Good Wednesday to everyone!

This week we want to discuss the topic of should you tell about an affair.

What we’re referring to  here is the issue of telling the other betrayed spouse that their husband/wife is having an affair with your spouse.  Over the course of the last several months of doing this blog, we’ve encountered several instances where some of you have struggled with this dilemma.

Some people may believe that it is none of their business to tell and that it is the business of the other cheating spouse whether or not to disclose the affair to their betrayed spouse. It’s also a very hard thing to be the messenger for such traumatic and painful news.  Do you want that responsibility?

Others may believe that not only is it the proper thing to do to inform the other betrayed spouse, it is an obligation to inform them of the affair in some fashion if they have knowledge that the other BS does not know about it.  Often the right things to do are the hardest things to do, and being the bearer of bad news is no fun, but they have to be able to sleep at night.

So, here are some questions to consider for our discussion this week…

Should you tell about an affair?  Why or why not?

Is it even your business or responsibility to do so?

What are the risks of telling the other betrayed spouse about the affair?

What should the intent of telling the other BS be – to punish the cheater, to help the unsuspecting BS or something else?

What if the shoe were on the other foot…would you want to be told of your spouse’s affair?

Any of you who have gone through this, please share your story.  Why did you choose to tell or not to tell?  For those that told, what was the resulting ‘fallout’?

Please remember to reply to one another in the comment section.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

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    36 replies to "Discussion – Should You Tell About An Affair?"

    • SamIam

      As much as I wanted to blast the OW world to smithereens (just as she and my H had done to mine) I never considered telling her H. Somehow that would have given me a weird connection to him~ I connection I would never had expect for the indecent of the EA. A connection that I don’t want. In fact, since this is the way she operates and we know of at least one other EA of hers, I think her H may already know and he may/may not even care. I don’t care what happens in their marriage. And I want no connection to it.
      As far as being told ~ no! I think I had to find out in my own way. I am not sure I would have believed any one anyway. I would always wonder what was in it for them to tell me. Again, a weird connection I do not want or need in my life. My marriage is mine and my H’s and I really don’t need other people in it.
      Geeesch that almost sounded paranoid~ really I am just a totally private person……. not at all paranoid. 🙂

    • Recovering

      Should you tell about an affair? Why or why not?

      It really depends on the situation, but I really wish I would’ve told the OWs husband in the beginning. I think it would’ve really cemented my own sense of power and my belief in my husband when he ended the affair after I found out. If I had told, then there would be 2 sets of eyes watching the pair, or she would’ve been in her own mess with a divorce, but at least then I wouldn’t feel the burden of keeping a secret, which now I do….. and I hate it.

      Is it even your business or responsibility to do so?

      It is absolutely my business to tell the OWs husband because clearly SHE isn’t going to, and she has no right to lie to her husband the way they lied to me. I felt like a fool. I don’t think cheaters have a right to be protected. That is part of the fantasy, right? So once it is all out there for everone to see, it HAS to be over, or will at least be soon!! I didn’t invite the OW into my life, but since she was married, she is a package deal. It floored me that the OW was so shocked that I was calling HER after I found out about the affair! Why wouldn’t I? SHE knew he was married. My husband was a package – married!! Not some single guy with a crazy girlfriend, but a husband with a family and 2 dogs and a mortgage… a LIFE that SHE intruded on. Yes, my husband shouldn’t have strayed, but SHE shouldn’t have taken part either. She brought her package into my life without my permission, so brought her family with her. This didn’t happen in a bubble. Her family exists, and so does mine. I do feel a weird connection, and protection, for her family though since they don’t know. I don’t want them to hurt the way that I do and have for the last year – though the truth is the truth whether it is told or not.

      What are the risks of telling the other betrayed spouse about the affair?

      The risk for me of telling the OW’s husband is that he will become violent against my husband. For me that is really it. I am sure that my husband would be very angry with me if I tell, but that is something I am willing to face. He did what he did knowing full well that it could blow up in his face, even though he deluded himself that noone would ever find out. That whole secret mess… If her husband was so violent and crazy, then he shouldn’t have messed with her in the first place if he was so scared. So in this case I don’t want my husband to be attacked, but at the same time, I don’t feel that should be a burden I should bare.

      What should the intent of telling the other BS be – to punish the cheater, to help the unsuspecting BS or something else?

      I don’t think there is a “should” here for intent. I think it is all situational. I should have told in the beginning (I don’t know the OWs husband – found out all their info via internet in the weeks after the affair came to light), then I used the knowledge that he didn’t know against the OW to keep her away from my husband, and now am doing the same again. If she doesn’t stay away, I guess if I do tell it will be to punish AND to protect my own marriage. I don’t need or want her trying to weasel in on my husband again. No, I don’t think he would accept her advances… maybe at first… but they had this fantasy garbage, and I don’t want that fog to come back. Am not willing to risk it….

      For the record, I do NOT relish the idea of telling her husband. He probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, then would blame my husband same as I blame the OW, though I blame my husband just the same as her… And I don’t relish putting their children through what mine have been through the last 11 months. I have worked DAMN HARD to get where I am, and no family should have to go through this hell. I would be telling for a purpose of protecting MY family… not because I want to hurt hers… that was HER decision NOT mine… This shouldn’t be MY secret… another way the affair has tortured me…

      I would want to know!!!!

      What if the shoe were on the other foot…would you want to be told of your spouse’s affair?

      Any of you who have gone through this, please share your story. Why did you choose to tell or not to tell? For those that told, what was the resulting ‘fallout’?

    • Holding On

      I told. I heard that during the EA the OW had asked her husband for a divorce. (Not because of the EA of course, because my husband was “helping” her with her marriage. Hmmm, I think he sucks at marriage advice!!) I felt the husband had the right to know and if that knowledge helped in any divorce proceedings for him, I wanted him to have it. I suppose a little bit of revenge for the OW also. I wanted her to have some consequences whatever they may be. Not seen as the wife who had done no wrong in the marriage and placing all the blame on her husband during the divorce. Perhaps even winning custody of children with putting a bad light on him. (Not that he was perfect or anything, just wanted to even the playing field a little.)

