She enlisted in the military and at the point she went to boot camp for various reasons I thought it was over. I moved on with my life met someone else and started a relationship with them. On christmas eve of that year she shows back up. She Is very upset that i am seeing someone else. Says I should have known how she felt although she never said anything to make me believe we had a future. I was very confused and upset. New girlfriends there, I still have feelings for old one. It was the craziest situation i have ever been in. I had to make a choice that did not seem fair. I know I made the right one but did not feel that way at the time. I hated being put in that position. I ended up marrying second girl and we are still together, but ex still creeps into my mind from time to time.

    1. Sounds like you missed a bullet so to speak, Charles. That level of dysfunctional communication (like she thought you should know when she didn’t tell you) is a set up for a future of pain and misery. Sometimes we can wax nostalgic about a past person but the thought or fantasy paints a picture that is way different (and better in the fantasy) than real life. Thank you for sharing here with us. I am sending you and your wife all the best 😉

  32. Hi Terry

    I am here not because i am angry, but because my ex is angry at me. To be honest, i have forgiven him and i am plainly sad, he broke up with me cause he found “many problems” in our relationship, which problems he doesnt want to mention and each time i try to understand, he gets angry. The main problem is FB and his attitude there, which, after the breakup, became way worse. He acts like an addict and he is going a bit far with his comments on women he doesnt know. Each time i mention it, he gets angry. The same time, he has admitted that he loves me, that he cares about me, that he wants me as a woman and that he would be desperate to touch me if i was anywhere closer. I tell him to go on holidays and gets angry again. And each time he gets angry, he tells me “as time goes by, i see more and more clearly that we dont really match”. What is going on? Please help me to understand…

    1. I am sorry to hear about your painful situation. You will never be able to understand his motives (he probably doesn’t either) Please value yourself enough to move on- this guy is stringing you along and seems to not care that you are hurt or sad and likes to punish you. Your time would be better spent to understand why you still want to be in a relationship with someone who acts this way. You deserve better, my dear. Block him on FB and move on with your one of a kind, beautiful life-would be my heartfelt advice xo

  33. I really liked your article, and I am struggling with letting go. I don’t hate my ex but my heart is broken, and he has made me feel like a joke, like I was nothing like our relationship was nothing, and its caused me to hold on to a lot of pain, anger, sadness and fear. I’m ready to move forward, to find my happiness again but its been really hard to watch him just move on and I am not able to do the same.
    You said you wanted us to post one good thing about our ex, and while I’m sitting here thinking, I thought I would have more good things to say, I guess one of his good points was that he could make me laugh.
    I don’t know maybe I’m just hurt more over losing the person who I thought was my best friend, that I was going to grow old with, now I’m 44 starting over from scratch, we sold our home and now I’m in a 495 sq ft apartment, I paid the mortgage on our home since the day we moved in but everything was under his name so of course he got all the credit, but when I found out his son, my step son needed to come up with a certain amount of money for school I told my ex to keep my half and help him with his school, I didn’t even get a thank you from my ex. My ex’s birthday was recently I wanted to get him something and a card, not trying to get him back, just wanted to make sure he got something for his birthday, didn’t even get a thank you for that. I told him that I was tired of feeling like nothing, like our time together was nothing, that I just wanted to feel better, and his only response was that he appreciated my heart. I devoted myself to him for 6 years, loved him, stood by him, took care of him and our home, was loyal, faithful and devoted, I wasn’t perfect and i did and said things that I’m not proud of but i was loyal and i loved him and he cheated on me and then told me because we were separated that is wasn’t cheating.
    So honestly I guess I’m more hurt and angry and sad because I feel like I gave up the last 6 years for nothing except I appreciate your heart!
    Am I wrong for feeling the way that I do, for being so angry with him, like I said I don’t hate him, I still love him but is it that I’m really this upset over the marriage being over or because of the position he has put me in, or the fact that he has nothing more to say then I appreciate your heart? I just want to feel good again, to find happiness again, I do have a good life and I am very thankful for my life, I even still say thank you everyday to God for him, and I pray everyday for his safety. Is there something wrong with me?

  34. Terri,
    I came across your article because I’m just mentally in a bad place. I married the women I loved almost 9 years ago. She had a son from a previous relationship, but he was very young and his father was out of the relationship, so I adopted him. We also had a daughter early in our marriage. About 4 years ago she left me because we were fighting a lot, I had moved to where she’s from for work so she could be by her family. We were headed to divorce, but after a month of being separated, we reconciled, and we relocated for my work to another state. I had to do 6 month work rotations overseas, and on my 2nd out of 3 rotations, she told me she had an affair with a co-worker right before we separated. This was almost 2 years ago. This struck me to the core, I was overseas when she told me and was devastated. I came back and we did counseling. We fought a lot because of the infidelity and it wasn’t the same, but I tried to make it work for my kids. About 8 months ago I was on my last rotation overseas, and we got into a fight over text. It ended with her leaving me and taking my kids back to where she’s from. Because I’m active duty military, I didn’t have a prayer to get custody, but had to settle for 3 months out of the year. I can’t get out and relocate to live by my kids because I have 5 years left in the service. She started dating a guy a couple weeks after leaving me. I tried to reconcile so my kids could have both parents in their lives, but she didn’t tell me at the time she was with someone else already. I feel betrayed by her on multiple occassions. She left saying it was temporary and we could work it out, but now she’s on her 2nd boyfriend. I’ve said some horrible things to her and don’t want to reconcile since she started seeing other people so fast. I feel so betrayed, and anger at her, and just hate for what she did to me and my kids. She seems fine already with someone else and I’m here just depressed and miserable everyday. I need help beca use I’m not doing well with this all. How do I get over this hateful feeling and anger towards her and get back to where I was as a person? I feel like a shell of what I was, I’m just so devastated and depressed with losing my family. I don’t really have friends because I devoted myself to my family, it’s like completely starting over in life. Thanks, Jesse

    1. Jesse,
      I am witnessing your painful process with so much compassion. You have already given her enough of YOU -time to get the help you need to be able to move on so you can still be a good Dad to your kids. Can you find professional help through the military? I really think seeing a skilled therapist will be your fastest route to healing and feeling whole and happy. I am sending you so much strength to choose you!

