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What would you do when you know someone is having an affair?

(106 Posts)
SRS88 Mon 03-Aug-15 01:59:53

I've known that a colleague of mine is having an affair. I think he is making an absolute fool of his wife. It's been going on for months. I feel really sorry for his wife. I know I can't tell her and break up their family but it's really awful to know. What would you do? I've really changed my opinion of this man.

Bleakhouse1879 Mon 03-Aug-15 03:26:43

Tell him you know and ask him how he would feel if his wife were to find out

FastWindow Mon 03-Aug-15 03:32:51

Keep out of it unless the wife is your sister or best friend since you were five. Not your business or problem. The fallout would be on you, and do you need that?
Up to you of course. Is this man your immediate boss?

TheStoic Mon 03-Aug-15 04:06:38

What do you think your options are?

nequidnimis Mon 03-Aug-15 05:37:23

If I was his wife I'd want to know.

Find a way to tell her anonymously?

mumchkin Mon 03-Aug-15 06:03:40

It's none of your business. Sorry.

TheDowagerCuntess Mon 03-Aug-15 06:14:47

It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

I sure as hell would want to know, but many people would not thank you for telling them.

Tipping the women off anonymously is cruel. Either front up, or leave it.

wannaBe Mon 03-Aug-15 06:18:52

nothing. You're not his moral guardian.

My exception would be if it was a close friend but not the wife of someone at work who has no relation to me.

And tbh if I got an anonymous tip-off or even a tip-off from someone I didn't know I would just assume you were the ow.

Flangeshrub Mon 03-Aug-15 06:47:07

As someone whose husband was having an affair and all his work colleagues knew I can only say I wish to god someone had told me or tipped me off in someway, even anonymously.

The devastation that came from the shock and the time he had had to get everything sorted to leave me meant I was on the back foot for months.

I would always tell anyone now. Fuck the consequences for myself.

daisychain01 Mon 03-Aug-15 06:50:31

Anything to do with a work colleague I would keep my nose out of it.

Stick to focussing on your job. These things have a habit of going off on a tangent and before you know it, you are being judged harshly. Just not worth the hassle or risking it derailing your job (even though I'm sure your concern is very well-intentioned).

Just my FWIW opinion.

RebootYourEngine Mon 03-Aug-15 06:52:19

I would tell his wife. I wouldnt let him know that you are going to do that because he will pre-warn his wife that you are a 'nutter' & are out to get him by making this up.

YouBastardSockBalls Mon 03-Aug-15 06:54:11

I would tell her. Sisterhood and all that.

Plus id rather know myself. Think most people would.

LucyLocketX Mon 03-Aug-15 06:54:13

Exactly what flangeshrub said.

winkywinkola Mon 03-Aug-15 07:25:42

Tell her anonymously. Horrible man.

Your friend is a bitch too.

winkywinkola Mon 03-Aug-15 07:26:00

Your colleague I mean.

ThoseAwfulCurtains Mon 03-Aug-15 07:36:55

I would try to get evidence but I'm not sure how. Then I'd send it to her anonymously. It's cowardly I know but that's what I'd try to do.

wannaBe Mon 03-Aug-15 07:37:54

anonymous is bloody cowardly. Either you have the courage of your convictions or you don't. To tell someone something like that anonymously would surely just lead to more confusion on the part of the wife, because they wouldn't know who it was - could be the ow for all they know...

My mum took a a call at work once from someone asking to speak to one of her colleagues. When she wasn't available the woman just said "it's ok just give her this message. Tell her I saw her dh with a woman in <insert town name which I can no longer remember> last week," and then hung up. The dh denied all knowledge, the assumption was made that this was someone stirring, the whole thing was written off after a couple of weeks. It was over a year later that it emerged that he was in fact having an affair and that the anonymous caller was the ow wanting to move things along.

If you have moral objections to the way someone is living their life to the extent you wish to inform the wife, then at least have the common decency to put your name to them. Otherwise stay out of it.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 03-Aug-15 07:44:59

Does your colleague know that you're aware of his infidelity?

I'd blank him and if he asks why tell him that you think his behaviour is despicable and you've no time for him.

Unless you're prepared to tell her yourself I'd keep out of it and

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 03-Aug-15 07:46:55

* keep your distance.

swimmerforlife Mon 03-Aug-15 07:47:17

I would keep my nose out of it, it could stir up problems at work etc and you could look like an interfering old biddy.

That said, if you know the wife well, maybe you could try and tell her.

JAPAB Mon 03-Aug-15 07:53:06

Some people are saying 'none of your business' but speaking personally I'd think that turning a blind eye might be something like turning a blind eye if you know some kind of abuse is going on in a house up the street, and will continue to go on unless you "report" it.

Some people are behaving in a way that is (emotionally) extremely harmful to other parties. It may be none of my business in the sense that I am not affected nor is anyone I care about, but nonetheless it is within my power to do something.

As I say, this is just the way I would feel about saying nothing, or at least failing to impart the information in some way even if anonymously. I'd probably also feel a bit angry about being put in this situation, but that's a side-point really.

avocadotoast Mon 03-Aug-15 07:58:55

If he's just a work colleague, stay out of it.

My friend had an affair when I lived with her and her boyfriend, it was awful. My rule was, either tell your boyfriend or stop talking to me about it because I don't want to know.

Lashalicious Mon 03-Aug-15 08:02:06

Years ago a coworker and I found a letter another (male) coworker left in a work area we all shared. He was dating a good friend of mine who also worked there but in a different department. The letter was written by this guy to another woman who yes, worked there also, someone we all interacted with a lot, a nice woman but seeing this guy even though he was dating my friend. The letter obviously had not been delivered yet...I decided to make a copy of the letter to show my friend and I did show it to her. I had voiced my concerns about this guy, he always tried to flirt with everyone including me, but she was head over heals so I thought I had to show her the actual letter. Well, she didn't appreciate it at all...I thought I was helping her, she didn't see it that way. They broke up, he began openly pursuing the other woman and dated her. My friend eventually began dating another guy at our workplace and married him. I was not invited nor did she ever speak to me again. I was about 21 at the time so I was very naive about thinking she would want to know. I minded my own business better after that! I would want to know, but not everyone does, even coming from a close friend.

JAPAB Mon 03-Aug-15 08:05:21

"anonymous is bloody cowardly. Either you have the courage of your convictions or you don't. To tell someone something like that anonymously would surely just lead to more confusion on the part of the wife, because they wouldn't know who it was - could be the ow for all they know... "

If the point of the exercise is to impart information about the affair, does it matter whether the wife thinks it came from the OW or not. Anonymous tip offs seem fair enough to me whether talking about affairs or criminal activity or anyother situation where there is a risk of bad consequences for the person telling. More cautious that cowardly in some situations, surely.

JAPAB Mon 03-Aug-15 08:11:55

It is sad that some people will shoot the messenger when by any rational measure they did nothing wrong, but OTOH if you had said nothing and it had gone on for years and she then found out that you knew all along, you may well have got it in the neck for that.

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