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Should I Tell the Other Chump?

unicornDear Chump Lady,

My husband had an affair 4 years ago, which I recently found out about.

They are no longer having a sexual relationship, but do keep in contact primarily because she is worried I will tell her husband (and reveal the proof — disgusting photos that would blow her world up).

The husband of the Other Woman does not know of this affair or this inappropriate relationship. I believe he has a right to know, although I’m not sure I am the one who should tell him. Obviously these two (my husband and the OW) are too cowardly to come clean to us on their own.

I have seen two therapists — a marriage counselor and a therapist for myself alone. They both are adamant that I should not tell. But as devastating as this knowledge has been, I feel that I am so much better off knowing the truth. I will always choose to know the truth — can’t speak for someone else.

Should I tell him?

B

Dear B,

I am married to a thief. He had a partner in crime and together they stole $50K from your therapist’s retirement fund. And you know about it.

They aren’t stealing any more. (Okay, they have all the account numbers, but you can trust them, there is no more pilfering of funds.)

Should you tell your therapist?

Go ahead and posit this hypothetical at your next therapy appointment.

Oh, they’d like to know?

But if no one tells them, are they really going to miss it? Why upset their world?

Oh, because it’s $50 fucking thousand dollars?

And they have a right to know it’s missing? And the loss of $50K could really negatively impact their future? But really, the money doesn’t matter, it’s the principle of the thing. How can you sit in on that therapist sofa knowing that someone stole $50K from them?!

Well… it’s awkward.

But how can they ever trust you again! The thieves could strike again! They have the account numbers! Your therapist is VULNERABLE, B! How could you keep this secret!

That’s where you say: Hey, but they promised they would stop stealing from your retirement fund. I think you can trust the people who are spending $50K of ill-gotten gains they swindled off you.

Oh, your therapist would like that money back?

Sorry. It’s gone. But your therapist may have an IOU scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin for collateral.

****

I can play this game all day.

Raise your hands CN if you’d rather have lost $50K than be chumped? Now clap loudly if you got chumped AND lost more than $50K? Double shit sandwiches all around!

A monetary loss is nothing compared to the theft of your reality. This man has been conspired against, robbed of consent, and made a host of decisions based on a lie — that he’s in a committed relationship with someone he can trust. His health has been risked. His finances have been spent. And he’s been betrayed.

And two mental health professionals you consulted are FINE with that. Because they don’t see it as abuse.

Would they think you should speak up if someone was being sexually abused? Physically abused? Secretly robbed?

Oh, but it was all in the past. 

They’re still in contact. It’s very much of the present. And we only have the word of liars to rely upon.

Oh, but it’s not your job.

I’d ask your therapist — so which is it — a trifle that won’t matter, or something so devastating it will? If it’s the latter, why am I keeping a secret to protect abusers? If it’s the former, why should it matter if I tell?

****

Now, back to you, B.

They are no longer having a sexual relationship, but do keep in contact

Put down the hopium pipe. There is absolutely no reason for your husband to be in contact with his affair partner. You’re in some ring of reconciliation hell.

We are highly skeptical of reconciliation here, B. But if you’re going to do it, your unicorn needs to be transparent. Not involved in some conspiracy with another man’s wife.

I fail to see what you have to work with.

Tell the other chump.

You’re not doing it for revenge on the OW. (Truth as a consequence? Gee, I guess you shouldn’t have been shady, OW.) You’re doing it because it’s the kind thing to do.

Practice the Golden Rule. You’ve got good instincts. Which is more than I can say for your quack therapists.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • CL’s advice is spot on. Tell him, B.

    It’s concerning that the therapists don’t recognize infidelity as abuse. Is that why you’re still with this unrepentant cheater? Have you been counseled that it’s ok for him to add to your pain by staying in contact with the OW? My heart hurts for you.

        • Yep, if this whole thing isn’t such a biggie maybe it’s time to ask the therapist what they see the value of continuing therapy is. They’ll tell you you’ve clearly been traumatised and the loop will begin.

    • I just want to pipe in that it’s possible and totally acceptable to blow the whistle anonymously. It’s a valid security concern. It’s reasonable not to put anything past personality disordered FWs who could fly off the handle from being exposed

      In any case, I’m forever grateful to the whistleblower at the AP’s work who got her technically proficient boyfriend– who also had worked with FW and the AP in the past– to send the warning, send the hard evidence photos and then cover their own trails with hacker-level security to remain anonymous.

      One thing in their favor for maintaining anonymity is that the AP was widely disliked and had poached on more than one married older management type via work and had fucked over more than one younger, prettier, more talented female coworker. The whistleblowers could have been anyone even given the basic specs the whistleblowers let slip such as being younger than the AP, that they had professional conflicts with the AP (namely that she enabled of other women and then cuddled up to the perps, that the whistleblowers had left their firms for greener and less sleazy pastures, grew up in particular regions, went to top schools, etc. That AP had apparently made enough enemies to scuttle the trail. Fir his part, FW wasn’t seen in a much better light. He’d once been respected as the quiet family guy who then suddenly smelled like booze at 11am, started hanging out with the drunken hustlers half his age, stsrted gettung egotistical and lost respect.

      I was also grateful the two Deep Throats gave me plausible deniability to deny knowledge of their identities. It was fun shrugging off FW’s initial panicked focus on how I knew, not what I knew. It was fun how paranoid it made the AP wondering which of her intimate contacts had turned. Welcome to Thunderdome, creepo. It was fun that FW was left feeling like a toddler who’d suddenly realized everyone could see him peeing in the pool from 20 yards away and his behavior wasn’t so invisible as he’d proded himself. It was fun watching him become ironically “betrayed” that the AP had been cock-blocking him by letting drop hints to colleagues about the affair. It was fun watching FW toss the AP like a live grenade and in a brutal way that could not be taken back and then lawyering up anyway.

      But mostly I dreaded having to answer questions about the identities of the informants in a deposition and therefore being forced tonrepay a good turn with exposure. The guy whistleblower had said people get run down in parking lots for less. He went so far as to snap dated pics of the FWs getting stoned in a bar and stumbling grimly back to the APs pad at night so that I would have proof without needing direct testimony. It also saved a bunch on lawyer and PI bills since FW folded and fessed in the face of incontrovertible proof. The effort and thought the Deep Throats put into placing me in the best position restored my faith in human beings whuch badly needed restoring. They didn’t need to endanger themselves to do it to make it meaningful.

      • I derived an incredible amount of pleasure from reading your post and congratulations on being very mighty and on your long endurance. Bravo to everyone involved

      • Wow that is SPECTACULAR! What a horrific and amazing email to get. Deep Throat you legend! (Love to know their back story!)
        One of the shames I carry is every one at my exes work must have seen his behaviour and known, and there I was, turning up to work Xmas party with three kids like a good wifey.
        But onwards and upwards, you sound mighty and so am I! Four years since I moved into my own home sweet home. ❤️

        • The story had a beautiful ending. I didn’t get much back story other than the two seemed to come from tight knit families and that girl had been rabidly harassed since college and didn’t look kindly on other women who threw chum in the hassassment waters by happily bonking the boss to get an edge. I do know the two Deep Throats got engaged in the midst of gathering intel. They said the experience confirmed shared values or something. Positive outcomes all around.

        • It put ten years back on my life, actually. You would have come out even. 🤠

          We didn’t stay in touch after a certain point but I suspect they’re doing well. Granted the person who blew the whistle initially was motivated by ire towards the AP but we did have some back and forths about workplace ghouls and enablers and I understood that there were real principles behind what she did. She felt dirty and burdened by association. Her boyfriend said he was trying to do the right thing to kind of cleanse himself of sleazy work encounters where dirtbags would try to hijack approval for their gross sexual politics by “confiding” in him. Nothing says “we’re not part of ALL THAT” more than teling the chump.

          • By the way, it seems most people don’t approve but are too scared to step up. That was the impression I was given.

  • What kind of therapist recommends deception and betrayal. As I see it if you don’t tell the other chump you are complicit in their abuse. Those therapists need a Chump Lady style 2×4 of truth, of course you tell.

    Fire both of those therapist and get you one who advocates infidelity is abuse.

    • If therapists recognized infidelity as abuse, any therapist that offers reconciliation therapy with a cheater is effectively condoning abuse and coaching the abused to accept more abuse. That would be a gross violation of ethics. Reconciliation therapy is far too lucrative to cut off that cash cow, so they will not call it abuse and you will be chastised for labeling your sad sausage as an abuser. The more I think about how reconciliation actually works to harm the betrayed even further, the angrier I get.

      • Yep, that’s exactly it. It’s like if there was a type of therapy aimed at getting women to stay with men who beat them. Those therapists wouldn’t want to call the beatings abuse either.

        In fact, therapists used to do that, I just realized that. I have older women in my family who were beaten by husbands and counseled to just try a little harder, don’t make him mad, he only gets so upset because he cares so much. It makes me sick.

    • This 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻💯
      Out those so-called opportunists (née “Therapists”) as abuser-advocates on social media to warn other victims to avoid further therapy-abuse.

      Tell the Chump-man and give him all the proof.

      Get the best lawyer you can and divorce this fucker.

      Go no contact and in a few years you’ll lessen trauma bonds and see that this situation is a seventh Hell. Get out! Save yourself before it gets worse: cancer-causing HPV? Mental breakdown? Financial ruin? Cruel discard? Kids who abuse and cheat like role-model Dad? Kids who stay with abusive partner like Mom? Pick one, or all . . These are highly likely in your future with a cheater . . . Ask me how I know 😭😭😭

    • Pre-dday, during a unilateral “time and space” episode from the cheater that left me totally confused and in a very tough spot, I pleaded that FE go to individual counseling. He was “depressed” and lost, and he was being a total fucking asshole and alienating the people who loved him most. He found a therapist, then later blamed her for not telling me because she (allegedly) counseled him not to. He took zero responsibility for at least seven years of deception because at the end, some therapist he barely knew (and no doubt was also lying to) told him he’d best not tell me. Wouldn’t want to upset an already hysterical woman, right? This was when he was still claiming the OW was a summer fling from his “time and space” months, not one of multiple OWs he’d been cycling through for years.

  • Simple answer, if the roles were reversed, would you want to be told? No unless you are happy with you head buried in the sand singing la-la-la at the top of your voice!!
    Telling the Other partner is the right thing to do, otherwise you are just an accomplice to the affair! Plus removing all secrecy helps to kills the beast once and for all. I wish those that knew about my wife’s affair told me, I could have dealt with things much sooner!

  • Not sure you have much to work with CL.

    A person who goes to 2 therapists to find out if she should share horrible information that impacts the life of another, innocent person. And then writes to get another opinion?

    The writer mentions blowing up the OW life?
    Not a word about the impact to the OW’s husband? How he would feel after more lost years?

    Perhaps I’m not being charitable or compassionate enough towards the letter writer. A bit disappointed and tired of people who don’t seem to be aware of the Golden Rule or the right thing to do…and then look for multiple opinions. But, then again, she seems to be staying with her cheater and isn’t even asking for your advice about her marriage.

    • I took it as she’s trying to reconcile and is surrounded by bad advice and is questioning her own better judgement.

      Agreed, not exercising good judgement with the cheater husband, but…

      • Thank you CL.
        Rebecca, you are making a lot of assumptions. I didn’t go to therapists to ask if I should tell. I went initially to save my marriage. I quickly realized I can’t. And, I’m not staying with my cheater — I never alluded to that. So I am not asking advice about my marriage because it is over.
        Also, I mention the “blowing up of the OW’s life” because that is the reason he had told me on D-Day that he keeps in touch with her. I don’t give two fucks about him keeping in touch with her at this point, for my sake at least– they can have each other. But it’s pertinent to the question about her husband. Or so I think. But thanks for the compassion. I’ve never been through pain like this before and there is no script so I may have made some mistakes — apparently like asking for advice when my therapist brainwashed mind is confused.
        Yes, I am questioning my own better judgment — my “judgment” led me to marry and mate with a cheater. After realizing my therapists’ values did not align with mine, I left them as well.

