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Dear Chump Lady, I want the satisfaction of a confrontation

Dear Chump Lady,

My wife finally admitted that she had been having a long-term affair with another married man. I had done some detective work and I have found out who he is, his wife’s name, his phone numbers and address.

I have been tempted to write a letter to his wife and tell her everything I know. I am not living with my wife (Mona) anymore and I am tempted to give the other man’s wife her phone number and address. Then I am tempted to encourage her to confront Mona either by calling or driving over for a face-to-face confrontation.

I want this for a couple reasons.

It would give me satisfaction knowing that Mona was standing there squirming while his wife gave her a tongue lashing. Also I want Mona to see that she really IS a home wrecking tramp. She is going on as if she did nothing wrong. I had been wanting to grab her and shake her “What the hell is wrong with you!?” But maybe something like this would have the same effect?

I also have a little fantasy of his wife kicking him out then he has to move in with Mona and that would be great because you as you know, they only want what they can’t have. As soon as he is all Mona’s, she won’t want him anymore and vise versa.

This idea is so attractive to me because when Mona finally came clean, I suggested that maybe I should call the other man’s wife and let her know that she should get that bastard on a short leash or divorce him. Mona pleaded with me not to do that. It was like the worst thing in the world for her. Sure she had no problem with breaking my heart — but hurting the other man’s wife is not something she can handle. Crazy isn’t it?

Here is why I am hesitating. As much as I want to see Mona put on the spot, squirming and maybe even get punched in the nose, I don’t want her to be seriously hurt. Should I be concerned that the other man’s wife might get a gun and come to Mona with violent intentions? Does that happen often?

I noticed that you often encourage us chumps to notify the other person’s spouse. Have there been any cases where the other persons spouse went for revenge?

I am just wondering what your thoughts are on that. It would really give me a lot of satisfaction just letting his wife know what I know and I could even add a note that HE is the one who betrayed her NOT Mona. Mona betrayed me and I dealt with her.

Just so you know, the divorce proceeding had already been started and I had been no contact with Mona for 13 days now.

Thank you.


Dear Fred,

The OM’s wife is not a remote-control Rottweiler. She’s not going to do your bidding for comeuppance, or bite Mona in the ass. If you, her own husband, can’t make Mona see that “she really IS a home wrecking tramp” — how on earth do you think that woman is going to do it?

Mona has stuffed that woman’s existence into the far reaches of her fuzzy, little cheater brain. Of course she knows OM has a wife, but to Mona the OM has other useless life accessories too — like galoshes, VHS tapes, and corn-on-the-cob holders. Mona thinks “God, OM will you just get RID of this shit already? Why are you holding on?” Insofar as Mona thinks about this man’s wife, she thinks of her as an embarrassing junk drawer he refuses to clean out. An obstacle to her happiness. But certainly no one CENTRAL to his existence! No, the fantasy of an affair is that she is the One, True Special One.

But wouldn’t it be great if OM’s wife were to pop out of a cake and go “TA DA! Here I AM! I EXIST!”

No. Not really.

You don’t tell the other chump because you want them to be your agent of revenge. You tell the other chump because it is the humane, kind thing to do. Because that person is living a lie, and being exposed to risk. You tell because she deserves the dignity of the truth.

And when you tell the truth, Fred, you have to let go of the consequences. You don’t control that. You don’t know if the other chump will chase unicorns and fight for her marriage. (Or in your parlance, “keep OM on a short leash.”) You don’t know if she’ll come after your wife with a threaded pipe. And you don’t know if she’ll file for divorce.

You just know that it’s the right thing to do, because her husband is actively this minute cheating on her, and she’s in the dark about that.

Here’s the thing about cheaters and risk — they don’t know who they’re tangling with either. They don’t know if that chump is resilient and classy, or a frayed electrical cord that’s going to start a house fire. That chump they pretended didn’t exist is very much alive, and can very easily fuck with you. The majority of chumps, in my opinion, take the high road. But a tiny minority, yes, commit violence, or harass the affair partner. Look, you’re a chump. You fuck another man’s wife, there is a chance that man is going to come after you with a baseball bat.

To those chumps I say — don’t bother. Don’t debase yourself by fighting over a dog turd. To the cheaters… I don’t say anything. You can’t speak truth to stupid. Leave it to the natural laws of consequences. Chumps decide what some of those consequences are, so go with divorce and no contact, as you have done. I would encourage the OM’s wife to do the same. And point her here to Chump Lady, we’re happy to help.

Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT tell the OM’s wife that Mona didn’t betray her, her husband did. Mona is an asshole who grievously harmed that woman. Yes, her husband made himself available and that makes him a bigger asshole, but that doesn’t make Mona innocent. She fucked another woman’s husband knowingly. Damn straight she should be afraid.

Besides which, that doesn’t make sense, Fred. You want Mona to call out your wife, at the same time you want the woman to know Mona didn’t really betray her? Meaning she’s not culpable? Yeah, that’s crazy talk.

Just tell, Fred. And don’t tell Mona you’re telling, just do it. Because it’s the humane thing to do for a fellow chump. Good luck.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • How would you like to be treated if you were in the dark, Fred? I think that is a good rule to keep in mind in this matter. CL is dead on with her advice here. Follow the Golden Rule…it is golden for a reason.

    And I would add, people fear others “losing it” in these situations because these situations are that traumatic. Instead of focusing on the possibility of someone losing it, maybe the cheater ought to have focused upon not traumatizing someone else so bad it becomes a real possibility. Obviously, I am not advocating violence, which is wrong. However, I am suggesting the fear is there because something very serious took place.

    As CL so eloquently highlights:
    “The majority of chumps, in my opinion, take the high road. But a tiny minority, yes, commit violence, or harass the affair partner. Look, you’re a chump. You fuck another man’s wife, there is a chance that man is going to come after you with a baseball bat.”

    Bottom Line: Please, do the right thing and follow CL advice in telling the OM’s wife. She deserves to know the truth. Don’t lose sleep over what she may or may not do to Mona. That’s Mona’s chosen circus and monkeys.

  • Fred-

    I agree with chump lady. The wife should know so she can make informed choices about here life. Whether or not she does something crazy or violent is not about you. You are only the messenger.

    Bottom line is that there wouldn’t be anything to tell if they didn’t have sex with people outside of their marriage. Telling the OMs wife is not against the law; her taking it violently to another level would be against the law and that’s not on you.

    Karma doesn’t work on our time tables-frustrating I know and most of the time we aren’t lucky enough to be there when it comes around. Just move forward with your life and tell this woman because she has a right to know that her husband put her finances, children and health on the roulette wheel without her knowledge.

    So sorry you have to be here.

  • When asked, I think almost all of us (OK, all) wish we would have been told about our cheating spouses earlier.

    But that tell, as CL says, is not for gain or revenge, it’s for compassion. Compassion for someone who is being exposed to disease, financial harm, and whose children are often at risk for horrible problems as well.

    In the early days, we often still harbor hopium that exposure will ‘sober up’ our cheater and bring them home. By the time most of their sordid choices are brought to light, we’re usually well on our way to ‘meh’ and generally glad to see them go.

    But for the children, in-the-dark other spouses, and others who suffer collateral damage from the cheaters, knowing sooner is better if the information is presented in an appropriate and straightforward manner.

    Like so many, my husband begged me not to tell his lover’s husband. “She could lose her job! Her children will be hurt! How can you be so selfish?!” So I held my tongue and my husband lost his job, our children were hurt… because he was so selfish. I regret not telling damaged parties as soon as I knew… but when you first find out your marriage is a sham, you’re rarely in good mental shape to objectively announce that fact to the world.

    • “… but when you first find out your marriage is a sham, you’re rarely in good mental shape to objectively announce that fact to the world.”

      So well put mehsmerized. I held my tongue not telling the OM’s wife when I uncovered my wife’s 5 year long affair. I also stupidly thought it would ruin any chance to save my marriage if I kept it quiet. My world had been blown apart, my kid had cancer and life was really tough. I did tell the OM that he had to tell his wife or I would. He eventually did.

      IN the end, you play into the cheating game yourself if you do not tell the other chumped spouse. It is the kind thing to do, saving this person from more gas-lighting. My extended years of being gas-lit practically killed me.

  • I get the revenge fantasy part, I do. That said. Let it go.

    If you want to tell the wife, simply tell her. Don’t engage in conversation, don’t hope for a confrontation, don’t try to orchestrate an outcome. Just tell her and move on.

    There is no way to get through to people like your wife and the OM. If you do anything that puts them in a bad spot they will simply blame you and not see anything beyond that.

    People like your wife and the OM are psychologically incapable of seeing anything from another person’s point of view. It is all about them, what they want, and how they can get it.

    Let it go, move on, file for divorce, kick her ass out. Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do for yourself. But don’t do anything “against” anyone. Don’t try to use the OM’s wife for your revenge fantasy. It will backfire. If you arrange a confrontation and it doesn’t go your way then you will feel worse, not better.

    Your wife and the OM will not squirm because they don’t give a tiny rat’s ass about what they are doing to other people. They only care about doing what they want, when they want and with whom they want. You aren’t even a blip on their radar.

    Repeating, you aren’t even a blip on their radar. You are an inconvenience.

    Don’t waste energy on people like them. It is just more wasted energy after all the already wasted energy. Take care of yourself and move on.

    • LISTEN to samiam.

      My biggest regrets involve wasting energy and effort in trying to shake sense into the sudden stranger my ex had become. I said the most horrible things, all hoping that something would register.


      YOUR WIFE DOES NOT CARE. The OM does not care.

      OM’s wife is quite possibly going to be devastated, and if they have children, same–devastated.

      THAT is what you’ll get out of telling her. She is not your attack dog (jeez, Tracy, how do you just always know exactly what to say??) She is a HUMAN being. She is not someone to do your dirty work for you.

      Stand up and take control of your life. You need to figure out what sort of man you want to be, and realize that nobody can make you that man–only YOU can do it.

      You’ve been kicked so hard, and been so disrespected, that you’re feeling very small and ineffective. You need to stand up, shake that off, and chart a course forward. You need to literally come up with a list of values, character traits, and habits that you want to live by and maintain. This will be your map to recovery and to SELF respect. You cannot demand respect from anyone–you must earn it. And this will come from respecting yourself. You must learn your firm, non-negotiable boundaries (I am working on this myself). These must become first nature to you, so that nobody can push you around. You will learn to like yourself when you do the right thing, and you will determine the right thing. Is there anyone in your life you respect? Not fear, mind you, but respect? Someone who has it right, someone who is calmly assertive and contentedly happy, enthusiastic about life? What traits and habits does he possess? What are YOU good at? In what areas of your life are you respected?

      It is time to set the ex free, and shut the door (NAIL it shut) to your former life with her. She has been a reminder and probably a source of much self-doubt and insecurity. She has not been a good partner. What attracted you to her? What red flags did you miss? How will you be sure to recognize the exact same behavior/character in the next woman? Importantly, how will you be sure to recognize when a woman is NOT like your wife, and be attracted to a good person?

      It is time to work on YOU. It’s time to let go of the revenge fantasy, which is merely a distraction from the hard work it’s going to take to reclaim YOURSELF. And it is hard work, but like all hard work, if there is a noble or worthwhile purpose and a clear goal and path, then every step in the right direction, every small personal victory, every reclamation of your dignity and inner peace and SELF RESPECT will make your spine stronger and help you really like yourself. And, you know what? That’s attractive to a GOOD woman. Get yourself ready for the kind of woman you will deserve. You’re not ready yet–you’re too shattered. Your life is a bit of a mess right now–that happened to all of us here. Your job is to collect all the pieces, toss the ones that don’t fit, and put yourself back together stronger than ever. You can do it. We chumps are fantastically resilient and strong.

      Get out there and kick (your own) ass!!

      YOU CAN DO IT!

          • Thank you Sunshine!!! I wish I had read your post before I attempted to get the ex and OW to understand how much they hurt me through a lot of ridiculous correspondence. What a fruitless attempt that did nothing but backfire, add fuel to their fodder, and make me look crazy. I am committed to NC and it is better. Though there may always linger a little seed of “damn do I want justice.”

      • Yes…you are so right Miss Sunshine. “HE DOES NOT CARE. YOUR WIFE DOES NOT CARE…My biggest regrets involve wasting energy and effort in trying to shake sense into the sudden stranger my ex had become.”
        A very disturbing fact that came to light for me was that my STBX did not “become” this kind of person, but that he WAS this person all along….pretending he cared, while passive-aggressively and covertly proclaiming that no one was the boss of him…even as a newlywed (cheating started). Really emotionally immature and a narcissist. Gives me the creeps now. And he was the one who wanted to marry so badly. He told me – “I pretended to be the person I thought you would want to be with”. Lots of rationalization and not much sense of self…and if his explanation is correct, I certainly wouldn’t want to be with a cheater.

        • Wow,NoMoreLies, how very true. I am finally realizing the same thing. He cheated on me before we were married even 3 years. 1 night stand. I was devastated. Just shattered. His best friend told me, or I would never have known. Stayed, cried, he showed true remorse, and we moved forward. Never felt quite the same about him again though. It killed something in me. I realize now that he cheated on me the whole marriage. I kicked him out a few years ago after suspecting him of another 1 night stand, he tried put some doubt in my mind, but it took nearly a year before i let him back on the property and then only into the guest house. (Perfect cake situation – how dumb was I) Limbo for the next year while we agreed not to date (Rules don’t apply to him though i didn’t know that then…). We had a year long fake reconciliation, even a fake 35th anniversary romantic weekend, before i caught him in the lie that he couldn’t wriggle out of. He had OM for well over a year by the time i figured it out. I’ve filed. 37 years wasted on a Narcissistic Sociopathic asshole. Sadly, this isn’t even the worst of it. We are in 2 business lawsuits because of his shady dealings… I cant wait until i am out of his tangled sticky web.

          • It’s that whole passive aggressive “you’re not the boss of me” entitlement crap.

          • None of these cheaters changed from who they truly are. They have been disordered for a very long time, since childhood, I believe.
            If you have the opportunity to look into their pasts( if you have the incli action) you will see myriad instances of dishonesty in just about every aspect of their lives.

            • Yes, Arnold, so true but took me a while to put together. Thank you for the wise words.

            • Yep… I’ve just hired a very reputable private investigator to do a thorough background check on him. I need peace of mind that no other legal or unethical business/financial surprises are lurking out there. I hate the fact that these disordered personalities are not only careless with their own lives, but the lives of their families and business partners and associates.

        • Mine told me that when we married, there was the person I knew and then there was this other person he was behind my back (this was after the split and after I filed so it was over at this point). It really drove home the point that he is a chameleon and (I think) a pthological liar. You can’t cover up and hide your true self for 10 years and not be completely fucked up.

          It was funny too because he made some stupid “your not the boss of me” statements as well. He actually had the audacity to say in one of our couseling sessions, when I told him I didnt want him talking to his friend anymore (I didn’t know she was OW at that point, just that she made me uncomfortable), “isn’t that just her telling me what to do?” AS IF I WAS IN THE WRONG?!? God – stupid woman – you can’t tell ME what to do! I think I just sat there completely at a loss – it’s oneof the headscratchers that I just didn’t even know how to respond. Now that I think back on it, it makes me chuckle.

