Going through a breakup is never easy. It doesn’t matter why or how it happened. It hurts.
It’s even harder when your ex puts in the effort to make sure you don’t get along afterwards. Their attitude towards you completely changes.
They become mean and nasty. And you have no idea where all this is coming from.
If your ex seems to be doing everything possible to make your life miserable, it’s time to work out why.
Here are 10 reasons why your ex is mean to you
1) He wants you to know it’s over
Along with that twinge of sadness that comes with a breakup, there’s always the possibility of a reconciliation down the track.
After all, absence only makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps with a little separation and time apart, you’ll be able to rekindle your love for each other?
If your ex is being mean, it could be his way of ensuring this never happens. Taking any potential reconciliation off the table.
He is 100% completely and utterly over you and wants to make sure you know it. He doesn’t want to leave any doubt in your mind that the relationship is over.
There is no hope of ever getting back together down the track.
2) He still has feelings for you
This seems counterintuitive — to be mean to someone you still have feelings for. But it happens.
He’s trying to convince himself that the relationship is over. He may have mixed feelings about how things ended and want to make sure he doesn’t let those feelings resurface.
He wants things to be done, whether he still has feelings for you or not. By being nasty to you, he’s convincing himself he’s done the right thing.
3) He’s doing it for show.
It’s not about you. In fact, it’s about everyone else around you.
Sometimes friends and family get in the way of a breakup and want to know if there’s any hope of getting back together.
Your ex might be putting on a nasty show to convince those around you that it is well and truly over, with zero hope of you two ever getting back with you.
4) You hurt them
Relationships don’t always end on the best terms.
There are so many different ways you might have hurt your ex, from cheating on him to airing his dirty laundry after the breakup.
Think back to anything you might have done that could possibly have hurt his feelings.
You might just discover an underlying reason behind his behaviour that was triggered by something you did.
5) He’s feeling guilty
Why did your ex break up with you in the first place?
There may be an underlying feeling that he feels guilty about, which is causing him to lash out at you. In an effort to cover up this guilt.
For example, he might have cheated on you. Or perhaps he left you for another woman.
He then chooses to channel that guilt he feels over what he has done to you as hate. After all, it’s much easier to blame you than to accept the blame himself.
6) He’s miserable
If you’re the one that chose to break up, he might be holding it against you.
Even though you both know and acknowledge it’s for the best, your ex may blame you for the breakup, which is causing him to be horrible towards you.
Being dumped is never a great feeling. It can send you into a spiral of wondering whether or not you’re good enough and what you did wrong.
It’s even worse if he knows you’re happy now after breaking up.
He wants to hurt you. He wants you to feel as sad as he does about it. So he lashes out.
This can be enough to make your ex mean towards you.
7) He has negative memories of your time together
After you break up, it’s common for all the negative memories of your time together to surface. This is what makes the breakup just that little bit easier.
You remember just how much the two of you didn’t work. And all the reasons you weren’t meant for each other.
Each time your ex sees you, these feelings resurface for him. It makes him feel angry, which is why he’s reacting to you.
He’s likely holding onto some serious resentment for things that happened in your relationship that he never got closure on. It pushes him to argue and be mean towards you every chance he gets.
8) You moved on first
Moving on from a relationship first can be enough to trigger the nasty side in your ex.
Even if he has no feelings for you anymore, it can still hurt to be replaced.
Seeing you with another man could be enough to make him strike out and be mean to you. It’s his defense mechanism to protect his feelings.
It also lets your new partner know that he’s well and truly over you. After all, why else would he be so mean?
9) You have things he wants
Depending how long you were together before the break up, you may have had a hard time dividing things up.
You might have held onto something he wanted. Whether it was a car or a dog, or something as simple as a CD, he could be holding onto some anger over this lost item.
This anger makes him act out every time he sees you. He simply can’t forgive you for what you kept — whether it was his or not.
10) It’s normal
And last but not least, there simply may be no reason behind his behaviour. It could just be his way of processing the breakup and dealing with it.
Everyone reacts differently to loss. He isn’t meaning to hurt you.
He might simply be grieving what the two of you have. But his grief is coming out as nastiness towards you.
How can I change my ex’s behaviour?
Now you know exactly why your ex is treating you so badly, what can you do to change his behaviour?
Unfortunately, it’s not something you can force — no matter how much you wish to.
Here are some steps you can take to make some positive changes in your post-breakup relationship:
1) Give it time
Anger is a strong feeling. No matter what’s causing his anger, you need to give him the time to process his feelings.
Straight after a breakup, it’s no secret that tensions are going to be high.
Once these immediate feelings subside, he’ll hopefully be able to control his temper around you and pull back on the nastiness.
2) Give him space
As well as giving him time to sort out his feelings, it also helps to give him space as well. Your ex won’t have the chance to be nasty towards you if you keep your distance.
With this time and space, the tension will ease, so the next time you do see each other, things are hopefully much more amicable.
Don’t reply to his messages, and most importantly, don’t take the bait.
When your ex is being mean to you, he often is looking at ways to hurt you. Once he works out he’s being ignored, he’s more likely to lash out and try and hurt you in other ways.
Just ignore him. It will pass.
3) Turn to your friends
Don’t let your ex get to you. Being nasty is also a way they can feel in control of the breakup and what’s happened.
The best thing you can do is move on. Get out there, mingle with others and surround yourself with friends.
If your ex does reach out and say horrible things to you, simply walk away and go back to your friends. It’s a good way to take that control away from him.
Your ex will see that you’re unaffected by their behaviour and may even lose interest in the process.
4) Stay friendly
It can be all too tempting to stoop to his level and start being mean to him. Avoid this if you can. This will only make matters worse. Instead, kill him with kindness.
If he’s always seen to be lashing out at you, while you keep a smile on your face and say nice things back, he’s going to catch on quickly.
Keep it casual. Greet him when you’re out and about together. Ask him about how he’s going.
If he lashes out, say something nice and walk away. There’s only so long he can keep the nastiness up for.
5) Step away
Remember that your ex is likely hurting. This is often the trigger for his nasty behaviour. But this pain he’s feeling doesn’t excuse his behaviour.
If things get too much for you and you’re not seeing an improvement in the way he treats you, then it might be best to cut contact altogether.
You don’t want this toxic person in your life. Let him know why you’re choosing to step away and then cut all ties.
It’s not worth putting yourself in the firing zone time and time again when the relationship is well and truly over.
Let’s face it, some exes just aren’t meant to be friends.
Know when it’s time to walk away and move on altogether.
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