Marissa Nelson, a D.C.-based relationship therapist, says the GOP presidential candidate is motivated by the same factors that prompt bad post-breakup behavior. “After a breakup, people are often unable to accept the ways they might have inflicted pain,” she says. Trump “may be feeling the emotions of loss and pain, but the one thing he doesn’t have is the introspection, as in, ‘How did I play a role in all of this?’ People are very quick to be on the defense.”
Here are some of the mogul’s moves from the how-not-to-break up playbook.
Accuse your ex of holding you back: After NBC severed ties with him, a move that cost him his reality show “The Apprentice” and left his beauty pageant franchise without a TV home, Trump’s initial reaction was to insinuate that the network always wanted to clip his soaring wings. “They didn’t want me to run” for president, he said at an event Monday.
Insult them: In a subsequent statement, Trump called NBC “so weak and so foolish.” (Translation: He never liked you anyway, stupid peacock!)
Pretend breakup was your idea: Trump’s statement after Macy’s Dear John letter claimed he was the one who pulled the plug. “I have decided to terminate my relationship with Macy’s … ” it began. Riiight.
This one’s a classic, Nelson says, and it’s a way people insulate themselves. “It creates an environment where the fantasy is that you’re getting away unscathed and unhurt,” she says.
Belittle your ex: That line of clothing at Macy’s? Small potatoes, the Donald boasted. “While selling Trump ties and shirts at Macy’s is a small business in terms of dollar volume … ” his statement read.
Divert attention: Trump also brought up the controversy over NBC News anchor Brian Williams, complaining that the network “will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is.”