9 WORST Ways To Break Up

Most breakups are bad breakups, but sometimes they're made even worse by a little garnish of something extra, like an intentional or unintentional hurtful act (sometimes via technology), an irony, or even something random that just, well, happens. I, for example, once had a guy I was dating bring me wine and chocolate...and then proceed to dump me. Another woman I know was dumped by a guy, who, during dumping, lamented leaving her because she "almost had a stripper's body." I've heard yet another story of a woman whose husband asked her for a divorce when she was sitting on the toilet.

Then from history, there are some great examples of breakups gone extra wrong: Ernest Hemingway stole his third wife Martha Gellhorn's job just as their marriage was collapsing, and Lord Byron co-wrote his final, and very brutal, breakup letter to Lady Caroline Lamb with his new lover, Caroline's friend Jane Harley (the two even sealed the "get lost" letter with Jane's initials!). Even more dramatically, when the artist Edvard Munch got into a scuffle with his very persistent and bereft ex, Tulla Larsen, he wound up losing half of a finger on his left hand to a pistol shot.

Here are a few more contemporary doozies. (All names have been changed to protect the dumpers and the dumpees.)

Megan Laslocky is the author of the new book The Little Book of Heartbreak: Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages.