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Dear Chump Lady, Do I tell his wife I was cheating with her husband?

Dear Chump Lady,

About four years ago, I received an out of the blue email from an old high school friend.
We got along so well as we caught up on our lives, that soon it was multiple times a day that we spoke, and we soon decided to see each other. We lived about 2 hours from each other, but saw each other as much as we could.

After a year we started what I thought was a real relationship, he was my best friend, and we had the most amazing chemistry, I quickly fell in love.

Looking back, I should have seem the signs, he didn’t keep contact with any one from our home town, and valued his “privacy” to the extreme, but always seemed to have “valid” reasons for this..

About a year ago, I found out in the most random way on my facebook page, that he also used, because he refused to have his own, that he was engaged to be married — to someone that wasn’t me.

I have never told anyone this, but I really think that I had a breakdown, I was so devastated that I could hardly function for months. I lost 25 lbs in a month, I couldn’t sleep. I was so heartbroken and confused, that I never told him what I found. He never said anything either, and we continued to see each other.

I hate myself for being so weak, and I am NOT making excuses, but we were so happy when we were together, that I almost let myself forget. Except for the hours and hours I spent trying to figure out the HOW and WHY of what he was doing.

It’s been a very long, hard road, but I am finally over this. I’ve said that a million times of course, but I can honestly say that I mean it now, and you can’t imagine how good it feels to be ready to start a new life.

But what do I do now? I am constantly torn on whether or not to tell his wife.

I wish to God that I had found out sooner. I wasted so much time and energy on this man, you have no idea. I feel that she deserves to know so that she can start to take control of her life too.

I keep searching in my gut to see if I would be doing it for the wrong reasons — And I don’t think so. This man has such a history of lying, it goes back to our high school days where he used to make up such detailed stories — half the class were constantly fearful that there were people coming to hurt him — and he had/has the personality that makes you love him, trust him, and willing to do anything for him. But even having this information, I stupidly and sadly lost life-long friends arguing that he had changed. Another thing I deeply regret.

Every morning that I wake up and dont miss him is the most incredibly freeing feeling, but
I feel so guilty for being a part of this, I know the devastating hurt that I felt, and I don’t want to bring that to anyone–but, again I WISH that I could have started my healing long before I did.

I don’t want to hurt her, and believe it or not, I’m not trying to hurt him — I just want be done.

Please advise me if I should find a way to tell her, and if yes, How??

D in VA

Dear D,

Yes you should tell her. If you read here much, you’ll see I almost always give that advice. People deserve the dignity to make an informed choice about their lives. She, the wife, doesn’t have that now. You helped steal that from her by letting the situation go from “he’s engaged” to she is his “wife” without a word from you. Nope, you stood by and enjoyed your “happiness” with him as the OW.

You did the “pick me” dance. Which, as we all know, isn’t happiness at all. It’s a desperate bid to be chosen. You were hurling kibbles at this guy, trying to show him “See? You’re HAPPY with me! See what we have!” You accepted the distance, you accepted less than his full attention, you kept his secrets. Why? Because of chemistry? Happiness? The guy made you miserable with the HOWs and the WHYs and the WTFs, according to you.

You don’t say how you put this all behind you, but I could guess that he might’ve ended it with you first? And now that it’s “over,” you feel bad and would like to tell the wife? Or perhaps you found your strength and ended it with him, and feel at some level that throwing that Molotov cocktail will end things permanently?

Please forgive me, I’m often suspect at the motives of OW. I tend not to believe motives are for the higher purpose of Doing the Right Thing by the wife. It’s rather a latter day concern for her welfare. I mean, you wish to God you’d found out sooner? What about his wife? She hasn’t found out at ALL.

Whatever your motives, if they’re pure or vengeful or you hope at some level that blowing up his marriage will free him up for you (slap yourself if that’s the case) — telling the wife is still the right thing to do.

Here’s how you do it. You call her up. You introduce yourself by name (your real name). And you tell her you’ve had an affair with her husband, and you’re terribly sorry. You send her some proof (emails, cell phone bills). And then you promise to answer her questions if she has any, but from this point forward will respect her enough to go absolutely no contact with her and her husband forever.

And then the next thing you do is get into some serious therapy. You work out your ability to spackle over something as monumental as his engagement and marriage to another woman — to the point you never MENTION it to him. Where did you learn that relationships require eating such shit sandwiches? Why did you not voice your anger and feelings betrayal? You were a chump when you found out about his engagement. After that point, you made a conscious decision to be an OW. You need to work out in therapy why you accepted so little from this jerk and at such a high personal cost of your integrity. Why you were okay with grabbing some crappy-grade “happiness” at the expense of his innocent wife.

