Your blood is boiling… you’ve caught your partner cheating or a friend has betrayed you. It’s taken you over the edge and you are seeking revenge.
If we think back to the 80’s and the likes of Dallas and Dynasty, where there was cheating, there would always be an element of revenge. But how does that look today? For some, having a partner cheat on them seems to give them a ticket for crazy behaviour. We asked The Group Hug readers to talk to us about revenge.
I suppose with my case there were two aspects of revenge:
In the immediate aftermath of leaving my abusive husband, I purposely threw my wedding bouquet in the bin while he watched (they were dried flowers). I also threw all my underwear that he had bought for me in the bin, as I knew I wasn’t going to need it again.
I made sure that after we separated I always looked my best – wore tight fitting clothes and make up and had my nails done; even if I was feeling absolutely rubbish – just to show him that I wasn’t broken.
The best revenge took quite a few years to come around. I have a great life, lovely husband and children. He has not been able to hold down another relationship or job since we separated and lives a pretty miserable and lonely life – shame (not!)”
A friend (a guy) told me that I should shove a potato up my exes exhaust pipe. The whole car idea came into his head because my ex was driving around in a jalopy pretending that he didn’t have any money because of the divorce court proceedings.
He’d sold his lovely car and bought a Nissan Cherry which was super old. So, one day, when I saw him parked I did it.. I pushed a potato into his exhaust pipe. I’m not sure what happened as I didn’t hang around, but he had a different crap car the next time I saw him!”
My revenge now takes a very positive form, although I try not to think of it as “revenge” as to me, that means that I am doing it because of him.
- I work hard and love it!
- I’ve started my own business which is growing steadily and I’m now a super role model for my children.
- I have a wonderful partner and am able to show my children that love is about caring, honesty, affection and sharing.
Leave revenge to karma
“I made being dignified and happy my ‘revenge’. I refuse to let what he chose to do define how I behaved. Being full of bitterness just isn’t me and I could see it would only damage me in the long run”.
The best form of revenge is simply to be happy and move on. Anger just eats away at you and means that the person who hurt you is still engulfing your soul. Anger turns into bitterness and while you are embraced by that sour taste, you will be unable to allow the sweet flavour of love into your heart.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth…
My ex upped and left me with nothing and I had to pick up all the pieces; the children, finances, finding a new home (he literally left us homeless). Although I was seeking revenge, it was also a financial necessity that I broke into the safe and sold everything. His family had purchased really expensive jewellery for my children for their christenings etc and hadn’t been in touch with me or the kids since he left.
I sold the lot. You don’t get much for second-hand jewellery, but it was enough to tide us over for a bit. Like I say, it felt like revenge, but it was probably survival (and I did enjoy a few Tinder dates with some of the money which gave me a little buzz)”.
It’s not all bunny boilers
“My ex had an affair so I walked out and left her with nothing. She didn’t work so she had no money, zero. Looking back, the only one who suffered was my daughter, I forgot about her in all my anger. She really struggled and I was a crap Father to do what I did. I’ve actually had coaching and now realise why she had an affair. Seeking revenge is never a good idea. It’s a short-lived high”.
I know a man who’s retaliation was to keep calling Child Services to say that his wife wasn’t taking care of the children. It was such a waste of time to do that especially since the NHS and other public services are already over-stretched. He was only doing it for revenge as the things he was accusing her of were nonsense. There was no reason to call Child Services. I knew both parties and she would receive letters all the time saying that there had been a report of neglect, but in the same breath they would say that they were not taking it any further. What a waste of public money. I am no longer friends with that man“.
There’s even a hashtag #revengebody which is used by those who have improved their body by reducing fat and/or increasing muscle. This is in the hope of getting their ex back or to show them how well they are doing without them. There are around 100,000 posts on Instagram with #revengebody. These body images are all about people feeling they are gaining power.
Revenge bodies are about gaining power, particularly the power to attract sexual interest. Perhaps more importantly they are about having the power to reject certain sexual advances, typically those of the ex”.www.theconversation.com
What’s driving revenge?
“In a real moment of anger I saw my exes car at school and when no one was looking I wrote in the dirt, on the boot,
“Beep me, I’m a C * * T”.
I felt sick seeing my children getting into his car with that written on the back”. Seeking revenge was stupid
My ex left me with absolutely no money and insisted that I return my lease car to him. He said that he was not going to pay for it and as I was not working there was no way I could afford it. It was in his name. He was definitely economically abusing me. Anyway, my family lent me some money to buy a very small run-around so I left his car in a car park 250 miles from his home, where my parents live.
I allowed the kids to make a complete mess of the lease vehicle during the last few weeks of use, eating things like jam donuts and chocolate buttons. My parting shot was to shove some fish into the rails where the seats slide up and down. By the time he collected it weeks later it must have been disgusting. He must have had to drive the 250 miles with the roof down.”
I was at the receiving end…
I haven’t sought revenge, but my partners’ ex wife has, on a number of occasions. The first time I met her was in a restaurant for a family meal (I’m not sure why she turned up knowing that I would be there – it wasn’t her family as such, she was invited out of politeness and I guess she wanted to be nosey).
