Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Would you tell?

(85 Posts)
WouldYouTell Wed 06-Mar-13 22:14:59

If you know a man is cheating on his partner of 10+years. You know its been going on for about a year. You don't know his partner but you can get her email/phone number. Would you tell her? If you were the partner would you want someone to tell you?

Also, OP, the fact that you don't have this woman's address 'but could get'. DOes that mean you are going to snoop through the man's computer, addressbook and phone? Or his personnel records? DO you not think that the act of snooping would be a disciplinary offence in itself? And if you were then to say that your reason for snooping was to rat him out about his sex life - you would be rendering yourself damn near unemployable, as no one wants a work colleague so self-righteous and disrespectful of other people's privacy.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 09-Mar-13 15:55:07

SGB: "...the possibility that you've been set up with a false story so people can have conculsive proof..." This could very well be the foundation of what is going on here. I do believe that the "at work" element here is pivotal.
Just curious, WouldYouTell, does anyone else at work know about it? If they aren't talking, isn't that a clue to you that this is out of bounds? No one likes a tattle tale and consequences to whistle blowers are generally not fairytales.

As an aside, my sister was "set up" at her place of employment. Her self-absorbed (edit other adjectives) nature can be irritating. Someone (a senior man in her dept) told her that if a sibling was pregnant (moi at age 45, married, third child) and their parents were deceased (they are), that the employee could take maternity leave to assist the sibling.

Without asking me, she informed me that she put in the paperwork to HR to do this. I was too shocked to say anything and relied on HR to turn her down...and they did. She was so sure of her entitlement that she insisted they reprocess the paperwork a second time. There she was, applying for maternity leave even though she was not pregnant. She fell for it hook, line and sinker, didn't she?

The unintended consequence for her was that it was the point of "enough is enough" for me in my relationship with her and her incessant campaign to diminish me. (That is probably why she was so oblivious to the dynamic at work.) I have not seen her in 5 years, such a relief.

anneriordan Sat 09-Mar-13 12:40:56

I've got a real sense off a car crash happening here. Whether or not you agree with the people here saying keep out, OP, you might out of self-interest consider that there will be many people in real life who will take a very dim, or at least a bemused, view of anyone acting like this.

The wronged woman is not your friend so it seems like the motivation for telling would not be concern for her personally but a wish to punish him - on whose behalf? All of the wronged partners in history? Those on this thread? (Which would include me, but it wouldn't do me any good or give me any satisfaction for this to happen.)

As others have said, you will be judged in RL by those on both sides in this thread. And while I am definitely not an expert, he might well - if it's all blown up anyway and once everyone knows - think about complaining to HR, who might take a much more formally dim view.

It's a horrible thing to know, and I really dislike the selfishness of people carrying on and burdening colleagues and others with a secret. It might help to tell someone completely separate - a friend outside work or a family member? As long as you're sure it won't dredge something awful up to do so.

middleeasternpromise Sat 09-Mar-13 12:39:54

There are three people involved in the situation, two know what they are doing - one might not. When you throw a fourth in there who has no real connection you bring another set of dynamics - why would you join in? whats your motive? the wife will always want to know how many more of you are out there knowing this about her life. Wife may or may not have her suspicions; wife may or may not find out; the law of natural process works best IMO and enables the people involved to take the full consequences and choices. Dont get into it as theres no guarantee it will go the way you think it will and once you press the send button you cant do anything else to change the course of events or shape what happens - do you really want that responsibility? What ever has happened to you that was your life and a completely different situation - they look similar but thats it. You cant change what happened to you by involving yourself in someone elses life and you cant help her because you dont actually know her.

coatsonNOW Sat 09-Mar-13 12:14:16

Cowardly, disingenuous, ruthlessly unself-aware...

I mean the OP, btw

('I'm friends with him at work' - so you like having your cake and eating it)
('Thinking of sending an anonymous email' - so not only would the poor woman have to cope with the infidelity, she'd have to cope with some stranger out there, lobbing a hand grenade in a room and then running off to tell her friends with significant looks how 'she just had to do it to be helpful)

FFS

Wow, didn't realise I felt that strongly. And I've been cheated on.

BTW, I guessed it was happening myself. We always do. We don't need someone else to do it.

Ok, I can lie down now.

Zavi Sat 09-Mar-13 10:29:03

This man is more than likely maintaining the status quo because he gains from it in some way.

Don't let him have his cake and eat it!

Get him to face up to the consequences of his actions (because he is the only one in the wrong IMO. I never blame the OW in this scenario)

Try and give this poor deceived woman some of her dignity back.

She doesn't have to use the info you give her if she doesn't want to. But at least the knowledge would give her some choice in the matter.

How could the OP guarantee, for that matter, that the wife isn't abusive and the husband engaged in an exit affair because he's been hideously ground down over the years. (Yes, I'm aware that more men than women are domestically abusive, but it's not completely unheard of for a woman to be a horrible person and a spousal abuser - the point is that the OP *doesn't know*).

I would have sympathy with someone agonizing over whether to tell when both husband and wife are friends, etc, but there's nothing altruistic about sticking your beak into a situation that you know nothing about.

Also, OP, if you are as self-righteous and meddling as your posts suggest, there's always the possibility that you've been set up with a false story so people can have conculsive proof that you are a stirrer.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 09-Mar-13 04:15:48

And what about the points AndTheBandPlayedOn raises?

How can the OP guarantee that the wife is mentally stable enough to handle the revelation?

