Is revenge on a cheating girlfriend ever a good idea? Can it be justified? Or will it end up being worse for all parties involved?
Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold
It's easy to understand why someone wants to have revenge on a cheating girlfriend. Few betrayals cut as deep as having someone who you love and professes to love you lie and break the boundaries of your relationship. Like any shocking loss, there may be many stages of dealing with infidelity - denial, anger, bargaining, and eventually acceptance - but it's in the "anger" phase that people are most likely to start to think of ways of getting back at their girlfriend.
The following are a few of the knee-jerk reactions people may have in trying to get back at their partners - along with some reasons they are bad ideas:
Tit for Tat
One of the most common reactions is to want to cheat themselves - go out and act irresponsibly, or try to consummate some crush at work, or even worse, try and hook up with an ex. There are a couple of problems with that idea. First of all, the objective is to hurt the cheating girlfriend's feelings - but she's already shown that she doesn't value the relationship the same way. Worse, you are dragging another person into the mess that has been created - which ups the drama quotient to an even more complicated level.
The urge to destroy something is also common when you've been cheated on. Country songs have been written about destroying a boyfriend's truck when he cheats, and it's a common urge to try to wreck property - whether your girlfriend's or your own (especially if it's something she gave you). This kind of anger needs to be channeled in some other fashion - taking up kickboxing, for example, or a long bike ride - to burn off the physical reaction to the anger of being cheated on. There's also the urge often for self-damage - drinking too much, reckless behavior - or even worse, the urge to enact some violence against the cheaters. Obviously all of these are bad ideas; at best, you're adding to your own pain.
Bad Mouth Her
In the age of social media, another common tactic for revenge is to find embarrassing or even intimate pictures, stories, or even videos and post them to Facebook or somewhere else that will cause the cheater some embarrassment. Aside from the dubious ethics of this, the person posting simply looks spiteful, and often ends up being even more embarrassed than his/her target. Plus, there's always the chance that the cheater also has embarrassing materials to post - and that leads to "flame wars" on the web that don't benefit anyone.
Hold a Grudge
Perhaps the worst revenge on a cheating girlfriend is an unconscious one. It is the scenario where the couple appears to move past the cheating, trying to heal from the relationship - but the victim uses the incident of cheating as the "trump card" for the rest of time. Any disagreement, any problem, any transgression is resolved with "Yes, but at least I never cheated on you!" This is a symptom of a very unhealthy relationship and is unfair to all involved.
The Best Revenge on a Cheating Girlfriend
The saying goes that "success" is the best revenge in any situation - but what does success look like when you're recovering from a cheating girlfriend? The easy answer is simply moving on into a trusting, healthy and honest new relationship - and if it is with someone better looking, all the more satisfying! However, jumping right into a new relationship after breaking up is usually a recipe for disaster.
Recover Together Without Revenge Tactics
Couples are able to heal from the pain of cheating which can be painful for all concerned. Counseling is often helpful, but as noted above, the hardest points are unconditional forgiveness and the repairing of trust. However, some couples emerge from the pain of infidelity stronger and more deeply in love than when they started. It is hard to see any way that revenge can be part of that process, though.