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Would you tell?(85 Posts)
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?
Yes but I don't think I'd take it from a stranger. I would assume they were shit-stirring (unless I already had suspicions)
Stay out of it, honestly. No good can come of you getting involved.
Cardinal so you would take if from a stranger if you already had suspicions?
If this stranger has nothing to gain from it would you assume shit-stirring?
Yes I wish someone had told me... Although it still hasn't been confirmed I think its a bit of closure and the felling you aren't going mad!!!
I wouldn't necessarily take it as gospel, in fact I almost certainly wouldn't. But it might prompt me to do a bit of investigating. However, really, if I had suspicions I would have investigated already.
I too think you should not tell. It would be different if you were the partner's very good friend. As it is, you can't really know what the consequences of telling her might be.
angel so you would be ok if the person that told you was a stranger?
Possibly, but without more information, it's impossible to advise you personally. It depends on so many factors. How reliable your information is, what your motives are for telling and how you'd intend to deliver the news.
If I had 100% cast iron facts and had nothing personally to gain from a person knowing, if I was going to tell someone I'd do it personally (phone call or face to face) and tell no-one else that I'd done that. My motives would have to be that I wouldn't want a woman unknowingly risking her sexual health or being made a fool of.
badinage Information is completely reliable, I've seen him with the OW and she's admitted it.
Motives for telling her is that it's not right for her to be treated like that and I'd want someone to tell me if it was my partner.
You've said you don't know the partner but how connected are you to the man?
Yes I'd tell. I wish someone had afforded me the same kindness when my husband was cheating on me for 2 years. I really really wish someone had told me.
Tbh id want someone to tell me.
But it would have to be tactfully done. Do you know the guy in question?
He's a colleague, who I've known about 4 years who i'm quite friendly with.
I don't know whether I'd tell or not tbh.
But if I were the wife, I would hope someone would tell me.
Very difficult decision. That said, if it was my husband, I'd want to be told, definitely.
As you work with him, I would advise in this case not shitting on your own doorstep. He will probably find out it was you that told, and then will probably try to make life difficult for you. Is he more senior than you? Could he screw things up for you? Others at work may also think that you should not have told (depending on the work environment I guess - in a lot of workplaces affairs etc. are tolerated/endemic).
I just think it could potentially cause you problems.
Daydream I've been cheated on before and I wish someone had told me which is why I want to tell her.
chocolate A tactfully written email? Yes I know him quite well.
I wish someone had told me when I was being cheated on.
That gut-wrenching realisation that everyone knew except you.
cardinal Yes he is more senior than me. Yes he could cause me problems, but I'd hope to do it so that he (anyone else at work) wouldn't know it was me. Also I plan on leaving there in a few months anyway. Some people at work have already suggested that they are suspicious and and they would not approve if they knew for sure.
I wouldn't count on him not finding out that it was you. If his partner says 'I got an email saying you're cheating on me' he's going to demand to see the email.
Even if you leave the workplace, might he be able to screw things up for you anyway? If he is more senior he might have quite a lot of contacts in your industry/line of work. People often support the person who is most senior/the strongest personality, even if they don't 100% approve of what they have done.
I don't doubt your motives, and I agree in principle that she should know. But I think you need to think it through and make sure you cover your own back from any possible repercussions.
No. I would keep out of it. I would only ever get involved if i cared deeply about the person affected.
Sorry tactful as in maybe not an email. But I guess you've got to to what you've got to do.
Really rubbish situation to be in.
Might sound stupid but do you know of any of her friends? Any chance you could email them instead to speak to her in person?
Are you by any chance one and the same as the OP who recently posted her disapproval of an alleged liaison between 2 of her colleagues and was told, uneservedly and categorically, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others and to keep her disapprobation to herself?
If not, I would suggest you're best advised to act on the advice given to the other OP and stay schtum unless and until the truth wills out, as it invariably is wont to do in these situations.
What is it with people that cannot mind their own business? I just don't get it.
Try ringing crimestoppers and see what response you get.
Sorry to be so blunt but this is the second post in two weeks where someone feels the need to get involved in somebody elses life.
What will be wil be, they may get found, they may not but who appointed you as the moral guardian in their lives.
Frankly its shit stirring of the highesr order.
Ok then I'll take your advice and leave them to it, sorry to the ones who would want to be told if it was their partner but I don't want to be accused of shit-stirring
izzie no wasn't me
boden You're sarcasm is totally unnecessary, I'm sorry if this topic has come up before but you know what... so do many of the topics that come up in this forum.
At the risk of a huge flaming for 'outing' someone cheating I can confirm it never works out in your favour. I alerted a good friend that his wife may have been 'indiscreet' with a couple of people (had concrete knowledge having walked in on her actually en-flagrente with one of them at a house party) but he chose to accept it and give her the benefit of the doubt. I lost a friend. I admit to being angry at her for treating him like a fool and in hindsight should have been calmer before deciding to out her, but it had been going on for so long and I felt compliant.