This can be overcome. It’s good you feel awful about it all. (There’s a moral compass in there somewhere). Time to stop being gutless and tell her. That’s the first step. Next start doing the hard work on yourself. Good luck, D.

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.
  • Listen to CL

    Every word. And then, do as she suggests.

    It won’t be easy. But, you’ll feel better about yourself after.

    • Once this woman knew that her so called boyfriend was taking on a marriage and a wife but she continued to see this guy playing the deceitful game with behind the wife’s back was totally done to me by my husband he went with the company contractor the consultant that was coming to his office and took her on as his mistress for the whole entire marriage this woman knew that he was married she saw his ring she worked closely with them at the company where he worked she would come in there as a consultant and she was carrying on a romance knowing he had a wife knowing he was cheating on me and she was what was in it for her was trips money jewelry and she never once cared that he had a wife at home she was willing to steal this man right out from under my nose and she had the nerve to continue pretending she was his wife and going on all elaborate vacations and trips with him and totally destroyed me as a wife
      So let me ask this woman what did you think you were going to gain by sleeping around with someone else’s man did you honestly think you were the top number one in his life he was cheating on his girlfriend fiancé wife whatever she turned out to be and you were reaping the benefits of sex and everything behind this woman’s back why don’t you go find your own man it’s people like you that I can’t stand because you actually destroy the The wife how would you like it if your man that you were in love with that you wanted to marry with cheating on you look what happened to me I was totally destroyed by somebody that took on my husband and pretended it was her man and she used him for money six trips lavish jewelry and she kept this going for 17 years behind my back and my life was destroyed because of it and what I realize now is Karma is a B and you will find that out what comes around goes around what you did even if you feel guilty about it now what you did was totally unfair to the woman that was about to marry him

      • To cheated on wife. It sounds like we are talking about the same ho that was a consultant and was using my husband for status trips jewelry and money and she went everywhere with him pretending to be his wife. She was a thirsty ho that did not give AF about his wife it was what is in it for her and she was even wearing his jewelry on YouTube and a big diamond band. She thought she was really something special and carried on screwing him and probably freaky shot just to keep him. She wanted to have him and she was able to manipulate him and they carried on this secret f fest for years under my nose
        The ho even set up shop as a side not for profit organization right near our house. I am sure that was another avenue to get my husband to hide his money with her so they could plan heir future together. She is a big ho and I would say she was the company ho that had it all figured out how to screw other woman’s husbands for money sex and trips and jewelry
        This ho that continued with this woman’s man is no good and
        She needs to get her own man. Nobody wants some nasty ho climbing on their husband with that disgusting crotch on their husband but I would say men go with the ho that will do everything freaky in bed because they are desperate for money so they will put it out any way they can. It does not mean that the wife is not good in bed it just means that there is a manipulative ho usually at their place of employment that is willing to give the guy whatever he wants so he will leave his wife. Also it’s usually a big ho that is in and out like a consultant that cannot be suspected because she spends different hours at the job
        I found all the rapid fire emails between the ho and my husband. They pretended it was work related but she was writing to him and he’d respond rapid fire back to her. They were slick pretending to be talking professionally but you can tell they were two sleezes. Yes both of them were. I wish the ho never had a good day

  • D, please do what Tracy suggested. Looking back, I bet there were a few people who knew my ex was a prolific serial cheater but chose to “mind their own business.” A few people who have recently found out we were divorced because of his cheating have said, “I’m not surprised. She (me) deserves better. He always had a wandering eye.” You have no control over his wife’s reaction. She owns that. If she chooses to stay and you’re the bad guy, then so be it. Now she has all the information to make the choice that is right for her. But before you tell her, she is investing more and more of her heart into a disordered person. If she chooses to stay, then at least she is staying with eyes wide open. Good luck.

    • I meant to add a Maya Angelou quote that I live by:
      “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

    • I told his wife, they went to the police to try to files charges of hasasment. which later was dismissed. I have written a letter to him. He thought he use it against me but it backfire. He was force to tell his wife and the police of his cheating ways…Men use the system to hide their double life…his wife stay. Do i regret telling his wife after all this….NO….it my way of putting men like him in his place….

      • Love it. I love your reply the best. Bless you and sorry you had to go through that.

        Regards,

        Yvette

    • to the skanky other woman: Read the news
      If you watch the recent news we get a glimpse of what can happen when a mistress or ho worker gets involved with a married man. The ho worker can cause the innocent wife to be subjected to danger or worse from her narcissistic sociopath husband that got involved with his ho worker
      These women or ho workers need to think twice before they start dating a married man / someone elses’s husband ! You need to keep your legs crossed and start thinking about the harm you can cause by being involved with a married man. The wife and kids certainly don’t deserve to be
      Put in harms way because you are screwing that woman’s husband. Get your own man and have some respect. The married guy is always going to lie to you about how he hates his wife or how she does not give him sex or how he’s divorcing. All lies ! Don’t be a stupid jerk. Of course he married the woman he loves and you were just used as a side piece. You were good for something but not good enough to marry. Keep that in mind !

