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The end of a relationship whether it lasted a couple of months or tens of years is a painful experience. In rare cases, it ends amicably. There are none of those proverbial ‘hard feelings.’ More often than not it ends with exchange of harsh words and a lot of resentment.
You are broken up. It is officially over. You thought you would feel good about the load off. Instead of feeling relieved, you are filled with a deep rage. You feel more hate for him than you have ever felt for anyone else. The thought of him leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth.
When you have to see him, it pretty much ruins your entire day because that burning anger from the depth of your stomach doesn’t go away for many hours.
Why It Is Hard To Stop Hating Your Ex
It can be difficult to let go of the anger towards your ex. Even when you know you need to. Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to do it? Here are a few possible reasons you are subconsciously ‘enjoying’ hating him.
Continuing to hate your ex months or years after the break up may be a subconscious means of self-protection. You are protecting yourself from being hurt by him or any other man ever again.
It is your way of reassuring yourself that you will never be fooled again. In your mind, letting go of the hate would leave you susceptible to that kind of hurt again and there is no way you are letting that happen.
Hating him in particular is a subconscious way of making sure you never forget what he did to you. It keeps your guard up. What if you forgive and forget and then start to have warm fuzzy feelings towards him again? No way! You simply can’t let him make a fool of you again.
You may not realize it but sometimes staying angry at him gives you a sense of emotional comfort. It is a familiar place to be. It is like an old familiar blanket. It feels warm when you wrap yourself around it. Not being angry at him would be unfamiliar territory and you are not ready to explore new things.
If separation anxiety is the reason you still hate him, you will probably hate me for saying this, but here goes. Somewhere at the back of your mind you hope your ex would come back to you, tell you how sorry he is and beg you to get back together.
Continuing to hold on to anger is your subconscious way of holding on to him and the hope of reconciliation. Hate is the only thing that keeps you connected to him.
Letting go of the anger would mean that you have cut the last link. It forces you to kill the last ounce of hope. Sometimes you are not ready to face that reality.
How to Stop Hating Your Ex
Getting to a place where you can honestly say that you don’t hate your ex is not a one-day event. It is a process… and a difficult one at that. These are a ways to go about it.
Realize that it is in your best interest… you come first
The first step towards achieving complete forgiveness for your ex is the realization that forgiving him is in your best interest. It is actually a selfish move. It is not for him, for your children (if you had any) or anyone else. It is something you need to do for you.
Forgiving someone who hurt you frees you from the emotional baggage of bitterness. That baggage robs you of the joy and freedom of the present and keeps you from a better and happier future. You are actually dong yourself a great injustice by holding on to anger.
Manage your thoughts
Your thoughts, especially about yourself play a huge role in your happiness. After a break up, it is easy to let negative thoughts take root in your mind. If your ex said some negative things about you, it is easy to ruminate on those words. This only serves to get you down in the dumps. The longer you let it go on, the harder it is to lift yourself out of it.
Instead make a conscious decision to kick negative thoughts out of your mind and replace them with more positive thinking. Instead of thinking, How could he cheat on me? Tell yourself, He was a fool to let go of me. I’m much better off with someone who truly appreciates and respects me.
Changing your thoughts changes your feelings and eventually brings you to healing. An appropriate quote by Louise Hay says Don’t try to fix problems, instead fix thinking. Then problems will fix themselves.
Even in the midst of the most painful break up, it is highly unlikely that everything else in your life is terrible. There is always something in your life to be grateful for. Focus in these and take time to be grateful. If you have children, take time to be grateful for them.
If you have a thriving career, be grateful for that. Friends and family are still alive and well and available for you to spend time with. The fact that you are well and healthy should not be taken for granted. Be grateful for that as well. The point is to realize that your life is not over, it’s just the relationship that’s over. There is so much more to life.
Radical acceptance is a useful technique if you have no choice but to keep interacting with your ex. Perhaps you have children together and are co-parenting. There are schedules to be made and observed, bills to be shared and birthday parties to plan.
If the things that drove you up the wall about your ex were unrespected schedules, poor time management and delayed bill payments, it will do you well to simply accept that he is not going to change.
Once you come to terms with this, you will no longer have that hot feeling of anger in your stomach every time he is late for a meeting or doesn’t make a payment on time. Once you do this, you find that it is a lot easier not to get angry at him… and that saves you a lot of emotional energy.
Get enough sleep
What does sleep have to do with your ex? You would be forgiven for thinking there is absolutely no connection. When you are trying to stop hating your ex, making sure that you always get a good night’s rest is essential.
Have you noticed how much more edgy you are when you are exhausted? It hard to exercise patience with someone when you are tired. It is also not as easy to keep a level head when someone makes you angry.
The truth is that learning to stop hating your ex takes a lot of emotional and psychological energy. Make sure you get enough sleep so you have enough energy and a clear mind all through.
Psychologists say that anger in itself is not a bad or negative emotion. It is a natural reaction to hurtful actions from people around us. What is negative is what we do as a result of it. What could be even more detrimental is the choice to hold on to it.
Continuing to hate your ex is actually a choice you make. It is a form of emotional bondage, only that it is self-inflicted. You can make a decision to release yourself from it and experience a freedom better than anything you ever imagined possible.