Cheating, revenge and the aftermath

Music videos glorify women who smash their cheating partners’ most-prized possession – his car. Keysha Cole in Trust and Believe Me, Jazmine Sullivan’s Bust Your Windows, Beyonce in Hold Up and Angela Bassett, who is seen blowing up her man’s car in the Not Gon’ Cry (Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack).

Last week, former finance and home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba was on the receiving end when a G-Wagon in his care was allegedly destroyed by his current wife Norma Gigaba. The viral video shows the expensive vehicle being written on it the word cheater. It is not the first time that Malusi had been accused of cheating. He allegedly cheated on his first wife, Thabong Gigaba, with Norma.

Then, a few years ago, a video of the politician fondling himself – which is believed he sent to another woman – also went viral. But Norma stuck with her man. A British poll by Autoglass Company found that three in every five people seek revenge when they find out their partners were cheating. And that 10% of women who get angry target their guy’s car. The survey also suggests that more women than men seek revenge and ages range between 22- to 35-year-olds.

“Of those who decide to get even, 22- to 25-year-olds are the most likely to smash a car windshield. Those in the 19- to 21-year-old age group said they would damage the paintwork, while 31- to 35-year-olds were more inclined to sell the car to make a little profit for themselves,” found the poll. “After the age of 50, spouses who had been cheated on were more likely to give the cheater the silent treatment and simultaneously spend as much money as possible.”

Autoglass managing director Nigel Doggett told The Independent that as the car seems to be one of the prime targets for getting even, the poll should serve as a warning to anyone thinking of straying.

Relationship experts say this type of revenge may be a means to restore balance and fairness in the mind of the aggrieved. But the feeling of relief is only temporary. Several women on Divorced.moms. com wrote of their own crazy episodes and warned that the proper thing to do when finding out your partner has cheated is to breathe and take a walk before losing your mind.

The legal consequences of destroying a partner’s assets is apparently not worth the effort. Some also reported feeling regret after the act. Social media commentators suggested that Norma may have gone crazy as her man’s side-chick is said to be pregnant with twins. Malusi’s first wife took to social media after the video went viral, throwing shade at her former husband and the woman who destroyed her marriage.

She posted a picture of herself captioned: “Karma has no menu. You get what you deserve.” Dr Willard Harley writes in his self-help book – His Needs, Her Needs – that most women feel physical pain when cheating is exposed. “They feel ill, off-balance, unwell, crazy and sick to their stomachs. Most women can only relax with total transparency, openness and honesty from their intimate partner because they can feel half truths in their body,” he says. Harley notes that men who cheat often have a hard time giving up a mistress and often go back to her even when they promise not to.

“Even if the guy has shown again and again that he is unreliable and sometimes even dangerous to himself, his wife and kids [like allegedly Tiger Woods and Jesse James did, according to several mistresses, potentially exposing their wives and unborn children to diseases by having unprotected sex], the women still often convince themselves that they are more physically safe and secure with a man than without. They will choose to sacrifice the emotional security instead.”

Most surveys predict that affairs that end up in marriage don’t see the end of five years. But this is not the exception as sometimes your current partner is not your true match and your cheating partner may be.

Experience shapes behaviour

Doctor Eve often speaks of relationship trauma stemming from childhood experiences, stating that we learn how to respond from primary caregivers who moulded our capacity for intimate relationships.

“Acknowledge your own crazy. Spend time self-reflecting and owning what kind of attachment story is yours. Integrate mindfulness into your daily practice. Relationships are tough, require toughness. Excessive drugs/ alcohol use, excessive porn/internet use are harmful to the brain. They add trauma to your life. Once your brain is still, you are able to think and be more realistic about yourself, your partner/s and your relationship expectations,” says Dr Eve.


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