|Hollywood actress Demi Moore, who split from husband Ashton Kutcher last year, was reportedly ‘beyond heartbroken’ when pictures of him kissing actress Mila Kunis surfaced a few weeks ago
We are not the ones for stereotypes, but when you see stereotypes play out in front of you, then what? Liberated, independent women might scoff at the theory that the ladies take longer than guys to get over their exes, but Hollywood actress Demi Moore is proving stereotype spewers right.
The 49-year-old star, who spilt from her 34-year-old actor husband Ashton Kutcher last year following allegations that he had been cheating on her with several women, is said to have turned hysterical after pictures of him kissing his That 70s Show co-star Mila Kunis surfaced in the press a few weeks ago.
Moore is said to have been devastated at the speed at which Kutcher moved on. And it turns out, her response has less to do with celebrityhood or individual temperament and more with gender. As a woman, she is hard-wired to take a breakup badly.
Sheetal Mitra would know. The 26-year-old graphic designer separated from her partner four years ago, but admits to carrying a torch for the man who cheated on her.
The two were dating for seven years, and he moved residence to the UK for two years. “It’s there that he fell in love with another woman, and sent me an email saying he wanted to be with her. I was willing to talk about it, give it another shot,” says Mitra, who heard from common friends that he was in fact, keen to cut all communication .
The emotional turmoil saw Mitra blow her final year college exams. She failed, and with that, her dream of pursuing academics at a US university were forgotten. She says she took a better part of a whole year to recover, choosing to finally settle into an arranged marriage instead of go looking for love again. “He is still stuck in some part of my brain. Maybe he’ll sit there forever,” says Mitra.
Relationship counsellor Dr Rajan Bhonsle says, women are emotional creatures. “For most women, falling in love is a slow, gradual process. A woman’s attraction for a man builds over time as she gets herself to love, figure, understand him.
She invests heavily in him, which is why a failed relationship or betrayal hurts more.” Psychotherapist Dr Reema Shah has a problem with the generalisation, though.
|Kutcher and Kunis share a kiss at an Independence Day party on July 4 in LA
The difference has more to do with social conditioning than gender, she argues. “Women are demonstrative because we have social sanction to emote openly.
Since the expression is visible, the world thinks we are having a tougher time,” she says. Men don’t talk about breakups publicly like women can, and do. “They continue with their routine, which makes it seem like they aren’t grieving.”
That a man’s brain is capable of compartmentalising data better than a woman’s, helps,” says Dr Shah, adding, “Which is how they are able to get back to life, although they might still be craving her presence. It’s only when it sinks in that she may not return that it hits the man.”
And so, this will remain a topic of several debates — do women find it tougher to forget? Do men have it harder accepting failure? Does it really matter? Heartbreak is unfair and painful, declare lovers. And the thing to focus on is looking ahead.
► Men don’t talk about it publicly(…) They continue with their routine, which makes it seem like they aren’t grieving.
- Dr Reema Shah, Psychotherapist
How to cope
• Women enjoy destressing by talking things through. Talk about it with people you trust.
• Indulge in mind-body exercises, like yoga and meditation. They may sound like clichéd solutions, but they are clichés only because they work well. Besides, exercising helps release endorphins or ‘happy’ hormones that leave you mentally alert.
• Surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Loneliness leaves you worse off.
• Don’t ruminate or fall into the self-pity trap. Think ahead, look ahead. There’s always more to come.
• If all of this doesn’t work, seek professional help and see a counsellor.