Why Taking Revenge On An Ex Is a Waste

I was reading this post yesterday and had a case of deja vu.

Listen. Many of us have been there. We’ve been involved with someone that we knew in our gut were being disingenuous. But we stuck it out, hoping against hope we were wrong. We weren’t. We discussed this briefly in last weeks post about emotional grifters.  The shame we feel for being suckered almost overpowers us at times.

Anyhoo, the whole revenge angle – while extremely tempting – is a huge waste of energy. You know why?

Because they don’t care.

I was watching a TV special on MSNBC this weekend about online dating. One of the singles they interviewed was a woman who said she met a guy online and he told her that they were in a relationship. Eventually she learned he was dating multiple people. Instead of just walking away she and the other women all got together and confronted him. Now, I’m not sure how these ladies all found each other. That part was conveniently left out of the story. But they did. Instead of all of them agreeing to just tell this guy to go to beat it, they thought it more productive to stage some kind of Player Intervention. The purpose? I have no idea. No doubt each one of them was having their own sideline conversation with the guy and had deluded themselves that he would dump the rest and be with her.

Allow me to enlighten you on something. These types of people NEVER CHANGE. Ever. In fact, having women go to such extreme lengths to call them on the carpet does nothing but feed their egos. It also provides them with the opportunity to craft up a drama that they can use to generate attention and sympathy from whatever single minded girl they eventually go on to date. Now they are the Leading Man in their own scripted soap opera. Being able to say that a woman dug through his Facebook page and contacted the other women they dated is a badge of honor for these guys. They get to do things like lock up their Twitter pages and hide their Facebook profiles. All things that people will notice and question. It will serve no purpose other than to add to his perceived “mystique.” It’s Le Cray. People eventually wise up to someone like this. But that doesn’t matter to them. They just find a new circle. These people will always find someone inexperienced or immature or insecure enough to buy in to their story. There’s a sucker born every minute, as they say.

I left a comment on the post I linked above. It is still awaiting approval. It said:

for her sake and for the sake of any woman that came after her.

How altruistic. Complete crap but altruistic. Why would *any* woman stick around for this sort of behavior for any other reason other than she didn’t want to lose him?

This is unnecessary melodrama. The signs were there all along (her wore a ring???) , and she ignored them. Only when they were confirmed did she decide to “act.” And that was probably motivated more by her desire to scare these other women off the guy’s trail so she could have him to herself. Or so he couldn’t have anybody if he didn’t just have her. It’s not something to be proud of.

When women say things in their profiles like they value honesty or don’t want any games/drama it sends a clear signal to the players that she has fallen for this sort of shadiness in the past and likely will again. Then there’s the whole “I had a crush on you in HS” story. Then he “insists” they are in a relationship after, what, three or four dates? And don’t forget the ring. And the canceling. And the texts. And possibly the fact that he never actually said to her or promised that she was the only woman he was dating. You made no mention of *exactly* what he pledged.

Come on. Women should just walk away from these assholes. He’s not panicking in the slightest. He already has a new mark or two. All this drama is feeding his ego. And all the women he “burned” have is their collective misery and bitterness. What a waste of energy.

Like I said. I get it. I’ve had those feelings myself. You hate the idea that someone like this got away with it and went on to be happy. Sure, all your girlfriends say things like, “But what does he have?” or “I feel sorry for his girlfriend.” Meanwhile, he’s quite happy and having no trouble at all moving on. He might let you think he’s terrified in hopes it will appeal to your ego. I mean, he was able to work that before, right? But he’s not afraid. He’s not alone. He’s not hiding. Not really, any way. He’s using all this hub bub to build up his image and mystique.

The reason why we get stuck in that place is because we resent the fact that they got away scott free while we’re miserable. Here’s another one of those realities we like to talk about here.

Sometimes? Bad people get everything they want. Life isn’t fair.  Some people just suck. Your time would be better spent figuring out why he saw you as a mark. Not sitting around with other women burnt by the asshat who dumped you scheming and plotting and bitching.

I don’t find stories like this empowering. They make the women involved look pathetic. Other women might high five the woman who “turned the tables” on this guy. But that’s only because they, too, were duped. It’s their way of getting vicarious vindication without having to make a fool of themselves.  They’re more than happy to let another woman roll around in the mud for them.