Anyway, she told me in a very loud voice, at the end of the night, in front of her new partner that her ex (my partner) suffered with erectile dysfunction. It was so nasty of her to talk about such a private matter so that everyone could hear. Anyway, fortunately I was quick thinking and I replied “well, I’ve definitely not experienced that with him!” Her face was a picture!
She must have been the reason for the dysfunction?”
Social media is a frequent place for those seeking revenge to hang-out. Many people visit places such as Facebook to “dish the dirt” on their ex, but if you are going through the court process it’s never a good idea. The other side can use your words as evidence to insinuate that you are unstable etc. It can be particularly damaging for children’s proceedings and leave you in very hot water legally.
Even within groups which state they are “closed or private”, be very careful as you never know who is lurking. How can you ever know who is friends of friends in those groups? If you want to let off steam, a safer place is somewhere such as The Group Hug forum where you can post anonymously. However, always make sure you change a few things such as where you live, number of children etc, things which are not important to the frame of your story to ensure your anonymity.
Social media retaliation can take the form of exes saying how happy they are now, to posting photos of themselves with new lovers and partying in their new “I don’t care” fantasy world. Only post what you really want the entire world to see and be conscious that the adrenalin may be flowing (and the alcohol) when you are in the thick of a break-up.
Retaliation takes many forms
My ex made me so angry, I called the Police and told them that she had hit me. I got into huge trouble for blatantly lying, but I got satisfaction from worrying her for a couple of months. I now regret doing what I did as it was absolutely ridiculous. I’m ashamed”.
“When I drop the kids off to their Father’s posh car, I still arm them both with a nice flaky croissant “for the journey”.
“I cut-up my ex-husbands pants, but just by putting a large hole “at the front” of them. I then posted them through his girlfriends letter box with a packet of condoms“.
If you want to watch some revenge, then The Group Hug’s fave film has got to be The Other Woman (2014). Starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, the film follows three women who realise that they are all seeing the same man. After finding out, they all decide to take revenge together. Nicky Minaj also supports the trio. “We should kick him in the balls” – “Now I really like how your brain works – but I think we are going for something a little bit bigger”.
You also don’t want be seen as a Bunny Boiler – which is the term taken from the film Fatal Attraction where Glenn Close boils her ex partners’s family pet rabbit as revenge.
What do the experts suggest?
Of course, revenge might give you a short-term smirk, but in the long run you may end up feeling ashamed of your actions.
Divorce Coach – Claire Black – The Hug Directory recommends that those considering revenge, should stop and ask themselves these 5 questions.
- Imagine yourself in 5 years’ time, looking back on you now. How will I feel in 5 years about what I am doing/saying now?
- Is this the right thing to do?
- Who is being harmed when I hold onto this anger/bitterness/resentment?
- How would it feel to let go of it? What would I be able to do/feel/be without this negative feeling? What else would I have space for?
- Ultimately, hanging onto negative emotions like resentment, bitterness or anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die! It wastes valuable time, and keeps the emotional ties alive.
Claire Black – Divorce Coach
If you have children then you will be harming them more than anyone else. They are part of the other parent and will want to continue a relationship with the other parent.
Punishing your ex will impact on your children more. Moreover, entering into a divorce with a revenge mind set means you are only likely to increase the length and cost of the divorce.
You are most likely to achieve the best outcome for the whole family by focusing on the future and where you want to be and how you want to feel in five years’ time. Revenge will not help that”.Joanna Farrands – Partner – Barlow Robbins – The Hug Directory
So before going ahead with any kind of revenge, think very carefully as you don’t want to regret what you’ve done and you definitely don’t want to end up in prison.
In my experience, people who resist the urge to seek revenge recover from their divorce or separation much quicker and form better relationships moving forward. It’s always better to act with integrity and know that when you look in the mirror you can be proud of what you do and say, however tempting it might be to react.
My top tip would be to stay off social media because you will be amazed how often posts sent in a flash of anger, upset, or a glass of wine with friends come back to bite you and can be used against you in court proceedings.Jemma Slavin – Stowe Family Law – The Hug Directory
If you have intimate images of your ex, don’t even think about sharing the material. It’s an offence!
Under new legislation which will cover England & Wales (Criminal Justice and Courts Bill), it will soon be easier to prosecute instances of ‘Revenge Porn’. Those found guilty of it, can be sentenced to up to 2 years in prison and a fine.www.gov.uk – revenge porn
If you think you may be a victim of Revenge Porn contact www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk. The Revenge Porn Helpline is the UK’s only service dedicated to supporting all adults who have been victim of intimate image abuse. They provide free, non-judgemental and confidential advice and support via email and phone
Are you desperate to retaliate?
If you are seeking revenge then speak to one of the Coaches or Counsellors in The Hug Directory for expert advice. Don’t bottle up your anger, there are positive ways to use this energy.
Use exercise to burn off the anger by joining a fast-energy-burning class or start to practice yoga or meditation. Seeking revenge can be caused by being in a state of high anxiety. Speak to your GP about your concerns.
We do not believe that revenge is the answer and strongly suggest that you get expert help if you are feeling angry with the situation you are in. There are many people who may be able to help you at www.thegrouphug.com –The Group Hug and Contributors to this blog.