        • B, I waited a lot of years until my FW’s OW was the same age I had been when she targeted my husband. (And yes, she targeted him – she targeted every married man in our professional building and when she’d bagged them, she told the wife. She told me.) While I waited I lurked on social media, I listened, I made a list, I did some research and asked discrete questions and when she reached that golden age, I put on my mask (the pandemic) went to walmart and bought a burner phone and texted her husband the particulars of all her affairs I knew of. I mentioned every man in the building except my ex. Every man before and after that I could ferret out. I have a lot of professional and personal achievements in my life, but that text was more satisfying than I could ever explain. She absolutely KNEW it was me (reaction from my ex two days later proved that) but she could not prove it and could do nothing about it. Don’t believe that old chestnut that the best revenge is living well. Ha! The best revenge is telling their nasty secrets. If you have disgusting photographs, I’d share them with the world.

          • I think you can live well and throw their own shit back in their face. I also love that you waited to serve it cold. Hope he dumped her ass.

            I wish I had told a few key folks what I knew about my ex and his whore. I had financial proof of them stealing from me. My lawyer knew of course, but I was so humiliated I just withdrew from my world.

          • White Coat that’s strong and badass!!! Here I thought I was clever sending OMs’ (yes there are multiple men) wives Christmas Cards saying “Marry Christmas from your husband’s affair partner’s Husband” I included Evidence specific to each man
            My Lawyer wasn’t that happy but she did laugh

          • Amen. The “higher road”, in my opinion, is the wrong one. My ex told me the AP was terrified I would tell its friends at work. Guess what instantly became #1 on my to-do list? I didn’t do anything illegal (too easy to tell it was me), but whatever I could do legally to upset their world, I did. Porno sites’ marketing emails sent to AP at work? Check.

        • HUGE ((HUGS)) – I’m really glad to hear you are leaving him. It’s really really hard. I do remember what it felt like in the early days (and I had a relatively large community gas-lighting and conspiring with him against me) and it was so confusing. In the early days, I did not feel like anyone understood me. It was either I caused the affair or people who had been cheated on felt like I should have left sooner – or how didn’t I realize I was being abused and gas-lighted (while I was right in the mists of the abuse) and THEY would have left sooner, or better, or told him such and such off.

          It’s amazing you’re asking for help.

        • I think sometimes some people are so far out from it that they don’t remember how vulnerable and volatile things can be. And how decisions made now can seriously affect the rest of your life. I’m glad you’re getting out of the marriage. I’m sorry it hurts so bad. It will get better, I know that seems far off but it will. I promise.

          I’m going to give you some advice that some people might not like but that’s too bad for them. You do what you need to do in order to get that divorce done and in your favor. And if that means you have to play nice with him and his bitch for awhile, then you do that. You can always send those pics to her husband once all the paperwork is finalized and you are safe and secure.

          My lawyer wanted me to call the cops on my ex and have him charged for threatening my life. But I thought no, that’s lobbing a grenade into this and he’s all happy and smitten with his new ho. Instead, I got him to agree to an uncontested divorce and got everything done in six weeks. I played nice for my own safety. Of course I also had an emergency bag packed to flee and told all my family what was happening just in case he did something. But I don’t regret my strategy because I’m safe now. If I had done anything to upset them, I’d probably still be going through a nightmare divorce. If you can get out quietly and get it done, then you can inform the other spouse. But don’t make it harder on yourself at this point. Take care of your own oxygen mask before you start helping others with theirs.

          • I was thinking the same thing about safety, Katie. Leaving a volatile cheater is scary. Abusers are predictably erratic and cruel at the end, when facing consequences and being outed, and B has been trapped in an abusive cycle for a long time. She should get out and take care of her family and herself first, and then notify the AP’s husband. She doesn’t know him, she doesn’t know if she can trust him, and it’s entirely possible that he already knows. I’m not saying she shouldn’t find a way to get this information to him, but this doesn’t seem urgent at this point (how long has it been going on??), and I think she should take care of herself first. That seems to me the elephant in the room.

            Also, I wouldn’t believe a word from B’s STBX about the nature of his current relationship with this “former” AP. I believed a lot of BS because my ex was a shameless gaslighter, but he was actively pursuing other women the whole time he was crying to me, hoovering and swearing his undying love and commitment, and adamantly assuring me that he was in no way in “any kind of contact, whatsoever,” with anyone else. After I’d told him to leave me alone and never talk to me again if he even wanted any part of anyone else. Fuckers.

        • Rebecca is a CN member of long standing here and has no lack of compassion. B, I’m so glad you’re leaving him, that wasn’t clear from your letter.

          And most of us here have tried reconciliation. And came to the same conclusions. It’s very hard when you’re surrounded by RIC messages and are in grief and trauma mode. So good for you for being so clear-headed.

          I hope you tell the other chump. What he does with that information is his business. He might try to reconcile for awhile, but whatever he does will be with his consent and he’ll have the truth — all of which he’s lacking now.

          Then you can go NC with them all. ((B))

          • Yes, I didn’t get from B’s letter that she was leaving the FW, either.

            I know it’s not the topic at hand, but B’s letter is a perfect example of why you get rid of Cheaters right away. Poor B is 4 years later from this affair, and is still thinking & talking about it & wasting precious mental resources & paying incompetent therapists. (We’ve all been here in some form or fashion, I took FW back after 2 affairs, to finally get rid of him on #3).

            It’s like that great quote you see at lots of gyms: “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”

            • Yep, I let fw come back and shit all over me a second time. I knew it was stupid, but I was still in hopes I would see a glimmer of the man I invented in my head. Nope, it lasted less than a week, before I told him to get the hell out.

              It didn’t change the status of our legal separation, I had already checked with my lawyer. All fw wanted was to get back in the house so he could use our family car for his politicking. That is how little respect he had for me, his wife of 21 years and the mother of his son.

        • B, please tell. Not telling is a double betrayal for the chumped husband.

          My FW, in his mid 60s, started traveling down to his hometown every other month, supposedly to see his brother who had cancer and friends from high school. We were retired, I could stay home to take care of the animals and run our rental business. People often get closer to their siblings as they age and the reality of their mortality sinks in, so I was not concerned about the frequency of the trips. In fact, I DROVE my FW to and from the airport for his frequent trips.

          Imagine how it felt to realize that my FW and his AP were known as a couple to his high school friends during this long-term affair. My FW was living a double life. While I was not close to these people, I had met and visited with them, sent them Christmas cards, etc. during our 42-year marriage. They knew I existed. No one bothered to tell me.

          It was a double kick in the teeth.

          • I am so sorry this happened to you. Apparently there is no upper age limit on fuck-wittedness. Viagra is no woman’s friend.

            • About Viagra. I agree on that. Generally speaking before V, these old horn dogs would age out and only if they had money could they get a young woman who would let them do a little slap and tickle in exchange for the gold.

              I bet even the young women wish Viagra hadn’t been invented too. In past years, all they had to do was look pretty on their arm, and maybe let them fondle them a bit, now they have to fake an orgasm.

              I am joking around, but likely not far from the truth for many.

        • It is a rough situation B.

          I couldn’t afford therepy when I went through it. I have come to think I was lucky, as back then I could have easily been conned into giving that ass wipe another ten years of my life, while he raped my soul and pillaged my financial situation.

          Just speaking for me, while I think the innocent chumps should be told; I also acknowledge that sometimes spilling can hurt the chump financially or physically. Each has to make that decision based on their own emotional and financial safety.

          In my case there was no other chump and my fw was fucking his single direct report. I am guessing he was advised to marry the whore to prevent a lawsuit against the city. He tried to drag it out, but he did end up marrying her. They deserved each other and I am happy to this day that he ended up with her.

          He is gone now and she is living in poverty again. He crashed and burned. She did not get the schmoops that was in the brochure.

          Best of luck to you whatever you decide.

        • I was told by the other woman’s husband and I remember thinking how much easier my life would be if he hadn’t told me. My heart was so broken and my whole wonderful life was blown to bits. I actually had a conversation with the other chump and he said I’m sorry I told you and I remember thinking me too. But what I was really sorry for was what my STBX did to me, my life and my children. Sometimes when the pain is so immense that sand that I could have stuck my head into was a dream of relief from the pain.
          I’ve had to tell a friend before some things I had found out and it made me so so sad because I knew the pain – I knew it so well. And I didn’t want her to hurt like I did. It’s a valid question coming from that point because who the hell wants to be the messenger of devastating news? No one.
          P.S. We’ve all made mistakes too in the beginning. When you are thrown into an ocean in the middle of a storm to be taught to swim. and everyone, even experts. are giving your conflicting advice, and we’ve lost all trust in our own judgement, we just do the best we can.
          CL and this site has been the life raft for me.

        • B,
          I respectfully apologize for any assumptions or additional pain my post caused you. Good for you that you’re seeing your husband and therapists for who they are.
          It is so very painful. Walking across coals or lying on a bed of nails is preferable to this.
          But that pain is finite. It does end.
          The gaslighting and abuse of infidelity is conquerable.
          I wish you good luck and support.

        • B Talk to your lawyer before you expose OW. Holding that over FW may give you more leverage in divorce settlement. Once your divorced Blow that Whistle

          • This. Get the best settlement you can.

            Once that’s done, I come down on the side of telling the other chump. Why? STIs.

            The other chump should know there’s a possibility he was exposed. I say “possibility” because the FW and OW may have practiced safe(r) sex. Probably not though.

        • I feel your pain, definitely tell , no one wants to be the last to know. I told the other innocent other when my wife and her AP got together, these people lie have very few morals , they seem to find there sanctimonious voice when you tell the AP wife as if your were the bad one, how could you hurt the AP wife like that , my ex wife told me . I told the ex wife at least she could make a decision on facts and not a shit load of lies . Tell the truth hold your head up and walk forward leaving the cheaters behind. It’s a tough road but one day you will shine again . Sending warm hugs and good luck with your healing journey.

          • I have a bit of a (probably not) unusual situation in that the AP husband is the head of an organisation that is affiliated with a political party. There have been a number of scandals in the past few years where members of this political party have been accused of sexual harassment, sending inappropriate texts to female staffers etc. and have been forced to resign their positions. The AP husband is the most vocal supporter of these fallen men, and is often in the media proclaiming their innocence. I think the organisation has a sleeze culture (in fact at the national level there have been suggestions of an investigation into what is going on in our local area with this political party), lead or enabled by the AP husband, and in that sleeze culture my delightful ex and his colleague’s (yes she works there too) love has flourished. I also have heard from other sources the AP husband is a workplace bully, whilst heading an organisation that protects workers’ right, so I have never told him about the affair. I get the sense he knows, or wouldnt believe me, or would DARVO me. Maybe one day I will say something.

      • I 100% agree with telling her but be aware that doing so could endanger her with a narcissistic rage. She should find a way to tell that won’t backfire on her. And I also agree that there’s more than “staying in touch” — stir the pot and see what happens. The cheating never stopped, it just went underground.

    • @Rebecca I understand your position. However, I see a bit differently. The writer received advice that does not align with their guts, so they consulted another therapist. The advice still does not feel “right” so they go to internet and ask in a forum that better matches their intuition. That’s how I landed in Chump Nation. I kept searching until I found a place that validated my gut feelings, and gave me advice that felt adéquate 😁😘

      • Yes – Until I found CN, I felt very alone. I had nothing in common with the people on other divorce sites.

    • You’re acting like the 2 therapists advised her to tell. They didn’t. They told her to shut her mouth.

      How far out are you? Do you remember the pain? I remember vomiting so much I lost 30 pounds in 3 weeks and I didn’t have a spare 30 pounds to lose. I looked and felt like death.

      She has literal paid professionals telling her not to tell and she still had enough ethics to think that wasn’t right and go looking for another opinion. She’s looking for an opinion that tells her it’s ok to do what she thinks is right. She didn’t get that from her therapists.

      You’re upset that she went looking for multiple opinions… Ok, so you think she should follow her therapists advice and not tell him. That’s what you’re really saying. It was wrong for her to look for another opinion when those ones felt wrong, she should follow the first one.

      Except that’s not what you’re saying. You’re talking in circles and shitting on someone. Sorry you’re having a bad day. It’s cool if you were one of the super lucky people who had support and good advice when you went through this. Some of us didn’t. And a person with TWO unethical therapists fucking with her head during the most painful time of her life isn’t one of the lucky ones. And even with that she still had enough ethics to think, wait, this isn’t right and seek out better counsel.

