A woman’s husband spends the night outside their matrimonial home without informing her in advance, she suspects that he may have slept in a hotel with another woman, it is more painful because she had no evidence to prove this. She confronts him in the morning when he returned home. The man vehemently denies any wrong doing and gives a very lame excuse, this is a bitter pill for the woman to swallow because it has become a regular occurrence. She resolves to pay him back.

A few days later she goes to her sister’s house and spends the night there without informing the man, she never contemplated cheating, her aim was simply to punish the man so he can experience the hurt she has to endure whenever he goes AWOL. On arrival at home the next morning the man confronts her, she initially refuses to explain, however, the situations gets out of hand, she mentions she was at her sister’s but the man believes it is an after thought designed to deceive him. It was later confirmed that the man was cheating but not with a woman, he is a chronic gambler, his late nights had nothing to do with other women. There is a stalemate, the relationship has broken down irreversibly.

Revenge or retaliation is a very common feature in most relationships. We sometimes feel the uncontrollable urge to pay back recalcitrant partners and spouses in their own coin when they hurt us. This attitude has the potential to serve as a deterrent or escalate minor issues. The man in the story above is extremely irresponsible and a complete failure in marriage for not coming clean, but the woman who is a faithful and good wife in an attempt to revenge or retaliate has also been branded a cheating wayward wife, a tag she may never be able to expunge from his mind and that of those who hear the story.

Some people actually cheat because their partner cheated or is suspected to be cheating, or do terrible things just because it’s been done to them. When you do this, you have become exactly what you condemn and destroyed your hard earned virtue and integrity; this is irreversible. The fact that it was done in an attempt to retaliate or teach your spouse a lesson is of no consequence and does not make it right. You may actually succeed to teach them the intended lesson, but you may have helped destroy the relationship and lost yourself and everything you stand for in the process.

Do not let anyone turn you into what you are not, letting a spouse or partner have such powers over you is a defeatist attitude. Your strength and identity lies in your character as a human being, that should never change except positively. If you have children, one upright parent can neutralise the bad behaviour of the other and give the children a good sense of direction. Children who come from families where both parents are considered wayward are doomed to a life of negative character profiling at the mere mention of their last names. It takes just one sane person to make a difference. That person can be you? – Sir Stanley Ekezie