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Should I tell the other woman's husband.(237 Posts)
My husband has been having an affair for at least the last four years. I found out last year. He left when I confronted him. Part of me feels that this man should know what is happening, but another part just wants to make this other woman suffer for what she has done. Would I just cause myself more problems by doing this.
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I do think I tend to agree that he should know. It is a horrible thing to discover, but I think if I had discovered the contact with OW prior to XH leaving, I would have handled things very differently. I would have probably told him to go, whereas finding it out after he left so suddenly, I was in a state and begging him to come back as I was in a state of shock.
I do think that you handle situations very differently depending on what you know.
If the point in question, the H, was told what is going on, he can make informed decisions. but at the same time, his life is being turned upside down.
Even if he doesn't believe, the seed of doubt will be planted. He will start to put two and two together. Things which have previously been baffling might suddenly make sense. It takes time for all those little niggles to come together but once you start questioning, you start to find answers.
OP, as far as I can tell, has no expectations from the man. She is not expecting him to be completely surprised, or to acknowledge what's happening. She's not expecting him to end his marriage or take any action. She just thinks that he should know.
When my XH found out that a previous partner was cheating on him, the first thing that he did, was to go and tell her parents and the OM's girlfriend. That was his first thought and action.
When I discovered last year that he was texting OW who is married to his best mate, I kept quiet initially as I was hoping to get XH to come back and stupidly didnt want to upset him by telling his friend..... then after I decided to divorce XH, I didnt tell the friend as I wanted to secure the financial settlement first.
By the time I did communicate with OW's H, they had already minimized the contact, and he did not believe me. He said that she had a lot of male friends, that XH was his oldest friend of 30 years and would not do that to him, that XH was not her type, blah blah blah. (XH and his mate could be twins, by the way...).
Her H completely excused away the thousands of texts and emails and flirting. he would not read anything into any of it. There is none so blind as those who will not see.......
OW turned on me completely and winds XH up over various things, contact, maintenance etc. I was accused of trying to ruin their marriage , she is still with her H.
If you are going to tell, do it because you feel that her H needs to know, in order to make his own decisions, not for revenge. and do it sooner rather than later.
I'd tell him, because in his situation I'd want to know, regardless of whether you were doing it out of the goodness of your heart or not.
Wellwobby. You don't need to explain yourself to anyone. I saw the posts about the affaire on that thread. Plus it's on her history - everyone on MN can see it if they wnt. I am glad you are not affected by the nastiness.
I hope youbre alright Op and it's a shame your thread was high jacked and diverted for a short period of time.
Gosh, I missed Little Pea Pod's comments.
No, Gehj, I have not spoken to LPP at all.
I am happy to be intellectual and bookish. That is fine with me. I understand that it might get tedious for others though, but all of our minds work in different ways.
Knowing the truth isn't harmful; the act that is being spoken about truthfully is where the harm has been caused.
omg charbon! totally agree!
That is what I was trying to say earlier about discharging the negative emotions. I had to deal with two small children for years, coping with the weight of emotions, if I could have thrown some of that emotion overboard quickly, as opposed to getting over it slowly slowly slowly I would have done it. My situation was different, I wasn't cheated on but there were so many painful emotions and anger too, and I think that if there is a way to discharge the overload of emotions and get on with your life then do it for god's sake. But I say that as somebody who has crawled their way back up from basket case to sane and balanced. It was a long old haul. And it's easy for somebody on an internet forum to type 'maintain your dignity at all cost'.
Also, I think posters are getting caught up on the revenge aspect, rather than considering whether or not telling would be in the best interests of the husband.
I suspect that views would still be polarised but at least it would take away the blame that is being laid on the OP.
I'm glad you're okay Wobbly and understand (though applaud) your compassion.
It is important to feel safe on here though and not vulnerable to attack.
As there haven't been many posts from the OP (little wonder) I'm not sure my views would assist, but I will repeat what I've often said on threads like this.
Women are socialised to suppress their anger and to appear benign and dignified almost regardless of the threats they face. There are no equivalent male epithets for the detestable 'bunny boiler' label and I've noticed when women get angry about infidelity, they are often told to guard against being perceived as hysterical, a loon, unhinged, bitter and spiteful
Men who get angry about infidelity on the other hand are supported in that anger and in some quarters, are derided for not enacting violence against the OM.
I'd judge that this is why in my experience, more men act as informants in this situation than women. They get more societal support for their anger and certainly less criticism for it.
My advice to anyone in this situation is to disregard the sexist hyperbole and focus on how to discharge that anger productively, making sure that it doesn't harm oneself or others not deserving of it. Knowing the truth isn't harmful; the act that is being spoken about truthfully is where the harm has been caused. If it's possible to share that truth in as compassionate a way as possible, without any expectation of the person's actions on hearing it, it can be a very healing thing to do.
Two great and differing quotes on revenge -
I'm a fighter. I believe in the eye-for-an-eye business. I'm no cheek turner. I got no respect for a man who won't hit back. You kill my dog, you better hide your cat.
― Muhammad Ali, The Greatest My Own Story
An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
― Mahatma Gandhi
The thing is they both make sense
...Erm, I think you'll find WW, that I have most definitely NOT used any private information that we have exchanged in our PM'd posts divulged on this thread. I credit myself with more tact than that.
You have written on THREE separate threads this morning already - all pertaining to affairs and narcissism (an act of obssession on your part?)