Zavi Sat 09-Mar-13 01:17:02

I would tell because I think adulterers are cowards who deserve to be found out.

So what if the adulterer knows it was you - if you plan to leave in a few months time?

The only thing I would make sure of though is that, when you do contact his long-term partner, you better give her information that will give her bomb-proof proof that what you're saying is true. Give the name/contact number of the OW if you have it. Give dates and place details of where they have been together if you have them.

I mean, don't drip-feed info when you do make the disclosure so that you end up in a dialogue with her. Just give her the info she needs and step out of the picture.

She may just choose to ignore the evidence. But at least she is being put in the picture and getting a choice in the matter.

Don't listen to anyone here who tells you to mind your own business. What this man is doing is wrong. He shouldn't get away with it.

And listen to the ones who are saying "I wish someone had told me"

StuntGirl Sat 09-Mar-13 01:01:07

That's ok darkest you sound like you're stuck in a horrible situation. I hope things can get better for you thanks

Darkesteyes Sat 09-Mar-13 00:53:28

Im really sorry Stuntgirl Its a sensitive subject for me but thats NO excuse for me being shirty to you so my sincere apologies thanks thanks

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 09-Mar-13 00:46:53

I think telling may look good on paper, however it would be impossible to predict what would happen next. No matter how many scripts you write for it, the results will be out of your control. It may be an extreme idea, but what if the lady committed suicide upon receiving your news, however kindly meant?
So, no, don't take that risk.

Also, imho, since it involves a senior (to you) person at your place of employment, I can see this backfiring on you in a big way, as mentioned up thread. You would be the one committing suicide, professional suicide. So, no, don't take that risk. Even if he is a nasty b@st@rd at work and you are tempted to have revenge: this just way out of scale for that sort of pissing match.

I agree with you, SGB; she could also be a narcissist that treats people as props who need to conform to her template for living. If you do have "interesting social dynamics" with people, (I am not saying that you do), WouldYouTell, I wouldn't do anything that would shout it out so loud and clear as butting into peoples' private lives would demonstrate. So, no, don't take that risk.

StuntGirl Sat 09-Mar-13 00:07:08

"Woah, Darkesteyes - I really don't think StuntGirl was passing judgment on your situation; merely pointing out that what you have with your DH isn't an open relationship in the accepted sense of the concept. i.e. where a couple discusses it openly, agrees on the terms and then embarks on it, to the mutual satisfaction of both."

Yes, this midnight!

It's not altruism or kindness at work here. It's either the imposition of the OP's own personal standards on the life of someone she knows nothing about, or it's malice.

pleasestoptalking Fri 08-Mar-13 17:41:31

Solid - what???? altruism doesn't exist? being kind to people you don't know isn't possible unless there's something in it for you?

That's a happy world you live in.

It is shitstirring, because you don't know the woman in question. It's not a case of deciding to act out of concern for a friend.
Do you really hate the man, BTW? Or indeed fancy him for yourself? Because people who want to meddle like this always have an agenda of some description and it's rarely a good one. It's never going to be a noble motive when it's people you barely know. So you are either a monogamy obsessive who should perhaps get a hobby and leave other people alone, or you are a compulsive meddler who likes to stir other people up and watch what happens.

pleasestoptalking Fri 08-Mar-13 17:17:57

I don't think it's shit-stirring though. I think it's trying to help someone out as you would hope someone would help you out.

You have to listen to your conscience OP and do what you think is best. Don't be swayed by what people say on here - who made them the moral guardians?

I'd want to know, but I'd want evidence.

Darkesteyes Fri 08-Mar-13 15:23:56

Midnight you may be right. Sorry Stuntgirl.

jynier Fri 08-Mar-13 03:57:21

Saltpig - It was probably the OW who sent the letter to you!

I remember having a very mysterious conversation with a friend; it was all a bit odd and I didn't understand what she was trying to say! With hindsight, she was telling me that my XP was seeing someone else but I didn't grasp it at the time. Wish that she had come straight out with it; would have saved me quite a few years of misery and anguish!

Mosman Fri 08-Mar-13 03:11:19

I would want to know

MidnightMasquerader Fri 08-Mar-13 03:07:35

Woah, Darkesteyes - I really don't think StuntGirl was passing judgment on your situation; merely pointing out that what you have with your DH isn't an open relationship in the accepted sense of the concept. i.e. where a couple discusses it openly, agrees on the terms and then embarks on it, to the mutual satisfaction of both.

Scootee Fri 08-Mar-13 00:09:40

I've been cheated on. Yes I'd want to know, wouldn't make any difference who told me. By giving her the information, she has the power to make choices. Her first choice might be to snoop around to verify the info if she is already suspicious.

Darkesteyes Thu 07-Mar-13 23:52:08

StuntGirl i suggest you search my previous posts on this site. It happened after SEVEN YEARS of no affection (not even hand holding) or sex.
"with my body i thee worship" is a marriage vow just as much as "forsaking all others" and keep you only unto them"

Im getting bloody sick of people who only want to cherry pick the vows they want to keep (or in your case argue for) and ignore the rest.
Also FYI i did have a chat with WA about this and they said that for a spouse to REFUSE you any affection and then REFUSE to go to counselling but decide that "i dont want you but i dont want anyone else to have you" IS controlling.
Your posts REEK of projection.

WouldYouTell Thu 07-Mar-13 23:42:00

Hi all, sorry I've only just come back to this been a long day.

Thanks all for you're advice and opinions.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now