Hating The Ex

I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening with an old friend who is now divorced from the husband who used to boss her around and make her have sex with him three times a week without regard to her own lack of desire. He’s out of her life now, for the most part, but she still hates him.

In fact, she plans to hate him forever, just as I hate my ex-husband.  I have forgiven nearly all my grudges, even ones I swore to take to the grave, but I will never stop hating my ex-husband. Looking back at my old journals, I discovered that I hated him even before I married him!

I once read that a large percentage of divorced women admit to having married a man they didn’t love. This was supposed to be shocking news. It probably explains why they ended up divorced. It’s a bad idea to marry someone you actually hate, so make sure you never do it.

I married my ex at 20, after four years of living with him. I didn’t know what to do with my life and I think I hoped he would take care of me. I don’t like taking care of myself, although I am more than happy to take care of  others.

Anyway, I hated him. I hated the way he walked and I hated the way he smelled. I hated his repressed personality and I hated his petty criticism of everything I did or thought. I hated the way he’d point to a girl with close-cropped hair and say “You know, you’d look good like that.”   Why would a man marry a woman with waist-length hair only to ogle girls with crew-cuts? What a fucking cunt™.

Finally, after 17 years together, we got divorced. By then, I hated the way he breathed and the way he drank his orange juice.  I was shattered by the process of divorce, but gradually came to relish my freedom from his oppressive presence.

The only thing we agreed upon was our love for our son. But we always disagreed about what he needed and what was good for him.

After a long  struggle in rehab, our son stayed clean for a while but had a relapse and was on a binge. We took him to a treatment center where he was supposed to stay for thirty days. After ten days, they thew him out: We couldn’t meet their demands for $250 per day, even though they were being paid by our insurance company. Meanwhile, Max had called me after the first few days, anxiously reporting that he shared a room with convicts who stayed up all night playing cards. He was cold, but he wasn’t allowed to have an extra blanket. He said it was the scariest place he had ever been.

His father picked him up on the morning they kicked him out. During the long drive to my house, his father screamed at him for being a failure. His tirade was cruel and relentless. He accused Max of ruining everyone’s life, and told him he was “one step from living on the street.”

I didn’t want Max to have his car.  He was going to stay in a sober house where he wouldn’t need it. But the ex wouldn’t listen to me and brought the car over.

Max seemed traumatized by the ride home and I tried to comfort him. He was worn out and anxious, still detoxing, even though I didn’t know it. All day, I tired to console him with the fact that it wasn’t a catastrophe, it was only a relapse and everything would be fine. I kissed him goodbye when he left for the sober house. Early the next morning, he drive to a cliff and jumped.

During the first few days at the hospital, I would corner my ex in the hallway and tell him it was all his fault. I showered him with invective, hysterical with rage and worry and grief. Even now, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if my ex had just taken Max out for breakfast instead of berating him so mercilessly.

I wish I could kill my ex.  My sister has asked me, Isn’t it enough to know how miserable he is? As if that could mitigate my hatred, which is eternal, steadier than the beat of my heart, and faster than the speeding bullet that belongs in his head.

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56 Responses to “Hating The Ex”

  1. Richard Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Goddammit, I’d be mad too.

  2. Winterbird Says:

    A very profound and sad perfect storm of events. I find solice in my faith that teaches me vengance is NOT mine. However, I still want to put a bullit in the brain of everyone who betrayed and abused me. My concern is that you will drive yourself mad over the ‘what if’s.’ I will pray that your weary broken heart can find some peace.

  3. Sister Wolf Says:

    Richard – thank you for understanding.

    Winterbird – I try to limit the what-ifs. It is now more of a momentary musing that I let pass through me. I don’t torture myself with them That part is behind me, I hope. xo

  4. annemarie Says:

    The sister is probably right. But I still want to drive over his nuts.

  5. p Says:

    I didn’t know how Max had been injured and I am so, so sorry to hear about all the suffering he and your family went through…I can totally relate to your feelings of anger and hate against your ex, since I find oddly comforting to hold on to old feelings of hatred for those who have done me wrong. At the same time, I know that whatever tragedy falls upon them won’t make my pain go away, so I guess there’s not comfort or peace after revenge, either.
    A big hug for your, sister!

