5 Terribly Ruthless Things Exes Do During Divorce

Words like "amicable" and "no-fault" aren't applicable here.

Woman staring at her exes most recent post showing off his new girlfriend feedough, Jacob Lund | Canva

Be warned! When you think your ex has hit an all-time low, they're just getting started.

What's hard is no matter how terrible they are, there's still a part of you deep inside that wants to see the good side of them again. After all, this is the person you married and thought you'd spend the happiest days with.

Divorce has shown you a completely different side you never knew existed. Hard as it is, you must prepare for what might come next.


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Here are 5 terribly ruthless things exes do during divorce:

1. Dismiss you

They have no compassion or respect for your feelings and values. They've decided they want a divorce, and if they didn't dare to tell you face-to-face, they sent you a text, email, or letter. Perhaps they acted like everything was perfect between the two of you, kissed you goodbye before they left for work, and … WHAM, you're served divorce papers within an hour. They refuse to tell you their reasons for the divorce or even talk to you about a settlement.


You wonder how they could be so cruel, and if they ever loved you. You're curious who this person is, as they're not the person you once knew and loved. You'll ask yourself how you've been so blind. You feel devalued — as if they've thrown you out like yesterday's trash — and it hurts.

2. Flaunt their new life

Your ex has a new lover, and they are enjoying life (or so it seems). They post pictures of the new love on social media and tag the places you used to beg them to go. Your ex introduces this new person to friends and brags about how much better they are than you. Perhaps they've gotten engaged and flooded their social media with pictures of a colossal diamond ring. The kids are told they have a new parent in an attempt to rebuild their ex's family the way they want it with their new partner.

You feel infuriated and wonder if your ex gets all the joy while you are miserable. You're sick and tired of seeing them together and constantly ask yourself why the new lover gets treated better than you ever did. You feel your ex's new partner is taking over your life. Most of all, you can't understand how your ex could move on so quickly.

RELATED: The Pros And Cons Of Staying Angry At Your Ex


3. Deny you financial resources

An ex can play all kinds of tricks when it comes to money. For some reason, they feel that once the separation is final, they owe you nothing and see child support as money "given" to you. It's like your ex wants to see you broke and struggling. They might even hide assets to give you less in the settlement, stop paying the mortgage and utilities, and cancel your credit cards.

You feel used and abused. You believed it was a joint decision for them to take the bulk of the marital financial responsibility when you were married, and now they act as if they didn't. You can't understand why they'd do this to you after everything you sacrificed for them, the life you built jointly. The future is unknown and terrifying, the fear of ending up aimlessly wandering the streets.

4. Act like a bully

Your ex bullies you by blaming everything wrong in their life on you. They claim you complain too much — you're nothing but negative. If they're a drug addict or alcoholic, they claim you drove them to it. They give you ultimatums such as, "Sign this, or you'll never see a penny from me." or "If you don't agree to my terms, I'm going to drag this through court for years, and you can't do a damn thing about it." They may say that as long as they're paying your mortgage, they're privileged to withhold a key to your home and might invade your privacy when you aren't at home.

You believe it's in their power to do the things they threaten because they have such a strong personality and can appear so charming to others. Their bullying terrifies you. You desperately want to break free of them and believe if you give in to their pleas, you can find some solace.


RELATED: 4 Ways To Finally, Truly Become Comfortable Being Alone Post-Divorce

5. Gaslight you

They spread ugly rumors about you in an attempt for people to question your mental health. They quietly tell you something to set you off. In a rage, you start yelling and cussing, thus looking like the person they're telling everyone you are. They selectively omit information or spin it in their favor. They may even try to convince the courts you're delusional and violent. They act like an innocent victim.

You're furious and appalled and wonder how people can believe them. They might even have you question your sanity and memories. Most of all, you're hurt and feel betrayed by some of your closest friends who believe their vicious lies. You find yourself scared and feel very alone.

To muster up the courage, you act as if the ruthless things your ex is doing don't affect you. However, you're deeply hurt and angry.


You feel powerless and disrespected. You continue to act defensively in an attempt to get them to stop! Your feelings are understandable and legitimate. While you can't control their actions, you can control yours.

Here are 3 things to protect yourself and keep your cool when they act ruthlessly:

1. Keep a journal

highlight any contact you have with them. Write things down as soon as they happen. Record what both of you said and did during the interaction.

2. Block their social media

Tell your family and friends you do NOT want to know what your ex does or who they do it with.

3. Learn to assert yourself with them.

Think about the situations that may arise and create an accessible statement you can say calmly and effectively such as, "I will get back to you later."


Leave if things start going awry. This puts you in control and helps you to keep a clear mind.

Surround yourself with good support like family, friends, a divorce coach, or a therapist.

Most of all, know you're not alone and not the first person to go through this, survive it, and create a happier life on the other side of this stressful period.


RELATED: 5 Stages Of Grief During Divorce That Are More Than Just Sadness

Cindy Holbrook is a divorce coach, personal development coach, and speaker.