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Let’s be honest: being cheated on hurts… a LOT!
You’ll probably want to do something about it. And that something might be to hurt your partner the way they hurt you.
Enter: REVENGE CHEATING.
Revenge cheating is the idea that you can somehow ‘get even’ by cheating on your partner after they cheated on you.
When you are angry, hurt, and don’t think things through, this can seem like a great idea. After all, if they cheated on you, you have the right to cheat on them, don’t you?
Well, you’re a grown adult – you have the freedom to do whatever you want. But ask yourself: is this what you really want? What outcome are you hoping for, and is it even possible?
Before you even think about revenge cheating, read these reasons why it’s definitely not a good idea for you or your relationship.
1. You don’t really want to cheat.
Your partner had an affair because they wanted to. You, on the other hand, don’t want to cheat. You only want to get back at your partner and hurt them like they hurt you.
Does that sound healthy to you? No, I didn’t think so. Because it’s not.
You shouldn’t do something that you don’t really want, especially when it comes to sex.
Cheating on your partner just for the sake of getting even is wrong. Of course, cheating is always wrong. However, there’s a huge difference between falling for temptation because you’re attracted to someone and sacrificing your body for the sake of revenge.
Who are you going to cheat with? Does it matter to you? If you’re going to have sex with someone, it should be because that’s what you want and you’re attracted to the person. It should never be about revenge.
And in all likelihood, you are probably not attracted to anyone at this point. So are you going to go out and find just anyone who’s willing to sleep with you? How does that sound?
Revenge cheating only makes sense to you when you’re angry, hurt, and upset. Your negative emotions are clouding your judgment. If you really think about what you want to do, you’ll realize that you never wanted to cheat. You only want to hurt your partner, but you will hurt yourself in the process.
2. It could turn into a toxic cycle.
Do you plan to tell your partner that you cheated on them? You probably do, otherwise, it wouldn’t be revenge.
And then what? Your partner cheated, you cheated…
What if it doesn’t end there? What if it’s their turn again? What if they decide to revenge cheat because you revenge cheated?
And, if you keep cheating on each other, why are you even in a relationship?
When your partner cheats on you, there are only two healthy options: either you will forgive them, or you’ll end the relationship.
Revenge cheating is not a third option, it’s a recipe for disaster. An eye for an eye would leave the whole world blind. Don’t forget that.
Also, keep in mind that you have time to think about what you are going to do. Revenge cheating usually happens as an impulsive reaction to infidelity, and it ends badly for the person doing it as well as for the relationship.
You are hurt, and that’s understandable. It’s perfectly normal that you want to do something about it. But give yourself time to consider your options.
If you want to stay in the relationship, give yourself time to try to forgive your partner.
If you can’t forgive them or don’t want to stay in the relationship, end things and be the bigger person. You don’t have to stoop to their level.
3. You are not going to hurt your partner the way they hurt you.
Your cheating will not have the same effect on your partner that their affair had on you.
When your partner cheated, it was because they wanted to. They were okay with cheating. You, on the other hand, are just responding to it because you’re not okay with it.
They are not attached to fidelity as you are. Maybe they’ll be upset, but they’re not going to be hurt like you are. They won’t care as much as you do.
In fact, they might tell you that you’re just proving that it can happen to everyone. They could tell you that you’re no better than they are. Be better than them.
After all, you are not going to achieve the results you wanted. Your partner won’t feel what you’re feeling right now. In fact, they might feel relieved and like they’re in the clear now. Cheating might suddenly seem normal for the two of you.
And how long do you think that could last? If you can’t forgive your partner, walk away from the relationship with a clear conscience.
4. You will probably change your mind when you’re less upset.
As already mentioned, revenge cheating can seem like a great idea when you’re upset and betrayed. However, once you’ve cooled down a bit, you’ll probably think differently.
It’s never a wise idea to make big decisions while angry, hurt, and upset. Give yourself some time to consider your decision.