      We should be happy she came here, not shame her for it. She looked for this place because she is a decent person. Otherwise, she would have just listened to the paid professionals and not given a fuck.

      • I don’t think that’s what the author means?

        I think they were saying that B has learnt to trust her gut. She kept being given bad advice, and something inside her recognized that.

        So she followed that instinct and ended up here. That’s a good thing.

  • As a child I witnessed and experienced many many things within the nuclear family that were wrong. I was taught early on to shut my mouth. I was also raised by my community, my school, my nuclear family to tell the truth. I still have a hard time with cognitive dissonance. I see shit — everyone involved in crating the pile of steaming crap tells me it’s flowers. My mind cannot merge the two ideas.

    For all that, I was unable to shut my mouth. Those describing me will always mention my bluntness, my saying uncomfortable innapropriate truths.

    I was labeled mentally off because of the taboos associated with truth-telling.

    It’s okay to tell the truth when money is involved.

    You are mentally unstable when you tell the truth about infidelity or abuse.

    • Kudos to you for overcoming the lessons from your childhood.
      I was also raised with the notion of keeping secrets. It’s a horrible burden to put on a child.
      I overcame that and live with the truth. I taught my children about the importance of always being honest. It is much easier to live always telling the truth. No lies to remember.
      My children have also seen what happens when someone lies. Finding out their father is a cheater, liar and thief was devastating but they have found their way forward by seeing my hold my head up high.

    • Those that see the truth, who expect decent behavior and treatment from others and speak about it, are shunned the most. In families we become the scapegoats, shoved aside, not given the the same love, attention, praise, or even material things. Our siblings are taught to turn against us. There is a price to pay for telling truth, for foraging down the unkept road less traveled. I’ll take that precarious road anytime over traveling down the well-maintained highyway of lies, cocooned in a luxury sedan with subversive liars. A beautiful sunrise awaits over the next hill around the bend on the dirt road to truth.

      • One of the reasons chumps don’t want to enlighten the spouses of affair partners is because they don’t want fistfighting or worse.

        It’s an early stage all chumps go through: we don’t want to cause huge scenes, get people fired, lose face even more than we already have, and we don’t want our FWs to be physically assaulted.

        Now, I do believe the other spouse should be told, of course, but the consequences are terrifying to someone in the early stages.

        • Yes! These actions of the truth-teller generally don’t occur overnight, because we’re concientious to begin with, or we wouldn’t be truth-tellers. But I think more than other people, we just can’t hold it in and it’s going to come out one way or another. I prefer the controlled demolition method.

          • “But I think more than other people, we just can’t hold it in and it’s going to come out one way or another.”
            ^^^

            So insightful, WATC. And it does create a difficult situation, which I’ve felt personally (and opted to be truthful/true to myself, no matter how hard), just never thought about quite this way. I’ve wondered myself whether this is a generalizable chump trait. If it’s one of the things (along with multiple ddays and crumbling spackle) that draws us to CL. Some days it’s a blessing – others, a curse. Still, I wouldn’t change this about myself, even if I could.

            • Many chumps tend to be transparent, open, and honest about their feelings, I think. That’s why users and con artists (fuckwits) are drawn to us. They know most people tend to think others see and approach things as they do. Since we approach friends and lovers with an open heart, we are seen as easy prey by them. But our very nature won’t allow us to easily shrug off or excuse nasty behavior. That’s why we often prove to be their worst adversaries. I have observed over time that good people can become white-hot with righteous anger and will act it, as opposed to less sensitive an caring individuals with a “that’s life” attitude. This site provides so much insight and help for coming out of it with what we deserve.

              • WeAreTheChumpions, you just untangled a skein that takes up too much space in my head. Thank you! This perspective really, really helps.

                It’s been so hard to make sense of my role and identity in the context of a longterm abusive relationship with a cheater who was leading a double life, and the trauma at the end (and my response to it) made this even more confusing. The lingering effects of gaslighting make it an absolute mindfuck. Even when I intentionally push these repetitive existential thoughts and worries aside, my subconscious continues to puzzle away because it still just doesn’t make sense.

                Someone here once commented that chumps have chutzpah. I like this characterization!

              • PS, WATC: I just listened to Krista Tippett’s interview with children’s book author Kate DiCamillo. What a brilliant, generous, imaginative and caring woman, DiCamillo. There’s so much I’d like to quote from the episode that I won’t even try! A lot of what she speaks about circles around to this very conversation. Worth a listen – but have a tissue box handy!

                https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/on-being-with-krista-tippett/id150892556?i=1000554393584

          • “But I think more than other people, we just can’t hold it in and it’s going to come out one way or another.”
            ^^^

            Great thread, and so insightful, WATC – this point about the intersection of compassion/conscientiousness and the imperative to be truthful. I’ve wondered myself whether this is a generalizable chump trait. If it’s one of the things (along with multiple ddays and crumbling spackle) that draws us to CL.

      • Aww….being shunned. When my mother was dying in the ICU, I was the family contact with her medical team. Unbeknownst to me some of her out of state family members were trying to get updates & were told they needed to contact me. Instead of contacting me, these family members chose to create a narrative that I was controlling & not willing to provide updates. My mother was cremated so I didn’t see these relatives again until I travelled to where they lived for a funeral. I was confronted in the lobby of the funeral home where these family members let it rip. I was stunned but not enough to defend myself. For the rest of the day they were luke warm towards me. After that I went n/c big time. Recently my brother said they all hate me. What? For telling the truth.

        • Over time, not knowing people like this gets better and better. Then one day you wake up and realize you’re free. It seems like many groups of people and famlies need scapegoats. Some of us, like you, choose not to play. It’s liberating.

      • “There is a price to pay for telling truth, for foraging down the unkept road less traveled. I’ll take that precarious road anytime over traveling down the well-maintained highyway of lies, cocooned in a luxury sedan with subversive liars.”

        Beautifully put. Like you, I would rather pay the price.

  • I would rather be swindled of $50k or even $500k than to be chumped. Much rather. Go above $500k and it might affect my retirement, etc. My right to live in reality is one of the rights that is most important to me. And to be chumped and not know until years later, add that to the spouse is still in contact with the other betrayer: Why would someone be that cruel to me but say and think things like it is in the past……Cheaters and liars never change. To me it is worse than someone swindling me of large sums of money but there is legal protection to some degree against swindling. Or at least the thought of the possibility of consequences–with cheating they do not seem to think consequences or they think if caught they can talk their way out of it. They weigh the benefits of an affair against the consequences of losing spouse, etc. and pick the affair. Truth and reality are much more important to me than money but I would be pissed about being swindled out of any amount of money but at least I would not be ashamed to tell it and I would get more understanding about be wronged by losing the money than by losing what I thought was my reality. CL nailed this one.

    • Well put, Lee Chump. I’d gladly trade every penny I have if I could get back the 36 plus years of lies, deceit, dishonor, disrespect, and abuse, and trade them in for a loving, healthy, and mutually respectful marriage.

      I’d rather be poor as a church mouse if it means sharing a bed with a partner who desires and cherishes every inch of me as I am; a kind, beautiful woman deserving of affection and physical attraction.
      And I would rather spend the rest of my life alone than to tolerate anything less than what I am worthy of receiving.

    • I got chumped and he spent $100,000 on his OW. Settlement forced him to replace that money from his IRA. But I have to say, $100,000 was nothing compared to having to revisit and rewrite my entire personal history.

    • Unfortunately, being a chump often means being both cheated on and swindled. You know what I’d choose? Neither! Though I’m with you in the hypothetical, lee chump.

  • Also, I will put a post up on this separately, but announcement: The new CL site is scheduled to go up THIS WEEKEND.

    That means it’s going to be shut down for part of Saturday.

    It will look different around here, but hopefully much BETTER.

    All your bookmarked pages will still be there and the archives.

    • Great news! Honestly, this blog could look like something from the 90’s and I would still be eternally grateful and read every day. That said, looking forward to the unveil. I know it’s been a long time coming.

  • Yes to everything CL said.

    At this point, the reason you share this information is because you aren’t their secret keeper. Why do you need to carry this burden? Why do you need to lose sleep and feel guilt from it?

    It’s what they DID. It’s what they ARE doing. It’s the truth and you even have evidence.

    OW is afraid that you’ll tell? Who cares? The truth will set YOU free. And what happens with OWs husband will be up to him. At least now he’ll be on a level playing field. He’s been left out of his own marriage for at least 4 years.

    And if it makes your husband angry? —- again, this is on them. You have no reason to carry this secret.

    This whole thing makes my head hurt.

  • As a therapist myself, I would like to encourage chumps that not all therapists are like that, but those who do understand abuse are still few and far between, so your chances of ending up in the office of someone who is like that are pretty high. Feel free to pre-interview your therapist and ask them directly whether they understand that cheating and betrayal are abusive actions that generate trauma. You’ll save yourself time, money and heartache pre-empting that question!

    My advice to all chumps is TELL. Tell all those who are involved, as safely as you can. You don’t want to trigger escalations with abusers, so do it in a protected manner, but do tell if you are at all in a position to do so.

  • This is what is most perplexing to me about infidelity. That despite the fact that everyone knows it’s WRONG, society still choose to protect Cheaters by shrouding their behaviour in secrecy.
    I’m not judging you here, B. I would hesitate to tell someone if I merely suspected their spouse was having an affair with my Spouse.
    However…
    YOU HAVE PROOF.
    I think your moral compass is already pointed in the direction of telling Schmoopie husband. Unfortunately you have 2 co-conspirators who’ve advised against it.
    I’m curious, if marriage therapist said not to inform, was FW there during that session chiming in?
    If so, that’s tell tale he’s still affairing with Schmoopie.
    I would have been so thankful had even ONE person come forward to inform me of Xholes affairs. But nobody had the respect to do it. Instead they all sat back and watched.

    • Agreed! It’s such a weird “rule” that we have to stay out of someone else’s relationship even when we know that chumps would want to know the truth. I am 100 percent in favor of telling the truth, always. Protect people from harm.

      • I agree. I don’t understand that rule. The truth is much better than a lie; especially tell the truth from the start. Eventually the lie always comes out anyway and the victim ends up so mind-fucked that they question years of things, such as, “Was that a lie when (s)he said… or did …?” Always tell the truth as promptly as you can.

      • Even weirder when that someone else has already inserted themselves into our relationship and life without our knowledge or consent. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    • I think that ‘rule’, like a lot of other ones (keeping family secrets, laughing when others tease or joke meanly, etc. Oh, and don’t talk at work about how much you earn!) are actually created/encouraged by those who have MORE power to keep that power over those who have LESS.

      For a long time, it was mostly men who cheated, because a) they knew their wives usually couldn’t afford to leave, and b) women who cheated were in greater danger of getting killed by the ‘righteous’ husband.

      So saying ‘oh, what goes on in a marriage is no one else’s business! Oh, we don’t know what kind of ‘understanding’ the couple has’, ‘oh, the betrayed spouse probably knows and chooses to look the other way’ was a GREAT way to keep the status quo all status-quo-y.

      Social norms exist for reasons, but that doesn’t mean they’re always what most people would consider GOOD reasons!

  • He has the right to know. I wish I was told that my ex was sneaking around with my cousin. She sure did not give a crap about her husband or you. When she choose to cheat. It is not your job to protect her cheating ass. I say tell the husband.

  • I suggest telling as well. The other chump’s instinct is probably telling him his wife is doing this. His therapist is telling him to ignore the instinct.

    Some therapists need therapy themselves.

  • First off, you need to lawyer up to get the hell out of that shitstorm of a marriage. Use ALL the evidence of infidelity against him!

    Then, after you lawyer up – tell the other chump! Make sure to show him the pictures so he knows what the fuck is going on and there is no denying it. I would encourage him to look for more evidence (email/text/etc.) bc I bet you money they are still in contact or there are others.

    Last, drop the douchebag therapists! Go find yourself another one who is your advocate! Interview them to find the best fit for you. If during the interview they pull out any RIC, marriage is a 2 way street and you need to see what you’ve done wrong BS quietly get your shit without saying a word and walk the fuck out of the room. Trust in that moment they suck and go interview more until you find a good match for YOU!