Still, I probably wouldn't do it again and would have to just sit and watch it come out in the wash. Some people can forgive and forget though, so it may not affect anyone anyway.
chocolate yea I though email because I could think about how to word what I wanted to say as I'm rubbish with phone calls, not that I will do either now.
Unfortunately no I don't know any of her friends.
No, if you're not prepared to put your name to this and give the woman the news personally, don't do it.
I am in favour in many scenarios of telling
but not this one
you are not personally involved
there was a thread the other day about a woman who found out she was the OW...I advocate telling in that instance
not this one though...purely from a self preservation POV, tbh
I wish that someone had told me about my DXP and the OW; would have saved me from 7 years of misery! In a nutshell, changed my image completely to make myself more desirable to him (didn't work!), thought that he was depressed because our business was slow and I bent over backwards to cheer him up (made a fuss of him, cooked all his favourite meals, etc., etc) and, all the time, he was screwing another woman! The most hurtful thing is that mutual friends KNEW and covered up for him!!! Can't say any more, my DXP and OW are fairly famous and have already tried to shut me up using law pertaining to harassment! I'm the injured party, FFS!
ATouch Thanks for sharing your story, i'll stay out of it. But still hope that if it ever happened to me again someone will tell me (fingers crossed it won't.)
badinage would not be prepared to do that, unless I waited untill after I left to tell her then I would.
I suppose at least I can't be accused of covering up for her, but I doubt he will ever leave her as she is younger than him and he is happy otherwise. For me it is a deal breaker, but for others clearly not.
Shooting the messanger to me is just hiding it under the carpet. You surely have to concede that watching a friend being duped and knowing isn't a healthy 'friendly' situation to be in. I certainly couldn't handle it. But each to their own.
jynier Really sorry to hear that. Hope things are going better for you now you're rid of him.
As you don't know the wife, or the situation with her, I'd say do not tell. If you knew a good friend of hers, I'd tell the friend and let him/her decide. But you don't, so.... keep it to yourself.
In some scenarios I would tell. If the wife was a close friend of mine, for example.
But I have experienced the 'shot messenger' syndrome previously, so I'd have to be prepared for that.
In this scenario definitely wouldn't tell. It's none of your business, and it's potentially very messy because of the work connection.
ATouch you did what you thought was right, at least he knows and he can do what he wants with your information, in this case choose to ignore it. Yes deal breaker for me too.
If you do decide to tell, set up a fake webmail address and send the email from an internet cafe nowhere near your work or home. Not that I'm saying you should tell.
game and Sue Thanks both for your advice.
game yeah if i decided to tell via email would need a new email as he knows both my email addresses so would know if it came from me.
Then best not to. If I heard something like this from a stranger in an unsolicited e mail, once I'd got over the shock I'm sure what I'd want to do most is speak to the person and ask them a bit more about their evidence, how they knew, who else knew, whether they had a personal axe to grind etc. I'd resent not being able to do that and I would think that some women in her situation wouldn't have the initial clarity (or MN!!) to box clever and do a bit of digging before confronting their husbands. Allegations in an anonymous e mail are sometimes easily explained away by manipulative characters and in fact it might prompt them to get a bit cleverer and cover up their actions even more.
There's also the remote possibility that this bloke's got an open relationship of course and as you don't know him and his wife on a personal basis, you wouldn't be privy to that info whereas with a friend you might.
I always think in these situations you've got to consider what a bomb you're detonating in someone's life when you've got no idea about their state of mind. The shock of getting an anonymous and unsolicited communication would be bad enough for most people, but if someone's got mental health issues or alternatively they are violent and abusive, it's a very cowardly and potentially dangerous action.
Completely different if you're friends with someone and are prepared to sit with them before and after.
WYT - I never wanted to get rid of him!!! If someone had told me (and found out later that several people knew), I would have confronted them! Instead, I was treated like an idiot with an overactive imagination! Hurts so much!
I echo what badinage said. You cant possibly know what is or indeed, ISNT going on in a persons marriage.
Someone having an affair might be in an open marriage or have a spouse who hasnt touched them for years.
I used to think everything was either black or white good or evil when i was younger.
It wasnt until i got into my thirties that i realised life isnt that simple.
If you know then other people surely know and it's about to implode anyway? She could know and be busy collating evidence. Or they could have an open relationship.
Does he know you know?
Personally I would like to be told, in an anonymous email or whatever with details and evidence. I wouldn't care who told me tbh as long as I knew.