(and no, I haven't been stalking you , your name appeared in the index column, having all been written within minutes of each other )
I expect you have forgotten over the years, what you've written on-line and what is PM'd!
Nice try though.
Seriously, you need to start talking to RL friends WW, as you are coming across as autonomous!!
I'm finding it hard to define which is your words, and those that belong to authors!! .
I'm going to bow out now WW as I feel you have nothing further concrete to add that doesn't stem from some book.
I'm off to enjoy my day. You have a good one now.
FWIW I also agree it is co dependent to keep this secret for them.
Anyway, Charbon, do you have a take on this?
My stance: not telling is co dependent. Telling is letting go of secrecy and shame, and allowing natural consequences to be felt.
I have no doubt that the poor unwitting spouse is suffering. I do not believe that you can have an affair that does NOT drain the legitimate relationship.
I hope that is clear enough, arf!
Thank you Charbon, so much. Although I do have a lot of faults and Gehj had some good points ...
It is a real measure of how much I have grown as a person is that I felt a lot of compassion for Gehj rather than crumbling. That she used some of our private messaging was a bit disappointing, but behind anger is always fear.
One of the most upsetting aspects which is said over and over again is ^being the last to know.
Or at least feeling like it. Feeling like people were pitying you, avoiding you even.
And, of course, there are the wasted years. Living a lie for 2, 3, 4, years when you could have been getting on with it, getting out there, meeting new people, falling in love all over again.
Tell him. Let him decide what's best for him and his family.
This thread is extremely unpleasant and the attacks on Wobbly, disgraceful. I hope you are okay WellWobbly and have the resilience and insight to disregard some of these posts.
Looks like the thread has drifted a little but if you're still reading fudge my thoughts are to tell the OW's H. It really doesn't matter what your motivation is - he does have a right to know. In his shoes I wouldn't care if your motivation was revenge/ anger, I would just want to know the facts. Once he does he can make an informed choice about his marriage, whatever that choice may be at least he isn't making it blind.
Hands Gehj a bigger shovel to save time digging the hole.
I agree with those posters who think that to say nothing is to be complicit. The 'avert your eyes, walk on by, nothing to do with me' attitude is horrible - it doesn't matter what we are talking about, illegal activity, cruelty, deception. It's immoral NOT to act IMO. (and for the record I consider anyone in a 10 yr affair to be acting immorally and yes, that would colour my judgment on any other moral pronouncement they tried to make - I would consider their moral compass to be totally broken)
OP - Tell him the truth and tell him as kindly as you can then get on with your life.
I agree with your post Bogeyface in the main, and I agree my past history would have had relevance to my posts *IF* I had posted anything relevant to the OPs question in the first instance (I did not post anything on this thread relevant to OPs question).
The reason WHY I posted on this thread was because I was becoming increasingly frustrated and annoyed with WW (Wellwobbly's) posts as they digress from the OPs question leading very much to her own issues; and it is, IMO, something she does quite often. Therefore, I raised the issue that WW tends to make each post about herself in length rather than being supportive to the OP.
I also raised the issue that there are many questions raised by herself that she could receive help with by starting a thread of her own. i.e this was ignored and again, this morning, I see she has suggested to someone that they might like to start up their own thread (with something I know is pertinent to her thoughts).
Do you see where I am going with this? If she is so interested in a subject pertaining to heself, why does she herself not start the thread. I'm wondering why she suggests to others to start a thread (she has done so again this morning - see - Books/films with Narcissistic characters. Narcissism is something WW is interested in, as WW quotes; all people who have affairs are 'narcissistic'.
WW stated yesterday, in her defense, that she doesn't support anyone on MN unless its about affairs (because she has experience and having read many books on the subject, a wide knowledge) as she doesn't know much about anything else! A rather obsessed and blinkered view of life I think, if one can't comment on anything other than the subject of 'affairs'.
Although she may indeed have a wide knowledge, her posts read like a Wikipedia on the subject rather than someone offering advice.
I am very aware regular MN on this site have knowledge of my past history which is why I have chosen NOT to answer the above OPs question as I knew my history would be brought into question (im not interested in changing my username) but I do feel, I should be allowed to have an opinion without being labelled a troll or unpleasant.
Which is why, when something controversial crops up occasionally, posters tend to PM someone they agree with, as they don't wish to get involved in what I believe is known on this site, being accused as bullying or involved a 'bunfight'.
Oh dear, hoist with your own petard!
Sorry Gehj, but I think that you are wrong in saying that your own history has no relevance, it certainly does. I would not expect anyone with a back story of 10 years of being the OW to understand the motivation behind what the OP is asking. Sure, she admits it is revenge but also there is the feeling of that poor man being the only one that doesnt know that he is being made a fool of. I am sure your MM wife would understand that if she were to find out about your affair with her husband. But the very nature of this thread calls into question your own behaviour so it is no surprise that you feel defensive. Which leads me to question why you feel that your input on this thread is in any way helpful.
Rather than avoid it, given that the subject matter is uncomfortably close to home, you choose to wade in and attack another poster who has been the wife. Who are you to say how on earth a betrayed wife should react? What books she should read? How long she should take to recover?
The more I read, the more selfish and cruel you appear. I feel sorry for you, I really do because no one who is truly happy is so nasty to others.
And yes, he may be complicit, but if so, he won't mind hearing it again, will he? It's what he doesn't know but needs to know that matters.
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