Trying to get revenge on a cheating husband almost always hurts us more than it hurts him. All that obsessing and planning revenge takes away precious time and energy from what we really should be focused on…ourselves and where WE go from here. It took me longer than it should have to figure that out.
I’m not normally a vengeful person. I’m a Christian. I try to forgive any hurts. I tried to practice those verses in St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Christians: “Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not even for a day! Never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead, let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” During my ongoing dealing with a cheating husband, I wasn’t even close to practicing those words.
After I found out that my husband was involved with another woman, and after three years of realizing he would not give up that relationship, I did NOT have a positive, full-of-grace, beautiful response! What I actually wanted as revenge for my husband’s continual cheating was for his penis to turn black and fall off, and I wanted him to be miserable every day for the rest of his life until he died!
Before discovering that my husband had a girlfriend, I can’t remember ever being angry enough about any life situation to even think about revenge. But when I actually caught my husband cheating … all of my gracious, spiritual thoughts disappeared. After my desperate sadness phase had worn me out, I wanted my husband to feel some little bit of the pain that he had caused not just me, but also the people I loved.
When our spouse cheats, it’s a kind of hurt that is almost indescribable. We can hardly catch our breath, it hurts so much.
The emotional pain is worse than physical pain. With physical pain, we can take a Tylenol or apply an ice pack. There is no quick relief for the pain after our husband rips our heart out by his affair! The mental pictures come back into our head over and over and over again. What’s worse: he usually thinks his life has taken a wonderful new turn.
People, who have not experienced the visceral pain of a partner’s adultery, think words like “rip my heart out” or “ it hurt like he stabbed me with a knife” are overly dramatic. Anyone who has experienced it understands those statements aren’t enough to describe how bad it is. At all.
And we wonder if that pain and sense of despair will ever, ever go away. It finally does a bit, and that’s usually when the rage and anger kick in and the ideas of revenge start bubbling up.
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Don’t Get Yourself Into Legal Trouble
At MDR, we have been doing this midlife divorce recovery work now for almost 20 years, and we have personally heard more than a few revenge stories after a husband’s cheating.
- Painting (with enamel) the word W-H-O-R-E on one side of the girlfriend’s car, and the word S-L-U-T on the other. The husband then had to drive the car and get it cleaned up. (Over $500 damage – I think a felony)
- Throwing all of the potted plants off of the deck at the girlfriend’s house where he is staying … and then throwing the deck furniture off, too, just for good measure! And then knocking over her mailbox when you are trying to make a get-away. (A felony – federal property!)
- Writing ugly things about him (with Super-Bold permanent marker) inside the drawers of furniture he is taking. (Again, destruction of property?)
Other stories I’ve heard or seen on the internet of how to pay your husband back for cheating:
- Super-gluing his penis to his thigh (when he’s passed-out-drunk). Would this be destruction of private property? Or assault? Would you have to pay for his trip to the ER?
- Putting little pieces of fish inside the curtain rods at the house he is going to be living in. (Very hard to find!) Would this be a case of harassment or destruction of property?
Believe it or not, these stories are not from crazy, unbalanced women. They are often stories from controlled corporate types or average, friendly grandmothers. A husband’s cheating does something to your heart that causes unfamiliar, intense and erratic emotions to come flooding over you. Normal flesh and blood women almost all start thinking about getting back at their husband for cheating.
WARNING! DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU WILL REGRET!
Some of the stories above, for how to get revenge on a cheating husband, can have serious legal consequences. (I may have to start a RADiCAL Defense Fund!)
But again, trust me! After spending many, many years helping women move forward after divorce, often because of infidelity, I repeat: ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING! It’s not worth a fine or a jail sentence or even having to go to court and admit you were so out of control. You also give him ammunition for making the judge think you’re always out-of-control.
Leave Him: Get A Divorce
Once you tried everything to save your marriage and convince your husband to leave his girlfriend and come back home, sometimes you have to face the fact that he doesn’t want to come home, and your marriage is over.
Anyway, after the infidelity, there is nothing worse than being in bed with your husband, wondering if he is wishing he could be in someone else’s bed. I finally decided I couldn’t have the marriage I wanted with a husband who would not be faithful.
It’s one of the most agonizing decisions we will ever have to make, but often it’s the right one. If things can’t be fixed, we sadly have to realize our marriage is over. And unless an outright miracle happens, women often file for divorce because of their spouse’s continued infidelity.
Don’t Jeopardize Divorce Proceedings
Sometimes taking revenge on your cheating husband might create a temporary good feeling for “getting even” in some small way. But remember: if you do things that can be brought up in court, it can make your case for a decent settlement less likely. Our husband may say things like, “See! I have proof! She’s crazy!”
Especially if we have children, no matter what a cheater your soon-to-be-ex husband was, keep your cool, and do not do anything that might stand in the way of getting to see your children as much as possible after the divorce is over.
Also, we need to set a good example for handling tough stuff for our children. That sounds so neat and tidy. In reality, with infidelity, your emotional mood is sometimes bizarre and crazy! Don’t do anything that makes you end up in jail while he is out on a blanket with his new honey drinking wine and reading poetry together. Crimes of revenge on a cheating husband are totally understandable. Totally dumb and unproductive, but understandable.
If our husband cheats and isn’t willing to work to fix things, we have to stop thinking of revenge and start thinking about who we are and what we want ourselves. Revenge never works. And it takes so much precious energy that we should be spending in better ways.
As we struggle to redefine ourselves and our life now, we have to make the conscious choice and commitment to move on. It’s easy (but devastating!) to stay in that limbo land of being sad and mad and never really taking control of our life again. We have to give up obsessing about him getting what he deserves, and instead take steps to make sure we get to the life we deserve.
Be The Best Version Of Yourself: Be Happy
It’s absolutely true! The best revenge is for you to create an amazing new life! And that is up to you! We can’t create that life if we continue to blame him for where we are. At some point, we have to realize our life is up to us, and we absolutely can take steps every single day to get to the life we have deserved all along.
We have to do the grief work. We have to do the healing work. But then every day, we can get stronger and better and can figure out the most adventurous, fun, purposeful path forward for ourselves. Our future is our choice. It’s up to us to figure out what that new vision is and take steps to make sure that is the life we have!
We have to say to ourselves, “This situation, as bad as it feels right now, will not destroy me or define my future.” We have to figure out our own gifts and goals and dreams, and then day-by-day take steps to get to our own most fun and fulfilling life. That’s what’s best for us and for those who love us, too. That’s exactly what we can help you do with our MasterPlan.
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