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Intense rage/anger at Ex


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So, long story short: I was in a relationship for six years, was engaged, and was forced to end the relationship because my fiancee had an "emotional" affair. She didn't have sex with the other person at first (largely, I think, because they lived on the other side of the country,) but would talk to them constantly while ignoring me or acting annoyed with me. My ex stayed late at work very often, and I think that was mostly to avoid me. So, after trying for months to work things out, I left.

 

Objectively I know I wasn't perfect, but I was a very loving, supportive partner, and I don't believe I should have been treated this way. After the break-up my ex said she felt like we'd "stopped really dating but just stayed together out of habit" and she felt "stuck" and like the "spark" was gone. I NEVER felt this way. I was trying to work things out right until the end, when she decided to fly across the country to- to put it delicately- consummate her affair. Before the break-up she had seriously asked me why our relationship wasn't more like a romantic comedy. Seriously. I couldn't even think of how to respond. She also tried to justify her cheating/disconnecting from our relationship by saying my struggles with depression and mood were too hard on her. Granted, they were hard on everybody involved, but I think that's a really weak excuse. And at the beginning of our relationship she had struggles with anxiety-type MI, which I never held against her, even when she regularly screamed at me for "embarrassing her in public."

 

So anyway, I moved in which my parents for the time being, and they have been very supportive. But here's the upsetting part: I have this constant hate/rage going on, which is interfering with my life. At first I felt it was normal, but now it's becoming really unsettling. I would NEVER actually hurt my ex, or anybody, I'm actually a very strict pacifist, but I'm having really vivid fantasies of bad things happening to her. I've considered destroying some of her valuable possessions while in a really dark mood. I have never felt hate this strong. I feel like I would give up a significant portion of my well-being, future happiness, and even sanity to do her direct and grievous harm. NOT physical harm, but basically any other kind. I have never been so angry before.

 

Is this normal? Is there anything I can do? I tried to take my aggression out physically, even signed up for a kickboxing class, but then injured my ankle so I'm at home mostly in bed fuming. I feel really helpless and don't know how to deal with these feelings.

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The rage is normal, completely normal.  I was in an 18 year marriage.  My spouse had at least 5 emotional Internet affairs where there was sexting, exchanging pornographic pictures of each other  etc.  Then there were the actual physical affairs.  Every time I found out about these, I went into "fix it mode."  I blamed myself for them, I felt absolutely crazy and yet felt like I had to monitor his behavior - no Internet, no cell phone, password protection.  I look back on it and can't believe the things I was doing to hang onto a toxic relationship.  The emotional affairs hurt way more than the physical affairs.  Way more.

 

  My sister finally said to me one day, "When are you going to quit being a doormat?"  I had been in years of therapy prior to that. I kicked him out. It was awful for a long, long, long time. When I told my therapist we had separated, he said he knew it was coming and had been waiting for it for a long time.  Then just let me sob.

 

That is when the long difficult healing began.  Where I learned what part I did play in the demise of the relationship, i.e. staying in too long, being too much of a mother, ( codependent!!!) etc. 

 

Here I am 2 1/2 years later and in a much better place. It took a long time to get here. I had about every imaginable feeling under the sun.  Anger and Rage were there for a long time. It had nothing to do with my Bipolar Disorder. It had to do with being cheated on and being traded in for someone 20 years younger.  I thought about all sorts of mean thoughts and how great his life must have been at the time.  Then I saw the bigger picture.  Girl in her early 20's hooks up with guy in his early 40's who has cheated multiple times, has two kids and a vasectomy... yeah... that one always makes me giggle.

 

Some advice.

 

1. Work on yourself. figure out how you can be the most awesome person you can be.  Therapy, hobby, church ( if you are religious), other types of e

 

2.  The less you think about the other person, the quicker those feelings will go away.  You can guarantee  that they are not putting the time into thinking about you like you are thinking about them.  Don't let them take up free rent in your head.  And besides, whatever you have imagined their life being like right now? It's not anything you think it is like.  They are having problems just like you.  Their life is not all peaches n' cream.  The made up scenarios used to drive me nuts. 

 

3. Know that it is going to take time. Time heals all wounds, it really does.  I have a good relationship with my ex now,  even though he is still very selfish.  I have to, we have two kids together.  And besides, he isn't that happy lately, depressed.  I call it Karma... he he.  He was in awesome svelt rock hard shape when we split up.  Had to look good for all of the young girls I guess.  Now he is about 50lbs. overweight just from drowning his sorrows in food.

 

4.  You will never get a sufficient apology - if that happens.  They can apologize and it will never be what you had hoped and imagined it would be.

 

5. You will lose friends. Mutual friends. Some take sides, some just drop away completely.  You have probably noticed that already.  Don't let that feed into depression you may have.

 

6.  Here is the best part. PEACE OF MIND.  Right now.  No more checking texts, or emails or worrying who they are with or not trusting them. Their actions in that regard are no longer your problem.  It feels great.

 

So get out bed and get some exercise in.  Swimming is great if your ankle is still hurting.  Call a friend and meet for coffee or something.  Vent, but also reciprocate and get into some therapy!   It will help.  But don't stay in bed stewing.  It will just make you feel worse.

 

 

so yes.  your feelings are completely normal based on what you have been through/are going through.

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I think Frenetic gave you some really good advice, and I second all of her suggestions.

 

I hope you are seeing a therapist---a good tdoc can help you to work through this anger and get past it.  The thing is, if you continue to be eaten up by it, then you are letting your ex "win."  The best revenge on her would be to carry on with your life and not think about her at all.

 

As soon as your ankle permits, I hope you will get out of the house and meet some friends for a movie or coffee or whatever---just get out of the house with people other than the ex.  If you aren't working, maybe you could do some volunteer work in your community.  Every time she creeps into your mind, put her OUT and substitute something else.

 

However, time is the best healer, and as the months go by, you will think of her less and less.

 

olga

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