  6. Debra Says:

    Dear Sister,
    I wish I could kill your ex. I love your statement “I don’t like taking care of myself, although I am more than happy to take care of others”. I feel you do that with every post you make. You take care of the rest of us with your heartfelt musings, your rants, your sorrow that is so exposed and raw. Love you and love the voodoo doll images.

  7. Kate Says:

    My ex drove me to a nearly fatal severe depression with his lies and selfish emotional torture … he put me through hell that cost me a big chunk of my physical and mental health and then wanted to ‘be friends cause he felt lonely without me’.
    I don’t hate him, I just really want him to get the fuck out of my life.

    It’s awful when people don’t get what damage can be done to a person in such a fragile state with insensitive words and actions. I’m completely with you on this one.

    wish you all the best x

  8. Tasha Says:

    Long time reader, first time to comment. This post struck such a cord in me I was moved to tears. *Looking back at my old journals, I discovered that I hated him even before I married him!* My ex & I married at JOP, 3 months later an overblown wedding. Night before the “real” church wedding we fought so violently I screamed, “Go fuck yourself I will NOT marry you tomorrow”. To which my overhearing mother said, “Don’t be an ass, you’re already married”. Our marriage in a nutshell.

    He and I share custody of our heartbreakingly intelligent, intuitive, amazing 5 year old son. His anger at me for leaving HIM(!) and his controlling nature I fear will crush my love’s spirit- I fear for it every minute, every day. No point in this post other than to commiserate, and cry a little because it just feels so fucking cathartic right now, here in my office at work. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. candy Says:

    I am crying right now! I don’t like the way some parents treat their kids, it’s like they are immune when it comes to using s0oe words. Words are powerful! Teachers do the same to some students,telling them “you will never succeed…” parents think they are sent a kid so they can show him who is the boss, but they are a transport to this life, they are here to teach them and above all love them. Telling a person you are a failure will make things worse.
    I have something similar in my family where one sister told another “you wasted your life” because she dated the wrong guy and had a kid with him, after that she did something worse.For me, words are powerful, some people don’t show emotion, that doesn’t mean they are not hurt. We are not waterproof to criticism.
    I think what’s more important now Sister wolf is your healing. I also think that your ex is also hurt but doesn’t show it.
    I think Max battle was long and difficult and parents sometimes don’t see how difficult it is/was. That does’t mean they are bad parents. My opinion is that the rehab centers are like prison, patients always find somone who has it worse. It would be great to have the expertise to help at home, where the person is with family.
    Society tries to find a place for each problem,you have the mnetal institutions,the rehab centers, the prisons, the “bad bad prisons” like st quentin, it’s like a catalogue and they get to choose where to go.How about the cause of the substance abuse, it can be anything from lack of love, lack of recognition, or any other cause that leads to problems.
    Teachers sometimes are not good teachers, I am talking about school teachers, sometimes they tell kids to work harder when they have been doing this for years but don’t understand the subject. They are only humans, it’s like shrinks, why do they judge us? when they know how we feel? because they are humans.
    Sister,you need to forgive your ex husband, it’s unhealthy to holdthose feelings. Forgiving is hard but it’s necessary. I say this but myself I have hard time forgiving. It took me years to get to understand my dad, 70% is forgiven now, that means I understand why he did what he did but that doesn’t make it okay.
    Your ex had probably problems on its own, but as you said, when Max came back, he could have treated him to a nice breakfast/meal. What has been done is done. I don’t know what to add, I am too sad.
    Love Sister

  10. MJ Says:

    What a shit, indeed. Thank you for keeping going, and for sharing this story with us. I understand so much better now.

    If you can, let someone take care of you, at least a little. You deserve a bosom, or a shoulder, to rest your head on and take some deep breaths in a loving hug.

  11. Cricket9 Says:

    How on earth did you survive 17 ( that’s seventeen!!!) years with your ex? You must have incredible amounts of patience, a virtue that I sorely lack.

    About “one step from living on the street” – one of my close friends actually ended up in a shelter for the homeless youth at the age of 17. His mother lived in Europe at the time, he got kicked out from the boarding school, and his dad, who just got married, refused to take him in – it would, apparently, spoil his honeymoon.