          • I understand that there was a whole other side to him, the person he was behind my back, only he was never able to cop to it. The term “debauchery” comes to mind. Anyway, I never got the “you aren’t the boss of me”, but he honestly felt that what he did behind my back was absolutely NONE of my business. Yup….the STDs……clearly, none of my business.

          • Rjam, when I asked me ex to stop doing things with OW (but unaware she was OW at the time, like you), he actually wept and said, “I’m just a kid who wants to ride my bike with someone who can challenge me.”

      • I don’t want to use her for an attack dog and I know how devastated I am. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. My idea prior to writing CL was to write a nice letter simple informing her of the affair and then share the proof I have unless she indicates that she doesn’t want it.

        What I was tempted to do was say “If you would like to contact Mona, here is her phone number and address. She lives just a half mile away.”

        That is what I was asking about. Should I offer that info? Some of you seem to think I want an attack. No I don’t. I just think it would be satisfying if she choose to confront Mona. And maybe she should have that right? I just didn’t want anyone to get hurt physically or killed.

        I believe Mona’s real reason for not wanting me to tell is because she can’t handke being judged. To that I would say “you should had thought of that before you spread your legs for another man”

        • No, do not offer that information. Not to protect Mona, but because it is not your job nor your goal to facilitate a confrontation.

          It is the wife’s right to confront Mona, though, if she asked me, I’d advise against it. That’s one regret I don’t have–I never confronted OW in my situation. I’m really, really glad I did not. She knows what she is. And she doesn’t care. That’s how effed-up and heartless these freaks are. Totally self-absorbed, unable to show compassion and love unless to fake it, to make themselves look good. Your wife does not care that she’s a homewrecking twat. Doesn’t care. She thinks she’s special, and their relationship is special, and nobody but the two of them–she and the OM–can understand.

          And, I’ll tell you something–any “satisfaction” you get from a confrontation is short-lived and anticlimactic, and results in nothing good for you. The fantasy is better than reality, at best. At worst, the OM’s wife and/or you look hysterical, and the whole thing back-fires. This is why people implore you to take the high road. YOU benefit from not rolling around with scum. In your pain, that’s hard to see. When you get a few months or years out, it becomes satisfyingly obvious. You’ll be really relieved that you DIDN’T confront. Truly, there’s NO point.

          In fact, my biggest regret is that I didn’t know earlier that xH didn’t care, that he actually has some pathological personality disorder, that he is nothing but a coward. Had I known that–that nothing I said could rescue my intact family, that nothing I said could keep him from making a huge mistake, nothing I said to him would help me claim my dignity–I would have brushed my hands of the whole thing much earlier, and saved myself the heartache and stress. I would have just changed the locks on his way out the door, wished him nothing, gone NC from the moment he moved his final box out of the house. I KNOW he’d have had more respect for me. I’d have had more respect for me. I would have given him and OW no fodder for laughs at my expense, no justification for outrage.

          It doesn’t matter what Mona’s reason for anything is, any more. You only control you. What matters is the right thing, not what Mona thinks.

          • Miss Sunshine,

            “In fact, my biggest regret is that I didn’t know earlier that xH didn’t care, that he actually has some pathological personality disorder, that he is nothing but a coward. Had I known that–that nothing I said could rescue my intact family, that nothing I said could keep him from making a huge mistake, nothing I said to him would help me claim my dignity–I would have brushed my hands of the whole thing much earlier, and saved myself the heartache and stress.”

            THIS! There is so much truth in this that I got butterflies reading it. It never occurs to us that these people’s minds and hearts don’t function in the same way as ours – that reasoned arguments and pleas to their better nature don’t work – because their brains are distorted and they have no better nature.

            • Exactly. It was one of the toughest concepts for me to accept: that these folks are wired so differently from normal people that you can never understand how they are like they are.
              When I did criminal defense, I would see crime victims and their families expecting remorse from the criminal upon conviction.
              But, these criminals never had any.
              See normal people could never do what these folks did in the first place.
              A serial cheater or a long term cheater can do this stuff over time and function just fine. They are not wracked with guilt.
              So, why expect remorse? Folks who can feel no guilt are not folks who feel remorse.
              Think guys like Michael Vick feel guilt or remorse? Could someone do the things he did if he was capable of empathy or remorse?
              It is the same with cheaters.

  • Hi

    I feel you should tell the wife, and yes you have your reasons which would probably happen, but I mostly feel she has a right to know that this is going on in her marriage. My reasons are her marriage isn’t what she thinks it is, and also her health is being put in jeopardy; who is to say if her husband has more women or your wife does not have more men.

    Also I hope you get tests done to make sure you are alright.

    As far as the letter, I feel actually calling would be best as a letter can be intercepted. Or, you could show up if you know her husband is not there.

    I am very sorry.

  • Also, I can see you are in such an upheaval of so many things you thought your marriage was yourself. It is quite a lot to deal with, you will find yourself going in many directions, of rage, sadness, being fine, then jumpy, and it is just a lot for your mind to settle within itself. So, take it slow with yourself and see that you did nothing at all for your wife to make this choice in your marriage.

    • Nice reminder, beachi. Fred, I too am picking up from your letter that you are in early stages and your emotions are very very high. Please take some time to be kind to yoursel, to breath, circle your own wagons around yourself and catch your breath. The pain and anger are devastating. Take care of the triage on your own soul, then, when you can, reach out to this other poor woman in kindness and support. But remember what Tracy said… You must let go of what happens next. Have no expectations, simply do the right thing and be a support if she needs it. And let it go. Good luck and I’m so sorry for your pain.

  • CL, I wish someone had told me. My husband absolutely betrayed me. His OW actively pursued and fucked a married man. It was my husband’s choice to blow up his marriage. It was my husband’s choice to hurt our children. It was my husband’s choice to destroy us financially. Narcs will always do what they want. There is no grey area here. Fred, Congratulations for recognizing there is no saving a marriage in which someone actively destroys you. Day in and day out. But IT IS your job to move forward, head held high, and TELL the TRUTH. Be the man you have always been. Decent, kind, trusting. There is no future in revenge. Please tell the OM’s wife. You will save her life. Let her know who HE IS.

  • I agree with beachi. The first few weeks are just turmoil emotionally.

    Don’t do anything right now. Just take some time to process, take care of yourself and don’t do anything you may regret later.

  • It is the humane thing to do. It sucked not knowing what was really going on in my own marriage. I asked x if he was going to “man throw f up” and let the husband know. He said well now I have to. Never happened. I ended up doing it because I had this strange obligation to let this man know how one of our family members was screwing with his life by screwing his wife. It ended up that the husband didn’t know about the affair. The x tells our daughter “oh no husband found out. I feel so sorry for their children.” Wtf he didn’t feel bad for my (our) children. And he certainly didn’t feel bad for having an affair. But x and ow wanted to keep things under wraps, probably for a number of reasons. But hurting others isn’t one of them they do not care about collateral damage, they do care how wickedly delicious it is to sneak around, be the only 2 with a secret love (that cannot be denied) and screw with their respective spouses head

    • If he felt bad for their children, he wouldn’t have had an affair with their mom!

      Telling is not what causes the problem – the actions are.

      • That’s exactly what I thought, the telling didn’t cause the pain. Their selfish actions did. But try telling the happy schmoopies that and it just (conveniently) goes over their head.

      • “The problem is not what I did, it is your reaction to it.”

        Cheater think 101.

        • Definitely. And it was one of the many, many ideas that x had that made no sense at all, but that helped me finally see that he was a just your average, run of the mill cheater and I was better off without him in my life. Shortly after that gem I found Chump Lady and I can’t thank you enough CL for this blog and for chump nation, because it is rather hard for people who have never experienced infidelity to see how damaging it is. And I was so tired of well meaning people saying, “he’ll come to his senses and come back to you”. Hell no, what I needed was clear insight and a badass way of “fighting” back to regain my sanity.

        • Holy cow I agree! Cheaters will try to make you feel, and in their own head already decided you are the problem, look how crazy you are dealing with them finding themselves. They look for a reason after demolishing you.

        • It’s not what I did, its how you reacted that is the problem’ – One of Lundy Bancroft’s definitions of an abusive man who doesn’t want to change, CL.

          • wow – crazy how so many cheaters have the same narrative. When my XH found out I told MOW husband (they were mutual friends of ours so he was the first person I called!) my XH said “How could you hurt him and their children like that! You’re vicious and cruel to try and bring them down with you! MOW husband and their kids are just innocent victims in all of this!”. I was floored! In his sick mind, me, wife of 15 years, and our two children were just disposable trash. But precious MOW and her family were innocent victims.

            THEN, the MOW texted me and said, “I hope you are happy. You have ruined my marriage!!” WHAT?! SICK MINDED PEOPLE!! I reminded her that I didn’t fuck her husband, but I doubt any reality was processed. I became the bitter ex spouse that destroyed 2 families. Forget about the numerous family vacations we spent with them, as they played with each other’s kids, befriended the spouses, all while secretly fucking each other. Their fantasy blew up and I will take full credit for that. Home wrecking was all on them.

            TELL the other spouse as quickly as possible. It is the RIGHT thing to do.

            • Chumpchange, I know that you know this and I hear empowerment in your post, but you definitely did the right thing. And the way these narcs twist and turn things is really very sick. I just wish I had kept that in mind during my fruitless attempts to get him to UNDERSTAND. He will never understand. In fact, my 15-year-old just read an e-mail he wrote to her that justifies his cheating and it is written in a creepy, convincing, intelligent way which is just plan mindfuckery. It’s so hard to deal with because I think there is a natural inclination on our part to scream, hey, idiot, look what you did and look at these consequences. But after getting support from people of sound mind (therapist, friends, family, and especially here) there is just no point in wasting that energy. My energy is better spent focusing on how I want to live my life. But still hard.

  • The fellow chump I am currently dating was married for 20 years with three children, the youngest still six years old at the time. Happily married he thought, a few frustrations with wifey being controlling, sulky, bossy etc. But wifey had attractive qualities too…she was an ultra competitive, 40yr old tennis player, in great shape, nice bod etc. so he felt lucky.

    One night they were just getting into bed, and his cell phone rang. It was the local tennis coach’s wife. She said “Your wife has been sleeping with my husband, I have proof which I’m willing to share with you.” He was stunned but his first thought it was a joke. So he hung up and said to his wife “That was XYZ, she says you are having an affair with XYZ-husband”. His wife burst out laughing and said oh she’s a crazy beotch, she thinks everyone is with her husband. Then she turned over and went to sleep.

    Now, BF said he was astonished…that she would not be more upset at such an accusation. So, he went around and saw the evidence the next day. XYZ had had a private detective follow the lovers for seven months. Photos, phone records, the whole nine yards.

    He (unwisely in my book) returned home, packed up his things and moved to his mother’s house. He wanted to stay nearby “for the kids” but (acccording to his mother) was out of his mind with grief and anger for months. He never did see XYZ again although she later filed for divorce from her coach hubby. He did say to me at one point that he wonders if he’d never found out, whether his family would have remained intact. I think he needs to grow some gonads and stop cutting everyone so much slack.

    As for the coach, BF went by the tennis club the next day. He said he knew if he got a clear shot he would have punched the wife’s lover but instead, he just stared him down from behind the chain link fence. The coach skulked away. He dropped his lover later that day…she called BF and gave him shit for “ruining her relationship”. Nuff said about her!

    To this day, he still says he wishes he’d punched the coach, but is glad he didn’t…why suffer the consequences of that. Tennis coach continued on a series of affairs and at present has a babe 20 years younger who seems to enjoy his sports car. I recently by sheer coincidence found myself standing at the bar in a local pub beside the coach’s current gf … She didn’t know who I was, and the bar was dark…I said clearly to her “what you wanna be with an old fucker like that for?” She smirked and said, I have thought that myself actually. I cleared off before taking off my sunglasses….I don’t drink so no point in hanging around.

    BF ex wife…the cheater…has gone on to become the local “bicycle”… She is now 50 and has not aged well. She dresses like a tart, hangs out in bars, fucks anyone who will get her drunk. I honestly think this was a case of pre-existing mental illness combined with middle age crisis/need for validation. Why worry about her, she made her own path, damaged her kids, nothng you can do.

    My response to BF is — as chump you deserved to know if only for health reasons. He says his ex is a complete mystery to hm…how could someone who seemed a good mother just turn into a creature like her. I think he just didn’t want to see the red flags.

    • That’s actually quite a fascinating story, Marci! I’m struck by how sweet BF is, and also a little in denial, but I recognize myself in that.
      On the one hand, I wish my ex would be someone very different from who he really is, but on the other hand, I’m glad to have finally woken up to the truth. I missed a lot of red flags, because I didn’t really want to see them–and I didn’t realize what they meant in terms of his character. I suppose, knowing what I know now, those red flags meant that the cheating and abandonment were inevitable in his case.

      Ah, this is the wisdom of aging. This is why the young ones neeeeeed to listen to us experienced ones.

      • Miss Sunshine,
        Yes, oh to be 21 again. My life would have been very different if my picker was tuned at the time. Married a guy who cheated before we even reached the altar…arrogant sob he was. I am five years gone from that 29 years of emotional desert.

        I must admit I am concerned that current BF’s attitude is that he is NOT a chump. He is of the school that blames the victim and still, 14 years after d-day for him, he still thinks it must have been his fault for not being able to ‘hang on to’ his wife. I have given him the full chump orientation…he won’t go to the website…’not into all that psychobabble crap’ says he. He prefers to do the EEyore thing and say ‘if only I’d been a more exciting partner’. He truly ate her gaslighting it seems. He thinks I am harsh for describing her in typical Chump terminology. He says “she is my childrens mother, I cannot think of her as evil”. Agh. (No not still in love, he says he wouldn’t cross the street to help her).

        Thankfully members of his extended family have confronted her over the years and pretty much publicly embarrassed her. Her reaction is that she “simply made some life choices that they didn’t like and he hadn’t filed, they’d still be a family.” Yes, with Mom’s lover living down the street.

        He by the way is grateful he was alerted by the OM’s wife about the affair.

  • I contacted my wife’s fuck-buddy’s girlfriend, employer, and ex-wife in an attempt for them all do my “bidding and comeuppance” as CL says.

    It didn’t work out at all like I had planned. The AP had no morals, integrity or shame and my ex-wife was a complete piece of shit. In retrospect, I wish I had just taken the high road, went NC and quickly filed and moved on; easy to say now in hindsight.

    It worked out in the end, but trying to get others involved in your train wreck is dangerous, be careful Fred! Tell the wife but from a distance and then move on. Don’t expect anything earth shattering to come of it either. Do it because it is the right thing to do, file it away somewhere in your head and then focus on starting a new life.

    I wanted to make the AP life hell. I wanted to make the AP and the WAW hurt as much as I did, I also wanted the affair to stop and my wife to come back to me. (STUPID!) What I really wanted was revenge. What I found out was that my wife cared more for the AP than she did for me, cared more about him losing his job than staying married to me, and cared more about the AP’s ability to support his family than she did about her own children. It was just more unnecessary pain. Also I found out that people just didn’t want to get involved…they knew AP was a piece of shit and who needs that drama?