  • If the shoe were on the other foot would you want to know? If the answer is yes then tell her. She can do with information as she wishes. I wasn’t sure after reading your letter. Did the affair go on even after he got married? Just curious. Not judgemental.

    • Ugh – tell her already. Every stinkin day you withhold that information is a day you are stealing from her.

      Is it going to be tough? Of course, but she is an innocent. She is in contract with this dreadful man – legal, spiritual and societal. She is his wife.

      People still tell me they knew of my ex’s long term affair. They always preface the conversation with “I didn’t know what to say”. How about, your husband is fucking a coworker and you have a right to know.

      • The saddest thing I experienced was that one of my closest friends withheld information from me because she was afraid I would not believe her and she would loose my friendship. After my divorce was in process she said that years prior my ex had tried to come on to her. I won’t go into any details. I forgave her because she has issues that made her very afraid to loose my love, but it was hard. Especially hard to realize that she might have been right at the time, even though I don’t think that would have happened. He might very well have been able to convince me she was just making trouble for us and lying. He was very good at that shit.

        • That EXACT thing happened, but my friend told me. This happened a year before Dday. It killed our friendship at the time, because he gaslighted, I believed him. I tried to keep the friendship too, but she flipped her shit (rightfully so) and just couldn’t be anywhere near him. She’s the first one I went to when I found out. We are friends again. That’s the best part of this whole mess. I have my friend back!

    • Janet; another honest compassionate comment. Love it. Your the girl I would want on my side,

      Regards,

      Y in Florida

  • D in VA, yes please tell his wife so she can decide how she wants to live with honesty. Make sure you have irrefutable evidence to give her because the first thing the cheater will do is lie about it and he may easily convince her you are some vindictive woman he spurned trying to ruin their life. Don’t expect to get any kudos from his wife, she owes you nothing. You do this because you would want someone to tell you, because it’s the right thing to do.

    I know my ex screwed with his OW and lied to her so I have some sympathy for your pain. You fell in love with him before you knew you were an OW. It does sound like you did everything a chump would do, except the part about learning he was engaged and just pretending it wasn’t happening. I hope you will get therapy because you need to know why you continued after you found out he was engaged. I imagine your situation had much more nuance than we are hearing in your letter.

    I don’t know if I’ve linked to this before, IMO this blog post is one of the best things I’ve ever read regarding lying (and infidelity) – it really is well written and thought out:

    http://www.spectacle.org/0500/lies.html

    • Wow, I really liked that article. Put my feelings into words so perfectly. Thank you for posting that, Datdamwuf.

  • I find it very hard to believe people get this involved without checking the other person out first, it’s like they don’t so they’ll have plausible deniability later. The very first thing I do before even thinking about asking anyone out is check for red flags and ask around if they are dating someone, are engaged, married , separated, widowed or divorced.

    • did you do this kind of checking before you were chumped? I know I probably wouldn’t have because I just trusted people… though you’d think some of this super privacy would have raised some bigger red flags.

      All I know is in the future people are going to have to earn my trust, I don’t give it freely like I did in the past. So, yeah, I’ll check into them… and definitely early on before I’d feel attached to them and/or guilty for not trusting.

  • It’s not clear from the letter if the relationship ended before the guy actually married, or continued during his marriage.

    Personally, my gut instinct when OW/OM feel like they “need” to tell or warn the unsuspecting spouse about an affair, is the OW is hoping to blow the marriage apart and “win” back the cheater. If the OW/OM was a person who felt such a need to do right by others, she wouldn’t have kept on fucking the guy once she knew he was engaged to another.

    Before saying, yes, the wife should be told, I’d want to know when and how the OW and the guy ended their relationship. Did the guy firmly end it before his marriage? If so, there is some small possibility that he is at least attempting to be faithful to his wife, and in that case, I don’t see a reason to tell her such devastating news.

    If the OW ended the affair, it continued into the marriage, or the guy is still reaching out to make contact, then he’s just the typical cheater, and the wife should be warned, but not necessarily by the OW, who may have an agenda of her own.

    • I don’t know Glad… a 3-ish year long affair during which time this woman went from girlfriend to fiancee to wife? That’s fucked up. A guy like this might have some “good intentions” now that he’s officially married but I don’t think he can carry it out. Not after what he’s already pulled. And apparently he has a history of lying since high school.

      I think the sooner this woman knows who she’s dealing with, the better.

