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Revenge: How far is too far?

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AchillesHealed posted 1/14/2014 09:09 AM

I've been perusing the "revenge" threads in the other forums, and honestly many of the responses on there seem completely over the top and unhinged. It's one thing to tell the AP's BS--that is 100 percent fair game, and should be done--but quite another to involve innocent children, employers (unless the affair took place at work), neighbors, community contacts, elderly and potentially frail parents, and the like. Expanding the fallout of an affair in such a way is both potentially illegal and extremely dangerous, and can have unforeseen repercussions.

For example, the BS of my EX-AP outed the affair to my husband--as I said, fair game, and she was right and justified in doing that. But then she commenced to harass me online for two full years afterward (two years during which I deflected repeated attempts at contact by her husband, I might add). I contemplated responding in kind: for example, on numerous occasions she had been physically abusive toward her husband. I had seen the evidence. I could have written a mass email to all of the parents at her kids' school, warning them that she was a violent and volatile person and that her home was not a safe atmosphere. I could have sent a similar email to her employer. I could have written to her parents and asked them why they raised such a violent psychopath for a daughter. I could have started a "husband beaters" website and outed her online. But I took the high road (yes, even slutty, callous, heartless, shameless waywards can take the high road!) and just ignored her.

Bottom line: an eye for an eye seems pretty fair in this situation. If I interfered with your marriage, you are justified in interfering with mine. But beyond that, beware. No one--including betrayed spouses--has lived a flawless, blameless life.

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 9:29 AM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

need_hope posted 1/14/2014 09:32 AM

I haven't looked at the revenge threads in the other forums so I can't speak to how over the top they might be. I know that I certainly had a few daydreams of some very over the top ideas that I never implemented.

I'm not going to tell you that harassment or abuse is okay. I may understand and have sympathy for the feelings the BS is experiencing but they can and do go beyond the legal limit. But, I can tell you though, that the affairs my x had didn't just interfere with my marriage. The fallout from was wide-ranging.

This was a nuclear bomb on my life, my family, my marriage. Don't you think that my son felt betrayal and pain? Don't you think he still deals with the fallout of those piss-poor decisions? My health suffered due to stress and gaslighting and the affair going underground and continuing. My performance at work suffered due to the situation. My health and work performance still suffer to some extent due to that time. My parents felt the ripples of this because of the pain that I was in. My future life was forever changed and my past, my memories were forever tainted and suspect.

I don't think the WS or the AP really has any say in establishing boundaries around who the BS can tell. This is now part of my life story and I have the right to shout my story from the rooftops if I choose to. The fact that the AP is part of that story was her choice. Not mine.

MovingUpward posted 1/14/2014 09:39 AM

I've been perusing the "revenge" threads in the other forums, and honestly many of the responses on there seem completely over the top and unhinged

The responses are driven by the extreme emotions arising out of the infidelity. Finding out one's spouse cheated can be extremely unhinging. I am a very peaceful man, but my anger over what transpired in my marriage led me to the point where I scared myself because I had actual thoughts and drive to want to kill the OM. I never would have thought that I was capable of feeling such hatred. Emotions are extremely powerful and often drive us to do things that we might not have. While many of those responses might seem over the top to some, as one who has had such extreme emotional response to infidelity I can see how the responses are in line with the pain and anger that the BS is experiencing. I am not saying that their responses for revenge are the right thing to do but I am saying the responses mirror the level of emotional duress in the BS.


Bottom line: an eye for an eye seems pretty fair in this situation. If I interfered with your marriage, you are justified in interfering with mine. But beyond that, beware. No one--including betrayed spouses--has not lived a flawless, blameless life.

But what you are describing isn't eye for an eye- harassing you vs you having an affair with her husband. It's apples and oranges. In your eyes you sound like it should be all square now. In her eyes it isn't. So where is the balance? Who is right? My advice to you is that if she is still harassing you that you use the legal means available to you and get a restraining order instead of pursuing courses that might get libel charges slapped on you.

SisterMilkshake posted 1/14/2014 09:40 AM

The fact that the AP is part of that story was her choice. Not mine.
So true! We didn't chose you to be in our marriage, that was a choice made my WS and AP.

Consequences suck. That being said, I am sorry that you were harassed for two years by the BW. I would have gotten a restraining order because of harassment. However, I totally understand the cray cray that being betrayed can trigger.

I have done absolutely nothing for revenge. Not even for justice. There is none. I have wonderful fantasies though. I haven't even spoken to OW post d-day.

People have been murdered for having affairs. BS's, WS's, and AP's alike. That is going too far. But, once again, the WS and AP bring that to our lives, we don't go seeking it.

for example, on numerous occasions she had been physically abusive toward her husband.
I will take this with a grain of salt.

It is nice that you took the high road. Maybe a little too late, but okay, I am glad that you did and didn't seek revenge on the BW.

stunnedin12 posted 1/14/2014 10:14 AM

How far is too far?

