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Dealing with Anger After a Breakup

In my reaction to dehumanize the object of my anger, I have forgotten compassion. Compassion for him, and compassion for myself.

Amy C Written by Amy C · 1 min read >

It’s been ten months since my breakup, and there are still moments where I feel extremely emotional. Bouts of sorrow and missing have passed, but it feels as if the sadness has morphed into another feeling: anger. I’d like to think that anger is the last stage of mourning, before fully healing. However, I think that the anger reveals something deeper about myself that I have to face.

I am angry that I gave my heart to someone who chose to recklessly break it into pieces. I am angry that things ended so badly and tumultuously, that all the good that once existed between us has turned into memories of betrayal and pain. I am angry that I didn’t set clearer boundaries, made excuses when things didn’t feel right, and that I allowed myself to get so hurt. I am angry that I chose “wrong”.

I have realized that in my resentment, I’ve projected this anger. And in that realization, I understand that it’s not him that I’m really angry at, it is myself. I blame myself. I question how much of the life I had was real versus a story of the person I thought I was with. And in my reaction to dehumanize the object of my anger, I have forgotten compassion. Compassion for him, and compassion for myself.

I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this emotional phase. Being hard on myself has been a habit I’ve adopted since being a young girl, and remembering to be gentle and kind to myself does not come easy. The solutions oriented side of me has exhausted almost every possible activity to try to heal. From reiki, to therapy, I think I’ve tried pretty much everything short of hypnotism and witchcraft.

I usually end my blogs with some positive and hopeful message. But this time, I don’t have one. I’m still trying to figure it out, and sometimes, it feels like an overwhelming mess. I guess all I can do is try to lean in to my emotions when I feel them, and in my reactions of anger and pain, try my hardest to switch my thoughts to ones of compassion. I won’t win every time, and I’ve probably failed at this more than I have succeeded, but hopefully with more practice it will eventually become easier.

 

Whether you are someone who has recently had a breakup or you’ve experienced past heartache that hasn’t fully healed, Renew Breakup Bootcamp can help you rewire the heart so you can move forward in a healthy way, making space for new beginnings and new love.

You owe it to yourself to get more information on Renew, the retreat experience that will leave you empowered and renewed.

 

Photo credit: Jack Fussell

Written by Amy C
Amy Chan is the Founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp, a retreat that takes a scientific and spiritual approach to healing the heart. Marie Claire calls her "A relationship expert whose work is like that of a scientific Carrie Bradshaw" and her company has been featured across national media including Good Morning America, Vogue, Glamour, Nightline along with the front page of The New York Times. Her book, Breakup Bootcamp - The Science of Rewiring Your Heart, published by Harper Collins, will be released Fall 2020. Profile

36 Replies to “Dealing with Anger After a Breakup”

  1. Dear Amy,

    I just had gone through nasty break up after 10 years of relationship. I started to follow your blog and the hardest part of me still I feel empty every time I wake up in the morning. It started to heal. The difficult part for me is to feel resentment , enraged, bewildered and deeply traumatized and I became consumed with this worry and anger. It is exhausting but to be more positive, to have compassion and to accept that the relationship is over and began to move forward is the most relieved things that happened to me at the moment..maybe slowly, but i’ll be gentle with my self.

  2. Amy,

    Thank you for your beautiful writing. I too endured a devastating and unexpected breakup just over a year ago. I’ve followed your posts since that time, and every single piece has resonated with my own journey. After “intellectually” forgiving, being practical and strong and getting on with life during that first year, anger surfaced a few months ago, suddenly and without warning. This anger felt foreign and unsettling, but I tried consciously to observe and accept it, suspecting that it was an imposter of circumstance, rather than an intrinsic part of me. Thankfully, it quietly subsided, taking with it the guilt I felt for being naive and having poor judgement, and leaving in its wake a sense of calm that allowed me to firstly forgive myself, then to truly forgive the man who had broken my heart. For me, experiencing that anger was a turning point that made room inside me once again for wholehearted compassion. All the best xx

  3. reading this makes me think of this quote by Dorothy Parker:

    “Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away.”

  4. Hang in there ladies (Amy, Nikita, Mela, and any others who have gone through or are dealing with this). Know that you are not alone and that this too shall pass.

    I invested 15 years and am still healing after being apart for almost two years now. If you can’t take it one day at a time, take it one moment at a time. It’s funny how some of the same experiences, thoughts, feelings etc. resonate among many of us. When I read some of Amy’s articles or comments from readers, I’m like OMG…I know exactly how they felt or are feeling.