    I would do all of this starting this now. That’s the best advice I got to this situation as I was one of those chumps who lost a hell of a lot more than $50K over the years dealing with my douchebag of an ex. Good luck!

  • All these years later and I’m still finding out that I honored , broke bread with, held up in high regard ,etc people who knew, rug swept, enabled, encouraged, and even tried to capitalize on my horror show. Every time I get some news flash about that I relive the pain and want to fade away . I gain a new trigger, I gain new humiliation , I feel like I’ve been laughed at all the while , I have new lslands of disrespect , feel as though I’ve been a failure once again in my 60 plus years of life . Why play party to that type of trauma on another innocent human being ? Tell him.

    • I lived in a very small community which consisted of basically 4 intertwined families. The X was their local health care professional, the one that hands out the prescriptions and things. They were all treating the way my X behaved as some kind of reality soap opera show that I had no idea I was co-starring in. It seems that EVERYONE in the village, except me, knew all about the crap my X was pulling on me. They listened to his lies, knowing they were lies, and they lied to me by omission and to my face. In the end I felt as if I was the only one who was trying to act in an honorable and integral way, when everyone else around me couldn’t be trusted to either tell me, or hear, the truth. It was entertainment for them. 19 years in that community and I don’t have contact with a single person there. And if you asked, they would tell you that they are a deeply religious (Russian Orthodox) and honorable, family-oriented community. Ha.

      • How sad for you. How is your head these days? Have you been able to get through the cognitive dissonance that you have carried around? I wrote a comment on this as I just came back from my son’s wedding and found that I had not yet reached meh. But I didn’t know until just now. I’d be interested in knowing if you have gotten your head on straight and how you did it. Thanks!

        • Hi Amazon, I’m not sure if your question was for me or Skunkcabbage, so as far as my head is doing…I’m certain that it’ll never be the same. I have beautiful grandchildren that bring me welcome respite from the mind degrade going on all these years. I live a good simple life and have a very small group of friends that I can consistently count on. Sadly I’ve had to fix my “picker” when it comes to friends and in some cases family members as well as romantic interests. I’ve been burned in just about every relationship I’ve ever had and I’ve had to do quite a bit of introspection to see if perhaps it’s me. I guess it would have something to do with my ability to choose wisely, however I’ll never take responsibility for someone else’s poor choices ie. Cheating. Someone up post said their wayward believes the spouse only told for vengeance, well themselves the breaks and a beautiful bonus to doing the right thing.

        • I’m 6 years out now. I think my head is where it should be, but you know how it goes. You think everything is rockin’ along and then something happens and you’re hugely triggered. I’m mostly at meh, but then….

          I’ve gotten better at understanding my triggers, reacting to them in a more healthy way. I understand and defend my boundaries now. I am recognizing what is in my control, and what is not. Much of my personal frustration and lack of ‘meh’ is due to being in situations that are out of my control.

          A friend asked me the other day if I had “given up” on finding someone. I have to say, yes, I think I have. I can no longer hold out hope that I will ever have a man in my life, have a successful, healthy relationship. It’s too hard at the end of each day to accept continued rejection, to start a conversation with someone that looks promising only to have them ghost you soon after….I can no longer allow myself to feel bad about trying to have a social life. So no more on-line dating attempts for me.

          I’ve been trying to practice Mindfulness and learn how to operate in the moment. Don’t dwell on the past, and don’t think too much about the future – and for Goodness sake, don’t project fantasies about men I meet or who are around me, with whom I have absolutely no chance at ever having an opportunity to be with. That direction lies danger and destruction. Instead, I must be present, appreciate each moment the day brings me. Find my pleasure in small tangible things. And take each day one at a time.

          Good luck with finding your meh. Be patient and kind to yourself.

  • I told the other chump when my ex-wife was discovered in a 2.5 year affair with her boss (affair number 4 for my ex-wife). Post D-Day, she told him that I knew and that they had to break it off and he continued to contact her via text message, phone calls and emails repeatedly despite being asked to break off all non-work-related contact.

    After a few weeks of this, I contacted the other chump, told her that I thought she should know and also that if he didn’t stop repeatedly contacting my wife (now ex-wife) that we would be filing sexual harassment charges since he was her direct supervisor. That he wasn’t listening when asked on multiple occasions to break off contact and that maybe he would listen now that his wife knows.

    It didn’t save my marriage, but it made him go away and I’m VERY glad I did it. It gave me a little bit of control back in a situation that was careening out of control.

    I was connected to the other chump on social media for a while because that’s how I found her and reached out to her, and it was funny watching her post multiple pictures of her and her husband “so in love” with kissy faces and embraces in the weeks following their D-Day.

    It made me feel sad for her because I knew that her husband was also messing around with other employees at work — there were essentially 3 or 4 married women at the office all having affairs with him and competing for his attention, and all of then were aware of one another and didn’t care (including my ex-wife). I didn’t tell the fellow chump about the others, just about my ex-wife. And I disconnected from her on social after a while because I got sick of seeing the photos she was posting so I have no idea if she ever found out about the rest.

    • You did the right thing. No one controls how another reacts to hearing the truth. Maybe she was desperate to save her marriage. I know what that’s like because I was desperate. But whatever you did, it was the right thing to do.

  • I did tell the chump. I had moved out, filed for divorce, and decided it was time he found out. I didn’t do it with anger, or revenge. I did it because I felt he needed to know. He was separated at the time but had no idea his wife had been having an affair with my husband. We had a long talk, and it was received very well. I am glad I did it because he deserved to know. And their secret was not mine to keep

  • I told and found out that he knew but thought they were simply friends and he didn’t believe it was ever an affair. He was upset that I never knew about their “friendship.” Both OW and her husband were therapists. His father was a well known author of books about marital fidelity and recovering from an affair, and was friends with James Dobson, of Focus on the Family. When I went to the bookstore to get a book about infidelity, I saw a book written by someone with OW’s same unusual last name. Pulled it from the shelf, and landed on the dedication page and IT WAS DEDICATED TO HIS SON AND HIS “YOUNG BRIDE” (OW). I had a panic attack in the bookstore. You can’t make this stuff up. Trauma, yeah there’s trauma.

  • It was Shmoopie’s husband who spilled the beans to me. Ex said her husband didn’t do so for my benefit but for his own benefit. I don’t really care. I am glad he did. My world was already blowing u. After that conversation I knew the real reason why.

    • Prior to filing, I was in limbo for a long time. I had some evidence, but I also heard FW’s apologies & I knew he was going to his IC. But something still was off. There were days I wished & prayed to know the truth.
      Like Chumpinrecovery says above: My world was already blowing up. After that conversation I knew the real reason why.

  • I guess B is scared that telling the OW’s husband will give her own unicorn, sorry ‘loving husband’ an excuse to leave her and be with the OW. Much denial of the truth and sticking of the head into the sand going on.

  • My first thought, WTF is her husband still in contact with the OW? Unless they work directly together, there should be no talking, texting, or keeping in touch. The only person who should be concerned about the OW’s marriage is the OW.

    If B is holding the images over his husband and the OW to keep them apart, she really needs to rethink her position as the marriage police. B, if you really want to work on your marriage, your husband and the former OW needs to cut off all contact. And if you can’t trust your husband, you really need to rethink your marrriage answer the type of person your husband really is.

  • I think the letter writer knows she ought to tell the OW’s spouse, that it’s the right thing to do, and she wants to tell. But, at the same time, she’s also hesitating to tell because she knows that when she does she will anger her own spouse, which will jeopardize her own already shaky reconciliation of a marriage. Her husband will be angry at her, because it will put the OW on the hot seat. Right now the husband and OW have her contained, just where they need her to be.

    Dear B,
    Yes, you should tell. But before you do, visit and a lawyer and get your ducks in a row. Because when you tell you have to be prepared for what you learn from your husband’s response, and his response is likely to teach you that he cares more about protecting his partner in crime than he does about you, your feelings, what’s right, and what is necessary for a healthy marriage….although he’s already told you those things when he cheated in the first place.

  • Tell him and do it like you’ve got one shot at it because you might if OW is on the lookout. So straight to the point with the evidence, no vagueness or “if you want the pics ask me”, nope you got to go all in the first attempt. Pics, timeline, what you know and suspect including the chance it’s still going on (sorry but two adults who enjoyed adultery don’t end it but remain platonic friends, normally a paired back FWB relationship with a side of emotional infidelity is formed.)

    When you tell the other chump make sure it’s in a way that the OW can not block. Either his work email, LinkedIn message or a letter with a windowed envelope and his typed details (never handwritten) preferably his work address displayed (so it looks boring) or hand delivered are the best ways to bypass the OW. I’ve had to track down many other chumps when throwing my serial cheating FW affairs into broad daylight (affairs thrive in the secretive dark) and found the OW is always on the ready to intercept something like this, assume she has all his passwords to email and social accounts, I’ve had OW who open the husbands mail at home so I’m even cautious around that.

    Signs it’s been intercepted:
    1) FW asks you if you’re trying to contact the other chump, he will either out right ask or try and word it in a offhandedly manner but it’s a sure sign the OW intercepted the attempt and went crying to FW.
    2) OW confronts you.
    3) You get a very short, flat, lacklustre nonchalant response.
    4) You get the “back off psycho, stop trying to wreck my family” response.
    5) You get no response

    Don’t forget to provide a way for other chump to reach you because they will want to to fill in gaps, make sense of nonsensical lies or share new discoveries, that and sometimes it’s just so hard to get understanding and sympathy so they may want to share an awkward coffee with you just to share the shock-grief.

    Good luck

    • The work email or LinkedIn is a good idea. Sending mail to his work could be a problem as a lot of companies have someone that is designated to open ALL mail addressed to the company. The best bet is personally hand deliver all proof and timeline.

    • Agree. I sent the info about OW’s serial infidelity to her chump through his work so OW couldn’t intercept it.
      The chump never did ask me for more information or who I was, but I know he believed me because OW was reported to be alternating between furious and depressed in the days after I told him. Plus one of her APs, a guy known to the chump, stopped following her on social media immediately. I heard the chump stayed with her, but that’s on him. I didn’t see it as my place to give him advice on what to do. Giving other chumps the information they need in order to make a decision is the decent thing to do. You can only hope they make the right one.

  • A lot of people suspected my ex was cheating or had cheated. NO ONE said a thing to me. I was suffering while being gaslighted and abused. I was trying to catch her for years. When I got 100% proof of one of her affairs (14 years later) I immediately told the OM’s wife. Gave her all the proof. If you are quiet you are just as guilty as the ones cheating. No different then if you knew your husband was embezzling money and you say nothing to the person/company/authorities.

    It still bothers me thinking how I would show up at my ex’s work for lunch and all those people knew she was cheating on me and said nothing. It made me feel like such a fool.

    • All of my ex-wife’s friends knew she was cheating on me. We’d show up for parties, events, birthdays, etc… and they’d all act so nice and friendly to me. Meanwhile, I found out later, they all knew she was carrying on behind my back.

      Just awful. Feeling like a compete and total fool is right.

      I don’t speak to any of them anymore. Not a one.

    • I’m so sorry. My personal assistant, my receptionist, my secretary, ALL my professional colleague knew and nobody had enough regard for me to tell me. The OW told me! More than a decade later, that hurts me most of all – that I had no friends or allies where I might reasonably expect friendship and respect.

  • Tracy, you are brilliant, and your work should be required reading in every psychology and counseling program in the country. Your clarity is everything. Thank you.

  • I’m really confused with the cheaters staying in touch, because OW is afraid the affair that supposedly ended might be exposed? Nah, not buying that excuse for a second. B needs to dump her therapists, find an attorney and expose the cheating to OW’s husband.

    There are some wonderful therapists out there but unfortunately this field is very attractive to people that have mental issues of their own.

  • Dear B, Please tell him. He hopefully will realize the need to be tested for STI’s. Possibly she hasn’t infected him yet, and you will be saving his life by telling him now. And please get yourself tested and out of your marriage. I don’t think there’s a single person who read your post who didn’t immediately think “Oh, so the husband is still fucking the OW.” Please take care of yourself!

  • STAYING SILENT = COLLUDING WITH VIOLENCE.