  • It seems a bit odd that now you suddenly have a conscience and feel the need to right a wrong when you obviously felt no desire to do so when you were cavorting with her fiance and knew he was going to marry her. I am with GIO on this, I suspect it is still not over for you and your motives are not pure. You were the OW and have difficulty in dealing with being chumped even though you had, unlike so many of us here, the evidence to get out earlier and save yourself any more wasted years.

    “but I feel so guilty for being a part of this, I know the devastating hurt that I felt, and I don’t want to bring that to anyone–but, again I WISH that I could have started my healing long before I did.”

    Hmmmmmmm this line…I don’t buy it, now maybe it’s because I truly believe that anyone with a sense of integrity and morals would run for hills before continuing to be involved with a man who was already in a relationship. If you had any integrity you should have blown this out of the water there and then and possibly saved that unfortunate ‘bride to be’ a lot of grief, but she is obviously till married to him – oblivious to all this or not, and that, I suspect, is your real problem.

    OW/OM don’t suddenly develop a set of morals overnight, real good honest people are born with them, they are ingrained.

    Tell her, and get therapy like CL said.

  • I know I’m not winning any friends here-and I expected that.
    I know that I have handled this in the worst possible way-

    I am in therapy, have been for a long time. I grew up in a home where my parents were both physically and emotionally abusive to each other, as many of us did, and Ive had a terribly hard time opening up to men. This guy was the first that I completely let down my guard with. When I discovered what he was doing, devestated doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt. And I know that doesn’t matter now because Im not the wife, but the only thing that kept me at all sane was trying to figure out how he was doing this. I watched him for any signs of the lies that I knew he was telling, convinced that if I “figured it out,” it wouldn’t hurt so bad, and before I knew it, I let things keep going on.
    No he has still never mentioned anything at all about this to me, yes they are married, and yes I ended it. I had tried to end things once before, and it lasted about a month before he got me to see him again-
    This time I have ended it for good, and no I would never ever take him back. The anger finally took over the awful pit in my stomach, and now it has finally turned in to nothing.
    To all the comments stating that I want to tell her for the wrong reasons, I get it, that is what I worried about myself, and I know that is not why…
    I know that she deserves to know, and do with it what she will.
    I am sure I sound like a horrible person, and I may be, please just know that its been a very long hard year, full of regrets, but I am trying to do the best with where I am now, which is why I am asking if telling her is the right thing.
    Do you commenters that obviously are angry with what I did, think that I shouldn’t, or are you just disagreeing for the sake of it?
    I really would like to know, as I do not take this decision lightly, and to jump ahead of comments, no I didnt take seeing a married man lightly either.
    Thanks, D

    • Tell her, tell her, tell her, ESPECIALLY if they don’t yet have children together. She will, as others have said, do what she can and must w/this info. But at least give her the chance NOT to have kids w/this guy and end up tied to him for the following 18 years!

        • Yes. She could think everything is fine…. And continue to have more children with him. The sooner the better! I had a similar situation. And that’s exactly what happened!

          • To make my story short, a married man took advantage of me, I wanted him to take a blood test for aids. He wouldn’t. 20 months later he came into my home and threaten me…which force me to tell him wife. 7 weeks later the police call, wanted to (talk) to me. I went to the police department, next day, they asked me 2 question then I was arrested for hasasment. which later was dismissed. I have written a letter, which he try to use against me, but it back fire. He was forced to tell his wife and the police he been cheating throughout their marriage. I waited and sat back letting things fall into places…I was lucky…his wife stay for some sick reason…if u don’t mind being arrested go for it….I don’t regret telling his wife..i did it to make him suffered, and if that means going through his wife, yes. Second I want put him and every man like him in his place…..in the trash.

    • D,

      From what I read, I think you did a totally crappy thing, and I think you feel bad about it. It took some courage to post on this site as an OW. Although I was always the wife or live-in girlfriend in my cheater scenario, like you, I did stay in an increasingly absurd situation with a man who I knew was not meeting my needs. We are not entirely different, you and I.

      Tell the wife, then drop it forever. Let this ugly situation be the place where you hit bottom and begin to rise up again.

      Good luck.

    • TELL HER!!! Do what the above poster said to make yourself safe, have proof. She may stay, but her eyes will be open that she is with a liar. Hopefully she will eventually leave.

      I love my babies, and this is my life, by my STBX started this in our first year of marriage. If someone had told me, I know I would have left. The only reason I even contemplated staying was because of my kids. I would have been gone. I would have been in my 20’s with six pack abs, not a 3 pregnancies 1 pack… 🙂

      I really hope you get help. I was just sobbing, holding my babies yesterday thinking how all this fucking woman get to go on with their lives haven’t been a part of destroying my children’s safety and home. I’ll be great, I’m rid of him. But for you to knowingly be a part of such a sick and selfish thing? Get help. Lives are leveled because of this shit. My brother in laws mom stayed with her serial cheater. that woman is an alcoholic crazy woman who has lost all contact with her children. It RUINS LIVES!!!