      I don’t think there is a should or should not. I really shouldn’t have been involved with these 2 people at all. However, with my husbands choices, SHE was brought into our marriage. It changed the rules a bit.

      I sent the husband a FB messsage about 1 month after d-day. I just said that my husband had a internet/chat/email/phone relationship with his wife from this date to this. He didn’t respond back until a month or so later, but he seemed glad I shared that information. Shocked. But it seemed to explain a lot more to him why she might have asked for a divorce, etc. We exchanged a bit of information – phone/FB messages. He shared text photo info with me. We never have talked since.

      I didn’t tell my husband I was doing this until after. He was VERY upset. Told me I didn’t have a right to get involved with these people. They are strangers to me. Hahaha. That made me very angry as well. What right did he even have to say that to me??? What had HE done??? He was VERY worried for his safety and his life. He was very worried about the husband coming to our home and killing or harming him or us. He was very worried about having some public outing from the husband. This was when I realized it COULD have some serious risks. Affairs bring out lots of rage, hurt, anger, a need for revenge, etc. None of that happened in our situation, and actually, I was so messed up during that time, I even thought, well, if he comes to beat you up or shoot you, YOU DESERVE IT. Again, not kind or nice, but this EA made me lose a lot of kind and nice feelings. Trying to regain them…

      I told, because I would want to know. That is probably the bottom line. I wouldn’t want to be living a lie. I wouldn’t want to be in the dark and playing the fool in my marriage. I don’t want to be played by my husband.

      That said, would I love to not know and not have the pain of the last year? Oh yes! It has been a personal hell. It has been the worst trial of my life. I wonder if we, as a couple, will truly overcome this and move forward. I wonder if we have lost that “us” that we had. But I am dedicated to try to move forward and find a new us, a new marriage, a better place than the NOW we are in.

      I don’t know what happened to the other couple. I don’t really care. I’m not sure if they went through the divorce or somehow are still together working through the EA and other issues like we are. I don’t really care. But I did want him to “have all the cards” and not be left out in the dark.

      I don’t regret my choice and I would do it again. Probably sooner.

    • livingonafence

      I’m the opposite of SamIam. I told as soon as I found out who it was. My H wouldn’t tell me so I had to dig to find out. It took about a week. I knew it was an ex, but I didn’t know her last name. I told him the day I found out who she was, as that’s the day I also found out her last name and found her on FB.
      I told him because he had a right to know and it was obvious from FB (they were very public people) that he had no clue. All I remember thinking was that if he had been the one to find out I would want to know.
      At first, he didn’t believe me. She had told her H that my H was a gay man that she was friends with when she was younger and he had found her on FB. LIE!! They were boyfriend/girlfriend and when she got pregnant she tried to tell my H it was hers. They had broken up, and her sister actually fessed up to my H that the baby wasn’t his. Nice woman, huh? I told her H this and he told me that they knew who the father was because they had a DNA test done. Nice woman, huh? Anyway, I told my H this and the look on his face told me that in the 3 months the two of them were talking constantly, she never told him that. She was hoping there was still lingering doubt that maybe it was his and that he’d show up to finally meet his daughter. HA! He was never going near her. He has said from the beginning that if she had lived an hour away he never would have contacted her. She was a ‘safe’ choice. I have so many messages of her begging him to go see her for sex. He didn’t want that. He wanted to play the game.
      So back to telling. I’m on the side of TELL TELL TELL. That poor unsuspecting person on the other side is just like we were – they’re trusting, they’re believing the lies, they’re loving someone that isn’t loving them. It isn’t fair to that person to know and not let them know.
      I would be very unhappy if the other person had discovered it and not told me. It would be one more person now in on the dirty little secret that was destroying my world without my knowledge. Sure, I didn’t want to know this person. I didn’t want more in my life because of this mess that wasn’t my doing. But he didn’t deserve to be living a lie any more than I did.
      I got proof a few days later, when I hacked his GMail accoun and found all the “XXXXX sent you a message on FaceBook” emails, and the messages that were sent. I forwarded them all to him, most innocent, a few sexual, a few saying she loved him, a few songs she sent him, etc. He believed me then for sure. I don’t think the familiar “I wasn’t believed” story is confusing when you break it down. First, our spouses have told the AP that we’re all sorts of terrible things. So, the AP tells their BS that we’re crazy, etc. After all, that’s who we are to them. Second, no one wants to believe their spouse is cheating, so being told by some stranger seems unreal. When I first spoke to him, and he told me that my H was her gay friend, I responded by telling him about the baby lie. He immediately told me about the DNA test. He then said she never hid her friendship with my H, and I said it was more than friendship and that the text I first saw said “I want you inside me”. He said she never swore or talked like that and that it wasn’t believable, and that she had told him I was crazy and might do something like this. I responded by asking what on earth I stood to gain by saying this to him, a man almost 2000 miles away from me. He paused and said “nothing I guess” but he still struggled because, around him, she was polly purebred. I was describing a dirty talking whore begging for sex (including anal). It didn’t add up. He had no more doubts about my honesty or the true story after I forwarded her messages.
      I did find out a lot of ‘the other side of the story’ by telling as well. I found out things he had said about me and lies the two of them had concocted.
      I warned my H the night before I told that I was telling in the morning. He tried EVERYTHING to get me not to tell. He said it was something a Jerry Springer guest would do. He said it was trailer trash. He said I was going to make a fool of myself. He then said he was leaving me if I did this since he wanted no part of it (funny, since this was his doing). I didn’t budge. I wasn’t upset or angry. I calmly repeated “He has a right to know he’s being lied to and cheated on, just like I did.” I must have said it 50 times that night. About 10 minutes after him saying he was going to leave didn’t work, he said to go ahead and do what I wanted. He finally realized I couldn’t be shamed or bullied into not telling so he’d better back off.
      About 10 months later, just before DDay 2 when I discovered all the lies he had told me, he and I were going somewhere, and I can’t for the life of me remember how it came up, but he said something about me telling, in a tone that said he wasn’t happy I’d told. I snapped back immediately that the man had a right to know he was living with a whore just like I did and that I’d tell again in a second. He’s never mentioned it again, and I doubt he ever will.
      There’s another reason to tell, and that’s that there is another person watching. You have a very strong ally in this other person, even if you never speak again. That person is also on the lookout for additional contact. He/she is digging for details. If anything happens, you’ll be told. With someone watching on both ends, further contact is very difficult.
      I told my H I’d tell again in a second, and I would. I couldn’t imagine it if the AP’s BS had been the one to discover the truth and kept it from me. It would be like an additional betrayal.
      Like it or not, there is a connection between you and the other BS. Not talking to them doesn’t change that. I’m really of the opinion that not telling them is just like helping the AP cheat on them, because you’re keeping their dirty little secret for them.
      I realize not everyone feels this way. We all need to do what’s right for us. I understand that. I just can’t get past the idea of the other BS knowing and not telling me. I’d be crushed again.

