Last Updated on April 8, 2023 by Angela Vaz
“I hate my ex-husband so much,” I told my parents.
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to not think about it because it just makes me so mad, I can’t breathe.
Hate is a very strong emotion.
And when you think back on the moments that drove you to hate him, it can get deeper and deeper.
But is it good for you?
Is it going to allow you to grow?
Because as long as you keep dwelling over the past, the more it is going to ruin your present.
In this post, I want to talk about what I did to get over the hate and how I learned to move on.
But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.
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A little backstory
Trigger warning: The following post talks about emotions, relationships, and abuse which can be emotionally and mentally scarring. Please proceed at your own discretion.
I was in an abusive relationship with my ex-husband.
He physically and emotionally abused my dogs and me.
He constantly borrowed money from my parents and me which he never bothered to return.
And towards the end of our relationship, he was cheating on me with a married neighbor and several prostitutes while I was tending to my dying mother in the hospital.
He didn’t know whom to choose in the end, so he made me believe if we had a child – our relationship would be saved.
I was lucky that I didn’t contract a sexually transmitted disease.
After discovering the chats between him and his friends, I realized that he wanted to burn all my things and furniture as revenge for discovering his affair.
Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of turmoil.
And leaving that relationship was the best thing that ever happened to me.
He and his friends continued to harass me with texts and phone calls all throughout the divorce proceedings but once the final rope was cut, it was all over.
However, sometimes the memories would come rushing back and I’d find myself being filled with hatred and anger.
I was mad at him.
When I would think about all the lies, deceit, and abuse I put up with, it would unleash a rage that I never even knew I could have.
And even though I’d never bring myself to do anything, I’d have thoughts about him dying violet, horrible deaths.
But see, that’s the thing.
Most people find it difficult to talk about these things, but I didn’t.
I’d discuss it openly with my family and friends and I never held back. I’d pour it all out in the open because I felt unheard and bottled up.
I wanted to be free and I wanted people to know what I had been through.
But I did realize what this hatred was doing to me and I realized that it was time to let it go.
Now that you know my story, you’ll understand that I’m writing most of this from experience.
Let’s dive in.
Why do I hate my ex-husband so much?
Firstly, I need you to understand that it is natural to feel very strong negative emotions after a split or a divorce especially if the relationship ended on difficult terms.
When you and your partner have spent so much time together, it’s normal for your identities to be merged in a way and become 1.
The sudden split or breakup can lead to sadness, anger, a feeling of betrayal, and a sense of loss.
You may mourn:
- The loss of your relationship
- The loss of the dreams you were planning on building together
- The daily routine you both had
- The lives you were living together
- The loss of friends and family
It’s not easy to start from scratch especially if you’ve been used to living a certain type of life for a long time.
And some of the reasons why you may hate your ex-husband so much may be:
1. He may have treated you badly
Maybe he didn’t value you or respect you.
Maybe he treated you sub-par and your relationship felt more like a compromise than an equal partnership.
Perhaps you constantly felt unsupported or undervalued.
2. He was cheating on you
Most people I talk to hate their former partners because they had an affair or were cheating on them emotionally.
Cheating and affairs have more to do with lies and deceit than the actual physical act that transpired between them and another person.
It is normal.
It’s totally normal to feel anger and hatred towards someone who cheated on you.
But you shouldn’t hold onto it for long.
3. Your needs were not being met
Maybe throughout the relationship, your needs were not being met.
You didn’t feel secure and safe.
Maybe you felt threatened or maybe the one person you were supposed to feel safe with betrayed you.
Again, it’s normal to feel betrayed and feel like you missed out on something that was supposed to feel good.
4. He changed
Perhaps he never betrayed you or cheated on you.
But with time, he just became indifferent and left you for no reason.
Sometimes people change – their needs change and their goals and aspirations evolve.
They just want something different and it can feel like the ultimate betrayal.
Is it toxic to hate your ex-husband?
Honestly, it’s okay to have strong negative feelings toward your ex.
But know that just because you don’t hate him, doesn’t mean you love him or want to be with him.
It’s alright to have absolutely no feelings towards your ex whatsoever.
When you have a strong, negative emotion towards another person, it is going to affect you eventually.
Those feelings will come out in other ways.
It may make you feel more anxious or completely ruin your focus.
It may ruin an otherwise good day.
And it may ruin future relationships you have with other partners.
Or it may just blind you from love – self-love, love towards other people.
The only person that will suffer the most from your hatred toward your ex is you.
Hate and anger are like consuming poison yourself and hoping that the other person dies.
It won’t do you any good.
It is only when I learned to let go of that hate, did I find peace.
And when I found peace, I found love.
After I learned to fall in love with myself and my single life, I found love in another human being.
But none of it would have been possible if I had not let go of that hatred.
So, how do you let go of that hate?
How do I stop hating my ex-husband? 7 methods that work
1. Recognize that you are human
First of all, be compassionate towards yourself.
You are human.
You aren’t a saint.
If you are struggling with these emotions, don’t hate yourself or get angry with yourself.
It’s okay and completely justified to have negative feelings and thoughts.
These feelings are natural and it’s okay.
You’ve already taken the first step toward peace in trying to overcome these feelings.
2. Talk to someone
I spoke to a therapist after reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and I realized that talking to a therapist or counselor is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself.
A therapist doesn’t guide you on what to do.
They simply give you the tools to work with your own problems and they help you see reason.
They help you see things with more clarity.
I also kept a journal and I meditated.
These two things helped me pour out all my emotions and stories.
