5 Surprising Emotions Behind Your Exe’s Confusing (And Hurtful) Behavior

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Today we are going to talk about the five emotions that drive your ex’s behaviors.

Let’s go ahead and get right into this.

1. Guilt.

If you’ve ever been through a breakup and I imagine you probably have otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, but if you’ve ever been through a breakup, you probably know that there are times when your ex would not talk to you or your ex doesn’t really respond to you very frequently or very in a timely fashion. And there are a lot of reasons behind that.

Often, one of the emotional drivers for that is really guilt. Nobody wants to think of themselves as a bad person who goes out and hurts other people. Most of us want to believe that we are good people that help make the world a better place. We think we are loving and caring. And that mindset includes your ex.

When your ex broke up with you, they probably are aware that they hurt you. Maybe you cried or maybe you just felt really bad and made it very well known.

So, in order to not feel like a person that hurts other people, your ex might just simply separate themselves from you to avoid feeling that kind of guilt.

Obviously just one example of how guilt might drive your ex’s behavior. But there could be countless other ones as well.

2. Frustration.

The second emotion that drives your ex’s behavior is frustration.

One of the things that really inspires somebody to break up with their partner in the first place is typically a sense of frustration.

And, this sense of frustration basically comes from believing, “Hey, this relationship I’m in is not going to get any better. It’s not going to unfold the way I want it to. This problem that’s happening is just going to keep happening (whatever it is).”

And, that sense of frustration boils over and triggers the breakup to happen. But that sense of frustration can also linger on afterwards. Oftentimes people will lash out at their ex or attack their ex either in front of their friends or in front of the ex themselves.

The main reason for this is really that sense of frustration.

It’s not that your ex hated you all along or anything like that. It’s just that they are going through a phase where they feel frustrated with you, frustrated for the time that they spent with you, frustrated that they think it’s all gone to waste, frustrated for any number of things.

If your ex is acting really cruel towards you even, typically, that’s not a sign that they are necessarily an evil person although I’m sure there are some people out there who are just evil.

Typically, it’s probably more of a sign that your ex has just been frustrated with some aspect of your relationship and they’re lashing out at you after that breakup is over or basically just using you as an easy punching bag.

I’m not saying it’s right. But frustration is one of those emotions that really drives your ex’s behavior.

3. Insecurity.

The third driver emotionally that will motivate your ex to act or do certain things is insecurity.

So this might feel a little bit strange at first like, “My ex broke up with me. Why would they be feeling insecure?”

Oftentimes when two people break up, they end up in this weird competition to see who is going to get a boyfriend or a girlfriend first, who cares the least, who thinks, “Yeah, I’m so glad that breakup happened. I don’t care about them at all.”

It’s frustration plus a feeling of insecurity. Your ex wants to feel as if they made the right choice by going through with the breakup. They want to feel as if they came out on top and that they are better off than you are because that validates their choice to break up.

And this often really does come across as a sort of competition. You’re trying to see who is more attractive, who can get into a relationship first, who can move on with their life first, who can be happiest or whatever. This insecurity is what drives you to create that façade.

You might see on social media or hear from friends, “Oh, your ex is in a new relationship now,” or, “They seem like they’re really happy.” “Oh, they said that they’re over you,” or something like that.

And… in my experience, this hasn’t really been the truth.

So much of this is just them trying to patch up insecurity. They are trying to basically posture and say, “Yeah, I’m so much better off without you. I don’t know why I spent so much time with you. You’re such a loser. I’m way better – look at me, I got this new rebound girlfriend and all that stuff.”

And typically, it’s not really a genuine experience. It’s really just a reflection of their own insecurity. They are trying to justify why they broke up with you in the first place and how it’s such a better life now that they’re not with you anymore. It’s really more of an expression of insecurity from what I’ve noticed.

4. Reactance.

The fourth emotion that drives your ex’s behavior— I’m going to have to explain a little bit, but it’s called reactance.

I’ve talked about reactance before on our email newsletter, on our website, and all that stuff. But if you don’t know, reactance is an emotion that you’re probably familiar with but you probably just never heard the word before.

Reactance is that feeling that you get when you think that somebody has an ulterior motive that is going to limit your choices and you’re playing into that motive.