    • D, can I ask you: did you tell your therapist what you discovered, and if so did you therapist say clearly and unequivocally WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS WRONG WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS A HUGE MISTAKE WHAT YOU ARE DOING WILL BRING YOU A WORLD OF PAIN – or anything even vaguely like that?

      There is a lot of enabling going on out there under the guise of ‘unconditional positive regard’ client centred BS in my opinion.

    • D, you are not a bad person, your early years of examples, were not positive ones. I too came from the same household as you did, growing up. And my pain with men, has been an ongoing part of my, even to this day at the age of 41. No one can say what they would do or how they would handle a situation unless they have gone through the same thing, and have the same background as we do. We are not terrible people, we are not horrible women, we made a mistake and want to get past it. It takes a very strong person to admit a mistake, especially one of this nature. And when you admit it, is when you begin to become a healthier person and you are growing internally. I understand how he convinced you of things, men if this stature, are so good at it. It’s like a distorted gift they have acquired over the years at someone else’s expense. I told the wife, several times, and she stayed with him. And I’m sure he made me look as if I was crazy, but I wasn’t. Only blind. They are still married, and he still reaches out sometimes to me, but I have blocked him all together. I believe some women know deep down who they are married to, but refuse to SEE it. Bc if you see it, then you have to do something about it. I don’t know what the answer for you is, BUT, I believe, in time, he will get his, things always have a way of coming back to bite us in the ass. Hopefully, his bites hard! Forgive yourself, and move on. You are a beautiful person and sole, we all deserve to be loved and happy. Even, when we make mistakes. Believe in you, I do. S

      • Stephanie, u told the wife..ur lucky I was arrested for hassasment but later dismissed. I have written a letter to him, he try to use that against me to filed charges. But in the end it back fires which he was force to tell his wife and the police he cheats throughout their marriage. Do I regret telling his wife after all this ,,,,HELL NO!!! like him he planned to take advantage of me, I too planned to take back my life…I just wait and sat back and let things fall into place….I put him in his place….in the trash…

  • D, there are a lot of questions you need answers to before you do anything. Is his wife old enough, and stable enough, to handle the grenade you are going to lob into her life? Do you have proof? Do you have witnesses willing to back you up? How are you going to tell her? Do not put anything in writing!!! Try to meet her in a neutral place. Never, and I repeat never, go into her house even if she invites you. If possible take someone with you even if they remain some distance away. Can you tell I had a job that dealt with legal issues? How old are you? How old are they? If he really is that much of a liar, and a manipulator, you may be dealing with a sociopath. You say he has lied for years. That is one of the hallmarks of a sociopath. They can be dangerous. Take your time. Do some homework. You can’t stuff words back in your mouth so you need to be 100% sure before you do anything. Remember that you will be changing this woman’s future. It may be that she will see his true colors. I have a couple of more questions. Did he tell you he loved you? Did he tell you why he married her? Do you believe what he told you? If I was his wife I would question your motives and probably not believe you but I would become much more aware of his little lies. Then I might be able to see the truth. Go slowly. Be careful. Good luck.

    • Yes, a million times to Thewatcher. This man definitely sounds like a sociopath, and your description of how you felt and how you’re feeling now sound like what the victim of a sociopaths “love” feels like. Dazed, disoriented, not knowing which way is up or down, even his ability to suck you back in when you knew it was wrong. It’s a total mind f** being with one of these people (to put it mildly). My newest therapist finally identified my STBX’s behavior as being that of a sociopath. In fact, he said he was the worst case he’s ever heard of. Thewatcher is also correct that you need to be cautious because of the sociopaths rage–do you have that gut feeling of being scared of him? Google info on identifying and dealing with dating a sociopath. I find it helped me tremendously to identify what I was dealing with, helped me turn off my feelings faster, and scared the HELL out of me. A lot of my future therapy will be dealing with how l allowed myself to stay in a situation for so long I just knew wasn’t healthy for me. I found out my STBX told his affair partners he and I were separated in order to start relationships with them, all the time being Husband of the Year to my face. He WILL cheat on his wife again. Multiple times. She deserves to know. But yes, gather your evidence to show her because he WILL convince her it’s not true. Even if she doesn’t believe you at first, eventually she WILL see the REAL him after you pull back the curtain for her. Good luck.

      • D,
        these are valid points, you may be in danger from the guy if you tell his wife, so do take precautions. She deserves to know but you do need to consider your own safety. And so, again – rock solid evidence is required or the doing this deed, or it may be a complete waste of time and put you at risk for nothing.