All that anger and hate may just be your mind’s response to cover up the pain and anguish you feel over losing a relationship.
Maybe you also are mourning the time you lost in that relationship.
It doesn’t matter.
Take your time to feel those feelings and grieve.
Some of us cry some of us vent to friends, and some of us just pace.
I did all 3.
I lost an incredible amount of weight because I couldn’t eat and sleep.
Overall, I was anxious, angry, upset, and felt a huge range of emotions.
If you’re sad one day and numb the next, it’s alright.
You’re going to feel a lot of emotions before things slowly settle and you are going to feel a lot better – you just need time.
4. Reframe the negative emotions you feel
Every time I recounted my relationship I’d feel angry.
Then I’d think about all the lessons I learned in that relationship. Some of the things I learned were:
- To take things slowly and not rush getting to know someone
- To read people – I can spend 10 minutes with a person and surmise their personality pretty accurately
- Whom I can count on – When you go through turmoil, you might find yourself standing with only 1/10th of the people you knew. Those few friends and my parents became my world.
- My other roles – I realized I was so much more than a wife, I was also a dog mommy, a daughter, and a friend to my trusted peers and I felt whole.
- I am strong: I realized that no matter what I went through, I was able to bounce back stronger and more prepared.
Think about what you’ve learned from this relationship.
Maybe you learned a few things about yourself or maybe you learned a few things about romantic relationships.
Perhaps you learned to become more kind, patient, and loving.
Every relationship has its lessons – nothing is a waste.
5. Love yourself
It is incredibly hard to love yourself when all you’ve ever done is love others.
But loving others isn’t actually an act of love – it’s an act of betrayal of your own needs.
Loving yourself simply means accepting yourself for who you are and drawing healthy boundaries so that you can do what is best for you.
It means not attaching your self-worth to a relationship.
It’s okay if you’re single at 45 or 79.
It doesn’t matter.
Being single simply means you haven’t found the right person yet.
I know so many wonderful people that are single and they are so much wiser and more loving than people their age.
It’s all about the lessons you take away and the standards you keep.
Give yourself the same love and affection you’d give others.
Show yourself compassion and allow yourself to be human.
Here is a guide I wrote on loving yourself as a single person.
6. Take care of yourself
Eat well, sleep well, and don’t neglect your responsibilities.
Start spending more time with your family and friends and start looking forward to a life outside your past relationship.
Start focusing on different hobbies.
I started writing more and playing the piano.
I started playing with my dogs more and giving them more attention.
And I started taking care of my health and focused on walking more and eating right.
All these things took time.
It takes time to start healthy habits and even more time to remain consistent.
Set personal goals for yourself.
But my point is, you need to start looking forward to living your own life and taking care of yourself.
Surround yourself with supportive people like family and friends who supported you. My parents were my rock. My friends pulled me out of the trenches via phone calls. 2 of them lived in different countries but they constantly kept in touch and gave me emotional strength.
7. Don’t seek closure
Closure is a myth.
No matter what he is going to tell you, nothing is going to bring back the relationship you lost.
You will need to make your peace with the fact that this relationship is a chapter that you have finished.
Close it and move on.
Instead of looking back and trying to get answers about the past, focus on moving forward and creating a new, and beautiful life for yourself.
Cut ties with your ex if possible.
If you have kids together or a business together, only discuss the relevant details.
You don’t need to be best friends to talk about necessities.
8. Don’t take revenge
I wanted nothing to do with my ex.
But I know many people personally who want to take revenge and get even.
Like I said earlier, anger and hate are not going to bring back the relationship you lost.
It is better for you if you move on than try to get the last word.
If you try to take revenge, you are only going to delay your healing.
Focus on your own path and let go of the past.
Let the past stay in the past.
You have an opportunity to start a new and fulfilling life. Don’t waste another minute thinking about someone that isn’t going to do you any good.
9. Know that healing isn’t linear
Some days will be bad, some days will be good and after that you may have some bad days again.
This doesn’t mean things are getting worse or staying the same.
Healing isn’t linear.
It takes time to put the past in the past and move on.
It takes time to get over the hate and start living a new life.
So, don’t be mad at yourself for getting those thoughts.
Accept it with grace and focus on other things.
Treat yourself with kindness.
You will get over this.
I am sorry you are going through this pain.
Take it from someone who has been through this and come out the other side – your life is going to get so much better.
But you need to want to make that change.
And you need to focus on your life, instead of his.
That shift is what will help you move on.
Here are some posts that will help:
- How to get over the fear of being cheated on
- 7 books you need to read after a breakup or split
- 11 warm and comforting books to read during tough times
- Boyfriend cheated on you with his ex, should you take him back?
- Does he love you if he cheats on his girlfriend with you?
- 7 reasons why a husband just leaves for no reason
- What to say to the woman he’s cheating on you with
- What I did when I found out my ex was cheating on me
- My wife cheated on me and wants to reconcile, what do I do?
- My cheating ex wants to be friends, what do I do?
- How to recover after a toxic relationship
- How to love yourself as a single woman
- 17 signs your partner doesn’t respect or value you
- 17 signs he only wants you for your body
- 21 signs he thinks you’re not good enough
- I thought he was the one: What I did after losing him
- How to rebuild your life after losing everything that matters
- Struggling with singleness? Read this
- How to recover from a toxic relationship
- Will I ever find love again? Yes, here’s why
- How to prepare yourself for a relationship and find love
- Will I ever find someone better than my ex? Yes, read this
- 7 books to read after a painful breakup
- 13 signs you are healing from a painful breakup