These are the crazy ways people punish their former flames — some of which involve actual flames.
Heartache can lead to payback.
“Black Widow” rapper Iggy Azalea, 27, admitted earlier this week that she torched her ex-fiance Nick Young’s clothes. She called off their engagement after the Golden State Warriors basketball star allegedly cheated on her in 2016.
“I burnt it all… I burnt a lot and I threw stuff in the pool too,” Azalea confessed to host Andy Cohen on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live!”
“Every designer you could think of [that he owned], I burnt,” she added. “We had a fire pit outside — a nice fire pit that you can put on with the gas… I texted him a video and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m burning your s—t.'”
Azalea’s not the only one to burn a former flame. Twenty-six-year-old Bess — who asked to withhold her last name — told Moneyish that she tossed everything her high school boyfriend had ever given her (pictures, cards, gifts, a Build-a-Bear doll dressed like him) into a shoebox and set the whole thing on fire after they split six years ago. The New York PR professional then sold the jewelry he had given her for about $500 to make some extra cash.
Los Angeles-based accountant Phoebe, 25 — who also requested to withhold her last name — employed a more long-term approach to getting even after she dumped her ex three years ago for calling her “fat” and “boring” and “blatantly [checking out other girls] in front of me.”
In order to “[crush] his heart out and [make] him cry,” she got back together with him a few months later. He fell back in love so hard that he wanted to get married — and when Phoebe knew he was planning to pop the question, she stood him up at the proposal. “He got what he deserved,” she said.
Psychology Today says many spurned lovers feel the urge to make those who have wronged them “suffer.” And three in five people who participated in a 2010 survey said they’d seek revenge if they found out their spouse was cheating, with one in 10 women vowing to do it by wrecking their partner’s car.
“Revenge feels great in the moment, but these vicious acts of revenge have a boomerang effect,” warned relationship expert and author Susan Winter, who has witnessed many cases of breakup revenge. A young woman in her neighborhood slashed all of her ex’s expensive designer suits with a box cutter when he told her it was over, and a former female client threw away her partner’s fake teeth to embarrass him when he threatened to break up.
But when the temporary revenge rush subsides, you’re often left feeling guilty, remorseful and “foolish,” she said. And you could land in legal trouble, such as being slapped with assault or vandalism charges, restraining orders or lawsuits.
Payback can hurt your reputation, as well. You might embarrass yourself by putting up inappropriate or unprofessional social media posts slamming your ex, or showing yourself going out to get over your ex, which could harm your future hiring prospects, Winter said.
She suggests taking a more peaceful approach to make yourself feel better after a breakup.
1. Block your ex: “Remove yourself from the poison,” Winter said, which means blocking your former partner on social media and deleting him or her from your phone. Often, “we see our ex having a fantastic time,” she said, and that only intensifies the pain.
2. Surround yourself with loving people: “Whatever the thing [your ex did] that hurt you — betrayal, disrespect — try to activate the exact opposite,” Susan recommended. “If it’s betrayal, make sure you surround yourself with super supportive friends who encourage you and have your back.” If your partner made you feel unattractive, “do things that make you feel beautiful.”
3. Implement a ritual: Doing something to achieve closure can help put the breakup behind you, Winter said. This could mean tossing out old clothes, discarding gifts that person gave you, or burning photos. “Destroying all the evidence of that relationship is actually helpful,” she concluded.
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