    If your ex is, indeed, miserable, he has very good reasons to be.

  12. kate Says:

    I’ve long lurked here and just now get it. Your story and sadness are so poignant.
    I lost a son as a child under circumstances quite different but a loss none the less.
    You’re so wonderful to keep telling us about Max. Don’t stop. Even the stories about your ex. I hate him too.
    All the best to you.

  13. Andra Says:

    Your love for Max abounds, and with good reason.
    As long as you can manage to keep the hate controlled (hmm) you’re OK.
    I want to kill the fucker too, if that helps.
    When I get my gun and we work out how to work it, let’s do it!
    We’ll all feel better.
    We might as well kill my ex while we’re at it.
    In fact, let’s get up a list of people who need killing.

  14. lisa Says:

    What a fucking fuck…….I know, not a very original thought, but I lose my way with words when furious….I don’t know how you managed not to stab him, but I’m glad you’re expressing this rage and the mere fact that you can even put these thoughts into some organized expression means you are healing, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Wishing you peace…..wishing you never had to go through this in the first place.

  15. tina Says:

    Sister–

    I have nothing to say. I want to give you a hug.

    XOXOXOX

  16. Juli Says:

    I’m guilty of marrying a man I wasn’t in love with. I thought I was, but I realize now I wasn’t. After 5 years of marriage, we just separated in December. I couldn’t be happier! I can’t believe it took me so long to realize my feelings. I don’t hate him, but I don’t like him very much sometimes. We were not good together. I feel for you Sister. It’s hard to fathom why we do the things we do, especially when they make us miserable. At least we both got out with some sanity still intact! xo

  17. Sister Wolf Says:

    annemarie – xoxo

    P – I know that hate isn’t spiritually helpful – and yet, this one hatred will endure.

    Debra – Thank you my dear, I appreciate your sweet words and your support.

  18. Sister Wolf Says:

    Kate – I hope he will move to another planet but at least you divorced him.

    Tasha – Keep a close eye on your boy. His sensitivity makes him so vulnerable! Keep showering him with unconditional love and providing an antidote to his dad. Sending you all atheist blessings, xo.

  19. Sister Wolf Says:

    Candy – I agree with so much of what you way – but I won’t forgive that cunt for failing our son in such an egregious way. I think that the current model for rehab treatment is counter-productive at best. That is a subject I plan to write about.

  20. Sister Wolf Says:

    MJ – I feel your shoulder, xoxoxo

    Cricket9 – It was patience, it was paralysis.

  21. Sister Wolf Says:

    Kate – I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for hating my ex with me. xo

  22. Sister Wolf Says:

    Andra – Could we kill each other’s ex, like “Strangers on a Train?”

    Lisa – xoxo

    Juli – It sounds like you did yourself a huge favor. I hope he will turn out to be a decent father.

  23. Bevitron Says:

    I can understand your hatred for your ex. I’m so very sorry that he had to be such a completely wrongheaded asshole, especially at such a wildly vulnerable time in Max’s life. Couldn’t he have seen the loving care his son desperately needed, based on what was going on in his life? And telling him he’s a failure, that was supposed to help? I just don’t get it.

    I love hearing about your love for Max, and I hope that you’ll write more.

  24. kt Says:

    Thank you always for sharing, because it always hits the heart in a deeply personal and intimate way. I too love reading about Max, your abounding love for and memories of him.

    The ex sounds like a complete nightmare. Does he trip over his own ego, and fall flat on his face, often?

    It does make me wonder, how did you end up together in the first place, and for seventeen years? I am still trying to discern if my hatred for my bf is warranted or not. There are some respectable aspects to him, but mostly, along with your ex, his petty criticisms are mind boggling and hair-tearingly annoying. I’ve already determined that, because he can’t call me out on any real major character flaws, as I can with him, he just nitpicks on a lot of dumb stuff.