  35. im so sorry. im sorry. is that all you can say Terri Cole?

    It is best to cut ties with your ex, if you have had a bad relationship time will heal that wound.

    But.. what if you have to share custody of children. You cant cut ties with the asshole. What do you do then??? My ex is a woman bashing pig and he assaults his current girlfriend IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN. What do you do then, Terrri Cole.

    Why dont you spend your time petitioning the law reform commission instead of wasting your time counselling these wimps who have NO CHILDREN and can easily escape and just forget with time?

    1. Susan,
      I am sorry to hear about your painful experience with your ex. Your anger is understandable. I don’t spend my time petitioning law reform because I am a therapist, not a lawyer and have all kinds of people, with and without children, with and without an abusive situation, as my audience. I am sorry the blog was not helpful for your specific situation.

  36. After 25 years of marrige and me being unemployed for a year my wife filed for divorce. It was finalized today. I have to moved in with a family member 1200 miles away. I don’t hate my exwife. I hate the situation that I am in. I am hurt. She is being too nice as I pack to leave. My kids 20 and 15 won’t talk to me as they have in the past. I just want to curl up in a ball and forget life.

    1. Dear William,
      I am so sorry to hear about your painful situation. In time your new normal will reveal it’self and you will heal. I am sending you strength for the next chapter and hope you will get some help to get through it with ease and grace.

  37. hey Terri …my story is kind of different ….
    i was in a 3 years of relationship…there was a girl who falled for me ..i rejected her several times because of her family background..
    after 2 years of rejection ….i couldnt resist her love i was madly in love with her ..we were together for years …..then suddenly she breakups with me saying her family wont accept me …ad after that the period of me explaiing her that we will figure out something…she got so cold distinct….even she says harsh words…and even says if her family accepts me she doesnt love me anymore….plzz help me wth this

    1. I am sorry to hear about your painful situation, Rohan. It sounds like you have done all you can at the moment. If she says her feelings have changed you have to take her word for it. I think to move on with your own life so you can at some point find love again is your next right action. Sending you so much strength for your healing journey.

  38. My ex and I were best friends,and after te break-up, we remained friends for a year and a half. We didn’t see each other often, but I always enjoyed her company, and valued her friendship a lot. Now her new boyfriend is jealous, and to “keep the peace” she has told me she can’t talk to me or see me anymore. I am comfortable with the fact that she has a new man in her life, but WTF. I am angry at him for being so insecure, and at her for being so weak and not defending and valuing our friendship enough to set him straight. It is very painful.

    1. Thanks for sharing here with us, Matt. It is a complicated scenario for some people. I had the same experience and it bummed me out but I respected the boundaries that were drawn. I am sorry you are suffering but I can tell you from experience…this too shall pass. Sending you soothing, healing energy.

  39. Great article! My ex and I were involved in a long-distance relationship and he came to visit me for the third time two weeks ago. We are both in our 40s. Prior to him coming here, we talked about getting married and he wanted me to move to his state. He has had some health problems, full custody of a teenage son and he lives with his parents. When he arrived he seemed “off” and was very tired and very emotional. We celebrated my birthday together, stayed over night and had a fantastic day. The following day, day 4/9 of his visit, we attempted to talk about the future. He got upset because I said I was uncomfortable staying at his parents house and meeting his family for the first time He said I was just respecting his mother (though I said nothing about her directly) and he broke up with me. He threatened to go home but stayed the night He decided to stay the next day and we were having a nice time, however I went to kiss him and he. said that we were broken up. I started crying because I had no idea what was going on and why he even came to see me, spend a lot of money – if that was somewhere in his mind. He completely flipped out, said he was done and he left. It was completely unexpected and abrupt I know there’s not another woman or anything like that, well, except maybe his mother He went home, early. I contacted him 2 weeks later and basically told him good luck and best wishes and it was kind I still don’t even know what I did wrong. Even though I don’t think he deserves my kindness. He replied almost immediately and send me a very long email telling me all the things I have done wrong in the course of a year, most old issues I thought we worked through. I have my own list too, though I would never present it to him because I let go at the time I don’t have any anger towards him though I think I should because I know it will only hurt me. My question to you is Why is he so mad? His email to me was just plain bitter and mean He broke up with me, shouldn’t he be relieved. Why lash out? He has completely destroyed our relationship.

    1. Summer,
      Thank you for sharing here with us. YOU didn’t do anything wrong. People are coming from their own past experiences that if they have not worked through them in therapy or someplace, really drive what happens in the relationship. You had every right to tell him you were not comfortable moving in with his mother and I think that was a very wise thing to share with him. He clearly felt threatened by that and has some connection to his mother that you would be competing with even if you didn’t want to. Try to see the gems of wisdom from this experience and know that why he was so mad is HIS problem. The lack of compassion he showed for you and the abrupt ending all indicate a person with some deep-rooted problems who has the capacity to really do damage. I say learn and move on because you my dear, don’t deserve that type of treatment. xo

  40. Nice article, and interesting exercise, but I don’t believe there’s any saving me from hating my ex. First love, huge damage, I forgave, then bigger damage.. If I wrote down the entire story, you’d recommend I seek therapy! LOL.. I’ve moved on, and am married now, but for some strange reasons, all the ghosts of my past with her have been haunting me for the last 3 years, and I’ve no idea why since we haven’t spoken in 16 years!. Things that blatantly scream her name to me have been popping up at the weirdest times, almost like the universe is saying that I need to speak with her, but I have chosen not to. I’ve bookmarked this, and maybe i’ll keep on trying, maybe i’ll find some peace…. .