    I was a psych major. I have been in therapy since 1895. One of the first things I learned in school (University of California) and have experienced, is just because someone is a therapist, it doesn’t mean they have they have their own shut together. Like many in the field, I was there because I was a mess myself who grew up in a seriously troubled family. I dropped out to get my own shit together because for some reason I thought I should have my own ducks in a row before I can help someone else. (Update….36 years later I am still looking for missing ducks….)

    One of my psychology professors would be in big trouble if we had today’s sexual harassment laws.

    Years ago I knew the head of the psych dept at a the Big Kahuna UC campus. IMHO, he is a nut job and I don’t want to catch whatever he has. I don’t know how great a psychiatrist you can be if you are an entitled self-centered jerk who fucks female students.

    It took me a lot of interviews to find really good therapists. And IMHO a good therapist would want you to tell. The one I see now who I’ve been with since 2006 would vote for telling, as would the one I saw for many years until she moved away, who is still in my life and still talks with me to this day.

    I do not trust, or agree with, a therapist who asks you to keep a secret like this.

    I wish someone had told me.

      • Please watch Dr. Foster, the BBC drama. There are several episodes that look, in excruciating detail, (Trigger Warning for the recently traumatized) at how each of the chump’s friends looked the other way, adding on to the original betrayal. Being the last to know is humiliating. Realizing that your friends lied to you and enabled the continuation of the affair is salt in the wounds.

        • ~> this!
          It was humiliating and degrading to realize that the people at his work and mine that I had to work and socialize with— knew, enabled and abetted the cheater. During a miscarriage and a pregnancy and birth. I always felt confused by those people’s reactions to me; but clearly they knew lots of things I didn’t and they weren’t telling.

          The very worst part however was the fact that there was a third person (or fourth and fifth—he was a serial philanderer for over 30 years) in my marriage. Someone who was being given ALL of the personal details of my life, my family, my CHILDREN—without my knowledge or consent. The unconscionable invasion of privacy (with someone who was clearly an enemy) juxtaposed with my abject SILENCE to protect him, me, our marriage over the infidelity, alcoholism and lies was so horrific. It is intimate abuse next level. And the pain and suffering I felt after was doubled by the fact that I ignored all the red flags until I had dropped my self regard, standards and respect to nothing and realized I had nothing to work with, no hope left that things would or could improve.

        • You know, I watched that before I went through everything and I found some of it unbelievable. Like why the f*ck would her friend who she works with help her husband cheat on her?! Why would that ever happen?!

          Oh, but then I found out the hard way that show was dead on. They nailed it. I had friends doing that to me too. And thinking they were doing me some sort of favor by protecting my marriage by helping him cheat on me. It’s just devastating. But yeah, that show is extremely accurate. I didn’t know it the first time I watched it but I rewatched it after the divorce. yeah, dead on.

      • Velvet hammer, sorry I posted that reply in the wrong thread. I completely agree with you. The affair is obviously ongoing.

    • Hilarious typo alert….

      I’ve been in therapy since 1985.

      Not 1895.

      It just feels that way.

    • I had a roommate in college who was fucking her–and my–psych prof. How do I know? I walked into the house one day and they were going at it on the living room floor. He was our biopsych prof, and that was a real lesson for me in the lengths people will go to for a shot of dopamine.

    • PS….re: the power and importance of TELLING THE TRUTH.

      I learned the other day that I had a very powerful and healing impact on someone because of my belief in SPEAKING UP ABOUT ABUSE.

      One of my dear friends is comedian and child advocate, Michael Pritchard. A documentary was recently made about one of his dear friends, comedian and child sexual abuse prevention advocate, Barry Crimmins, now deceased. It’s called Call Me Lucky, about his experience as an abuse survivor discovering how pedophiles were using AOL to connect and share child pornography. He eventually testified in senate hearings in which he confronted AOL and because of him some very important changes were made that protect children. He raised awareness by speaking up. One of the final scenes of the film is Barry addressing a crowd about the importance of TELLING THE TRUTH.

      I hire Pritch to come speak at whatever school my daughter is enrolled in. I learned the other day that Barry had accompanied Michael to his presentation when my daughter was in elementary school. Barry stood in the back of room, tears streaming down his face, because it was his dream that kids would be made aware of the very real dangers that exist so that they WOULD LEARN TO TELL and not suffer as he had. Michael’s presentation had a huge healing impact on Barry and that presentation happened because I asked Pritch to speak and I asked him to speak because I am all about speaking up about abuse. NO MATTER WHAT THE ABUSE IS OR HOW OLD THE VICTIMS ARE.
      (I was having a VERY down day the other day and by chance Pritch called
      to see how we were doing at my house. He shared this previous unbeknownst-to-me story about Barry to remind me that I do still have a purpose, that we have to remember that we can’t always see that purpose or know of our positive impact on others around us….)

      Abuse is abuse is abuse. I don’t care what kind or how old the victims are. Nothing changes if we keep quiet.

      The film is called Call Me Lucky.

      SPEAK UP. TELL THE TRUTH. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

      This is what my daughter does too.

      • VH, I was raped by a pedophile when I was 10 years old. I never told anybody until I was 26, when I finally told my mom. It was gratifying to know, had the sicko still been alive, she would have killed him. But, since he had been an employee of my grandmother’s when the rape happened, my mom asked me not to say anything to anybody until my grandmother died. My mom was afraid it would kill her.

        That singular event at age 10 had a profound impact on the rest of my life.

        I was raised in the ’70s, when virginity was still prized (at least by my elders), I was assured that no nice boy would want a “used” woman. And so, I looked for the nicest “bad” boys I could find. Boys who wouldn’t care about the status of my hymen. Which I believe is one reason I wound up being attracted to ego-maniacs. All of whom cheated on me.

        I finally came out about my rape on FB, after both my grandmother and mother had died, and was stunned into tears by the amount of loving support I received both in the comment section, and in PMs. Several female friends applauded my bravery in telling my story, and privately told me they wished they were as brave…but they just couldn’t talk about it. Not yet. Maybe never.

        I completely understand.

        I got to have two glorious weeks without the heavy burden of that secret on my heart, feeling free for the first time in decades. And then the FW dropped his bomb about a 7 year affair, hookers, etc. And I shoved myself straight back into the secrecy closet.

        The closet is a very dark place. 3 days after the X came clean, days/nights of NO sleep, I finally told my pastor (female), then a few other friends. I confronted a “friend” who knew, but never clued me in. This “friend”, who used to be one of my best ones, has been moved permanently to my “acquaintance” list. About a month later, another friend was very publicly chumped, and I connected with her immediately. We were literally each other’s life-line.

        Then I found the CL and CN. I lurked for a while, but was really hoping for reconciliation, like so many do. I was an Amazon Queen, buying every book I could find on how to save your marriage. Then I bought LACGAL, and threw the rest out.

        I discovered that some of my “friends” didn’t want to hear my truth of being a chump…like it might be contagious.

        Now on to the “telling” the chumped spouse: I have (well, my sister has) hard evidence of the X/AP’s affair. However, the AP lives in another country, and I have been unsuccessful in finding her address. As far as I know, she is still married to her chump. Does anybody have any ideas on how to find this? I can’t even locate the chump’s work address, which is where I would prefer to send it.

        • I was referred to a good PI by a friend whose husband is retired PD.

          That was the best 300.00 I may have ever spent. I have enough permanent record info to find that cockroach wherever she is, for the rest of her life.

          It’s very common for anyone abused to want to know where the perp is. Of course there is gratification in being able to control something, anything, and getting your hands on the truth when you have been swimming with sharks that are tearing your limbs off while lying to your face, laughing at your ignorance.

          Of course.

  • There were multiple people (including mutual friends) who knew of my ex husband’s affairs and never told me. I wish they would have told me. You deserved to know, and so does he. Make sure he gets the photos, even if anonymously.

  • One of the reasons chumps don’t want to enlighten the spouses of affair partners is because they don’t want fistfighting or worse.

    It’s an early stage all chumps go through: we don’t want to cause huge scenes, get people fired, lose face even more than we already have, and we don’t want our FWs to be physically assaulted.

    Now, I do believe the other spouse should be told, of course, but the consequences are terrifying to someone in the early stages.

    • Little kids who are being abused

      have the exact same fears about telling

      and what they don’t realize,

      just like grownups when faced with the prospect of telling,

      is that the ABUSE VICTIM IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR,

      DOES NOT CAUSE OR CONTROL,

      OTHER PEOPLE’S BEHAVIOR.

  • B
    You sound like you actually believe him that the “affair “ is over? There is no reason he should be in touch with her. Why aren’t you questioning this? Also why are you still with him??
    Your self respect is no where to be found. Rid yourself of the two therapists and find one that is qualified to help you. Your being gaslighted and used.
    I would also suggest getting a STD test he’s probably still having sex with the affair partner. Please tell her husband. Do the right thing.

    • “I’m not cheating anymore. I was a fool. I would never do that again. I would never blow up my world again. I would never hurt you like I did again. I will never do that again! Please don’t give up on us!”

      Words I heard between D Day #1 and D Day #2. I desperately didn’t want to believe that “one a cheater always a cheater” but alas…

      • Oh yes the old ‘please don’t give up on us’ diatribe.

        FW used that on me, while wringing his hands and looking so so sad! He said it as he was jumping in the car for a 2 week holiday with his ho worker. I didn’t know this at the time, I thought he was having time alone ‘to clear his mind’. If it wasn’t so tragic and hurtful it’d be amusing

        • Oh, those breaks ‘alone’ to get ‘headspace’. The mere fact that they could do that tells us everything we need to know. The despicable ex fabricated a breakdown 5 days before he departed to give himself an excuse to go off ‘ON MY OWN’ as he shouted at me. I was worried about him because he seemed suicidal, until he got it set up and then he was smiling and jovial while I was in a confused mess of a maze. I could not work out what was going on. He reluctantly gave me the names of the luxury hotels at which he was staying. And still I couldn’t see what was going on. Unless you’ve been through it you have no idea how low these types will go. I have no idea how they live with themselves.

      • Yes , how they profess their undying love and sorrowful “I made a mistake” tripped and fell into her again and again type BS. Because how they LOVE kibbles and confusion of facts a ruse to string us along. It feels so good to get clear of that!

  • You hold all the power, although you don’t know it. You feel like a victim, but you’re not. You are what everything hinges on. Besides dealing with your husband’s infidelity, you are also being made to keep secrets. The situation they caused is tense and nasty. At some point something will have to give, and events will be unpredictable. Deal with this now, while you hold all the cards and can direct the outcome and not find yourself further victimized, because you will be. It’s too much, and the two of them know it. You needs to shove it back on them.

    Get out from under it, sweetheart. You have so many better things to do with your life. Make a friend with the OW’s husband. Open the door for him to the truth and reality of his life, as you would want someone to do for you. It will be the start of a new and better life for you, the catalyst to move in the right direction. The peace and calm that comes from doing the right thing and and ridding yourself of using, lying, cheats will lighten your load considerably. They created it and put it on your shoulders. You don’t need to carry any of this. Let them have the mess they made and walk away.

  • Please watch Dr. Foster, the BBC drama. There are several episodes that look, in excruciating detail, (Trigger Warning for the recently traumatized) at how each of the chump’s friends looked the other way, adding on to the original betrayal. Being the last to know is humiliating. Realizing that your friends lied to you and enabled the continuation of the affair is salt in the wounds.

  • Hi, B, I’ve told my story on here before but will again because I love it!

    I caught my ex cheating a full year after the physical affair ended. The contact had petered out at that point too. Of course I tried to reconcile before coming to the conclusion that ex h was just a selfish liar with bad character and I didn’t want to be married to him anymore, whether he was still cheating or not. So a full six months later I looked up the OW’s husband. I sent him an email and gave him my number.

    When Other Chump called me he was mainly angry with my husband. He believed me, which I had worried about, but at that point I was still questioning the decision to tell and what the impact might be. Then Other Chump called back a few days later and told me, “I can finally look at myself in the mirror again.” OW had been emotionally abusing him for two years, separating him from his children and telling him it was his fault. He’d done everything he could think of to be the best husband and father, but somehow still believed the OW’s narrative that she was perfect and he was garbage. Knowing that she had interior motives to get him out of the way (without actually divorcing him and taking a financial hit, of course) he could see through her bullshit. We talked a lot and supported each other through separation and divorce. He offered to travel to testify for me in divorce court; having my lawyer tell ex h that we were calling Other Chump as a witness was the ONLY thing that kept me out of court. Ex h was terrified because he could lose his military officer job if the cheating came out. He was also blindsided because he had no idea OC and I had been talking for two years at that point.