      • Recovering

        I totally understand how you feel, and agree with you, though I don’t really think that not telling the OWs husband about her affair with my husband is like me helping them cheat. I am what ended ‘them’. I didn’t even know his name for a while after I found out, then was so ‘psycho’ for lack of a better word I didn’t know what I was doing – honestly don’t even remember much from those days because of the shock. My husband DID have me convinced that the OW’s husband would try to kill him, and I didn’t want that on me too, plus we had kids… I was a mess. I should’ve told as soon as I got his info, but that is 20/20 hindsight. At the time I could barely breathe much less think straight. Now I feel like he probably wouldn’t believe me because I only have dates and whatnot, not physical proof… my husband deleted the texts that I had forwarded to my phone from his… was all the proof I ever had… is why it took me a year to find out for sure after I started to suspect, and at that point they’d already been screwing around for a year already… Texts on corporate work phones and screwing in the back of her car don’t leave a lot of proof… Yes, I would’ve liked him to tell me had he discovered before I did.. now I just feel like he wouldn’t believe me anyway… am NOT helping them cheat though…

    • livingonafence

      Wow, that was long. In a nutshell:
      Yes, I think you should tell.
      1)If they don’t care, that’s not your concern. At least they know you care, and if further contact is attempted and they discover it, they may tell you.
      2) Most likely they don’t know. They’re being lied to as you were. They have a right to know, as you did.
      3) Have proof ready. It’s hard enough to accept your spouse is cheating, but when a strange tells you this, it’s nearly impossible. It’s your word against their loving, caring spouse, and their spouse is saying what they want to believe – that their marriage is strong and that they are completely faithful.
      4) Do NOT tell your spouse that you’re going to tell. They will tell you all sorts of reasons not to. You’ll hear that the other BS won’t care. You’ll hear you’re starting trouble for no reason. You’ll hear that you’re acting trashy and overdramatic. You’ll hear that the other BS is abusive and will beat the AP. You’ll hear all kinds of things to get you to keep their dirty secret. Don’t help them cheat!
      5) Remember when you tell – that deep hatred you feel towards the AP? Well, to the person you’re talking to, your spouse is that AP. It’s THEIR fault. THEY are the problem. So, don’t start attacking the AP personally with the other BS. It will turn into a match of which of your spouses is the bigger pig. Not productive and not the point. The point is to give the facts.
      6) Also remember, you’re breaking some horrible news to this person. Remember when you found out? You’re bringing that into someone’s life. As hard as it is, they do have a right to know that their marriage is a lie, at least at this point in time. You don’t need to walk on eggshells, but you should be aware of this. Be direct. Answer their questions if they have any. Be honest. Now isn’t the time to lie or go overboard on either party’s part in the A. If they can turn anything you say into a lie, YOU will be the bad guy that’s trying to break them up. Just tell them the truth and ask that they do the same. This isn’t a fictitious character you’re dealing with – it’s a BS just like you that is hearing the worst news they’ll ever hear. Act accordingly.

    • Anita

      This a true story about a family friend who’s husband ran off with the affair partner. The affair partners relationship
      didn’t last, however the 2 betrayed spouses a couple years later, ended up meeting one another and they fell in love and married each other, and still are happily married to this day.
      For myself, when my exhusband had his last affair, his
      affair partner was single with a boyfriend. There was no point in me going through the headache of finding him and
      letting him know about his so called girl friend.
      It wasn’t my job to let this boyfriend know, it was my exhusband’s job to remain faithful to me.
      Since my exhuband cheated more than once, I couldn’t
      go around contacting every woman’s husband or boyfriend
      as a aide to help keep my exhusband faithful.
      My exhusband’s infidelity was his problem, this was his
      own weakness that he didn’t control. We divorced because
      of his refusal to excersice self control, and I didn’t want
      to stay married to a man who wouldn’t control himself.
      So for me it was pointless to contact the other women’s
      spouse or boyfriend, they couldn’t help my exhusband’s
      problem.

    • CA

      I chose not to try to contact the OW’s H. I could have…knew enough of his information that I could have. I really did not want to expend the energy on such things when I had so much going on in my life and marriage. I did, however threaten her with this via e-mail when she called my husband’s desk phone three months after he told her he wanted NC with her anymore. When she called him, he told her again he didn’t want to talk to her…then he told me about the call. I told her if she had any further contact with my husband, I would share everything with her husband. All has been quiet since then. There is a part of me that wanted to make her life miserable but really I try not to think about her and it would certainly open some wounds and all the thoughts that go with it. If she ever tries to contact my H again, I will follow through. I do not make empty promises 🙂

      • Recovering

        CA,

        I didn’t initally set out to have the OWs husband not knowing as a tool, but am using it as such. I found out 2 weeks ago that a position opened up within my husband’s company that would be a big promotion for the OW (she left the company 2 months after I found out – a coincidence, as she had already had multiple interviews for the new job when I found out about the affair). Of course the OW’s old boss first thought of the OW for this position (they are friends, and this boss was told by the OW that my husband was why she was leaving… bullcrap!). Anyway, almost nobody knows… After 2 weeks of the wait and see garbage I couldn’t handle it anymore and contacted the OW via a new FB page that I started (she is blocked on the whole family’s FB pages) and told her what Greg suggested…’ I would prefer if you would stay away as much as you would prefer me to not tell your husband about the affair.’ I also told her that I had not told her husband because she HAD stayed away… that is all I said. If she comes back, it will only prove how selfish she really is. I WILL tell her husband then because I don’t deserve to be the only one in a constant state of panic… especially when NONE of this was my doing!! She’s not answered a day in her life for what she stole from me… if she comes back, she will!!