    1. Thanks for sharing here with us Michael. Maybe it is the universe Saying it’s time to release That old experience….Perhaps ask yourself What your secondary game is By holding onto it.

  41. My ex is a drug addict a liar and a thief we were married for 14 years been together for 16 I had four of my own children and she had four of her own children I thought it was a marriage made in heaven until I found out that she’s on drugs and I tried everything in my power to change her but I could not and it tore my family apart it tore me apart it destroyed everything that I know. We’ve been apart for about 8 months now life could not be any better for me and my family repairing everything was very hard I love that woman with all I had but you cannot change anybody they have to change their self and they have to want it. You can pray and you can try to help but there’s only so much you can do before it destroys you you are your own person and you have to be happy life is too short. I am ready to love again and to be loved I am a Scorpio very passionate and that’s what clouded my mind. Good luck God bless you

    1. Mark,
      Thank you so much for sharing here with us. Good for you for moving on and focussing on your healing and your kids. I have had many experiences with loving addicts and the most real quote I ever heard was, “Addicts don’t have relationships, they take hostages.” since you have been there, you know what I mean. It truly is an illness but you are so right that YOU cannot change anyone but yourself. I am sending you strength, courage and good vibes. Keep up the great work!

  42. Thank you for the article but I don’t think I can write the “good” side yet. I’m afraid I’ll want her back if I think of anything good. You see on Xmas I found out my aunt died and then my gf opened my presents and dumped me. Said she was done trying and she faked a lot of the relationship. I paid all the bills, took care of her daughter while she was at work or class or even out to the bars and casino with her friend. She’s even hit me 4 times in the last few months and I forgave her. I left for Chicago after she dumped me
    And I found out about my aunt and she already has a new gf which she was talking to before she dumped me and this new girl has already been at my house while I’m away. It was this information that moved me from the pathetic maybe she will want me back to the I don’t want her at all. If I think of anything good I’ll be back to crying every other second. We still live together and I have to go home on New Years and see her, and her new gf who she cheated me on with. When should I make that good side ? When will I be able to do that and not want her back ? I truly don’t want to be revengeful and go back to being a dark soul like I was as a teen. I’ve worked very hard to be the person I am today. So when do I do this ?

    1. Sarah-
      Thanks for sharing here. This is an exercise to do after you you figure out your living situation and time has passed. I am hoping you will NOT be living with your ex for very long as that will be a huge block to moving on in your life. You are currently in an emotional crisis about this -which is not the time to try to heal the wound. You need to get through it and try to understand why you stayed with someone who showed such little regard for you. You most def deserve better but until YOU truly believe that -it will be difficult to create it. Focus on you, make an exit strategy (or ask her to leave) so you can get on with healing. I am sending you strength.

  43. Hi Terri
    I cant get over the anger for my wife or soon to be ex wife. Last year I cheated on her with this woman. I found comfort in this woman so the cheating went on for a few months. So after I told her the whole story. I remember that night she told me about two Facebook affairs she had. Both in a sexual way but online. We went through hell at that time trying to forgive each other and at the beginning of this year I started to really forgive her. She couldn’t get over my affair so we separated for a month or two. I remember telling her that I she decides to come back to me that she need to make absolutely sure she can forgive me. I even said we need to seek professional help so we can handle this properly. So after n few months she said she can live without me but she still loves me to much. So we got back together and I really tried my best to make things work for us. She also did her side but after a while things went cold from her side. But we were definitely in a healing path. Things really started to look good between us. Sept this year we we got invited to this birthday party. I didn’t want to go because my boss would have been there. I dont have anything against him but just felt uncomfortable with him in my friend circle. So we ended up going that night. Long story short we had a argument that night and she took an Uber home with a few friends and I stayed behind. I followed after a hour. Thats when she cheated on me inside my house. We have two kids and she moved out. I was willing to forgive her for that and still will but she keeps on saying she’s confused. Fair so I gave her the space she needed. But a month ago I told her that I cant fight alone anymore and need to move on. The divorce is still in her hands and Im still willing to reconcile if she decide to move back. But Im sitting with allot of anger for that woman and cant move on because of that. Not because she’s breaking up our family but also of her actions. In my eyes divorce with children and in our situation is and will be the most unnatural thing we can ever do. Sure I had my faults which I own up to but look at our situation. Surely there is a healing change in our marriage. Is there really happiness after a divorce? Because we might think we are happy but think about any divorced couple and I tell you know of such cases.Happiness will never really be there in such situations. Not just for the kids but deep down in you self centeredness you will feel the regret. Make your first marriage work people because that’s the only happy one you truly will have ever.

    1. John,
      Thank you for sharing your story here with us. I agree that when you have kids together, doing everything you can to repair the marriage is the way to go, if it’s possible. It sounds to me like you have really done a lot to try to make it work. The one thought I have is to really try to inspire her to go to therapy with you- even if it is to break up in the best way for the children. You can find a therapist and tell her that the person can help either way- to stay together or to split -doing the least amount of damage to the kids and each other. Sending you strength and good energy.

