Break Up and Divorce Dealing With Anger After A Break Up – Part 3/3

Dealing With Anger After A Break Up – Part 3/3

We have learned in the last parts of this series what anger really is and where it is coming from. In part 2, I showed you some great ways to express your anger and hate safely without hurting yourself or others.

If you practice these exercises daily, you can overcome your anger towards your Ex and therefore pass into phase 3 very quickly.

But there is still one kind of anger left.

And this kind of anger, if not treated, is far more dangerous than the anger you have for your Ex:

It's the anger and hate you feel towards yourself.

This is what this final part of the series is all about.

Why is self-anger so dangerous?

Let me tell you a short story.

J. and her husband lived together for almost 7 years. Out of the blue he told her that he had other plans, he allegedly wasn't made for a relationship, and he left within 3 days.

First she thought she could cope. She had her work, and when she was with colleagues and friends it didn't seem to be very difficult at all. But every time she went back to that empty house she felt devastated.

Still thinking about your Ex? Click here to take the test to learn how long it takes to heal... and how you can speed up the process.

She kept calling him in the middle of the night, just to hear his voice. She went to his place and stalked him, just to be able to cast a glance at him. She even offered to do his laundry for him, so she could see him from time to time.

He accepted. But every time he came by to bring his laundry, there was no intimacy, no touching, no communication, no goodbye kiss.

She felt exploited, and was disgusted with herself for degrading herself that much. But what could she do, she just wanted to be with him.

Her self-hate manifested itself in depression, insomnia (she had to drink a bottle of wine to fall asleep), and she had difficulty breathing.

J. was trapped. She hated herself for her behavior and yet wasn't able to break free from it.

She had hopes every time she saw him, and every single time she witnessed that, her hopes shattered. Disappointment led to hate. But she wasn't able to hate HIM, she only hated herself for allowing herself to feel this terrible disappointment.

We feel self-hate whenever we think that we should be different from what we really are, or that we have reacted in a different way than we think we should.

We don't match the “ideal picture” of us.

We have to understand that self-hate is highly negative and destructive. It can destroy us from within. If we do not find a way to express it, we risk the imminent danger of drugging ourselves with pills or alcohol, just to not feel the pain anymore.

This is a road you don't want to take.

How can we express our self-hate safely?

The first thing you have to do is to accept your anger and hate. Don't fight it. For the moment, just say I know where you are coming from and I accept you for the moment.

Realize that you did, and are doing your best, you just have to learn how to deal with your current condition.

Maybe you've done things wrong in the past, maybe you haven't – it doesn't matter anymore. You acted the way you thought was best for you in that moment.

Do not compare yourself with others; you have to find your own way.

This takes time.

Here are 3 ways to express your anger towards yourself:

1. Use the physical exercises to get rid of the destructive anger

Try the physical exercises number 3. and number 5. I showed you in part 2. You can use them to express your self-anger. The other ones are not so good for self-anger because you would have to accuse yourself of the things you think you've done wrong. You cannot kick your own ass.

We don't want to accuse ourselves. We want to accept and forgive ourselves.

2. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you might have made

Get in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and say out loud:

“[Your Name here], I forgive you for everything you've done in the past.”

This will feel very weird in the beginning, there will be much resistance from the inside, but do it anyway. It goes this way: first you say it, then you believe it, then you feel it.

Persistence is vital here.

Here are some more affirmations you can use:

“[Your Name here], I love and forgive myself totally for all my mistakes, for I now recognize that mistakes are positive, not negative.”

“[Your Name here], I love myself unconditionally for all my perfections and imperfections.”

“[Your Name here], the greatest gift I can give myself is unconditional love. Any man/woman is lucky to have me!”

Practice this 3 times a day for about 10 minutes.

Affirmations are really helpful and I recommend them without any reservation. The trick is to keep doing them, even if the inner voice says otherwise.

3. Draw the Balance

I want you to write down 3 different lists:

  • Write down all the reproaches you have against your Ex. What bad things has s/he done to you?
  • Write down the positive things you have done for him/her in your relationship. All the sacrifices you've made.
  • Write down the positive things your Ex did for you (there must be some).

Now go down the first list and ask yourself: have s/he done it on purpose? Why have I let him/her do them to me? How could they have reacted differently?

This will help you concretize the mistakes and who actually made them.

Now go through the second list and ask yourself why you have done all these things for your Ex. Was it out of love, or did they make you do them against your will? Maybe you think that you haven't actually done much for your Ex, but I'm sure you have.

Identify your motives to understand your initial intentions.

Lastly, the third list will help you to realize how much your Ex actually has brought into the relationship.


Feeling anger or hate towards your Ex or yourself after a relationship break up or divorce is normal and human. We must accept it and at the same time take measures to express it safely. I showed you some practical ways to do this in part 2.

