Wronged wives getting a divorce should not feel guilty if they scratch their partner’s car or cut their clothes up, according to a dating expert.
These are ways of dealing with anger and regaining some sense of power, which are popular with many, along with burning an ex-partner’s passport and publicly shaming them.
And women who take a key to the sparkling paintwork of their soon-to-be ex-husband’s car should never be described as ‘crazy’, says Louise Robertson – a four-times divorced expert who has done it herself.
Miss Robertson was among celebrities and health experts giving advice to women at the Postcards from Midlife Live event in London last weekend.
In a talk for newly single older women, the co-partner behind Rendezvous, a company which organises social events for single people over 40, said: ‘I’ve been divorced, had a marriage annulled, I’ve been deserted. I’ve been divorced and deserted again.
Women who take a key to the sparkling paintwork of their soon-to-be ex-husband’s car should never be described as ‘crazy’, says Louise Robertson – a four-times divorced expert who has done it herself
Wronged wives getting a divorce should not feel guilty if they scratch their partner’s car or cut their clothes up, according to the dating expert
‘And you go through a process, a bit like grieving.
‘I was really angry – I did things to my ex-husband like scratch something rude on the side of his BMW X5, I put prawns in his trousers.’
Giving advice to others, she said: ‘If your husband has cheated on you, get bloody angry – get the anger out.
‘If you want to do something to his Aston Martin, do it – it’s half yours anyway.’
Miss Robertson, who has run singles events in London for seven years, says keying a car or smashing the windscreen is a ‘classic’ revenge move for people going through divorce.
People often burn their spouse’s passport to stop them going abroad with a new partner, or throw their belongings out of the window and cut up their clothes.
Sometimes they unpick the seams and loosen the buttons, so a man’s favourite suit starts to fall apart as soon as he puts it on.
Miss Robertson said: ‘People do like to describe women in particular, who do things like this, as crazy, nutty or deranged.
‘But divorce is a tumultuous time, where often one person walks out, but the other person is left behind at home to pick up the pieces, pay the bills, look after the children and pets, and keep their job.’
The 59-year-old dating expert, who is now in a five-year relationship, but married her previous husbands at the age of 23, 25, 30 and 40, added: ‘I wouldn’t advise people to scratch a car or take revenge, but I wouldn’t tell them not to do it, or to feel guilty about it if their partner has behaved badly or lied to them.
‘I felt childishly extremely proud of myself after scratching a rude word into my ex’s car and putting prawns in his ski pants to make them smell.
‘I did feel quite strongly, “don’t get mad, get even”. And it’s not just me – many women do this.’
Miss Robertson, who lives in Farnham, Surrey, added: ‘I don’t regret it at all, because I was heartbroken when my marriage ended.
Miss Robertson said people should stop short of taking revenge in a way which harms a person rather than their property
‘I’m not some deranged, wicked cow. I did it because he seemed to care about the car more than his family.’
Rendezvous invites a divorce counsellor to all singles events to help separated people still struggling with feelings of anger as they try to meet someone new.
As host of singles nights for professionals, Miss Robertson, who also works in marketing, has heard many stories, and also witnessed the emotional fallout of friends’ divorces.
She said: ‘One husband came home to find all the furniture and possessions had been removed from his house, except a bed, a single bowl, spoon and fork.
‘A woman said her husband took the scissors to her entire wardrobe, while another woman cut one arm off every shirt her husband owned.
‘One woman had her car driven off by her ex, and we know someone who ordered a Chinese takeaway for 16 people to her husband’s new house, so he would have to pay for it.’
Miss Robertson said people should stop short of taking revenge in a way which harms a person rather than their property.
But she added: ‘Burning passports is a popular one we have heard about, as is trying to take out an advert in the local paper to say someone has cheated, or going to their workplace and shouting the details out in front of all their colleagues.’
On what to do after a painful separation, Ms Robertson, a mother-of-five, said: ‘Don’t start trying to meet someone else until the divorce is out of your system.
‘Get angry but then try to move on from those feelings and move forward.’