  44. Hi Terri-
    I have been divorced for 5 years. I feel like I have moved on and I am in a MUCH better place now than I was. I went back to school. I have focused on my 3 kids. I feel, for the most part, happy and at peace about the way things are right now. My ex and I have tried reconciling a number of times. For me, getting divorced was never an issue of not loving him. I was just unwilling to continue living the way we were. I have dated, but haven’t ever felt the kind of connection I felt with my ex husband. I have hope that I will find love again one day. I feel like that while I still harbor some resentment for things that happened in the past, my hatred for my ex stems from things he’s doing now. He has a girlfriend. He broke up with her at one point saying he still loved me and didn’t feel “chemistry” with her. But he immediately went back to her after we tried to reconcile and failed again because I didn’t see any significant change in him. Most of my bitterness comes from him his lack of responsibility for our 3 kids. He pays a minimal amount of child support ($267 per child, to be exact) and refuses to help with any extras such as school fees, dance, gymnastics, piano lessons, tutoring, etc… He knows that the best way to hurt me is financially. Because I’m in school, I am only working part time and finances are so tight. I don’t speak to him. I wish he’d just fall off the planet. But because we share 3 kids, we inevitably cross paths more often than I would like. I feel like, if he took more responsibility financially for our kids, than I wouldn’t have this hatred for him. I still wouldn’t like him, but I wouldn’t hate him the way I do. Can you offer any advice on detaching from that?

    1. Thank you for sharing your story here with us. Working on cutting the negative attachment between you by actively releasing your hated. You know that holding onto it only hurts you but it also KEEPS you attached to him. Check out this post about a Hawaiian ritual prayer that can help you release the anger and cut the negative cord between you. http://projectlifemastery.com/hooponopono-prayer-for-healing/ Also keep searching yourself and doing your own healing work to stay strong for your kids. You are doing a great job!

  45. Hello Terri, I’ve been divorced for almost 2 years and I have talked to friends, strangers, professionals, and read every single thing I can find to help me release my anger and rage towards my ex husband. But, your article hit me right away. I could feel the anger releases when I started to read it. It is something that I want so badly, and I know would not only help me but my daughter. I feel like I’ve been in a living hell for so long and trying so desperately to hold my life together, that I question my sanity most days. I was friends w my ex for 12 years before we dated, and once we feel in love, that was it for me. I was 37, and had found, the one. We had only dated for 8 myths before I got pregnant and then soon were married. I thought all was perfect, he was a musician, and a music business owner and very successful and hardworking. Everything I wanted ,.. except he was also an alcoholic. I didn’t know it until a few years into the marriage, but there was a lot of signs I should have seen that I thought were just him releasing stress from work. I found myself having pains in my gut with worry for him and of him( never physically but verbally) .We never had things easy.. his father died soon after our daughter was born, then his mom, and he started to drink more than ever , all the while functioning at his job. Then our daughter became ill w a rare disease, which caused heart disease. We both were so worried and scared and my depression and anxiety took over. I focused everything on her. The strain on our marriage became more intense, he would say horrible things to me and then I would pull away and not want to be intimate w him after he talked so badly about me. We began to go months without sex, then a year. And he kept saying mean things, and I just couldn’t let myself be w him , even though I loved him deeply. And soon that rage grew and grew and then there was an event where he was drunk w our daughter and I threatened to leave.. he went to AA and became sober.. but the damage was done.. I didn’t know how to fix it and then he told me he was leaving.. I have never felt such pain in my life. I knew why but I wanted so badly for our family to get through it and become stronger.. but he wouldn’t try.. it killed me inside .. He had no remorse, no pain whatsoever.. he started to date very quickly and then started dated a good friend of mine of 30 yes and is still dating her and have moved in… this only made my anger and pain worse .. each time I try to move forward, but I’m stuck.. I am so deeply hurt.. and it is all consuming.. I have not gone on a single date.. mainly because I’m still in love with him. I know it is over, but my heart won’t let me … I am begging for release from this pain.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story here with us, Kimberley. I am sorry to hear about your painful situation. You know it is time to move on and it seems the question is, HOW? Focus on understanding yourself and processing your pain with a therapist so you can heal. Betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow but the only way to move on is to release people. Focus on things that make you happy and getting to really know and care for yourself before you think about dating. Him moving on so quickly and with your friend, is about HIM not YOU. That is his karma to work out. Stay in your lane. Focus on your own happiness and it will come. I am rooting for you!

  46. Your article is great! My ex-fiance and I broke up 2 years ago for a reason that we are toxic due to lack of communication because of LDR. He’s tired of my nagging and felt belittled that he backed out and wanted space. I was so afraid to lose him that I begged him to come back but he said we need to be away from each other. That’s the time I started to store up resentment towards him because he is my bestfriend and that incident causes my confidence and security to fall. I was so dependent to him that I dont know what to do next with my life. After 3 months, I met my first love who happened to be the reason why we became bestfriends with my ex-fiancee and started to fling until we became couple again. My ex-fiancee was devastated as he thought we can still mend our relationship and it was just a space. However, just a month after ni contact with my ex-fiancee, i foubd myself missing him so much that I broke up with my then boyfriend that time. Up until now, these two guys are trying to win me back but I don’t know whom to choose- the first love who is succesful and do great lengths to have me whom I cant love fully because of my feelings for ex-fiancee or the ex fiancee whom I cared too much but traumatized also that he would hurt me again and face my resentments towards him. Whom to choose?

    1. Only you know the right choice for you. Keep working on yourself because self knowledge, self love and self understanding will lead you to the right relationship. Thanks for sharing here. I am rooting for you!

  47. Hi Terri,

    My list of my ex-wife has one goos thing and one bad thing. She gave me my daughter, the good. The bad, she cheated and divorced me. Now I only see ny daughter half the time, I struggle to get by and can barely afford to do anything. Meanwhile, she recently bought a new house and car, got back from her 4th Disney vacation with our daughter and next year will take our daughter to Iceland. The only negative she experienced for what she did was bein unemployed for 9 months, where she lived comfortably with her father.