For me?

Physical harm
Stalking
I personally would not involve wh/ap parents or children.

But in my wildest dreams, my wh affair partner will one day serve me all the while knowing full well that *I* took the high road.

I told wh one day that the choices he made that involved his wife and marriage and family had consequences. It was no concern of mine that he didn't like those consequences. He CHOSE to harm us. I won't stoop to willfully harming another person like he did, but the fantasy is there.

[This message edited by stunnedin12 at 10:16 AM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

bobf posted 1/14/2014 11:19 AM

I bet all BS have fantasies about harming the OS, but really almost none act on them.

For me, my wife and I kept her affair quiet so the only harm that was done was to our marriage (and to me personally in terms of stress and anxiety and to my wife in terms of stress and anxiety as well) which we are working hard to fix.

In my case I had mixed feelings about contacting the BOS and I may not have except that OM violated my wife's NC letter. That sealed the deal for me and I made the rather major effort to track down the OM's wife and notify her.

I guess I am in favor of a proportional, legal, non-violent response if you have a reason. The OM gave me a reason.

PS The main reason I contacted the BOS was because I was afraid the OM might contact my wife since he was snooping around. I don't really think of it as revenge as much as something to help preserve my marriage.

[This message edited by bobf at 1:41 PM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

AchillesHealed posted 1/14/2014 11:25 AM

I don't think the WS or the AP really has any say in establishing boundaries around who the BS can tell. This is now part of my life story and I have the right to shout my story from the rooftops if I choose to. The fact that the AP is part of that story was her choice. Not mine.

Fair enough, but in that line of thinking, you should be prepared for further fallout from the AP. Like I said, I chose to take the high road, but it would have been incredibly easy for me to retaliate and shame her own less-than-ideal behavior.

AchillesHealed posted 1/14/2014 11:25 AM

And clearly I have trouble using the quote boxes! Sorry about that...

AchillesHealed posted 1/14/2014 11:36 AM


But what you are describing isn't eye for an eye- harassing you vs you having an affair with her husband. It's apples and oranges. In your eyes you sound like it should be all square now. In her eyes it isn't. So where is the balance? Who is right? My advice to you is that if she is still harassing you that you use the legal means available to you and get a restraining order instead of pursuing courses that might get libel charges slapped on you.

An eye for an eye meant telling my husband, and letting me deal with the pieces/mess of my own marriage. That is not apples and oranges--that is a mirror situation, ie. two marriages in shambles with all parties left to pick up the pieces. (Of course, the real correlation would be her having a revenge affair with my husband, which she tried to do and failed).

By the way, her husband chose to have an affair with me, and he didn't hear one thing from my husband (then again, he is an exceptional human being--my husband, that is). She would be better served focusing her anger and blame on her husband.

At any rate, I didn't mean to start a big pissing contest, and I'm sorry I brought it up, as I vowed not to give that woman any more headspace. But I am just saying that people hellbent on public revenge should be very, very careful, as two can play that game.

SisterMilkshake posted 1/14/2014 11:36 AM

And clearly I have trouble using the quote boxes!
You highlight what you want to quote, cut and paste it in the response box, highlight it again and then click on quote.

eta: oh, you figured it out!

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 11:37 AM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

GabyBaby posted 1/14/2014 11:39 AM

Fair enough, but in that line of thinking, you should be prepared for further fallout from the AP. Like I said, I chose to take the high road, but it would have been incredibly easy for me to retaliate and shame her own less-than-ideal behavior.

I'm going to try to tread lightly given the forum I'm in.
You took the the high road? I have to disagree.
"Taking the high road" after the fact doesn't mean anything to the BS. Taking the high road would have been saying "No" in the first place. Then to be angry that the BS is angry and is telling anyone who will listen? Little wonder he/she became "unhinged"- as his/her entire world as he/she knew it was a lie.
So why would it be such a surprise that some BSs want the entire world to know just what kind of "good people" their WS and APs are?
If one is worried about extensive fallout, one should think about that BEFORE sleeping with someone else's significant other, not after. There would BE no fallout were it not for those actions.
The BS that goes nuclear isn't perfect, but he/she will always have the upper hand on the "high road" because he/she wasn't doing someone else's significant other.

ETA:
I should clarify that I don't believe physical violence is ok (though I had violent thoughts like many others).
"Stalking" the WS's family to you may actually be the BS trying to tell the OBS and shed light on the situation. Just a different perspective...

ETA again:
To the APs and WSs who are trying to avoid fallout because of embarrassment, etc, try standing in the BS's shoes.
He/she has to live in the same town, go to grocery store and possible run into the AP; take their kids to the same school, etc. - all while the whole town looks on and whispers, "Poor So-and-So...did you hear?". How do you think the betrayed kids feel when they hear kids whispering and teasing them at school? Do you think they might be embarrassed? How embarrassing do you think that might be to the innocent party in the whole equation?

