7 Signs Your Ex Is Miserable But Won't Admit It!

This article is my personal attempt to help you slice through the post-breakup mind games that often make reconciling or moving on impossible.

Because let's face it. Nothing is worse than being stuck in the middle. And an ex pretending to be over you accomplishes exactly this, a state of anxiety that is worse than just knowing it is over. At least if you knew it was over, you'd know which direction to run in.

Luckily for us, these attempts at hiding their misery are pretty easy to spot. And coupled with your gut instinct, the evidence should quickly pile up so that you can make the right decision.

Ex is miserable

1. They Get Unreasonably Angry

Anger requires an emotional investment. If your ex's anger seems irrational to you, maybe that's because it is. This anger is a direct reflection of their out-of-control emotions. Does that sound like being over it to you? Nope, me neither. 

Anger is also a well-documented stage of the K├╝bler-Ross model of grief and serves as a coping effect, masking the pain of the breakup reality. By being angry at you, your ex is able to justify some painful realities to themselves.

This is only true, of course, if their anger appears to be unreasonable. If you did something that warrants anger, such as cheating on them, then none of this applies.

2. They Act Hot And Cold

Playing the silence game will lead to misery, both for you but also for them. A sign of this is how they use silence as a weapon to break your resolve, but then break their own silence because they fear you will move on!

It is a sign they are losing a game of their own choosing, and also a sign of emotional misery. 

Acting hot and cold is usually a manipulative tactic aimed at getting you to reach out first, so they they don't have to risk facing the potentially painful truth.

My advice: Don't play the game and they will have to contact you directly for the answers they need. Or better yet, lead by example. Reach out first and try and make sense of the situation with direct questions about the state of affairs. 

hot and cold behavior

3. They Enter A Rebound Relationship

The difference between a rebound relationship and a normal, functional relationship is usually embarrassingly obvious.
  • Rebound relationships begin and end rapidly. There is often very little buildup before commitment and from commitment to the inevitable crash. 
  • Family and friends are mystified. The choice of partner and rapidly buildup will shock those who know the person best. Given how you know your ex well, it will set off alarm bells to you as well. It just doesn't make sense.
  • The rebounder acts out of character. Okay so, it is normal to be all over the place after a breakup. That's what sorting our existential problems out will do to our behavior. But it is not the time to make long-term decisions, such as entering a new relationship. Once the rebounder realizes this new relationship was just a band-aid to help with the hole in their soul created by their previous breakup, the relationship will end.
This may sound like good news to those of you who are looking to reconcile, but it isn't. The last thing you want to do is wait around while your ex rebounds. If they start a new relationship, take it at face value, there's always the chance it works out. Don't stop moving forward.

4. They Play The Blame Game

Playing the blame game is a way to connect with an ex, not a way of creating the distance they say they want. Look past the words and look at the actions instead. 

An ex who wants to move on will move on, no matter what you throw at them. They won't feel the need to tie loose ends! 

Playing games just means they need that connection for whatever reason. Usually just to know you are there "in case". And if they can't engage with you in a constructive way, bad press is better than no press. The absolute worst thing an ailing ex can be presented with is silence. 

Placing the blame, if done with intent to repair the relationship, looks very different to the lashing out I'm talking about here. If your ex is just trying to make you see their side of the story, then they are not playing games, and this argument is not applicable. 

playing blame games

5. They Say They Hate You

They might even believe it, but again, hatred requires a strong emotional investment. If they care enough to hate you, they really do care.

This isn't to say that it's an I love you in disguise, the relationship may well be over, but it does mean that they're miserable. Which is the point of this article, afterall. 

6. They Are Being Mean

Being mean to you is a way to keep you playing the contact game. Insults beget insults. 

The second reason being mean is such a common occurrence is that by demeaning our ex, we are making it easier for ourselves to move on. If we convince ourselves that they are worth our scorn, then surely we're better off without them.

That's the logic, anyway. The reality is that, you guessed it, they are miserable and need us to be miserable too to justify their trek through hell.

7. Making Mutual Friends Pick Sides

Talk about a cheap-shot.

An ex that needs to draw lines in the sand with mutual friendships is an ex that is patently insecure. And what they are afraid of is simple: That the painful truth will leak through those friendships and shatter their self-imposed act.

It makes perfect sense to protect yourself by isolating aspects of your life. I'm all in favor of Facebook blocking an ex, for instance. But demanding that your friends pay the price is a sign of a miserable, and self-absorbed, ex.