        • Anita

          Recovering,
          Your putting way to much energy into this other woman,
          Your allowing their past to steal your joy. Your husband
          was the one who hurt you, instead of focusing all your
          attention on this other woman, use it towards your marriage, the time you waste on this other woman is the
          time you could be making happy plans with your husband.
          Its your husband’s job to stay faithful to you.
          I

          • Anita

            Recovering,
            Is your husband giving you any kind of comfort or reassurance that he will not cheat on you again.
            Are you two in counseling?
            Your energy should be used for your marriage, and not
            all the fuss about the other woman. If she comes back,
            its your husband’s responsibility to ignore her, and remain
            faithful to you.

          • Teresa

            Anita..I don’t agree…Recovering has to do whatever makes her feel safe…and knowing that this OW, who had NO trouble having sex with a married man, while married herself, might possibly come back into a working relationship with HER H and would be seeing him everyday, will NOT make Recovering feel safe AT ALL!
            It’s not humanly possible to NOT worry about something starting backing up…yes, it IS her H’s responsibility to remember he has a wife and family….but he failed once, he can fail again…but actually, it’s NOT about her H at this point…it’s all about Recovering…and it’s up to HER to do what she feels is best for her to heal…everything I’ve read on EA recovery says there has to be NO CONTACT between the AP..and this includes a work environment!

            • Recovering

              Anita,

              You and Teresa are both right. It IS my husband’s responsibility to tell the bitch off if she comes back, and he says that he would, and that he would get another job (which would cost us monetarily dearly as well), but the thing is, I don’t REALLY know what he would do!! He did look for another job when this first happened, and even had an interview, but since she was alreay seemingly on her way out, I don’t think he really tried to get a new job. So I guess I am nervous that he wouldn’t really leave the company if she came back. As Teresa said, no contact is NO CONTACT. I have read on several sites that affairs are like an addiction and that any contact can respark an affair… while I don’t necessarily buy into this because I think that cheaters CHOSE to cheat, I am not willing to risk it! I don’t have enough experience in the field to really know, plus I NEVER thought it was possible that my husband could be such a disgusting pig to have an affair in the first place, and then with a married whore on top of that. So YES, it IS my husband’s responsibility, but I am NOT going to sit idly by and have crap happen to me again without at least trying my damnedest to stop it. A year sounds like a long time… it will be a year on June 10th since I found out, but they were screwing for 2 years… and I still feel like it was yesterday sometimes. I am trying to take a bit of control of my life, as much as I can anyway. I will NO LONGER let that lying cheating whore live a fantasy life of a marriage and kids and then get her dream job while I suffer and try to repair my marriage. I don’t want to hurt her husband – despite that being her choice, so I will do what I can on MY end to assure MY mental stability. I have even thought of leaving my husband if she returns to the work place because I just couldn’t handle the stress, regardless of what he says. Trust is NOT something that I have so much with him now because of what he did. I trusted him completely before this and he lied to my face… screwed her and would come home and tell me that I was the greatest wife ever… affair fog or not that is a total BASTARD move and it will take a lot more work before I trust him… and I will NEVER trust the whore.

            • Anita

              Recovering,
              I feel for you. Your in a tough spot, however I hope your
              husband puts you first, should this other woman return.
              Jobs come and go throughout our lifetime, and if she
              returns I hope for your sake he will get a job somewhere
              else. I agree if they work together again, it makes your
              recovery more difficult.
              My exhusband refused to leave his job also, and told me it
              was my problem. We divorced and within a couple weeks of me signing the divorce papers, him and his affair partner
              made they’re relationship public. They lasted about a year
              after our divorce, he ended up marrying another lady, who
              he met later, I get along with him and his current wife.
              My ex still works that same job, and as far as I know so
              does his former affair partner. However that’s all in the
              past now and I forgave both of them. I have a different life
              now.
              Recovering, I do understand, and my heart goes out to you.
              I hope your husband can reconize how painful this has
              been for you, and takes whatever measures to make sure
              he remains faithful.

            • Anita

              Teresa,
              I agree about the no contact. However should it happen, and I hope not for Recovering’s sake. Then it is up her husband to do his part, and stay away from this other
              woman.
              Even if this other woman tries to start up something again,
              and their are women like that. Recovering’s husband has
              to be the one who ignores and remains faithful.

    • Greg

      I definetly would have told the OM’s wife except I was the last to know. Everyone at their work and she new a month before me and she didn’t bother telling me even though she called and chewed out my wife. I may still tell he one day about his other affairs that I know of but I have a feeling that she does know about them as she didn’t trust him before this affair, she was always calling him during the day to see what he has doing. I guess if he ever tries something again I might do it but I think he is afraid of my wife at this point as once she was out of the fog she really told him off and to butt out of our lives.

    • Healing Mark

      Heck of a topic.

      Should you tell? Why or why not?

      Depends on many things, not surprisingly. I thought it better to have the ongoing threat of exposure out there to serve as a deterent to the AP continuing contact with my W. I understand that people are posting, and are likely to post, that the CS brought this on themselves and have little right to complain out a BS taking an action, affair disclosure to the other BS, that is going to be earthshattering for the other BS, their CS and their children, if any. But this is a huge deal to so many people, and I did not want to be responsible for hurting so many perhaps unsuspecting people, because you can say that it was the CS’s actions that are responsible for the hurt, but the reality is that the affair is the proverbial gas fumes brought to the marriage, and your disclosure is the spark that sets erverything on fire. That said, if the CS continues acting in ways damaging to me and my family, and has been warned of disclosure consequences in advance, then I would tell in a heartbeat and would hopefully have enough proof to keep me from looking like a jealous old fool.

      Your business or responsiblity to do so?

      No.

      Risks of telling?

