It's fair to say that anyone who sees the painful end of a relationship on the horizon has had at least one fleeting thought of revenge. You might make sure you take their favorite hoodie with you when you go. Or fantasize about slashing their tires. Or just maybe, you're this vengeful woman who unblocked her cheating ex on Facebook just to send him weekly GoT spoilers. We asked some folks to show us what happened when they gave into this temptation and what revenge looks like served cold.
I dated this guy for a few years, and I found out he'd cheated on me. He revealed how he'd never loved me and that he'd lied every time he said it. He left me for another girl, who also happened to be a friend of mine. A couple of months later, he ended it with her and went around sharing videos of her giving him a blowjob. Ugh.
One night his ex and I were talking and laughed, imagining him getting arrested for something. At first, I wasn't too sure. Then I figured ruining his reputation—just a bit—could be what I needed to move on. She went to the police about the video, which is pretty much revenge porn. I did the dirty work. He was a boxer, so I texted his coach telling him how he used to skip practices to be with me and his other girlfriend. That, on top of hearing about the criminal charges, got him suspended from the team.
His family stopped talking to him, and every other girl knows now, so no one goes near him. We haven't spoken since.
We'd met a college open day and kept in touch, even though he was considering moving to America for his undergraduate degree. When we both got rejected from Oxford and accepted an offer at a London university, he moved into a flat that my parents bought in London. While the first few years were good, we had a virtually nonexistent sex life. I'd tried to initiate it many times, and even googled how to seduce your partner at my lowest point, but in the end, after one too many attempts, I just dropped it. Toward our third year, I was sick of juggling an internship on top of my dissertation while he played computer games all day in bed and contributed nothing.
The last straw was when I went on his computer to send an email and discovered that he'd cheated on me with a girl from his class. And it had been going on for a while. Instead of encouraging him to complete his dissertation, I spent evenings gaming with him to distract him, only to pull all-nighters when he'd gone to bed to meet deadlines. Over the summer, he was interning at JP Morgan, and they'd offered him a job—on the condition he graduated with a B average. When he didn't get it, they chucked him out. I kicked him out of my flat that same day. Last thing I heard was that he was working for his mom.
I was in a relationship with someone who was a real evil bastard. He'd do low-key things to hurt my self esteem. If we passed a hot girl in the street, he'd stare and make a comment about that I should start dressing like her or follow and "like" pictures of soft-porn girls on Instagram who looked completely the opposite of me. During sex, he always pushed for me to do things he knew I didn't like. Eventually, I looked at his Facebook messages and found him dirty messaging three other girls over that previous year while we were together. He loved his mom. She was the only person who thought he was an angel. So I screenshotted all the images and emailed them to her. Proud of your baby boy now, Angela?
I was (and still am) quite religious, and when I was younger, I didn't really have the confidence to actually come out. Two years ago, I was in a relationship with an international student. He'd occasionally expressed homophobic remarks that made me really uncomfortable, so I held off on telling him I was bisexual. I'd started to really resent him as he knew I was financially dependent on him because my parents had cut me off. Whenever I considered ending things, he'd shower me with gifts and dinners, so I kept taking him back. That was until I met my current girlfriend Laura*. It was only when he'd revealed to someone I knew that he was only with me to try and get a UK passport because he had "political ambitions" that I finally ended it. Bear in mind that he got a grand total of 12 votes for student president. I'd love to say that I got some serious revenge on him, but it was making things official with Laura that hurt him the most.
It was my first serious relationship. It lasted nine years. I'd spent eight years of it slaving away in corporate law, hating every second of it. We'd agreed that when she'd graduated from her nursing degree, I would go freelance to set up my own business. Instead, she got used to it and didn't make any effort to actually look for work. Nor did she once offer to pay the rent, and if I ever brought it up, she'd get hysterical and cry for what felt like hours.
I started plotting my escape and secretly squirreled away money to buy a flat of my own. She discovered my plan and tried to stick it out, thinking she'd have her half of it. As a last resort, I ended up getting my mom to move in (who also happened to have serious health issues at the time and needed round-the-clock care), and she finally moved out. I've not had a girlfriend since, but I do have a flat in north London—with my name on it.
Follow Salma Haidrani on Twitter.
*Names have been changed.