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Is “Revenge Body” Thinking Healthy After a Divorce?

girls cycling at the gym

On paper, divorce is nothing more than the legal separation of a couple, but emotionally-speaking, a divorce is much more than that. Many divorcees end their marriages after suffering adultery, physical and mental abuse, or manipulation by their spouses, and all of this comes with emotional turmoil.

Dealing with the anger, the heartache, and the frustration that’s left after such a divorce is difficult, and some have turned to “revenge body” thinking to handle their emotions. However, is revenge body thinking a healthy way to cope with a split?

What Is Revenge Body Thinking?

Revenge body thinking is when a person pursues their “best-looking” self by spending more time, money, and energy on their looks than ever before. The goal of a revenge body is to make a past lover regret his or her decisions that resulted at the end of the relationship. For example, if a wife cheats on her husband, and they get divorced, the husband may pursue a “revenge body” to make the wife regret her unfaithfulness.

Someone pursuing a revenge body after a breakup may:

  • Go to the gym more than usual;
  • Habitually post progress pics on social media;
  • Obtain cosmetic surgery;
  • Gain a new interest in beauty products;
  • Buy new clothes that are stylish and expensive.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with the actions mentioned above, a person’s motives are what determines if these acts are healthy or unhealthy.

Revenge Body: Motive Matters

You can do the right thing, but if you do it for the wrong reasons, it can lead to inner emotional turmoil. There is nothing wrong with improving the quality of your physical appearance after a breakup, but it’s important to ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for?”

If you conclude that you want to be the best version of yourself, and therefore, you want to improve your physical appearance, that means you’re pursuing betterment through intrinsic motivation: this is healthy! However, if your primary goal in improving your physical appearance is to make an ex feel bad, you may want to reconsider your actions.

Reasons why making an ex feel bad shouldn’t be the primary goal in improving your appearance:

  • This gives your ex power over you, as his or her reaction is what’s driving your choices.
  • You may not get the reaction you want, causing further frustration and self-doubt.
  • You may miss out on other opportunities by focusing on the past.

We can conclude that, while the idea of a revenge body seems good, the motive behind the actions is what will determine the emotional health of the decision. We hope this blog post got you thinking about what you want to do and accomplish for your satisfaction!

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