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20 Responses to “Why Taking Revenge On An Ex Is a Waste”

  1. Christina Says:

    This just seems like a crap lot of unnecessary drama. Not only do people like this not change, part of why they don’t change is because they honestly don’t see themselves as the bad guy. They’ll always have a million excuses for why they did what they did, and no matter what you do to “correct” them, they’ll always turn it into your fault, at least in their minds. It’s a complete waste of time and energy. The only way to deal with cheaters is to stop seeing them the minute you know what’s up. You can only save yourself.

    • Howard Says:

      People like to forget their own victims, yes all those guys or girls you rejected along the way. You have no idea really how they took it. Well they had to move on, but somehow you are special. So who is really narcissistic?

      The reason this probably happened to you was because you were just as narcissistic as that fool who broke your heart. There were signs along the way, that he or she was out of your league or that he or she was only about himself or herself. But you believed you were special, and because of that you would make that person fall head over heels for you. The person you really have to get over, is yourself.

      Tell you what. Resentment and anger at another person is like drinking poison. It does nothing to the other person; it’s only going to harm you.

  2. fuzzilla Says:

    >Come on. Women should just walk away from these assholes.<

    Exactly. "Player Intervention"…for fuck's sake!

    Isn't there a website called dontdatehim.com or something where women put up profiles to shame guys they've had bad dates with? To give "their sisters" a heads up or something? That seems like a really bitter and awful thing to do and a total waste of energy. What if the guy is just awkward and shy and subsequently had lots of therapy and became a different person? If he was so awful he was a date rapist or something, then point to an actual police report.

  3. Roxy Says:

    Goodness, what a waste of precious time this women could have been using to actually meet the “honest” guy she wants.

    You don’t get that time back.

  4. LaRubia Says:

    The last guy I’d dated imploded on me at 90 days – this was AFTER his profession of “love”; thanktully, he at least had the balls to tell me in person. I had to see him once more a few days later to get some stuff back, but have not seen or heard from him since – when it’s done, it’s DONE. Phone # deleted, NO CONTACT. Unfortunately, I have to see his condo building every night on my way home from work – I usually give a 1-finger salute in his direction . . . *grin* ;-D No harm, no foul . . . NEXT!!!

    • Howard Says:

      One finger salute still shows resentment, and that is poison that you are drinking. Have nothing but love in your heart for anyone you spent any time with. Truly wish them the best, and really hope they never feel any regret for breaking up with you. Thank them for showing their true colors whenever they did, to have avoided you any future angst.

      That is what moving on really means!

  5. mari Says:

    OMG, the amount of effort this women put into this is shocking – he was seeing someone else, time to call it quits..that’s it, no contact, done. Congrats LaRubia for doing it right..NEXT!

  6. Mr. R Says:

    Honestly, why waste your time with revenge. Let the Man Upstairs sort it all out, you have better things to be doing.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      Karma’s a bitch. We have to trust that they will get what’s coming to them, eventually. To retaliate is to hurt your own karma, and it will poison you more than it does them.

      • Howard Says:

        How about. I hope they find some way to nullify that bad Karma by some good deeds so they don’t ever have to feel the same pain. If the pain is not good for me, why should it be good for them?

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          That’s the more enlightened view, but not retaliating is a big enough step forward for most people.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Is this real? I can’t empirically prove that there will be no punishment from any “man upstairs” in the afterlife but I can prove that, to a virtual certainty, there will be no punishment for bad behavior here on earth. The fact that people generally get away with the bad stuff they do is what makes life maddening and why concepts like karma and the “man upstairs” were invented as catharsis. If bad things automatically happened to bad people, you wouldn’t need laws or man made punishment.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          I’d also like to add that I strongly disagree that God doles out punishment for our “sins.”

          Listen, I love me some God. But that is just not how it works. I think He gets blamed for a lot, unfairly.

          I try to reconcile this belief with my belief in Karma. I tend to believe that if we put negative energy out, we get it back. But that has nothing to do with someone sitting there with a tablet marking down when I’ve been naughty and when I’ve been nice.

          Some people manage to get away with horrible, horrible things. Some people also get away with being a not very good person. There is nothing mystical that balances it out.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            Well, maybe YOUR god doesn’t have time to worry about these petty issues, but MY god spends tons of time spinning intricate punishments for cheating boyfriends.

  7. wishing u well Says:

    When it comes to taking revenge, another way to look at it is this: you’re letting this person continue to have power over you….you’re giving them importance in your life they no longer even want from you! Man, I don’t know about you, but my personal policy is that I refuse to let such a person have such a grip on me. Granted: being disappointed is not fun. I have my moment, vent to my friends, accept the fact that everyone has the right to change their minds (even if you don’t agree with their decision), and move on. After all, the point of dating (when looking for an exclusive partner) is to find that person who thinks you are truly fantastic and wants to be with you only, right? Exactly. Embrace reality and make better choices. The payout is much healthier and it leads to emotional freedom from unnecessary baggage.

  8. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    What women need to understand about guys like this is that these guys enjoy watching these women flame out over them. They’re obsessed with themselves, so they can’t help it.

    I dated a guy about 10 years ago, S. S. and I were a powder keg and a match. I’ll never forget the night he invited me to some party and I showed up and there he was, literally watching the door with his new girlfriend by his side. He had totally set me up and had admitted it. It was an ugly, ugly scene. And the next day, the IP address for his agency popped up on my blog multiple times throughout the day.

    Then there was Don Draper, a guy from last year, who would repeatedly block and unblock me on Facebook, changed his phone number, etc. And no matter how many times he did this, he still always managed to find the courage to have sex with me again and again, despite all this extreme behavior.

    These guys love to play the victim, and they always manage to find some woman far too inexperienced or naive or insecure to understand what they’re doing. They will even get that woman to run point for them. S.’s girlfriend from that night ran to Craigslist and posted a rant about how the guy she had met had pushed a woman down tot he ground (me) and omigod what do I doooo? Somebody recognized the story on CL because I had blogged about it and passed it along to me. I emailed her and told her she could contact me if she wanted to. She did and it was a futile conversation. She was so turned around that nothing I said – nor the fact that S. had physically pushed me down on the ground – was going to change her mind. They eventually married. These guys always find someone desperate enough to believe their stories.

    These guys are famous for extreme behavior. They’re also famous for always coming back around, regardless of how “afraid” they are. They’re not afraid. they’re playing it up for their tiny little audience.

    • Marshmallow Says:

      Very good point – the “other” woman won’t believe anything bad you tell her about the guy. She”ll think you are just a bitter ex (and in some way she is correct!) and it will make him even more appealing. Some things you just need to find out on your own. Also, these are grown-ass adults and can make their own decisions and take care of themselves. In the end, it isn’t about saving her, it’s about wanting him to lead a lonely life.

      I think a big part of wanting revenge is to deflect from the shame of being duped. It’s far easier to focus on hurting them than on improving yourself.

  9. Snowflake Says:

    My ex of 5 years cheated on me and I found and left him. This was almost a year ago. The signs were everywhere. I believed all his excuses all his lies. I took all his abuse. I was prime easy target for him. He is the definition of Moxie’s term, emotional grifter.

    I was devastated. I was ashamed. I was so hard on myself (I still am) for putting up with it for so long. I did everything to move on. Worked out, eat healthy focused on my physical well being. Threw myself into work. I did everything BUT go to therapy. You could say I started it maybe too late. But here I am now trying to forgive myself for putting myself through all of that.I lived I learned and I am moving on.

    He is still trying to get his hooks into me. I did not ignore him only til End sept/early Oct last year. Its not easy letting go of a habit, not easy trying to remove the easy buttons he knew how to push to get to me. But it is doable, it is possible. One day at a time.

    I thought of revenge, ALOT. All the time. What I would do, what I can do, how to do it. Get him fired, make him homeless you name it I thought it, and thought it through I did. But it never came to be. I cannot take credit for my not following through on these plans. I had a really really good friend who I vented to, and she talked sense into me. reasoned with me, showed me the logic. I am eternally grateful to her. She is right, she was right, revenge does not, will never ever help anyone heal. Backfire, make it worse and then what are you left with? And as Howard said, the power he had over me will prevail. The best way to get over someone like this is to ignore their antics, wish them well and move on. Trust me, therapy helps alot, it helps me to start forgiving the most important person in all of this. Me.

    Moxie is right, people like this will never change, their ego is too massive that it gets in the way of normal sense of reasoning, logic, compassion, empathy, all the traits of humanity. Their ego is their drug of choice, their addiction. Until they are aware of this, and only if they want the change then it MAY be possible but its not our job to do this. Just move on with ours, mine. Easy yes simple even more so, tough perhaps but moving on is possible.

  10. Mark Says:

    Interesting perspective. I don’t doubt about the notion that ‘he doesn’t care’. But the effort that those women put forth to turn the tables was simply wasted on a guy like this. But the story left something out. What was it that enabled the guy to juggle all these women all at once. Clearly he had something that all these women found attractive and they went for it.

    In the end, the best revenge is living well.

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