    The only revenge is being happy, moving on, and living a great life. Tell the wife, get it over with and move on! Good Luck!

  • CL, thank you for this great response to Fred!

    The husband of the OW in my case knew a full two years before I did, perhaps longer. I was told that he did not want to tell me because he “did not want to act in anger or seek revenge.” That was not Zen, it was bullshit.

    What he did by not telling me was allowing me to be tortured and gaslighted for YEARS by a slick, poor-me (and me only), sociopath shark alcoholic with no soul. My ex was so self-righteous, I could not imagine that he would lie repeatedly to my face. I could not imagine that he was having an affair with someone he invited into my home for me to serve and someone who had to honor my home. But that is exactly what he did. The husband of the OW: ex-president of the board of BABS lying troll stalker, left me in a position where I could not make the best decisions for myself and my son.

    There is a word for this, it’s called “domination”. When you have information about someone that they need to make decisions for their life and you withhold you are dominating them. No matter what you feel.

    I believe the husband of OW did not tell me because he did not want my shit and his shit to get together. So I was the fallout for his “happy home.” From what I understand he worked to reconcile.

    Do tell the wife—DO.

    On the topic of revenge—oh God I had so many scenarios racing in my head. Here is one: I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art one day and saw in the Egyptian temple room four statues of the Goddess of violence, illness and destruction: Sekhmet.

    I named each of the Sekhmet statues after each of the four women involved in the affair (two of whom were ‘friends’) and did not tell me–taking pleasure in my pain. When one of my ‘friends’ had a fallout with OW and decided to tell me “because OW thought I should know” she had a SMIRK on her face. They got off on this big time. So yes, I implored God and also the ancient Gods of Egypt to get justice for me. Silly? perhaps. It’s energy.

    It has taken me a while to really understand how to protect myself and my son from alcoholic cheating ex. I have a better sense now. But the revenge fantasies had and still have their use. They blew off the anger that was engulfing me—anger that was justified but had no outlet— and I can surely empathize with how you feel Fred.

    But CL is right. You want to protect your shitty ex but also want her to be punched in the nose? You don’t own the information about the affair and you need to give it to the person who will know what to do with it for her own sake.

    Do the right thing. Tell the chump and get a life without Moan-a. And as someone said here: you would probably look very bad in an all orange jump suit. Revenge is a powerful feeling that we have to learn to distinguish and consider–how it is attached to out anger. It is not revenge to tell the wife. To not tell is to dominate. That information is not yours alone. She needs it too.

    • I think the OW’s husband may not have wanted to tell you because then his wife would have gotten mad at him. It was part of the reconciliation.

      • It could be. I was told that OW wanted ex to tell me. She said that “I should know”–but I I think simply wanted me to know how powerful she was in my marriage and that my ex really preferred her to me. That she mattered. She also wanted revenge against my ex for “using her” —-they do feel so very self-righteous when it comes to themselves don’t they?

        It may be that she would have been angry at her husband if he told me because then he would be acting out of self interest and real interest for me.

        You know, this is trying to untangle to skin. These cheaters are so fucked up.

        • If the OW wants you to know, it’s because (a) they won’t you to leave him so they can have him or (b) she is the kind of woman that isn’t in to single guys, the whole POINT is they are married, and she is in a perpetual ‘pick-me, I’m better’ contest of her own.

          Both are pathetic.

        • The key word for me here is ‘power.’ The more mileage I get on the odometer post-DDay, and the more I read here, the more I see how the whole thing is really a conversation about power and control. The sex part is almost incidental.

          • I am pretty sure the sexual pleasure played a big role, too, though.
            Fooling me etc might have enhanced the whole deal, but, no question my xws enjoyed fucking other men and orgasming.
            They also hated me and took delight in doing this to hurt me.

          • Absolutely — power, control and also centrality, which of course is also power. When I think of the ways in which my wife had me interact with her AP (doing freelance work for him, being a client of one his businesses, attending classes he taught), that’s all about power and control, not sex

    • Please tell me how you figured out how to protect yourself and your child from the alcoholic cheater? i am in the same boat, only i suspect he is on meth too (no proof, just a suspicion based on a few thing HER friends have told me and my eldest son. if she is on meth then he is too because he is weak)

      right now the boys are on vacation in another town. my XH has not asked to see them and refused to come the last time i requested he visit them in my house (i really dont want my kids around a woman like her, she reeks evil). he is also not paying child support.

      but i worry because school is fixing to start and he might decide that he wants to see them . i am not sure how to handle that request (it may never come but i like to be prepared) besides just saying no.

      i am also waiting for the crazy to come out

      • Hi mrsvain, I am sorry you are in this position. It’s horrible. Do you have a lawyer? What is your custody arrangemnet? It sounds like your ex is not regularly visiting?

        If your ex is a drug addict you can argue for supervised visitation only and absolutely no driving your kids. If you have a family member willing to do supervision that may be helpful. With a good lawyer, no judge would give a meth addict (verbal testimony is something) unsupervised visitation.

        My ex and I went through a mediator (mistake) I am trying to make driving off limits with my son. We have a car we own together that goes back and forth but I so not allow him to take it when he has our child. He is fighting this and has not agreed to this arrangement formally. I am No Contact and learned this through the mediator.

        My ex is the sociopath ‘good guy’ variety. He likes to do his fuckery as an innocent man. I try to have a rock solid honest home and relationship with my son teaching him to trust his own best judgement so he will not be swayed so much by his father’s mindfuckery.

        But I know I have no control of that ultimately. My goal is to create a life that my son can thrive in, always protect his safety within my range of control and pray every day. I also trying to build a trusted family and friend fortress around my child so that cheater’s verbal shit hits many walls and not my son. My thinking is that of my son has strong relationships with good people he will internalize them and have internal responses to his narc dad—–who he loves and also feels protective of—so it’s complicated—he is only 6.

        Do your kids feel safe around your ex? If they don’t—supervised visitation only. You can also let their school know that he is not to take them from school. Get a judges order—supervised visitation under the threat of jail. In some states he can be jailed for not paying child support. Learn your rights as a parent in the courts and set up your home as a safe supportive good haven.

        Let me know what worked if you are up for that. All the very best to you and your children.

        • My divorce was quick and easy. I was blessed (i guess). i asked for and got sole custody and zero visitations. in the efforts of being “fair” and trying for my boys sake, i initiated EOW visitations. he worked sat. so he just got them for 4 hours on sunday. but those visits ended up backfiring in my face. his AP is crazy, and evil. they would sneak around my back, and ended up with AP telling my boys lies and trying to get them to eat a shit sandwich and of course make me look bad (your dad and i love you so much but your mom….), i put a stop to visitations at their house. he doesnt want to visit the boys at my house. he never calls to talk to them, he never asked to visit or to pick up the kids. and ever suggestion i make is automatically a bad idea. Plus it got to the point where i was telling him to please come see your kids, begging him to be some kind of father and still got hated on, told off and hurt. so i quit asking. of course he is not asking either.

          my boys do feel safe around my XH only they are kids so they dont see things. there has been some safety issues that have came up after a visit that has me concerned (he almost electrocuted himself once, he had to pick up an empty beer case box which i am positive was NOT empty but only a cover so my son would not see what was actually being picked up.) as well as manipulation, lies and confusing the boys. they were coming home happy but sometime angry at me for make believed stories they were being told. he is not thinking of the boy or putting their best interests at heart. i used to think he would never do anything to hurt his children but now it seems like he cant think straight.

          so basically legally i dont have to allow visitations at all. i was trying to be nice and you just cant be nice to people like that. although it hurts that my boys have no contact with their dad right now, i do think it is better for all of us.

          i worry about the time WHEN he FINALLY pulls his head out of HER ass, and makes the half hearted attempt to be part of their lives. At some point his guilt will get to him and he will try to do something to make himself feel better and my boys will be subjected to the shit drama and pain that will follow.

          i am trying to be prepared for the craziness i am certain is coming.

          • mrsvain, apologies for the late reply, I just saw your post. Wow, good for you for getting a quick divorce and custody arrangement. My child moves back and forth every single week. It is exhausting for him and for me, constantly missing and reaclimating.

            My child also empathizes with his dad who bad mouths and lies.

            My son feels so protective of his dad and wants me to like him again. When I say that I will not go back to daddy because he had a secret girlfriend while we were married, he seems to understand but it pains him too.

            Tthese cheaters really believe themselves. To them we are “mean, bad, trying to prevent them from having a relationship with their children” it is part of who they are. They slander because they then get to be the victim. “Poor daddy, mommy doesn’t want to be with him and wants to control our time with him. Mommy is keeping us from daddy. Poor daddy.” Kids internalize this.

            As a kid I hated when my mother raged on about my poor cheater dad. That is why I keep away from that. I saw dad as a “poor guy” because he made himself out to be that way. That is why I agreed to shared custody because of my own experience. I rarely saw my father and could create an illusion of him in my mind being a poor guy. But I saw that it was not me he was interested in eventually. I am trying not to let my experiences mindlessly dictate my own son’s custody arrangements and to work out what is best for him.

            You sound very strong and capable. I hope your cheater keeps his head in her ass so he does not come around making chaos for you and your kids, but abandonment sucks too. How do you deal with each of these realities? What are you doing to prepare for his ass reemersion? I am also curious to learn how you got your custody arrangement?

  • I should clarify that I “sent” each of the Sekhment statues to wreck violence to the two cheaters and two trolls. Yes, very magical thinking and silly–but the anger was so intense, I had to channel it somehow.

    • Also, tell the chump with care and empathy—treat her like a human being. Understand that like you she will feel shock and devastation—honor that in your tone.

  • Please tell her. I have never forgotten or forgiven the people who knew more about my own marriage and life than I did and did nothing to enlighten me. It is a bitter betrayal to take, like a particularly violent after shock, when you are already battered by the primary betrayal. Better for her to learn that there is someone out there who respects her and gives her the dignity of the truth, even though it is surrounded by pain and suffering. Please be as compassionate as you can be and send her here for comfort. And take care of yourself too. You are in the thick of everything just now. It will get better, but it takes a long time.

  • In my own case, I was told about my ex’s affair with a work colleague while I was sitting in my car, waiting to pick him up for work. A young man, a complete stranger to me, walked over to the car and said “are you J’s partner?” When I said yes, he replied “look, I know you don’t want to hear this, but J has been sleeping with his colleague OW for months now”. I immediately felt sick. The young man backed away, said “i’m so sorry but we all think you should know” and he walked off down the street and disappeared. To this day, I never divulged how I clued in to the affair.

    I went home and put a keylogger on the computer and within a few days had all the proof I needed. I will be forever grateful to that young stranger who told the truth. I could have been dead otherwise. Yes it was that bad.

    • That’s amazing, Marci. Good for the young man and his colleagues who thought you deserved to know. They were right!

    • Now see……stuff like that restores my faith in humanity. Here’s a group of his co-workers that didn’t know you from Adam, all sitting around agonizing of your situation, and trying to figure out which one of them is going to have the unenviable task of breaking the news.

      You were wrapped in the warm blanket of compassion by people you didn’t know. You MATTER!

      • Thanks for sharing that thought! You are right! That makes me feel pretty good, to, now that you point it out.
        I guess some people–even some groups of people–still have a clear sense of right and wrong.

      • You know, looking back on it, while getting the d-day news from that young guy (and he was in his early twenties) was sickening, I never once thought that he did anything wrong by telling me. He simply stated the facts. I resisted the urge to run after him and say thank you.

        This was after I had had the OW sitting across from me at a company dinner – and my Ex bad-mouthing her at home as being the colleague from hell…but he was banging her all along! What a circus. When the d-day news was delivered, it seemed believeable because OW was so gross and really truly ugly, I knew he was doing it for kicks. Never in a million years did Cheater expect to get caught and end up living with the beotch in a walk up apartment over a shop. He didn’t count on my decisiveness…I’d always been so “nice” but hey, the image of him doing her just made me toss “love” out the window.

  • I think you should hold off on telling the OM’s wife. You’re wanting it to be revenge. Things are too new and you’re still angry and hurt.

    You can tell the chump wife when you are calmer or get someone else who doesn’t care as much to tell her or get someone to help you write the letter.

    The chances are pretty good that OM’s wife won’t bother with your wife. She may choose to believe her husband or to try to stay with him. You need to be ready for that emotionally. Telling should be something you do simply because you would want to know. As DivorceMinister said, think about how you would want to be told and tell her that way. She’s a person with feelings who will need support when she finds out, not someone you can manipulate into attacking your wife for you.

    • I respectfully disagree Diana L. I do agree that the way the chump is told is so important. A short statement with empathy and a helpful referral to CL is the best one can do under the circumstances. You can’t expect Fred to squeeze all revenge out of him before he let’s the wife know—that may take years. In any event, he wants the wife to take revenge but also doesn’t. Fred, you are a mess–just like the rest of us in the early days. So sober up and simply let her know.

      She has the right to know now, not on your healing timetable. I agree that it would be helpful to get someone to help structure the statement. We can help here.

      “I am terribly sorry to tell you this and sorry that I am also in this position. Your husband and my wife are having an affair. I have proof that I can share with you. I know this information is devastating, and thought you had the right to know. I have found the Chump Lady book and blog helpful. I suspect you are a trusting good person and I am sorry for the shock and pain. I am suffering from this as well. Goodbye.”

      It is not right for the wife to be kept in the dark so that Fred could tell her from a “pure place.” It is her right to know what she may suspect for years. Gaslighting is an extreme violence. The wife deserves to know asap.

      • I don’t think Diana is suggesting he get to “meh” first, just that he work out in his head that this woman is in the same spot he is in, she is a victim, her suffering and trauma will be the same as his…..that he should have nothing in his heart but compassion FOR HER. It’s perfectly ok to still be in the throws of absolutely normal revenge fantasies, but for OW and OM. He needs to tell her out of compassion, not to get back at them. He will absolutely regret using her. He’s going to have enough to feel bad about already….so will she.

        • I agree. I actually think you’re all right.

          Diana is simply saying what Fred has made perfectly clear–telling the husband is going to be highly emotionally charged and fraught with landmines.

          I like her idea of putting it in a letter or getting a friend to tell the wife. Fred’s not ready.

          But I agree with Chumpectomy, too, that it needs to happen ASAP.

        • I agree completely. He can script what he tells her and what he states must be compassionate and respectful of her. Telling the wife/husband is not vengeful. The act itself needs to be done so that the chump can have the choices they need and know what their marriage is about.

          I understand that Fred described his revenge as intertwined with letting the wife know–that she will be his revenge pawn somehow in the exact way he needs. CL and everyone is shedding light on the wrongness of that.

          But I think the wife needs to know asap. Fred may still want her to act a certain way and needs to give that up. That feeling may come back, but does not need to get in the way of the chump getting the information she needs. She does not know Fred and his inner most feelings. That is why I suggested that he tell her in a scripted way–stick to the script and get off the phone.

