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Dear Chump Lady, To Tell or Not to Tell

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Dear Chump Lady,

I have been thinking about telling the other person that her husband has been cheating on her with my wife — should I or shouldn’t  I?

My wife just told me, and now doesn’t want to lose me, said it was only once which is B.S.

Signed,

Mason

 

Dear Mason,

Yes Mason, you should tell the other betrayed spouse. This is pretty standard advice on infidelity sites. Usually exposure is recommended because it’s this great arrow in your quiver to End the Affair. It’s supposed to make it get all real and uncomfortable for the cheaters and usually has the effect of the cheating husband publicly rejecting your wife (otherwise known as “throwing her under the bus”), where you know, she comes back to you. And then you ride flying unicorns into the sunset of reconciliation.

But Mason, you didn’t come to the usual infidelity sites, you came to me, Chump Lady. My reason that you should tell the other betrayed spouse is that it is the FUCKING RIGHT THING TO DO. As a human being, as a fellow infidelity chump, as someone who has a soul — TELL HER. Wouldn’t you want to know? You should practice the Golden Rule. This woman doesn’t know the truth about her own life. That her husband is betraying her with your wife.

Maybe part of your wants to shield your wife from the wrath of that betrayed woman. Not. Your. Job. Your wife fucked another woman’s husband. Those consequences (being hit with a threaded pipe, being snubbed at the kid’s soccer game, having “slut” written in Round-Up across your front lawn) are hers.

That betrayed wife needs to hear the news from you. Kindly, with compassion. Offer her what evidence you have, if she wants it. Offer her your phone number if she’d like to talk. But let her take the lead. She may blow you off. There is a risk of that, but once you’ve done the informing, you have to let go of the outcome. She might stay with her douchebag cheater — that’s her choice. But at least it will be an INFORMED choice.

As for your wife — it was only once? Do you believe that? And she doesn’t want to lose you. Ye-ah. She should have thought of that during that (cough) one night stand. She wants cake.

I’m sorry Mason. It’s a crap position to be in. At least you KNOW your spouse cheated on you. Which is more information  to make an informed decision with than that unfortunate betrayed woman has.

Do the right thing and tell.

 

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Tell. Just tell. My STBX’s OW remains ‘really angry and upset’ that I told her live in boyfriend she was banging my husband. Oh well, boo fucking hoo. Actions=consequences.

    The wife needs to know so that she can make decisions for her life based on REALITY, not the fantasy world the poor woman is currently occupying.

    As far as what you should do? Leave. Or kick her out. Either way, bail now, before you go through this again. If someone can cross that line once they can cross it again. It will hurt and it will suck and it will be painful and ugly at times. But do it anyway. The shortterm pain is preferable to the longterm torture.

    Trust me, I’ve been through this. I thought it was ‘just that once’ as well. Turns out he’d never not cheated.

    Good luck.

  • Oh man, what is it with ‘she/he doesn’t want to lose me’? Yeah, after the fact! The remorseful spouse bit really bothers me. Like, married people don’t quite understand the rules when they get married, but after

    a) confessing – because ‘OMG the guilt, I felt so guilty! (no, they were self-protecting, beating someone else to the punch to score points) I am horrified, disgusted at myself!!!

    *Now* I realize how much I have loved you all along, you have always meant the world to me (now that I think of it, geez, silly me) and OMG I really don’t deserve this precious gift of R .. but yeah, I’ll TAKE IT if you’re giving it, I’m no dummy! Cuz, hey – I had my cake and ate it too and made a fool of me and a fool of you, and here’s a helping of sweet ICING! But, woe’s me, I don’t deserve it/you, but YEAH I’LL TAKE IT cuz YOU’RE GIVING IT)

    b) getting busted, suddenly they finally understand the rules – don’t fuck other people. Not once, not twice, not every Friday on your lunch/fake meeting, not whenever you can, not whenever you feel like. Just NOT. Ever! It’s not like we haven’t had – what, a millenium? – to know how marriage works.

    Ugh, somebody stop me.

  • Absolutely tell. A no brainer.

    I had to make two of these contacts (there were other “other men,” but I either couldn’t figure out their exact identity or knew them and wanted nothing to do with them and their families).

    Here is one of the emails I sent, with names changed of course:

    “Jane,

    I am so very sorry to have to tell you that your husband, Douche Bag, had a long affair with a woman named Skankette Jones. Skankette was my wife at the time. They started the affair when Douche was Skankette’s supervisor at ABC Co. in approximately 2000 and continued it for many years. I apologize for not writing sooner. I was under the mistaken belief that you and Douche had divorced. It was only by chance that I learned recently that you are still married.

