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Break Up Do's and Don'ts

Updated on July 22, 2015

Having a strategy can help


Break Up Scenario 1

Brian opened the door, dropping his leather suitcase under neath the hall stand well and truly out of the way, before loosening his tie and taking his shoes off. Amber hated it when he walked on the white tiles with his black soles, it would not pay to upset her tonight.

As was his practice Brian headed for the sitting room ready to accept his gin and tonic. To his surprise Amber was holding something other than the desired drink in her hand.

‘What do you call this?’

Brian noticed a slight shrillness to his wife’s voice. What’s more there was something not quite right in the living room. His eyes scanned the lounge, where the cushions were lying about as opposed to their usual neat upright color coordinated positions, the magazines were scattered all over the coffee table, which is not where they normally were and the carpet had not been vacuumed. Something had obviously upset her, but what?

‘I don’t know,’ Brian decided to play it cool. ‘It’s definitely not a gin and tonic that’s for sure.’ As he spoke he headed to his armchair. Best to see how this panned out from a pleasant position. Once he was comfortably seated Brian pulled out his phone.

‘What are you doing now?’ Amber’s voice had gone up another octave.

With a raised eyebrow and a sigh Brian slipped the phone back into his pocket. Something was eating his wife and he had to find out what it was.

‘Let me see that.’

‘See what?” Brian asked holding up his hands fending off his wife.

‘Your phone,’ Amber was frantically grabbing at him, trying to get a hand into his pocket. For some reason she was nearly hysterical.

‘But,’ Brian started only to find his wife's hand finally finding what it was looking for. He tried to stop her. Next minute the side table was knocked over and his wife was yelling it him.

‘I knew it, I knew it, you were texting that floozy,’ holding her head with one hand the phone with the other, her eyes sparkling triumphantly.

“What are you talking about?’ Brian tried to remain calm. ‘And what are those papers you are holding?’

“Emails between you and the slut,’ Amber spat out the word slut.

Now Brian was starting to get worried. ‘What do you mean?’

‘You thought you could hide it from me, but I asked Ebony to hack into your emails.’

‘You what? You asked our daughter to help you spy on me?’ His voice was clipped, his hands gripping the side of the armchair tight.

'I wouldn’t have had to spy on you if you hadn’t been having an affair.'

Lesson from scenario 1

You would have to agree that this couple should have, or could have managed their break up a bit better.

True it is the wife was in the wrong not only to start spying on the husband but to involve children (even if they are adult ones) in a dispute between husband and wife. And equally it was wrong of the husband to be in an affair and not be honest with his wife.

There is no doubt about it, telling someone the truth about the end of the relationship is not easy, but it is the fair thing for everyone.

No one benefits from being lied to, least of all the person doing the lying.

Long term impacts on break up scenario 1

In cases like this there is no trust at all between the parties, making any type of negotiations for property settlement (or where the children live etc) almost impossible. The anger and hurt felt by the party lied to is a very difficult emotion to get out of the way in negotiations.

False expectations can lead to disaster


Break Up Scenario 2

Felicity pulls the silky sheet to cover the bits of her the breeze is leaving with goose bumps. She was still in a state of slumber, not awake enough to get out of bed to turn the air-conditioner down, still reveling in the after glow of the night before. As her hand reached across the bed she found her source of comfort. After not having shared any intimacy for who knew how long, last night had been a surprise.

Finally she opened her eyes, surprised to find Bruce with his pillow propped behind his back typing on his ipad.

‘I thought we could,’ she started as she slid closer to him, her own hand suggestively running down his body.

There is barely an acknowledgement, other than Bruce shifting his leg and moving her hand away.

Felicity feels her heart beat a little faster and is very aware of her own nakedness. Where were her clothes?

With the sheet tightly tucked under her arm pits she leans out of the bed to find something to cover herself, her thought galloping wildly in her head, wondering what had brought on this change of mood.

Had she said something, or one something? She replayed the events of the previous night.

Bruce had sent her a bunch of flowers at lunch with a little note asking her out on a date. They had drunk champagne, eaten good food, had more champagne, before retiring to this deluxe suite in one of the cities best known hotels. There had been bubbles in the bath, bubbles in bed and then, she stopped unable to continue this replay without bursting into tears.

‘We need to talk.’ Bruce sounded different. His voice was short clipped, almost clinical.

‘About?’ Felicity was struggling to put her top on, she needed to cover up to recover some dignity.


Felicity waited, suddenly feeling as though the weight of the world was going to land on her. It was strangely surreal, as if she was watching a plane crash and despite her best efforts to stop it, she couldn’t. Suddenly she knew what he was going to say. What a fool she had been.

‘It’s over Felicity’ The words cutting through the serenity like a knife slicing through a chunk of meat. Ice cold water could not have had a more sobering effect. ‘I’ve found someone else. Someone who loves and understands me.’

Although she heard the words, they did not sink in.

‘Last night,’ she muttered, trying desperately to hold back the tears.

Bruce shrugged. ‘Last night was last night,’ he replied nonchalantly.

And then he was telling her a whole lot of things, none of which she took in or cared to take in.

Lesson from Scenario 2

Believe it or not, this type of break up does occur, and again, it does nothing to improve matters between the parties when it comes down to negotiating property settlement or arrangements for the children.

Again the wife does not trust her ex husband at all. Unfortunately what happens though is the husband does not understand why there is this lack of trust and unwillingness by the wife to discuss settlement options.

And added to this is sometimes a desire by the wife to punish the husband for his actions and leading her up the garden path, so to speak.

High Conflict Personality


Break Up Scenario 3

Brendan walked through the front door, putting his leather suitcase in its usual spot, already tasting his scotch he knew his wife would have waiting for him in the living room.

After taking his shoes off he walked down the marble hallway, glancing at the packed travel case half way along the hall way, before turning into the living room to take up a seat in his favorite arm chair.

To his surprise there was no scotch on ice waiting on his mahogany table next to his chair.

Wendy was sitting on their lounge, hands folded in her lap. He walked toward her and bent down to kiss her. She pulled away.

Opting to ignore the withdrawal of affection, he proceeded to make his way to his chair.

‘How was your day?’

Wendy looked from her hands to him before looking at her hands again.


‘Is anything wrong?’

The sound of the clock clicking seemed to be getting louder and louder.

Brendan tried to work out why his wife was acting this way. And then realization dawned on him.

‘Has something happened to your parents?’

Wendy made a sound which could have been a laugh or a snort, Brendan was not sure.

‘Is it your mum? She’s worse?’

‘Brendan,’ Wendy started taking a deep breath before she continued. ‘It’s over.’

Lesson learned from Break Up Scenario 3

You would have to agree, whilst it still came as a surprise to the husband, the way it was done was quite civil. There was no cheating no false expectations and in time this couple will probably find it easier to work out solutions to property matters (and children if there are any).

Overall Lessons learned

So if you are thinking of ending a relationship, or are in an affair, show integrity and be truthful to everyone involved. Ultimately even the person you are having an affair with will not like the lies you are telling to your ex and start to wonder about the type of person you are.

Remember the saying short term pain for long term gain.

Do's and Don'ts of Break Up


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