By Chris Seiter

Updated on June 21st, 2021

It seems counterintuitive. Your ex, who recently broke up with you, seems angry with you. In fact, they appear to be growing angrier with you by the day. But why would they be angry with you, when they are the one who broke up with YOU?

Believe it or not, there is some psychology behind it.

Over the years, we have helped countless exes work through breakups, so we have noticed a few trends. In this article, we will talk about four possible reasons why your ex may be angry with you, even though they broke up with you.

The four reasons are:

  1. The Five Stages of Grief
  2. The Relapse Mentality
  3. Change Hurts
  4. The Victim Mentality

So, let’s get started by talking about reason # 1, the Five Stages of Grief.

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Reason #1: The Five Stages Of Grief

If you’re looking to understand why your ex is angry with you, even though they broke up with you, the first thing that comes to mind is the Five Stages of Grief. You know, the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle. If you are unfamiliar with it, here are the stages in order:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Now, the average person trying to explain why an ex is angry with you would probably point to the Five Stages of Grief and say, “well, they’re in the stage of anger”. Next will come the bargaining stage, the depression stage, and so forth.

Well, I’m not necessarily sure I agree with that kind of thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Five Stages of Grief are brilliant and I think most exes experience each stage to some degree.

I’m just a little skeptical about the nature and the order in which we experience these stages.

That brings us to reason # 2 that I would like to discuss, the Relapse Mentality.

Reason #2: The Relapse Mentality 

Too often, I think the people who are talking about the Five Stages of Grief haven’t really experienced the stages themselves. Otherwise, they would know that when you have something that makes you grieve, you don’t necessarily experience the Five Stages in the exact order that is traditionally laid out.

Sure, some people start out by denying what’s happening to them and then go immediately to anger. But emotions are complicated, and some people relapse.

Now, what do I mean by that?

Well, maybe they go through the Five Stages of Grief and even after they have accepted the break-up, they start feeling angry again or they start feeling denial again. I don’t necessarily think the Five Stages are wrong. Not at all. I just think that the order you experience them is sort of up to chance and that stages can be revised, as one grieves.

The truth is that everyone reacts differently to things that make them grieve.

Some people immediately jump to anger and skip the denial stage. Some people immediately jump to acceptance and then revert to anger again. There is no real hard and fast rule as to how we experience these stages.

So, I think when an ex is angry with you, they are experiencing the Five Stages of Grief, but they may not go through the stages in the order that you would expect.

Meaning, your ex could accept the breakup at first and then later become angry that the breakup occurred, even though they are the one who initiated the breakup.

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Or, your ex could have experienced a stage and then later relapse and experience the same stage again – hence, the relapse mentality.

It may not make sense logically but remember this is an emotional process. This brings me to reason # 3 that may explain why your ex is angry with you – change hurts.

Reason #3: Change Hurts

“All that you touch is change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change.”

That is a quote from a book called Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

Now, what is this quote saying? Well, it’s saying that change is one gigantic constant in our lives and, quite often, people do not respond well to change.

Now, the smart thing for all of us to do is to embrace change and understand that change is a daily part of our lives. It will never go away. But that’s not what most people do. Many of us tend to wake up and expect today to be like yesterday.

We stick to our routines and do what we are used to doing, because it’s comfortable for us – and people like feeling comfortable. But, that’s not how life works.
Change is a one constant force.

So, how does this have anything to do with your ex? Well, even if your ex is the one who broke up with you, a big change in their life has occurred. And, as we already covered, people don’t like change and they start to act a little bit funny when it happens.

Now, the irony here is that your ex is the one who initiated the change. It’s a paradox. They wanted to break up with you, therefore they are the one who caused the change. Why would they be upset?

Well, from my experience, I have learned that exes tend to live in the “now” rather than the “later”. They think, “maybe if I change this now and breakup with you, it will make me feel better”. They don’t really think, “well, maybe if I change this right now, it will make me feel like crap later”.

That brings me to the last reason why your ex may be angry with you, the Victim Mentality.

Reason #4: The Victim Mentality

I started my company back in 2012, so I have experienced almost a decade of running Ex-Boyfriend Recovery and Ex-Girlfriend Recovery.

In this time, one of the most interesting and alarming patterns that I’ve noticed is the tendency of exes to paint themselves as victims, even if they are the ones who initiated the breakup.

Now, why is this? I mean, the paradox is your ex is the one who broke up with you. Why would they initiate a breakup if they knew it would cause them pain later? Well, I think that’s the key. Your ex did not realize the breakup would cause them pain. But pain doesn’t discriminate.

