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Why Revenge Cheating and Retaliatory Affairs Don’t Work When Trying to Get Even with a Cheating Spouse

Posted Jul 28 2008 8:14pm
It’s natural to want to get back at your cheating spouse when you find out he or she has been cheating on you or having an extramarital affair.

Revenge cheating and retaliatory affairs are two ways infidelity victims commonly try to even the score, or strike back at a cheating mate.

Bertinelli’s Revenge Cheating

Earlier this week, on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Valerie Bertinelli said she and ex-husband Eddie Van Halen cheated on each other during their marriage. (They divorced last year.) Valerie Bertinelli told Oprah she began cheating five years into her marriage to Van Halen. From Valerie Bertinelli’s comments, it sounds like this mutual cheating went on for so long that now they can’t even agree on which one of them cheated first.

That’s one thing infidelity victims fail to realize -- revenge cheating and retaliatory affairs rarely have the desired effect.

How Infidelity Victims Set Up Retaliatory Affairs

Sometimes a one-night stand with a total stranger is enough to make an infidelity victim feel vindicated -- even if their cheating spouse or significant other never finds out about the affair.

Other infidelity victims are more calculating about setting up a retaliatory affair. They will go out of their way to cheat with someone who cause major embarrassment or extreme emotional distress to their partner -- a best friend, family member, or business rival of their cheating spouse or significant other.

Then they carefully set things up to make sure their partner finds out about the retaliatory affair.

How Revenge Cheating Can Backfire in Unexpected Ways

Not only does revenge cheating rarely have the desired result, it can backfire in several ways.

Instead of teaching the cheating spouse or significant other a lesson, or showing the cheater how it feels to be cheated on, a revenge affair can actually have the opposite effect.

Your cheating spouse or significant other may use your revenge affair as an excuse to continue cheating on you, or as justification for having other affairs.

Revenge cheating can also lead to domestic violence or worse. No matter how justified you may feel, your partner may strike back at you physically for what you’ve done.

A Revenge Affairs Won’t Solve the Problem

That’s why, when I consult with infidelity victims, I strongly discourage revenge cheating and retaliatory affairs. Instead of solving the problem of a cheating mate, they can eventually destroy what’s left of the marriage or relationship. And there are always repercussions of some kind. Despite all their cheating back and forth – or maybebecauseof it -- Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen are now divorced.

Wanting to get even or strike back at a cheating spouse is a natural desire. But if you experience an overwhelming desire to engage in a retaliatory affair, DO NOT give in to this urge. Regardless of whether you plan to stay with the cheater or leave, rethink the matter of revenge cheating, and seek professional help. A revenge affair is something you should avoid at all costs.

5 More Things to Avoid Doing

To find out 5 more things you should avoid doing when you find out your spouse or significant other is having an affair, request a FREE copy of the special report entitled“5 Things You SHOULDN’T Do if He’s Cheating on You.”E-mailInfidelityAdvice@gmail.comwith “5 things-b”in the subject line.

More About Getting Revenge on a Cheating Mate

In my next post, I'll go into more detail about some of the things infidelity victims do to get even with a cheating mate. And I’ll discuss why and how in the long run, these things seldom ever work. Bookmark this page so you can easily find your way back for the rest of this discussion.

Meanwhile, for more information on infidelity, cheating spouses, or extramarital affairs, visit

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