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should I tell OW husband about their affair

(44 Posts)
lifeshock Thu 07-Jul-11 11:09:37

A bit of advice appreciated (Again!!!)
After months of lies and denials I have now found out for definite that my marriage split up because of his affair with another women. It is just a typical cliche him saying no-one else was involved and then they were just good friends (me even thinking he was having some kind of breakdown and feeling sorry for him). We recently got back together and were trying again when he finally admitted it was an affair and he was still seeing her. I have finished the relationship for good now.
Now the other women and her husband are friends of ours we have been for drinks as couples and live quite close to each other. The other couple have two little girls. They are still together.
My first instinct has always been not to tell him as I don't want to be the one to break up his family. My friends and mum are screaming at me to tell him. Why am I covering for her etc. Recently I have been feeling that I want to tell him, especially when I see them together still playing happy families and my family is in tatters. I am especially tempted because I know he is sneaking round when her husband goes out.
Is it wrong to tell him? Am I just being a bitter cow who wants to ruin someone's happiness? What would you do?

Hassled Thu 07-Jul-11 11:13:35

I can see the temptation to tell and I'm very sorry for what you've been through, but I don't think you should say a word. The husband and kids are innocent here - if there's a glimmer of a chance that the couple together and have a happy future then you can't be the person who prevents that. Not for her sake, for the husband and kids.

clarinsgirl Thu 07-Jul-11 11:15:20

Poor you. I think that the husband deserves to know, but it is not your job to tell him (nor should you be put in the position when this eventually all comes out where the husband realises that you knew before him and said nothing). In your position I would talk to your XDH and explain that they need to tell the husband or you will. BTW, even if you told the Husband, it would not be you who 'breaks up his family'.

Saffysmum Thu 07-Jul-11 11:19:36

lifeshock: Sorry you've been so let down and hurt.

I don't know what I would do, what would you do if it had been the other way around? If the husband of OW had found out? Would you have wanted him telling you?

I know I'd want to know. Do have contact with ex? Could you tell him to tell OW that she needs to tell her husband by such and such a date, or you'll be very tempted to do it for her?

I disagree with Hassled about the husband and kids being innocents in all this; ignorance is bliss, but at some point this will come out.

I suppose you need to dig deep and see if you want to tell him because you want revenge on ex and OW (and I can understand that) or whether you like this other guy - you say you've been out socially - and whether you would tell him if his wife was having an affair with another man, who didn't happen to be your husband.

So, basically I've waffled on, and said nothing! Sorry. Sure someone who's experienced this will be along soon with good advice.

lifeshock Thu 07-Jul-11 11:20:38

There would be no chance of him confessing he is way too much of a coward. He is to busy pretending to be his best friend

ShoutyHamster Thu 07-Jul-11 11:21:40

I would tell him. I would think that he deserved to know, and I couldn't collude in a lie like that. I know you aren't deliberately colluding and that you've been put in this awful position so I hope you see what I mean! But no, I couldn't keep quiet. As for ruining their happy family... well it isn't a happy family and you wouldn't be the one ruining it.

He just deserves to know. It's the right thing to do.

Sorry to hear what you've gone through... she definitely has the booby prize!

lifeshock Thu 07-Jul-11 11:23:47

Not waffling always appreciate your advice staffysmum.
If I am honest I wouldn't be telling him because he is a really good friend, they are both more friends of my exh than mine although I don know them socially. He is a nice bloke, love her to bits. Giving her an ultimatum might be a good idea.

Saffysmum Thu 07-Jul-11 11:31:34

Well what a piece of work your ex is lifeshock! Not only doing the dirty on you, but with a good mate's wife. You're well rid of him.

At some point this husband will find out - why shouldn't his wife be the one to tell him, afterall she's the one who made vows she's broken. Yes, I think an ultimatum is a good idea; they did this, they need to take responsibility for it - don't do her dirty work for her - force her to do it. About time these two had a reality check methinks!

TC123 Thu 07-Jul-11 11:38:37

Hi Lifeshock ... sorry to hear what you are going through x
For what it's worth, I was in a similar situation - I vaguely knew now XH's OW and her H. I spent so long thinking should I tell him, does he know, etc (kind of different as I didn't seem them playing happy families).
However, now divorced and a couple of year's on I'm now glad that I didn't tell him. It came out in the wash anyway and I didn't have any guilt about splitting their family up (I know it was their actions but I left it alone), should I shouldn't I, etc. I agree with other posters that he should be told, however, you have enough emotional stuff to deal with without becoming entangled in more. Concentrate on yourself and your DC .. be kind to yourself and stay strong. x

TC123 Thu 07-Jul-11 11:39:38

btw - I so know how unfair it feels but it will come out!

kaluki Thu 07-Jul-11 11:41:07

Tell him. Or tell your H and OW that if they don't then you will.
How would you feel if you found out that he knew and didn't tell you?
All 3 of you know and he doesn't - it isn't fair that he is the only one left in the dark, in fact its downright cruel. Its up to him how he deals with it - but he should have the right to decide.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 07-Jul-11 11:50:46

My H had an affair with a married woman, a friend of ours that we socialised with along with her H and DCs.

If her H knew (I am not sure as they split up half way through the affair), I so wish he told me (either directly or via pressure on my H) as one of the things that I find very painful is that the affair went on for a long time (14 months).

