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June 27, 2007

REVENGE AND RELATIONSHIPS; A DANGEROUS MIX

Revenge can be a very powerful emotion that leads people to do extreme things. Wars have been started, lovers have been killed, affairs have been had, and relationships have been destroyed—all in the name of revenge.

Revenge can take many forms including:
• Treating your partner poorly and justifying this behavior because s/he treated you poorly for years.
• Having an affair because your partner had one also or because your partner doesn’t pay attention to you anyway.
• Harming your partner or his/her lover either physically or emotionally due to an affair.
• Giving your partner the cold shoulder because s/he doesn’t share enough or is distant.
• Going to a cut-throat attorney for the divorce (in order to make your partner regret s/he was even thinking about a divorce!).
• Being determined to keep the children away from your partner, not because s/he is a danger, but because you are making your parent pay for what s/he has done to you

The funny thing about revenge is that, in the moment, it often feels powerful, justified, and satisfying. These feelings however, soon turn into regret, sadness, shame, and guilt. Unfortunately, by this time the pieces have already been shattered and the damage has been done. The revenge is bitter sweet.

It’s important to remember that although we may have been wronged by our partner, or treated poorly, or embarrassed, or… this does not give us the right to do the same. Revenge is not a healthy action no matter how justified we feel.

Revenge is toxic. Don’t romanticize it, justify it, or rationalize it and just know that when you are partaking in it—you are off.

Challenge: If you believe someone has done you wrong, speak directly to that person, let them know how you feel in a respectful way and make a request or set a limit if it will help. Do not punish them for their actions and then justify yours.

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How many types are there in a relationship setting other than; physical and emotional?

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