Why Is My Ex-Boyfriend Acting Like A Jerk? (Here Are The Reasons…)

Breakups are never an enjoyable experience. If they were, people wouldn't dread them as much as they do.

The fact is, breakups are difficult. Regardless of how amicable the end of a relationship may be, there will always be some level of emotional pain involved.

During the process of coping with your emotions, either you or your ex-boyfriend may exhibit unusual behavior. It's possible that your normally kind ex may even seem like a jerk.

So, why does this happen? Here, we aim to shed light on the situation and offer a deeper understanding.


Let's start by distinguishing between when you think he's being a jerk and when he actually is. Breakups tend to magnify our sensitivities, so it's quite possible that some of his actions appear harsher than they truly are.

For instance, if he takes longer to respond to your messages or texts, take into consideration that he may be busy. Alternatively, he could be just as affected by the breakup as you are and taking time to himself.

What if he's seeing other people? This may not necessarily make him a jerk, especially if he started dating someone new immediately after the breakup. In that case, the new relationship could be a rebound.

If he's starting fights with you or saying hurtful things, that's a clear sign that he's being unnecessarily mean. In his pain, he might be lashing out at you or constantly bringing up painful memories from the relationship.

He might also make mean jokes about serious topics or even avoid communicating with you altogether. Both are signs of jerk behavior.


So, what's the reason behind your ex's jerk-like behavior? There could be several possibilities:

- He's hurting from missing you.

- You were the first to attack, so he's protecting himself.

- He needs space.

- He's trying to hurt you.

- He's seeking revenge.

He's In Pain And Missing You

Men often like to think of themselves as strong and unfeeling. There are countless societal factors and stereotypes that contribute to this mentality.

However, it's important to remember that men are not emotionless - far from it. Your ex could be struggling with emotional pain after the relationship ended. One way people in pain regain a sense of power is by lashing out.

This may be especially true if he perceives that you're doing well without him. Jealousy of your happiness could be a factor.

You Attacked Him, So He's Playing Defense

We shouldn't always assume he's being mean for no reason. Consider the last few times you interacted with him.

Were you critical or did you attack him first? If you realize that you were the one being hurtful, keep in mind that he might be responding in a similar manner.

Allowing negative emotions to take control is a common occurrence for even the best of us.

He Just Needs Some Space

When we experience pain, it's natural to seek refuge in order to heal. This can come in the form of taking time for oneself, disconnecting from social media, or finding solace in nature.

If you're noticing your ex-boyfriend taking an extended amount of time to respond or completely ignoring you, this could be the reason why.

Don't jump to the worst conclusion immediately. It's likely that he just needs some space to process his thoughts.

The Negative: He's Trying To Cause You Hurt

The reasons mentioned before don't seem too serious, right? That's because they're normal responses to emotional stress.

However, not all actions are driven by understandable motives. If your ex-boyfriend is attacking you, dredging up painful memories, or disregarding your feelings, he may be doing it with the intention of causing harm.

The reason for this behavior could be a desire to feel empowered.

He's Trying To Get Even

This is similar to the previous explanation, but with some variations. If he's treating you poorly post-breakup, it might not be solely driven by a desire to bring you down.

It could be his way of getting even if he feels wronged. For instance, if you've treated him badly in the past or if he's jealous.

Regardless of the root cause, it's likely that you'll need to communicate with him effectively, especially if you want to rekindle the relationship.


Knowing the reasons behind your ex's uncooperative behavior, you might want to know what you can do about it. Of course, you don't have to tolerate your ex's misbehavior passively.

There are several ways to encourage better behavior from your ex.

Give Him (and Yourself) Some Space

The first step is to grant each other the space needed for healing. This will provide both of you with an opportunity to reflect on your emotions and determine your next steps.

We suggest taking advantage of a no-contact period if possible. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the distance between you two might make your ex-boyfriend realize how much he misses you. In turn, he may understand that being rude is not an effective strategy to win you back.

Tell Him How His Actions Are Making You Feel

One straightforward solution (and a great starting point) is simply telling him how his actions affect you. If he's acting out, let him know.

This does not mean that you should insult him or do anything with the intention of hurting him. Otherwise, you would be the one acting out, not him.

Try to keep your discussions with him neutral. Explain to him what he is doing and why it's bothering you, but avoid using any language that could be interpreted as an insult.

Don't Let His Jerkiness Get To You

Despite his unpleasant behavior, don't let it affect you. Although it's easier said than done, especially considering he's your ex and probably knows how to trigger you. But, avoiding an outburst in response to his provocations is a sign of your inner strength.

But, engaging in a back-and-forth argument with him will only escalate the situation. Be the one to break the cycle and rise above the conflict.

If You're The One Who Fired The First Shot, Apologize

Keep in mind, it's common and human to experience pain and sometimes make rash decisions due to emotional turmoil, like lashing out at someone we care about.

If you acknowledge your role in the situation, give yourself credit for being self-aware. Recognizing one's mistake is the first step towards resolution. Not everyone has the courage to admit their wrongdoing.

The next step is to apologize genuinely. Don't offer an apology just to appease him, it needs to come from the heart.

He's been in a relationship with you before, he'll be able to tell if you're not being sincere.