- Gender and Relationships
Revenge and The Other Woman- Is It Worth It?
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
It is very normal for a betrayed wife to want revenge on the other woman. You may spend hours plotting the most elaborate acts of revenge and even if you have no plans on following through, it still brings great satisfaction to imagine the affair partner being shamed or publicly outed as a home wrecking (insert derogatory term). You believe that if you could find a way to make her suffer that it might lessen some of your pain- pain that she helped cause! The days, weeks or months following an affair are filled with so much uncertainty and you're left to question everything.You no longer trust that you are capable of separating lies from the truth, you doubt everyone, including yourself. Your world has been shattered and adding insult to injury, betrayed spouses are often blindsided by the discovery of an affair and it often leaves them feeling helpless and powerless. This is why fantasies of revenge are often so comforting, it's a little piece of control that we are able to reclaim when it feels as if we have no control over everything else that is happening. But is seeking revenge on the other woman a good idea? Many women struggle with this question because as badly as they want revenge, there is a sense of morality and genuine goodness that holds them back. These are the traits that separate us from the other woman, if we seek revenge and deliberately set out to hurt her, are we no better than she is?
An important question to ask yourself if you are plotting revenge on the affair partner is "What do you hope to gain from doing so?" I have asked some women who have been betrayed this very question, and the responses I get are typically these:
I want to make her suffer as much as she has made me suffer.
I want to let her know that messing with my life is not OK and I wont stand for it.
I want her to see the pain she is causing me and my children.
I want to find out what her intentions are now that the affair is exposed.
I want her friends and family to see her for the home wrecking (@#$&%) she is.
Here's the problem; facing off with the other woman often doesn't always yield these results. Think about it! You are not dealing with a caring, rational woman. The very fact that she is involved with a married man suggests that she lacks character or a compassionate side and it certainly suggests that she is all about her needs and desires. Often times the other woman will use this opportunity to divulge details of the affair and cause you more pain, remember; she wants your husband and your life. This woman is typically not going to show remorse or make promises to "leave your family alone". The woman attempting to steal your husband is dishonest, spiteful, uncaring and has an agenda of her own; rarely are you going to gain satisfaction from dealing with such a twisted, selfish person. It's not unusual that confronting the other woman or seeking revenge on her will backfire and leave you feeling worse then you did before the confrontation. Think long and hard about your reasons for confronting her or seeking revenge before you put any plans into action. If we are able to think clearly and take our emotions out of the equation it's easier to conclude that she just isn't worth it!.
Still toying with the idea? Feel like you just can't let this go, she has to pay for her crime! Well what you might not realize at this point is that if you and your spouse have stayed together and decided to work on your relationship, that she is indeed suffering. It's all the revenge you need. This woman has invested a lot of time into stealing your man and it didn't work. Chances are that she was "dropped" as soon as the affair was exposed. It is killing her that your spouse made promises to leave you and professed to love only her and that he made plans of having a life with her. He has probably portrayed you as a bad wife who was unable to satisfy his needs, yet he is choosing you over what he had with her. The other woman had an opportunity to give her best and to attempt to steal your man without any competition from you (as you were unaware that you were in a competition). On the contrary, your marriage was probably in shambles for quite some time, constant arguments and many walls built between you but even still, he chose you when push came to shove. He only saw her at her best, dressed to kill, hair and make-up perfect, waiting on him with words perfectly rehearsed to stroke his ego and make him feel wanted and needed. Meanwhile, you were probably at home with your pj's on, hair in a pony-tail, maybe even with spit up or stains on your clothes from little mouths and hands. She thought she was competing but as it turns out she wasn't even in the finals. Try to find a little comfort in that.
But what if he leaves you for her? Well you still have revenge without even doing a thing. Now she has a whole new set of problems. She has a lying, cheating, broken man who she now has to feel suspicious of and she becomes the insecure one left wondering what he is up to when he is not with her. If you have children, the two of you still need to communicate, he still needs to visit his children, imagine how she feels when she knows he is with you? It probably drives her insane, she already knows he can't be trusted. It's the perfect revenge, she gets to feel what its like to have her man spend time with another woman, she gets to feel that uneasy feeling of "what if he doesn't come back". You know what they say "If a woman steals your husband, the best revenge is to let her have him". It's true!
Another thing to consider when you feel like you want to seek revenge is that often the best revenge is living well. Giving the other woman any attention just validates her sense of importance in your life. She is nothing and she is not worth your time or efforts.. Make her insignificant! Many affair partners feed off the insecurity of the betrayed spouse, it only strokes their ego, they love to know that they have you rattled or feeling like less of a woman. But killing them with kindness or even indifference makes them crazy, as it confirms what they already may be feeling about themselves- that they are nothing, someones dirty secret. Remember the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. Believe me, these women want a reaction, they live for it and they can't stand it when they are ignored by you. Don't give her more power than she deserves.
Instead of confronting her or seeking revenge focus on things that foster your healing. At the end of the day, she is left with either nothing, or a lying cheating dog. Either way, she will not come out a winner in this scenario. But you have the opportunity to hold you head high with your morals and integrity intact. You have a chance to show the world that you are strong and that this woman isn't even remotely close to being in the same league as you. If your husband wants to leave you for "that", let him do it without dragging you down to their level. Yes, it hurts terribly and seeking revenge or calling her out would feel amazing but it's not going to make a difference, so why humiliate yourself for such a worthless person? There is no act of revenge or plea for sympathy that would work on this woman, she has no values. It's also very important if you are trying to repair your marriage that you not give her a place in your life anymore. This is a time for healing between you and your spouse, any information you require should come from him, not her. She has no intentions of doing anything that's going to help you repair your marriage, she has no reason to be in your life. Shut the door in her face and do whatever necessary to keep her on the outside. It will be much more effective than having her still involved and knowing your weakness. Allowing her any place in your marriage is a step backwards in healing.
So go ahead and fantasize about your revenge but don't follow through. Remind yourself often that as good as it may feel it will serve no purpose. You are not dealing with a rational, caring person and even worse you may end up being arrested or having a restraining order put against you. How humiliating would that be? If you do happen to run into her, give her absolutely no reaction. Treat her with indifference, make her feel like the small, insignificant person that she is. It wont be easy but in time you will be so happy that you took the high road. Remember that its these qualities that make you a beautiful, loving person and it's her lack of them that make her suitable to only be someones dirty secret.