It’s normal to harbor resentments, bitterness and grudges towards our ex for hurting us, our kids, not being the partner we expected them to be, not keeping their commitments, and so forth.  At the same time, this type of anger has a way of eating away at us and eroding the quality of our lives. Elizabeth Kenny, an Australian army nurse once said: “He who angers you controls you.” Do we really want to continue to give our power away to our ex? Or is it time to put the past in the past and forgive them FOR US, and get our lives back?

My upcoming Heal Your Heart Online Retreat offers you a big opportunity to release some anger and replace it with empowerment as it has for past participants.  Register below.

I Acknowledge You for Your Resentment


Before we go further, I want to acknowledge you for all of your pain and suffering while going through divorce and being negatively impacted by it.  You make sense.  It is so easy to live in this space of resentment toward your ex. I’m sorry that life has dealt you and your kids, if you have them, this blow.  Divorce can be so destabilizing. You didn’t sign up for this when you got married, and now you’re having to put the pieces of the puzzle of your life back together. You WILL get there.

The Negative Effects of Resentment Toward the Ex

If we are carrying the weight of resentment toward our ex, the burden can feel heavier and heavier each year if it’s not released. What’s in it for US to release the resentment?  Keep in mind I’m advocating that we release the resentment for US, not them.  Yes, they and our kids will benefit too, but WE will benefit the most.
Resenting our ex keeps us stuck in a rut in our lives in various ways, because we divert a lot of attention and energy to them.
Do You Resent Your Ex?

What is the impact of this distraction and drainage of energy?

  1. Our children witness our anger and how unhappy we seem. This role modeling teaches them coping habits, and how it plays out depends on their personality. If they are a sensitive, empathic child, they may be very protective of us and learn the relationship pattern of taking over-responsibility for others.  If the child has a tendency to be quick tempered, they may further engrain this behavior and justify it by watching us.
  2. It will be very difficult to move on to another healthy relationship if we are distracted by our ex. We only have so much energy in the day, and anger/resentment is very draining. Further, it won’t give us much confidence that we’ll be able to get along in our next relationship if we can’t let go of the past one.
  3. Anger will cause us to stagnate in our lives. Anger is a cover up emotion that prevents us from accessing and feeling more vulnerable feelings like sadness and grief. If we don’t feel safe enough to look at what’s below the anger, we will stay stuck in unhealthy relationship patterns that mimic a younger version of ourselves.
  4. Resentment can have a negative effect on our physical and mental health. There is a known, proven mind-body connection. What doesn’t get dealt with emotionally gets expressed in our bodies. It takes a lot of energy to repress feelings. Therefore, it’s important to find a healthy release. Holding onto anger can lead to stress and anxiety, which often leads to “dis-ease” in the body which can manifest in any number of ways.

Letting Go of Resentment Toward Our Ex


  1. Acknowledge that we’re still mad and that’s okay for now. The solution isn’t denying our anger. Remember how I acknowleded you in the very beginning of this blog?  It’s super important that the part of us that feels justifiably angry be acknowledged.  The reason is that this act of validating how we feel relieves the steam as from a pressure cooker.
  2. Realize that we are NOT our anger. What we do is different from who we are.  We can decide to see our anger, like all of our feelings, belonging to us, but not being us. I have a hypnosis script that invites us to see ourselves in a dressing room, in which there are many mirrors.  We notice ourselves in one of the mirrors and we understand something we haven’t up until now…that who we truly are is not reflected in the mirror.  Our true essence is invisible energy, behind the scenes of the body and emotions. We can say, “I am not my anger. I am the manager of it.”
  3. Realize that prolonged anger gives us a false sense of safety. It may appear to make us stronger by creating distance from another.  In truth, anger can provide an energy that helps us to protect ourselves, and we don’t want to get rid of that. But beyond that initial impetus it gives us to self-protect, when we hold onto anger for a prolonged period of time, it drains our power and gives it to our ex.
  4. Find a healthy release of the anger. Any type of vigorous, physical movement can help–like jogging, jumping on a rebound machine, jumping jacks, cardio, running up and down stairs, martial arts, etc. Emotion is stored in our body, and so we need to release it from the body.
Journaling is also a great way to release stuck anger energy in the body. Even though it’s not real physical, it works because it helps to clear emotion. We need to put it all out there. It’s not the time to be mature. We can cuss, scream, or do whatever is needed to release our frustration and anger.
One of my favorite techniqes to release anger is Emotional Freeom Techniques (EFT or Tapping).  With EFT, we work with the body’s energy to acknowledge where we’re at and then stimulate acupressure points that help us to unclog stuck energy/negative emotion.
Brief Tapping Phrase–Go to the Karate Chop point (see this instructional video on how to tap) and repeat the following:


