My sister has been married for 15 years. Six months ago, she discovered that her husband had been having an affair. The other woman exposed the affair via Facebook. Complete with pictures of them together, pictures of him in hotels, pics of gifts, and a few other things. She also sent my sister a detailed letter along with a plethora of screenshots (text msgs and more pics).
I love my sister with all of my heart, but I am struggling because she has made various excuses about why she hasn’t left. She also makes comments that lead me to believe that the situation would be a lot less WORSE, had it not been publicity announced. It feels as if nobody else knew about the affair, she would be ok to sweep it under the rug. I disagree and that is my struggle. It shouldn’t matter if only she, her PIG hubby, and the skank are the only ones who know! The fact is that SHE now knows!
Please help me to help her understand that his actions were HORRIFIC! He shared personal information about her with a whore! Said awful things about the mother of his children!
I have not been able to find similar situations/comments from the Chump Nation regarding affairs that have been exposed in this manner. I honestly do NOT know any words beyond LEAVE! I am angry and I feel frustrated and useless.
Thanks for any advice you or CN can offer!
Your sister is engaged in the mortal combat known here as the “pick me dance.” The Other Woman tried to publicly humiliate your sister, expressly with the intent of winning the turd prize of your BIL. The OW outs your sister as a chump, thinking that will eliminate the competition. Exposing the affair is also a big “fuck you” to your BIL. Now your wife knows! No more cake for the OW — she wants to be the main event. The exposure is also a sadistic bully play of “Got yer man!”
The OW would like nothing more than her arch rival to leave the field in tears. And don’t think your sister doesn’t know it. Which is why she’ll be goddamned before she lets that bitch “win” and rewards the OW’s cruelty with her surrender.
Look, Sis, I totally agree with you. The best thing to do here is walk away and let the two shit-birds have each other. But your sister isn’t there yet. Right now she’s trying to find a way to face the world that lets her “win.” And the dominant narrative out there is Save Your Marriage At All Costs. Be an exceptional unicorn. Your marriage will be stronger for it. If we can stop the Great Menace of the OW then we can Affair Proof the relationship!
Those hopium strategies — that she’s an embattled wife fighting for the sanctity of marriage, and her husband is a misguided (“wayward”) sausage who will return to his family (after she Meets His Needs, of course) — have a powerful tug on chump hearts. They offer the illusion of control. And control is a very seductive commodity when your world has fallen apart.
So Sis, these are the forces you’re up against. The best thing you can do is be there for your sister and support her. Validate her grief and anger, and let her know that none of this is her fault. Do what I do here — ask her again and again “Is this relationship ACCEPTABLE to you?” Not the relationship’s potential, but the relationship she actually has.
And direct her here. We’ve done the humiliating “please love me” soft tap. We’ve fought for the awesome prize of cheater ambivalence. We’ve dined at that all-you-can-eat shit sandwich buffet known as reconciliation. We get it.
We won’t judge her pick me dance, or her broken heart. We’ll just tell her again and again and again that she deserves better, until she believes it. And when she believes it, she’ll leave. Until then, keep loving her through this.