NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Divorce and separations after long-time relationships are often bad and messy. Obviously there are raw emotions. Yelling and bitterness are givens. Sometimes more. The number of break-ups that involve threats of violence and physical altercations is surprisingly high. One source says 18-percent of all divorces now involve temporary restraining orders. (Take the numbers with a grain of salt; sometimes restraining orders are used as a tactic to get a more favorable settlement.)
I have growing respect for people who break-up and are still able to behave civilly towards each other. Couples who have children will be forever tied, even after a split, through birthdays, parent-teacher conferences, weddings, etc. Men and women who can divide up their things without screaming at each other or coming to blows deserve more credit than we realize. The furniture and keepsakes have emotional meaning to someone.
Beware of the thinking, ‘If I can’t have you, no one else can.’
Those are my thoughts the day after the spa shooting in Brookfield. The details of exactly what happened are still being sorted out. This we know, the gunman was suspected of slashing his ex’s tires. She went into court and got a restraining order. He was supposed to give up his firearms. A post on his Facebook page says “… must get out of Wisconsin.” His father says he advised his son ‘not to do anything stupid.’ It seems like a classic case of one person moving on from a relationship while the other can’t.
Not all break-ups turn violent, of course. But the emotions that lead to that kind of violence are present in many, many cases. People who are able to put those negative, violent emotions aside deserve credit. The alternative is often self-destructive, and sometimes very harmful to others.