It was my H and the OW who are to blame for the affair and damage to our marriage - not her H.

schmarn Thu 07-Jul-11 11:59:16

If your ex H is still banging her then I would either tell the OW's H myself or do nothing. If you give her an ultimatum, you give her time to cover her tracks, delete the evidence and come up with some bullshit. If you are going to tell him make sure you have hard evidence to give him. The other option is to walk away.

Personally I would tell him particularly if he is still being cheated on.

icanttakealltheblame Thu 07-Jul-11 12:22:44

Not sure if this will help, but I have been on the other side of this. My DH had an affair and I was blissfully ignorant until OW's husband found out, then made it his mission to ensure I also knew. At the time I hated him for telling me, thinking it was a nasty thing to do to someone he had never met, and he did it just to make sure my DH wasn't 'getting away with it'.

My DH and I decided to stay together, however 2 years down the line I realise that none of the issues/reasons for him doing it have changed, and once I found they were back in touch I decided enough was enough. In hindsight, I am glad I found out, because I felt such a fool that I never knew at the time.

As Clarinsgirl says, just remember it would not be you who breaks up his family, but from my perspective I would rather know. Whether you choose to tell him or you give your DH and his OW the ultimatum, this poor guy deserves to know he is being made a fool of. Plus let's be honest, this OW really is getting away with it, which means she's far more likely to do it again IMO.

Good luck x

tadpoles Thu 07-Jul-11 12:28:40

"Recently I have been feeling that I want to tell him, especially when I see them together still playing happy families and my family is in tatters. "

Completely understand your anger - but you do realise that your motive for this is revenge? And it could completely backfire on you as well.

In any case, you don't know what the status of his particular marriage is, nor do you really have a right to. It really is up to them what they do in their relationship, not you.

Not being unsympathetic - but look at your motives here. I would never dish that kind of dirt onto someone else's life because, deep down, I know it would just be out of spite and revenge. Sorry!!

Don't say anything. The fallout for you will be too unpleasant because everyone involved will turn on you and label you a mad jealous spiteful bunnyboiler and a liar, even though you are telling the truth. Yes it's rough on the in-the-dark husband but you need to prioritise your own wellbeing over his, at least for the time being and you don't need to get dragged further into the mess.

PhilipJFry Thu 07-Jul-11 13:11:50

Someone should tell him but I'm not sure it should be you that has to do it- like someone else said, you've been through a lot and this could cause more strife for you. It's a damn shame neither of them can be honest instead of continuing to sneak's particularly sick that your ex is going around acting like his best friend.

DariusVassell Thu 07-Jul-11 16:49:33

What I'd be inclined to do in this situation is to present the H with the evidence you have - and leave it to him what he does with that information. It's then up to him what effect this has on his family. You will never be responsible for what happens to them - that will be his call when he's got all the info to make a decision - and it is your H and his W's behaviour that produced the need for that decision to be made in the first place.

Of course you are motivated by revenge, as well as some humanitarian desire not to stand by and let someone remain deceived for any longer than you were. I'd be honest with him and yourself, about both those motives.

Another thing. Don't feel guilty for wanting revenge. It's normal and it's understandable. Don't let anyone tell you that wanting revenge is a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. Just make sure that it doesn't harm you, but I think if you calmly present the facts to this man, I don't think you'll suffer.

Of course, your ex and his OW will want to present you as some bitter, deranged woman scorned, but really - do you give a fuck what they think?

holyShmoley Thu 07-Jul-11 17:09:01

have a think about why your friends and mother are cheering you to tell BUT won't do it themselves. Yup, that's because this will create an almighty pile of shite and they are far enough distant to know to not get involved. You are already up to your neck in it so don't go inviting round two.

A colleague was told by the (nearly) grown up son of his wife's OM. He hated him, even though we all said you can't shoot the messenger, and would be very tempted to do the same in the son't position. Both marriages are now divorced.

icanttakealltheblame Thu 07-Jul-11 17:09:42

I agree with Darius! Sod what anyone else thinks of you, you aren't the one having the affair are you?

debs05 Thu 07-Jul-11 17:28:38

If it's going to make you feel better then tell, they have ruined your life at present with their selfish behaviour. I'm all for revenge, sod the stiff upper lip, they are scum and have treated you with contempt!

Btw I did the same, he already knew anyway. Don't worry about them, do what your heart tells you

heleninahandcart Thu 07-Jul-11 18:33:44

I understand why you would want to tell him. However, in doing so, you may bring a heap of shit your way, possibly from your STBXH and OW, possibly from OW husband too. You don't need this on top of everything else.

If your Mum and friends are so keen on telling, let them do it or keep quiet!

Diggs Thu 07-Jul-11 18:36:33

This happened to me , i did tell , and i dont regret it . I wish someone had told me .

SirSugar Thu 07-Jul-11 19:06:40

I wouldn't do it.

eight years ago my now DPs wife rang up my H and told him we were having an affair - we weren't. Me and H stayed together going from one disaster to another, then he died.

All the meddling of others, My H, DPs wife, telling us what to do, how we should behave when we weren't actually doing anything other than talking ( some may call this an EA and it probably was; however we shared a common theme our supposed partners attempting to control us ), fucked us both off.

Had my H or DPs wife at any time noticed the effort we were both putting in to salvage our own marriages and all the time being told we were not good enough by our respective spouses, DP and I wouldn't be together today.

Leave them to it, your issue is with your XH and his fucking around outside your marriage; its irrelevant who hes fucked.

Its miserable, just don't drag anyone else into your misery, they have their own no doubt.

lachesis Thu 07-Jul-11 19:09:48

I'd tell. I'd want to know, if I were the husband.

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