Why Do I Care If My Ex Hates Me?

By: William Drake

Updated March 02, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Tiffany Howard, LPC, LCADC

It's common for an ex-romantic partner to feel like they hate the person who broke up with them—or that they hate the person they broke up with.

If you've broken up with someone, they may feel like they hate you because you caused them pain by rejecting them. And if your ex was the one who broke up with you, you may have to not only deal with having been rejected, but also with feeling hated. None of this is easy.

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If you're asking yourself why you care if your ex hates you, this article may help. Read on to understand why you may still care and how to avoid common post-break-up pitfalls.

Your Ex Hates You Because You Wronged Them, and You Feel Guilty

Regardless of who initiated the break up, if you did something to warrant anger from your ex, then you should not be surprised by their reaction. Everyone reacts differently to being hurt by a loved one, but if you broke your partner’s trust, it may take time for them to heal enough to forgive you, if they ever do. For now, you should accept that they are angry and sad. Don't try to be friends with them to make yourself feel better. That is not a healthy option for them right now, and it's likely to increase their feelings of anger toward you.

In terms of any guilt you are feeling, remember that nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. It's important to learn, grow, and evolve throughout life. If you use what happened with your ex as a teachable moment, in time you will be able to forgive yourself.

Ultimately, the most constructive thing you can do is accept that you did something wrong and resolve to do better in your next relationship.

You Still Have Feelings For Your Ex

Whatever the reason for your breakup, it's possible that you still have feelings for your ex. You may accept that you don’t work well as a couple but at the same time still care about or even love them. Even if you were the one who initiated the breakup, it can be difficult to accept that your ex now hates you, especially when you don't wish them any ill.

Especially if you still care about your ex, you should give them space to work through their feelings. In time, their hatred may fade. In fact, it is likely that the reason they are feeling an emotion as strong as hatred is that they have not entirely stopped loving you. Remember: love and hate are two sides of the same coin.

Ways to Help Yourself Get Back on Track

If you're worried about your ex hating you, there are tools you can use to reach a place of acceptance. A breakup, particularly a difficult one, can bring up a plethora of emotions. Here are some tips to help you move on.

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Don't Fall into the Trap of Hating Your Ex Back

People are more likely to feel good about people who like them. Similarly, people tend to have negative feelings toward those who dislike them. And the latter does more harm than good.

Hating your ex is not going to make things better. It won't make them hate you any less, and it won't make you feel better. In fact, you'll likely feel worse. Someone once said that holding onto hatred is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Although you cannot control how your ex feels about you, you can work on your own feelings and actions. Holding onto hatred will not help you; it will only destroy you by eating away at you.

Be Cautious about Contact—But Don’t Rule it Out

Even if you have feelings for your ex, contacting them is probably not the best idea, especially if you know they hate you. You may have the best of intentions, but people can act rashly when they're in a hateful state of mind. In short, they may respond poorly. Moreover, contacting them can rub salt in their wounds and increase their negative feelings toward you.

Generally when there is hatred in a relationship, it's a sign that two people should cease contact with each other. There may be rare occasions when contacting your ex is necessary, but it's usually not a good idea. No matter how much you want your ex to stop hating you, it's important for you to prioritize your own health and well-being.

One exception to this rule is when you think there’s something you could do, not to make yourself feel better, but to make your ex feel better. Complaining “My ex hates me!” is one thing; trying to address their needs is another.

But even in this situation, the goal isn’t for your ex to love—or even like—you again, but rather for everyone to experience as little pain as possible moving forward.

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Redirect Your Focus

It can be easy to ruminate about your ex hating you. If you wronged your ex, you may even believe they're justified in their feelings.

However, what's done is done. No matter how much you beat yourself up, you cannot change the past.

At this point, you should focus your attention on your own life. Pay attention to opportunities, relationships, and other things that will benefit your growth and success. When you learn to redirect your thoughts, it will be easier to move forward and live your best life.

Take Meaningful Action

To successfully redirect your focus, you need to take action.

Try dedicating more time to work, fitness, or a new hobby. Put yourself in productive situations with positive people. Get out into the world: travel, meet people, and invest in yourself.

When you're busy with meaningful or fun activities, you'll find that you eventually stop worrying about your ex hating you. “My ex hates me” is a less constructive thought than “I’m taking care of myself.”

No matter how much you may struggle with redirecting your focus, it's healthier than ceaselessly worrying about how your ex feels about you.

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Therapy Can Help

Finally, instead of worrying about how much your ex hates you, you can focus on your own healing. Even if you're the one who ended the relationship,

you may be hurting, especially if your ex has hard feelings toward you. Therapy can help you come to terms with your breakup and let go of what is no longer in your control.

Therapy for Relationship Breakups

Did you know that when people see photos of their exes, the same parts of their brains are activated as when they experience physical pain? That is because our brains seem to process deep emotional pain in the same way that they process physical pain. In addition, those who have been rejected in romantic relationships may develop “cravings” for their partners, much as one might crave a substance they are addicted to. Once again, the brain is powerfully wired when it comes to romantic love. Therefore, it is recommended that those who have recently experienced difficult breakups have adequate support. When feelings are particularly intense or if you are not coping in healthy ways, it is recommended that this support come from a therapist.

The Benefits of Online Therapy

As discussed above, therapy with a licensed therapist may be necessary to get over an important relationship. But when you are grieving the loss of an ex, it can be difficult to attend in-person sessions. This is where online therapy comes in. You can access BetterHelp’s platform from the comfort and privacy of your own home. In addition, online therapy offers lower pricing than in-person therapy because online therapists don’t have to pay for costs like renting an office. BetterHelp’s licensed therapists have helped people getting over relationships. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Julia is a very open-minded, understanding and warm-hearted person. She listened with kindness and without judgement. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad break up and ensuing personal problems. Her advice and understanding has been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier mind frame."

"Pamela has helped me become the person who I wanted to be after my breakup. She helped me see the light in the dark, and showed me that who I am is enough."

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