Sweet Revenge by Bobbi Misick
Learning that your man is cheating
is likely to make your blood boil--even
if you've suspected that he's been
playing around for quite some time.
When your partner burns you that
deeply, "it's a natural urge to want
to get revenge," says infidelity expert
Ruth Houston, author of "Is He Cheating
On You...829 Telltale Signs."
While Houston acknowledges that
the best revenge is to leave him and
never look back, she understands
that taking the high road can be hard.
ESSENCE.com asked Houston
to share her insights on what you
can do after you've caught
ESSENCE.com: What is the most
common revenge tactic?
RUTH HOUSTON: Women are more
inclined to have a retaliatory affair
than men are.
But most women who are really bent
on getting revenge will usually resort
to destroying personal
property of cheaters.
ESSENCE.com: What are the
consequences of revenge affairs?
HOUSTON: Revenge affairs usually
backfire. It generally doesn't work out
the way the woman thinks it will.
Either he doesn't care or he's not
able to get past revenge cheating.
Men are not as forgiving
as women are. Usually it's such
an affront to his manhood that,
if she's desirous of getting
the relationship back on track,
it can totally destroy [any chance of that].
ESSENCE.com: What are
the consequences of
destroying his property?
HOUSTON: It's not a good idea.
It can either land you in jail or
escalate to violence with the partner.
ESSENCE.com: What are some
legal ways to get revenge?
HOUSTON: There are about
seven states remaining--Hawaii, Illinois,
Mississippi, New Mexico,
North Carolina, South Dakota
and Utah--where a married woman
can sue [her husband's] mistress
for "alienation of affection,"
and she can get money
from the mistress.
If the mistress is a woman
of means, the betrayed wife
can make a pretty penny.
Some women will look to
run up [their husband's] charge
account and max out
their charge cards.
If he's a man of means, he'll have
less money to buy the Cadillacs
and the expensive things
that he's used to.
If there are children involved,
many times a woman will deny
her man access to his children
or she may divorce him and
take such a huge chunk of
his income for alimony and
child support that he has nothing
to live on, and, in many cases,
the mistress doesn't want him any more.
ESSENCE.com: What is
third party revenge?
HOUSTON: Some women will go
through a third party to get revenge.
For example, if the person comes
from a very religious background,
the woman may reveal the affair
to [her man's] church family or
If it's a workplace affair, [she] may
go to human resources.
If he's cheating with a woman
who is married or in
a committed relationship,
[his wife or girlfriend] may tell
the spouse or significant
other of the mistress.
Also, wives and girlfriends are
privy to their man's deep
If he owes back taxes, many women
will blow the whistle.
If he's involved in some
shady activities, some women
will drop a dime.
ESSENCE.com: What's your
advice to those who want
to seek revenge?
HOUSTON: Revenge is not healthy
to actually carry out, but
some people really and truly can
not get past the infidelity unless
they feel they have evened the score.
The best revenge is just to ignore
the cheater; put him so completely
out of your life and let him see
that he was so insignificant in
your life that he didn't cause a ripple.
It's easier said than done, but if you
try to let some time pass and
think rationally about it, then
you'll realize it's not worth the trouble.
I don't advocate revenge at all,
but if you have to do something,
do something harmless.
ESSENCE.com: Give us
an example of something
harmless that women have done.
HOUSTON: [Before she left her husband]
one woman cut one arm off of all
of his business suits and that
Monday when he got up
to put his suit on, one arm
was missing from all of his suits.
In her mind she evened the score,
but it was pretty harmless,
except that he needed
to buy some new clothes.
Read more of Houston's tips for dealing
Sent from Kigali, Rwanda