It’s an age-old question: which is worse, to be the one who got dumped or the one who did the dumping? Sometimes I’m surprised it’s even a question at all. The answer is so obvious.
It is worse to be the one who got dumped.
I’m not talking about a six-month relationship here—I’m talking about getting epically dumped after years of marriage. When I first got divorced (and I was the dumpee), I perused many websites about the topic. Some articles written by dumpers had the audacity to say that it was worse for them—that they had it even harder than the dumpee. Yeah, right.
Dumper or Dumpee, Who Would You Rather Be?
Here are the two lines of thought on the subject, greatly simplified for the sake of brevity.
- It is harder on the dumpee because they were blindsided, their world fell apart, they weren’t expecting it…
- It is harder on the dumper because they have to hurt someone they care/cared about, they have to be the “bad guy”…
Now, no disrespect to all the dumpers out there. Maybe you left your marriage for a really good reason. But a lot of dumpers bail out on a pretty good marriage because it’s the easy way while working on the marriage is the hard way. Relationships go through a lot of ups and downs, and, especially after many years, they require work.
Some dumpers leave for fleeting reasons; maybe they have a new love interest and think that the grass will be greener. But the bottom line is that, as the dumper, they were mulling this over for quite some time. And during that time, they were essentially lying to the future dumpee or to themselves. Once the dumper finally works up the nerve to say I want a divorce, they have already checked out of the marriage. They’ve done whatever grieving they’re going to do. For them, dumping is a huge relief (insert bathroom joke here).
The dumpee on the other hand? That poor sap never saw it coming. Maybe they thought the relationship was in a bit of a rough patch, but they had no idea that their spouse would actually divorce them. They’ve had no time to grieve. Their nightmare starts now… all the “what ifs,” the “why did this happens,” the “how could they,” the “why wasn’t I good enoughs,” and myriad other nagging thoughts that will constantly dance through their heads as they try to scrape up the shattered pieces of their life.
They still have to go to work every day—when they can barely function. They might have to find a new place to live. They might have a new host of financial troubles. It’s a lovely concoction: your safe and secure world falling apart while the real world cuts you no slack and demands that you somehow get it together. It can take a few years for the dumpee to get over a divorce. It can negatively affect their health. Sometimes, they never fully recover.
Some articles state that the dumper feels horrendous guilt and goes through their own private hell. But I’m not buying it.
Readers weigh in! Let’s get a discussion going. Who has it worse in your opinion, the dumper or the dumpee?