You see, even if your ex broke up with you, they still experience the pain this change has caused. They still experience the Five Stages of Grief – maybe not in the traditional order of how those stages are laid out or in a way that is universally expected by most people – but they will still feel the pain of this change.

In their mind, you become the source of their pain. Therefore, they are the victim.

I realize this sounds a little twisted. What your ex really needs to do is hold a mirror up and realize they are the one causing this pain. But emotions are complicated, and this way of thinking puts your ex into the victim mentality. They begin to think that you are the one who wronged them. That is why they’re angry with you. That’s why they are saying these mean things to you.

I mean, maybe it’s not the only reason they are saying these mean things to you. Maybe it’s not the only reason they are angry with you. But I think it’s a pretty big one and one that is often overlooked by many of my peers.

The Solution

Now, here is the great news. If they are angry with you, it is not that far of a leap for them to start regretting their decision.

Eventually, they may decide to hold a mirror up to themselves and realize, deep down, that they are the source of this pain.

That’s when regret comes into play. They will start to regret breaking up with you.

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Now, I can’t guarantee that is going to happen in your specific situation.

However, I can guarantee that if you spend this breakup recovery time on some self-reflection and on working to actively rebuild your life in all of the ways you desire, you are going to be in a much better place in life when and if your ex does start to regret their decision.

Then, the ball will be in your court, so to speak.

It will be your decision, if you want to take them back or not.

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31 thoughts on “Why Is My Ex Angry When They Broke Up With Me”

  1. Sally

    December 4, 2022 at 3:32 am

    Just ended NC this week and it is not going great. Ran into ex twice accidentally, on back to back nights. The first time we were both alone, and also once when I was with another man (a new friend, but not dating) and he got very mad on both occasions. He’s mad I’m doing well and spending time with other people. I’m honestly just confused about how to respond/what kind of language to use to de-escalate the situation and be able to begin talking in a more fun and engaging way. (We did have one great and long conversation between the two run ins where we aired some grievances but then ended by telling stories and laughing together about all sorts of stuff.)

  2. Nick

    September 20, 2021 at 12:00 am

    My Ex Girlfriend split up with me around 7 weeks ago, she didn’t give a reason why or anything regarding what happened, she gets angry and frustrated if I ask like it was my fault we split. At the end she was going out every other weekend, I don’t think she cheated, but she just never seemed herself and would pick fights the last few months. We have a 3yr old daughter together, I’d go over and we’d always end up in bed, she’d flirt the next day then go cold or angry I’ve heard she’d bad mouthing me to her family and friends which hurts because I was good to her. I did a mini NC for 7 days this week but she has tried contacting me every day so I give up and spoke to her she was nice at first then went cold. I need help trying to understand her point of view because I’m still in love with her.

    Some of the things she said.

    • Maybe in the future.
    • It the way I feel now, not in the future.
    • I want to be able to come to you.
    • Stop pushing for something that doesn’t exist.

    It’s really confusing and hurt my head. Any advice would be appreciated

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 23, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      Hey Nick, I would suggest that you stick with a Limited no contact where you would only speak to her about your child or any shared responsibilities that you have. Otherwise allow her to think that you are moving on.

  3. Linda

    September 6, 2021 at 2:42 am

    Hi i met my ex 2 years ago and he is the one who broke up with me, he was never over his ex!! He showed me the good side and didnt let me know how close they really were. He promised me he was over her and i had nothing to worry about so we followed through! Fast forward his ex txts him she misses him he misses her so now he wants to be her but he cheated on her and they would have to take it slow. He was being so mean to me and i have never done any thing for him to act such a way its like he changed and didnt know me? Then started acting nice again? Idk … Hes gone moved out i wana message so bad but itll hurt knowing he wont respond anyways before he left he seemed confused he didnt know if he was making the right choice??? Idk he made my emotions go up and down waiting for an answer? He doesnt live here anymore so im assuming he will be happy where ever he ends up.

  4. Kindred

    July 4, 2021 at 9:28 am

    I was so hurt, upset and angry at my ex boyfriend I started lashing out over text and got really full on with it. He replied with how much he was upset too.

    Later on that day. Realised that I had been blocked on Facebook. I still see his Instagram open and could probably still contact him on WhatsApp but decided to just leave him alone and I went to far.

    I feel just awful for getting over emotional like that. He would of never seen that side of me before either and I bet that scared him.

    I wonder if when he calms down he will unblock me and reach out again?