Let yourself process your negative emotions so that you can be sure that cheating is what you want to do. Because you’ll probably realize that it’s not.
You don’t have to revenge cheat as soon as you find out about your partner’s affair. There’s no deadline. Take time to think about all the consequences and your needs and wants.
Most people realize that revenge cheating is a bad idea once they cool down.
5. You will feel guilty and regret what you did.
You know that what your partner did was bad, and you know how much it hurts. So how do you think you’ll feel if you do the same thing and be like them?
You might feel guilty and beat yourself up for what you did. You might look at things differently or feel pressured to forgive your partner. You will almost certainly have regrets.
You are trying to make peace with what happened whether you stay in the relationship or not. Cheating on your partner won’t bring you that peace. In fact, it will only make you angrier and more bitter. You’ll be angry at yourself for doing it and angry at your partner for making you do it.
However, keep in mind that no one’s making you do this. It’s your choice, and you can choose not to make that mistake.
Here’s how it wouldn’t go down… At first, you’d feel confident and strong. But soon, you’ll feel even worse than you did before you cheated. You’ll feel bad about what you did, even though you now think that it will feel righteous.
6. You’ll give your partner a way to justify their behavior.
When you do what your partner did, you won’t hurt them, you’ll do them a favor. They’ll think they’re off the hook and that you’ve shown you’re just like them.
Your partner will think that you’re just proving that cheating happens and that it’s not so bad to cheat.
They might also pressure you to forgive them.
Isn’t the point of revenge cheating to get even? Well, once you’ve both done the same thing, what they did doesn’t seem so bad. They’ll tell you that they’ve let you cheat too, so now you have to forgive them for cheating.
And maybe you don’t want to forgive them, or can’t. It’s not the same, because you cheated just because they did, otherwise you wouldn’t. But they’re not going to understand that, and it won’t matter.
Don’t let them justify their behavior. Revenge cheating never works out. It only makes things worse, and there are plenty of reasons that prove that.
7. Hurting them won’t make you hurt less.
You want to show them how much it hurts, but it won’t make you hurt any less.
Revenge never brings peace, and it’s never a healthy way to heal. Maybe at first it would make you feel like some divine justice has been done, and it might hurt less for a short amount of time because of it.
However, that feeling will soon be replaced with a lot more hurt feelings.
In the long run, it doesn’t pay off. It will make you feel bad about yourself, and you’ll resent your partner for getting you in that situation.
Don’t forget that your partner’s not making you cheat though. Yes, they cheated, but that says something about them, not about you. It’s your choice whether you’ll forgive them or not, but you might not be able to forgive yourself if you revenge cheat.
8. Your relationship probably won’t survive.
A relationship can survive cheating, but it’s much less likely after revenge cheating.
Maybe you want to leave your partner, so you don’t care. However, if you’re done with the relationship, why not simply break up with them? It will hurt them much more than revenge cheating, and you’ll come out of it as the better person.
On the other hand, what if you want to try to make things work with them? In that case, revenge cheating is the worst possible idea. It’s not the way to get back on track, it’s the way to doom the relationship.
It sounds so simple, they cheat, you cheat, and you’re back to zero. But people are not machines, and things don’t work that way. We have complicated feelings, and things have consequences.
If you want to make things work with your partner, let them apologize and show that they regret what they did. If you revenge cheat, they are not going to regret their affair, they’ll think you’re even now. Also, they’ll be more likely to do it again.
9. It’s wrong to cheat.
The reason your partner’s infidelity hurt you is because you believe cheating is wrong.
And you are right. It’s never okay to betray your partner’s trust.
These things happen though, and you don’t have to be a bad person to do a bad thing. Good people do bad things all the time, but that’s why they feel bad afterward.
Most people who cheat feel bad about what they did. They’re tortured with guilt even if they made a conscious choice to cheat on their partner. Sure, some people simply don’t care, but they are rare, and you don’t need a partner like that anyway.
