Revenge is sometimes said to be sweet. If you're dealing with the anger, outrage and hurt that can occur after your partner had an affair, you may be craving that purported “sweetness.” In fact, the idea of acting out in a revenge-ful way may even seem to make you feel less helpless and more powerful.
But beware, the bitter “aftertaste” that undoubtedly comes with revenge will not point you in the direction you want to go-- and that's toward healing, renewed trust and happiness.
Tracey has promised her partner Mike that she's ended her affair with a family friend, Scott. She's apologized and reassured Mike over and over again that she wants to do whatever it takes to win back his trust and love.
A part of Mike wants nothing more than to believe Tracey and to work with her to rebuild trust and their relationship. But another part of him keeps plotting ways to get back at Tracey and their so-called family friend.
Mike is even seriously considering contacting Scott's wife with the intention of beginning an affair with her. This would certainly make the point to Tracey and Scott how painful being betrayed is.
Allow your feelings to surface and release in non-harmful ways.
The trick with revenge is that no matter how sweet or satisfying it appears to be as you contemplate it or actually carry it out, that satisfaction doesn't last. Ultimately, you are left with those same feelings of anger, helplessness, and hurt.
There are no actions to get back at a cheating partner that will erase those emotions. Before you take another step in your revenge plans, ask yourself if you're willing to live with the consequences on top of still having to deal with your hurt.
You may feel like if you can't take revenge, you need to stuff down your upset and distress. What's bubbling up within you may feel so huge that denying what you are feeling could appear to be the only way to move on.
While choosing not to lash out against those who you feel betrayed by is probably going to be helpful in the long run, holding in your emotions can be just as detrimental as revenge. Not only do those repressed feelings often seep out—sometimes in very inappropriate ways-- but you can also literally become ill because of them.
When you allow whatever you are feeling to surface and then release in non-harmful ways, you are clearing a path. This new path can lead you to the healing and happiness you want. Of course, getting to happiness again may take time and patience. But it's worth it.
Set aside space where you can be alone and undisturbed. Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. Don't judge yourself for having the thoughts or feelings that are coming up, but try to keep your attention on your feelings more than your thoughts.
If you need to write down how you are feeling or what words you'd like to say to your partner or another person, then do that. You can choose later whether it would be helpful to actually give what you wrote to the person.