Revenge and Divorce
When revenge and divorce come to mind, the 1989 movie, War of the Roses ;— a black comedy about a couple getting a divorce and the feud that ensues as they try to get the other to move out of the house they both love — may be what you envision.
The internet is littered with articles written on the subject, from serious to strange. Take 10 Most Bizarre Cases of Divorce Revenge, by Grace Murano, for example. One such case featured a man who devised 101 uses for his wife’s wedding dress and, because of the popularity of his blog, he was featured on Inside Edition and eventually his musings became a book.
Revenge in movies or humorous stories may be good for a laugh, but in all seriousness, it’s not good for divorce. Period.
Often, the natural, understandable reaction to divorce is pain, anger, and bitterness, because the loss is overwhelming. These emotions can make good people react in ways that are foreign to their personality or temperament, and it’s normal to feel and act a bit differently when confronted by such a life-altering experience as divorce.
What isn’t okay is to use those strong, uncontrolled emotions to make decisions you may live to regret.
Deep down, we all understand that knee-jerk reactions can lead us to make unwise, unhealthy choices. We know nothing good ever comes out of anger-driven actions or responses. The same goes for retaliating for perceived wrongs committed against us. Too often, facts are colored by our emotions and our assessment of the truth can become a bit skewed to one side — all to justify our anger.
One thing we strongly believe at Wevorce is that it takes two people to build a strong relationship, and it takes two to destroy it. Making your spouse suffer because you’re in pain is neither a healthy nor a productive approach to divorce. It will only complicate matters and rarely ever helps or gives one spouse an advantage. Especially if children are involved — they will NEVER benefit if you allow a need for revenge to dominate the divorce.
Short-term vs. Long-term
Of course, when you are in the full grip of anger, it may feel good to exact some sort of revenge on the person who caused it. But, we promise the short-term pleasure will fade away, perhaps leaving you with long-term results that are less than satisfying. In simple terms, you must find a way to control the temptation and remove the emotion from the process. Otherwise, you may live to regret it.
The underlying need to point the finger and place blame may come from the long-ingrained perception that divorce means we’ve failed in our marriage, feelings often based on irrational beliefs — not fact. Wevorce explores how to Avoid the Blame Game When Discussing Divorce, and points out that communication is key:
“Managing a ;healthy ;divorce must be approached as diligently as when you were building a healthy marriage. Maintaining an honest and open line of communication is an important start. Easier said than done? Absolutely. Especially if your spouse is participating in the blame game. Placing blame is merely a reaction to difficult feelings lying beneath the surface. We must look deep to discover what is causing the blaming: it may be anger, pain, fear, or something else entirely.”
Can Divorce be Peace Provoking?
Wevorce was founded on the revolutionary idea that couples can divorce with compassion and respect. Our CEO, Michelle Crosby, further believes “…we must change the story, change the game. Peace is possible. The provokers are the soldiers of the future — the war they wage is one of peace. Why not take this simple concept and break the mold in the confrontational world of divorce? Let’s take those broken hearts and heal them. Be peace provokers.”
Why not think outside the box? ; What is a positive way you might fulfill that desire for revenge? Consider this refreshing take by comedian and writer Laura Lifshitz in her article, How to Get the Best Revenge on Your Ex:
“Before you start dreaming up revenge fantasies like chopping up your ex into little pieces, this article isn’t about that kind of revenge. I will leave that to the vindictive people of the world. This article is about how to truly get the absolute best revenge on your ex-husband or wife, without earning bad karma, destroying your children’s lives (if you’re a divorced parent) or ending up in jail.”
Her best revenge scenarios are:
- Soar in your career.
- Turn, turn, turn the other cheek.
- Don’t ask [what the ex is doing].
- Offer to help.
- Shed the pounds.
- Drop the power play.
Hallelujah sister! We couldn’t agree more.
Playing dirty tricks is just bad manners.
Getting revenge, or playing dirty tricks against the soon-to-be-ex, shows nothing but poor judgment, no matter what reasons you may think justify this behavior. If you have children, consider what sort of role model you are showing yourself to be. Do you really want them to learn that anger and retribution are how one deals with conflict?
There is also the danger that what you perceive as your right because you were wronged and they should pay, could end up landing you in trouble. Some actions may, in fact, produce just the opposite effect. Before you engage in such hijinks as moving out and taking everything, cutting off the utilities, canceling the credit cards or cleaning out the bank accounts, save yourself the later trouble — and just don’t.
No matter the motivation behind your actions, marital assets belong to you both and the courts tend to favor some sort of equitable division of such. Often, a revenge-seeking spouse can do irreparable financial damage and the courts do not look in favor on such behavior. Do you really want to make the judge signing your divorce decree angry?
Don’t poke an angry bear.
The bottom line is — revenge will not repair or compensate for your feelings of loss, but will likely compound them in the long run.
Remember, it never EVER pays to poke an angry bear. But by taking revenge, you’re doing just that. When two people (who at one time loved each other) reach the point of divorce, emotions can be out of control. But rather than give in to the turmoil and do things you may come to regret, instead take steps to overcome the irrational feelings and take back control. If that means finding a professional to help you work through your anger and pain, do it.
Find ways for the two of you to communicate and work towards a healthy, happy resolution. (Again, Wevorce ;can help.) Seeking revenge will only keep the pain fresh and delay any forward movement needed to heal. By staying in a state of anger, you’re allowing your estranged partner to hurt you again and again. And, the sad truth is, any short-term satisfaction you gain from revenge is never worth what it will cost you in the long-run.