      Besides the obvious ones, like getting your CS pissed at you and possibly leaving you, or physical harm resulting from an angry other BS, there were 2 risks that I did not want to take. First, there was the risk that the other BS decides to end the marriage and now the AP is free to openly pusue my W (wasn’t too likely, but a risk is a risk no matter how smail). Second, there was the risk that the other BS would chose to let anyone and everyone she could know what had happened between my W and the other BS’s H, and this would eventually filter back to my children. Neither my W nor I wanted my W’s mistakes becoming public knowledge, not so much because I did not like how the EA might make me look (which I did not like), but more because we really did not want our children to know, and felt that if too many other people knew about the EA and its dirty deeds, our ability to get past in and on with an improved marriage would be compromised, if not made impossible.

      What should the intent be of telling the other BS?

      Should be? I don’t know. Whatever the BS making the disclosure wants it to be. But if it is to hurt the AP, the disclosing BS needs to understand that more than just the AP is going to be hurt by the disclosure. Perhaps a more acceptable intent is one where disclosure is done as a means to protect the disclosing BS’s marriage, perhaps by hopefully facilitating the end of further contact between the CS and the AP. Again, I believe that the AP should at least be given an opportunity to end the affair prior to any disclosure, and if they do not …

      Would you want to be told of your spouse’s affair?

      Wow! Part of me would, and part of me would not. I guess, looking back, if the AP’s wife found out about her H’s EA with my W while the affair was still going on, I would want to know on what basis she had come to the conclusion that something was going on between our spouses. I wouldn’t have to believe her, but I could certainly then be on the lookout for signs that things were not as they should be, which my gut was screaming to me at the time anyway. Shoot, if the AP’s wife had approached me about the existence of an EA at the time one was occurring, I wouldn’t have known what the hell she was talking about. Emotional affair? I had no idea, other than my uncomfortablness at how close of a friendship my W was developing with another man, and how much of a B she was actiong towards me much of the time, often as an excuse to be alone and text and email the AP. However, as was the case with me, if the AP’s wife discovered the EA after it had been ended, I would NOT have wanted her to tell me, just as I wish I had never discovered it myself.

      Just as an aside, I believe that the AP’s wife knew something was up between our spouses, and tried to subtly warn me about it on a couple of occasions, but I don’t think she had any good evidence of real “bad” affair behavior, so she did not just come right out and say that an affair was in place. But I did appreciate the warning attempts as they did make me look closer at how my W was acting, did make me take steps to ensure that no more get togethers with our families take place, and eventually led me to suggest marriage counseling for me and my W. For all I know, the AP’s wife eventually found out like I did, and rather than tell me, she made sure that her H stopped, for the most part, communicating with my W, which is way better than just telling me what she had discovered. Of course, if she did know, she never confronted my W that I’m aware of, although it’s very strange that her contact with my W just suddenly stopped at a certain point in time, and has remained that way ever since. Very strange. Or maybe not.

    • Fighting

      I was contacted by my husbands mistress`s husband with a message on e-mail. She left her husband, but they found back together and she wanted to “confess” her wrongs so that they could start on a clean sheet…….

      And that she did, with lying. And of course my husband lied through his teeth as the relationship was exposed. We stayed in close contact pr. phone and put them up against each other. We informed each other about every little new detail and wow, did we have to. There was lying and lying and lying. Each time they were exposed and eventually the truth probably has come out. Or at least half of it. They are both compulsive liars, obviously.

      I am glad I was told even though it hurt as hell at the time.

    • Disappointed

      I did not tell the OW’s husband but I did send him a FB friend request when I got suspicious. He never responded. My H despises FB and when the OW suddenly disppeared from FB it was my first bad feeling. I think sometimes of contacting him. He would understand how I feel and maybe he got more truth from her than I have from my H. He says no PA but I dont believe that after finding an empty condom wrapper after H’s last business trip. I also feel a need to apologize to the OW’s H. I should have suspected sooner. I was so trusting… And I miss that in myself.

    • Monie

      A very difficult predicament! The OW and her family had been close friends for more than 8 years. Both my daughters had commented on how they disliked her (before D-Day) which was quite odd because she was always kind to them, on further questioning my youngest mentioned over hearing a phonecall, I pressed for a week and she finally told me what she heard, I fronted him and he said that he could not remember and it was probably misconstrued, something was not right, texts in the middle of the night, her at my house when I came home early one day, but the giveaway was when we a group of us attended an art show for my first exhibition of animal photography and he went skipping down her drive like a school boy, she was drunk before we even got there! A week later I found all the phone records late at night, I sent both my husband and the OW a text, you are liars, I have proof, wait till Len finds out (OW’s husband). I got no repsonse from either of them. As they only live 200 mtrs from our house (very convenient then but now very inconvenient) I drove up and waited for him to go to work at his usual time of 4.30am, she must have seen the lights as I saw her get up and look out the window and must have done some kind of amazing act to get him to stay in bed and not go to work. I left, come home and kicked my husband out after the kids went to school.
      My husband came home 4 days later to try and work on OUR marriage, during this time she contacted my husband on the home phone whilst my daughter was home, he told he wanted to work on his marriage and he wanted no contact. She sent me a text saying I was a drama queen, I replied telling her to leave us alone. She text me again and I did not want this, so I rang her husband and told him, he said he would be kind enough to teach my husband a lesson so he will not do this again to me, that we live in a small town and he will run in to my H sooner than later, he said that it was wrong of my H to take advantage of her when she was in such a depressed state, wow what about me! The OW’s H was in the army in South Africa when he was young and witnessed and committed some terrible atrocities and as such it has manifested into a violent and terrible rage that we have witnessed over the years. We never used to lock our doors, but now they are locked every night, I spend a lot of time outside at night on the verandah smoking whilst on the computer and I know that he is here, even the dog lets me know.
      I tried to let my husband have his sleep ins, I would take the girls to swimming or cycling training (get up at 3.30am) then to school for them, work for me and on weekends I would do the same. One arvo a week my H and OW would take girls dancing and they would swim together at the pool, and another they would swim together at the Masters swimming club, supposedly! I always included OW’s daughter (8-12 yrs durng the PA) who WAS a friend of my youngest in most everything we did (she slept over at least once a week) but all I was doing was making it easier for them to have their time together! DUMB DUMB DUMB, I was being so unselfish and thoughtful for my H and look were it got me.
      I received one more text from her the day I told her H asking why did I have to tell Len, I replied I told you on D-Day that I would, do not contact me, my husband or my family again, and she has not.
      I think that she watched too much Sex in the City and the like, they are multi millionaires, he works 16 hour days six days a week, she goes out for lunch, hair does and beautician appointments, has a cleaner and ironing lady, her 3 eldest (all in their twenties) have left home so she only has the little girl (now 13) at home. On the other hand my husband and I both work for ourselves, his work is seasonal, which means from April to September he only works every second week, and this is the time my work gets even more hectic, so convenient that I was too busy to notice for nearly 4 years!
      My regrets are:
      that I have is that I gave my friendship to someone, who over the later part of the years started to treat me badly by being mean, she was bored with her life and wanted a companion, she liked the life we had because her H was always working.
      that I had to delete her daughter from FB, she kept asking to come over, she kept kept messaging my daughter why they could not play anymore, she told other friends who then started posting mean things on FB. I had to ask a mutual friend to intervene, but had to tell her the reason why, now half our small town knows and I am very embarrased. We have alwasy been involved with the community in surf life savings, the local school and other sporting clubs but now we have withdrawn from all social activities here, it is sad in one way that we have become like hermits, but also we never needed anyone before this so we a rebuilding our lives again.
      My greatest worry is if Len (OW’s H) has had too much to drink one night and gets violent that it will be catastrophic, he does not need any weapons. Even thou this is a heavy weight over our shoulders, I think that it is better for both the families to be on the same page in regards to the PA/EA in our case. We are going thru the process of building a house, which hopefully will see us away from here before Xmas and help with rebuilding our marriage.