          She needs to know from an emotionally shattered person. Get a script, stick to it and move forward.

          I guess what we are debating is this: Can Fred get the wife out of his revenge fantasies to tell her in a way that does not add injury to injury? I would want him to tell me if it were me no matter what his fantasies about what I would do was. He needs a script and to stick to it—no editorializing. Does he have that kind of control? I have no idea, but I hope so. The only one who knows is Fred.

          Fred, do you have this control?

      • THIS! For Pete’s sake tell her about this site & tell her about CL’s book. And the intro above is perfect. Please tell.

        Don’t have any expectations of how this will go. On D-Day#1 I made my cheater sit in front of me while I made calls on speakerphone. First to AP (ugh…no remorse…showed her true colors in that moment for sure) then to her spouse.

        Turns out he had already caught her. And with someone else. The look on X’s face was priceless.

        The OW’s husband phoned be back privately the next morning & we compared notes. I will be eternally grateful to him. He showed me more compassion in that one hour phone conversation than my X had shown in all the years of our marriage.

        As for revenge fantasies? Keep them to yourself. Even years after the discovery of OW’s naked selfies, I still fantasize about plastering those photos of her naughty lady bits all over the internet….mailing them to her employer….mailing them to her parents….maybe wallet sized!

        In a weird way hanging on to the evidence IS like having a weapon. That’s my consolation.

        But please do tell.

  • Also, I really don’t think your wife cares about the OM’s wife. For heaven’s sake, why is she sleeping with the guy if she doesn’t want his wife to be hurt? Hello??

    I think she is afraid of what will happen if the wife find’s out. She may want to protect OM or she may be afraid that OM will get mad at her or dump her. Who knows, maybe OM’s wife supports him financially and the two of them can’t afford to both be dumped.

    • I agree. It’s all about OM, she doesn’t give a damn about Fred or the man’s wife. She’s afraid that word of the affair will spread like wildfire (to which I say, “so what”), financial consequences, the OM being ‘hassled’ by his wife, perhaps the affair ending.

      Their concerns are completely self-serving, but they sound human if they say “I don’t want her to be hurt”. Yeah….obviously.

  • I agree w/ CL and the commenters that you should tell her. But don’t expect it to bring you any satisfaction. In fact you may have to fight with your guilt afterwards.

    Tell her because she deserves to know for so many reasons. Tell her gently, tell her you’re sorry to bring her the news, tell her to come to this website for support.

    And then shake off any guilt you might feel and know that you did the right thing. We would all have appreciated being told.

  • Revenge fantasies are just that: A fantasy. In reality, they probably never will turn out the way you think.

    In my situation, the other woman worked as a political staffer and thought she was hot shit. I salivated over the thought of embarrassing her in front of her boss, like having her served a subpoena to give a deposition in my divorce proceedings. But the reality is nobody probably would have cared except me. It was my world that was shattered, not theirs, and I am not going to act out of hate.

    As for your wife, do not act out of hate. Show compassion toward the other man’s wife, let her know, and let the chips fall.

    I think we want the offending party to just feel a fraction of the hurt we do. Neither my ex nor his mistress would have ever as hurt as much as I did because they are limited and incapable. That’s fine. I’ll take my capacity to feel something over screwing people over.

    I don’t believe in karma. I think revenge is a waste of time. You just focus on you and doing the right thing. People always get what they deserve. My husband and his wife– that woman– are getting precisely the watered down kitschy-life they wanted.

  • Telling the woman is the only compassionate thing to do, but you need to see it that way. Doing it with any sense of revenge in mind is something you will kick yourself for on down the road.

    As far as friends and family that kept the secret….yeah, that is just another low blow. Even lower was when one of them said that I “should have known he could never be faithful”. Really??? Now, had any ONE of you actually mentioned that he was f*cking anything that said yes, I would have! There’s just plenty of gall to go around, and the joke is always on us.

    Sorry to meet you, Fred. But you’re in the right place to start healing from this madness.

  • I know that you feel that someone should be on your side, that someone should let your wife have it and shame her about her affair. It’s ok to have fantasies but keep in mind that they should only be fantasies. The Karma Bus’ wheels may grind slow but they do grind. Be prepared for the possibility that the wife knows what she is married to and that she is going to stand by her man. That could possibly be just another betrayal of sorts. So try to just state the facts to her as compassionately as you can. Chumpectomy, in a post before this, stated almost word for word what I told the husband. In my case he had been through this type of thing many times before and he tried reconciling and then he tried cheating himself to pay her back and then they get back together and start all over again. I don’t think that there is anything that you should feel guilty about if you tell the wife, this secret is your secret to tell.

  • Did Mona tell you something to lead you to believe the wife was crazy and/or would do something violent if she found out?

    Mine said that shit to me about the OW husband and I gotta admit, I kinda believed it… maybe because I am ridiculously stupid? Plus, I’d been hearing so much shit about him over the years (my ex worked with the OW for a while before anything began) and I believed it. And actually, there had been a single incident where he had hit her… they went to therapy about it and actually she was the one that came out with an anger management diagnosis and prescription – not that it makes it okay AT ALL, but it at least insinuates she contributed to it in some way. But, still, I did know he’d hit his wife, so who else knew what he was capable of.

    So I didn’t tell him. And I regret it. He ended up calling me about a year after my own Dday, maybe more, because my ex had already moved out. He wanted to let me know. Or asked if I did know. He didn’t even know that my ex and I weren’t together anymore. She wouldn’t even admit to the affair to him even though he had found some texts. She had come up with some ridiculous story that my ex was cheating on me with someone else from work and she was helping/covering for her. Or some shit.

    When I was in limbo and working on reconciliation I know I would never have told him… or anyone outside of the two people I had already told ON Dday… but at least after I kicked him out, I should have contacted him. I’ll admit part of the reason was I didn’t want her to “win” my ex still. I still thought of it that way then. Now I know he sucks.

    Either way, her husband was completely reasonable on the phone. Which I was surprised by since I’d heard so much bad stuff… and he communicated he’d heard some shit about me as well over the years. Surprise surprise. Even when I mentioned the hitting incident he took full responsibility. He wanted just proof of the affair, because she still wouldn’t admit it, I told him I would give it to him if I had to and testify or do anything legal he needed. And I told my ex to fucking get her to tell him the truth or I would send him all kinds of texts and proof.

    I didn’t hear from him again. But I know they are separated, I’m not sure they can afford divorce or that’s what they say (I believe everyone should find a way to do it, but whatever) and I hope he has their kid most of the time. Because the OW is the one that has literally gone insane since then. But that’s a different story.

    • You bring up an important point. The cheaters demonize. I was told the OW was a bipolar alcoholic with crazy rage issues. She did stalk me and go rather nuts on me, so it wasn’t a stretch — but we did have one longer conversation where she just seemed rather sad and pathetic. (And frankly I was rather sad and pathetic myself at the time.) Perhaps she heard I was a Big Scary Psycho too.

      My point is — cheaters try to control the narrative. Fred may approach this woman and find out she’s just a sad chump like him. Shocked to her core.

    • AnotherErica, my experience was similar. When the truth cam out in my household, STBX spun me all kinds of lies about how dangerous and aggressive the aging skank’s husband was, made me scared that the husband would try to find out where we lived, come around to our house with revenge on his mind. I looked at my devastated children and thought we didn’t need that fear on top of everything else we were dealing with.

      Fast forward about 6 months, STBX, now living in an apartment, sends me another mysterious text out of the blue asking me to tell the kids not to tell anyone his address, but refuses to tell me why he is asking. This time I am angry at my coward of a husband for thinking that the skanks husband is going to try to approach our children but that he is not willing to confirm what the possible threat is or be man enough to deal with it himself.

      So I go mama-bear. I decide to contact aging skank’s husband myself – honestly, compassionately, but asking him to remember I have two children who are younger than theirs, and already distressed enough without violence thrown in. I figure that at best, he will back off, at worst, if he does turn out to be aggressive I will call the police myself and protect my children because sleazy husband isn’t willing to.

      Her husbands response to me email? He had only known about the affair for three days, he was shattered and devastated, as were his kids, and aggression was the last thing on his mind. She had been gaslighting him for months, as well as setting it up to look like she was leaving him because things weren’t working out between them. She had also been secretly setting herself up financially during that period of time, using their family funds.

      I so wish I had told him earlier. I could have saved him from another six months of gaslighting, abuse, blame shifting and the feeling he had that no matter what he tried to make his wife happy, he was still not good enough. I would also have saved him significant financial loss.

      Fred – I get the revenge fantasies, I really do. You will move n from that over time, as you heal. But this lady, this wife? She has a right to know, and a right to know as soon as possible. She is currently being lied to, potentially put at risk of STIs, definitely experiencing emotional harm, and quite possibly being lined up for financial ruin. You need to give her the truth so that she can make honest and independent decisions about her life, and protect herself from her lying cheating scum all of a husband.

      In the email I sent to the skanks husband, I closed by telling him I was very willing to meet for a coffee to talk if he wanted, but equally, I would not try to contact him again if he wished. We have actually now formed a friendship and it has been very useful for both of us in trackin down some of the finances and protecting ourselves and our children from the happy couples plans to con us.

      She needs to be able to protect herself. Tell her. Tell her kindly and with compassion. And then let her make her own decisions about how she deals with it. But keep coming here for strength for yourself so that you can move forwards with your own wonderful life.

    • Mona never actually said anything about the other wife until I asked how she felt about that fact. She responded that they were getting divorced. Yeah for 2.5 years? Mona was trying to convince me and probably herself that her affair was a normal healthy relationship. She would say “he is a big man who believes its his job to protect me” Ha Ha! She told me it started innocent but then built into something real. She said “i just wanted someone to do stuff with. I wasn’t looking to replace you. It started out as just friends”. (She met him on To me she would never mention his wife. I felt that she was trying to pretend there wasn’t a wife.

      He also told me that he knows about me. I find that confusing. She says it as if it makes it better because he knows about me. So I said to that “so what you are saying is, you were only lying to me and not him? Okay good to know”. Then she clams up “I AM DONE TALKING I ALREADY TOLD YOU EVERYTHING AND SAID I AM SORRY NOW I AM DONE TALKING! ”

      I hate that I am done talking crap. She is just trying to wiggle off the hook.

      P.s. Sorry for typos. I am using my ipad

      • Fred…..your wife and her husband met on a dating site?? I just don’t get it. Plenty of Fish isn’t Ashley Madison. It’s supposed to be a singles dating site. A cautionary tale here to anyone dipping their toes into the dating world on dating sites. Yikes. Liars, and cheaters and thieves, Oh My!!

      • Yeah….my POSx was on, you know, just looking for people to talk to. All so harmless, them BAM! Who could have possibly predicted they would end up screwing???

        “I AM SORRY”, is also the defacto response to statements of an inquisitive nature.

        Do tell his wife, and offer your information should she want to contact you.

        Again, welcome to the neighborhood.

  • I still struggle with this…I’m 10 months post DDay, going through a divorce and I have still not made contact with the OW husband. There are days when I think about letting me know and then there are days, I don’t want to spend any energy on the OW and her family. I have never felt 100% so that is why I haven’t done anything…Part of me thinks I will make contact once the divorce is done and then this will be part of my closure. Is there ever a time when it’s too late to let him know?

    • It’s never too late. Tell him just what you told us, you’re conflicted, drained, don’t know what he does or doesn’t know, and have come to the conclusion that this is information he deserves to know.

      Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, but there isn’t a single person here that would tell you they would have preferred to continue in the deceit – whether that is flat out denial, or a series of justifications, blame and minimization that is their “truth”.

    • I totally get not wanting to be involved in any drama with OW, and commend you for that. It’s healthy. Sometimes stirring shit is really all about trying to lay claim to the cheater, to exact a sort of revenge. Negative attention is better than being ignored, if you’re intent on “winning” the ex back.

      But the OW’s husband deserves to know, so you or someone else should tell him. Maybe write a letter or let a friend tell him. That way you accomplish both goals.

    • I kinda think if you wait until the divorce is final you’ll find yourself in drama when you should be finding your peace. If you are going to tell, AND it won’t affect your own divorce/settlement, then sooner would maybe be better. Just be sure it won’t fuck up your own divorce stuff.

      • Datdamwuf, you are right on. I’ve been told by a good friend that happens to be a lawyer, to do nothing until the papers have been signed. Even though my intentions would be to do the right thing and tell the truth about a LTA, this could come back and bite me in my ass. They could spin it and on paper, I could look like a scorned wife/mother that wanted to inflict pain onto another family., which could lead to questions regarding my character and well-being.

        • Piper,
          It seems the women in chump nation advise female chumps to use the disclosure of the affair as a divorce settlement bargaining chip while telling male chumps to disclose the affair to the OM’s wife ASAP to rescue her from continued abuse.
          I’ll be fair here and say the male chumps here appear to be mostly in the quick disclosure to OM/OW spouses camp. We should all get together on this thought. Should we save the chumps in the other camp or think of our own settlements first?

          I’m in the always tell camp!

          • Go ahead and tell. It doesn’t change the fact that the slime ball cheated and that is still ammunition in divorce court. If it comes up, you say “yes, Judge, I informed the other involved innocent party because they had a right to know”. Unless you do in front of your children, their children, or ask the other injured party to commit a crime, then you haven’t done anything in an irresponsible manner.

  • I’m not having a good day. Maybe it comes from recognizing that I was just a junk drawer to ex, because I sure did get cleaned out!

    Here’s how I wish I had found out: The cuckolded deputy sheriff husband of the OW shows up at our place, in uniform, and proceeds to defend his honor by verbally dressing down my ex in front of me. Notice served with no chance for me to spackle or go into denial. I would know. H would know I know. I would know that he knows I know. And I would have had a very big upper hand at that point, right then, just as soon as the deputy left. Knowledge is power, and we could have gotten right down to the nitty-gritty. As it was I was kept in the dark for at least 3 years while this nonsense ballooned out of control.

    Fred: You want to get back at Mona a bit? Then get in the Other Man’s face and SHAME him in front of his wife. He’ll drop Mona like a hot potato because everytime he looks at her he will feel the humiliation again. The wife is not going to come after Mona — all her anger is going to be directed exactly where it belongs — onto the OM, her cheating sack of shit husband.

  • I agree that the OM’s wife should be informed. But NOT so she goes ape-shit crazy and confronts your wife. All that would do is confirm what almost guaranteed the OM is already telling your wife….. his wife is crazy, the marriage is terrible, his wife is a problem, blah blah blah. Cheaters always blame their spouses for the cheating, and the AP laps it up eagerly, because they want to believe their own wickedness is someone else’s fault.

    I encourage you to tell the OM’s wife in a very discreet manner so she can be armed with knowledge, and so that if she makes the decision to dump her cheating husband’s ass, she has time to prepare before he knows that SHE knows about the affair. She can get financial information, talk to an attorney, make her plans.

    In the same vein, I hope you are going for broke in the divorce as well. Outside of child support, I firmly believe that when cheating is involved, the chump should do as much as possible to nail the cheater to the courthouse wall in terms of alimony, settlements, assets. Doesn’t matter to me if the cheater was a wealthy working man or a SAHM, I hate the way no-fault divorce protects them from consequences.