    He obviously doesn’t want to right now. I am usually pretty chill and a happy go lucky person. I just realises I was just hurting and reacting to the break up.

  5. Lily

    May 20, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    I broke up with him a couple days ago and now I feel angry. It is probably one of the stages of grief. Over the 1 year 2 months we were together I gave a lot emotionally, and he gave more financially. Once I moved out it was like he’d forgotten about me, and he would only call once a week. He could only have surface level conversations. I felt very alone in the relationship. Like he was neglecting me, but he was also neglecting himself. When I dumped him he said that “if I neglect you, you will think every guy is neglecting you. And if you don’t then you will leave them because you need space”. I always had the gut feeling he didn’t care as much as he said he did, and while I worked on my problems, he never did. So now I feel angry that I let myself be treated that way. And I’m angry that I didn’t leave sooner.

  6. VC

    May 3, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    My ex broke up with me over text a few weeks ago while has out of the country calling me a liar for something I was telling the truth about. I had omitted the truth from him about a previous ex some years before and I thought we had worked through it but it seems he told me he forgave me but never did.
    He called me all kinds of names. I gave it a few days and reached out to him again, he said we should remain platonic friends and thats it.

    I left it a few days and then reached out to him again telling him that I made a mistake and im truly sorry for what I’ve done. He proceeded to txt back really angrily and told me he cannot see him spending his life with a liar and the only reason he hasn’t cut me off is because he loves me but any thoughts about moving forward together are out of the question.

    I dont know what to do, he has lied to me too but I haven’t even bought up what I know because I love him and I forgave him. I want him back.

  7. SP

    February 17, 2021 at 4:12 am

    Hi there!

    My ex and I lived together and broke up over a week ago. He broke up with me and I packed my bags and moved out the same night even though he asked me to stay and take my time. I wasn’t about to give him that choice when I was already made to feel so small for being in a stagnant place. Before moving in I had a stable job and an amazing house, gave it all up when covid began so that we could be together ( he begged me to move in and gave me an ultimatum) in one house. I went from living an active and stable lifestyle to stagnant and rather depressed during covid living in the middle of nowhere a town with less than 1000. I am from the city!! Fast forward to the break-up, I left the house and a dog we got together because unfortunately now I am in an APT that doesn’t accept dogs but will sign a lease in the future with a place that does. She is my light and the tears of the break up are all for the pups! I have stayed on the no contact all week, but today received a message that ” just to let you know I am giving up M(our dog) for adoption in case if you want her” …. His voice was cold and certain. Not to mention he suffers from a mental condition.

    I am beyond hurt, I cannot take her right now and we had agreed if we ever broke up that he would keep her until I was able to take her back. However after the breakup he went to the length of texting my mum ( we are in our 30’s by the way) to say I never wanted the dog, that she would only get in my way. I haven’t responded to this message yet because I am left without words! Oh did I also mention I found out I am pregnant 3 days ago and I considered infertile? I don’t even have the words to tell him and honestly don’t want to right now….too early. Guys any advice is really welcome. Thank you again!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 19, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Sp, so if you are choosing to keep the baby then you MUST tell him. As for the dog situation it is difficult but if you are not in a position to have her yourself, can you find someone who can foster her until you are able to find somewhere else to live that will allow you to have her. The key right now is that you inform him you are pregnant and what your decision is going forward with that. And then spend this time following a limited no contact.

  8. Lucas

    February 11, 2021 at 1:17 am

    I need some help. My ex cheated on me and went on holiday with her ‘mate’ and we broke and I found out she cheated on me many more times during our 2 year relationship. We broke up 8 months ago now and I’m over her but i struggle to find and move forward with other people. I also have this issue where I test maybe every month and I’m just horrible to her because I have so much anger everyday and it eventually needs to come out. It doesn’t help that most days she posts videos about boyfriends and just general hurtful things. How do I stop messaging her and move on. ( she has completely moved on btw and doesn’t care about me at all )

  9. Taali

    January 15, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Hi,Me and my ex bf was in a relationship for a year everything was sweet and lovely but we both had issues in our careers and with the families after a year ,so I was crying everyday because if these issues then he got depressed and took a break from me and it’s been 4 months since he broke up with me first I begged him to stay and started the silent treatment ,he follows me on social media still but when I reach out to him he doesn’t even reply to me. Because of this I’m so much hurt . And thinking whether to forget him and move on. Will you pla tell me what to do ? It’s been 5months since he stopped talking to me:(

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 18, 2021 at 10:27 pm

      Hi Taali, I cannot tell you to move on or to try to get him back that needs to be your decision, however you can use this website to read about being ungettable girl and how to apply this to yourself and become the best version of yourself so your ex can see you are no longer in that bad place.

