Why am I still angry at my ex? Understanding the Unresolved Emotions

Going through a breakup is one of the most emotionally challenging experiences. It can make you feel disillusioned, sad, hopeless, and perhaps even furious. While anger is a common emotion following a breakup, it is also one of the most stubborn and persistent emotions that cling even months or years after a separation. While moving forward after a breakup might be challenging, failing to deal with your unresolved feelings and anger towards your ex can hold you back from finding new love, happiness, and peace. In this article, we’ll explore various reasons why you might still be holding onto anger towards your ex, and how to let go and move on.

Why am I still angry at my ex?

The moment we identify our emotions, we can begin to learn the underlying reasons, identify the root cause, and take measures to reduce its effect. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might still be angry at your ex:

1. You have unresolved issues

Unresolved issues, such as infidelity, exclusion, controlling behavior, or abuse, can leave you feeling hurt, betrayed, and furious. If you weren’t given closure or were unable to adequately communicate your grievances in the relationship, you may continue to struggle with these negative feelings.

2. You’re grieving the loss of the relationship

A breakup can trigger a series of profound losses, such as the loss of companionship, the loss of a planned future together, and even the loss of self-identity. Grieving the loss of a relationship takes time and can come along with a range of emotions, including anger, bitterness, and resentment.

3. You’re feeling rejected

The idea of someone choosing to end a relationship can cause feelings of rejection, which can lead to anger. When your ex leaves, it can leave you feeling powerless, confused, and hurt, and the anger can act as a way to protect yourself.

4. You’re comparing yourself to their new partner

Seeing your ex moving on with someone else can evoke a sense of jealousy and envy, causing you to ruminate about their new partner, how they look, how they may act in the relationship, and what they may be experiencing.

5. You don’t understand why it ended

If your ex-partner ended things without giving you a solid reason or explanation for the breakup, it can be challenging to wrap your head around why it ended. Not understanding the cause of the breakup can cause feelings of confusion and anger over what could have been done differently to change the outcome of the relationship.

6. You’re projecting past experiences

If you have unresolved pain from past relationships, it can bleed into your current relationship, and you may find yourself reacting excessively to potential triggers that may remind you of past hurts. The unresolved emotions from past breakups may make the current breakup even more emotionally distressing and difficult to process.

7. You’re still in love

When you’re still in love with someone, it can be hard to let go. Anger can be a defense mechanism that you use to push away any remaining romantic feelings and manage unresolved emotions that arise when thinking of your ex.

8. You’re not taking care of yourself

After a breakup, you may feel inclined to isolate and neglect taking care of yourself. If you don’t engage in self-care and make an effort to improve your self-esteem and confidence, you may find yourself feeling angry and resentful, wishing things were different or that you could have done more to save the relationship.

How to deal with unresolved anger:

1. Acknowledge your feelings

Rather than avoiding or minimizing your feelings, acknowledge that what you’re experiencing is valid and normal. Allow and express your feelings on paper, in conversations with friends, or with a therapist. Doing so can help you identify patterns, find reasons for your feelings, and start letting go of anger.

2. Recognize the source of your anger

Ask yourself what’s causing you to feel angry. Once you’ve identified the source, try to find ways to effectively deal with it or avoid situations that worsen the feeling of anger.

3. Practice mindfulness

Focus on the present, and try to resist the urge to ruminate about the past or worry about the future. Mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and meditation can help control negative thoughts and help you stay calm, reducing the intensity of your anger.

4. Seek therapy

If you’re struggling with anger or unresolved feelings stemming from a breakup, consider reaching out to a therapist. They can provide an objective perspective, help you identify destructive patterns of behavior, and empower you to develop coping strategies to deal with your emotions.

5. Exercise and engage in self-care

Engaging in self-care practices can help relieve stress, boost your mood, and improve your overall well-being. Engage in physical activities like yoga or exercise, listen to music, or relax with a book. Prioritize sleep, eat healthily, and limit exposure to negative emotions or triggers.

6. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective method to help individuals manage their emotions, thoughts, and behavior patterns. CBT aims to identify irrational thoughts and develop more positive thought patterns that help minimize negative emotions and reduce the intensity of anger.


It’s common to experience feelings of anger when working through a breakup. By exploring the root causes of these feelings, mindfulness, seeking therapy, and self-care, you can start releasing the anger and hurt that can hold you back from finding happiness and peace. Remember that everyone responds differently, so try to find strategies that work for you and focus on self-care and personal growth.


  • Q: Is it normal to have resentment after a breakup?
  • A: Yes, this is normal, especially when the breakup is fresh. However, it’s essential to find ways to manage your emotions so that they don’t hold you back from rebuilding yourself.
  • Q: How long does it take to move on after a breakup?
  • A: There is no specific timeline for moving on after a breakup. It’s different for everyone and can depend on various factors. Give yourself time and space to process your feelings and try to focus on things that make you happy.
  • Q: How do I stick to self-care after a breakup?
  • A: You can start by making a list of things that bring you joy and positive feelings. Prioritize taking care of your physical and emotional needs, try new hobbies, and reconnect with old friends and family.
  • Q: How do I move on when I still love my ex?
  • A: Moving on when you still love your ex can be a challenge, but it’s important to focus on why the relationship ended and the reality of the situation. Acknowledge your feelings, reach out to a therapist, and focus on self-care, growth, and moving forward in your life.


Author, A, (2021). ‘Why Am I Still Angry at my Ex? Understanding the Unresolved Emotions.’ Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/me-you-us/202106/why-am-i-still-angry-my-ex

Doherty, M. (2019). ‘How to Manage Anger During a Breakup.’ Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-manage-anger-during-a-breakup-4173027

Sooy, M. (2018). ‘Six Surprising Reasons Why You’re Feeling Angry After A Breakup.’ HuffPost. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-am-i-so-angry-after-a-breakup_n_5bb5e7f5e4b01470d04b67e2

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