By Faye Odesser
Dear Faye, I have a really shitty ex boyfriend that recently told his friend that he “kept me around” because I “did everything for him.” Losing a couple years of my life so someone can get their laundry done and feet rubbed feels really crappy — and I find myself fantasizing about revenge. Is it ever worth it? How do I respect my own anger without letting it take over my life? All my Exes Live in Texas
Hey All My Exes Live in Texas, You’re bigger than I am! Honestly, if someone did me this dirty, I’d probably already have attempted to burn down their house. I can’t imagine how it must feel to find out someone you loved, trusted, and genuinely cared for at a time acted this misogynistic and cruel.
It’s particularly crappy to find out that someone shit-talked you when you weren’t there to defend yourself, and it’s crappiest of all to learn that the person who said it was perverting your genuine acts of kindness. I don’t blame you for fantasising about revenge. It’s seriously low behaviour on their part. Inexcusable.
That being said, I don’t know if retaliation will grant you the peace you need to move on. Maybe some part of you knows that – if you were hellbent on hurting him back, you wouldn’t have asked me. You’d just do whatever cruel thing you were fantasising about and leave it at that. And between you and me, Exes in Texas, I don’t blame you for feeling this way. This guy definitely deserves to be karmically punished.
But here’s my first question: how are your revenge fantasies ending? Is it safe to assume you’re imagining his reaction? Maybe after you emerge glorious, he’s begging for you to take him back, or cowering, or suddenly acting sweet, or just finally disappearing into the shadows. If you want any of these outcomes to actually come true, the best option is to leave that man the fuck alone.
I know that sucks to hear. Being the bigger person isn’t fun. But honestly, I don’t even really think you need to be mature about this to ‘win’. You just have to not feed the fire. The thing is, despite my Instagram username, I’m actually pretty anti-revenge. I learned how counterproductive revenge was the hard way. My favourite philosopher Miss Fiona Apple herself says it best: “Evil is a relay sport when the one who’s burned turns to pass the torch.”
By Faye Odesser