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 11:46 AM, January 14th (Tuesday)]

Deeply Scared posted 1/14/2014 11:39 AM

At any rate, I didn't mean to start a big pissing contest, and I'm sorry I brought it up

Why do you think it's a pissing contest? Just because there are different opinions? No one is being disrespectful...just sharing their own thoughts.

Kelany posted 1/14/2014 11:40 AM

Achilles, it seems as if you don't grasp the full depth of havoc the affair causes.

I was exposed to STD's. I got numerous yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis because my vagina didn't like theirs. My health was at risk, against my consent.

I was abandoned for 5 years. I was emotionally and verbally and sexually abused for 5 years.

Mine and my children's safety and security was taken away, our livelihood was at risk and ultimately taken because his affairs took place at work and he was fired.

He risked another child being conceived and having to tie him for life to an AP.

I was humiliated.

My children had to learn their father cheated on me. He cheated on them.

They BROKE me.

They chose to have an affair with a man whom they knew they were married. They inserted themselves into MY life, I didn't ask them. If they didn't want to suffer the consequences, then they should not have had an affair, period.

Having said that, I did out one AP to her husband. I outed one AP to her father because he employed her, she had affairs with employees, it was to warn him and his business. I wrote letters to all the AP's after I confronted them and I was cruel. That's as far as I took it though. I've wanted to do more, but it's not in my nature.

I assure you though, what they did to me, is far far worse than what I ever did to them.

Kelany posted 1/14/2014 11:42 AM

An eye for an eye would have been her having an affair with your husband. I think she took the high road. You seem resentful even though you're responsible for her anger and hurt.

Kelany posted 1/14/2014 11:45 AM

But I am just saying that people hellbent on public revenge should be very, very careful, as two can play that game.

Seriously? You inserted yourself into her world, blowing it up. She didn't have a choice in the "game" at all. Kind of screwed up don't you think?

Unagie posted 1/14/2014 11:52 AM

She would be better served focusing her anger and blame on her husband.

Yes her focus should be on the man who "loved" her and blew her world apart but you're not innocent in her eyes either and share a part of that rage. You knowingly slept with a married man, why in the world do you think she would not want to punish both of you? Her pain and anger is not going to be limited to one person. I think 2 years of harassment is a bit much but then again so why sleeping with her husband. I have read what she's done in your previous post and it definitely is over the top. I am in no way supporting her actions but I think every betrayed thinks of revenge. Some don't act on it, some do and some go too far....we are human and it can be difficult to see beyond the moment sometimes.

Tred posted 1/14/2014 11:57 AM

I'd like to point out that in every instance I've seen on SI where anything other than hypotheticals are being exchanged a mod, guide, admin, or the SI Staff gremlin will pop in and reiterate that SI does not advocate or condone revenge. They may miss one or two, but for the most part it's very consistent.

AFrayedKnot posted 1/14/2014 12:03 PM

Outing the A is not necessarily for revenge. It can be a very tactical move. The most important move for a BS is to end the A. The more people who know about it the harder it is for it to continue. Supportive people will encourage the WS to return to the M. There are more sets of eyes to watch for suspicious behavior. There is more guilt and shame that will hopefully turn to remorse. Plus it also gives the BS people to talk to.

Now the harassment on the other hand is wrong and should be dealt with through the proper authorities.

Vulcanized posted 1/14/2014 12:17 PM

I'm trying to be real, real, real tactful here.

But I am just saying that people hellbent on public revenge should be very, very careful, as two can play that game.

It's utterly foolish to keep upping the ante, so to speak. That being said, both OW & POS XH are on all of those sites. Should OW attempt to top that, I'll be going nuclear. To me, that was a lot kinder than any of the other things I wanted to do.

If I interfered with your marriage, you are justified in interfering with mine. But beyond that, beware. No one--including betrayed spouses--has lived a flawless, blameless life.

You sound pretty smug to me. You didn't interfere w/her M, you torpedoed it. So, yeah, the anger is gonna be there & for a loooong time. You purposely declared war on this woman; she didn't know you existed. You felt entitled to her WH & you seem to feel entitled to blame her for it. Her character has absolutely nothing to do w/your A w/her H. The implication is loud and clear what you're getting at.

cdnmommy posted 1/14/2014 12:20 PM

I know for my own part, I had a lot of revenge fantasies about my former friend. But just as her BH did for me, I chose to ensure her family suffered no hurt at my hands. It doesn't mean I've lived a flawless, blameless life. It just means that I had more compassion and empathy than she or my FWH had (at the time of the A, at least. I know my FWH has grown and hope she has) for their BSs and families.

I find your comment about "unforeseen repercussions" interesting as well, because to me, that is at the very core of how many affairs happen. The affair partners rarely seem to be able to identify the potential consequences of their choices. Why would you expect a BS whose world has been devastated and may be suffering from PTSD, depression, or the other effects of infidelity to show excellent judgement in this regard?

Regardless, I hope the harassment has stopped.

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