“Why is my ex so mean to me? What did I do?”
You may have asked yourself this before (or are still asking it, since you’re reading this article right now).
Exes can be a confusing arena to navigate, especially if they’re being complicated to deal with after the breakup when you’ve cut off most contact. It can be especially confusing when they’re being mean; things between the two of you are done, so why are they acting this way?
It’s time to stop going around in circles in your head, wondering what you did wrong; let’s go into 11 reasons why your ex is mean to you.
1) They want to get your attention
If they want you back and you’ve decided that pressing that “delete contact” button was final, they could be acting out as a way to get you to interact with them again.
They might be thinking that the more they keep themselves in your life, the more you’ll reconsider getting back into a relationship with them.
Maybe they’re testing the waters, too — stirring the pot to see if you’ll take the bait because that could send the message that you still care about them. They want to see what you’ll do or how you’ll feel if you talk to them again.
Also, they might be missing you — they’re missing the attention you gave them, so they’ll do anything to get that attention back, even if it means being mean to you.
2) They’re in the “anger” part of the stages of grief
There’s no exact order for how people should move on from things because everyone has their own pace and ways of getting through a breakup.
That being said, the concept of the five stages of grief has been used to label the different stages in recovering from something that has hurt you; maybe your ex is mean to you because they’re in the “anger” part of the cycle.
The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Although they don’t necessarily have to be experienced in order (you could ping pong and go in circles between the five if that’s what your process looks like), it’s common to experience at least one at a time. Maybe your ex is just mean because they’re stuck in that circle of breakup-hell.
In a breakup context, they might be angry because they’ve realized that they deserve more from a relationship and are now mad at themselves too — but of course, they’ll be likely to pin it on you and express that by being mean.
3) Want advice specific to your situation?
While this article will shed light on the main reasons your ex is mean to you, I’d recommend speaking to a certified relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice tailored to your unique situation…
Relationship Hero is a popular site where highly trained relationship coaches help people work through complex relationship issues, like understanding your ex’s behavior. Their popularity is a testament to how skilled their coaches are.
Why am I so confident that they can help you?
Well, I recently experienced a tough patch in my own relationship, and I reached out to a coach for help. From the moment I got in touch, I was given genuine, helpful advice, and was finally able to see my relationship issues with real clarity.
I was blown away by how kind and empathetic my coach was.
Within minutes, you could be receiving life-changing advice on how to navigate and repair the issues you’re facing with your ex.
4) They’re still hurting over the breakup
Your ex might still be mad at you because they’re still hurt over losing you; they’re using their anger to shield themselves from their sadness.
Naturally, losing that person would make them angry and mean because they might be feeling betrayed because of promises the two of you might have made to each other before.
They could also be made from old trauma or the reason for the breakup.
If you hurt each other (especially if you’re the one who hurt them), they could still be holding onto anger from what happened — explaining why they’re still mean to you even after you’ve broken up.
5) They’re jealous
At one point, the two of you probably thought you’d be together forever. Now that you’re showing them that it won’t happen anymore, it might be fanning the betrayal flames.
They’ll also want to one-up whoever you’re dating to show you that they’re the better choice, and if that isn’t working, it’s even more cause for them to be mad at and mean to you.
6) They’re pretending to be over you
This is a see-through tactic for the post-breakup struggle; if they’re mean to you, they might be pretending to be over you.
They’re deflecting any lingering feelings they have onto you, the subject of those feelings, who they can’t seem to stop thinking about.
To overcompensate, they now act like they’re mad— and they might even be mad at themselves because they know they’re just pretending to be over it and it might not be working.
7) They still have feelings for you
You might be thinking that that makes zero sense. But if you think about it, it’s a natural reaction to having feelings for someone you’re not allowed to express feelings towards anymore.
They’re feeling things that they don’t want to feel, so they take it out on you because they think that that’s your fault (especially if you’re the one who initiated the breakup).
They could be unhappy in a new relationship and now they want you back. Or they’re single and wishing you guys could rekindle what you once had. This might cause them to become bitter and hence their mean attitude towards you.
But what if you felt the same way?
There is something you can do to reunite with your ex. Not to go back to the same relationship you once had, but to start a new, better relationship.
To do this, you only need to change the emotions he associates with you and make him picture what a brand new relationship with you would look like.
In his excellent short video, James Bauer gives you a step-by-step method for women who want to change the way their ex feels about them. He reveals the texts you can send and things you can say that will trigger deep feelings inside him.
Because once you paint a new picture about what your life together could be like, his mean comments will become a thing of the past and you could end up creating the relationship you’ve always dreamt of.
8) They’re stressed about the breakup
Of course, you might not directly be the reason that they’re mean to you. It’s possible that they’re just stressed out about the situation as a whole and are choosing to take it out on you because, in their heads, you caused this stress.
This is especially possible in more serious relationships when the two of you have been entangled in too many things; do you have any joint accounts that you have to close? Any rent payments for your apartment that you now have to figure out?
All of these other factors might be making them anxious, so if your ex is mean to you, it might be because they’re upset about the situation.
9) They’re guilty about the breakup
In psychology, there’s a defense mechanism called reaction formation which happens when you express the opposite of what you’re feeling because you want to cover up what you’re actually feeling.
In this case, if they’re guilty about the breakup, they might be trying to pick a fight with you because they want to push away their guilt.
Maybe they were the ones who cheated, or they regretted how they immediately asked you to move out after the breakup. If there are feelings of guilt that they can’t get rid of, they might be mean to you to cover it up.
10) They feel like you’re not getting the message
If you’ve been trying to get them to come back to you, they might be mean on purpose to shake you off. This could be their way of making it clear that they really don’t want to give your relationship another shot.
They might be extra-mean to break your denial bubble if you still haven’t accepted that the relationship has ended.
If you’re still chasing after them because you still want them back, they could feel like you’re holding them back from being happy and resent that. This is probably a frustrating situation for them, so it’d explain why they’re being mean.
11) They don’t want to hurt you
Now it really doesn’t make sense at first, right?
It actually does when you think about it, because maybe they’re being mean and trying to pick a fight so that they’re not the ones who hurt you; now, the narrative is that you hurt each other.
If they want to keep their hands clean when it comes to the hurt they’ve caused, they might want to level the scales by goading you into hurting them back so that to them, it doesn’t feel like they hurt you.
If they pick a fight and you fight back, they can consider themselves to be a victim too.
There are two ways this can go, depending on what you want to do next.
Do you want to get back together with them or do you want to end things once and for all?
If you want to get back together, show them that you’ve improved and have become a better person now. Maybe they’re mean to you because they want you to think it’s over and they want it to be over because they broke up with you for a reason.
But if you’ve changed for the better since then and you want them to reconsider getting back with you, show them what they’re missing and keep your fingers crossed.
I recommend taking James Bauer’s advice. He knows that the solution isn’t returning to what you once had, but creating something even better.
He’ll give you unique tips to win your ex back and create a relationship that serves both of you, putting love and commitment at the center of it all.
But if you want to break it off for good, avoid taking the bait. Don’t fight fire with fire.
Decide that you’re done and give each other the space you need to cool off any unresolved bad feelings. Maybe this could even lead to you ceasing contact altogether; if that’s something you want, keep a safe distance from the fire and be ready with an extinguisher to put it out.
As we said, exes are complicated — but they don’t have to be. Pay attention to their behavior and eventually, you’ll figure out once and for all why they’re being mean to you.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.