Coping with a breakup is more difficult and painful when you bury yourself in complaints and criticisms about your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. These tips on how to stop complaining about your ex after breaking up will help you move on in peace, healing, and freedom.
“After all of the heartache, change, and uncertainty you’ve faced related to your divorce, it’s not surprising if you sometimes feel the need to complain,” writes Mark Rye and Crystal Dea Moore in The Divorce Recovery Workbook: How to Heal From Anger, Hurt and Resentment and Build the Life You Want.
. “In fact, complaining (especially about your ex-husband) is a time-honored tradition among many divorced folks. How often have you or a divorced friend started a conversation with, ‘You won’t believe what my ex did to me this time…’”
In this article, you’ll learn whether your complaining is serving a healthy purpose in your life (which is possible) or if it’s holding you back from getting over the breakup. And, you’ll find three practical and effective tips on how to stop complaining about your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. It’s time to start living with a healed, whole heart!
First, 3 questions for you:
- Do you complain about your ex more than you “should”?
- How does complaining make you feel better about the breakup?
- How does complaining make you feel worse about ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, and life in general?
You are 100% normal if you complain about your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband — especially after a particularly bad or painful breakup. Complaining can actually serve a purpose. It helps you vent and express your anger, pain, frustration, and disappointment. Complaining about your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband also gives you something to different (and unhealthy) to focus on. This allows you to avoid doing the hard work of healing and letting go after a breakup…which is bad.
For a short time, complaining about your ex after a breakup can be a healthy way to let go of the relationship. But if you’ve been complaining for a long time, then you’re preventing yourself from healing and letting go. If your complaints are taking over your thoughts and conversations, then they’re destructive.
How complaining affects you
Complaining pushes other people away. “People who complain a lot bring a storm cloud with them wherever they go,” write Rye and Moore in The Divorce Recovery Workbook: How to Heal From Anger, Hurt and Resentment and Build the Life You Want.
“As with bad weather, everyone in the vicinity is affected, and many may seek shelter. For instance, upon first dating again following a divorce, some people complain so much about their ex that they inadvertently push their new romantic partner away.”
Complaining contributes to a negative mood. Do you feel depressed and gloomy because of the breakup? Then it’s natural to complain. Just remember that the more you complain, the darker your sunglasses get. Complaining is like putting on a pair of sunglasses and expecting to see the sunshine! The more you complain, the darker your shades get. Complaining reinforces negative thoughts that contribute to your sad, depressed feelings after a breakup.
Complaining can be a substitute for action. Complaining can trick you into thinking you’re doing something good or healthy about how you feel after a breakup. While complaining can lead to constructive change if it’s short-term and focussed, it won’t change your past or present problems. What’s the point of complaining about the breakup, especially if your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband can’t change himself or the past?
Complaining can negatively impact your kids. This is the best reason to learn how to stop complaining about your ex after a breakup: your kids are affected by every negative word you say. “Divorced parents sometimes find themselves complaining about their ex-husbands to their children,” write Rye and Moore. “This can be very painful for kids to hear. Even if you aren’t complaining directly about your ex-husband after a breakup, complaining could have a negative effect on the kids’ mood. Besides, children can learn how to become good complainers from their parents.”
Are you ready to stop complaining about your ex after your breakup? If so, the following three tips will help. However, if you’re not ready to give up your complaining sessions, then write everything you think about him and your relationship in the comments section below. I’m giving you a free pass to complain about him, the breakup, and your relationship! This will give your friends, family, and therapist a break 🙂
3 Ways to Stop Complaining After a Breakup
One of the best, easiest, and most effective ways to stop complaining about your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend is a keen sense of gratitude. Gratitude is a sense of thankfulness and joy in response to receiving a gift.
Gratitude involves a certain way of thinking, and it has two components. First, gratitude is about noticing and acknowledging what is good in your life; second, gratitude is understanding that the goodness in your life comes from a source beyond yourself.
1. Learn the value of gratitude
The more grateful you are about the things in your life, the better you feel. Your mood is happier, your feelings are more positive, and your face is brighter and shinier. Gratitude is also related to better sleep. An attitude of gratitude actually helps you get a better night’s rest — and this improves your ability to heal and emotionally detach after a breakup. Gratitude is also related to less stress and burnout. Feeling grateful for your job and life, for instance, increases your satisfaction in both. This satisfaction decreases the negativity you feel. Gratitude also strengthens your existing relationships with people you care about.
2. Acknowledge the source of the goodness in your life
You’re grateful for many things, but you don’t realize it. You have food in your belly, friends and family who care about you, enough money to pay for housing, a phone or computer that connects you articles about breakups and Blossoming, and freedom to share your opinion and complain about whatever you want. You have so many things to be grateful for!
If you’re a believer, you have something else to be grateful for. Something huge: a direct and powerful connection to the God who runs the universe and delights in you! A Savior who loves you and chose to die for you! You have an eternal source of joy and freedom in Jesus. You have 24-hour access to the power of the Holy Spirit to help you through life’s most challenging difficulties – even a breakup.
Even if you’re not a Christian, you have breath in your lungs and a beat in your heart. God is waiting for you, watching over you, and hoping you’ll turn His way. If you really want to learn how to stop complaining about your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband after a breakup, read Job 37 and 38. Get a sense of the glory and beauty and majesty of God. Pull your head out of the painful pit of breaking up, and look upward for something better.
3. Find gratitude in the simple things
I had a rough childhood growing up. I was in foster homes, my mom struggled with schizophrenia my whole life, and we lived on welfare and got groceries from food banks. I didn’t have a dad or a home or even a regular school. We moved from city to city every few months.
As tough as it was, my past taught me to value even the littlest things in life. I am so grateful for simple things, such as a hot cup of coffee, a car that runs, an interesting podcast, time to color, and the ability to connect to God whenever I want. Those are amazingly simple things in my life that I cherish deeply. I feel happy almost all the time, because I’m so grateful for so much.
What are the simple things in your life that you’re grateful for? If you can’t find anything good, then you’ll never find the peace, freedom, or healing you want. Instead of wasting your time and energy complaining about your ex after a breakup, talk about something good in your life. Start now! In the comments section below, tell me something simple that you’re grateful for. You might even give God a little wink or nod of appreciation, for everything you have is from Him.
How are you doing?
If you find yourself complaining about your ex because you’re hurt, read How to Cope When He Says He’s Not in Love With You.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.