      • Im so sorry for what happened to you. It sounds like you are healing though,and I am so glad. Thank you for talking to me without judgement.
        I have read about sociopaths, and I cant say for sure, he probably is to a point. He has that personality that everyone loves him, he “seems” like the most genuine person you could ever want to know. Its still amazing to know that he is the exact opposite of that.

        I wish you the best in getting past this

    • Where to start?

      Yes, she is old enough, they are both 40, and sadly I am not far behind.
      Old enough to have known better, I know.

      Before I found this out, I trusted him beyond a doubt, in everything. I have seen little snaps of anger that I think may have scared others, but I was never afraid of him…hes usually gentle to a fault.

      I have a lot of proof, this was going on for years, but I still dont know how to tell her. I am not sure how a phone call would go, as CL advised
      why do you say not to put anything in writing?

      thank you for the advice, I really appreciate all that have looked at this with an open mind…

  • Ok “D” …. I wonder why you feel as tho you need to be the” good samaritan ” ?
    I say DON”T get involved.
    A) I doubt she will believe you.
    B) He will HATE you for doing so.
    C) He will make YOU the crazed obcesessed , jilted woman, who can’t accept that IT is over.
    Cut your ties to all this shit.Let it go.
    Live & Learn.
    Let HER find out in her own way.
    Take care and love yourself… I know it hurts, it WILL be better.

    • A) That’s up to her. At least she will have the truth. She deserves the dignity of that.
      B) Who gives a fuck? He’s a disordered piece of shit, cake eating cheater. Who didn’t give a fuck about his wife’s feelings or D’s. D shouldn’t care about his opinion of her one whit.
      C) Again, who gives a shit what his narrative is? That’s why evidence is important.

      Don’t get involved? She IS involved. She was involved with a married man, it’s very much her business, having been in their business. I stand by my advice. Tell, give evidence, be compassionate, answer questions, and then NC for everyone, forever. And get professional help.

  • Anything in writing is permanent. If you have texts or emails send copies and keep the originals. The Chumps have been in her shoes and they wish they had known. I am sure my brother did. You just have to use common sense. Since all three of you are old enough she may already suspect, and I will bet you aren’t the only affair he has had while with her. I just want you to be careful with your own safety. Can you have enough distance so that once you let her know you can get on with your life? If you think that he will be vindictive in any way at all just move on and hope his poor wife is ok.

  • D, listen to Chump Lady. 999 of 1000 chumps say it’s The Right Thing To Do (now). Move along.

    Egads, fellow chumps, this OW’s epic struggle to understand and validate her own ‘motivation’ for telling is not our skein to untangle. Don’t take the bait!

  • Had a moment, this weekend, of wanting to warn somebody about my narc ex and his cheating ways. The ex made ‘reconciling’ noises, invited me to lunch, clarified it would be a date. I refused, of course, but felt like warning the OW that he was trying to cheat on her, since I had assumed she also was a chump, that he had lied to her about the status of our relationship when they met.

    So I asked the ex about this; he said that she had known he was married, and hit on him anyway (he would never take the initiative in a relationship, too big a coward). Apparently, ‘she understands, because her marriage ended in a similar way,’ w/her having an EA. (These idiots will tell you anything, because they see absolutely nothing wrong with any of it. No moral compass at all!)

    So nah, won’t be warning her. Oh, and I looked at his credit card records today (haven’t done that in months, on the road to ‘meh’), and he’s been taking somebody out for expensive meals. Not me, for sure, probably not her, because she lives in another city and usually only comes on weekends. Karma bus, incoming!!

    And I get to go back to No Contact (issues w/kids these past few weeks led us to speak), having had confirmation, yet again, that they suck SO badly!

    • I am in a similar situation. I was duped by a man who was engaged while dating me. I really want to tell her as they are getting married in 2 months. Feel this is the only way for me to get closure.

        • I just saw this! I did send his wife a letter about two months ago. It was very hard to know what to tell her, in four years, there was SO much that I could have told her about, but I didn’t know how much was too much or too little. I never heard a word from her, so I don’t know if she ever received it. I wonder if I should try again, but I don’t want to hound her as I told her that I would never contact them again.
          I had changed my # and blocked all his emails, deleted my facebook, so I have no idea what is going on.
          Chump Lady- should I send another letter, to be sure, or let it go?.
          Personally, Im fine with either, but if you think I should try again for her sake, I will.
          Also, I havent made this public news in our home town, he and I come from a very small town, and Im not sure if that would end up hurting her more, as much as I sometimes want everyone to know what a shit he is.
          But I know that once it is out, its out and there is no taking it back…
          As always, interested in any input.
          Hubavanana- what did you end up doing??? How are you?