  25. Desiree Says:

    OMG I have always been ashamed of the fact I secretly despised and disrespected my ex-husband of 15 years, even before we were married and then he spent years bullying my own son named Max. I have no idea what I was thinking when I took the plunge. I think I wanted to prove to my mother that I wasn’t a slut. I know, weird. Now I loathe myself for letting it go on for so long. I will never get over that. Thank you for sharing the voodoo-like hatred you have for that man who was a fucker for giving poor Max a hard time after his ordeal. For me it’s now a matter of “anyone fucks with my kids has to die”. I’m sorry, I’m pouring petrol on the flames of hate Sister, but your beautiful, honest nature makes me feel like I can say the shit I can’t normally say. xo

  26. Sister Wolf Says:

    Bevitron – He never could see anything. All his instincts were awful. And he still won’t let me look at Max’s books. Thank you for being here. xo

    kt – I’d say that if your bf seems to need to undermine you, get rid of him!!!! Your man should make you feel adored. If you want to feel bad, you can get a stranger for that.

    Desiree – God, what a fucker. I wish I could kill him for you. Don’t allow yourself to feel shame for anything. You did the best you could at the time. Give your son a secret kiss from me.

  27. Beannie71 Says:

    You are clearly very good at taking care of others. I see a desire in you to have protected your son from this treatment by your ex. Perhaps your care and concern for your son manifest itself in your hatred of your ex?

    As you say though you are not so good at taking care of yourself. You don’t have to stop hating the ex if you don’t want to but please also take some care of yourself and know you were and are a kind, loving mother who did her best to protect her son.

  28. dust Says:

    Your ex sounds like he is the child of your parents, not you.
    Max was hurt and wanted to hurt his father. Only selfish bastard seemed to play his hard-to-get role, as always. Maybe that is the reason why you stayed married to him all those years, you were never able to please him, nothing was good enough.
    Wishing death to such persons would make it too easy, I’d rather wish them misery and pain, forever.

  29. Ann Says:

    I fucking hate him too. What a wretched excuse for a human being. And he still doesn’t let you have Max’s books either. How much worse can a person get? It would be great if it were enough to know how miserable he is, and certainly that helps, but I see no way for your hate NOT to endure in this case. Fuck that guy.

  30. Jessie K Says:

    Tragic story, brilliant story telling.

  31. Kellie Says:

    He deserves every ounce of hate we all have for him, and more. And I dont think I would ever forgive him either-that seems an unreasonable goal to attempt.
    I would hate with a fire in my belly, to fuel me to keep going, and be a better peson.
    If only for spite : )

    xxx

  32. Debbie Says:

    Sister – you are an amazing tower of strength and emotion and truth and courage. For me, if you hurt me, I hate you til you die. Not very Christian, but all too human. Luckily I do not have to see or engage with those who hurt me. I have no ex-husband THANK GOD and I married someone I loved because I was an old broad when I did – 39. Had been there, done that, screwed around, traveled, lived a lot of life so I was really ready to settle down and build a nest. I SO ADMIRE YOU. I LOVE your blog, you are INTELLIGENT beyond belief. Your writing is brilliant and you make me laugh and you can make me cry.

    I am so, so sorry about Max. A knife to the heart of any mother is to lose her child. Know I am sending you all kinds of love and positive energy in the ether and THANK YOU FOR ENTERTAINING ME AND MAKING ME LAUGH AND TEACHING ME ABOUT COMPASSION. I LOVE YOU. I know I don’t know you but I love you.

    big hug!
    XOXO
    Deb

  33. Eri Says:

    I’ve come to realize that your emotions are your emotions. They’re neither ‘wrong’ or ‘right’… and I don’t feel like you should ever have to justify and/or feel guilt for the anger & hatred you feel towards your ex. I understand it completely. It is clear that you can compartmentalize it and your hatred for him does not rule your life. There are some people that deserve & are worthy of this emotion. He certainly is one of them.

  34. Sprockets Says:

    I am surprised to read this from you. In general I think women do not get enough encouragement to identify and be okay with their anger. However, in this case I’m left with a “WTF?” feeling.

    Many of us have been through traumatic episodes with exes. I have one of my own, and at the time I certainly did hate him. I hated him so much I wanted him dead. I hated him so much that I thought about ways to kill him, but I realized I’d be the prime suspect. I hated him I talked to someone about having him killed. And, since I could not get away immediately, I finally took Prozac so that I could live through it. So yes, I’ve been there too.

    So I come to the subject with great empathy, but it’s frankly hard to understand how someone can claim to have been a victim for 17 years. That just doesn’t sound true.