    In short, until karma proivdes visible evidence of balancing the scales, I have a hard time forgiving.

    1. Jason,
      Thank you for sharing here with us. I know it is challenging to stop comparing your experiences but please try. Let’s re-frame forgiveness to be releasing yourself from resentment prison because that is what I really want you to do. Focus on your daughter and the life you can build now. Her karma is her deal. You have a chance to heal, I hope you take it.

  48. Hi Terri,

    My wife cheated on me with on one of my best friends. I tried to save the marriage for about a year, but it turns out she had been in contact with him throughout and kept lying to me about it the whole time. She came up with a list of all the issues I have and the reasons why she did what she did; essentially blaming me for it, eventually saying she didn’t love me anymore so we are separated. She never once apologized. I stayed in the house; she moved out 4 months ago. I have young children and am trying my best to be a good co-parent but I feel a mixture of sadness and lately anger. My friends tell me they have been waiting for me to get angry because I never did and they question how I could still have feelings for someone who treated me with such dis-respect. I want to move on, but feel stuck. I am lonely, isolated, am losing interest in activities (sports) I used to play etc. I am dating, but realized I was just looking for validation that I’m lovable. I do find the conversations and support I’m finding through dating other divorced people helps, but I try not to talk about past relationships and just be present. I know people say I shouldn’t date, but I don’t like being alone when the kids are not at home. Lastly, my ex has made me drive everything; filing, writing a settlement agreement, finding a mediator, etc etc. I’ve gotten to the point where it is practically final, but she doesn’t respond to emails etc to finish it off, which makes me incredibly angry. I feel that it is OK to be angry in a way right now because it feels better sometimes than being sad. I do feel that people are pulling away from me because they don’t know what to say and/or I’m probably not that fun to be around (I live in a very family oriented small town that she is from). I also want to tell my ex-friend’s wife all the details I found out because I feel that she has a right to know everything that I do. I’m not sure if that is the right move, but I feel that I was betrayed by a good friend (aside from my ex) and that he should accept responsibility for what he has done. Any and all input is greatly appreciated!

    1. Tom,
      Your anger is completely normal and yes it does feel better to be angry than sad at times. I think you have a right to tell your ex friends wife about their betrayal but I would wait until your divorce is settled. Are you considering moving away from your soon to be ex’s home town? I know you have kids so maybe not too far but it cold be really helpful to establish a separate life in a new town. Wishing you so much good luck and sending strength.

  49. Hey Terri,
    I just read your article, I almost cried because it reminded me of her.

    I had a 3-year relationship(my first) with this girl and it ended the worst kind of way, from my part and her as well (I think hers were more severe). I’m now in the state of putting up a “wall” and not really looking for anybody and I feel no reason to look forward to future partners.
    That breaking killed that side of me .

    I know not everybody the same and I need to meet people to be happy in that way.
    I just can’t seem to taking that step in the near future.
    I’m not thinking about her often now and I have things that makes me busy so I might be on the right way.
    Still, sometimes loneliness hit me. I feel like I can never be intimate with a partner anymore.

    I don’t want you to misunderstand that I totally resent her or hate her from my gut.
    But even after 3-4 years after the breakup, it still makes me feel sad and terrible (yea in the gut) when I can see her online (not like I constanly checking on her, most often was in a 1/2 year – year). Can I ever stop this feeling? This utter bitter and sad feeling.

    Ps.: I’m sorry for the long reply. I think I needed to dump my thought somewhere.

    1. Lam,
      Thanks for sharing here with us. Your first serious break up can be devastating and take time to integrate into your life. I want you to learn from what you experienced tho, for you. What would you do different? What would you never tolerate again? What behavior do you regret? If you can journal out these questions, you might learn something more about yourself that can help you move on, actively. I am sending you healing energy. Remember, moving on is for you and holding a grudge or swearing off love because of her only hurts you (and I feel like you have had enough pain around this situation.) So commit to healing and moving on because you deserve healthy, vibrant romantic love in your life 😉

  50. I feel like I got the short end of the stick, and am still furious.

    I am struggling financially. I don’t have time to do my work properly. My ex-wife lives four hours away, doesn’t work, and because of imbalanced divorce laws, has more money than I do. She won’t visit our kids. She won’t call them, other than one time a year on their birthdays. They are old enough to drive and can call her or drive to see her, but visit her typically only twice a year for four days or so, and rarely call her.

    We lost a child (and then, unbelievably, had a flood a month later). Within a day, she was exploding at me as I ran the funeral (I run terrible funerals, obviously, and my reports to her about what the police and the coroner and the funeral director and her priest told me were rewarded with rage; I even got yelled at for asking her mother if she had had a good night’s sleep a few days after our daughter had died).

    Believe it or not, running a funeral and going to probate court for your 13-year-old isn’t fun, and it isn’t true that the father is a big boy and can take it.

    Three years later she was still telling me that our deceased daughter was my least favorite child and when I disagreed, she would argue with me to prove her, coming up with arcane examples, such as a time – once – when I didn’t say hello to her. Not once did she ever say anything positive about my relationship with our daughter.

    After three years, she handed me surprise divorce papers and left three hours later. The kids found out she was never coming back from their aunt. I’ve had contact with her only through her lawyer, so I’ve taken care of the kids on my own (even managing kids’ catastrophes while her lawyer demanded financial paperwork and/or settlement offers).

    I may go bankrupt. I have no time for fun. She can get by with what she got from me and will inherit her mother’s house. And she gets to do whatever she wants.

    All of this makes me hate her.

    Sorry, but I think there’s a special place in hell for a mother or father who abandons her or his kids.