          • I also sent an I letter to wife because I wanted her to know before she invested any more time into it. Told he main details of my involvement and how he was texting me on his wedding day. He went crazy and attempted to get a restraining order against me based on lies, but I had text message to prove he was lying on his accusations and it was dismissed. Thankfully I saved them

      • Hubavana,

        Did you tell her? I was dating a man on and off for 3 years and found out he was dating, engaged and married someone without me knowing.

  • i heard so much about this spell caster robinsonbuckler@yahoo com so i used his spell and after 3 days my boyfriend reconciled with me without a waist of time

  • I read this letter from ‘D’ and it makes me want to sleep in my own vomit. So fucking pathetic what women will do to be with a man it makes me sorry for my own gender. Bullshitting and dazzling all over themselves because some guy pays them a little attention. Never mind it’s someone’s husband. Never mind I might be fucking with little kids lives.
    Annoying details.
    Are we supposed to even remotely care about these snivelers where the Karma Bus showed up before they even backed out of the driveway?
    PPfft.

  • I am more in the lines of dont get involved or tell anything to the wife.

    First off its not up to you to tell, and clearly you dont give a rats ass about his wife cause if you did, you would have cut ties with this man as soon as you found out about his marital/ fiance status. Secondly you could have told her before she got married to this asshole and spared her the pain. You want to tell her now because you want her to share your missery and ruin the fantacy world she has that you once had. Third, she eighther already knows or will know in the future cause a cheater always a cheater and she will find out when he is fucking someone else’s life up.

    The only thing you gotta do. Is close this chapter and keep your life and reputation intact so that when you meet the next person in your life you arent known as the town whore and you dont have some angry ex-wife stalking you and making your life a living hell by badmouthing your deeds or in some cases even threatening to kill you.

    So this situation sucks, yes I agree but now its time to close the chapter and do whats best for you for once in your life

  • I agree with Anna Christina. Your relationship is over-with, and you were able to get away. His wife likely knows what kind of man he is by now… He will definitely do it again.

    Extreme violence against ex-girlfriends and wives/Ex’s is in the thousands per year in the U.S. Safety is the #1 thing, and don’t forget that. People can give advice on here easily, but they are not in the exact situation with the exact people you are dealing with. Guilt and emotions will make us react without thinking clearly… Take care of yourself now, and move on to the healing phase. I’m sure your self-esteem is at an all time low, so work on that with all your energy. (my advice only)

  • I agree with you telling her. She deserves to know and do what she will with the information and get through her marriage with her eyes open

  • I agree with telling her the truth. Walk away and find your peace. If he could do that to both you and her then feel lucky that you are able to spare yourself from additional years of pain. Tell her so that she also has the information to walk with knowledge and truth. I was in a similar situation though this man lived with me during what I thought was a separation and had me convinced that I was a bad person if I doubted it. After all he lived in my house, spent family time together, went on trips, he paid bills and so on. I too was once separated with no possibility of reconciliation so who was I to judge? He was finalizing things and keeping their communication about their children. I did not seek out to fall for this man and avoided him at every turn but nonetheless things didn’t stay that way. Well after two years of this man being in my life I learned that he is a very sick man that allows drugs and women to control his behavior and a master manipulator and I’ve tried ending it oh so many times. This last time I put him out and I’ve cut communication. She contacted me. She and I have talked and I’ve told her the truth, we were both misled. I don’t know if she will have him back and I don’t care but now at least we are both wiser for it all. Sadly I doubt he will ever do right by anyone but I know I deserve so much better and I pray she feels the same one day.

    • wow, I was so close to letting my “separated” partner into my home and life. And after our 10 mth relationship suddenly ended I was completely heart broken. He ended it and went back to the wife he told me he had been miserable with for YEARS.
      Now I am starting to heal and wonder if I was just really lucky.

      This asshole made a pact with me we would divorce our ex-s and be together. So I went through with my divorce and he never, just kept stringing me along that it would happen very soon. My divorce was god awful and cost me my entire savings. Had I not been so rushed, I may have gotten through it amicably.

      I am very tempted to tell the wife, I think she has no idea he is a cheater, he’s very an excellent liar.

      • Same story here: I got involved with a man who told me he was separated and finalizing his divorce. He swore up and down that his marriage was beyond repair. Then he told me he was having second thoughts, so we parted ways. After a month of consideration, I told his wife about our affair. I forwarded the emails he wrote assuring me that I was not coming between them – that they were both miserable, and the marriage was done. He also wrote some fairly nasty things about her – I debated whether to edit them out because they seemed gratuitously painful, but I decided that she should know who she’s married to. I promised no further contact, and kept that promise. A year later, they are still together. I am SURE I made the right decision. It’s easy for me to say, “I wouldn’t have gotten involved if I’d known the truth about his marriage.” It’s harder to her to say, “I know the truth, and I am staying with this person.” I figure it proves that the right people in this story are married to each other, for better or for worse (and I’m better off being done with it).