The anger is characteristic for the second phase, and if you work on this early on you will cut off a big part of your journey.

If you don't work on it, you will prolong this 2nd phase and will not get into the next, which is to learn how to be independent. Let alone running the risk of suffering from some serious illness.

So, getting rid of your anger is something that you really should take very seriously. Take the questions from part 1 of the articles to know if you are consumed by anger, and then do the exercises to get rid of it.

Once this step is behind you, the way into independence will be much easier to go. You can forgive your Ex, and you can forgive yourself.

This is another milestone for the arduous climbing of that huge mountain called “break up survival“.

Your friend,

  • I’m quite stuck on this anger. My ex-wife left me 18 months ago and 6 months afterwards I found out she had been having an affair for the last 12 months of our marriage which she continues to deny (despite having bought a house with the guy). My counselor believes she suffers from borderline personality disorder.

    I’ve tried all of the suggestions mentioned here and over time it seems like my anger is getting worse and not better (I have thought of all the things mentioned in this article). I’m becoming bitter and fixated on revenge. I have always struggled with the world not being fair and unjust and I want my pound of flesh from her. The only reason I haven’t is that we co parent our son who would be caught in the cross fire. I don’t know how to move forward from this. I never used to be this type of person but I am in so much pain and stuck and the only thing that I can think about is making her suffer. I haven’t been happy in a over a decade and life has lost it’s joy for me. I’m a survivor who’s sick of just surviving.

  • I just can’t tell you how relieved I am after reading this article. I am going through a post break up of a three-year-old relationship. I get so frustrated often that I start shouting at my mom for no particular reason and stay closed up in my room. It was then I started searching on the net for a way out of this because I knew what my problem was.I was going through phase 2 until last month but now its phase 3 I am in . I just can’t stop blaming myself for our failed relationship. I am really thankful to you for this article. I am gonna put some into practice. Actually your points has put me at ease and I believe its going to help me recover fast. Thank you 😊

  • See, I’ve sent the three angry texts in the two days since the break up. One angry about a used car we used to share that she’s keeping…she never let me drive it. Even though I’m licensed. And one right after because she left her movement behind in my restroom….I think that’s reasonable….I won’t text her anymore for sure. But the termination came as a blind shock.

  • Thankyou for the advice! Am dealing with a lot of anger and resentment at the moment and finding it very difficult to cope after a 15yr relationship 🙁 am definitely going to give these tips a try!!

  • Eddie,
    Thank you so much for writing this article. I am in an eerily similar situation to the example you described in part 1 of this series. I will use it to get over the horrible self loathing I feel since she left and one day be completely happy again with myself.

  • Its been 2 months since my break up and i still feel very angry. I am constantly going back and forth between the stages. So frustrating. I decided to write a letter to my ex expressing my anger towards him, i did not send it of course, it was for therapeutic purposes. Here is a preview of what i feel…lets hope one day all this anger i feel goes away…

    I Hate You…

    I hate you because you hurt me.
    I hate you because you abandoned me.
    I hate you because you lied to me.
    I hate you because you got my hopes up and killed them.
    I hate you because you moved on so quick, 2 weeks is all it took before you met someone else.

    I hate you because i still dwell over you while you live your happy life.
    I hate you because i gave you everything i had in me and you took it for granted.
    I hate you because you could never understand the way i loved you.

    I hate you because you never understood me.
    I hate you because i let you get me so emotional all the time.
    I hate you because you would use my weaknesses against me.
    I hate you because you always made me feel lower than you.

    I hate you because you chose others before me.
    I hate you because your friends were always more important.
    I hate you because you thought you were so perfect, when you were the least perfect.
    I hate you because you always did what you wanted.

    I hate you because you became so cocky after you got that pathetic job.
    I hate you because you never took my side.
    I hate you because you always ignored me to punish me.
    I hate you because you changed,
    I hate you because i cant go anywhere without it reminding me of you.

    I hate you because i cant listen to certain music anymore.
    I hate you because all the memories i have are with you and they hurt
    I hate you because i cant be at peace because your memories haunt me.
    I hate you because you didnt love me anymore and i knew it.

    but most of all I hate you for what i became while i was with you….

    • I don’t know if you know this, but all of the things you are describing that your ex did that hurt you are all signs that he/she was a narcissist. In particular the ignoring to punish and using weakness against you. Did the relationship start out stronger and more intense than any other? Was he/she ‘perfect’ and then suddenly seemed to change but it was made out to be your fault?? Yes? Then that’s a narcissist. The covert narcissist is the most dangerous.
      I have an ex who did the exact same behaviours with me. It is NOT your fault!!!

  • Walker 29 says:

    I have been seeing a man going thru a divorce. Today he turned on me, via text messaging, telling me it’s all my fault his wife will not take him back. I never knew he was trying to reconcile! Why would he say these things to me. I was not involved with the breakup of the marriage, but he is so angry with me. What do I do?

