In relationships which are at the twilight of their existence, you are either the dumper or dumpee. Dumper, meaning you are the one who suggested or initiated the break up, "The one who left" or Dumpee, meaning you are the one who consented or "the one who was left". In my experience, being either of the two is never a pleasant experience. Being the Dumper, you have to deal with the reaction of the other, the guilt-trip and the regret later on. Being the dumpee, you have to deal with the rejection, bruised ego and the after-break up stress. Aside, from the usual "Alcohol-induced coma" that some (ehem) often self-inflict after a break-up, post break-ups are always nasty and it usually takes months to recover. They involve a lot of issues and a lot of head ache (usually caused by a hang over lol). Kidding aside, people have their own way of coping, it doesn't matter if you were the dumper or dumpee. You undergo a lot of self-searching and adjustments in that period of time after just getting out of one and the duration usually depends on the length of your former relationship especially if you were in a very long relationship that lasted for years.
Of course, speaking of post-break up eras, people cope depending on the reason they broke up. If there was a third party involved, then you would certainly be dealing with more issues which are more on your level of security with yourself if you were the dumpee. Questions like, "What's wrong with me? What was my fault? Why did he/she replace me? Am I ugly? Am I fat? Was I not good enough?" keep coming back in your head. For the Dumper side who has found someone else, don't expect them to be hung up over you. They have moved on and so should you. That's the reason why they chose someone else in the first place. Of course, I'm not saying there is no adjustments on the Dumper's side. Dumpers who chose another over their current relationship usually deal with a different type of adjustment. You were with another one day and another on the next. Of course, you tend to compare both at some point. Even risk that you will notice and regret that the former was better than the next. Either way, it was the choice that Dumpers are entitled to considering that relationships are about mutual agreement.
I know some people who would rather choose to be the one who will get hurt than the one who hurts another and usually they would do things to induce the other person to break up with them. They justify it as "it's awful enough that I fell out of love, I can't bear hurting her/him in the process." I think it's wrong though. If you are in a relationship with someone, be honest with them. They deserve it because they have been with you for so long and it would hurt more if you take it slow with them. Like that song that goes:
"But I'd rather you be mean than love and lie / I'd rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye / I'd rather take a blow at least then IBut I'd rather you be mean than love and lie / I'd rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye / I'd rather take a blow at least then I would know. But baby don't you break my heart slow"
Anyway, if you ask me, I fight for the relationship until the end. I'm the martyr type of girl and as much as I would like to be the DUMPER, I usually end up being the DUMPEE. I think it's better for me to really get over that person if I know he had the guts to hurt me that much. Of course, I'm the type to give second chances but second chances are one too many so if they hurt me again, I think it's bye-bye time. For one thing, I know my worth but I also know relationships are worth fighting for if you still love that person. I would go through heaven and hell for someone I love and I have done so and will keep doing it again since I guess I never learn. :)