If you cheat – whether it’s revenge cheating or cheating in general – it will make you feel bad because you know that it’s wrong. Your partner might have given in to temptation, but you don’t have to. You are planning to do something that’s wrong and bad for you.
People don’t usually plan to cheat and that’s why they do it. At the time, they don’t consider the consequences. You have the chance to think ahead and do the right thing.
10. It will make it harder for you to heal.
Revenge cheating can give you an adrenaline rush that makes you think this is the way you’ll heal. In reality, doing something like that only delays healing.
You are focusing all your time and energy on getting back at your partner and getting even with them instead of on healing yourself.
In addition, revenge cheating is not about solving the problem, it’s running away from the problem.
Save your emotional energy for forgiving your partner and working on your problems or letting them go and moving on. These two options are the only right ways to heal.
Revenge cheating is not a healthy way to cope with infidelity. It is a form of self-harm that also harms your relationships.
11. There’ll be major trust issues.
Cheating causes trust issues, and when you both cheat, the trust issues are twice the size. Your relationship is not going to recover from such trust issues.
You won’t be able to put this behind you once you’ve both done it. On the contrary, you’ll have twice the problems you had initially.
You already can’t trust your partner anymore, and this is something that will take time to change. They’ll need to gain your trust again, and it will take a while.
If you cheat on them too, they’ll lose trust in you too. So, you’ll need to gain their trust again too.
And when two people don’t trust each other, there’s no point in being in a relationship. Trust is easily lost and hard to gain back.
12. Things will get worse, not better.
Your relationship is not going to be better after the revenge. In fact, it will be even worse.
Your partner did something that’s very unhealthy for your relationship. It damaged and changed your relationship dynamic. When you do the same thing, there’s twice the damage.
Your affair might not affect your partner so much, but it will definitely affect you. You’ll be struggling to forgive your partner for their affair, and they will now face a struggle of their own to forgive you for yours.
We often think that we can separate sex from emotions, but this is so rarely the case. Knowing that you’ve both slept with other people will change things between you. You’ll see each other differently.
You probably already see your partner differently than you used to. What do you think will happen when they see you that way too? More importantly, how will you see yourself?
13. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Simply put, two wrongs don’t make a right. You are not going to undo the damage your partner did by doing the same damage yourself. Things will just get even worse.
If you can’t forgive your partner, it’s better to leave them with your conscience clear.
If you want to forgive them, revenge cheating is not going to help with that. In fact, you’ll resent them for making you do that because you never wanted to cheat in the first place.
Once again, an eye for an eye would leave the whole world blind.
Don’t make impulsive decisions that could do more harm than good. If you wanted to cheat on your partner you would have done it before knowing about their affair. Don’t give your body to some stranger out of revenge because you’ll be hurting yourself, not your partner.
14. You could try therapy instead.
Getting over being cheated on is difficult, whether you want to forgive your partner or not.
In both cases, you could use some help in dealing with this situation. Talk to a therapist and let them tell you about healthy ways of dealing with infidelity instead of revenge cheating.
If you want to work things out with your partner, try couples counseling. But for now, focus on yourself and making yourself feel better. A therapist can help you do that, revenge cheating can’t.
In this situation, we recommend a relationship therapist over a traditional mental health therapist. Someone who specializes in relationship issues will have more precise advice on how to cope with your partner’s cheating and what you can do to either repair the relationship or let it go.
A good place to go for this sort of therapy is Relationship Hero – here, you’ll be able to talk to a relationship expert via video, phone, or instant message.
They’ll be able to help you through this difficult period and help you come to a decision about what to do.
Whatever the final outcome, having someone neutral to talk to about the situation will be of great help and huge comfort. You’ll be able to get everything off your chest in a safe and healthy environment.
This is almost always better than venting to your friends or family – people who will almost certainly add fuel to the fire because of their feelings and protectiveness over you.
Click here to learn more about the service Relationship Hero offer or to arrange your first session.
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