Ask Rene:
How Can I Halt The Hate?

Hi Rene:

How do I stop hating the person I was married to for 19 years? Mike turned out to be a liar, thief and adulterer then he turned on me and said I was to blame for all of it. He lied to me because he did not want confrontation? He bounced thousands of dollars in checks and never said a word? He pawned all his guns to pay for? He told me I never did anything for him? Yeah, right.

I hate him, I have never said anything like that before, I have never hated anyone yet he brought so much pain into my life; how do I stop dwelling on the wrongs he forced into my life and move on?


Angry in Atlanta

Dear Angry:

Your signature says it all and I understand. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of hurt with people but it’s especially difficult when they are people who played such a big role in your life, like a spouse or best friend. The problem here is that until you release that hurt and hate (and I’m glad you admitted it as that’s the first step to healing), it’s going to be nearly impossible for you to move on. So here’s what I would do if I were you.


Creative Commons/Scott Holcomb

You started your letter by admitting this is someone whom you hate. I know how much this hurts and you probably feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a swirling storm but you can find your way out of this. It’s not going to be easy and it very well could be a “two-steps forward, one step back” type of thing. But step one is admitting this person hurt you. Mike lied, cheated, stomped on your heart and ruined the trust you shared. This is someone you didn’t expect to see that from, someone you loved so that makes the betrayal even more painful.


Creative Commons/sylvar

The best way I’ve heard hate described came from Nelson Mandela who said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” You have to let this go because hating Mike is not hurting him, it’s hurting you. A LOT! You feel paralyzed, wounded, stuck and that’s a bad place to be. The more you hang on to this, the more power you are ceding to Mike. He hurt you with the lies, deception and betrayal and that continues to leave an indelible mark. He still has power over you and your life because you are allowing him to. You have to, for the sake of your mental, emotional and physical health, move on and that’s where the real work is going to come.


Creative Commons/DARA Drug Alcohol Rehab Asia

I’m not a therapist, just a mom who traffics in common sense. So the best I can offer you is to find a mental health expert in your community who can help you. You have some very intensive work ahead of you if you want to successfully resolve your feelings about this so don’t delay. If money is an issue, there are resources for free mental health care in your community.  If you go to church, see if you can talk to the pastor.  Whatever you do, just know that seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness as much as it’s a sign of strength.

Good luck to you!


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