There’s an article going around right now entitled “Sometimes I Get Really Annoyed That My Exes Haven’t Just Freaking Died.” I thought maybe this was an isolated example and everyone would be all “lady, that is not a very healthy perspective” (it would be a sassy response, because they prefaced it with “lady”) but the most liked response is:
I don’t wish any of mine dead, but I wouldn’t mind if they went into massive debt and were never able to get erections again and had ball pain anytime they thought about sex.
And there’s this:
I mean, first of all, don’t physically assault someone. Don’t do it. Don’t do it, ever. Please don’t do this. Please, please, please do not do this. It’s not cute. It’s not “brave.” It’s not funny. PLEASE DON’T DO THIS.
However, I think people who actually carry out their revenge fantasies are a vast minority.
That said, I think there are going to be some men who read this post and think that these women need to stop hating their exes because it’s bad for their exes. With the exception of a small minority of women who carry their fantasies into reality (DON’T) these are the same men who think that, if you reject them for hitting on you, you need to give them a full explanation (this is why I always reply “I am engaged to the Prince of Spain!”). Unless you are actually going to kill your ex – and don’t, you’ll go to jail – I do not think your revenge fantasies are bad for your ex. I do not think you need to prioritize making men feel good all the time. I do think that hating your ex is bad for you.
And I know this, because God knows there have been exes I have hated.
And nothing good has ever come from it. My revenge fantasies never killed any of my exes. They gave a few gout, sure, but I think that was more “spellcraft” than “fantasies” and that’s a whole different topic.
The fantasies though, those have never done anything but waste huge amounts of my time. During that time, I could have been doing things to make my life better. But I didn’t. Because I was busy sitting in bed thinking about ways I could yell at people and make them feel ashamed of themselves. There is nothing to be gained by having long-winded imaginary conversations in your head with someone about how they are a horrible person. Those fantasies will not change your situation. They will not change your ex’s situation. All they will do is stop you from getting productive stuff done.
I would say that having those fantasies is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die, but that seems more like a one-off. That just seems like someone who is poorly informed and made a bad decision. This seems like drinking poison for weeks or months at a time, not feeling any better, but telling all your friends that you are drinking poison and them being like “yeah, me too! Admirable!” and generally, just being a poisonholic, so that, by the end, you’re not even quite sure why you were drinking it to begin with. Except now you have wasted a huge chunk of your life and spent it feeling awful. I guess that’s a bit too wordy to needlepoint onto a throw-pillow, but you see what I mean.
And, maybe this sounds corny, but I believe every one of us has important stuff to do. At least, more important stuff to do than sitting around thinking about people we don’t like.
I’m not going to say anything is a better use of your time than fantasizing about your ex’s death – because, for instance, trying to remove your eyeball with a melon baller would be worse use of time – but almost anything would be a better use of your time. Learning all the state capitals and rattling them off for strangers would be a better use of your time. So would planning your wedding to the Prince of Spain. So would dressing up dead mice in tiny Victorian costumes and arranging them in whimsical dioramas. Also, things normal people do. Almost anything.
So how do you stop having revenge fantasies?