“How to Stop Hating Your Ex? ……Counselling shows the way…”

By Rosalin Primrose          
 MA.  Registered Psychologist,  Nationally Accredited Mediator, 
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)

“How do you feel right now?”

Are you suffering from constant anger that can suddenly flare into rage?  Are you harboring resentment that keeps you awake at night, feeling gutted, and dreaming of payback?

Are you feeling like it’s impossible  to let go of the pain and resentment associated with the end of a relationship that was supposed to be for life? 

You’re feeling so bad but still you ask, “Why stop hating my ex?”  In other words, what’s in it for you?   Should you keep the fire of hate raging or move on?  There’s got to be a mighty good reason to change before most of us are willing to put in the effort so let me help you sort through some of these mighty good reasons.

Advantages to hating the ex      Ok, so there are probably advantages to hating the ex, but there are also advantages to giving it up as a lost cause.  Making the effort to stop hating your ex has to be about you feeling good because you’re not likely to shift for anyone else but you, or maybe your children; and your children could just end up being the primary reason to give up hate.

The power of revenge fantasies     The good old revenge fantasy is a cheap and easy way of feeling better, more powerful, and more able to inflict terrible pain, if that’s what you want, without having to actually do the deed.  Revenge fantasies bring short term relief from feelings of distress but, on a day to day basis, they don’t change the outcome, i.e., revenge fantasies won’t change the fact that your ex is gone and/or the fact that you feel so bad. 

Ever kept yourself warm by imagining being able to hire a ‘hit man’ who would knock on the door and blow your ex away, along with the new girlfriend/boyfriend?  That’s a good example of imagery you can conjure up without leaving your bedroom, without paying anyone a cent and without being arrested!

Another version of revenge fantasy is to ruin your ex’s reputation by telling family and friends the dirt on him or her.  You imagine turning your family and mutual friends into YOUR allies who will disapprove of him/her and even take action to help you by:-

  • reasoning with your ex;
  • applying a guilt trip or penalties for bad behaviour;
  • telling your ex what they think of him or her; and
  • cutting your ex off completely.

Unlike the ‘hit man’ variety of fantasy, this kind is more likely to be put into action but it can take a lot of work on the part of an aggrieved person to organise an effective hate campaign.  More time spent on negative behavior means less time available for positive more self-serving behaviour.

Revenge fantasies are a part of the separation process for the partner who has become ‘The Dumped One’; the one who didn’t get to choose.  At a time when you feel perhaps robbed, demeaned, embarrassed, and so many other emotions all rolled into one, a revenge fantasy can provide short term relief and a focus for action. 

What this means to you is that the mind finds ways to help you cope in the short term: but you don’t want to live in that negative space for very long.  Allowing yourself some compassion for finding yourself in that emotional hole is the best view to take of it, while making plans for a longer term solution. 

Why you need to stop hating your ex     To address the question of why you need to stop hating your ex, take stock of the costs of hating.  These might include the impact on your children of your continued hate.  Children are little sponges who KNOW the vibe between their parents, even if you and the ex are super careful to vent outside of their range of hearing.

If hating raises your anxiety level beyond normal, keeps you awake, takes up most of your creative thinking capacity, makes you a boring conversationalist so that the only people who can tolerate you for long are other ‘haters’, you are the one paying the cost of hating.

Most often the ex, the target of your hate, isn’t paying much of a price at all.  Maybe he or she is uncomfortable for short periods, like when dropping the children off, but mostly he or she is unaffected by that ‘death stare’ that you feel should have the power to make your ex drop dead on the spot.

How do you give it up and move on?     Reading about separation and divorce experiences of others can help, if you are a reader.  If you are more of a talker, there are groups in most towns and cities that you can join if your aim is to stop suffering.

Psychologists and counsellors can also help by offering expert, experienced and compassionate support to boost you through.  Why muddle through?  By asking for help you can find the way to open the door more quickly, and return yourself to your healthy life path. 

Your mind and body will thank you. Your children will thank you.  Parental disputing is the most disruptive cause of children’s difficulties, potentially leading to developmental delays, educational, and social difficulties, increased risks and long term ailments that can follow them into adulthood.

Do you want to risk your future?  Do you want to risk your own  mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing just because you want to keep holding the high moral ground and maintain your hate?  Do you want to risk your children suffering emotional or physical dis-ease just because you can’t make the effort to change? 

Start the light shining at the end of the tunnel….  For trusted, experienced counselling: call Rosalin Primrose to book your first counselling session.  Your mind, your body, and your children will thank you for it.

For a brighter future, Call Now! – Ph 0424 002 640

Weekend and telephone appointments available on request

Rosalin Primrose   MA.  Registered Psychologist, Nationally Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP).