Should You Get Revenge on a Cheating Spouse by Cheating on Them?

Man in suit with lipstick on collar
Being cheated on is heartbreaking! But should you turn around and do the same thing to even the scores?

It’s a pretty common human trait to want to get back at people when they’ve hurt or betrayed us in some way. It may not be the mature or responsible thing to do, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least entertained the idea of ‘getting even’ when they’ve been shamed, made a fool of, or abused in some way (even if they never act on that compulsion!)

However, in a marriage, which is supposed to be a sacred agreement made before God and witnesses, betrayal can be brutal. Which means the desire for revenge is sometimes overwhelming. So what’s a person to do? Should you or shouldn’t you? And when the betrayal is the worst kind – infidelity – should you get even by giving them a dose of their own medicine?

Should you cheat on a cheating spouse?

According to Guy Winch, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and author of several books on the subject of emotional health, the answer is no. Having a ‘retaliation affairs’ Winch says, can damage your chances of salvaging your relationship, as well as your own emotional well-being. And maybe you don’t care about the getting-back-together part of that deal (which we could hardly blame you for), you should still care about your emotional and psychological health.

According to Winch, there are a number of reasons why cheating to even the score is a bad idea. Here are his top five reasons (which we happen to think are pretty sound advice!)”

  • Cheating on a cheating spouse isn’t going to let you “get even”, because your partner’s affair already broke the trust and damaged the relationship. Your affair won’t have the same impact on your marriage, as it can’t break what’s already broken.
  • Your spouse isn’t going to feel hurt or betrayed by your affair. If anything they’ll feel relieved and less guilty, since you’re now guilty of exactly the same thing. In some cases, some spouses may even use your affair as a justification to continue their own affair.
  • Your spouse isn’t going to “learn a lesson” from your affair. The idea that you’ll “teach them a lesson” for hurting you is infantile. The only thing they’ll learn from you going out and doing what they’ve already done, is that you’re vindictive. It certainly won’t make them more likely to regret their actions.
  • Your spouse is more likely to cheat again. Once they’ve done it, and you’ve done, there’s very little to stop them from doing it again. After all, you’ve both cheated now, and the sanctity of your marriage is destroyed, so what’s to keep them from repeating their offense, over and over?

An affair can complicate a lot of things, from recovery to divorce!

Whether you’re planning to try and salvage your marriage, or call it quits, choosing to cheat on the spouse who cheat on you is only going to make the problem worse. So join us next time for a look at how a revenge affair can negatively affect your future divorce, or your reunification – depending on what outcome you choose!

Our skilled and experienced family law attorneys have been helping people handle their divorces, and everything that entails, for decades. We can help you figure out how to divide your assets, what custody arrangement is best for your family, and if spousal support, or alimony, is needed in your situation. Call 866 766 5245 today, and talk to someone who can help.