Sunday August 30th 2015

The Secret Reason Your Ex Is Mean To You

toronto_akiteng-661Some 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.

Readers' Questions and The Love Doctor's Answers...

12 Responses to “The Secret Reason Your Ex Is Mean To You”

  1. Shana says:

    My narcissistic assclown commitment phobe ex has stopped returning my texts and calls. This is a man who chased me for months. We were together for 8 months but every time we got close he pulled away, and it was always my fault. I was too pushy, complained too much or something. The day I told him I could not take him pulling away every time we got close anymore, either he wants to be with me or not. He broke up with me saying he didn’t feel for me the way he was supposed to feel. Immediately went full no contact. He started texting and calling me 5 – 10 times a day, begging in me to take him back because I was the most important person in his life. He finally broke me down. It’s only been two weeks and he’s playing mind games with me again. I can’t believe I fell in love with this narcissistic assclown.

  2. I feel your pain. Break-ups hurt. They hurt even when the relationship had so many problems and even when you were unhappy and wanted out. But you don’t need to give someone labels or call them names to work through your hurt feelings.

    Human beings are more complicated than the labels we give them, and people do lose interest or fall out of love. It’s all part of the human experience. It doesn’t always mean there is something wrong with someone because he/she lost interest in you or doesn’t want a relationship with you. It doesn’t mean that there is something necessarily wrong with you either. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

    Work through the hurt feelings and try to move on.

  3. Shana says:

    I’m working through my emotions, thank you very much. At some point when I feel strong again, I will try to contact him and see if we can try the relationship again. But now no contact is what is best for me right now.

    What I find shocking about your comment is, if someone is narcissistic or has commitment issues, we can’t call them out on it? Right? Men do these horrible things to us and we’re supposed to just take it and not complain like the “good wife?” You don’t think that women suffer enough every day under the hands of men who lie, cheat and treat them like trash, then dump them?

    I’m sorry,, but you don’t know my ex. I was with this man for 8 months and he is everything I say he is, and more.

  4. No offense meant. You can call your ex anything you want. And you are right, I don’t know him, may be he is everything you say he is. But if he is as terrible as you say he is, why do you want him back? It just doesn’t make sense.

    All I’m saying is that if you want a relationship with someone or if you want to work through your hurt and move on without ending up bitter and with a victim mentality, you have to be willing to acknowledge and take responsibility for the experience you both helped create. He has his issues, but YOU picked him out of many, and YOU had a relationship with him. It’s not like you were in a comma when the relationship was happening. You were part of the problem. May be even the cause of it, I don’t know since I only have your version of the story.

    I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but there are narcissistic assclown commitment phobic women too!

    The “men are so horrible to us” card at some point gets too old. We can’t always be pointing fingers at the other gender without being honest with our own gender. Let alone point fingers at someone else when we are not being real with ourselves.

  5. Vesper says:

    Yangki, you are going to be crucified for telling the truth. So many women especially American women believe and act like everything that goes wrong in the world or in their lives is the fault of men.

  6. I hear you. Sadly, there are so many men out there who also believe and act like everything that goes wrong in the world or in their lives is the fault of women. Most are single for a reason.

    I also get the “speaking from a man/woman’s point of view” type… Whatever they say is a “man/woman’s point of view” often does not reflect the views of the millions of men and women in the world.

    There are wonderful women and there are wonderful men, and there are not so wonderful (to put it politely) men and women out there. It would benefit both genders to start seeing and treating one another as individuals acting like individuals, not on behalf of one or the other gender.

    I’m willing to stand in the crossfires if it helps in some small way to get men and women working together so we all can have loving fulfilling relationships.

  7. Sonia says:

    I think people fear letting go because it means that you are supposed to stop loving that person or you need to erase them from your life completely. Once we accept that it is ok to both love them AND accept things have ended, then we can begin to move on.

  8. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks you for adding value to the conversation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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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