    Also it turns out after her affair with my ex h, OW moved on and kept cheating with others, again risking Other Chump’s health. That trash was cheating with her kids’ soccer coach, absolutely no regard for her family’s security. Other Chump had heard rumors about OW in the past, but actually defended his wife! until I told him the hard truth. Then he knew to look. He didn’t tell her I had called him, just filed for divorce immediately. He didn’t bring up cheating because she was also amilitary officer.

    During their divorce OW tried to take full custody of the kids. Other Chump had a plan in place to care for them, get them to school, etc. but OW would not give up. He called me several times, frustrated at her entitlement. Finally he told her “I know everything.” and she backed down immediately. Today he has 50/50 custody of his beautiful children and sent me a wonderful photo of them celebrating New Years at the house he built for them.

    It’s scary to make that call. Maybe the other Chump will be angry, not grateful. Jobs (child support) could be lost, violence could ensue. But at least you know you did the right thing and told the Truth. You don’t control what others do with that truth, but by hiding it you’re only protecting the abusers in the situation. By giving the innocent party the information they need to make decisions, you are setting them free for better or worse. As for what FW & OW think about you telling, clearly they have proven they don’t deserve a vote. I truly believe that if you don’t spackle, you’ll find plenty of reasons besides one affair to Leave a Cheater, and like me you’ll just wish you told sooner and stopped the abuse of yourself and others.

    And I won’t lie, this story is the closest thing to karma I ever expect to get out of this whole mess. I met a wonderful person who supported me during a difficult time, and for once the cheaters had to take a bite of the shit sandwich they served up. The whole thing warms my traumatized little chump heart.

    • “OW moved on and kept cheating with others” – when I told people that my OW had targeted every married man in the building I was met with looks of disbelief and doubt. I know she did because in every instance she contrived to let the wife “discover” the infidelity and I talked to those wives! Google “women who target married men”! It is so common that the psychology community has finally begun publishing on it. There are no innocent parties in infidelity and there are real, live predators. Tell the other chump, please, just tell the other chump.

      • Whitecoatburnout, Yes! I worked with one who was let go after she was caught sleeping with a married higher-up, and hitting on other married managers in front of clients. Just heard yesterday she still propositioned someone else (with a lt gf) on her way out the door. All they want is the high of getting a bunch unavailable men.

        In the case of OW, rumors about her behavior were circulating well before she slept with my FW. Not that it matters anymore, but I still wonder if he heard them and knowingly slept with the unit bicycle.

    • DFLD, thank you for sharing your story. It does me good to see a military cheater getting what they deserve. I salute you!

      • 33, It’s a special kind of mindfuckery when our heroes turn out to be villains, isn’t it? But they have every opportunity to cheat, and way too many do. I can’t say I wasn’t warned before I married him about the so-called values of the particular community he was a part of. Still I chose to believe in the hero mask. And yes, it was super satisfying to unmask him, even just to himself and our lawyers.

        • My husband and I met when we were both in the Army. I was disgusted by the amount of cheating that went on and he pretended to be. I remember him talking about men he served with who destroyed their families for some random girl and acting shocked. How could he do that to his wife? His kids? For some nobody girl? What’s wrong with that guy?!

          All an act. He was cheating on me before we even got married. His buddies must have found it absolutely hilarious. Bunch of sick fucks.

          • Why would someone want to live like that?? Everything a lie from the very start. I’ll never get it.

            A friend got engaged (he and she were both military) and he decided to confess everything he’d been doing while they were dating. It was a lot, the whole time, every time he went somewhere. He said nearly everyone did it. Even though she knew he was trying to “start over” with their marriage, she couldn’t unknow it and she was the one that said something before I got married, along the lines of “maybe your FW is one of the unicorns, but…”

            Like an idiot, an idiot that was hit on by married men while I was deployed and knew FULL WELL what the deal was, I still signed up. 🤦‍♀️

  • I’m with everyone else here. If you don’t tell him you’re actually complicit in their tawdry affair.

    And remember that if he was to discover his wife’s infidelity and then learn that you have known all along he might want to know why you lied to him.

    Lying by ommision is still lying.

    Good luck x

  • The other chump needs the info. Ball in his court then.

    An adult friend of my daughter met a guy on instagram. He admired one of her surf pictures. He was moving to Florida, divorced. They met, hit it off. My daughter & husband invited them to grill out. Something happened that caused daughter’s friend to suspect he might be married. He sends her a copy of divorce decree. Finds out it’s fake. Contacts wife. Wife says they are happily married.

    Guy says now he’s got proof marriage is over, he made decree bc he was so desperate for marriage to be over, just a few months. He’s moved out, living in extended stay, he’s surrounded by boxes and laundry baskets. Daughter’s friend visits him, they go to concert, he goes to shower and she sees text from wife. She leaves, puts concert stubs in pocket of car and tells wife. Wife actually says well I guess my next move depends on if you are going to continue to see him….

    Daughter’s friend tells wife she is not. Cheater threatens friend, has his sister call, says he going to post inappropriate pics she had sent when she originally thought they were a couple. Bad dude

    My cheater husband (now ex, thank God) cleaned out closet for Goodwill and showed pic to his 33 years younger gf to convince her he was moving out. They’re all horrible. I wish I’d known earlier. Later I learned he would take her to the hardware store with him. People thought it was weird and ask his brother if he was still married. But nobody told me about the weird behavior

  • Something that I have said since I found out about my (now) ex-husband’s affair is that I wish that someone would have told me. They worked in a factory together and I found out later that they really didn’t even try to hide it there. I know a lot of the people he worked with and not a single one of them told me the truth. That definitely added to the hurt and betrayal because I felt like they were all complicit and were ok with him having an affair (which just felt like another slap in the face.) Please tell him. He deserves to know the truth and if he finds out later on his own and learns that you knew for however long and didn’t say anything…. you will be adding to his pain.

  • I was chumped AND “lost” $50,000, since that is what my divorce cost. The betrayal was/is a lot more painful than the money.

    I WISH one of my “friends” (or even someone who didn’t pretend to like me) had told me the truth. I would have gotten out sooner and with a lot less pain. My ex didn’t admit to the affair for three and a half years after I first suspected it. Apparently all my friends knew (and approved, based on their behavior towards OW), but NOT ONE PERSON saw fit to tell me what was going on, or bothered to check on me.

    I’d say tell the other chump. Have hard evidence (emails or something) and stick to the facts when telling the other person. Even if you are willing to try to make your marriage work after this affair, the other party may not share your feelings. Though I would say that if they are still in contact, the affair isn’t over. My ex said that he was no longer involved with OW when we “reconciled”, but that was a blatant lie. He was still going to her home and they were physically involved. She had decided to “wait for” him. He got back together with me to see if I was desperate enough to let him continue the affair while avoiding the cost of divorce. I wasn’t, and when I expressed my unhappiness that he had not cut her out of his life, he told me he wanted out of the marriage. If your spouse wants to stay “friends” with their AP, they are not actually interested in saving your marriage. It’s hard and it’s scary, but I’d say cut your losses and run.

  • Her husband keeps in contact with his side piece because the ho is worried ?

    This makes no sense to me

    I don’t think the poster will ever begin to heal until she tells the other chump

    And she should be the most important person here, not the cheaters

  • It’s disturbing to me how many therapists would openly give out such bad advice. They really can’t see infidelity as abuse if they tell you to not tell the spouse of your husband’s mistress that it’s a thing. That to me is cruel and ignorant of what exactly happens to ppl involved with cheaters. You would think of all ppl, they really should be aware, very disappointing that that is not the case for the most part.
    Tell him for sure is my vote.
    I would absolutely have wanted that info earlier than I got it. As we all know infidelity isn’t the only abuse going on simultaneously, it is just tip of the iceberg of the poor treatment we needlessly endure from a cheater’s lying life and deceits, there’s plenty else happening under the ocean!
    My ex MIL advice to my ex when he was having one of his many affairs with some lawyer from work (my kids were then 1,2 and 3) was “ don’t tell Chumpasaurus”.
    I can’t tell you how much that still haunts me years and years later and how good I was to his mom and treated her as if she were my own. It’s such a stab in my back. My life didn’t matter or my childrens, it was all about her son and keeping him happy, as if his life was more valuable than anyone else’s.
    So selfish and just horrible to do that to someone.
    Just tell him, it obviously troubles you anyway. Those therapists are doing damage to ppl with that kind of ‘keep your head in the sand’ kind of advice.
    What you don’t know DOES hurt you!!

  • This is what I think the therapist is really missing:

    There’s no such thing as “keep your head down, say nothing, stay out of it” in this situation. Doing/saying nothing means you have taken sides with two cheaters, against the chump. Full stop.

    The proof is in the sheer number of chumps who posted here about the devastation and humiliation of finding out their friends knew and didn’t tell.

    From the chump’s point of view, everybody who knew and said nothing was complicit. And now, we have a person who was herself chumped being advised to remain complicit in the very crime she was herself victimized by.

    So for me, the math is pretty simple. It’s not a question of what’s right for FW. It’s not a question of what’s right for Schmoopie. It’s not even a question of what’s right for Mr. Schmoopie. It’s a question of what’s best for B’s own mental health, and B did not volunteer to have this stain on her conscience.

    Schmoopie should be given a fixed deadline to come clean to her own husband, after which B will consider herself free to discuss the matter as she sees fit. It’s hard. It’s ugly. It’s one of those things you always think long and hard about, BEFORE you go out and cheat on your beloved.

    • I think schmoopie will just lie to her husband, and it could easily backfire on chump.

      Either tell him herself, (which she should) and provide the proof, or walk away if that is what is best for her situation.

  • Cheaters, liars, thieves do NOT deserve protection. WHY? Another consideration is that this “affair” probably did NOT happen 4 years prior. In my experience usually the admission of an affair happening yearssssss before (like that lessons the blow) was just another lie.
    At year 6 my x decided to unload his guilty conscience on me and he told me he had cheated once early on in our marriage. My mind could not even process the information honestly. Once the cat was out of the bag though, I never trusted him again. Confessions do NOT change cheaters. My x did not change and just went more underground to continue in his penis activities. I could be the poster chump for literally doing alot wrong and stayed 32 years with said cheater. When I finally filed for divorce x tried to clean up the messes I did know about. It turns out the first confession was yet another lie. It was not an affair from years before, he was actively cheating at that very moment!!! This was also true of the other Ddays in which he fudged the dates. Lies require MORE lies to keep up.

    Only once did I have an encounter with the x and ow. She ended up calling my x’s Lieutenant and told him I was “harassing and threatening her”. Another lie. His LT called me stating if he opened up and investigation it would not go well for x. I wish I had gone ahead with an investigation bc all the cover-up did was allow the cheating x to escape consequences. X also had met ow on a domestic abuse call and IMO this was an abuse of his LE powers too. Their little fling apparently went on for a good year. I hate the lies and people who covered up for him. Councelors, supervisors, friends, his parents, pastors etc are all guilty for trying to squash me into silence.

    My VOTE tell all. And most likely that affair from 4 years prior is actually still going on. Once that door is open and never shut ……….. well you decide.

  • Oh honey… if you believe that your cheater husband and OW are still in contact AFTER 4 YEARS because OW is worried you will spill the beans, you have much bigger problems.

    Lots of good advice here, but first and foremost, put the hopium pipe down!

    • Why are you asking for permission from a bunch of strangers on CN to tell the truth and do what is right? Your cheater husband and OW, if not a few more, are still manipulating and abusing you. Stand up for yourself, you should be able to scream to the world that your FW and OW are cheaters, liars, pants on fire! Get rid of all these people who are giving you terrible advice, hire a lawyer and get your pride and your life back! Enough is enough.

  • This position – it’s OK to keep information from an interested party because it would be too much for that person to handle, although (or perhaps because?) it would have a profound impact on that person’s attitude and decisions – is EXACTLY how cancer was handled a generation or so ago. Nowadays no one would advocate that a physical health professional lie about a cancer diagnosis because that’s seen as a gross violation of the patient’s autonomy. We are overdue for a similar shift in attitude about infidelity.