For example, maybe you’re trying to walk down the street to go to a store.
Somebody comes up to you off of the side of the street and says, “Hey man, do you have a moment to help starving children not die in Africa?”.

You don’t want to be an asshole so you say, “Sure. I’ve got a minute to help starving children,” because you don’t have to be an asshole and say you didn’t want to help starving children in African.

And so before you know it, you get railroaded into a conversation and then you have to sign something and then maybe they ask for money or whatever.

All you really wanted to do was go to the store to get some groceries. Now, you are stuck in this big diversion of time and you feel guilted into it and so you just end up signing the petition or whatever.

I think we’ve all had something like that happen before. Maybe you’re just relaxing at home on a Sunday afternoon and suddenly the doorbell rings. You open the door and there’s a vacuum cleaner salesman right ready to sell you the greatest in sucking technology that sucks better than anything else out there. Suddenly, you’re just in this conversation and they will not go away when all you really want to do is relax and watch TV.

Reactance is that feeling that somebody else has an ulterior motive and they are sort of railroading you into that ulterior motive.

For better or worse, a lot of people’s exes feel this sense of reactance from their ex-partner if their ex-partner wants to get back together with them.

If you were trying to get back together with your ex and you made efforts to communicate with them and patch things up with them, chances are that they are aware of this.

Also, chances are that they are feeling the sense of reactance towards you because they sense that you have this ulterior motive of getting back together when maybe aren’t in an emotional place where they are ready to have that conversation. They might not be even be open to that or even open to talking to you at this point.

And that sense of reactance can be a really big problem that you have to kind of navigate around because if you trigger that reactance too much, they’re going to pull away and distance themselves from you.

This reactance is going to cause them to not want to interact with you and make you less and less and less of a priority. They will keep you at arm’s length. So, reactance is one of the big things that you want to be on the lookout for and it’s also one of the big emotions that drives your exe’s behavior around you.

5. Attraction.

The fifth and final emotion that drives your ex’s behavior is actually attraction. I know that a lot of people out there think that their ex isn’t attracted to them anymore. Maybe your ex even said, “Hey, I’m not attracted to you anymore. We should break up.”

Your ex probably still does feel attraction for you. I’ve never experienced a case where somebody’s ex has literally lost all attraction and it hasn’t been the fault of something else.

Usually what happens is there’s too much history, baggage, drama or whatever caused the breakup. That basically blocks that attraction from doing what it normally does in bringing two people together.

Instead, all you have to do is just remove these negative emotions and the attraction will naturally flow and bring the two people together.

If there’s too much baggage and negative emotion, you might just experience essentially what your ex might feel as no longer feeling attracted. But really, the attraction has been blocked.

Your ex probably does still feel a lot of attraction towards you which is why they are sort of doing this, “Hey, I got to like keep tabs on this person kind of thing. I got to keep in touch but not too much in touch. I’ve got to be in competition. I’ve got to measure my success against this person.”

If you wanted see which one of you was more attractive and desirable, if they really didn’t think that you are an attractive person then why would they even care?

Your ex does feel attraction for you. And, because they are also feeling all these other emotions too, it creates a pull towards you but also repels them at the same time.

Imagine some sort of weird, strange, magnet that somehow drew a magnet towards itself but also repelled the magnet at the same time.

If you can imagine something really weird that probably defies physics like that, that’s what’s going on with your ex because they do still feel attracted to you but on the other hand, they also feel a lot of negative emotions towards you like reactance, guilt, insecurity, and frustration.

Anyway, if you like what we’re doing here, please go ahead and give us a thumbs-up or go ahead and subscribe to the YouTube channel or if you’d like some more help getting back together with your ex or understanding your ex’s behavior, please go ahead and check out my website.

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In the meantime, if you’ve been through a breakup, what are some emotions that you felt towards your ex?

Clay Andrews

About Clay Andrews

Clay Andrews and Mika Terao bring their client’s relationships back from the brink.

Get their free report, 5 Unconscious Signs Your Ex Still Wants You.

If you are an action-taker who wants to get your ex back, Clay and Mika will show you everything you need to know to have a deeper and more profound connection with your ex, so that you both can have a second shot at lasting love (even if your situation feels hopeless). Find out more here now.

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