Getting Revenge On Your Ex: Is It Worth It?

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Getting Revenge On Your Ex: Is It Worth It?
Why do some women exact revenge? One woman explores the phenomena of the crazy ex.

One Monday night, my new guy and I returned to his apartment to further continue our evening when we had an unexpected visitor. I was all ready to offer the extra granola bar in my bag to the disheveled-looking woman sitting outside of his apartment complex only to have her piercing eyes give me the one over. "Can we talk, please?" She asked him. "Without HER being here?" 

She practically spit out the word. This woman was not the homeless crackhead I expected, she was worse — she was my boyfriend's 31-year-old, professionally employed ex-girlfriend. She had spotted us out earlier in the evening and was none to happy to see her ex out with someone new. 

After scurrying inside to avoid the confrontation, I began to wonder how I always seem to find myself attracted to men with vengeful ex-girlfriends.  My boyfriend during college had an ex-girlfriend who was so bitter about my existence that she decided to enact revenge not only on him by spreading lies to all their friends, but she also took out her aggression on me by taking the most unflattering photos of me at a campus party – where I may or may not have been participating in a Flip Cup beer championship — and sending them over campus email for a menagerie of people to view.

Why do I have this problem? Am I attracted to the wrong kind of man —  the type that loves you and then breaks you?  Or have all the men in my life really dated women who my girlfriends and I like to refer to as "psycho" as we sit around and dissect their mutated personalities? My guess is both —  I have always tended to fall for men who are charmers but that still doesn’t explain the all-consuming hatred the exes have toward the guy or myself. 

Jonathan Alpert, a licensed psychotherapist practicing in New York City, explains, "People usually seek revenge around unresolved issues. Post-relationship, people have time to reflect on things, the role they played in it, and of course, the role the former partner played." Just ask Noelle S. Her hometown boyfriend was charming lots of women when he should have been charming just her. Before ending the relationship, Noelle invited her then-boyfriend over for a night of stargazing while her best friend egged his sports car.