Will Karma Catch Up With A Cheating Spouse?

I often hear from faithful spouses who really want for their cheating spouse and the other person involved to have to “pay” for being unfaithful.  They are understandably resentful that they are dealing with all of this anger and pain while it seems that the people who did the actual cheating remain unscathed.

They might say something like, “normally, I am honestly not a vengeful person.  I try to allow things to just roll off of me.  I don’t see any benefit in carrying around a lot of anger.  However, since I found out that my husband was cheating on me, I’m having a MUCH more difficult time with that. I find myself wanting revenge sometimes, actually.  And I really hate that because it just isn’t me.  At first, I really wanted for my husband to hurt in the way that I was hurting. So I would literally go out of my way to say and do mean things to him.  But then I realized that I was hurting myself just as much as I was hurting him, so I decided that I would let the universe take care of this.  I totally believe in karma, at least most of the time.  But as I watch my husband and I keep track of the other woman, neither seem to have suffered any.  My husband and I are trying to save our marriage, mostly because of our children. Right before he cheated, he got a huge promotion at work and it was like he was walking on air and everything that he touched turned to gold.  I know that this is going to sound petty, but part of me wants something bad to happen at work to bring him down a peg or two.  I know that this is kind of silly because his success means more money for our family. But I feel as if his increased social status contributed to his cheating.  Meanwhile, I sort of stalk the other woman on facebook, and her charmed life seems to have gone on flawlessly.   Her husband appears to still adore her and she just went on a wonderful trip where it appears that she had the time of her life.  When does karma kick in?  I want to trust that it is going to.  But it seems that both people who cheated continue to lead charmed lives.”

I believe in karma.  But here is something that I learned about it after my own husband’s affair.  To truly have relief from the belief in karma, you have to believe in it and then truly let it go.  When you are sitting there laying in wait and watching for the karma to take hold, this is not all that different from you trying to hurt your husband yourself.  Why? Because you’re still actively involved.  You are watching and waiting because you haven’t just placed your trust in the universe and then moved on. You’re not living your life or trying to make things better, since you’re so focused on retribution.

Also, we don’t get a say in how this whole process works.  We don’t know when or how it might happen, and we can’t always trust the things that we see.  Facebook is not a reliable barometer of how someone’s life is going.  People are always going to photoshop the pictures and edit the posts to make it look like they are living wonderful lives when this isn’t always the case.  You can’t possibly know if this woman and her husband fought during her recent trip or went into debt to fund it.  You are only seeing what she wants you to see.  You don’t know if she is in emotional distress within herself or her marriage.

Likewise, you can’t possibly know your husband’s thoughts.  Sure, he may appear to be have it all together and it may look as if he’s killing it at work.  But do you know what he thinks about when he’s alone in the shower?  Or if he has bad dreams?  Or if he is deeply ashamed?  These things could be happening without your knowing it.

I know that it might seem like this is easy for me to say, but based on my own experiences after my own husband’s affair, (which you can read more about here: http://surviving-the-affair.com,) I came to believe that wishing bad karma on someone else potentially reflects bad karma right back to you.  My grandmother used to say that when you wished harm on someone else, you might as well brace yourself because that harm was coming your way as well.  I know that your husband and the other woman potentially deserve the bad karma because of their infidelity.  And I believe that the universe is just.  But I also believe that by focusing on these negative thoughts, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.  When I did this, it just made me feel worse about my life and about my situation.  After many starts and stops, I found that the best revenge on the other woman was to simply maintain my family life and to be happy.  I decided that she would not destroy or take what I had.  I also have come to believe that my husband did suffer, even if he did not always share this or appear to do so.  He had to work very hard to rebuild the trust.  He had to be the bad guy in our marriage for quite some time and he never complained. He made a mistake and he was willing to pay for it, so I decided that I would allow the universe to deal with the rest.  Besides, any misfortune heaped on my husband would ultimately be my own misfortune as well, since our lives are so closely related.  Now that I’ve healed, I honestly don’t want my husband harmed or hurt.  I just want us both to be happy and to move on.  As for the other woman, I have no idea if karma caught up to her.  I decided long ago that the most healthy thing that I could do was to stop obsessing over her.  So yes, I believe that karma does come around, but I also believe that it does so without my needing to think about it.  I worry about my own healing and my own life and I leave the rest alone.


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