If you know (and I mean really know) and you stay quiet, you are colluding in the secrecy and betrayal of an affair. And the secrecy/betrayal can be the hardest part for the betrayed partner to deal with; and the feeling that loads of people know whilst you were left in ignorance makes you question everything.
Any damage is done by the affair, not the discovery of it.
The thing is, everyone says they'd want to be told (God knows I would), but oddly, when people are told, they almost always shoot the messenger.
The 'in theory' scenario is the exact opposite of the 'in practice' scenario because basically, you can't know until you're in the position.
Obviously this isn't cast-iron - there are enough people on here saying they wish someone had told them. But then again, how would they have actually dealt with the info, if they'd been told? Maybe very badly if they'd been told before they were ready to hear it. It's 'easy' to say you wish you'd been told - with the benefit of hindsight, when the relationship has totally gone down the shitter and absolutely is history. But at the time? When you're completely blindsided and wondering if there's something salvageable between the two of you? Who knows...
For this reason, it probably is best to beak out of it, as tempting as it really, really is to out an arsehole, as it were.
I'm surprised by how vehemently people are against the idea of telling the wife.
If she has an open relationship then she won't be bothered anyway will she? & there's no guarantee she'd take it any better even if the OP was a good friend. And perhaps she will choose to forgive and forget anyway, but that's her choice.
If you're willing to take the consequences of what might come back from it OP then it's your choice to tell. Obviously tread carefully wrt work, perhaps waiting til you've actually left that place first. Do what your gut tells you is right.
If the wife is in an open realtionship, then she's probably going to view someone telling her as a 'mundane' curtain-twitching busybody, so either way, it doesn't reflect well on the OP.
But yes, if the OP is fine with any possible negative reaction to the telling, and absolutely feels that telling is the right thing to do, then she should tell. She probably wouldn't have started a thread though, of that were the case...
"Maybe very badly if they'd been told before they were ready to hear it"
No one is ever ready to hear this one.
You 'wish you'd been told' because the miserable bit is unavoidable at some point. And the longer the lie, the longer you are deceived, the worse it gets.
Im one to think you should tell because I have been cheated on and bloody hell it hurts.
Truth may not always come out as some posters say.
If she has some information some facts then she can make her own decisions.
I didn't get through the whole thread... As someone who has been cheated on I honestly don't think you should get involved. If you really feel morally that you must say something then talk to your colleague- ask him what he's doing... He might say he's been unhappy for a long time and too scared to leave her... At which point you can offer advice so that he can do the right thing.
Isn't the priority of outcomes that the bloke stops screwing around? Why don't you meet with the bloke and let him know that you know, maybe talk about how hurtful infidelity is (maybe some anecdotes about families being split apart and people losing respect at work) and say that, as a friend, you are worried about how this could pan out for him if he doesn't stop.
Then see if the affair comes to an end.
I'm someone who received an anonymous letter telling me my ex was having an affair.
At the time it caused huge trauma and anguish because I simply couldn't work out who could want to do such damage to my marriage. As it turned out it was true, he was, and I divorced him.
I never found out who wrote the letter and although it was the catalyst for outing his betrayal it has always left me wondering exactly what this person's motives were, who they are, why they didn't tell me in a kinder way.
It's a difficult one OP. I would have found out anyway (other signs were there) and if I could go back I'd say to that person "if you know for sure, please find a way of telling me in person" or stay out of it.
I would also stay out of it. To be frank it really is non of your business. Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors and what reasons people have for doing things.
You also dont know what you could cause to happen by telling!
As boden said, you dont need to appoint yourself as someone else moral guardian.
(Just to also point out that my Ex had several affairs so whilst I do know how that feels, I still think you should stay out of someone elses business)
Stuntgirl "if she has an open relationship she wont be bothered will she"
Err not neccesssarily. After 7 years of no affection or sex from my h i had an affair. it lasted for 4 and a half years.
about three years ago my h made this comment "do what you need to do but please be discreet about it"
So just because someone has agreed to an open relationship doesnt automatically mean they want their face rubbed in it!!!!!
The OP isn't trying to rub anyone's face in it.
I'm sorry you felt harangued into a situation against your wishes though. What you had isn't an open relationship though, you cheated and for whatever reason your husband eventually grudgingly consented.
Hi all, sorry I've only just come back to this been a long day.
Thanks all for you're advice and opinions.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Midnight you may be right. Sorry Stuntgirl.
I'd want to know, but I'd want evidence.
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?
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.
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'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.
"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!
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.
Im really sorry Stuntgirl Its a sensitive subject for me but thats NO excuse for me being shirty to you so my sincere apologies
That's ok darkest you sound like you're stuck in a horrible situation. I hope things can get better for you
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"
And what about the points AndTheBandPlayedOn raises?
How can the OP guarantee that the wife is mentally stable enough to handle the revelation?
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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