The Secret Reason Your Ex Is Mean To You

needy-woman-on-the-phoneSome break-ups are amicable and others are so nass-teey. Some people stay friends after a breakup, and others want to forget they ever knew each other’s name. Then there are exes that say you are going to remain friends, but then they start acting really cold and mean?

S/he sees you and quickly walks away or ignores you altogether, or s/he talks to you (even sometimes initiates the conversation) only to start telling you how great his/her life is, now that you are not together. S/he goes out of his/her way to be affectionate and flirtatious with others when you are around and tells you about this or that great person s/he’s seeing. S/he even talks about his/her (great) sex life and what this or that other woman/guy does with him/her. And whatever you say or do, all your best intentions are met with hostility, suspicion, resentment, irritation, anger, vindictiveness and worse.

Why would someone who said s/he loved you now be hurting you intentionally?

Some exes act mean because they really want you gone.  It’s a passive aggressive behaviour where someone feels that if they are mean, cold and cruel to you, you’ll get the message and leave them alone. This is especially the case if the person feels that you are in denial or are not accepting the fact that it is indeed over. You trying to hang on to him/her or be a part of his/her life  irritates him/her. Your hanging around  irritates an ex even more if you are still professing your undying love and commitment.

Why doesn’t s/he just tell you to get lost instead of intentionally trying to hurt you?

If the break-up was not nasty or if s/he broke up with you, s/he may be struggling with a combination of pity and guilt. S/he feels pity for you because you are a really “good” human being, but s/he just doesn’t have those romantic or love feelings for you anymore. S/he feels guilty that s/he can not love you as you love him/her and that in some ways makes him/her a “bad” person. The combination of pity and guilt gets under his/her skin, literally, making him/her angry at you for making him/her feel this way. Your sad puppy-face doesn’t help.

Could it be that s/he still has feelings for you?

It is possible that your ex is not over caring for you. His/her cold, mean and cruel behaviour is his/her way of trying to deal with the feelings s/he still has but does not want to feel. You can usually tell an ex is dealing with conflicted feelings by how they go back and forth. One day they are so loving and kind and the next mean and cruel. Their reaction to you reflects what they feel at that time or on that day.

But if the person is angry, mean and cruel to you all the time, with no “loving and caring” breaks in between, they want you gone, like really gone!

Just a word of caution. The sweet-and-mean intervals may also be a result of Bipolar Disorder. If your ex has a history of Bipolar, it may just be that they can’t help themselves.

Does s/he have to hate you that much and be so cruel?

A majority of relationships where an ex acts cruelly post-break-up were toxic to begin with. It’s rare for a healthy relationship to go toxic and unhealthy post-break-up. For some exes, it’s a power/control thing. If they can control how you feel, they control you. For others, they interpret your pain as “you still care for him/her” and that makes them feel good in a twisted way.

If this is what is happening to you, and you are still trying to get your ex back, you need to ask yourself, “Is this person treating me with love and respect?”, “Is this the kind of man or woman I want to spend the rest of my life with?”, “What kind of life would that be?”

Should you then leave your ex alone and move on?

It depends. If this is your ex just being his/her usual mean and cruel self, it may be best for your own good to move away from the emotional abuse. But if your ex is a kind and caring person who would never act mean or cruel unless forced to, then you need to look at yourself. May be your refusal to accept reality or your your needy and clingy actions are forcing your ex to try to push you away. Work on changing you, and see if s/he starts warming up to you again.

Sometimes it’s him or her, but sometimes it’s really you.


  • Sania says:

    Yangki, I wish I had found your site four months ago. Unfortunately, I followed the no contact advice and after two months of no contact my ex suddenly contacted me wanting to meet. I made the mistake of thinking he wanted me back and after sleeping with him six times he said he was not interested in getting back together. He actually laughed when he said it. I was more hurt because in the end he used me and I fell for it. I should have just moved on. It’s been over a month and I still cry thinking about it. I just wanted to reach out to someone who’ll understand. Thanks you for reading.

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    • Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng says:

      I am sorry about what happened to you.

      I know this is no comfort, but try to think of it as a lesson learned, and get on with your life. Don’t let him have more of your time and emotions than he’s already has had.

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  • Alice says:

    Pretty much all the things I don’t like about him are showing up in the way he is acting after we broke up. It was painful for me to end things with him even though I knew it was the right thing to do. We fought a lot mainly because he was extremely jealous and would give me the silent treatment for weeks. He is now telling everyone that I disrespected him by cheating on him. He sends me texts saying I wasted 4 year of his life and calls me names, then says how much he loves me and is hurting. I still care about him but I feel like he has a lot of emotional immaturity issues he needs to work through.

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    • Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng says:

      That’s why they say don’t marry someone until you’ve at least broken up once… People’s worst traits and childhood issues show up when emotions take over and rational thinking goes out the back door.

      But in your situation, his worst traits are not just about being hurt over the breakup, and they go beyond emotional immaturity.

      I hope that you do not take him back until he’s had major therapy. His “issues” will escalate to physical abuse, and worse.

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  • Canpher says:

    My ex and I had a horrible fight and we ended breaking up. I have sent her several texts and a couple of emails with no response. My sister who she was close to was recently diagnosed with cancer and posted it on her FB but my ex hasn’t reached to either my sister or I. We were together for 4 years, shared an apartment for one year and were engaged to be married. I know that life goes on and you just have to do the best you can.

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    • Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng says:

      I can only imagine how you feel.

      You don’t get to see the true character of someone until you witness how they treat you after you breakup.

      I pray and wish your sister the best. Stay strong.

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