      Sorry maybe I should have put this were your story goes!

      • Teresa

        Wow Monie..what a mess! How are you and your H doing now? Does he regret everything he’s done…the lives he has destroyed, including the children who can’t even be friends anymore?
        I’m sure it will be wonderful to get moved to the new house…it CANNOT be easy living where you currently living!
        Please stay in touch, let us know how you’re doing!

        • monie

          Teresa, we are progressing, my husband is very remorseful and has been wonderfully supportive of me, I seem to have a day or two in a row every six weeks or so that I get sad, he helps me thru it. On these sad days if I work out of town I get a little paranoid and seem to be looking for signs in my H of hooking up again, but they are not there and my imagination seems to run wild until I breakkdown and cry (perhaps days later) then I feel awful cause I am doubting him and I know deep down he would not put us thru this hell again. In the fallout of the PA/EA my girls have struggled, especially the older one (17yrs & doing HSC) and now it seems like when my H and I are happy she feels jealous, she would be happy if we part company, but that is not going to happen. My H is really struggling with his anger towards both the girls, as before D-Day when he asked them to do a job for instance it was done, now they seem to bait him and have no respect which makes him even more angrier. After the last episode this week with his yelling and threat of physical abuse to the older one because of her tone and bad A** comments I have organised an appointment to get him into a anger management doctor and also get live blood taken for any deficiency in thyroid or hormones. This now is the road we are travelling along. He does not why his “wick” is so short, but he did say he passed the OW and her H that day riding bikes as he was driving and the OW’s H was riding straight towards my H’s car so this has probably something to do with it! I do remember that I had to ring the OW’s H sometime ago after he was doing threatening hand gestures whenever he passed us in the car because I did not want the girls to see that, now apparently he has taken 3 months leave so he is always home and I keep running into him at the grocery store, I really wish I had Dr Who’s tardis so I could put there whole family in it and send them back to their own country so we can have some peace! My H also did not have the best homelife, he does not know who his real father is, his mum was nearly strangled by his adopted dad until he intervenned then she moved away and left him with the adopted dad for a while. The adopted dad is father to his half brother and sister, his mum remarried a lovely guy not long after who is like a father to him and has given him another half brother. My H loves his girls and has always participated in their training of all sports, he now rides with them most days (because he wants them to be safe on the road – strangers etc,), and takes time off work to get them to events (which are weekends away and always a 5hr hike or more or sometimes a week interstate), He is very proud that they both have/are representing in triathlon/cycling/water polo and swimming state and nationally, thank goodness they only do road and velodrome cycling now. Basically every cent we have earnt over the last 9 years has gone into their sports, which is a good thing as they are both beautiful girls, with lots of sports friends but none at school (tall poppy syndrome) they are not out drinking/smoking or doing drugs! My youngest wants to catch up with the OW’s daughter in the next school holidays which could be difficult but we will cross that one when we get to it!

      • Recovering

        Your story is so sad – and unfortunately so common! It SUCKS! I wish you luck with the house and hope that things move along quicker than planned. You need to be able to get away from this woman and her husband if YOU are ever going to be able to heal for yourself. Living in fear isn’t something you should have to do – fear of the OW or the fear of her husband. Good luck!!

    • CBB

      I have been struggeling with that question for over a year now. Here is my dilema.
      1. it was “just an EA” cought very early in the process. Were is the proof when it is all reading between the lines and my H comments look alot worse then hers. (I think my H just got cought in this thing without thinking; she on the other hand just loved the attention of another man at her feet and was very carefull in her responce.
      2. I often still want to tell her H because ever sinds D-Day she turned into a bitch (we were friends, went on holiday together…) treating us like durt in puplic.(I on the other hand had kept it all to myself so she and my H could end this without loosing face.) I want this to stop!!!! I don’t want her to rule my world!!! She was already in our entourage and now she’s crowling up to my friends that didn’t even interest her in the first place. She has been very dangerous and I’m affraid that telling her H could blow up in my face.
      3. Why put her H and childeren through the same hell as mine!?! . They didn’t do anything wrong!
      4. I don’t know what she’s telling him or our friends as suddenly we are hardly talking to each other, no more holiday’s…. He must be wondering why???? I just want to set the record straight. It’s bad enough what she has done to me and my family, putting it all in my shoes makes me even more sick!!

