Why Do People Choose To Get Even Instead Of Get Over It?

people choose to get even


My ex is going through a second divorce. When it comes to creating a high conflict divorce situation my ex is quite talented. From what I’ve heard this new divorce is chock full of conflict, anger, and dismissal of other people’s feelings.

His soon to be ex can’t fight the divorce; she can’t keep the marriage together, so she has decided to get even with him. She is doing so via her Facebook page with snide comments and threats to shoot the “SOB.”

I’m not surprised at how either one is behaving throughout this process. Heck, I’m not surprised there is a divorce. I saw that coming from a mile away. You would think that people who have experienced divorce would learn to divorce without shredding each other emotionally and financially.

I hear from people weekly who are hell-bent on getting even with a spouse who has hurt them. They think getting over it and getting on with their life is dependent upon whether or not they are able to get even.

For instance, I heard from a woman who had been married for 27 years to an alcoholic. He, the alcoholic had filed for a divorce and was attempting to “clean her out” legally. She was appalled that a man who had been such a terrible, abusive husband could not take time to consider and honor their 27-year long marriage during the divorce process.

In retaliation to his lack of honor toward the marriage, she was asking the courts for lifetime alimony, the marital home and most of his retirement pension. Plus, she was sharing with anyone who would listen what a horrid husband he had been.

And she was STUCK!

These two people were in the middle of a divorce and playing the same game with each other they had for 27 years. He was disrespecting her; she was playing the martyr and expecting something from him that he had never been able to give her. They might as well have stayed married!

Why Do People Choose to Get Even?

Because habitual behavior is hard to break. Folks who spend a lot of time thinking they should get even with someone who has hurt them are a special breed. They have high expectations of how others should treat them. They view an affront by someone else as a personal injustice and due to that, it is their right to exact justice.

Instead of focusing on what they should do to productively deal with the problem, they focus on evening the score.

It is normal to feel resentment toward someone who hurts us, it isn’t normal to hold on to that resentment and allow it to rule your life. Most of us work through our resentment and in time move on with our lives.

Some though, never get over a divorce due to their inability to let go of the need to exact revenge. And in the long-run, their need to get even hurts them, not the other person. It takes over their life and has negative consequences to their health, spirituality and emotional growth. And, if they use the family court system to exact their revenge it costs them financially.

Letting Go of The Need to “Get Even:”

Some say that letting go of hurt and pain begins with forgiveness. I don’t believe that forgiveness is always the answer. In my opinion, forgetting by focusing on setting goals and moving forward can be more valuable than forgiving.

Let’s face it, if someone leaves you financially destitute or causes your children emotional harm, forgiving can be a lot to ask. Plus, you can’t forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness so, instead of worrying over forgiving someone it is in your best interest to spend time thinking about moving forward in life instead of focusing on getting even.

Tips For Getting Over The Desire to “Get Even:”

  • Set goals and focus on doing what you need to do to attain those goals.
  • Replace thoughts of revenge with positive affirmations.
  • Create a life that is satisfying and rewarding. It really is the best revenge!
  • Take responsibility for your role in the relationship problems that led to divorce.
  • Focus on who and what you love, not on things that interfere with giving and receiving love.

Bottom line, folks who are intent on getting even are hard to love or, even like. Why rob yourself of the joy others can bring to your life by focusing all your attention on the pain caused by someone incapable of giving you what you deserve…friendship, support, and love.

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