People may be hardwired to want revenge upon being wronged, suggests a 2009 article by the American Psychological Association. However, even though it may feel good to anticipate getting your partner back for his infidelity, doing so will merely keep your emotional wounds from healing. Stopping your vengeful thoughts in their tracks before they turn into action is wise, and will help you to heal from his act of faithlessness much sooner than if you give into your desire to pay tit for tat.
1. Do Well
The best revenge is doing well, goes the old saying. Take heed and focus your energy on becoming the best person you can be. Not only will you be happier with the new, improved you, but you'll be an inspiration to anyone who knows what's going on and notices your mature response. Spending mental energy thinking about how you're going to kick butt at the upcoming 5K will grant you greater peace of mind than contemplating cleaning out the toilet bowl with your unfaithful partner's toothbrush.
2. Remember You're in Charge
The man who cheated on you is not in charge of your feelings unless you give away that power to him. You are in charge of your thoughts and actions. When you recognize that nothing anyone else can do can move you away from ideals you hold dear -- such as forgiveness and nonviolence -- you'll feel empowered to stay within the bounds you've created for yourself. When you catch yourself thinking how much you'd like to create an equal amount of pain for your betrayer, immediately focus your thoughts on something else, such as how to bake your most fabulous cake ever for a friend's wedding shower.
Get rid of the story that is causing your heart to blacken with thoughts of vengeance, says psychiatrist Carrie Barron in a July 2013 "Psychology Today" article. You can accomplish this by allowing yourself to feel the feelings of betrayal and hurt engendered by the affair. Write, paint, cook or build, says Barron, as creativity is a healing force. When you immerse yourself in a creative process, your mind becomes free from the pain that was cajoling you to act against your own best interests.
4. Choose to Forgive
Infidelity is "emotionally devastating," says the Mayo Clinic. While it won't be easy to forgive someone who betrayed your trust in such an excruciatingly painful manner, you can slowly move toward that point. You don't have to forget his actions or reconcile with him, but recognizing that he is a human being that made a bad choice and allowing yourself to move on will benefit you much more than a night in a jail cell after having slashed his tires.