With Pain Comes The Truth: What Your Ex’s Behavior Reveals About Him

January 14, 2013  |  
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There’s no knowing how a man will react after you break up with him. The calmest man can go AWOL. The most enthusiastic man, silent. Through their behavior post-breakup, some men make you regret your decision to leave them. Others make you realize just how right you were to call it quits. But one thing is for certain: you never really know a man, until you’ve broken up with him. So, what does your ex’s behavior say about him?

Does he remain silent?

This is the ideal situation. It might hurt because the still emotionally weak part of you wants him to be pining after you. But you know any contact would actually just prolong your pain. A man who remains completely silent is a very emotionally sound, well-adjusted man. He takes responsibility for his own pain, not lashing out at you in any way, or bringing it to you to try to help him. He respects your wishes to be done with him. This is the strongest type of man there is post-breakup. If anything, appreciate him for that.

Does he try to make you pity him?

Does he say things like, “Makes sense you dumped me. Nobody will ever love me anyways. I’m unattractive. I’m dumb. Blah, blah, blah…”? This man is, face it, a bit pathetic. A person who really thinks that low of himself doesn’t talk about it. He sits silently with his pain. Only a person who would accept love out of pity (i.e. has no qualms with guilting you into taking him back) would vocalize sentiments like these. Do not pity the man who says this to you and take him back. He was only saying it out of his selfishness to get you back.

Does he intimidate you?

Does he say things like, “That’s fine. You’re hideous anyways. Nobody will ever love you now”? This man is deeply insecure and finding any place to direct his pain, other than at himself. He is not secure enough in himself to look inward and ask, “Well, what could I have done differently? What does this breakup teach me about myself, and my own flaws?” He is not emotionally sound enough to observe his flaws, without completely falling apart. And he feels that, and he panics, and that panic turns into anger.

Does he try to make you jealous?

Does he text you pictures of him making out with a new girl? Or of some bathing suit model he is supposedly now dating? That’s another deeply insecure man for you. He needs the “approval” of a woman—preferably a beautiful one—to feel good about himself. And, once he has lost that approval from you via the breakup, he tries to get it back by showing you that some other woman approves of him. He is trying to make a statement about your lack of intelligence, since you left him and clearly he’s a catch.

Does he try to make others pity him?

Does he post Facebook statuses that say things like, “So sad” or “I’ll never be good enough for anyone”? Another man who pathetically has no qualms with accepting pity as a form of “love” (that’s not real love, of course.) This guy is waiting for some girl who is looking to save a guy to bite the bait. He’s looking for some girl to say, “Oh, poor baby! I’ll love you!” Not a very healthy way to begin a relationship, wouldn’t you say?

Does he post Facebook rants?

Does he post long statuses about how awful you were, or at least how awful “women” are (clearly he’s talking about you)? That is a man with some serious anger issues. Again, if a woman doesn’t want him that is her fault and she is wrong. And so, because of this, he sees nothing wrong with being so publicly disrespectful to his ex. Any woman who would leave him must be an evil person. That is the mentality of a person who refuses to do any self-analyzing, and once again turns his pain into wrath.

Does he shower you with gifts to get you back?

Does he show up at your work with larger, more expensive gifts every day, no matter how many times you ask him to stop? This man sees you as an object for his enjoyment. Even though you have articulated why the relationship was not good for you, all he notices is that he no longer has what he wants. You’re an object, so he thinks you can be won with objects. He has not at all considered what is best for you.

Does he suddenly want to communicate?

Does the man who never wanted to discuss issues, and would leave the house or shut down anytime you tried to have a real conversation suddenly want to talk? Is he suddenly willing to go to couples counseling? And do whatever it is you say? Well sure he does! Everybody has that burst of energy when they’re dumped and realize, “Oh crap! I guess I can’t behave the way I was and still keep a girlfriend.” But that burst of energy doesn’t last. This is a man who is only just beginning to understand what it means to be a partner, and what a large responsibility that is. It may seem ok and even exciting to be a “good boyfriend” for a few weeks if you take him back, but it’s not in his bones yet to be a good partner for the long run. He’ll fall back into his old ways.

Does he perform a grand gesture?

Does he drive across country to see you? Does he remove the tattoo of his ex that always bothered you? Consider this guy very similar to the one who suddenly wants to communicate. He was never before motivated to do anything big for you. He didn’t have to be because you stuck around with him just as he was: lazy and selfish. But again, grand gestures don’t carry over into real life. He may know how to do something big, but he doesn’t know how to do any of the small things that make up a healthy relationship on a daily basis.

Does he go on a one-night stand rampage?

Another emotionally unsound individual, this person is very weak, and avoids pain at all costs. With pain of course comes a deeper understanding of oneself, and this man is afraid to open that box. So instead, he runs away from reality, and into someone else’s bed. He may also have slight relationship-addict tendencies, terrified of being alone.

Does he jump into another relationship?

In this case you almost certainly have a relationship addict on your hands. Any fully emotionally developed person, with friendships, a career, values and pursuits of his own is not afraid to take time by himself in between relationships. But a relationship addict never really had his own identity. He just took on his partner’s friends, passions, lifestyle, hobbies etc. So when he is alone, he has nothing. Which is why he jumps from one relationship to the next.

Does he ask for his gifts back?

Here we have another man frantically directing his pain anywhere he can other than at himself. And a great way for him to do that is to hurt you by asking for his gifts back. It’s an indirect insult, insinuating you don’t deserve those gifts. And he knows that. He wants to make you hurt right now because if he doesn’t, he just has to sit down like a grownup and feel his own pain.

Does he just text you “hi?”

This guy is lazy about getting you back! He’s obviously used to getting girls with very little effort, and was probably lazy in your relationship also. But he knows that women can be weak, and that a simple “hi” message from the ex we’re secretly hoping misses us will have us at his doorstep within the hour. We conveniently forget that none of the issues have been discussed, nobody admitted to any of their faults, and there is no real plan of action to ensure the relationship will be any different from last time. He is banking on you overlooking all of that with his little “hi” message.

Does he block you?

Does he block you on Facebook, Twitter, his email account and his phone? Perhaps block all of your friends too, and ask all his friends to block you? This is another indirect insult. He wants you to feel like you are dead to him. He isn’t strong enough to know that a woman who rejected him exists in the world. A strong man can accept this, can see your Facebook updates, perhaps run into you at a bar, and that is okay. He is confident in himself, so the mere existence of someone who turned him down does not shake him up.

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