        • Lisabee – I’m only 1 week since our breakup and the no contact is killing me. But I keep reading it’s the right thing to do, to get past it. Of course my head keeps telling me that what if he comes back? (the love of my life yada yada).
          I have drafted several letters to the wife to tell her, but am really unsure about sending it. I know he cheated on her several times before we met (while apparently married). I really want to sink his boat, but maybe they do deserve each other.
          Did you write an email or how did you deliver it to her? did you disclose your identity to her?

  • Should the wife be told if the affair (2.5 years with colleague/ good friend) has finished and husband is trying to make an effort with the wife? OK he also cheated with prostitutes on 2 separate occasions just before affair started & also before they were married. He’s had a VERY colourful past – cheated on every partner, swingers, dogging, adult work, engaged 5 times, married twice (said he cheated on first wife almost each month of 7 years together). Been with wife 2 7 years, cheated after 3.5. Wife does know OW and maybe about to start work at place where Ow & husband work! Should she be told?

  • A married man took advantage of me about 3 years ago. It started with, we live in the same building. I kind of know his wife and went to high school with his sis-in-law. We seen each other throughout 20 plus years never spoken to each other until 3 years ago. I never see this until is was over, he was using me, played me. He pretended to be my friend just to get cheap sex. It just happen one time, I asked for a blood test for aids, he wouldn’t. 20 months later he came into my home and threaten me which force me to tell his wife. She didn’t believe me, calling me a liar. 7 weeks later I received a call from the police, wanting to talk to me. I went to the police department, they asked me 2 question, then I was arrested for hassasment. which was later dismissed. He kept a letter which I have written to him, he thought he could use it against me with charges but it back fire, which force him to tell his wife and the police he’s been cheating throughout the marriage…In the end I have the last words which I told him I would…To this day his wife is still with him. She is blind to everything. When he threaten me that when I decided to talk to other people in my building. Many people knew his cheating ways but some not. I wish I knew instead wasted 3 years of my life…It kills me every day thinking he did this to me…I thought he was a friend, but friend do not do that to another friend. He wanted more, something I can not give to him….he took something away from me, something I will never get back…something I have to live with the rest of my life. I’m in therapy now. I’m not 100% but getting there. In the end his wife knows his cheating ways throughout their marriage….He cheating with a woman named Cecilia for the past 9 years.. I don’t think his wife knows. He support her with rents and everything..Do i regret telling his wife, NO. I wish to tell her more…I wanted to put him and every man like him in his place…thanks for listening..

    • I feel the same.. afraid he’d figure out its me who told his wife. Then again, based on the trail I found of his activities online by his various user name searches, there is no way I’m the only woman he’s done this to. He sold himself as single, willing to relocate, no children, etc. I hadn’t planned to tell his wife early on, I didn’t want that on me (yes I realize that sounds selfish), the potential outcome to the family. But the more research I did, the more sites I found him on, the I realized he’s just a scumbag. And because once I was that wife who found out her husband was cheating, the more I considered that she should know. He lives in a different state, in fact one that he’d have to get on an airplane to have any retribution on me should he think its me. And my goal is to find a way to give her the information, anonymously. This might protect my safety, and give her some idea of what her husband is up to…although as many have said, she may put it all together eventually and realize she saw the signs. I know I did when it happened to me and I should have called him on it when I first started noticing the odd behavior… but like most OW, I let it go, I fell for him. She deserves to know. They have a beautiful little girl (I finally found him on Facebook) and sometimes I wonder what he’d think if his little girl came home one day crying about the man that was married that broke her heart…just like her father has done Im sure to more than one woman beside myself.

  • Yes, she should know. On some level, she may already. Sadly, some of these men have tried to extricate themselves from marriages before the affairs. After an unsuccessful attempt to leave, an affair is an almost guaranteed result..

  • Never tell the wife. Leave him alone. I made that mistake and we spent thousands of dollars in a legal battle bease him and his wife ganged up against me and he harassed my family and all my friends who he didn’t even know as we met online. Worst decision of my life was telling his wife. I absolutely loved that man and he turned into a psycho the minute he felt he might lose his family. Four years of my life was wasted on what I thought was true love and all his lies telling me he would find a way for us to be happy together and even proposing to me has left me broken hearted. Just save yourself even more heart ache and possible legal actions and walk away without a trace!

  • It takes two to tango. As much as its the fault of the woman for being a mistress, its just as wrong for the husband for cheating, especially if he has children! Should the wife know that her husband has been cheating? Yes. Will she believe it, probably not, if the news came from the other ow. Will the husband know the information came from you/mistress if sent anonymously? Yes. If the marriage breaks up, will he come running to you? absolutely not! Married men get away with cheating by blaming their wives, mistresses, and everything else instead of themselves.

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