02/13/2015 11:29 am ET Updated Apr 14, 2015

Why You Need to Stop Hating Your Ex

I can honestly say that from what I've seen, men and women going through a divorce experience hatred that runs so deep, it's frightening. I would imagine the reason for the hate is because they care so much. Think about it. People who don't care don't show or feel any emotion. They just shrug.

Hate in divorce stems from resentment, anger, fear, hurt, sadness, you name it. There have been times I've felt that hatred, and it's almost hard to imagine how you could have gone from loving this person so much to the other end of the spectrum. Hence the phrase, "There's a thin line between love and hate."

All that said, here's how I feel about hate. When I was experiencing deep hatred for my ex,-- hatred I never even knew existed in me, it only made me feel worse. Why? Because I didn't want to be that kind of angry, bitter, hateful person. That just isn't me. It's not in my core. I am so opposite of that kind of person. So, who I really started hating was myself.

That is why it's important to try to let hate go. That's not easy to do, but here are a few things you can do.

1. Write down your feelings. Write down how much you hate his or her guts and why, and all the things he or she did to you to make you feel that way. Read it a few times and then destroy it. No one should see it. The purpose of it is for you to get rid of it. Validate all he did or she did and how it made you feel by writing it down. Write about his or her cheating, how he or she stole your best years, how they dumped you, how they abused you. Having it in print makes you feel like you have "evidence." Tearing it up is symbolizing that you are too strong for it to hurt you forever, that you are choosing to be rid of it, and that you are survivor.

2. Think about your future. I recently heard a quote that stuck in my head, which applies to men and women going through a divorce: "I'm not where I want to be, but thank God I'm no longer where I was." Brilliant, right? Try to shift from the hate to the excitement of where your journey is going to take you.

3. Keep saying to yourself, "I'm not going to have hate in me anymore because that's not who I am." It's very hard to do, but say it enough and it will start to sink in. Don't hate him or her. Alternative feelings can be: pity, disrespect, dislike, and the best one, happy that you are no longer with him or her.

Hate isn't productive. What is? Working on yourself and focusing on the new and wonderful life you have ahead of you! Instead of hate, think of it this way. Being free from a bad situation is like winning the lottery!

Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, "Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.