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.
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.