“Why Is My Emotionally Abusive Ex Happy?”

11 Feb 2014

“It’s not about feeling like a victim, or giving myself a hard time,” M. said,  “I just want to know why my emotionally abusive ex  is happy with his new woman, and why I don’t matter to him.”

In an ideal world, an emotionally abusive man would – sooner, rather than later – either feel the remorse you’d like him to feel or, at least, get his comeuppance. 

So, why doesn’t he?

Obviously, I’m not privy to the Universal Master Plan any more than you are. 

I do know that karma may well not happen in this lifetime or, at the very least, that it is a lousy time-keeper.  If you’re going to wait for the pay-off of seeing Mr Nasty punished appropriately for his appalling behaviour, you’ve probably got a good, long, pointless wait ahead of you. 

So, I let go of the karma idea a long time ago.  For me, at least, it was a manifestation of my victim feelings, and a reversion to childhood.  “I’m not big enough,  and powerful enough to mete out punishment myself – and I’m not sure if I’d really want to make something nasty happen, much as I might like to fantasize about it.  But I know there is a bigger, more powerful force that I can rely on to redress the injustice that’s been done to me. So, bring it on!”

Whether Mr Nasty gets his comeuppance sooner, later, or not at all is, ultimately unimportant.  It won’t make you a better person.  And it won’t make you a happier person. 

You might derive some short term satisfaction from him getting a good dose of his own medicine, but it won’t make you happy.  That’s not how happiness works. 

The whole point about healing from an emotionally abusive relationship is that you have to learn how to create, and nurture, your own happiness.  

Nobody else can do that for you.

They may contribute to your unhappiness.  But, still, they are NOT responsible for your happiness.

Only you are.

Just supposing your emotionally abusive ex is happy with his new… victim – it’s unlikely, but not absolutely impossible.  What does that prove? 

If you make it mean that you’re a failure, then you’re punishing yourself.  If you tell yourself how unfair and hard for you that is, then you are slipping into feelings of victimhood and deprivation.

The truth is, it’s been terrible for you.  That’s why the relationship had to end.  Whether or not you pulled the plug on it. 

When you focus on your feelings of injustice you can only feel stuck, frustrated, and powerless.  Which means you’ll carry on feeling exactly the way Mr Nasty wanted you to feel. 

And you will be denying yourself the opportunity to be happy.

A little while back, I worked with a client who was absolutely convinced that she could not get over the trauma she had been through, because her ex-husband had got off scot-free – quite missing the point that being a Mr Nasty clone is punishment enough for anyone.   She clung to those feelings as desperately as a drowning man might cling to a life raft.  It was as if she believed that, without them, she would surely go down.

She was NOT letting go. 

Even though those feelings were dragging her down.

They stopped her working effectively.  She brought her negative feelings about herself into the workplace and, as a result, things at work went badly wrong for her.  Those negative feelings also stymied her considerable artistic talent.  They tried her friends’ patience.  They were harmful to her health. 

But, still, she wouldn’t let go…

And then she did. 

She got the message. 

She let go of those feelings, and Life opened up for her again. 

Did her ex experience the remorse, the punishment, or even the personality transplant she had wished on him?

Of course not. 

Did it matter?

Not at all.

What matters that he is out of her head.  Which meant that she is free to rebuild her life, and can enjoy peace of mind, friendship, and the freedom to be fully herself. 

That’s all that matters.


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

4 thoughts on ““Why Is My Emotionally Abusive Ex Happy?””

    • You probably need to be working on your own healing for that to change.

      You surely were victimized because abuse is victimization.

      However, you feel like a victim when you have been brainwashed into feeling powerless and worthless – and powerlessness and worthlessness are two things that go very much together.

      So, you really need to be working on rebuilding your sense of self.

      Warm wishes for your healing and happiness,


  1. I fell in love for the first time at 47 years. He didn’t get his own way and lied, cheated and mentally abused me, from my adult kids too all my insecurities of my body. He’s moved on to a younger prettier woman and I can’t seem too move on 😢

    • He sounds horrible. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop you feeling horribly rejected.

      You need to understand that he has not moved on because the new woman is younger and prettier. He has moved on because he is the kind of man who moves on and rejects women.

      So, you are not moving on right now because he has really brought into focus a lack of self-worth in you. That is what you need to be working on. If that is not something that you are able to do alone, then my Break Free Membership might be a good resource for you.


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