Why do guys get so mean during the breakup?

My boyfriend broke up with me a month ago because he said that he ''has changed'' and doesn't feel about me the way he used to. That's all well and good, but he also told me that he needs to finish school and is not thinking about marriage (the subject came up one day) and he doesn't want us to live together. Now it is my understanding that he is dating his school adviser, who is eight years older than him and has a child. He of course denies this. He says that they are just ''hanging out.'' He's also telling me that he still wants to be friends, and he's telling my friends that I am such a great person and he doesn't want to lose the friendship. The next thing I know, he calls me nasty names. Since he called me the C-word, I have not talked to him. I miss him, but I don't know how I feel about him anymore. Our relationship was great. It's the breaking up that's so messy.

So why is it all men I date treat me like crap when we break up, even though they say I am such a great person? Can I kill them all, or would that be wrong? My advice to myself is to forget about him and get on with my life, but then everyone has to ask me about him and tell me what they know about him even when I ask them not to. It is very difficult to not see these people because I see them at work. What's a girl to do?
Dear mmannion, he sounds positively awful. The best thing that ever happened to you was losing this man. The adjectives lying, confused and abusive spring to mind, and I'm proud of you for not giving him the time of day after he called you the ''C'' word. It's ironic, isn't it? You can have a great relationship but the way it's ended can make it seem as if the whole thing was a lie. I'd say something has happened to change your boyfriend, or someone is influencing him in the wrong direction. Either way, you're better off without him, as you know.

What's most interesting, though, is the fact that you say men treat you nicely while you're in the relationship but treat you badly when you break up. The only reason I can think of is that you may not let go. If they try to end it nicely and you hang on, this might explain (though not justify) their behavior. If that doesn't ring true, think about the other details of the breakup. What sorts of things are they saying to you after they break up? Why do you think they turn nasty? Is it because you're nasty to them? Hopefully I've hit the right buttons here (or I could be way off track), and please, I know you're hurting. But I think anyone reading your letter would agree on one thing: You deserve better.

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