    And I’m seeing you still engulfed in blame, often irrational blame, for things that didn’t happen. Your son is the one who decided to die – aided perhaps by your husband’s comments, perhaps by his own mental issues, and perhaps by sunspot activity. We each are responsible for our own actions, and blaming someone for another person’s suicide is never right.

    You also are very eager to tell us how full of anger and vengeance you still are. I wonder at anyone who makes the choice to hold on to those emotions for so long, because nothing good can come of that. If this person so ruined a large part of your life, why give him any more energy? It takes a lot of fuel to keep the resentment going. In effect, by letting yourself be filled with negativity you are doing the job of your own abuser. How much sense does that make?

    I do get anger. I have a lot of my own, and I’m fine with it. But blame and anger are two very different things. Anger can be used as fuel for progress, whereas blame just holds us back. I’m firmly convinced that each of us does the best we can with the tools we have at our disposal, and given our limitations, at each moment in our lives. That is as true for me or for you as it was for your ex or mine. The fact that some people do a piss poor job is just something we have to find a way to accept.

    The victory is in coming out the other side of these episodes wiser and stronger, and in growing past the limitations others have set for us.

  35. Tanya Says:

    I may be wrong, but I feel like in some instances hatred can be a healthy response. I feel so angry at the injustice of him not allowing you access to Max’s things. He is seemingly vile and cruel, and I hope that the rot of his soul eats him through and through. If I were in your position, I’d surely hate him too.

  36. Sister Wolf Says:

    Sprockets – There’s one like you in every crowd, isn’t there? I never claimed to be a “victim.” Ever. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are autistic rather than deliberately malevolent.

    Beware of me, and don’t come back here. I mean it.

  37. Sister Wolf Says:

    Beannie71 – Thank you, I AM trying to take care of myself but I have to be reminded every day.

    dust – Yep. xoxo

    Ann – Thank you, keep hating him, xoxo

    Jessica K – Yeah, and there’s so much more. Much too much.

  38. Sister Wolf Says:

    Kellie – Some hate is just natural and has to be there. That’s my belief, anyway.

    Debbie – I accept you love! Thank you for your support.

    Eri – That’s a good point, it’s no good to let it govern your life. I don’t spend much time thinking about my ex. But when I do, it is with pure contempt.

    Tanya – Yep. (We need to collaborate again, let’s think of something, okay?)

  39. D.R. Says:

    Ex must hate you, too…or he’d let you see the books. Can you sue? He’s a hateful man.

  40. sharnek Says:

    Sister, I just want to send you hugs.

    oxo

  41. Deni Says:

    I’m sending you lots of love and hugs.
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
    oh . . . out damn x
    oooooooooooo

  42. kate Says:

    without going into details, i would like to say i identify with max even more than i can know what you are going through. i understand your hatred for your ex, and after hearing this story, i say go for it. i would imagine he does know what he is responsible for and lives with it every day. in fact, i think he has always regretted himself as a person (based on your fucking fascinating description) and that’s why he treated you both that way in the first place. cold comfort but it usually is with these people.

  43. thrift store lawyer Says:

    because i come from a family of addicts, this scenario looks very familiar. one person wants to “tough love” the addict, and the other wants to give him enough love to help him find his way. the fight within families, destroys everyone. my parents ended a (tormented, dysfunctional) 38-year-marriage over it, and my good friend’s addict brother just jumped off a bridge after his family attempted tough love. both sides blame each other forever.

    for me, being a parent is to experience constant doubt as to whether i am doing enough or too little or the right things. many of us mothers believe we can never do enough; i didn’t realize how biologically programmed this was for me until i had my own child. my daughter’s genetic family tree has dozens of branches weighted heavily with addiction. when she encounters depression, anxiety, and addiction as a young adult, will i be able to give her the help she needs? will i be the tough love parent because i’m afraid to acknowledge my own parenting missteps, or will i be an “enabler” because, at my core, i can’t acknowledge that there is nothing i can do to truly save my child? either way, i lose, and (in my mind) it will be all my fault.

    i know i will take all her pains so personally and will beat myself up for them for the rest of my life. and i know that it will infuriate me when my husband does not, when he can’t acknowledge his role in her emotional life or where he might have failed her. his denial and lack of introspection may literally drive me mad, because it will only intensify my own guilt. but this refusal to take responsibility seems so common in men, even good ones. perhaps their “macho” need to defend the family and play the role of “enforcer” will not let them admit the possibility of being too harsh. understanding that is way beyond my pay grade. i just need to do my part, which is to try my best with my kid, attempt to take care of myself, and try to let the guilt go. that is the only solution to the intractable problem my family has faced for generations.

    you still have immeasurable love to give, and you are loved immeasurably. (count me among your many readers who love you without ever having met you). my wish for you is that you will one day begin to let go of the pain, guilt, and anger and take care of yourself, do the best for you, your husband, and amazing son. if i could, i’d send you all the joy you ever experienced as max’s mother, so much that it subsumed all these other feelings and made you feel “enough” again. wishing you so much healing. wishing that for us all. xoxoxox

  44. cantsay Says:

    I feel your hate. I hate my ex for not caring for his kids who want to feel his love. I hate him so I keep paying for the life insurance of that fucker. He’s gotta kick it sometime the way he smokes, I figure. We can definitely use the money for health insurance…

  45. Sister Wolf Says:

    Sharnek – Hugs back to you xoxo

    Deni – xoxoxo

    Kate – If you identify with the despair, I hope you keep fighting it!

  46. Sister Wolf Says:

    thrift shop lawyer – So much wisdom and compassion in one thrift shop lawyer. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and your insight. xo

  47. Sister Wolf Says:

    cantsay – Do you have a voodoo doll?

  48. Aja Says:

    Thank you for sharing this private, sad story with us. I would probably want to kill your ex too but I will tell you, the hate and anger that you carry in your heart isn’t good for you. I’m not saying” hurry up and get better” because these things take time. But I do think in the long run, you’re going to have to forgive him ONLY because it’s good for you. Sending warm thoughts.

  49. Juri Says:

    Now I want to kill him, too, but it I seem to be late as so many others have killed him before me! I can still call him a cunt, though, and bring you lot cigarettes and magazines to when I come to see you in prison.

    Should he miraculously survive, he’ll have to live for the rest of his life with himself, which seems to be a curse in itself.

  50. Sister Wolf Says:

    Juri – You are the best friend ever! The cigarettes and magazines will be a real comfort. Bring chocolate, too. xo

  51. Kelly Says:

    There is no rational cure for rational hatred.

  52. Judes Says:

    I have an ex who beat me, raped me, stalked me, etc. After we broke up I heard there’d been a fire in his house and I was elated for a few minutes, believing he’d died a fiery painful death.

    Sadly, he survived. The friend who told me about the fire was very put off after she saw how happy I’d been during the few minutes I thought he was dead (painfully). It’s been nearly 30 years and I still google him occasionally, hoping he’s dead or at least in prison. Some people, like your ex and mine, are worthy of our eternal hatred. That he is keeping you from even looking at your son’s belongings is unconscionable. So sorry.

  53. Make Do Style Says:

    Now I hate him too!!! Surely he didn’t berate him worse thing to do. I’ll hold him down while annemarie drives over his nuts.

  54. Stupendous Bob Says:

    This women LOVES to HATE her ex-husband, yet she takes no responsibility for the position she put herself in. She admits that she never loved the man and only married him to have someone to “take care of me [financially].” Well, he paid the mortgage and put food on the table, so he did exactly what you asked from him when you married him. The fact that YOU changed your mind about what you wanted isn’t his fault. And he certainly didn’t force you to stay with him for 17 years, again, that was your choice!

    As much as you men-bashing women won’t admit it, men love stronger than women do. Think about it — men will pass up hundreds of women before meeting the one he loves, and when he meets here he will do anything to keep her from getting away. On the other hand, as this women attests to, women will marry a man simply because he has a job and she doesn’t want to be “alone”.

  55. Sister Wolf Says:

    Stupendous Bob – No one is basing men, Bob. I’d hate my ex if he were a woman, I can assure you.

  56. Monica Says:

    I have been stalking your blog, peppered with Max postings and wondering who he was, I’m so sorry you lost your child.

    And your response to Stupid…er…Stupendous Bob is gorgeous.

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