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Revenge and Uncontested Divorce

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 8-Mar-2013

You are not alone if you have fantasized about getting revenge on your spouse. Being hurt during an uncontested divorce is a normal emotion; yet acting out on those emotions can significantly hurt you. The short lived moment of revenge can lead to a long aftermath of regret.

Apparently, there may even be an evolutionary reason why a person feels like he or she wants to get even. According to psychologist Michael McCullough, individuals may be motivated to defend their interests and punish people who have harmed them. Transitioning from living as couple to being in a self-protective mode can trigger a get even mental state.

The need to make the hurt disappear can be overwhelming at times. Embarrassment triggered by an uncontested divorce can precipitate bad judgment. Infidelity, poor money management or suffered pain can catapult an individual into aggressive action.

The need to move from a position of being powerless to one of power can be enticing. Media headlines have capitalized on events surrounding spouses or ex spouses taking matters into their own hands. For example, Kathy Lee Emery of Michigan drove her car though her ex-husband's house.

After a divorce hearing, when her husband (Roger Emery) was awarded the marital house, she decided to take the law into her own hands. As a consequence, Kathy Lee Emery ended up being served a thirty day jail sentence with eighteen months of probation. She did state that she was sorry for the act of revenge.

Scott Kramer from Denver was charged with felony arson when he decided to get even with his ex-wife. Kramer decided to make a bon fire in a trash can using his ex-wife's wedding dress, wedding photos and her skis. Allegations also include Kramer making harassing calls and texts and threatening to kill his ex-spouse's boyfriend.

If you are stuck in revenge mode think it through. Move beyond the actual act of revenge and consider how the scenario will fully play out.

  • Will your children be embarrassed at school by your actions?
  • Is this an opportunity for your spouse or ex to take you to court and get the final form of vengeance?
  • Will you be embarrassed or distressed at work?
  • How will this affect your friendships and family?

The healthiest act you can do for yourself is move on. Demonstrate to yourself and if need be, your ex spouse that you are living a happy life without him or her. Getting a criminal record in a moment of anger isn't worth jeopardizing your future sanity and happiness.