    1. Oliver,
      Thanks for sharing here with us. I am so so sorry about the loss of your girl and that you are going through this with your ex! Props to you for doing the right thing, even if she can’t or won’t. I hope you can get the support you need for your own mental health. You need time to properly grieve the loss of your child and the loss of your family. It is easier to feel hate then to process your own experience (and she is giving you plenty of reasons to feel that way with her rotten behavior) but for yourself and your sanity I hope that you will do all that you can to release these toxic feelings about her and focus on healing your own broken heart. I am sending you tons of healing energy and protective light. Keep up the good fight.

  51. This is a really great article and it’s been almost 2 years since me and my ex split and we have a son who is almost 4. I just still can’t get over the fact that after being together for almost 8 years and having a child together after we split she put no effort into any type of reconciliation. We didn’t have a telationship with any of the “big issues” like cheating , beating , drugs and etc. so in my mind our sons future not even being worth one month of her life just blows my mind. I just can’t deal with it mentally. I’m not perfect in any way but realize that even the smallest bit of effort might turn into something amazing. Now she wonders why I can’t look at her or talk to her and I can just stare in awe at the very question. The year has over 8000 hours and I can’t be spared 100 over the course of a month ………

    1. Marc,
      So sorry to hear of your situation. As you know, it takes two to make it work and if she is unwilling -then that is your answer. I am sending you strength and energy to focus on you, your child and your healing.

    2. Marc Esposito,

      Your situation sounds almost identical to mine. I was with my ex-fiancee for four years and we had a son, also. When we broke up, I pleaded with her to go to couples counseling. I offered to pay every penny, and I searched and found an affordable one, close to home. She refused to try anything, at all. Here’s where reality is stranger than fiction. She is a mental health counselor and she refused to try counseling! Her idea of “trying” was merely staying in the relationship too long.

      Like you, our breakup had nothing to do with any major problems. She only told me it was “our dynamic”. Honestly, I know it was because she always had wandering eyes, and was continually scanning the horizon for the better option. From day one, she kept me at arms length due to her own personal hang-ups with love and commitment. I lived like a dog, in that relationship, waiting for a pat on the head, or crumbs from her table.

      She moved on very quickly and easily, and as Terri said, it takes two to make it work. That is the best realization I’ve had, that I was willing, but she was not.This is the difference between “dating” and long-term commitment, namely marriage. Marriage is a higher calling. So, I guess what we do now is to focus on ourselves and the child we brought into this world. Let go of the ex, with whom we meant very little.

  52. Hi Terri

    My husband left me after 25 years and blames the whole marriage break down on me. I’m at the hate stage, can’t stand talking to him or being in the same space as him. The sad part is our daughter graduates this year (she doesn’t talk to me because I hurt her dad amongst other reasons) and I have no desire to go. It would be horrible to sit in the same room with a man who once made me laugh does nothing but make me cry now. The horrible part is he was seeing me to control me while seeing someone else at the same time and thought he was doing nothing wrong. The man who I once loved so much is now a person I can’t stand.

    1. Sorry to hear it, Jen. It is such a painful place to be in. All you can do is focus your energy on healing your own wounds so you can move on and hopefully reconnect with your daughter. I am sending you strength.

  53. This article made me realize that I should stop hating my ex even though she hurt me so many times and caused me so much emotional pain in the past year but I feel like it’s impossible because I constantly think about her every day. We broke up a year ago because of my family not liking her and since then we tried to work on our relationship and tried to get back together. In the past year she told me that she didn’t want to be with me because she couldn’t let go of how my family treated her and each time she always texted me saying she missed me and I was dumb enough to go back and tried to make things work again. I should’ve walked away a long time ago but I love her so much and I want to be with her that I ignored all the red flags and kept giving her my all even though she wasn’t. She never wanted me to hold her hand in public or show her how I really felt after the break up and all I wanted to do is show her that I loved her but I couldn’t do that. She told me that I wasn’t a priority in her life and that she wants to concentrate on school and I told her that I don’t want to I don’t want to give up. Then about a month ago she said she missed me because we haven’t seen each other in a week and we went out with some friends and she ignored me all night and was flirting and dancing with another guy and that’s when we stopped talking and decided that it’s not going to work. After that night my heart was shattered and I felt betrayed and cheated on even though we weren’t together. And we haven’t talked since that night. I feel like she doesn’t care anymore and she might be seeing someone else. I deleted her off my social media because I want to move on but I can’t because she’s all that I think about. Is there anything that I can do to stop thinking about her and move on with my life and be happy again?

    1. I am sorry to hear about your situation. You can move on but understanding why you were drawn to her in the first place will be helpful information for you. Write your thoughts and feelings down. Write a list of all of the great qualities of the relationship and all of the things that you will not miss. This is an exercise that can help you gain perspective on how it really was and to process your emotions. I am sending you healing energy.

  54. Terri

    My ex left me in an emergency room having a miscarriage and was nowhere to be found. We had been dating on and off for 5 years and he knew I was pregnant. We got into an argument and he pulled his usual response to me by giving me the silent treatment for 3 weeks

    I couldn’t get in touch with him because his phone kept going to voicemail. I had drive to his house next week to actually tell him that it happened.

    He had no remorse at all. In fact he did not even care if I was ok.

    I didn’t speak to him for 4 years after that last may we tried to get back together again but that hurt is still there and I don’t think I can ever forgive him.

    Im not with him anymore because of many other reasons but I don’t know how to let go of this anger towards him.

    Any suggestions would be of great help.

    Thank you .

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your painful experience. Holding onto that anger is hurting you and doing nothing to him. Writing down why you are angry might help you release some of the feelings behind it. You have been through a lot and I think you could benefit greatly from working with a trained professional. Wishing you the best.

