Are you feeling angry after a break up, even if it was mutual?
Were you in a relationship that you knew was doomed and are you relieved that it is over but still angry for some unknown reason?
It makes sense. This happens to a lot of us at the end of a relationship, for so many reasons.
Here are 5 of them.
#1 – Unanswered questions.
Are there things that happened in the relationship that you don’t understand? Did something happened that changed the way you thought about things? Were you scared to ask questions or, if you did, were they left unanswered?
Unanswered questions can really be anger inducing.
I have a client whose relationship had just ended. They realized that they just had too many issues and that it wasn’t going to work out. He is angry, though, because he has some questions about what happened with his girlfriend’s ex over the course of their relationship.
He has a feeling that his girlfriend was talking to her ex the whole time they were dating but he wasn’t sure. It was part of what caused the disintegration of the relationship, his suspicions and her denials, although it wasn’t the whole thing. Now that the relationship is over, he is left wondering if she had been lying the whole time. And that pisses him off.
So, if you have unanswered questions, that might be one reason why you are feeling angry after a break up.
#2 – Things left unsaid.
Similar to unanswered questions, things being left unsaid can be a huge reason why we hold onto anger after a break up.
I remember when I broke up with a guy I had been seeing for two years. It was a toxic relationship and the only way that I could finally get away was by going ‘no contact’ and blocking him everywhere. We never had that ‘last talk,’ the talk where I could express the anger, frustration and disappointment that I was feeling. He knew that I felt those things but I wasn’t sure if he really understood.
I held onto my anger for a long time, longer than I should have, imagining the conversation that could have happened, but didn’t.
#3 – Disappointment.
When we fall in love we are so excited. We have met someone who fits our needs in so many ways and we dive in, sure that this time it’s going to work out. And then it doesn’t.
One of the reasons that we are angry is that we are disappointed. Disappointed in ourselves, for the part that we played in the demise of the relationship, at our ex, for their part in the demise of the relationship, and that the relationship didn’t work out the way we had hoped and dreamed it would.
Disappointment can breed deep anger. Life is so hard and, when we are let down, it can be hard to let go of. Ironically, we tend to stay angriest at ourselves when we are disappointed – we tend to blame ourselves for not holding things together and for sabotaging our future happiness.
So, take stock. Are you disappointed in yourself, your ex or the loss of your dreams for the future? If yes, then that might be why you are still holding on to the anger.
#4 – Dating.
When I am talking to clients about initiating a break up, the #1 reason they often don’t want to break up with someone is because they don’t want to start dating again.
The prospect of going back online, of having random conversations, and even more random dates, having to dress up and be charming and kiss a lot of frogs with no certainty that they will find the right person, is completely daunting. And it pisses them off.
If you are angry that you have to start dating again, I get it. It is exhausting. But I can promise you that, unless you put yourself out there in some way, you won’t find the person you have been looking for.
And they are out there, waiting for you. I promise.
#5 – Other people’s opinions.
Be honest. Are your friends trashing talking your ex? Are they saying that he was never good enough for you? Is your mother saying that she never liked him, your dad saying that she wasn’t pretty enough? Are your co-workers happy that you aren’t dating her anymore because you are now free to go out with them after work?
Other people’s opinions can play a very large part in why you are feeling angry after a break up, even if it was mutual.
People like to stoke fires, to create drama, to trash talk people who might have caused someone they love pain. As a result, they might say things that will rile you up a bit, that might make you question your ex’s actions and motivations and the things that you did to encourage it.
Spending any time at all rehashing what happened can take you right down that anger trail, even if you know that the break up was the best thing that could have happened to you.
So, stop listening to others who trash mouth your ex or your relationship. Better yet, shut them down and move on.
Feeling angry after a break up, even if it was mutual, is not unusual.
Emotions are interesting things and surprise us at every turn. Who would have thought that the emotion that manifested after a mutual break up would be anger?
Do you have unanswered questions or things that were left unsaid? Are you disappointed that the relationship ended and are your friends dissing you? Are you looking out into the world of dating with despair?
All of those things can lead to anger but know that the anger will pass. It will pass quicker if you take stock of the things that I discussed above but it will, with time, fade into something that you don’t have to think about any more.
Life will go on. And you will be happy. I promise!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.