    • Paula

      All situations are very different. I used to be very much in the camp of TELL TELL TELL. If I had a close friend in a marriage with a guy I KNEW (not suspected, or heard, but had solid proof) was cheating, I would tell her. I agree with many here about many of the points, even the one about having an “ally” if you are in the unfortunate position of not knowing if the contact has stopped. All CSs don’t want other people to know – if other people know (any other people, not just the OPs spouse) then they have to face the reality of the hideous behaviour they are engaging in – they really are doing a bad thing, and hurting people – when people don’t know, they pretend they are still the same good person they mostly think they are. Most kick and scream to avoid anyone knowing, and I believe there is real fear that physical harm could occur. In our case, the OW is single, and one of the more ridiculous things that came out of my ex’s mouth was that he was pleased she was single, because it meant he wasn’t hurting any other guy. I just stared at him, open-mouthed, and said, “oh, so you were more worried about hurting some fictitious, unknown man, than me – the supposed love-of-your-life, and our children?” Great! He knew it sounded terrible, but was just trying to explain yet another one of the stupid “justifications” he had made to himself whilst in the grip of the madness that is an affair. I now don’t know if I would tell – after the hell I have endured, I wonder if ignorance truly might be bliss??? I know that’s kinda kidding myself, as these things need to be dealt with, but we had a wonderful family, and a wonderful life, before they screwed with my head.

    • ataloss

      The OW’s H called me as soon as he found out. I did not believe him at first. I even laughed and told him that was a horrible joke. Of course, it was true. And while it was by far the most painful thing I have ever been through, I am glad that he called me. I am already angry that I was such a fool, and they knew they were getting away with this under our noses! Thank goodness it did not go on any longer than it did without my knowledge! At least now I know what I am dealing with! I am very grateful that he called me, whatever his reasons were (I suspect to ruin his life).

    • Teresa

      YES, I would tell in a heartbeat…these things usually come out over time anyway so why not just get it over with?
      My H was involved with the cow for 4 mos…and I was the last to know! Her H found out about 3 weeks before I did,,,and I SOOO wish he would have contacted me!
      I felt like a fool then and I still do! My H, the cow, my H’s two cousins ( best friends with the cow!) were all working together to keep it from me and the cows H…after her H found out and all hell broke loose, they were all talking back and forth, as the cows H was trying to find out just who my H was and why he was calling and texting HIS wife!
      And while all of this is going on, I’m busy making Christmas cookies, wrapping gifts, etc….the dumb, stupid trusting wife happy at home, planning Christmas for her wonderful H and kids….UGH!!
      So yes, I say TELL….because my H had NO intention of ever telling me, he was just going to let me go back to visit his family, knowing that he was betraying me, first with the cow, second, with the cousins knowing and helping him cover it up!
      Is it my responsibility? Who knows…but I didn’t ask to be part of this affair threesome so the AP have to take whatever I dish up!
      Would I tell the cows H out of revenge? Ohhhhh you bet I would! And I’d have no regrets AT ALL! As it is, the cow has contacted us twice since DDay …and I haven’t told her H…when she called in February she called from her work…which tells me her H must still be checking her cell phone….anyway, it was at that point I told my H that if she EVER contacts us again…all bets are OFF!
      I will let him know that after their DDay his cow of a wife contacted my H within 3 days, even after she promised him she wouldn’t …And that she’s also contacted us twice since then and I would contact her college age daughter as well…she’s a big girl, she should know that her mother is trying to destroy my family and hers….some days I feel like calling the cow and telling her that that’s what I’m going to do…SOME DAYS!!
      But really, I AM a nice person, and I don’t go out of my way to hurt people….but this Cow is not sorry at ALL for what she has done…even chastised me in the Feb. phone call that if I had been the right kind of wife to my H,then my H wouldn’t have needed her in his life!! So yes, it would be revenge…sweet and simple….

    • Battleborn

      Teresa, If the subject wasn’t so serious I’d say you are a riot! After reading your response all I could envision was you living on a ranch with nothing but cows all around you. :} Me, being from the west and a small “cow town,” believes the perfect revenge would a huge dump of the honey-wagon (liquid manure) on her front yard in sweltering summer heat. That would not be easily forgotten. No need for conversation with anyone – except the police, I’m sure. LOL

      • Teresa

        Battleborn…Thank you. I DO have a wicked sense of humor, if I’m out with friends and I’m a bit quiet, my friends start questioning me…wanting to know whats wrong, since I’m usually the one having the best time!
        After DDay, I stopped a lot of my activities with my friends since it was too difficult trying to act all happy and the life of the party, when inside I wanted to blurt it all out and have a giant pity party! Besides, I felt like such fake….and anyone that knows me, knows I’m black and white…no gray areas here! Lol!
        But since Dday it seems like I lost it for awhile…the anger and sadness has been so consuming, I couldn’t find the TRUE ME! It’s coming back…slowly, so again, thank you for noticing! Every now and then I go back and read some of my earlier posts, and I think, my gosh, I seem so angry, and then I remember…I AM angry! UGH!! I hate it! That’s not the real ME! I’ve always been one to forgive and forget…but this has been too much for me..I’m also now starting to ask questions about my H’s first EA from 23 yrs ago…back then, I don’t even think there was such a thing as an emotional affair! So now I’m starting to deal with pain from that also…Lovely, huh?

        Oh, and I forgot to add ..when you drop that load. …you forgot to put the COW smack dab in the middle!! LOL! : D

    • onmyway

      Being as I was the last to know I can’t say what I would have done for sure in regards to having let the other CS’s husband know. I MAY have, but I already knew the guy to have a police record, supposedly some abuse, yada , yada. I might have bought into the ‘he is a scary guy and will kill me and her’ had it been the other way around. ( Husband and AP worked together for 7 years, I knew the couple socially. Her MO in the affair was being the victim of a terrible marriage with my husband being her ‘rescuer’). Basically my husbands former AP and her husband are trashy and ignorant people making the fact that this is who my husband chose to have an affair with even more disgusting to me. That may sound harsh but it is the truth.

