Expert Advice Q&A: Getting Revenge for Infidelity

Question:
My husband confessed his affair to me a few months ago, but things are currently better than ever. Unfortunately, I now seem to want to make the other woman's life miserable. I don't want to physically harm her, I just to tell her parents and everyone at her workplace what a tramp she is.

How can I get over this anger at her for backstabbing me? I've thought about some outside counseling, but feel it's unnecessary because of my religious beliefs. I can't seek counseling with my pastor, because he's my father. Any suggestions?

Cathy Says:
Yes, I've got a suggestion: Don't do anything to her! Your actions will come back to haunt you. And with things better than ever between you and your husband, you have too much to lose.

First, realize that your feelings of anger are normal. Anger can be empowering in situations where we feel we have no control. Anger also buffers us from loss: in your case, the loss of trust from the hurt and pain of betrayal.

Beware, however, that anger can also cover up feelings of helplessness, like being unable to keep this woman from your husband.

So take charge of your anger. Don't feed it by thinking about her, and stop personalizing the affair as a direct attack on you. Intention and impact are two different things. Revenge intends to hurt someone; affairs, although painful in their impact, typically aren't committed with that in mind.

Focus on the positives in your life and in your relationship. See the affair for what it has given you and your husband. (Remember, you won!) Learn from her mistake, and don't hurt others. Take the higher road. Steve Says: You implied that your religious beliefs are part of your foundation. Now, as always, is the best time to take them seriously. If life is a spiritual training program, get with the program. For openers, take a lesson from the young nun who goes to the mother superior and cries out, "Mother, I'm so stressed! What should I do?" The mother superior tells her, not surprisingly, "Pray, my child." But the nun, being young and impetuous, answers back, "I've tried that, and besides, I'm so busy lately. Any other suggestions?" To which the mother superior reflects for a moment, rubs her chin thoughtfully, and responds, "Well, in that case, pray double." I love that story because it's typically when I feel that I don't have the time or energy to slow down and pray or meditate that I need to do so the most. God (or Spirit, Mother Nature, Higher Power) is a great antidote for stress, depression, anxiety and, yes, angry fantasies. So get with the program, tune in, and let go and let God. Regarding professional help, there are many Christian counselors these days who aren't your father, and a trained adviser can help.
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Source: Relationships & Love

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