Breakups are hard to handle and everyone has different mechanisms to deal with the pain and hurt they feel. While breakups are essentially just instances in our lives, they often feel like life-defining moments. Every person has a different way of dealing with the trauma that heartbreak might leave them with. But does that mean toxic behaviour or violence after a breakup is justified?
Many men feel entitled to violent outbursts after a breakup and resort to physical and mental violence. They feel that the woman is responsible for their needs and feelings even after she declares that she isn’t their partner anymore. Since men are brought up with a lot of leeways when it comes to appropriate behaviour, they often feel that every action of theirs is justified in the name of venting it out.
Violent outbursts after breakup: Role of power dynamics
One of the reasons that men feel entitled to violent outbursts after breakups is the power they have been bestowed with due to their gender. Many men feel it is okay to hit a woman or express anger violently, especially if she has “wronged” them. Remember the movie Thappad? Amu’s husband, when he was frustrated with his boss, he didn’t hit him but instead decided to take his anger out on his wife. This clearly shows the power he felt over her and how powerless he felt in front of a man with higher authority. The feeling of being superior to women establishes power dynamics that men and women even take into their relationships. Yes, women too often feel that there is nothing wrong if their partner physically abuses them when he is angry.
The National Family Health Survey found that nearly 45 percent of women and 44 percent of men felt it was okay for a man to assault his wife if she didn’t carry out her assigned duties. The problem with such a mindset is that it is often passed down from one generation to another.
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Men often feel their behaviour is justified
The fact that men exercise this entitlement is grounded on the thinking that goes behind “women are weak”. Now no one comes out with this mindset from the mother’s womb. The role of conditioning hence comes into play. A lot of children witness abuse at home or in society around them. When children see violence being met with either silence or inaction, or even rewarded with compliance they fail to see it as a wrong action.
Also after breakups, some men tend to use violence as a means to get back at their former partners, ie., for revenge. Some may also feel due to the reward mindset that violence or fear of it will help them win their partner back. Either way, it’s not love. There is no place for abuse in love. Now, this abuse is not always physical. It can be mental too including mental tortures, gaslighting, death threats, or threats of self-harm or harming a woman’s loved ones.
A lot of men think that violence after breakups is their coping mechanism and is thus justified. It is not. It is simply an unhealthy way which makes moving on for either of parties very difficult and leaves a breakup messier than it could have been.
So dear men, before breaking that vase or having an angry outburst outside her flat when she calls it quits, do think for a second what path your behaviour is putting you on. Don’t fall for movies like Kabir Singh that romanticise a downward spiral in male behaviour after breakup. Violent behaviour is never justified and all it leaves behind is a poor remark on your character.
Views expressed are the author’s own.
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