Guest article by divorce lawyer Tara Yelman
In the midst of a divorce, feelings of sadness, pain, betrayal and jealousy can spark fantasies of divorce revenge.
You want to erase the shame that your spouse has caused you and make them hurt the way you have been made to hurt, and you want to serve that dish the way you see fit. But is seeking revenge the best way to solve your problems, or can it backfire and make your situation more unbearable?
When you have been shamed and suffered an unjust loss, it is understandable that you may want your spouse to "get what he/she deserves."
Whether your spouse had an affair, exploited you financially or simply hurt you by wanting to escape the marriage, the goal of becoming the predator and transforming from powerless to powerful is normal.
A divorce often feels like a death; to overcome the devastation of a divorce and mourn the ending of the relationship in a healthy way, you must learn coping methods that will guide you to pursuing a healthy and plentiful life without your spouse.
At the end of the day the goal is happiness, and behaving in ways that benefit you will help you achieve that goal much more efficiently than finding ways to hurt your spouse. Revenge cannot repair losses or compensate for betrayal. It invokes feelings of anger, anxiety, distress and sadness.
Instead of taking steps to overcome those emotions that already exist in yourself, by seeking revenge you are solidifying and revisiting those feelings.
A better method of "getting even" is to camouflage your weaknesses and highlight your assets, therefore demonstrating that you are strong and able to live happily despite what they have done to hurt you.
Actions of revenge can also backfire when your spouse already feels guilt and regret. They may end up feeling that their actions were justified after experiencing the revenge that you took.
When thinking about spousal revenge in a divorce, the keying of cars and seeking of affairs usually comes to mind. However, financial revenge and sabotage is a very real and very frightening way that spouses try to get even.
When divorce is in the air, a spouse might max out credit cards, empty a joint family bank account or refuse to pay alimony or child support. Especially calculating and menacing spouses seeking revenge can do irreparable financial damage.
Here are a few tips to consider before your divorce to avoid financial revenge:
Understand that working together with a divorce planner or tax accountant can actually minimise losses and save each of you money.
One of the most stressful events in your life is going to be your divorce. Revenge not only adds to your soon-to-be ex-wife or husband's distress, but also yours.
Take time to relax and even learn to meditate perhaps - there is no better way to disconnect yourself from the anger and hurt.
I also recommend self-hypnosis and particular to your situation, listening to the right hypnosis download instead of taking revenge will, without a doubt, help you to prevent doing something you later regret.
If you think you may be heading down the dirty path of divorce with revenge and retaliation, there are some steps that you can take to avoid those actions:
Tara Yelman is a San Diego divorce lawyer originally from New York. She received her JD from California Western School of Law and has been practicing family law since graduating in 1995. She is currently the Managing partner of Yelman & Associates and in 2005 became a San Diego County family law settlement judge.
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