03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Does Revenge Cheating Ever Work?

The phenomenon of revenge cheating was also recently parodied in the late-night television battle between comedienne Sarah Silverman and her talk-show host boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel. While Silverman "admitted" to an affair with actor Matt Damon in a music video on Kimmel's show, Kimmel later fired his own comedic salvo by presenting a star-studded production centered around his supposed tryst with actor Ben Affleck.

But in most cases, retaliatory infidelity is no laughing matter. And relationship experts agree that revenge cheating usually does much more harm to a relationship than good.

"There are no studies that I know of in this area," said William J. Doherty, director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota. "But my impression is that tit-for-tat affairs are not uncommon in conflicted, volatile relationships where spouses punish each other in a variety of ways, such as hitting, spending sprees, destroying each other's property, moving out, and affairs."

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And for old time's sake:

And Jimmy's response:

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