  10. Donita Darling

    November 20, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Hi my boyfriend and i dated 3 years ,at the beginning of the relationship i was trying to broke it of with my ex boyfriend at that time,now 2 years later hes having trust issues with me. He assume all types of hurtful things that im not doing ,.It hurts now he has broken up with me but im not doing the things he thinks im doing..I really love and miss him,sometimes we meet up talk nice,and sometimes hes just mean. Please tell me whst to do.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 9, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Donita – I would suggest that you start off following the program with your no contact as you are broken up. He needs to see what it is like without you in his life, along with you staying single and not doing the things he accused you off, proves him wrong and that he was just being insecure.

  11. Beth

    October 3, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Hey guys, guess I just need some confirmation that I’m doing the right things! My bf of 9mths (we’d been best friends for 3 years prior to this) suddenly dumped me in July, all I got was a load of angry bs over text saying there was no future and it was never a relationship anyway! We never fought throughout our time together, we got on extremely well but I think he was pretty stressed in lockdown and this was a way of him ‘freeing up’ some time as it was all just too much for him?! So I accepted this and tried to get on with him as best I could at work, he got back in touch about 4 weeks after the breakup and 2 weeks later asked if we could meet, about an hour before he cancelled saying sorry it was a mistake. A few days after this he blocked me on social media. That’s when I found you guys, I went into limited nc, we got on great at work but I tried my best to keep it strictly work when previously I’ve always been his rock. The last 2 weeks he’s got even angrier with me than usual, hot and cold, lovely and then nasty – all through work, still nc outside. This week he messaged to say my things were in the post, I ignored this, then he messaged to ask me to delete photos of him which I ignored. He’s now blocked me on that platform too. Please tell me I’m doing the right thing?!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 21, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Beth, yes you are doing the right thing at the moment he is angry – for some reason it is directed at you. I am not sure if you had a falling out the time of the break up for him to end things, but the most important thing is that you act professional in work and always appear indifferent to his mood swings and happy and continue living your life, so he wonders why you are not upset that he is not being nice to you.

  12. Terri

    June 11, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Hi Team,
    My boyfriend of 2.5 years broke up with me in April at the onset of the covid-19 self-isolation. We hadn’t seen one another for a few weeks (we were isolating separately on account that he is caregiver for his elderly family and I am an essential worker easily exposed) and when he called it off he said “it just isn’t working for me anymore” after freezing me out for weeks. He even removed me from social media in a snit (I suspect because I didn’t plead for him not to break up with me…I had my own stuff I was dealing with and his coldness was not something I wanted to beg for).

    I didn’t talk to him for a couple weeks (I didn’t know about NC yet) I just naturally did it because I was so angry and hurt. When I did reach out at that time he was friendly, and we exchanged property, but I was still so angry and after some research I came across NC and decided it was a good idea. I gave it 30 days and focused heavily on my mental and physical health, career, etc.

    After about 5 weeks of radio silence I texted him again he was so cold. Only gave minimal responses even though I had told him some major news (changed jobs, put an offer on a condo, etc). I kept the exchanges shirt, and light-hearted and then he stopped responding and hasn’t responded to a text since.

    I suspect he is struggling with untreated depression (he has a physical disability and the long winter months are hard on him) plus the anxiety of the pandemic and the changes no one had any control over. However, he’s completely shut me out and is acting so angry!

    I’ve decided to give him more space and re-institute NC for MY sake. I don’t want him back in this current state because I think time apart is good for us but I am incredibly worried about his mental health. I’m really torn and confused about his victim mentality when HE ended it and seems bitter that I’m moving on. How do you do this when there are mental health issues involved??

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 16, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Terri, you follow the program as explained, the issue with his mental health is beyond your control you just need to keep it in mind when you reach out and try to have conversations if he seems hot and cold that he could be having a harder day when it feels like he is distant. So patience is key. You working on your Holy Trinity is definitely for best

  13. Faith

    May 16, 2020 at 11:45 pm


    So my ex and I have been broken up for about 9 months now. I did the no contact for about 5 months and spoke to his family maybe 9 times during that whole process. I tried messaging him through an app because he had blocked me right after we broke up. So I thought enough time had passed for us to be on good terms again. We do have the same friends and all. But when he replied he lashed out and threatened me and said that he wanted me to stop talking to him, his friends, family and girlfriend (which I had not even contacted). So I’m so confused where this anger came from because his family and friends are still close to me and I thought he had gotten over us being apart (he broke up with me by the way). I just need advice on what to do next. I’m so hurt that he was so mean to me when all I wanted was to tell him good job on graduation. Any advice will help. I still love him and have tried to move on and do everything this blogs says. We were best friends before we started dating and we’re so close. So for him to act this way is unlike him. Even his family and friends say that he’s so angry and upset all the time now.

