Sometimes, I have women who contact me and tell me that they’re looking for a “good payback” on their husband for his affair or his cheating. Understandably, they are extremely angry with him and they are looking for a way to make him very much regret cheating on them. Many women want to do something that is going to make quite the statement in the hopes that this will help them to feel vindicated and give them some closure. They are also hoping to make their husbands feel just as badly, embarrassed, and uncomfortable as they feel right now.
I have to tell you though that rarely do I see these attempts at payback work out in the way that the women had hoped. Often either something goes wrong or the attempt only makes things worse rather than better. Nonetheless, in the following article, I’ll go over some common themes that I see in payback attempts and tell you what I think are the risks involved in each.
Trying To Embarrass Or Shame Your Husband As Payback For Cheating Or Having An Affair: Many of the schemes that I hear about are an attempt to “out” the husband for his cheating and to make him feel embarrassed or ashamed. I’ve heard of people posting the details of the affair on sites like Facebook or MySpace. I’ve known women who have sent embarrassing photos of the husband (while cheating) to his boss, family, or kids.
I’ve even known a wife who wanted to buy a large billboard on a major street so that every time her husband passed the billboard on the way to work, he would then have to come face to face with his betrayal. And honestly, I don’t think that many of these women look back on this and see it as a good call. Often the husband reacts badly and wants his own revenge. And so nothing is really settled and no closure is reached.
Mean Spirited Actions Meant To Get Revenge On The Other Woman Or On The Husband: The next category that the paybacks seem to fall into are the actions meant to get revenge. Examples in this category are things like doing damage to one of their cars or homes, or doing something that is going to damage their reputation at their jobs, with their families, or with their friends. I’ve had people tell me that they’ve keyed cars, slashed tires, put sugar in gas tanks, made prank calls, toilet papered houses, and did other things meant to ruin property or possessions.
I’ve had women tell me that they’ve called to complain about the other woman’s job performance as though they were a client or customer when they really weren’t. I know of women who tell mutual friends about the other woman’s character. I understand that wives who have been cheated on feel somewhat justified in their actions. They feel that they were wronged and so their husband or the other woman deserve a dose of the same medicine. But, now that I’ve told you what people attempt in terms of payback, I also want to tell you how and why these things often back fire on you and actually give you the opposite result than you wanted.
Often Attempts To Hurt Your Husband Or The Other Woman As “Payback” Will Hurt You Just As Much As It Hurts Them. Here’s Why: I know that you probably don’t believe me when I say this, but often attempting to get revenge is done in the hopes that you will transfer the pain that you are feeling onto them. And, the hope is by doing this, you will feel better and actually get some relief.
I know you may doubt me when I say this, but you often don’t get the relief you were hoping for. Because the husband and the other woman will likely then need to do something in response. So, you will then feel that you need to do even more to get back at them. And so it never ends. There is a real risk that by trying to retaliate, you actually become more engaged and involved in all of the negativity instead of beginning to let go.
And sometimes, the hurt that you feel is in direct proportion in the disappointment that you feel in your husband and in how this has affected your marriage. I know that if you’re angry enough to want to get a payback, you probably don’t care all that much about what happens in your marriage. But I have to tell you that you may actually change your mind about what you want to happen down the road. But if you take action this drastic, sometimes there is no going back. Think very hard about something that you might later regret.
I Would Suggest Asking Yourself What You Are Trying To Accomplish With The Revenge And Then Finding A More Constructive Way To Provide It: Please hear me out when I say that you will often be better off if you sit down and think about what you are trying to accomplish with your attempts at payback. If you are looking to make someone else feel bad so that you can feel better, ask yourself if the high cost is worth it and how likely this plan is to meet your goal.
I firmly believe that the fastest way to feel better in this situation is actually focusing on your healing and your recovery rather than focusing on shifting the negative feelings and spreading them around. Because spreading them around often just prolongs your pain, in my experience. Please don’t misunderstand me. By no means am I implying that you are not justified in wanting to get some justice. I’m not saying you’re wrong or that your motives aren’t understandable.
What I am saying is that I have been there and I want you to feel better in the shortest amount of time possible. And it’s my belief that seeking paybacks usually actually delay your feeling better rather than speeding it along. It actually only feeds upon itself and only makes things seem more immediate and dire. Often, you will get more relief from stepping back and focusing on yourself rather than on someone else. I know that it can feel like you’re taking your power back when you plot revenge, but actually, in my opinion, you are giving them more power simply because you are placing your focus on them. I hope something here has helped.
Getting payback on your husband or the other woman is probably just one of the issues that you are dealing with. I know that working through this is extremely difficult, but hang in there. Healing is possible and it can truly be worth it. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago (when I too was considering revenge on my husband,) I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
Katie Lersch writes articles about moving past an affair. Her corresponding blog is at http://surviving-the-affair.com/. Her article website is at http://katie-lersch-articles.com