Pat Benatar was right: Love is a battlefield.
Dating is tough enough — but breakups are excruciating. We’ve all got our methods for dealing with bruised egos and broken hearts. Some try to dig out of the rubble as fast as possible, dust off, and move on. Others wallow in sweatpants; eating Doritos and listening to Tom Waits until the pain subsides. But there’s also a third group: the avengers.
Here are the often hilarious (and sometimes heinous) things real people have done to settle the score with their exes.
“The breakup wasn’t going well, and he wasn’t letting me get back inside our old place to get my stuff. When I was finally allowed in, I instructed my new boyfriend to take a leak all over my ex’s razor and toothbrush. Which he did.” — Kim
“After we broke up I decided to sleep with his brother. He doesn’t know yet, but I’m hoping he’ll find out when the timing is just right.” — Sandy
“He was terrible, and I was furious, so I shredded his passport. If he wasn’t going anywhere with me, he wasn’t going anywhere. Period.” — Anne
“I didn’t think I had a problem with my ex until I ran into him at a New Year’s Eve party. I left the party before him, realized it was snowing, and decided to take his shoes (which he left near the front door) with me.” — Tori
“We had a lot of mutual friends. After we broke up I played the voicemail of him crying about wanting to get back together to a lot of our social circle.” — Ellie
Gifts that keep giving
“She cheated on me with my best friend, who unbeknownst to her has herpes. That was all the revenge I needed.” — Paul
“My girlfriend dropped out of school and was spending most of her time online instead of looking for a job. She told me she had met a friend online and was driving across the country to visit. I thought this would be a great way to lift her spirits and gave her money and my cellphone to help with the trip. A week later, I got an email letting me know that she was in love with this ‘friend,’ and that our relationship was over.” — Hayden
A lover scorned
“My wife had a very public affair in our small town while I was deployed overseas with the Army. When I got back and found out, we ended up getting divorced and she moved the other guy into what had been our home. Their relationship was rocky from day one (go figure) — and during one of their “splits,” he was out at a bar and hit on my best friend. She wasn’t particularly interested in him — but she did a great job making a show of his attempts to court her over the the next several months. It drove my ex absolutely insane. She looked like a fool, my bestie and I enjoyed the show, and that guy never knew what hit him. I almost feel sorry for the dude. Eh… or not.” — Jeremy
“He read, and then burned, my diary because it was filled with ‘lies about him.’ Everything in there was true.” — Sam
“My much older boyfriend cheated on me off and on for three years. After I finally got away from him and the relationship, he showed back up declaring his love for me, trying to buy me gifts, plan vacations… basically, his normal M.O. I wasn’t buying it, but it didn’t stop him from trying to win me back for close to a full year. Then, I got a message through Facebook from a woman even younger than me, saying she’d been with him for two years. She asked if he’d reached out to me during the time they’d been together. I was all too happy to tell her everything about his attempts to get back together with me. Her next message said she was packing her stuff and leaving his house… which she apparently had been living in. Karma: What a bitch.” — Amy
A picture is worth a thousand words
“I met a traveling musician at one of his gigs. We started a semi-long-distance relationship since he went on the road every few weeks. When I asked to travel with him he told me I couldn’t tag along since it took away his focus.
“A few years into the relationship, I hinted at marriage. He said he didn’t believe in it, so we moved in together instead. One day I wasn’t feeling well and went home early from work to discover my boyfriend at home. He was supposed to be traveling in Thailand, but said he came home early to surprise me. I didn’t believe him, so I started to follow him… and discovered he had a house with a wife and 6-year-old daughter. His ‘road trips’ were usually shows in small towns not very far away… I compiled a photo album of our three-year relationship and gifted it to his wife. She left him — and her brothers, who were in his band, kicked him out.” — Esther