    Skankette finally admitted the affair to me in 2009, claiming it had ended after only two or three years, but I divorced her that year because she wouldn’t stop cheating with other men. The affair between Skankette and Douche was also confirmed to me in 2009 by Skankette’s then-business partners at Unicorns, Inc., Sue Williams and Kim Johnson. They indicated the affair likely lasted several years longer than Skankette admitted. Skankette now goes by Skankette McMonster (her maiden name) as well as Skankette Asshat (she recently married another man she had an affair with after he agreed to leave his wife and small children in California).

    From what Skankette said during our attempted reconciliation, it was my understanding that she was not Douche’s only affair. Skankette admitted to me that Douche was not her only affair. Skankette also acknowledged that she and Douche had unprotected sex. All to say, you should get yourself tested for STDs as soon as possible.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Perhaps you already know about the affair and have worked through it with your husband. If so, I apologize for possibly opening old wounds. But I couldn’t assume that you knew or that Douche had become a different person. It’s terrible to hear that your spouse has betrayed you, but it’s more terrible to not know the truth about your life.

    Whether or not you are able to work things out as a couple, the pain of infidelity at first feels unbearable. I found this website incredibly helpful during that difficult time: survivinginfidelity.com. Everyone there is in the same awful boat. They understood my situation when no one else did.

    Again, I am truly sorry that I had to be the bearer of this sad news. You have a right to know everything I know about these events, but I don’t want to burden you with more information than you want to hear. If you want to know more, just let me know.

    Roger Jones
    Email Address
    Cell Phone No.”

    Of course, if chumplady.com had existed back then, I would have told her to head here as well!

  • My take:
    Not your relationship. Not your business. There’s only one reason why you want to get in touch – to get even with the person who shagged your other half.

    Here’s the reality – You had a contract with your other half. That’s the only contract that concerns you.

    But – it’s a free world, do what you wish, contact whomever.

    Personally, I can’t be bothered. For me, the only relationship that concerns me is mine, and that ends the moment my significant other cheats on me.

    • My take: we all have a moral obligation to aid one another. Keeping this from the other betrayed person is immoral.

  • I searched the shithead’s wife out that my X was cheating with when I got back from overseas. This pissed my cheating ex-wife and her shithead BF off ROYALY as it was all fun n games til everybody found out!! My X begged me not to talk to her. Said she was crazy and all kinds of nasty things about her. I found her and walked right up to her door with my kids in tow. She looked really distraught and wanted to know who the f’ I was. I told her I was the husband of the wife that her shithead husband was currently living with. I thought she would faint! She thought he was living with his brother and they were trying to work it out. We exchanged numbers and became trauma partners, friends, then really good friends, then more. Talk about some good BOOM BOOM, both trying like hell to impress each other and validate our own sexual selves!! We’d hang out all the time and answer each other’s phones when the cheaters would call to talk. I’d tell him that she can’t talk right now because her mouth is full, stuff like that. Most of the times we were just joking, but sometimes not!! Talk about silence on the other end of the line!! But unfortunately, she and I were on different levels of healing at different times and she just couldn’t hang around my kids or me and not think of my X and all the shit we both went through and we broke it off.
    So, definately tell the other person and be their friend!! You have a lot in common, it will help you both, and think of all the fun you can have screwing with their heads! Of course don’t admit to any hanky-panky while you’re still married, even though the marriage is just waiting on the divorce, that could cost you the moral high ground in court!
    The top of the cake is my X now tries to tell everybody that it’s my fault our marriage ended because I messed around with her BF’s wife. Anybody know what disorder that is or just plain CRAZY??

  • I’ll be contacting soon the fiancé of my wife’s one night stand. He was a friend before and after the one night stand. “Just friends” now, despite further opportunities to cheat with him.

    Yeah. This would be the one night stand who she still chats and talks to with inappropriate texts and frequent references to “their night” and teasing imagery and innuendo.

    “Oh, I’ve always been a terrible flirt …” she explained. Thinking back, I actually KNEW that and I “worked around it.” Talk about a red flag of having loose boundaries. I was a pure chump.

    Her main AP I know little about. Dunno if he’s even married. A social media black hole. But I know where he works and have more than a dozen ways to contact everyone he knows at work, also vendors and so on … because my cheater is contracted to work with this asshole, where they have been literally counting down the days until they meet again, this time at a conference in Hong Kong.

    And by the time they hit the sack, I have a feeling his employer is gonna want to talk to him about why he embarrassed the Co. so publically. Bummer, I guess.

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