    Yes, it’s difficult information to receive. Yes, it’s likely to change your outlook. Yes, it’s likely to upend your life. But you have a right to know about things that affect you, and no one today would suggest that a medical professional can lie to you “for your own good”, no matter how pure his or her intentions. Withholding medical information – behavior that was routine a generation ago – is now considered an ethical violation.

    Now, you can argue that withholding information is different from affirmatively providing information; you can argue that the letter writer doesn’t have the same professional obligations towards OBS as a doctor towards a patient. But the basic moral principle – that it is not ethical to deliberately withhold knowledge that is necessary for self-determination – is the same in both cases. LW may choose not to tell for tactical reasons, but that would be *despite* her ethical obligation. Frankly, the idea that the OBS should be kept in the dark *for his own good* is offensive and paternalistic.

  • I’m just adding one more voice in support of “telling”.

    I wonder if that is the real question because you sound like a decent and reasonable person who knows telling is the right thing to do… as CL suggests, are you still stuck in reconciliation mode and privately reeling in your appropriate righteous anger for having been chumped? Are you looking to blow up the OW’s world in payback so she’ll stop communicating with your Cheater and he’ll come running back to you? Or conversely, maybe praying he’ll get so mad, he’ll leave?

    Check your motives so you can be emotionally prepared for the fallout, whatever happens. Have a plan for YOU and YOUR SAFETY and YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.

    Also, consider HOW you tell. I knew Mr. Sparkles OW was fed the line of “we’re separated” and “taking it slow for the kids” nonsense. However, her choice to continue to believe it after I told her we were 100% married when they began their “friendship” at the gym is another. SO, I knocked her right off her self-righteous platform with pages and pages of printouts of HIS current personal ads on some very saucy sites… and I made sure her sister also got a copy… in for a penny, in for a pound. She dropped him. I still divorced him. He had another Chump on the hook within days (likely another overlap)… they’re engaged now.

    Moral of the story – telling the truth is GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL and SANITY. It is painful, it may get ugly, so really have your support network in place.

  • I think the advice of therapist is wrong for sure but I’ve heard rational for why it’s given from other sites.
    You really don’t know how this other man will react. Will he blame her in some crazy way, hurt her husband or his wife?
    None of this is fair and more pain will inevitably follow regardless of the path she chooses.

    • As I posted above: step one is to tell OW she has exactly one week to figure out how to come clean with her husband, after which Chump is no longer obligated to keep the secret.

      Is it possible Schmoopie is trapped in an abusive marriage? Sure. I doubt it, but it could be possible. But Schmoopie wasn’t having an affair with a single man, she was having an affair with a married man. So no delusions here about some knight in shining armor coming to rescue her from an evil marriage. She sounds like she’s trying to protect her marriage. She sounds to me like a garden-variety cake-eater.

      • On a different subject, your post reminded me of about a year before Dday; my fw told me that whore told him she had lost her house when her husband left her. He acted like he felt sorry for her. Then I lost my house when he left me for whore. He bought her a house. They didn’t keep it long as he started gambling and he ran up massive gambling debts.

        I did get a small (apartment size) house in the divorce, but it was not my marriage house. Quite frankly I didn’t want that marriage house anyway; but it was odd that he felt so sorry for whore, but had no issue leaving me to start all over again at a minimum wage job.

        I sold the house I got not long after we D’d. I just needed to get away from them all.

    • That’s why you do it indirectly, but providing proof.

      If there is a violent reaction? Guess whose fault that ISN’T? The CHUMP’S.

      It’s not our job to tiptoe around trying to prevent other people from maybe getting violent. And certainly most chumped spouses aren’t violent. They are either in denial or devastated.

      If the CHUMP has reason to fear the Cheater, or thinks telling might mess up the divorce process, then yes, hold off. But later, TELL!

  • I got one phone call from an anonymous person who claimed my then wife was cheating. She would not name the other person or circumstances and hung up quickly. My then wife had told me she was being picked on at work because she was new and all the other teachers were in a clique. She was being treated by a therapist and psychiatrist and on some heavy medication. On the edge of a nervous breakdown. I believed her story. Of course I later discovered she had been lying to me for years. All her symptoms were from living a double life and the scorn from co-workers was justified. I really wished someone would have been more forthright and told me up front. I lived years with a cheater that dumped abuse on me because of her own cognitive dissonance. My kids had to grow up witnessing that and I carried an heavy burden while the divorce greatly affected my financial future.
    If you know someone is cheating, please do the right thing.

  • Holy shit B, go back and read what you wrote! Read it! Your husband has to stay in contact with the woman he betrayed you with because YOU are not trustworthy?! They have to stay friends and talk because YOU cannot be trusted to keep your mouth shut?! This is fucking evil. These sick fucks betrayed you, violated you, exposed you to her sexual fluids without your consent and now they keep talking because they simply can’t trust YOU…

    Holy fuck, I have no words. You have to get away from this abuse. You know it’s the right thing to do to tell the other husband, you can just anonymously send him the pictures if that’s what it takes. But I understand why you’re struggling because you aren’t even protecting yourself at this point, at all. They have you seriously mindfucked.

    You need away from all these people. Drop both therapists, drop the husband, drop any friends and family who support this insanity. I’m not judging, I get it. I was told I had no right to stop speaking with a woman who was sending my husband graphic sexual photos of herself behind her own husband’s back. I was disgusted. I didn’t want to be her friend. I was attacked and called a bully and had to change my phone number because the pervert community I was unwittingly immersed in thanks to my husband claimed I needed to tell each and every woman I met not to cheat on her husband with mine or they’d have no idea I’d have a problem with it. I look back and feel stupid. I should have filed papers then and gotten away from all those dirtbags but this insane crap screws with your head. That’s what you’re going through right now. They are screwing with your head. See it for what it is.

    I’m so sorry for how harsh this is going to sound. But you have to face it to start healing and start your new awesome life. He isn’t still talking to her because they’re afraid you’ll tell. He’s still talking to her because he wants to and he’s in a relationship with her. He’s still pretending to reconcile with you and pretending to care about you because they are afraid you will tell on them. If he was a magical reconciling unicorn, he’d have gone scorched earth with her immediately, no question. He didn’t. He wants her. He’s just doing all this counseling and stuff with you to pacify you in order to protect her. Get out of this. You deserve so much better.

  • What I would ask yourself is would you want someone to tell you? I would want to know. I had “friends” knew my college boyfriend cheated on me and didn’t tell me. He blurted it out when I dumped him for other reasons 6 months after the affair had started. I was more hurt my every one knowing he cheated and not telling me than him actually cheating. CL is spot on.

    You’ll be helping him out by giving him a choice as to what he wants to do going forward.

  • I wish that I had been told. It would have saved me years of being gaslighted and mind-fucked. I’m 7 years out from a 30-year marriage and was thinking that I had reached meh because I have a wonderful man in my life and have been feeling “at peace.” However…, I just came back from a son’s weddings and the fuckwit and his skank-wife were there. I was repulsed and finding myself angry all over again. Fortunately I didn’t fall into tears, I behaved myself totally, and I looked ‘fabulous!’ which according to my sister, it was my primary job to look fabulous and to leave the snarky comments to her. But I am still feeling yucky! Like puke all over me as I think that everybody believes the façade. The fuckwit was his charming handsome self and his skank giggled in her oh-so-delightful way. I get angry thinking that everybody believes them to be wonderful and everybody believes that ‘there really must have been something wrong with Amazon Chump because Fuckwit is so wonderful!’ I find myself wishing revenge again, and I know that’s wrong because it keeps me mired in the shitstorm that I thought I had waded through and was totally on the other side. I even scheduled myself another therapy session to deal with all the crap going through my head once again… all the crap that I thought was over. I believe that if someone had told me years ago, as soon as the affairs had started, then I wouldn’t have had 15 years of gaslighting and to have my head totally messed up. Those 15 years ingrained a cognitive dissonance in me that’s very hard to overcome. Those 15 years damaged me far more than 1 or 2 years had someone told me from the beginning.

    • Your feelings and reactions sound normal to me.

      Cheating is a socially acceptable crime/trauma of the highest order and I think that therefore many, even chumps, apply unrealistic standards of healing and recovery.

      Why would you NOT feel the way you did after sharing space with people who burned your life down and violated you, no matter how long ago it was?

      If you were a surviving victim of a serial killer, I don’t think you or anyone else would question your reaction.

      I think you can truly be at Meh and still be triggered by your abuser. It doesn’t seem mutually exclusive to me at all. Maybe you will reach a place of feeling nothing, maybe not. Either one seems like a normal healthy human response to me.

      • Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate your insight, especially comparing my trauma and reaction to that of a surviving victim of a serial killer. Granted, not that extreme, but it was still traumatic. I’ll give myself a break.

    • My hope for you is that the rebound mind fuck will be short lived. You’ve processed it for seven years but it’s natural to feel something if there is an encounter. It’s smart to have an appointment with your therapist. My relationship was 33 yrs and out 8 this year. The main amount of time I’ve seen him is in court over the years. Each time the trauma process is a tad bit shorter. I think wearing masks was helpful so I didn’t have to see a sad, angry, or smirking mouth or whatever mouth emotion he felt would benefit.

      • Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate your comment on the trauma process being a tad bit shorter. That helps.

    • I think anger and wishing revenge, in your case, is completely normal and justified. There is nothing more frustrating and mind boggling than two selfish cheating fucks, that caused so much pain to the innocent, being treated well by those that should know better. It’s always refreshing when we witness someone call these people out but so few do these days. It would have been nice if someone had been courageous enough to call skank a skank and cheater a piece of shit cheater to put them in their place but most of us are cowards. So what you witnessed was a bunch of weak, sniveling Casper Milquetoast drips be ever so nice to skank and cheater…these people are pathetic. Drop them from your circle and Christmas card list. I’m betting one day you will see cheater and skank’s downfall.

    • You’d be surprised at how many there really think your ex and his slut are losers, they just don’t want to act like it and take attention away from the bride and groom. I’ve been in that position at a family event, where the cheater husband brought his new wife. Everyone tried to be polite and civil and not cause problems. When talking to people later or quietly at the event, it became obvious that most people who attended were somewhat uncomfortable with the situation (some morevso than others) and a few didn’t show up for that reason. Your ex and Shmoopie put on a good show, because that’s what they’re good at: deceit. All acting is a form of deceit, and cheaters develop very good acting skills.

      • Thank you for your comment. I didn’t even think that people really do see them for who they are. I will doubt myself less and give people more credence in future.

    • Very to relapse normal.

      I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, and grandchildren; but some scars are hard to heal.

      I had a bit of a relapse when my fw and his whore blew up (or tried to blow up) my sons life. How my son turned out so great, I have no idea. He is almost nothing like his dad. My son told me he learned his compassion from me. I guess he had to.

      Anyway that is when I found CL, I started searching for narcissist’s. I wanted to find out what the hell was wrong with fw. Turns out, he is just a garden variety cheating asshole with no thought for anyone but himself.

      • Thank you. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to comment. I guess relapses are normal. I’ll just get my head back on track and not stress over it.

  • I guess it’s easier to keep your head in the sand. If you don’t want to blow up your world (hint, the FW already did that), then why blow up someone else’s world when you will take a hit too, and have to face the fact that your marriage/mirage is a lie.

    Not telling the other chump, and accepting the fact that your FW and his AP are still in contact is a large shit sandwich.

    Having 2 therapists agree with the status quo just heaps toppings on that sandwich.

    If you have children you are modeling that lies, deception, betrayal is what makes a marriage and a family.

    • Excellent point Sue S.
      R, you should perhaps ask her and see if she still thinks it’s the way to go or would she want to know? My money’s on the latter option. Sometimes when it’s put on a personal level, you get different perspective.

  • This one’s a no-brainer. Tell him and fire the quacks who encouraged you to enable cheaters and keep silent about wrongdoing. They want you to be complicit in the other chump’s abuse.
    These people are licensed to give advice? Wow. If I hadn’t heard so many bad therapist stories, I’d be incredulous.

    • Not only those quacks are licensed but they are being paid to assist in the abuse, by the person being abused! All in the name of controlling the narrative and keeping the status quo for the cheaters’ benefits…

      Angry yet?

