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When Relationships Turn to Murder

Is there a trend in relationship murders in recent months?

In the late ‘90s when I was working on a book on relationships, a friend said there is a battle of the sexes. It was a battle that he thought was going to implode sooner or later.

“It’s a war!” he said in the book.“Each party is doing everything they can to achieve their objective. They’re lying. They’re stealing. They’re being irresponsible. They’re generating myths…They will do anything.”

In recent months, I wonder if it’s “later.” In July, there was a Irene and Jamal Mickens married in 2001 and separated last Thanksgiving. Irene’s attorney told Patch that although the couple had worked out an arrangement to be with their two young children, there were a number of contentious issues. And Jamal had been unemployed for a period of time.

In September, Terrence Sherod Roberson turned himself into police after the shooting of his wife and stepdaughter outside a Rockdale County daycare center.

Of course, last year there was the Dunwoody daycare shooting, in which

And on Wednesday, in sleepy Seal Beach, California, at least eight people are dead after a , where witnesses say the gunman was a targeting his ex-wife.

I add to that a few male friends explaining to me over the years the rage that arose in them when they felt betrayed in relationships or they were embroiled in custody battles.

Beyond what is mentioned here, too many lives have been lost and violence inflicted. It would be smart to take notice.

In some instances, men are filled with so much rage from the circumstances in which relationships end, or from what they view as unfair custody battles, that they are attempting to kill their exes.

Several years ago, an attorney friend in New York City, told me how he learned of his girlfriend’s cheating. In his mind, he was on the verge of killing her, but he had a sort of out of body experience where he envisioned a headline of his story in the New York Post. Somehow, that brought him back to reality. His is not the only surreal story that I have heard from men on the topic.

There is much to consider. Among them, how the woman manages her part in the break-up. And in general, how men and women learn to cope with our hurts, losses and obstacles. If we don’t learn to cope with loss; rejection; the fact that “it’s over;” unemployment and not being able to provide, then pain can manifest into something tragic.

When I speak of women, I am not speaking of women who are victims of domestic abuse. There are other potentially harmful situations for men and women that are unnecessarily inflamed.

I was in my car, in a parking lot, a few years ago when I saw a young couple in a heated argument. He seemed on the brink of violence and she clearly antagonized him, in my view.

Nevertheless, I sat in nearby, in my car to make sure she remained safe. [They were aware of my presence.] 

We are in dire economic times that can feed into relationship problems. It seems that it’s time to take notice of ourselves, family members and friends. After all, we often never know what someone else is going through.

After the Sandy Springs murder-suicide, this summer, a friend of Jamal Mickens contaced Patch via email. He wrote, "I would be more than happy to talk about a person that I admired.  You may not believe it but I referenced him consistently because of his excellence as a manager and a thinker. This is not somebody whom I thought of or mentioned occasionally, but frequently, because his talent, manner and expertise were always needed everywhere I worked.

I’m speechless and heartbroken."

told Patch, "[Irene] never said she feared for her life and I don’t think she did. I don’t think anybody saw this coming.”

She continued, "He wanted to reconcile at some point and she did not. I don’t think anything like this can ever be explained."

Adrianne, Your piece is very thoughtful and thought provoking. Being in, or ending, a meaningful relationship can sometimes be "hard enough." But to navigate in today's world of unemployment, underemployment and economic collapse, has it's own added pressures. I don't know if statistics support that the incidents of relationship murders are on the rise, but it certainly seems so. Your example, of sitting in your car to make sure she remained safe, is admirable. It is actions such as yours that have a ripple effect on us all. Who knows, maybe the next time we readers come across a similar situation, we too will linger long enough to see that all is well. I know I will.

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