As I explore the various steps of separation and divorce (see my blog “We broke up: now what?)in order to better understand the dynamics involved in a break-up, here is what I find the most notable as a worst-case scenario for both roles,
Separation is painful even when both parties behave and stick to
’good dumper’ and ‘good dumpee’ roles.
hen a bad-dumpee is also a bad-dumper (roles alternate in some separations) all hell can break loose. S/he wants out of the relationship but does not have the strength nor courage to be the dumper. S/he will make life miserable for their partner to force them to become the one who leaves. This is a form of abuse as the one who wants to make the relationship work find themselves cornered into doing what they wanted to pre-empt.
At that point, the bad-dumpee not only enacts the rejection they provoked in the first place, but they also become a bad-dumper. A bad-dumper is a runaway kid. They see the grass greener on the other side of the fence, and all that is needed for them to be happy is to get out of the relationship. There’s often a new love partner conveniently lined up. The bad-dumper avoids dealing with feelings, actions and attitudes that need to be changed and s/he does not provide closure to the dumpee; this is another form of abuse.
The ‘bad dumpee turned bad dumper’ is the partner most likely to enact the anger that naturally follows initial feelings of guilt (dumper)
It is therefore essential, if you find yourself pushed in the role of reluctant dumper, that you take self-protective steps, by first carefully assessing the risk of abuse before doing so, and then ensuring your safety well before walking out. For instance, start describing the situation to relatives, friends and professionals and start collecting documentary and photographic evidence before you leave. You could well need it!
The following stories illustrate worst case scenarios involving a
Another person found himself denied access to his children until the courts produced an order. He didn’t see his children for 18 months. He says, she asked him to leave and then changed her mind a few weeks later, after he’d moved out. He did not agree to a reconciliation. She felt dumped and she retaliated using access to the children as leverage.
Another person had counter-filing against her, when she reported to police that her broken arm was the consequence of him getting into a rage she told him want to separate. He did not like being the one left. He told her “then get out of my house”
Another person found all his clothes cut to pieces and CD collection destroyed after telling her he wanted out. He succumbed to anger as a result, and smashed her vintage car in return.
And finally, one client walked out on her partner, and was threatened to be ‘ruined in court’ by
And so it goes. he rule of thumb is: beware of what you thought you knew about your mate. If you believe that you are placed in the role of the dumper, be cautious. Separation may start well, but, just
Will you or will your partner destroy property, blackmail, threaten, break arm, produce a gun, defame, refuse access to children? Or instead, will you take time out with no contact for as long as it takes to exhaust the post break up rage?
And please, if you have lived scenarios similar to the described, it is possible that you have experienced trauma, even if you are not yet aware of it.