    One thought I’d like to offer is to be grateful that you found out (as hard as that was), and that you are not the person being deceived anymore…because a leopard doesn’t change its spots. To be sure they are most likely deceiving the other person or people they are with. Be grateful that they are no longer in your life. Chalk it up to experience and try to be the best you that you can be. Sometimes we find our real selves after going through a breakup. We often lose our individual identities when we’re in a relationship. Now it’s time to look after you. Forget about them and focus on yourself and your family and real friends. Be the best you that you can be.

    Much love.

  5. I am also going through a break up with a man that would never truly commit. I have been there for 12 years without ever feeling that he really loved me. And in the end he has just left, with no explanation, and even though I tried to contact him, he is ignoring me. It has been 3 weeks and I am very very angry, and sad. I feel so bad about myself that I could be feeling this way about someone who never cared, and why is it so hard to let go of someone who doesn’t love you? I am trying hard to look after myself, but it’s a constant roller coaster ride and very exhausting.

  6. You have to apply your energy and strong from the ground in (deep inside ur self).

    If you want him to come back and/or even to move on in life you have to give value and worth to your own soul again.

    I lived in the same dream and mental state that you are stating and it has destroyed me for months and now I still feel internal pain and a fuckd up mentality that sometimes cant be turned off but know this……. Whatever this obstacle in ur life is, YOU WILL GET THRU it whether u wana put effort or not. Eventually shit will fade and u will find ur self again.

    Human’s dont mean to always be ruthless and cruel when a break up happens, but our behavior as humans is unexplainable sometimes. So we shouldnt really hold it against them.

    At the end of the day YOU CONTROL YOUR LIFE. no ONE ELSE.
    YOU CAN DECIDE WHERE TO TAKE IT AND ONLY YOU.

    SO DO YOU WANT TO TAKE LIFE BY WITH CONFIDENCE AND HAPPINESS AND BUILD UR OWN STRONG FOUNDATION OR DO U WANA GIVE IT TO SOMEONE WHO NO LONGER THINKS TO VALUE IT AT THE CURRENT MOMENT. CUZ BELIEVE ME THAT MOMENT WILL HIT THEM WHERE IT WILL TEAR THEM UP ONE DAY.

    AND IF IT DOESN’T IT WONT MATTER BECAUSE U WILL HAVE MOVED ON BY THEN!

  7. Wowowow Amy I swear reading this blog, I thought to myself…is this me that wrote this blog? Everything, I mean everything that you’ve said I’ve felt and still am feeling. However, the difference is that I am constantly confronted with the reality because he and I and the other person work together. I think through this experience my anger stems from being mad at myself. Not giving myself a time to heal from my last break up. I quickly darted into this one trying to make everything perfect, only to realize that I had lost my identity in the process. Truth be told, I would have still hung with my friends, focused on my studies and found time to hang out with him…but on my terms. I felt that I caved into making sure that this relationship worked, that I lost me in the process. Having the break up happened made me honestly question my worth, existence, and pain. It also made me questioned what will happen to him in the end. I like the fact that each person has said a common thread…over time…reinstating the quote “time heals all wounds.”….this is soo true..but I believe the anger that is built up in me and still in Amy is that the pain won’t end soon enough.

  8. I feel the same exact way as you do. The words sound like my own. Reading this was so helpful and is now on my “favorites” tab so I can click it when I need to. I am two months away from the final break up with my boyfriend. But I tried to break up with him many times for the past six months. Each time he would say how much he loved me and that “you can’t just run away when times get tough, you have to figure out how to fix problems with a relationship” but now I realize I was trying to fix the problems all along and he was mentally abusing me. I now suffer from very painful anxiety on a day to day basis and the pain is healing like the seasons change. I do believe I am getting better but I have come across so many difficult bumps in the rode where I feel such hatred. I feel that I KNEW better but he manipulated me into staying in a relationship which was breaking who I used to be and I can’t wait to have her back because I know I am strong enough to get through this and I will find a man who will treat me right. Not a confused, manipulative boy.

  9. I know most of the comments were written by ladies, and I don’t know if I’m sexist..
    I’m dealing with a similar situation with similar investment, and my thoughts are very dark and frustrating. My recommendation is to channel your anger towards self investment. I’ve been religiously going to the gym for 4 months and wow.

    Time will continue to move forward, when while it passes and commitment to the gym is strong, your self esteem will raise, your anger will be diminished in psychical activity which is therapeutic, and you’ll have one hot and healthy body… Fuck em

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