That Time I Wanted to Pull Her Hair Out

Redemption > Revenge
By Shelley Hendrix

I remember it like it was yesterday: I was pulling my car into the grocery store parking lot to pick up a few items for my young daughters and myself, lost in my thoughts. As I got out of the car, I spotted her. HER. The one who had the gall to come into my home. Into my marriage. Into my world. She took as her own what belonged to me.

“She” was “the other woman”.

Hatred came over me like an electric shock surging through every fiber of my being, and before I knew it, I was on her, screaming at her, clawing at her, and ripping her hair out by the roots. I felt empowered. Expressing my rage felt energizing, which was in complete opposition to the victimized weakness I had felt for so long.

What a rush! Hurting her physically made me feel like I had at least taken back some of the power she had robbed me of by taking over my life; robbing me of dreams I had for my future and the future of my family. It was as though I was watching myself rather than animating my own body’s actions.

Because I was.

It was only a dream.

I woke up in a sweat. My heart was pounding. My fists were clenched. Admittedly, I felt partly relieved and partly disappointed. It had only been a few weeks since the rug had been pulled out from under me with the words, “I don’t love you. I love her.”

That dream awoke something else in me. It awoke the awareness that within my own mind was a fierce beast known as “Anger.” Was my anger justifiable? Absolutely. But now I also had a decision to make: what would I do with this anger that I seemed to be able to suppress by day, but woke like a monster when my subconscious took over at night?

As Robert Frost wrote so eloquently in his poem, “The Road Not Taken,” I felt myself at a crossroads facing two unknown paths. Which one would I take? Would I take the seemingly broader, easier, more worn Road of Revenge in order to prove myself as unworthy of such wrongdoing and hurt? Would I choose the Road of Redemption that appeared at first to be the path of deeper pain, more hard work, and…ugh…forgiveness?

It has now been 15 years since I faced those two paths. I now have 15 years of memories made on the Road of Redemption and 15 years of seeing wounded spouses who have had to make that tough choice themselves; and I’ve observed how each path leads to a completely different destination. One leads to greater pain, and then healing. The other leads to anesthetized pain for a while, but then deep and infected wounds that impact their daily lives until they opt to allow their Heavenly Father and a few safe, trustworthy men and women to walk them through the healing process on the Road of Redemption.

Two paths.

Two choices.

Which one will you pick?

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost


otherwomanscrewhimYour Turn:

The upcoming movie The Other Woman (starring Cameron Diaz) recommends actually taking revenge against someone in an affair — not just dreaming about it.

Sadly, there are very real effects and risks — real reasons revenge is not a good idea.

But what do you think? How can we choose the better path of redemption and forgiveness — and why do you think it’s the better path?

Click here: Come tell us what you think and chat with Team Redeemed on Facebook!