  • Fred,
    Tell because it is the right thing to do. You almost certainly would have wanted her to tell you had she found out first. Any other motive has to do with you and really doesn’t matter for her. She deserves to know that she is being chumped.

  • I wish I’d been told and I know one person who had their spouse’s AP’s spouse give them a call – and they were grateful for the facts.

    Echoing the advice. Tell her. But then stay out of it. I wouldn’t have wanted to know if I had to worry about the teller contacting me again, or wanting to know the fallout, etc.

    Fantasize away but live in reality. Deal with what you have to deal with to move on, resolve, and recover from your relationship Mona. The other couple’s status may provide interesting to know information – but it really isn’t your affair (pun intended!) to know what aggrieved spouse does, tells, confronts, or denies. Poking the bee hive to notify the queen there is danger is valiant. Jabbing at it further is just stirring up trouble that will come back and sting you unnecessarily.

  • There’s no question it’s the right thing to do – I’d be in a very different place today if someone had told me (although I don’t know of anyone who hid the truth from me except for the asswipe himself). So when I found out, I decided to tell the other chump – it took me a few weeks to find his contact info, and I sent an email – brief, emotionless. Pretty sure the ow intercepted it, but the fact was that it became clear to her and my h that making sure the other husband knew was going to happen, so the cat was out of the bag. My h and the ow were apparently “broken up” at this point, so there was anger at me for opening a wound that had closed a month before (cough cough bullshit, cough cough), but my extremely remorseful (?) h said, “I can’t tell you what you can and can’t do”. And the fallout from that? Not dramatic or fantasy-fulfilling in any sense. But maybe he wasn’t surprised: he got her because she was cheating on her husband with him- his brother, so I was dealing with someone who chumped his own brother – ew. She’s apparently irresistible with the dishonest mouth breathing hillbilly crowd (I know very honest hillbillies btw). But I know, that in that horrible early time, I did the right thing, without drama and with my wits about me – as opposed to what I wanted to do which was run through the city screaming, contacting every professional association with which she’s involved (I still want to – having such toxic people be in charge of mentally incapacitated people seems wrong and alarming to me) and destroy anything I could. I’m proud of my restraint, since I tend to operate one of 2 ways: passionately over the top, or asleep.

    Interestingly, it’s the one action I did that I don’t look back on and say, “oh I wish I had done that a bit differently”. And being who I am (see above) I don’t have too many situations in my life when I’m satisfied with my reaction.

    I’ll take the ugly truth over a pretty lie any day. I also truly believe what T Roosevelt said, wholeheartedly: In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong things, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

  • Wow! 54 comments already. I have not read them all yet but I am sure there are all helpful. I appreciate everyones support. Thank you Chump Lady for posting it and for your long insightful response. Just knowing that I was beard moved me close to tears.

    Immediately after sending that letter to you, I thought how selfish of me. I should want to tell his wife simply because she has a right to know. I wish someone would had told me a long time ago. I knew something was up but I didn’t want to believe it. But if someone could had just confirmed it for me I could had made an educated decision on where to go from here.

    I did some thinking on why I wanted Mona to be confronted. I think in my mind I am hoping it would help Mona get her life on track. I know that is very chumpy of me and I should be ashamed of myself for thinking ir.

    The truth is I am still very much struggling with this. I am on day 16 of no contact. Every day I almost contact her at least once. I stop myself by saying “that is what she wants. If I contact her I give up my power. I can’t do that.”

    I had been going back and forth between blaming her and blaming myself. I am trying to be strong. You are all helping so much. I loved Mona very much. I am sure you all know that emotion doesn’t get turned off as easily as a lamp.

    • Sorry you have to go through this, Fred. I went down a dark road in my attempts at revenge, and it was mostly for naught (it also gives the cheater more chances to play the victim – one of their favorite games). You can’t control how other people will react to what you tell them, so don’t aim for that. You should tell the wife because she has a right to know, and tell her in a way that respects her as a person. Then focus on yourself: you have a tough road ahead, but it sounds like you know what it takes to get down it.

    • Fred, sadly emotion does get turned off as easily as a lamp for these cheaters. We are not so lucky. Good luck to you.

      • Praying for you, Fred. Everybody here is/has been where you are. We’ll never let you down.

    • Fred, please don’t blame yourself and keep on being mighty with that NC. You filed, you’re going NC — you are SO doing the right things. Add one more right thing and tell that man’s wife. It’s all very hard and revenge fantasies are totally normal. (You should read my bit where I wanted to gut my ex like a fish.)

      She had a long-term affair. People who can do double lives are disordered. Fucked up. Not marriage material. It hurts — but there are people out there who WILL love you right and treat you with respect. So don’t make Mona and her life journey your business any more. Just focus on yourself and moving forward.

      If you’re worried about someone’s life journey — tell that other chump. Personally, I’d give her a call so you know you’ve not been intercepted.

    • Oh Fred, Jedi hugs dude! Don’t let the love derail you. You can love again. I think telling the wife will help you, just not with revenge fantasies. After you do it, your own wife’s reaction will help you move on. (Hugs)

    • Fred, I think it is perfectly normal, at 13 days no contact, to want to “get a little of your own back” and to want to put a spoke in the fun of your cheater’s affair. I didn’t tell the MOW’s husband because I didn’t have proof of an affair–just Jackass’s FB page (started 3 days after their exciting first big encounter) which after nearly 3 months had no posts and just one “friend,” his MOW. I knew immediately what that meant because I had just lives through 90 days of narcissist discard hell, in which nothing was the same as it had been 91 days before. We were not at that point living together, so I had no chance of getting the goods other than getting someone to hack his FB page, which I wouldn’t do. I know what I know; that was good enough for me.

      But I did send a business letter to Jackass, pointing out the his MOW was being indiscreet on social media, that I had an interesting message from a mutual friend, and that if he expected me to be discreet, that was a 2-way street. I think the fun went out of his end of the affair once I found out and he knew it was possible I could cause him to lose face with a whole group of people who would not have approved of the affair or either of them for engaging in it. He went full NC himself because he “can’t tolerate” that I “accused” him, but that really means he knows I know the truth about his lying, cheating, narcissistic self and he can’t face me when he doesn’t have the advantage of the con job. You have evidence; let the chumped spouse know in the kindest way you can.

      One of the great lessons of betrayal for those of us who are a little or a lot codependent is that the only person we control, and the only person we can change, is the Self. When I began to read about narcissistic personalities, one of the first things that made sense to me was that the Jackass’s indifference to the pain I felt or to the loss of “what [I thought] we had” was a symptom not of something wrong with me, but of something wrong with him. And with the equally narcissistic, attention-seeking, self-proclaimed “biatch”and “weakling” that dispensed the Wayback Machine kibbles for him. While it is the kind thing to tell the chumped spouse, it is also a step toward living in a world grounded in the truth, not withing a narcissist cheater bubble. The best revenge: 1) No contact. No attention. Eventual Meh. 2) One day at a time, build an awesome, authentic life. 3) Meet challenges head on. 4) Tell the truth. And read yesterday’s post about how mighty Chump Nation is. Get inspired. Sending you best wishes. Early days are so hard.

    • Fred
      I thought I loved my man very much too. But I quickly learned that love for me includes respecting the other person.

      If Mona was on POF looking for “friends” and you believe that, then I’ve got a used car for you. She didn’t care about you. POF’s home page says “the world’s largest dating site…for singles and personals”. Doh.

      Do not blame yourself. You were lied to.

  • Oh my, reading all of these comments totally has me confused today.
    First, I haven’t felt one single bad feeling against my 21 year old daughter who knew for 6 months before I did. NOW, I feel awful. Double Decieved!!
    OW was still married when I found out. She has a 2 year old baby. (I don’t think it’s my husband’s) My stbx begged me not to tell because it may hurt custody issues if he found out.
    They had a plan all worked out. They were waiting until she got a divorce to make it look like they just started their relationship. He admitted this to me, with a smug face.
    I wanted other husband to know, but all the therapists I went to, told me not to tell.
    My children told me not to tell. They said they didn’t want me to be responsible for hurting somebody I was a little afraid to tell, since I didn’t know OH at all – was he crazy? Would he hurt OW? Would he hurt himself????
    Another sad part of the scenario is that his MIL, who babysits their child, knew all along, and was actually encouraging her daughter’s infidelity. My stbx is a very powerful, high positioned, world renowned doctor, so they probably are thinking $$$$$$
    But, I also felt like I was part of the betrayal, by not telling.
    I went as far as meeting him, but didn’t let on anything about the situation – I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
    I also felt like I could hold on to this piece of information as leverage, in case my husband gets stingy during the divorce proceedings. (But that makes me feel like a bad guy too)
    This is so confusing………
    He was her boss when the affair started – I’ve got that leverage too – but if he loses his job, my children and I lose too.
    It has been almost 6 months since D day.
    OW filed for divorce on March 31. It is probably final by now. I have a lawyer, but I haven’t filed yet.
    Is telling him now worth it?

    • He’sGone, the story is different when it’s a child who knows. Your daughter may have kept the affair to herself because she was conflicted, or maybe your STBX promised to end it. You should really hash this issue out with her, and tell her how you feel about her not telling you, without being accusatory. This could be a good chance for you and your daughter to talk about boundaries in a romantic relationship, and how to deal with conflicting demands.

      Your children not wanting to hurt the OW’s husband is a noble goal, but think about this: Isn’t it even more hurtful to withhold information from him that affects the direction of his life, and to which he is entitled? You can’t control what he does with the information, but that is on him. As a fellow chump, you have an obligation to let him know. Wouldn’t you want to know, if you were in his shoes?

      Your STBX being her boss may not mean anything, depending on the company’s policies. That’s dicey, and your focus should be on what’s best for you and your children. File for divorce, get some closure, and unleash your attorney. Don’t play this nice: that’s what he’s counting on. Take it from someone who got played by being too nice to his cheating ex. They’re only looking out for one person, and it isn’t you, so don’t count on them to make any concessions.

      • Thank you dslak!
        My daughter and I do talk. She said she would still do it the same way. This situation has made us have talks about boundaries in relationships, and the difference between right and wrong. She is very close with her father, and she didn’t want to upset him or me. I won’t change my feelings for her. I love her UNCONDITIONALLY I don’t think her father can say the same.

        I will think about telling him. I’m not sure what difference it will make now though

    • Don’t blame your daughter, but jesus, why haven’t you filed for divorce? Are you in reconciliation?

      That poor man! That chump! TELL HIM! He might get custody? Well, what’s worse? He’s CHUMPED and in addition to being betrayed and losing his marriage, he gets every other weekend? It’s a total injustice! Of course he should know!

      Will it affect your situation? I doubt it, as you have NO divorce proceedings for him to be stingy on! You haven’t filed! You missed your window of influence here.

      I don’t mean to beat up on you — you were hesitant and got shit advice.

      And FWIW, children are put in an untenable position when they know. I’m sure the knowledge was incredibly difficult for your daughter. She should be pissed at her father.

      • Oh, and he SHOULD test paternity. How do you know that’s not your husband’s kid? There’s a good reason he doesn’t want you to tell because he doesn’t want to pay support.

        The employment thing — he’s already fucked and you need to see a lawyer yesterday. He had this relationship, and even consensual relationships can be construed as creating a sexualized work environment and leave the company open for a lawsuit. (My husband is an employment attorney.) IMO, ACT now and get a settlement off him before this comes unglued some other way.

        He’s a world famous doctor? He’ll find another job. Your support money is safe.

        • WOW!!!! You did beat me up, but I needed it, I guess.
          I guess I was afraid of what else my stbx could do to hurt me and my kids.
          I had to be in the right state of mind, getting my ducks in a row, making sure I got things I needed for the house, etc… He also gets a big bonus Aug. 31 – I want to get a hold of some of that! I also wanted to be the nice one, so he couldn’t say anything bad about me.
          I’m getting empowered now!

          • What more can he do to hurt you? Cheating and leaving are pretty much the worst, in my view. He has a great career and money. He will land on his feet. You will get support. The bonus (yippee) can be part of your filing so you get your half. See a lawyer MONDAY. Get your financial ducks in a row. Start thinking about your new life. And for goodness sakes, stop protecting him from consequences. If his MOW’s child is his–and it could be–then the chumped spouse needs to know. And he can always reopen child support and custody if he has new information. He is probably younger than your STBX and deserves a shot at a good life.

        • He’s a world famous doctor? He’ll find another job. Your support money is safe.

          That’s exactly what I was thinking.

          And, uhhhh…. It’s not like this sort of thing doesn’t happen ALL the freakin’ time with doctors. I’m sure your hopefully STBX has many colleagues who are doin’ the same thing.

          When you talk to your daughter about not telling you, I would try to keep emotion out of it, and frame it as a moral issue, instead. Perhaps focus on the damage being done to the OW’s husband by not telling–it’s not right to withhold the truth from someone when that truth would affect that someone’s ability to function wholly. It’s not fair nor right to allow someone to live a lie.

      • Maybe your husband IS the father of the child, and they want to make sure they get child support out of the unsuspecting OH. Just the sort of thing a pair of sleazy narcissists would do.

    • I think you should tell– But perhaps after you initiate divorce proceedings if that is what you want to do. Not sure I can come up with a good reason other than you want shit to hit a fan after you have set some legal boundaries. Please feel free to disagree with me.

      I think I just want you to have your ducks in a row. That’s all.

      • Thanks everyone!!!! I do plan to file soon. I do have a lawyer, and a financial assistant helping me. I think I’ve been scared of STBX. You have all helped me see another side. And CL, I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t found your blog (and read your book), in a much worse place, I’m sure! Thank you!

        • What is there to be afraid of? That he is going to be upset because you aren’t a doormat for him? Be mighty.

  • Fred,
    I agree with everyone that you should tell the OM’s wife, and as soon as possible, as it is the right and compassionate thing to do. If you can, I would also provide her with some hard evidence, e.g., emails, phone logs, etc., as she may not believe you. (But if you don’t have evidence, I wouldn’t wait.) You have no idea how she might react: She might be grateful, incredulous, hysterical, angry at the messenger; she might already know. Her reaction is not within your control, but telling her the truth about what’s going on in her life is the right thing to do.

    Myself, I am so glad I found out when I did. I would have never suspected, except that when I posted on a marriage website about how my XH told me that he loved me but was no longer in love with me, some posters (thankfully) suggested that he was having an affair and that I should look around for evidence. I honestly thought they were crazy and just put their suspicions in the back of my mind as those of some infidelity fanatics, but a couple of months later when my XH didn’t come home for a few days (he said he was sleeping over at his place of work), I remembered their responses and then searched around a bit and found evidence of the affair. I am eternally grateful for the suspicions those anonymous posters planted in my mind, or else I would have never suspected and could have been the dark for God knows how long. I honestly thought that having an affair was the last thing my XH would ever do (and sometimes I am still shocked by it now).

