Yesterday, on my Chump Lady Facebook page, I received a message from a woman who’d gotten an anonymous message informing her that her husband was cheating.
What would you do if you got this letter? (Names changed for anonymity.)
Your new husband, (Alleged Douchebag) has ALWAYS cheated on you. He has had sex with other woman the entire time he has been with you. DO NOT ignore the signs, the signs are there. There is a reason why he is not friends with you on his personal Facebook account, there is a reason why he never changed his profile picture (to a wedding picture or a picture with you), there is a reason why there is a password on his cell phone, there is a reason why YOUR first name is not on his phone, but your middle name is. He is a pathological liar and a serial cheater. His family and friends know of his mistress or mistresses. DO NOT ignore the signs. He is making a fool out of you.
The person did google Chump Lady, because she reached out. I told her that I knew nothing about the letter, but I run a popular infidelity blog. I was very sorry she was going through this, and I suspect that an OW wrote it because of the rather mean-spirited tone. I also added that unfortunately, in my experience, and that of my readers, people don’t get letters like that unless there is some truth in them.
I advised her not to tell her husband of the message, and just do some snooping for evidence. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.
She replied very politely that she didn’t need my condolences or concerns, because her marriage was fine and she trusted her new husband implicitly. She wasn’t going to snoop.
I pushed back on that (I probably should’ve shut up, said my husband), and encouraged her to please look into it as she could save herself the sunk costs of bigger heartache later. I know from painful experience (my D-Day was as a newlywed too).
She furthered reassured me nothing was wrong. Her gut feelings weren’t bothering her, she was fine.
I assume she just googled me because maybe she thought I knew who wrote the letter. Although she didn’t ask me that directly.
The thing is, I get a TON of letters from affair partners asking me (after the affair has ended, of course) if they should tell the chump. Often the OP was chumped as well (really guys, that happens). The guy presented himself as single and then pretty quickly it’s discovered he is not. (Generally, men don’t write to me as affair partners. Occasionally, but mostly it’s women in this dilemma.)
My advice is usually always to tell. We’ve gone over this a lot here — wouldn’t YOU want to know? Do unto others… etc.
The only time I temper that advice is if the person is scary, has made physical threats, and would do major harm to the OP for telling. Then my advice is go NC.
Affair partners — if you’re reading this — and you want to tell a chump about cheating?
1. Give EVIDENCE. Why should this person believe an anonymous note?
2. Have the guts to tell them your name. If you cheated, own up to it. If you were chumped, what’s the shame in giving the other chump your name? We tend to believe people who honestly present themselves.
3. Answer questions. They sure as hell aren’t going to get the information from the cheater. Offer to answer questions, and then bow out and go NC for everyone’s sanity.
The problem with anonymous notes like the above is — while if this woman is truly a chump, it may prick her conscious — it’s too easy to write the note taker off as a vicious loon. And face it, many of us have been the target of some disordered person’s smear campaign — we know that people can make up lies for the sicko pleasure of it. But who is a chump going to believe? An anonymous stranger? Or their loved one?
Don’t be half-assed about disclosure.
Sure, there is a very good chance that the chump is going to spackle and deny. But there’s much less chance of that, if you’re a witness to what happened and you’ve got evidence of it. (Then they can spackle the affair, but not deny it… oh, chumps!)
Did you ever get a letter like this? What would you do?