  • Anonymous says:

    My husband left in 2008, he left me for another woman who I just found out he has a new baby by. We have two children and the only contact we have had is over the phone, he made no attempt to see his children in almost four years(he had moved out of state).  He came to see our kids after almost four years for Christmas and informed me he had a baby by this lady he has been seeing since we broke up.  He has lied since the beginning about this relationship and on Chrismas Eve tells me they have a new baby.  I am just as angry as when he left and I don’t even know why I thought I was past this.  I have not dated or seen anyone since the breakup and feel like I am in the same place I was when he left the first time.  He however has moved on with his life.  Help.

    • Hi Susie,

      I think your main problem is that you never tried – even considered – to start a new life of your own. Almost four years is a very long time to still be angry.

      You need to make a clean cut, mentally and by making him clear (through your actions) that such behavior is unacceptable (I will never understand how someone can abandon his own children for four years).

      Your main focus should be the mental safety of your children (how do they react on the re-appearance of their father?) and finally starting your own life again.

      I suggest that you follow the No-Contact Rule and start doing the things that make YOU happy.


  • Stlebelica says:

    I broke up with my boyfriend of nine months the day before yesterday, but it seems like much longer. It was all my fault and I have been having a hard time forgiving myself (meaning that I can’t). My mistakes were some of the ones described on this very website. They all came from fear of losing him (which I once did, when he broke up with me and said he doesn’t want a relationship because he doesn’t like himself, but loves me nevertheless. He came back saying he couldn’t make it without me, and I took him back, and thought we could go on like nothing happened) I have always had it in me, and did that even before the breakup, but after that it got much worse, I don’t know if that’s the reason. The thing is, if I had really tried not to keep on poking through his brain and forcing him to answer every stupid question, everything would have been perfect, because I truly believe(d) we are meant for each other. Now I have this sense of guilt and fear for maybe ruining the best thing I ever could have had. And I can’t live with it, the fact that I didn’t try. Now I’ve pushed him away and when we had our last fight, something in him snapped and he decided he just couldn’t go back, because we’ve been fighting a lot for the past months (my fault), and he can’t give me another chance to make it right because he doesn’t believe anything could change. The thing is, we can’t go back, obviously, but the guilt is ruining me. I love him, and with him I was the happiest I’d ever been, and I just don’t want to lose him, what if he was the one, and I ruined it? I still think he was perfect for me.

  • Thank you so much for this website, I am in the process of a very messy break up and the help I have found here has been so comforting. I now understand a lot of the feelings I have had and am looking forward to the future now, which I wasn't before. Thank you

  • Spaceshuttle2000 says:

    I broke up a month ago from a 4 year relationship. I am now going through phase 2. All the tears has dried off, I regain my loss of appetite, I can smile. However, I am so angry with my ex and I always told myself how regrettable it has been for me to do this and that. Now that I read your blog and it enlightens me. Thank you very much sharing a

  • James Nganga says:

    I broke up with my girl friend of two years about five months ago and in a fit of anger even got her fired from her place of work at a hospital and wrote an embarrassing letter to her folks.The whole thing was very nasty and if i knew then what i know now things would be very different.

    I wish i had stumbled upon your website sooner because in truth i still have feelings for her but its toooo late and the damage has been done. I have tried to move on but my heart sticks to this one girl.

    I get very depressed when i think about things as they stand but i guess i just to live with the situation as it is.There isn’t a day that passes without me thinking of her and wishing i cud turn back the hands of time.

    She was my only true love but she fell out of love.

  • I went through a breakup about 4 months before my daughter was born. I was never angry before, but recently I feel myself getting angry over nothing at my current boyfriend. I was wondering if maybe because I have that attachment to my ex that I could be displaying my anger all of a sudden and will the steps in this blog help me the same as everyone else. I never see my ex and he has nothing to do with my daughter. I just want the anger to go away and am willing to try anything.

  • this is a great website – I am going through a breakup right now and I am exactly in the second phase. i have done some of your practical exercises, but will also try the others b/c im sure they will help. in addition, your blog has helped me understand why i am feeling this way towards my ex and myself. thanks so much

  • Thanks a lot!! … There is been times i am really confused on what all this is ALL-ABOUT, then i found your blog … it gives me what all i missed all these years … thanks for this … All your topics are worth reading and i only wish more to come.

  • Thanks Eddie for the your informative articles…more power & god bless…

  • We have to belive when god shut one door for us, He actually open the other door for us…When we break-up with some body actually He served some one who is better for us… 🙂

  • Thanks a lot Eddie for articles like these. I’m currently in the process of overcoming an tumultuous break-up and this website has been an immense help 🙂

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