  55. My ex husband and the father of my son left me in 2010, mostly because I became ill with generalised anxiety disorder. He thought he was too good to be married to someone who was suffering from a mental health disorder. Because we have a child together, I have never been able to heal from the heartbreak as he surfaces when it comes to contact. I am still very ill and he has just got married again which has cut me down to the bone. It is like a wound that opens up again and again. How do I stop this?

    1. Angela,
      I am so sorry to hear about your painful situation. I wonder if you have been able to figure out the original injury in your life that lead you to this moment? It might be helpful to ask yourself what I call the 2 Qs about your ex. 1. Who does he remind me of? 2. Where have I felt like this before? 3. Why is this behavioral dynamic familiar to me? If you can understand what came before him and try to process and heal that original wound, I think your situation with your ex will hurt substantially less. I am sending you healing vibes xo

  56. Great article. I’m in the stage where I hate how he treats our daughter. Two weeks after splitting he asks if she wants to meet the OW…five weeks later he tells her he’s taking OW to our holiday home, oh and he’s moved in with her… our daughter is 12, hasn’t even got her head around mum n dad seperate for. He manipulates, causes hassle then says it’s all my fault. I knew I wasn’t happy, I knew the best thing to do was split…what I hadn’t realised that over night he would turn into a complete bas@***! I’ve had to block all his calls, go completely no contact,because he was constantly questioning who I was with, who I was seeing, what he would do if he found me with another man, how he blamed me for getting with this woman…it’s only been under three months . and I hate him. That upsets me, because after 22 years I thought we could co parent with no problems and be civil…..

    1. Shauna,
      I am so sorry to hear about this painful situation. He sounds pretty narcissistic as well as super insensitive to your daughter’s feelings and development. Healing and moving onto your own happy life without him. I am sending you so much good energy!

  57. I am having trouble forgiving my ex for two reasons.

    1. My ex basically ghosted on me after 6 1/2 years without even giving me a specific reason as to why.

    She lived with me and my family for 4 1/2 and after she left she said some terrible thing like “I don’t want to have to live with you and your retarded brother.” (My Brother has autism) and that she basically deleted every one of us from her life.

    Now she did later write an apology email to me stating that she was telling me those things to get me to let her go and that she was sorry she was so cruel to me and that she was “confused and and to get her thoughts straight”. but when I asked what the specific reason why she left she simply stopped talking to me. Which made it far more difficult for me to move on and find closure.

    But she never apologized to my brother or the rest of my family, nor did she even thank my family for supporting, loving, and caring for her. It’s like she never really loved them and was only loving them because she loved me.

    I am not delusional, I know that she and my family could never be close or even friends, after all that, but she could have at least sent them a detailed and sincere apology about how sorry she was things turned out the way that they did, how much she would miss them, and thankful she is for everything they did for her.

    I have forgiven her for what she did to me and how cruel she was to me (Even though I still wish she could have at least given me the common courtesy of a conversation about why things ended but whatevs) because she apologized and thanked me for how happy I made her. But I am having a much harder time forgiving her for how she disrespected my family and never even tried to make amends for her actions.

    2. I just realized while reading your article is that I am kind of afraid of letting go of my hatred. Because I worry that I will go back to missing her and feel miserable and lonely again.

    1. Andrew,
      Thank you for this powerful share. Your realization about how holding onto the anger is in some way like holding onto her AND avoiding feeling the pain of missing her is very astute. I think it would help you most to write her a letter (not to send necessarily) to express your feelings about her treatment of your family and then have a trusted friend let you read it to them and then burn it to release it from your experience. This will help you move on and you deserve to be in a healthy relationship with someone who is kind. Thank you for being here.

      1. I did send her a few letters. but she never replied to any of them.

        I am not trying to hold on to her but I am just afraid of having to feel the pain and misery of losing her again. I am trying so hard to let go of my hate and forgive but I just feel stuck in my anger. I keep having imaginary arguments in my head where I yell and scream, telling her how much pain and heartache she has caused me and my family.

        I feel like I’m living in a hole that I keep trying to claw my way out of but no matter how hard I try I keep falling back in. ?

        1. Andrew,
          I know it can be daunting to move on but it is the only way to embrace your life and actually live. The letter I was talking about was one that you write for yourself to honor every bit of your experience with her and then have a friend witness it for you (you can read it -they are just there for support -not to weigh in ) and then burn the letter someplace safe. This ritual can be very powerful and might help you stay out of the dreadful hole you describe. I am sending good vibes, pal.

          1. Hey, Terri.

            Since your my last comment I have finally found a way to let go of my rage.

            “What’s my secret?” you may ask.

            Well, I found this online forum where people who have experienced traumatic breakups can go and support each other.

            You see when I was choking on my rage and hatred I couldn’t even remember what kindness and compassion felt like anymore. Like that part of me was gone.

            So I went on their initially to find support and help for myself but then I found others who were in that same terrible place I was almost a year ago.

            I started giving them love, advice, and support. While doing this it was like my rage just melted away and was replaced with love, kindness, and compassion.

            I realize now that that part of me wasn’t gone it was just lost in all that rage. Helping others has helped me redescover the best parts of myself. I am now filled with love, kindness, and compassion for my fellow man…including my ex.

            While I still sometimes get mad at my ex but I think through all this love and support I am giving to others I’m almost to the point where I can fully and completely forgive my ex.

            I am at the top of the hole now and the view is gorgeous.

            With love and gratitude.

            -Andrew

            “Only a life lived for others is worth living.”
            -Albert Einstein

          2. Andrew!!!
            Wowowowowowowow! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story of healing. I got so happy and excited reading it because you are a perfect illustration of what is possible if you don’t give up or give in to the rage. You honored it and then transcended it to go on to help others. Sooooooooo inspiring! I am so happy for you and grateful you shared your story here 😉

    2. Hi, my ex (bipolar) while 8 months pregnant with my daughter took my 2 year old twins and ran off with the gardener. She eliminated me from her life until “something” happened with the boyfriend. She and I were on the road to reconciliation after my baby was born but then her boyfriend threatened me, stalked me and harassed me to keep me from my ex and my children (they’re mine not his). I’ve held my daughter once, she’s now 8 weeks old. I pled with my ex to stop her boyfriend and to end the relationship, she told me “don’t tell me what to do” and then chose him and now they both harass and threaten me such that I had to move to another state to eliminate my suffering. Her boyfriend is clearly manipulating her to keep me away as he wants my family for his own and she called me a liar (everything he says is true) and has totally ghosted me. How can I not hate her? Seriously? 3 children under 2 and she ran off with a vile psychotic predator. Help. William Avison

      1. Hi William,
        This is definitely a difficult situation and I’m holding space for you with so much compassion ❤️ I understand your feelings of hatred toward both of them! Since you are still involved with both of them for your children, it might be helpful to ask yourself what lies beyond the hatred for you, what’s the core feeling? How can you speak to your ex’s humanity and prior love for you and your family? I think looking at this ultimately as a means to compromise and work toward a more peaceful agreement is ideal, while I understand it’s far more complicated and that may not be possible. I wish you all the luck with your family. ❤️

    1. Your article was not helpful at all. Writing a list only reminded me that my ex would not focus on the good things in our marriage. We have 3 healthy, successful loving children. We had financial security and a stable loving home.She had the freedom to pursue whatever activity and goal she desired. None if that was good enough for her.

      Forgiveness is a 2 way street. Everything was one way wuth her. Forgiveness from me will come when I see she recognizes the hurt she has caused to me and my children. Needless to say I won’t hold my breath.

      1. Thank you for sharing Stephen. Forgiveness is not for the other person’s benefit, it is for yours so you don’t have to keep carrying the pain and hurt. It is not for letting the other person back in your life or excusing the ways she hurt you.

  58. Hi Terri,

    Thank you for the article. I have been going through the “hate” phase now for the past couple of weeks, which I believe after reading your article, is because I feel we have unfinished business. But yes, I’ve come to realize that this breakup was more like a “wake-up” for me. I understand a lot of things that went wrong from both sides and there are a lot of good things that he has inspired me to do.. One thing was to acknowledge how beautiful i am inside out as a person and also to take care of my body. I have taken up a sport and I now live a more active lifestyle.

    I am thankful to him for many things, for the good and the bad experiences and the harsh realities of relationships and people that I understand now. He has given me a new perspective, which I think has made me stronger…

    Looking forward to more such articles from you.

    Thank you,
    Anna.

    1. Anna,
      Great that you can honestly assess the good from the bad and feel gratitude for what you gained! Thank you for being here. tc

    2. Hi Terry,

      I caught my 2 yrs bf cheating on me. Since then i don’t have trust in him anymore. We tried to continue our relationship but he is always hiding his phone when he is at my place and even turned it into silent mode. Every time we argue I told him to stop our relationship but he told me I pushed him away too much by always saying that. Til he doesn’t call me anymore and text becomes less. I felt rejected with his silent treatment til I asked him if he still want me to be in his life he said yes but if I want to stop then stop. I ended our relationship when he told me that. But he asked me if we could still make love. But I feel that he is really in connection with someone because he always hide his phone. Why do you think he is doing this to me? Thank you in advance Teri.

      1. Hi Jane,
        It sounds like you deserve much better than this type of treatment! Rather than asking why he’s doing this, ask yourself why you’re keeping him in your life. What kind of secondary gain are you getting by not breaking up with him? I’m sending you love and holding space for you with so much compassion as you continue to look inside yourself for these answers and continue on your self-love journey ❤️

  59. Terri, Thank you for your profound article. I have made a list in the past of my ex and sadly the bad outweighed the good and I cant help but think that was because I had so much hate and resentment towards him then. Now I think of the good things and the wonderful experiences we shared. It’s beautiful, to be able to smile and eat now but I can’t help but wonder if these thoughts are signs that I want him back. I struggle with this thought quite often. Any advice on how I can maintain these great thoughts while moving forward with my life? Thanks again

    1. Great question, Shauntay. The truth is I don’t know the answer to your question because only you know what is right for you. What I do know is that the two of you clearly broke up for a reason, as you mentioned hate and resentment towards him. The point of this exercise is to help you release your ex and forgive him, though I understand that thinking about the past can bring up old feelings. Focus on where you are now, what you really want in a romantic partner and how you honestly feel about the reasons the two of you are no longer together. It’s all about balance. I would take your smile and appetite more as a sign of healing rather than a second chance at love, but again only you know what is right for you. I hope this helps. Lots of love, Terri

        1. Hi Therese,
          I would consider asking yourself what you want and focusing on your side of the street ? Holding space for you with compassion! ❤️

    2. Hi Terri, I had forgiven my almost 25 year ex husband for leaving me and my 2 daughters (10/15) with no money, debt, car repossession, almost evicted. But 2 weeks before my divorce he told me he was having an affair with the married leasing agent where we lived. Our families knew each other and were friends. She told her husband and he was going to tell me. My 2 kids still don’t know but the 12 year old now might know. What’s worse is she lives on my floor and now that I’m woke, I see them sneaking around. I’m not sure how to get passed this. I was financially, emotionally, verbally and physically abused. And how do I tell my kids? Both see therapist. I need one. Please helping

      1. Hi Shelly,
        That sounds incredibly difficult. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself first which includes speaking to someone and taking time for your emotional health. I’m holding space for you with so much compassion as you navigate this journey with your children ❤️

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