  • B, you need to be commended for asking since your pain is still so obvious. Lying to someone who trusts you is so corrosive. His wife is lying every time she opens her mouth.
    No one believes your stbx is no longer cheating. Every time he talks to her he is cheating.
    I really hope you tell. It will lighten your burden and shine some sunlight for another Chump.

  • I told. Didn’t hesitate. It’s the kind thing to do even though it’s going to hurt.

    I phoned OW on DDay & phoned her spouse at his office the next day. Turned out it wasn’t OW’s first rodeo.

    And he didn’t know about my ex because she was balls deep into another source of kibble while in the process of discarding my FW. Telling my ex that little nugget was the schadenfreude cherry on top of the shit sundae.

  • On behalf of that chump please tell. The truth may help to set them free. Yes finding out hurts but not finding out is worse.

  • B:
    1) That line from your F*ckwit about why he and AP are still in contact is complete bull. PS: And you shouldn’t believe anything he says at this point.
    2) Definitely inform the chump husband. Replete with details and disgusting photos. It’s the decent thing to do. I’d be careful and protect yourself, though.
    3) So your cheater-backing therapists think that chump-husband shouldn’t know what’s going on in his life. I wonder what they think that YOU shouldn’t know about that’s going on in your life. How many other affairs are they not telling YOU about?
    4) Glad to read that you are firing your husband and your therapists.

  • I’d go with my gut as to the when, where, and how, but yes, I’d tell if the perpetrators are too cowardly.

    Then the OW should NOT have any more contact with your husband. Zero. She is poison.

  • B, I’ll add to the chorus here…tell. I personally would do it via email or a letter, to give the other party time to process (and also avoid the ever-common confrontational denial that you’d probably get right away). I would not provide the photographic proof initially, but would mention that I have it if they need to see evidence to “fully process the situation.” With that, your side of the street stays clean. You may never hear from this guy and he may not believe you, but you did your part.

    Good for you for getting out of your marriage! It’s truly hell and it sounds like you’re wading through the molten lava lack a mighty champion. Pay no mind to others on this thread questioning your moral compass. I think that the question of whether or not to tell another married person that their spouse is cheating on them is a legitimate one, especially when you have therapists in your ear giving bad advice. Even in a bubble, it’s a “make a pros/cons list” kind of situation and that’s exactly what you were aiming for when writing CL. Best of luck to you!

  • Thank you and I’m sorry as well. We are all here for the same reasons.
    Some days I feel like I’m becoming unhinged and feel the need to be defensive for everything! ugh.
    Thanks all for the support!

    • It’s so hard to believe that someone you love could do this… Someone that you’ve spent years sleeping next to, making life decisions with. When you have a good heart, it’s really unfathomable that someone who supposedly cares about you could lie right to your face. My X’s favorite was artfully lying with a tiny piece of truth. (Well, Beth needed to talk. At 2:30 in the morning when he hadn’t answered my calls)

      You’re here for a reason, B. It’s completely understandable that you feel unhinged—we’ve all been there. He needs you that way to continue doing whatever the fuck he wants.

      Don’t believe what liars say

  • Yep, I agree with everyone else. You should tell him. Be prepared for him not to believe you at first.

    I told the OW’s husband almost immediately and he was a little pissed at me. He’d ask for details and I’d tell him what I knew and it started turning into this thing where he wanted me to prove it. I’m like “Look Sport, this is what I know. If you don’t believe me, fine.” He apologized later. Even though he acted that way, I still knew I did the right thing. He was just shocked and who could blame him.

    Not one of the mother-fuckers who knew my ex was cheating on me gave me the benefit of even a vague hint. A few of them, who I had served and entertained during BBQ’s at my house, showed up to help him move out. Acted like they didn’t know me. You don’t forget shit like that. I used to hope they’d go through the pain of the whole thing themselves. Now, eh whatevah. Fuck ’em.

  • Can I ask a question / provide a slightly different scenario and get feedback on whether I should contact this person? I have been divorced from my ex for 4 years now due to his affair with a married co-worker. That affair ended after I filed for divorce. At some point over the last few years (I can’t remember the exact year), I learned by accident he was engaged in a boundary crossing inappropriate relationship, though not necessarily an affair, probably an emotional affair, with another much younger employee. She was so young, I made the assumption she was single, and ex at this point was too. So I just took it as another example of his workplace predatory behavior in action again and let it go.

    Ex announced a few weeks ago that he has a new girlfriend…and guess who it is?! He wants our son to meet this woman soon, so I got curious, looked her up online, and found she has actually been married for years… until January when her husband filed for divorce. The divorce was final three weeks later, a month ago, and low and behold, the wife and my ex are now a couple? I asked my ex if this romantic connection just magically appeared the day her divorce was final. He called me “crazy town,” which is what he tends to call me when I figured out his secrets. My instincts, experience and ex’s patterns lead me to believe this is another affair, another marriage most likely broken up. Should I reach out to her ex-husband and let him know what I know? Or leave it alone, now that they are divorced.

    On a side note, this whole announcement has me really triggered. Carbon copy of the affair and affair partner that broke up my marriage.

    • Only take action based on facts.

      Don’t act on speculation, however right you think you may be.

      When I was in high school, I knew for a fact that a friend’s girlfriend was cheating. I told him and he was initially upset with me. Even though he shot the messenger, I didn’t regret it.

      I despised cheaters then (the 70’s) and I despise them now. If I found out for a fact that Traitor X was somebody’s affair accomplice, I’d be alerting the chump husband, but I’d do so anonymously.

      • I think this is great advice. Without solid proof, I wouldn’t spread something like this around, if it were the best of hunches. Also, at this stage–4 years out and with the couple in question already being divorced–I might consider this a thing that should be lost to the Land of Meh and just forget about it.

        However, how this woman’s presence in a child’s life is the real concern. Sadly, there’s no laws against a d-bag ex bringing a d-bag new girlfriend around his kids. Short of proof of physical abuse or extreme emotional abuse, most courts don’t give one F. Ask me how I know.

  • Oh hell yeah. When I was 100% on the facts I made contact and he told me his wife was actually having an affair with my Husband as well as another married man! This guy was as devastated and hurt as I . He could not believe his wife wanted a guy ( my Husband) so much older. He had found emails , cards and poems from my ex to Coo-borate the putrid facts. They were both serial cheaters ! I felt horrible for the guy as much as he did for me over the sickening truth we both knew . We both divorced our cheater ex’s!

  • Whether you tell or not, B, you need to stop believing what liars tell you.

    Your husband lies. And cheats.

    There is zero reason for him to be in contact with this affair partner. You’ve been waiting for him to turn his attention away from you for at least 4 years. It’s clearly never going to happen. Notice how these two conveniently make it your fault that they are in contact because YOU might tell the OW’s husband what’s up. Like you are in control of what they are doing.

    Look, these two LOVE the “we know something you don’t know game. They’ve been at it for years. And frankly, an emotional affair is not all that much better than a physical one. Marriage is supposed to be about have that one person who puts you ahead of others, makes you central to his life.

    What you have is a triangle. Like CL, I fail to see what you have to work with or what you are getting out of a guy who is STILL lying to you, because there is no reason for him to stay in a relationship with this woman because “you might tell on him and the OW.” Seriously, this makes no sense at all. It’s blame shifting of the stupid kind.

    The whole question about the OW is a distraction from the main event. You know, after all, and you’re still right there with your husband. The more important issue is how you feel about living with a liar and cheater who is gaslighting you about his relationship to this woman. Pay attention to what is happening in your own marriage. (And PS–are you going to wait until he leaves you? Because that could happen).

  • Painless ways to notify the other chump: 1) buy a sympathy card, enclose a typed list of circumstances and any other proof, such as photos. Take it to a florist, pay in cash, attach it to the arrangement and have it delivered to his work 2) buy a burner phone (that’s under$100 in my experience, via walmart) and send a detailed text, then remove SIM card and trash the phone 3) google ways to get revenge: there will be a list of places that will send emails for you and relay responses if you wish to engage in conversation with the chump 4) set up multiple gmail accounts. You don’t have to be in-your-face-brave to do the right thing. You just have to make the decision to DO the right thing, and you know the right thing is to give the other chump a heads up.

  • Tell! My hunch was confirmed to be much worse…by the husband of the ow…years later. He also was suspicious but had no solid evidence – just weird behavior and lots of excuses. OW told her husband she was always talking with my husband because he was married to a “crazy woman” and she was helping him out. My husband told me he kept talking to OW because her husband was abusive and he was helping her out. “Crazy” and “abusive” were the labels placed on us while they carried on their affair.

    I finally looked up OM and reached out to him and when we compared notes, everything became much more clear and honestly, we were both relieved.

    If only we had reached out to each other earlier, we both could have saved a lot of time.

  • B, please tell. If anyone had told me that Mr Cheaterpants and his “ex-wife” were still actually married to each other, I wouldn’t have wasted a whole year of my life and several thousands of dollars dating that fuckwit. He claimed they were divorced!

    We had bbq’s and went to ballgames with the “ex-wife”, the adult children, his family friends, etc. None of them said a word! They probably assumed I knew. Well, I didn’t. I never would have agreed to such a shameful arrangement if I had known.

    Evil is allowed to flourish when good people say nothing. So please, say something.

  • I carry a good deal of trauma as a result of my divorced/single mother’s adultery with a married man, and cheaters piss me off mightily. So I bust them every time I find them. Sometimes I can do it directly, to the cheater’s or chump’s face. Other times I have to be ridiculously secretive, using anonymous mail forwarding services and god knows what. But when I see it, I let the victims know. Every. Single. Time. It feels to me like a public service, and anyone who doesn’t like it, including bystanders, relatives, and members of the RIC, can kiss my a$$.

    I recommend this attitude and the courses of action that grow out of it.

  • B, I wish I spoke 27 other languages because I would say, “Yes, definitely tell the other chump!” in every single one of them. Poor guy, he deserves to know sooner rather than later. But before you approach him, make sure you can provide rock solid evidence of the affair (emails, text messages, IMs, photos, greeting cards, you name it).

  • Who was that woman who dropped by to talk to my mother ? I sensed she was relaying some important information.

    I was sent to my room where I found a girl playing with my doll house. She broke some of its furniture. Symbolic of my home being destroyed.

    My guess is this woman had been abused by the same cunty cohort that my father was messing around with, Gladys McDogface. A sports photographer that I was introduced to at a Cosmos soccer game. My father had moved out but didn’t realize 🐶 was using him to get another man to propose. My mother and the kids were his plan B and she was unwisely let him come back.

    People have a right to know when they are in harm’s way so they can escape and protect themselves and their loved ones. Sing like a 🐦

  • I wasted no time and told her AP’s spouse everything. Gave her all the files I had etc. I think it was the right thing to do, and I have no regrets. However, what I didn’t anticipate, was that the AP’s wife would start to threaten my STBXW; which was fine except that my daughters still lived with their mom and now there was a potential for danger to them.

    Ultimately, cooler heads prevailed but I didn’t foresee this as a possibility and I was concerned for a while.

    What it DID accomplish was burn down the AP’s marriage too and it destroyed his relationship with his children (because they were so angry at him for hurting their mom). In the end, he had nowhere else to go so he invested 100% in my XW. There’s so much jealousy and mistrust in that couple that my XW makes him record video of his interaction with his XW when he picks up his son for a visit.

  • My xH had an affair with his best friends wife! A very good friend of mine whom I’d visited asking for advice because I suspected my then husband was cheating (cue eye roll)
    When I found them together I told her she had 24 hour to tell her husband or I would.
    Their stupidity Ruined several friendships. But I don’t regret the ultimatum and she did fess up to him in the time given. I certainly hope she had nightmares plucking up the courage to do it.

  • I told the OW’s fiancee the first day I found out about the affair. Unfortunately we were both chumps so we let them play us another year. Each time I doscovered sth new I was sending it to the fiancee. It resulted in OW breaking up with her fiancee and becoming my husband’s girlfriend. I don’t regret a bit. Everybody has right to knows that there is a game being played behind their back.

  • 10 points for ChumpLady… best answer ever
    It blows chunks to hear the truth but it blows entire galaxies to find out people in your circle knew but decided not to inform you because ‘it is not their business’.

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