  14. Anisha Rajmane

    April 10, 2020 at 6:22 am

    Hi Chris
    My ex broke up with me immediately when I returned from Australia, I was on a work trip.
    He gave me reasons saying that he doesn’t like my behavior.
    I have applied the no contact rule. He even said in our last conversation that he doesn’t love me and he never saw love from my end.
    He said he lost interest in me.
    I am feeling miserable and it’s getting harder day by day.
    We were together since a year and hardly had any major fights.
    When I was in Australia he hardly contacted me giving me reasons such as he’s busy and has no time.
    Please guide me in this.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 18, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Anisha, it sounds as if you guys may have grown apart from travelling. You are right to go into a NC and I would make sure that during this time you focus on your Holy Trinity and how to be the best version of yourself. Work on preparing some texts to send to your ex to peak his interest. He mentioned that he did not like your behavior, if you know what he means by this. Did you do wrong? Or is he just not happy with some decisions you have made?

  15. Anna2020

    March 22, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Hello, does no contact rule apply to engaged couples? My fiance called off the wedding just after a month and a half from the time he proposed. He put the blame on me that i did not want to move to another country with him ( which isn’t true I just was really worried and sensitive to tell my family and quit my job). We have been together for 9 years …

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 23, 2020 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Anna yes it does

  16. Pinelopi

    January 20, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Why my ex always insulting me, finds and tells me that other women are more beautiful always tells me that I am a slut. What I should do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 22, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Pinelopi! Walk away! Block, ignore and learn that you are not this person! Do not let anyone mentally abuse you this way!

  17. Mainu

    January 20, 2020 at 6:01 am

    Hey ….i just had a break up on 6 jan 2020 which was unexpected and out of the blue …we had a relationship for 5 years ….nd it is actually very difficult for me to accept that ..However i tried to make things right many times but he is just not willing to listen and wants only a break up …Even while breaking up he was just rude and angry and gave the reason that i am stressing him out a lot …well for now i have just stopped contacting him …would love to hear from you and your opinions regarding this .

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 22, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Hey Mainu, it is hard to accept when someone wants to break up with you and you were not expecting it or wanting to break up yourself. However you can not convince him to be with you so soon after a break up. This is why we do No Contact and give them that space from you and let them miss you. In that time you need to work on yourself and become what we call “ungettable” read this article see what things you can change during your no contact

  18. Mae

    January 16, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    My ex broke up with me 2 months ago. We dated for a year and 4 months. We started dating long distance for a year while he was a senior in HS and I was a freshman in college. This was both our first serious relationship. He came to my college and a series of negative events happened and he said he lost feelings for me. He’s someone who needs a lot of space and I wasn’t giving him that. He recently said that things are completely over with us right now and has started seeking out other women. We talked on and off after the breakup until recently I’ve decided to implement no contact for 45 days because I didn’t give him the space needed, but I’m having a lot of doubts. I’m currently on day 7. Is NC the right thing to do here? I’m really worried about it destroying the relationship more as I’ve had to reach out to him about work/school and I’ve gotten one word responses or been left on read. Let me know if you need any more into for an accurate answer! Thank you so much 🙂

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 18, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Mae, yes the 45 day no contact is definitely the right thing to do here and good for you committing to it and getting through your first week! Keep going, and keep working on yourself! Visit this article and give it a read to help you along the way

  19. THANKS

    January 14, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Hey Chris & team! This isn’t a question, just a big ol’ thank you. My long distance ex and I broke up a couple of months back. I used your methods immediately after the breakup. I’d like to think they got him to contact me first after the breakup and they also helped me (mostly) keep my chin up instead of becoming a big pile of misery. My usual MO after a breakup… I’m certain that your advice combined with the fact that he and I truly care about each other and we were willing to put in the work brought us back together. PS – We’re about to be long distance no more, we’re moving in together later this year. XO you guys!!! Keep doing what ya do. I think it’s great how you empower women.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 16, 2020 at 11:16 pm

      This is awesome thank you for your message 🙂