Man steals best friend's fiancé as an act of revenge


**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a friend, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

Grudges can be toxic. Stealing someone’s partner to get back at them is even worse. It goes beyond taking something that doesn’t belong to you and significantly impacts the people involved and the relationships around them.

That’s precisely what happened in the case of “Jeff” and “Bob.”

The two men had been best friends since they were little tykes. Their moms had come up together, so the boys had grown up side by side, attending the same schools and even sharing a few classes.

When they went off to college, Jeff started dating Jenny, Bob’s childhood crush. Bob was furious, and the two men stopped talking for months. But they eventually smoothed things over, like they always did.

Jeff’s relationship with Jenny lasted more than four years, and the two eventually got engaged. Bob was still hurt but put on a brave face and tucked his feelings away.

“Some grudges may be relatively short-lived, eventually getting resolved or simply fading away, while others can last a lifetime.” — Sarah Vanbuskirk, VeryWell Mind

As the wedding date approached, Jenny became increasingly distant. Jeff blew it off as pre-wedding jitters until Jenny confessed that she had been seeing another man.

She called the wedding off only days before they were set to walk down the aisle, leaving Jeff devasted. And when Jeff discovered that the other man was Bob, his best friend since childhood, he felt betrayed beyond belief.

A cruel act of revenge blindsided Jeff. His best friend had stolen his fiancee and broken his heart. The two men never reconciled, and their mothers’ friendship was destroyed in the wreckage.

Why does revenge feel rewarding?

It’s a question that has perplexed psychologists for decades. In my opinion, revenge feels good because it allows us to feel powerful when we feel helpless.

But what Jeff and Bob’s story shows us is that vengeance can have dire consequences, both immediate and long-term. The effects of acting out a revenge plot can ripple through entire communities, destroying relationships and leaving a wake of destruction in its path.

“The desire to “get back” at someone who has hurt you is not uncommon. Feeling hurt and betrayed can cause anger and urges to inflict the same type of pain on the person that has caused it. Controlling those urges can be difficult for some and revenge porn can offer what feels like the ultimate ability to hurt and embarrass someone.” — Kurt Smith, PsyD, LMFT, LPCC, AFC

At the moment, revenge might feel good, but that feeling rarely lasts for most people. Instead, it’s replaced by guilt, regret, and a sense of emptiness. So before you act on your impulse to seek revenge, ask yourself what the actual cost of your actions will be. It may not be worth it.

Ultimately, revenge can never truly undo the wrong that was done. It only has the power to create new wounds. The best option is to learn from our experiences and move on with greater understanding and compassion for ourselves and others.

Have you ever been tempted to exact revenge? How did you handle it? Share your story in the comments.

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Intimacy + Relationship-ing Coach | Writer. Helping singles & couples create healthy loving relationships.

Los Angeles County, CA

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