  • I laughed at that bit about not wanting to implode the OP’s spouse’s life. My cheater was fucking a (terminally) single woman in her 40s, never been in a long term relationship, and he ACTUALLY said to me that he felt not-so-bad about it because “at least he wasn’t hurting some other guy.” Yep. He said that to me. I just stared at him in stunned silence. He was genuinely remorseful, and felt truly terrible, but I just coldly said, “okay, so you were so pleased with yourself for not hurting some IMAGINARY guy you DON’T KNOW than me. the ‘love of your life’ and our children? That’s so fucking messed up.” He looked at me and said, “yeah, incredibly fucked up, I know, and I will always be so fucking sorry I was so fucked in the head there.”

    Tell, give the information, a copy of Chump Lady’s book, and walk away. She deserves the truth, not having to deal with HPV induced cervical cancer and chlamydia like I have.

    • They simply have no conscience, soul or character. Mine screwed a teenage prostitute using a condom and said that “he felt bad afterwards”. When he exposed me to that without a condom, his wife of 37 years he never felt guilty or bad. His comment to me was, “do you think I would do that to you and put you at risk”. To say I was gutted is an understatement but that final act of betrayal showed me once and for all what an emotional restricted person I had been married to. I always thought he was (a red flag) but that final betrayal confirmed it for me and I have ceased all communication with him. Mine has never shown one ounce of remorse whatsoever and to this day he is still screwing young prostitutes. He is one sick puppy or should I say old dog!!

    • When these cheaters look at actually human beings, it’s like they’re looking salad dressing bottles in a refrigerator.

  • Fred,
    Sorry to tell you this but you are NORMAL. You will go back and forth 100 times a day. You will blame yourself, her, OM, the dog, your god, everything you know has been turned upside down and you will do anything to right it. You are in the right place with the right people who will hold your hair back when you are puking and then we will bitch slap you when you need it.

    Consider your current–TEMPORARY–life right now as being an alcoholic. You will have the urge to drink (want to contact her), you may even fall off the wagon (contact her/meet with her), but just know that it will fall back into drinking and the hangover (trusting her and then betrayal). But what I think is worse is the waiting for the hangover. Because she has cheated before, she will cheat again–waiting for the hangover (betrayal).

    I am glad to hear that you have emotions about what has happened to you. Feeling, even though we don’t want to, is the best way to thoroughly get over it. Feel it, write about it, laugh, walk, beat your mattress up with heavy duty paper-towel rolls (my favorite), cry your fucking eyes out then get up, wash your face, and accomplish 1 thing on a to do list. Rinse & repeat, accomplish 2 things on your to do list. One-step-at-a-time, that is how you get out of Hell, just keep walking.

    I am glad you contacted CL, sorry you had to find us, but you are in the right place.

      • Yes, writing about it, both here and in journals, in so helpful. And do one thing at a time. 🙂

    • Before finding I read lots of articles on It seems my wife is a borderline waif. Thats not an excuse ( actually does not believe there is much hope of a successful relationship with a bpd especially a cheating one). My point of mentioning this is that author suggested beating my mattress with a belt for as long and hard as I felt was necessary. So I did that for the first time last week. I swatted that mattress with my belt 50 times with each arm for a total of 100 all the while thinking of Mona and how she betrayed me. When I was finished I was out of breath and felt I just had a major work out. I felt much better. I recommend trying that as well.

      • That’s good Fred. You have a right to your anger and you found a very good and un-harmful way to alleviate it. Keep doing what works. Adding on to Marci’s comment below, if you decide that you are too raw to let the OM’s wife know yourself, it is okay to have a trusted friend have your back for that part if they’re willing to do it. Or have them go with you if you let her know in person. A phone call could be enough too, you don’t have to do it in person. She does need to know. I think it’d be very appropriate for you to do it, you know her pain and she’ll see yours too. You can say how you found out, what you know, encourage her to do her own searching. You already know she needs to know.

      • Shari Schreiber , owner of that gettinbetter site, has some good articles.
        I also read Shrink4men , although , lately, it has been much less active.
        There are not a whole lot of sites out there for men dealing with these abusive, disordered women vs the number of site available for women victims of abuse.
        Interestingly , both the above mentioned sites are run by women. I have noticed that women pick up on the evil in disordered women much sooner than men seem to. Many of my women friends came to me after my discoveries of cheating and told me how they never liked either of my wives and could see what phonies they are.

        • My parents and other relatives did that too. After I mentioned we are getting divorced they suddenly shift to “I never liked Mona” Funny when we were making plans to get married they would say they really liked her and thought she was nice. I have been learning that no one says what they really think at first.

          After reading Shari’s articles it was so eye opening for me. I am Mona’s 3rd husband. Our 9th anniversary was actually last week (we had been together for 2 years prior to getting married). She would tell me stories of how abusive her second husband was and how he would call her a whore when he was mad at her. I thought “that asshole” and I vowed to protect her from any such meanness. I look back at those stories and I now realize there was probably something to why he called her a whore and he wasn’t just being mean.

          If I had known then what I know now I would never had gotten involved with Mona. She shows every sign of being a severe case of borderline. She just got fired again for the second time in less than a year as a school teacher.

          I would say its safe to assume that everything is going to go down hill for her from here on. I have to admit that does tug on my heart strings quite a bit. But I have been staying very strong and the last couple days I have not had to struggle with staying no contact. I am now on day 19 of no contact and I know that is not impressive. What I am finding fascinating is that its not supposed to be so easy at only day 19. Maybe I really am ready to let go.

    • Really great description Redless. Thank you. This is hell but thank goodness for the site.

  • Fred
    I was thinking that you are so raw right now, maybe the additional stress of trying to decide what to do about the other chump is too much for you right now.

    You always have the option of taking no action for the time being.

    I was a clueless chump,whim someone thankfully did enlighten as to my chumpdom. However, as several have said, you have no idea what that woman’s reaction might be. Ask yourself if you are strong enough right now, or more importantly, lucid enough to do it kindly. I know I was batshit crazy for the first few weeks and should have been in a straightjacket. The things I wrote to the OW were enough to make two policemen burst out laughing. Then they hugged me.

  • For the record, I do believe the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer is even more useless than corn-on-the-cob holders.

    Or trying to use OM’s wife as a remote control, enlightenment-inspiring Rottweiler.

    But only the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer (a real product, google it) is more useless.

    • Oh, and also for the record, my favorite Amazon review of the Hutzler 571 says something to the effect of this:

      Two stars: As shown in the picture, the slicer curves to the left, and all my bananas curve the other way. lol

  • My friend marveled at the strength I showed in not contacting xH from early on. I told her that it wasn’t so much about being strong, it was about the fact that every time I contacted xH (usually to try to hurt HIM with the truth) I was the one who got burned. I was so hurt every time I reached out to xH. Eventually you get tired of hurting yourself, and NC becomes the obvious cure.

    • Beautifully put Miss Sunshine. This is now me also. After knowing my ex husband for 45 years, I can’t think of one good reason why I would now need to have contact with him. I could not have imagined that it would turn out like this. I know I am nearly at MEH now.

      • Miss Sunshine – you just put some sun in my day with that comment. Every single time I’d reach out to POS, he either ignored me or answered with such business-like authority – like a robot. It wound up depressing me for days. Yeah, *I* was the one hurting *me*. He was probably smirking and showing my emails to his tramp. (I was a little pissed he couldn’t wish me a happy birthday after 36yrs!) He shared more than one of my emails to his attorney, to my possible detriment, so no more of that coming from moi. What a shitty lesson learned though, and you guys told me a long time ago to cut this shit out. I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t listen. Shoot me with a straw holder, please.
        I guess I’m slow, but it sunk in. He really DOES NOT care.

        • That they don’t care, didn’t care, never did and never will is an inhuman pill to swallow. It takes what it takes for it to sink in.

          • Einstein,

            That has been the hardest thing to get my mind around as I have re-examined our life together. When people tell me that they are sorry, I now tell them that I’m sorry too, but that he NEVER loved or cared about me, so it is probably for the best. Since everyone thought we had the perfect marriage, there is always a gasp and a moment of silence before they say, “Oh, you’re wrong about that. That certainly can’t be true. He always said wonderful things about you.” To which I have begun to respond, “Those are words he said to you. I know what I lived and I can honestly say he NEVER cared about me. You, however, can believe whatever you choose, even with the evidence of how little he cared currently visible for all to see.” People really don’t understand that someone who CARES about you CANNOT and WOULD NOT BETRAY you. Period.

            • I don’t say any more to people that he never cared about me. I only give examples from time to time.

              So, for example, if I say, “xH never cared about me, never loved me….” people’s reaction, I’m sure, is that I’m being dramatic and looking for comfort. So they’ll say, “Nooo! NoooOO! He did love you!” I had one person say, “I know the way he looked at you–he loved you!” Ironically, the last time she saw us together, we were on a ski holiday, and xH was already screwing the twat troll. I don’t know HOW he was looking at me, but it sure wasn’t with adoration. Likely that gobsmacked look was more of a smirk–“I know something she doesn’t know….”

              But, if I say things like, “Ugh–he spent thousands of dollars a month on a ‘vacation’ home that was all work and no fun for me,” or, “He kept saying over and over, after he told me about the affair, ‘I never loved you. I’m sorry that I wasn’t a good husband, but I never loved you,'” or, “He really always was on his best behavior when we were with friends,” or, “Thanks for the compliment on these shoes–xH refused to buy them for me, so I returned the next day and bought them for myself–they mean a lot to me,” or, “He was so mean whenever we went on vacation–really in a bad, sulky mood, and no fun at all,” then people get it. I don’t say, “He never loved me,” I do say, “Trust me, it’s not fun being married to a man who is constantly openly infatuated with other women,” or, “These guys don’t suddenly change overnight–you know, he didn’t go from being a loving, devoted husband to a cheater overnight. He was always very distant, always looking to spent time alone.” It all adds up. But I realize if I try desperately to get people to see what a heartless prick he is, then I just look desperate. And that’s not my goal.

              Meh–you know what? People get it or they don’t. And I really almost don’t care any more, either. I know what my xH is. He knows that I know what he is. That must scare the shit out of him. Thank God I live in a country where I have the right to protect myself by getting the hell away from him.

              • This hit home for me. My ex was NO fun on vacations either. And it it was a beach vacation – I hated those. He would sit on the beach or at the pool and stare at other women, or get in the water when they got in the water, or strut in front of their lounges, looking to get their attention.

                But I have had a small amount of retribution. Recently my kids went with him and the AP on a beach vacation. Kids said Dad and AP fought constantly, he drank too much, he cried 4-5 times, they swore at the kids and at each other.

                The little things that make you realize: they don’t change.

        • I wish I had found this site in those early days because as a result of an e-mail to both cheaters upon DDay, some angry texting to OW (though only to get her to get ex to contact me regarding bill collectors knocking on my door since he would not respond and stupidly even requested the 3 of us sit together due to my great and overwhelming fears about this woman’s influence on my children-I know, ridiculous when I even admit it), some VMs asking her to call me and “face the music,” (I know, bad bad, bad) and finally realization about no contact, finding chump nation, and one last scathing hurtful e-mail telling them my raw and honest feelings (especially that I had contacted OW’s husband), I was served, embarrassingly at work, a temporary civil stalking injunction. I have requested a hearing to speak my side and all I am going to say is: “Due to processing immense feelings of loss and betrayal, I was overcome with emotion due to events too numerous to waste the court’s time with, which contributed to regretful contact with ‘whore'” (I know, I know, I’ll use her name). I have never so much as had a speeding ticket in the last 20 years of my life and live in a small town. My biggest biggest regret was not going NC immediately but I have never been so emotionally triggered in my life and truly felt out of control (and still do at times). I have been scared by the intensity and level of my responses since DDay. I did contact OWs husband, when I was in a calm state and I have no regrets about that but I do believe that’s what sent OW over the edge to issue this injunction. The thing is I never stalked, threatened, or harassed her and the only incriminating letter was the last one. Total regret for my actions and now I have a pact with my best friend that I will run any written correspondence through her before I send and she literally edits and re-writes for me (related to contacting ex about finances or children) before I send.
          I still cannot get over how immense my feelings have been and how I am getting glimmers of how NC is truly the sanest, best way to be.
          Any advice from chumps about my upcoming hearing would be greatly appreciated. I am seeking legal counsel but would love input from you all. Signed, total regret for not finding chumps sooner and remaining NC from first minute of DDay.

  • One of the things that really bothered me after I caught my EX and skank woman fucking, is that at that moment I knew what was in a murderer’s heart. Something I never knew before. And I hated his mother fucking guts for doing that to me. I always prided myself on being a peace loving person but that went away the night I caught them. Anybody who fucks someone else’s spouse is asking for all kinds of trouble. Yes, most chumps take the high road. Some don’t. Last month in our area two people died of gunshot wounds over infidelity. These narc’s must think they’re 10 feet tall and bullet proof.

    • I know exactly how you feel. I have always strived to be a peaceful person, to be appreciative of my life, to examine all sides of a situation. I have been the one people turn to when they need someone to help them navigate their problems in a calm fashion. But when I was told just minutes before my X’s betrayal was revealed on every news station where I live, I thought I was losing my mind. I was a banshee. Literally. Thank God one of my colleague’s was with me and absolutely keep me on the right track. If the OW had been anywhere near me, I would have beat her ass. Still want to, especially when she “accidentally” shows up where she knows my kids and I will be. It takes alot of self-restraint on my part not to want to ruin her professionally. Fortunately, she is doing a good job of that all by herself. Karma=the natural consequences of shitty behavior by disordered people.

  • Syringa – spot on. I’ve never felt so much anger in my life and I knew then, what drives people to go crazy enough to run over their spouse with a car – 3 times. This was a post awhile back how nutty we all were at one time. But, I understand that feeling now. Betty Broderick! lol – yeah, I even get her. Thankfully, I’ve progressed enough that I no longer think of that whorehole ex-friend of mine living with my stbx. She is nothing to me now, not worth a thought. So – whew, now that she’s out of my mind….maybe there’s hope he will be too. Soon.

      • Mary Jo Buttafuco….now there was a CLASS ONE CHUMP! She took Joey back even after his lover shot her in the face. Holy shit cakes.

  • using this post as an opportunity to ask this question:
    – why didn’t OW’s husband believe me when I told him that his whore wife was seeing my cheater for almost a year (and I had proof in a recorded confession I taped on my iphone)
    He just didn’t say anything when I played him the tape but afterward said that it’s not enough evidence bc my cheater was seeking revenge on him for money OW’s husband apparently owed him-
    I don’t know why but a year since DD this still bothers me horribly
    I see this couple lovey dovey at the mall, at neighborhood functions since we’re neighbors, and you would never know that she’s a whore- she has the Jesus cheater thing down to a T with her gold necklace cross, posting bible quotes on twitter…
    I even stalked them both on Facebook last year, and realized that it was more traumatizing to me than the affair itself, as I saw that ruining my marriage meant nothing to her- she just went about her business, shortly after DD- which was DD for her husband, if he believed me, they both went to the Caribbean for a family vacation- I saw the scuba diving photos and all…
    It’s just so baffling to me, people. I mean, my life was turned upside down in one weekend last July but OW is living like nothing ever happened? Why?
    Anyway, just wanted to tell you all about this other scenario, which is probably not very common but still could happen, if Fred confronts the OM’s wife.
    Can you tell I’m still really pissed off and angry? I see these bozos every now and then, I’m stuck in my home, can’t move until I gain some equity in my hous since now I would need to show up with a 30k check for the bank if I wanted to sell my house. Besides, I fucking love my house, do I really need to move in order to move on with life? Sorry for the ramble. I saw CL’s new post in my inbox and something snapped in me- by the way- DO tell no matter what!