      The husband called me about 3 months after their relationship supposedly ended (and she quit working there). He had already found out about them (secret cell phone, reports that they were seen together) a month or so before they stopped contact with one another (again, supposedly) and called our house and I answered but he asked for my husband. I believed what my husband told me as I could tell there was something up while they were talking. That story was that he was just crazy and accusing all sorts of people at her work of supporting her in getting away from him. Duh on me 🙁

      So anyway, he called me in early November and told me all he knew and that he had the proof if I wanted it and of course I did. I met him the next day and his reasoning for telling me, even months after HE felt there had been no contact, was that it was not fair that my husband had gotten off scot free while he and his family were suffering (their young adult children knew also). So his motive was mostly revenge. I do believe that he was sincere when he said he was sorry for telling me as his intent wasn’t to hurt me only make me aware of what they had done so I could watch my back in the future. And he was right to have done so in my opinion. Had he not I would have never understood what was going on with our marriage as my husband had been pretty much nothing but oblivious or unkind to me in the months preceding due to his own shame and guilt. At least my finding out allowed me to adress the issues and we are now doing so together.

      Since then the AP’s husband has continued to stalk my husband at work for all these months (driving through the parking lot, a verbal confrontation) so obviously his telling me did not lift his burden. I hold that against him as it makes me worried about all of our safety. I can’t help but wonder if he got even angrier when he realized that I didn’t kick my husband to the curb after all this? He is not the brightest of fellows and I can see him not even recognizing his own actions for what they are.

    • justbecause

      I called the OW’s H the day after DD. (I am getting pretty good at this “affair lingo” : ). I was amazingly calm in my conversation with him. I had left him a message that his wife & my H were e-mailing & calling each other for the past 18 months. Imagine getting that message! He called me back. He admitted that he had had an affair at some point. It seemed his main objective was to keep the affair secret. He assured me that the contact would stop. I agreed not to tell others, if the OW would meet with me. At first she agreed to this and at the last moment backed out.

      Why did I tell? Revenge…you bet. To get more info…yes.I have since talked to her boss, an acquaintence and customer of mine. The OW had told her half truths. I clarified the situation for her. Also told her I had proof of e-mails sent while at work. She assured me she knew there was more to the story. We both also know OW left 1st H and young children for an affair with a client (she is a social worker). I’m glad I told.

      OW left phone message to my H the day after DDay that her H was not happy. He called her a liar. She said “that just being friends . . . said we were penpals” had gotten them into trouble. She said her H was on his way to our house. The OW had told my H that her husband was abusive. My H was “helping” her with this. Yeh right.

      The husband never showed. I think this message was a plant by the OW. She new I would check it and wanted to make it sound like everything was platonic. I know better. If everything was so innocent, why keep it a secret?

      I am now considering telling her 1st X of the affair.(She is on H #3). He is the father of her 3 children. Why?? Belittle her, scare her -what will I do next-, all bad reasons I’m sure but I am mad and hurt.

      Summation:
      Although every situation different, in general
      -Should u tell. Yes. Secrets don’t help anything. What lies will the CS be telling?
      -Your business…Yes. Your resonsibility…No
      -Everything has risks, must be weighed against the possible benefits.
      -My intent in telling was mostly, I admit , revenge. Also for truthfulness, information.
      -Would I want to be told…Definitely.

    • ocanas

      In my case, I thought about reaching the OM’s wife for a month after D-day. I had proof of all their exchanges as I broke into the OM’s fb and e-Mail accounts – one full sleepless night reading (in pain) everything – I’m amazed how creative and resourseful we can be when we are betrayed!.

      Then, like someone said before, I thought the OM’s wife had the right to know the same information, she was being cheated and it was not fair (in my mind) for me to keep the info to myself.

      At the beginning she did not believe me, then I sent her a few compromising examples of his side of the conversation. She then asked me for more info to confirm – the funny (and sad) part is that she kicked him out of the house after my first e-mail, even before I sent her additional proof.

      The OM was trying to reach my wife for her to defend him and tell his BS that those e-mails his wife was getting from me, we’re all lies!!!! – can you believe it! – the good part of this was that my CW got very disappointed by his lack of maturity (and balls).

      I don’t feel responsible for what happened to him, as I don’t blame him for the choices my wife did. He got the results of his actions. If he had a great marriage, he would be working to fix things with his wife now (as I am with my CW).

      Risks here were very small also, he has been a coward all his life, lives 3,000 miles away, has no money to come and hunt me. The big thing he did was block me from his tweeter feeds (which were extremely boring BTW).

    • Dave

      I used to think I really wanted to know if my wife had cheated on me when I caught her at my ex-best friends house. Over the years, it would come up and she would deny it. I never fully believed the lie, but we were happy for the most part. But then she told. We are anything but happy and I cannot stop obsessing. I think now, for a person like me, my wife should have taken her infidelity to her grave, because it feels as if it is going to haunt me until I go to mine.

      • Anita

        Hi Dave,
        Now that you know the truth, forgiving them will make you
        feel better. Forgiveness is for you, it removes the poison
        that unforgiveness brings.
        Healing takes time and with forgiveness there is no need
        to let this haunt you until you go to your grave.
        There is much more life to live, you can carry the over
        burdened past with you each day, or you can start fresh
        and enjoy each new day by leaving the past behind,
        That choice is yours.

        • Anita

          David,
          Each day we get to control our thoughts and actions, everyday is a new day, so we get to may the choice of
          going to our own pity party with unforgiveness, and look
          what they have done to me, and I can’t believe they would
          do that, and all the others as are guests. We can murmer and complain until the sun goes down, singing the blues.
          OR we can start each new day with, yesterday is gone,
          there’s nothing I can do to change the past, so I am going
          to enjoy today because it is a new day with new beginnings.
          We have that power that God gives us to enjoy our lives,
          thats why he asks us to forgive others, so we can enjoy
          each new day.
          God gives us our own free will, so we can either enjoy
          the life we have or be miserable.
          I choose Life!

    • Anita

      Dave,
      In the past I have attended many of my own pity parties,
      which left me tired and depressed and down on life. It
      got me nowhere. I had to make a choice to follow my faith in God, and do what the Bible tells us to do, or follow that same old path of destruction. It didn’t take me long to learn the difference. Now I know I can control my thoughts
      and actions, and I have a much happier life because I
      made the choice to follow God’s word.
      God gives us our own free will, I choose to follow him
      since he created me and knows whats best for me,
      and it works. My very Best to you Dave!

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