None of us like to think about the harsh reality that someone who once loved us is now out to hurt and even punish us, but it’s true.
Bitter, disgruntled and dismissed ex’s seek vengeance in any number of ways, including acts of violence, bullying, intimidation, harassment, passive aggressive behavior, silent indifference and using the children as pawns. Let’s look at four of the most common ways ex’s hurt and punish their former partners, why they do it and some positive alternatives to this kind of destructive behavior.
1. Putting Children in the Crossfire
Ex’s can became so ruthless, vicious and contentious that they falsely accuse their ex-husband or ex-wife, or soon-to-be ex, of child abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism, infidelity, illegal acts and so on. Brainwashing children and turning them against their other parent creates a no-win scenario of split loyalties in the psych of a child.
Another way of putting children in the crossfire is to punish your ex over time with silent disdain. This hurtful form of incivility forces children of divorce into walking on eggshells around the bitter, estranged parent — and being re-traumatized by the ever-present tension and animosity they pick up on.
2. Violent Aggression
Statistics show that domestic violence and spousal murder are a pandemic in our society. The pain and rage of marital conflicts escalate to a boiling point — and someone gets hurt. The cruelty, brutality, incivility and trauma caused by vengeful violence can perpetuate a lifetime of mayhem.
3. Slander and Public Shaming
Discrediting and disgracing an ex by perpetuating lies, exposing secrets and exaggerating transgressions are designed to permanently damage their reputation. The effects are often intentionally devastating and irreparable.
4. Passive Aggressive Behavior
Passive-aggressive behavior is a cowardly and dangerously sneaky form of malice. Often described as the sly behavior of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” this indirect form of payback can result in getting people fired, turning kids against their other parent, ruining friendships, disrupting family relationships, causing financial hardship, and so on.