    • Well, one possibility is that if he stops spackling over what she does, he would have to leave, lose money in the divorce, lose contact with the kids. He might have done the pick-me dance and figured that he “won” his wife back. Everything depends on what a person decides to value–if it is “save the marriage at the cost of dignity, the truth, and a healthy future,” then for now he figures he’s the winner. Until she cheats again.

    • Some people just don’t want to know the truth. Denial and inertia are very powerful forces for some. Who knows? Maybe he’s a cheater, too. As for Fakebook, that’s just a place where people go to get their delusion on. Pretty pictures signifying nothing.

      Don’t want to move? Then don’t. If you love your house, stay there and make it your own. I did and it is my refuge. I had so many good memories here, raising my kids, putting in my beautiful gardens, nuturing the wildlife. I wasn’t about to let those two freaks run me out of the place I created (X never lifted a finger to build or maintain this place, so I figured it was never really his anyway).

      • I agree about the house. I think the most important thing is to build something that is a true home for yourself. This is the first time I’ve stayed put long enough to see my perennials mature. I was cared to death to take on the burden of this house without a partner to help with it, but that ironically has been the biggest growing edge of my life–learning to rely on my self, my resources and judgment. And I look around and feel profoundly grateful that Jackass got caught before he moved in here.

  • ALWAYS do tell! It is the right thing to do. If the OW/OM gets a beating from their own spouse as a result- it’s a bonus. Seriously.

  • All of his co workers knew, I was and my kids the last to know. There is no way I would have been living with him in our home like nothing was wrong if I knew. Just the health risks alone. Please tell the wife, so she can decide what her life is, knowing what her marriage is.

  • Fred,

    I agree with everyone else – please tell the OM’s wife. I wish I had known YEARS ago that my STBX was a lying, belly-crawling, personality-disordered, flaming turd from satan’s ass. I believe – I hope – I would have left him years ago and been past the heartache and completely immersed in my new life. In hindsight, I also realize it would have been better for my children.

    Revenge fantasies you say? MY STBX’s Ho’ is a minister. He “accidentally” (on purpose) sent me photos (“selfies”) over a year ago of them in bed (clothed) and another of them kissing. I also have pages of pages from the cell phone records of hours upon hours of phone calls between them when I was still living in the marital residence. I have a suggestive text which he sent to me in “error.” At any time, I could have packaged up a copy of all of this and sent it to the pastor of the church where she is a minister. However, I have not. I HAVE saved it in case my attorney needs to use it as leverage in my divorce. These two heartless, cheating cretins will ultimately reap the consequences of their own behavior. I am not a big proponent of vengeance – it never looks like you think it’s going to look and it cannot soothe or repair the hurt you are feeling in the long term.

    As CL always tells us – it is not up to us to attempt to control other people. That’s impossible. The only person over whom we have any control is ourself. Tell his wife so that she has the truth about her life. Everyone deserves to know the truth about their life in order to be able to make the right decisions concerning that life. Every decision that woman is currently making is predicated on the lie of the life she believes she has. What she chooses to do with that information is completely on her – not on you. Chumpectomy gave you the makings of a perfect script to use – change it as necessary. Be tender and compassionate because you will be telling her something NO ONE ever wants to hear.

    Good Luck to you Fred. None of this easy. Just take it one day at a time and be as kind to yourself as we are suggesting you be to the wife of the OM.

  • Chump Princess – very well said. And, in the exception of the stranger on the street approaching the betrayed spouse (bravo), I would add that the ONLY person that is the most effective with this information to her chump, would be straight from your horses mouth.

    I’ve seen it backfire if other friends tell the spouse. Happened to me and I didn’t believer her at all! – but she had no proof – would have been better coming from the real source. (yes, I ate crow to her later)

  • Chump Princess – I just cannot fathom having him ‘accidentally’ sharing gross photos and descriptive emails to you – I would have come completely unglued. Strychnine comes to mind. Good for you for being so brave, so tough, so absolutely sane, to keep all this to yourself, for now. I applaud you! ><

    • Thank you Shechump. And those are things he did within a few weeks or a couple of months after D-Day, while I was still reeling and nearly suicidal. Talk about a fucking hot pocket cheater!

      He is a disordered dog turd (thank you CL!), to be sure. There are always little jabs like this that come from him, which is why I am currently as completely no contact as I can possibly be. (Rev. Imaho is just as disordered as she either encourages or participates in the behavior.) Trust me, there have been times I have wanted to bash him in the head and leave him for dead, but I have refrained. He’s not worth the orange jumpsuit. Also, even though I know this is not a pain Olympics, I take heart from all of the strong and resilient people here who have dealt with disordered dog turds while fighting cancer, their children are fighting cancer, parents dying, etc., who keep moving forward while maintaining their dignity and their integrity.

  • My STBX had a “bestie” that knew about his affair. I’d known this person for years and comforted him when his wife had cheated on him. I wish he’d had the courage to tell me but he liked my ex’s money and status. And they were great drinking buddies….

    It’s really hard to disentangle yourself from a cheater but in fairness to the wife of the OM, I think she would want to know. That’s my opinion. I know I would have liked to have known and I felt like the village idiot when I finally found out the hard way.

    I wish you the best because I know this is really hard. You deserve so much better and it’s out there for you.

  • My EX’s skank had just gotten a divorce so there was no Husband to contact but damn straight I would have contacted him. In one second. She had been in a long term marriage and was hoovering around for several months before her divorce was even final looking for a man to suck up so she wouldn’t have to be alone for 9 minutes. She hit on several married men before she went after my dumb ass of a drunk husband. Up to that point he had just been a dumb ass drunk. When he became a Cheating Dumb Ass of a Drunk husband. Well, that was another story.

    I’ve had plenty of time to think about this and I know in my heart I’m so much better off without this guy. I would have never left him but it’s not how I wanted to live my life.

  • OK – I’m in a bad space again. But, after reading about revenge, I just gotta say what’s on my mind. The OW was freshly divorced because her husband knew she was having an affair with somebody and it was her 4th affair in 9 yrs. He didn’t know it was with my H, anymore than I did. We were a very close 4-some buddy team for 5 yrs showing our dogs. He knows now but doesn’t much care as he’s moved on.

    Since I see this POS whore just moving happily into the sunset with my stbx~~or so I imagine, one big thing is she doesn’t want her 30 yr old daughter to know about my H. I knew her family well, especially this daughter, went to her wedding, baby shower, watched many grandkids videos the whore sent me as ‘friends…..chatted nicely with her. Supported her. She is a nice girl with a good head on her shoulders – the daughter.

    One fear OW admitted to my H (he told me this) was that she didn’t want her daughter to know she was dating my husband for 2+ yrs and caused our divorce. Her daughter knows my husband as well as I do. She told my H ‘she had a *history* of -this-? (wtf?) Her daughter is very straight and she has been a ‘bad’ example for her daughter before – is what she told him. So, I have a feeling he hides under her stairs when her daughter and granddaughter come to visit. She was so worried she’d lose her granddaughter after her own daughters disgust – yes, this is what H told me.
    He wasn’t at her place at Easter, Mothers Day, FDay – whatever. (thanks to my gps)

    So, knock me down here but I have this burning want (NEED) to contact her innocent daughter to tell her who her mom is dating. (he’s still my husband!) I, of course, know that is wrong to harm her innocent daughter and have not done it yet. (9 mos in – so, give me a pat on the back) Truly, I can answer myself this – I shouldn’t hurt the daughter or grandchild, right? Or their relationship?? Any opinions welcome.

    But, just wanted Chump Nation’s opinion on it. This whore has had NO consequences and she’s turned so many lives upside down. Why not?

    • My opinion is that there’s a significant difference in bringing it up if you happen to run into her and tracking her down just to tell her this, and the latter is not as likely to be taken well or elicit sympathy.

      There is a big difference between not being part of that gaslighting and lashing out, and the difference mainly involves who is you focus? Yourself or the daughter? If it,s just about you, then you might want to think about that.

    • This is where chumps have to let karma do its thing. The truth will come out someday, and you will be glad you didn’t let the pain and turmoil drag you down to the level of the scum you are dealing with. That’s a battle you will face until you heal – the uncontrollable desire to lash out, only it never, NEVER leaves you feeling anything but worse, because you failed to respect standards of behavior you set for yourself.

      Let go of that particular fantasy right now, and instead consider how devastating the news would be for the daughter. Like we told Fred, compassion for her should be easy because she’s yet another victim. It’s when you start feeling for other people that you start feeling better about yourself. Think warm whenever and however you can.

      • I was thinking more along the lines, if you run into the daughter, it’s perfectly understandable that her husband cheating with her mom comes up in the conversation.

        Tracking her down to tell her, though, might come off strange. First, it’s her mom who is a serial cheater, and she already knows this. Heck, I wonder if any previous betrayed wives of men her mother have fooled around with have accosted the daughter? If so, I imagine it gets tiring being drug into her mother’s dramas (as if you are the adult and she is the problem child).

        In the end, I think you need to consider what is motivating you: is it concern for the daughter or concern for yourself. If it truly and honestly is in the daughter’s best interest to know this (even though she apparently is already familiar with her mom’s history), that’s one thing. If it’s all about lashing out, then not only will it be perceived as an angry wife lashing out at the mother through the daughter, it will be true, and I doubt it will be appreciated or elicit sympathy.

        • It’s going to come up eventually in somebody’s conversation with her. We are talking about crappy people, who do everybody really crappy, such that at the end of the day, nobody gives a crap about anything other than ratting their crappy asses out.

          It’s called karma. It isn’t so much a matter of cosmic justice – these people bring it on themselves.

    • Maybe the mom needs that triangular- keep somebody in the dark thing to float her boat? I agree the daughter will find out eventually so no need to insert yourself into their drama. Also it’s possible the mom told your husband that because she actually wants you to tell the daughter. Maybe for her disordered thinking, the more people involved in the drama the merrier.

    • This secret will come out, and the OW will have bigger consequences because she kept it a secret. The daughter is being gaslighted as surely as any chump would be. The daughter almost certainly knows from her father that there was an affair. Shechump, it’s possible that the daughter has said she wants nothing to do with whomever it is and if so, she would expect the “OM” (from her perspective) to be elsewhere when she visits. Are you reconciling with this guy? Or in some kind of limbo? Because the best way to let this young woman know is to file for divorce and tell everyone about it. And I can’t believe your H is talking to you about his AP’s “fears.” The biggest issue it seems to me is that you are so tangled up in their screwed up lives. Cut yourself lose. The word will get around. And if you are going to stay with your H, then cutting ties with OW and telling the daughter should be part of the deal.

      • Thank you for the great advice and you are so right about letting Karma do it’s work in it’s own time. My motives were entirely selfish, yes. So, since I’m not a selfish person, I will not say anything and I’m sure daughter will find out eventually, if she hasn’t already. I would definitely look like the crazy ex if I just called out of the blue. Bumping into her, well, I would definitely say something catty.

        Yes, TimeHeals – we are nearing the end of the divorce proceedings so I must still be stuck in limbo. Talked to her ex last night and he talks to this daughter (she’s not his) and maybe he will say something to her! That would work for me.

        • Problem is though, by everyone stating ‘she will find out eventually’ is why these secrets and lies fester for so long and why there’s so many stories why people were gaslit for so very long.
          Plus also the fact that the longer that time goes on – the more plausible that she can spin yet another lie of the relationship starting after the divorce and no-one would know better, because things get muddied with time in regards to small details – at least according to this skank.
          If you’re working from a genuine need for people to tell the truth, I don’t see whats wrong with stating such. If this bitch wanted everything to be kept quiet…well, she should have kept her legs closed?
          Sometimes the karma bus is driven by none other than yourself to run down the cheaters.

          • It’s so plain and clear in hindsight that knowing the truth asap is best.

            However, at the time, in the chaos of spackle, sparkle, gaslighting, fear, mindfuckery, platitudes…it’s so easy to play ostrich when first chumped. I remember feeling so overwhelmingly tired and emotionally worn out that I initially could not imagine moving on, and all the practical stuff associated with that.

            My first chumping was an awful realisation on d-day. It then took me five years of planning, dreaming and organising to get my ducks lined up. When I did my jailbreak it went smoothly, but the price I paid was living under the same roof as the nauseating A-hole for an extended period while he swanned about, thinking he was having his adventure behind my back. Exercising patience was easier than a screaming confrontation. I did get my full due financially. I finally filed after we paid off our mortgage with his mommy and daddy so then I didnt have to wrestle the Outlaws as well. They had our house as collateral for 25 YEARS against a privat mortgage…the wording said…in the event of divorce, the house would revert entirely to them! This is even though I was paying my half of the loan off…I would have had to go through legal action to even get my marital home share. Sometimes cheaters are vastly enabled by their families.

            You just have to hope the OM’s wife has good support around her, Fred.

  • Fred,

    Welcome to chump land. I see that you’re going through what I went through as well. No matter what happens, she’ll never her love for you for you. Her love was a fake and she’ll always be a fake towards you even if their romance ends.

    Telling the other man’s wife is imperative. It does two things; first it allows you to have an even playing field as far as the finances go through the divorce, secondly it gives you your own conspiracy against them so that you can keep notes to your divorce as well.

    • Yes,

      i am beginning to see that Mona is a complete fraud. She is fond of putting down certain celebrities and politicians who are known to cheat on their spouses. She is also an active church goer. She does a real good job at presenting that image that she is a goodie toe shoe who would never dip her toes into something like that.

      But this affair had been going on for no less that 2.5 years and even though she insists that it was ONLY him. I have found signs that indicate there may had been other one night stands.

      She is a fraud plan and simple. Over a month ago we were talking on the phone. She told me she is driving to church. I couldn’t resist and I said “Do you know what the bible says about infidelity?” I waited and of course she didn’t answer so I said “You know Mona I think the real reason you go to church is because you think it makes you look honest. Trust me you aren’t fooling anyone.” She just hung up on me then.

      Just a complete fraud.

      • Fred,
        That’s the sad moment all us chumps came to. When we found out our spouses were complete and total frauds. I told mine that people like him should come with warning labels.

        It was funny because after we divorced I saw a new female employee of his and I instantly recognized her as his ‘type.’ When I got to know her and felt comfortable with her I warned her about my X. She said, ‘Oh not to worry, EVERYONE has already warned me about him.’ Nice. His other employees were already looking out for the new ones. Wouldn’t a real person be so embarrassed if people actually ‘warned’ other people away from you??