  • Even though I’m so angry at ________, and they don’t deserve my forgiveness, I love and accept myself.
  • Even though they did me wrong and I want them to suffer and pay for what they did, I love and accept myself.
  • Even though there is no way I’m going to forgive them for how they hurt me, my anger feels good and protects me, I love and accept myself.
Tap on the points and repeat:
Inside of eyebrow: I’m so angry at __________
Side of eye: They don’t deserve my forgiveness.
Under eye: They did me wrong.
Under nose: They deserve to suffer and pay for what they did.
Chin: There’s no way I’m going to forgive them.
Collarbone: They hurt me bad.
Under arm: This anger feels good because it protects me from getting further hurt.
Top of head: I acknowledge all of my anger and how it serves me.
Wrist: All this anger….feeling all this anger.
Repeat the above tapping until the intensity is down to 4/10 or less. Fill in the blanks with any other feelings around the situation you might have. Tapping is very forgiving.  Don’t do it perfectly. Just do it. You will gain relief.
Do You Resent Your Ex?

Forgiving Your Ex Sets YOU Free

Once we have acknowledged our anger/resentment, given ourselves permission to feel it, realized we aren’t our anger, that it doesn’t really keep us safe, and released it through the body in some manner, we have now created space in our heart to consider forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is key when it comes to letting go of the past and reclaiming our power from the one we resent. Though it’s not easy at any time, it is impossible when are harboring anger.  Assuming we’ve done some releasing, now it’s time to consider forgiveness.
To do this, we must be intentional about it.  Declare that we are ready to forgive so WE can move forward and get a lot of our energy back online.  We have these invisible, energetic chords of attachment connecting us to the one we resent.  The chords bind us to each other. We need to cut the chords.

Forgiveness Exercise

  1. Imagine that  you are standing on a stage, and the one you want to forgive approaches you. You are standing, facing one another, looking into each other’s eyes.
  2. Say, “Thank you, ________. I’ve learned my lesson from this encounter with you.  I hereby declare our contract is complete. I forgive you and ask that you exit my energy field.”
  3. Cut the chord that connects you to them by swinging your arms with clenched fists, down behind your back and up over your head, and vigorously bring the arms down in front of your body, releasing your fists, as if pushing out the negative energy into the earth and cutting the chord.
  4. See the person turn away from you and exit the stage, walking until they fade in the distance, and you no longer see them.  If they don’t fade away or aren’t willing to leave the stage, then that’s an indication that you have more anger to release. So go back and do some more tapping, journaling, etc.


It’s normal to feel very angry and resentful when our ex has harmed us. Let’s acknowledge just how normal we are.  We make sense.  Holding onto this resentment, however, has several very negative side effects: it adversely affects our children, makes it hard to move on to other healthy romantic relationships, causes us to stagnate in our lives, and it adversely affects our physical and mental health.
We need to find a way to let go of the resentment towards our ex. To do this, we acknowledge our anger/resentment, give ourselves permission to feel it, realize we aren’t our anger and it doesn’t really keep us safe, and release it through the body in some manner. By doing this, we soften our hearts enough to give us the willingness to consider forgiveness. 
When we feel we are ready to forgive, we can cut chords of attachment to our ex and let them go so they are free to live their lives, and, more importantly, we are free to live ours.
At the upcoming Heal Your Heart Retreat, one of the areas we focus upon is anger at your ex. We work together to release the anger, at your pace, so you can put the past in the past and move forward. Don’t worry. The aim is to feel safe as you do the work. We won’t get rid of the healthy anger that helps us to self-protect, just the excessive, prolonged anger that robs you of your joy and passion for life. Register below.
Much Love,
Angie Monko,
Holistic Divorce/Loss Coach