  • Just to let everyone know. I am definitely going to tell the other man’s wife. I am going to keep it short and simple and as you all suggested I will NOT give Mona’s contact info. I just have to clear my head a bit to make sure I say it right. I feel I am better with written words than spoken words. So I will likely write her a letter and just hope it isn’t intercepted. I just won’t put my name on the envelope and I do know her first and last name so it shouldn’t look too suspicious.

    • You can send him a certified letter, which means he would have to sign for it.

    • Or have a friend hand deliver the letter, not at home, but in the parking lot at her work, grocery…..something like that.

      If the husband has any inkling you might tell, he’ll be looking for it.

      • I second this. I’m one of those who confronted in person and as demeaning it felt at the time, I don’t regret it. At least I’m
        certain the message was delivered and I don’t wonder about it.

    • She deserves to know what is going on in her marriage if she doesn’t already.

      If all you are doing is letting her know what her husband has been doing with your wife, then I think your conscience should be clear because there’s nothing wrong with doing that.

    • People believe what they want to believe.
      Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t believe you.

  • If you’re like me, you’ll still wonder if she ever received the letter, even through certified mail (although you can designate return receipt). Attempted deliveries can be unfruitful if she is not at home to sign for it. The little slip they leave when a delivery is unsuccessful could also be intercepted.

    If you’re more comfortable with the written word, I suggest writing out what you want to say, but still calling the wife directly. Use what you wrote for as a guideline. Say your piece then get off the phone. You will probably find it easier than you think. Remember, you don’t have to have a long conversation, just state the facts, remain compassionate, say you are truly sorry to have to tell her such bad news, and end the phone call. I think someone earlier left a script of what to say – that should be helpful.

    • I second this one. You do need to know SHE is the one who gets the letter. You can’t guarantee that, even with certified mail. I second the phone call using the letter as a guideline or meeting in person.

  • Fred, Fred, Fred, I am so glad you are doing the compassionate, humane act of informing the AP wife of the affair! How I wish someone had been that kind to me. (Just found my actual proof of infidelity 3 days ago w/std-ordered lab test via email). More than likely the wife is already aware something is amiss with her marriage like I was. I cannot describe what hell I have been in for an entire year(!) feeling in my gut that he has been unfaithful but could not find any proof. I feel like I have actually put my life and my relationships with my 3teenage kids on hold because of my turmoil.

    I am so conflicted myself on what to do in my situation because I am laying low before I detonate my newfound knowledge on my cheating spouse. I am 90% sure I know who the AP is however I have no proof with the exception of some late night phone calls. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to catch someone cheating when they are coworkers and they travel together on a regular basis. No paper trails because any $ spent is company expenses, he deletes any correspondence and being company property, can’t install loggers or such. So, even though I know who AP is, I really can’t inform the spouse w/o proof, I believe. (Her husband is SAHD with 3 children they adopted 2 years ago.)

    So, yeah, Fred, be the kind man you seem to be and tell her for the right reasons – no one deserves to be in the dark when their partner is unfaithful.

    Good luck.

  • Dear Fred,

    Take all of this advice as hard as it may seem. Take the high road. Tell OM’s wife out of compassion only.

    I had a total stranger call to tell me of my STBX’s “very public affair.” She told me out of compassion, when several “friends” and even my employees knew, but couldn’t bring themselves to tell me. The woman who called had been cheated on herself, and had attempted suicide because of it. She felt what my husband and his FB were doing was horrible, and told them so, to their face.

    I thanked her for calling, and meant it. I still thank her tho I have never met her. He was lying thru his teeth for a year while I stupidly trusted him. No one else had the guts to tell me. He “didn’t care how I felt about the affair.” Thank god an utter stranger did!! So Fred, tell the wife for HER sake.

  • I had a conversation with my (former Chump) girlfriend recently about whether I should contact the wives of my STBXW’s former affair partners. These were the affairs that I “forgave” in the false reconciliation process. At that time I was too mindfucked to consider telling them because I thought it would ruin my chances of “fixing” my marriage. Well, so much for that idea.

    So what do folks think? My STBXW had three affairs that I know about prior to the 4th one that finally got me to file for divorce. Should I attempt to contact them now, years later?

    • If it was me I’d want to know. I think it’s understandable why you didn’t in the past. These women may be divorced now. Or be unaware of the affairs or be in reconciliation. They might not be happy with you telling them. But they deserve to know so they can make decisions about their life with more accurate info. If you were in reconciliation and didn’t know about the prior affairs wouldn’t you want to know? I think we hesitate because of the pain we can cause them, but it isn’t us doing it. It’s their cheating spouse. That framework for pain was laid by the disordered before we said anything. Hope you are well TwinsDad.

  • A woman who knew and liked me called from the west coast to tell me about my X’s affair with her good friend there (they all went to high school together 40 years ago). This was actually long-term OW2, and she was actually still overlapping with OW1, who I knew about but had been told it was over with. This information saved my life. I was SO grateful to know the truth. I put together my own proof and filed for divorce for adultery as fast as possible. I had spent 9 years with false reconciliations, lies, gaslighting, more blame. This was the information that set me free to have a wonderful new, honest life.

    Tell her Fred. The truth will set you both free.

  • Dear Fred, the hardest pain of all this pain is to slowly accept that the love in your marriage is not reciprocal, and that you and the gift of your heart has been rejected – especially in a long marriage.

    This is a long slow process of agony and we understand that here. I personally would have really appreciated being told what was behind my husband’s crazy behaviour, because it would have pointed the arrow of confusion to ‘up’ and stopped me wondering if it was me that was crazy. I lived two HORRIBLE years of not knowing what was going on, and yes I really would have preferred knowing the truth to the abuse of being monstrously lied to.

    Do it the right way, and for the right reasons. We got your back.

  • I was devastated when I found out that OW’s husband had known for a year before I found out.

    Part of me still judges him for not telling me as soon as he knew.

    OW’s husband said when I confronted him politely by email later that he hadn’t wanted to destroy my marriage.

    To that I wanted to respond “that which can be destroyed by truth – should be”

    Of course, I didn’t say anything to him about what I view as his responsibility to tell me, because he was a victim too… But to this day I am angry that he couldn’t share. We were all friends.

    He knew his child was actually ex-husbands and I could have found out a year earlier surrounded by family and friends instead of in a foreign country outside Cinderella’s freaking castle with only ex husband to talk to until my sister responded to my panicked middle of the night text messages.

  • Fred,
    My OW’s husband and her friends knew about me YEARS before I found out (last September). I’ll tell you, being denied the “dignity of the truth” sucks. Tell the OM’s wife. Your wife sucks and so does her affair partner.

    What was left on my spouse’s junk drawer of life was a 20 yr “marriage” to an honest person and 4 kids.

    If ANY of my asshole’s AP’s or fuck buddies from his work or past girlfriends had contacted me with the TRUTH, it would have eliminated worthless years of my life trying to make a marriage to a horrible selfish asshole feasible. That kind of dance is pretty humiliating for the unsuspecting chump; all the flaming hoops and spackle to create a vapor-ware marriage and decent home life for kids …..a relationship based on the “needs” of a spouse who was never really invested into the marriage or family at all.

  • To echo the many statements here, please tell the wife. My ex was carrying on with another woman for the better part of 6 months before I found out. The OW also had two other “boyfriends”, besides my ex, one of who was married. It was the wife of the married boyfriend who contacted me. She emailed me out of the blue at work one day and told me everything that had been going on. Since it wasn’t the first time he’d cheated on me, I fully expected the OW to be someone he had messed around on me with in the past. Imagine my surprise when it was someone different, someone whom I had no knowledge of! Although it took me awhile to leave (we tried reconciliation for about a year), I am eternally grateful that she told me. During reconciliation, he continued to cheat with the same OW. Her other “boyfriend” sent me an email, showing the phone bill with phone calls and text messages between the two of them, after my ex promised he wasn’t speaking to her. And that ended that.

    In a twist, my ex was cheating on me with numerous women. He got one of them pregnant and they have been living together with their child since then. Not surprisingly, he cheats on her too. With one of the same women he cheated on me. A tiger doesn’t change his stripes! I reached out to the new woman anonymously on FB and told her everything. It blew up his world for a while, but she stayed. Oh well. She’ll come to her senses one day, just like I did, and see him for who he really is.

  • Adults deserve to be told the truth. Period.

    If truth is the conformance of the mind to objective reality, holding such critical truth from a person deprives them of a chance of participating in reality. It is simply not acceptable to treat people this way.

    Those who knew about my ex’s affair(s) and did not tell me are people that I do not consider my friends or friends of my family. I no longer talk to any of those people nor do I allow them to talk to my children.

  • My XH was nancing around with skank woman at work (they were coworkers) and I know for a fact that people noticed and no one said a word to me. I found an email that one of his employee’s wrote him telling him that he might want to think about cooling his jets a little because people WERE noticing the two of them canoodling all over the place and after all he was MARRIED. But XH was so dang ingenious and stuck his wedding ring (I had bought him a very expensive new one for Christmas that year to replace his old one) in his ash tray every day on his way to work. You know, that made him NOT married for the day. What a sorry sack of shit. Not everyone where he worked approved of course but enough did, including his Christian (ha!) boss.

    I knew he was acting squirrelly for months and couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Yes, I wished someone would have told me. Because plenty of people knew.

  • Unfortunately, or fortunately, I had access to my TFC’s text messages (after DDay) including those to this ho and everyone else. It is fortunate because I knew the truth at all times and if he was lying to me or not. I also got to see how he played himself off as a victim to his friends and family telling them how I just couldn’t understand that he wanted to be divorced. Funny he never asked ME for a divorce. He just wanted to be a cake-eater. It was always great to know that he had spent the day having sex with his ho and even more fun to ask him if he saw her in person that day when I knew the truth. Of course, he always lied and said “No!” He gave her jewelry, paid her bills, gave her cash, I saw it all. It was so disgusting and all the while he just wanted me around to make his life seem normal. There was even a day where he spent the afternoon having sex with ho and then had the nerve to go to marriage counseling afterward. When I got mad or cursed at him about his cheating he would say that I was “crossing a line with him”. What a scum of a man.

  • Thank God for this site or I might still be wondering why he cheated or why he lied to my face. I am getting ready to file next week ( getting the ducks in a row) and I so wish someone whould have told me the truth. The more investigating I’ve done the more I’ve realized I do not know this man I’m married to. How about those naked selfies the OW send, I can’t wait til I file so I can call him a fucking liar to his face and of course I have the text messages ect!! I have been being the “good wife” since i found out as my daughter was getting married in 7 weeks and I didn’t want to ruin her special time, probably a good thing in one way I sure have found out a lot since then. I also found some notes I took in 2008 gathering info then for a possible divorce and here I am 6 years later doing the same thing except this time I am filing. This site has helped me so much. The truth does hurt but is essential for me to be free of the lies.

    • Are you saying he doesn’t know that you know? That would be so strong of you not to confront until you’ve got a backup plan.

      • No he does not have any idea, it has been very hard to act like I don’t know anything, soon I will get to confront him on his lies. It all seems so surreal, I look at the test messages and then bam there it is.

    • Outofdenial,
      I went through similar in that I found hard evidence (emails)!of cheating, after being tipped off by one of his colleagues. I gathered my evidence by keylogging my own computer. It didn’t take long for my feelings to turn to loathing (about five seconds actually) after reading his correspondence with the OW.

      Like you, I waited two weeks before ending things, mainly because I wanted to ensure I wasn’t acting from rage, and It just felt right to retreat into my own head and make plans. Sort of like warfare.

      The mistake I made was to confront him in person, in hindsight because a little bit of me wanted to do the pick me dance. I also wanted him to know how disgusted I was at his choices. Looking back, I now realise most cheaters don’t give a crap how much they’ve hurt you or what you think of the OW. He responded with violence. Apparently even normally mild mannered people can do this when cornered.

      So, I wish the best for you. My hope is that you keep your distance when the papers are served. Let him wonder what you know. Why reveal the evidence you have, it will nag at him, his curiosity will torture him. Far better than letting him know what you know then he will embark on a campaign of trying to justify it all. Walking away silent is what I wish I’d done.

      • I would add that, despite your wish to let him know how disgusting he is, remember that he will very likely turn it on you. You risk being on the receiving end of things you just don’t want to hear. Things that can cause you a lot of emotional pain, personal insults, etc, even like in my case, nasty correspondence from the OW who became his ally in crime against me. I’m dead serious about the violence. Mine put a knife to my throat, and berated me for OVER SIX HOURS in my own home. Imagine trying to live here afterward. It has taken me three years to be able to use a kitchen knife again.

        Avoid confrontation just to satisfy your ego. Divorce is usually no fault, so what he has done will make no difference to what you get in a settlement. Other readers pls correct me if I am wrong on this.

  • I know I am coming to comment on this rather late in the game–being busy in grad school is my excuse–but, Fred, I want to tell you my story. I had absolutely no idea my husband was cheating. In fact, we had just gone on our second honeymoon and I thought we were having a good twenty year marriage. About three months later I received an email from a man who told me that my husband was cheating with his wife. This wasn’t done for altruistic reasons. He wanted me to do his dirty work, to “make your husband leave my wife alone,” as if it was MY job to fix his marriage.

    Frankly, it made a damaging situation even more so. Through all the shock and pain I had to tell him that I wasn’t responsible for his marriage, nor was I responsible for the actions of my husband. For months, even years, after the incident, I actually wondered whether I would have been better off finding out myself, or even being ignorant of the whole thing. Eventually (with the help of a good therapist) I understood that my husband was emotionally abusive to both me and the children, so I now realize there wasn’t much to save anyway.

    I’m not a big supporter of revenge, but if that’s what you want, please do it yourself. Don’t ask a chump to do it, because that’s just plain cruel.

  • I had wanted a confrontation with the OM, but I don’t anymore. Time and space have done me better.

  • I have a hearing problem and that is my primary reason for wanting to write her a letter instead of calling. But I agree with you all that writing the letter is risky. I saw the comments about finding a trusted friend to handle it. I don’t have any trusted friends that I would want to involve in this. In fact other than all of us on this thread, no body knows that she cheated. They only know that we are getting divorced. I believe that all of my family and friends prefer to stay out of it. I don’t think I will be able to contact her by phone.

  • I say tell the other wife the truth about the affair and she can do with that information what she wants. Give her your phone number so she can call you with any questions. the OM needs to pay the price for his infidelity. He was a player in your marriage’s demise and should have to pay the price of his marriage to suffer and/or fail. Don’t protect him. Don’t protect the other wife. She needs to know. I wish someone had told me four years ago that my husband was a whoremonger. I would have investigated him and divorced rather than wasting these years being played a fool. I believe both cheaters should be outed and left to deal with the chaos they created.
    My husband’s OW is prostitutes, one in particular. I outed her on her Facebook page, outed her by leaving phone messages her husband found. I have texted her on a few occasions and I must say it feels good to get the rage out. The more emotion I let out the better I feel. So what if my messages to her are not lady-like, she’s not a “lady” and my feelings and emotions are what they are.
    I found this all out a month ago and am proceedings with a divorce. The man I once loved is not deserving of my love, devotion and affection. And this is after 28 years of marriage.

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