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Reasons not to tell the DW her DH is cheating on her

(39 Posts)
DoorToTheRiver Fri 16-Oct-15 11:15:11

I know both the DW and DH and I know for a fact he is cheating on her and has done previously.

So as not to drip feed I know for a fact because a friend of mine knows the current OW. I know a friend of the DH and he has told me about the excuses the DH made when he was seeing previous OW. So he had it from the horses mouth.

However, I won't tell the DW but I think she has a right to know.

A lot of posters say on threads like these they would rather know but I don't know that this DW would rather know. She might be one of those who would rather not know. So how can I tell her if I don't know if she would want to know or not. I am about as sure as I can be she doesn't know and that they don't have an open marriage etc.

I would also feel responsible for all the hurt caused if I told her something she might stay totally oblivious too. If she never finds out then she won't get hurt by it but if I tell her she does. They have kids as well.

So I know why I won't tell her. But when I see her and she speaks well of her DH I think he's a piece of shit and she has a right to know and make her own choice.

JellyBean31 Fri 16-Oct-15 11:35:20

I was in this situation a few years ago...the OW was actually my SIL (stbhx DSis).

I didn't tell as the 'D'H & DW were both in the same circle of friends as me & stbxh. He had had affairs before which she found out about & had taken him back so part of me thought I'd cause all of this upset and blow the whole social circle apart, and she might just take him back again anyway. I did, on a point of principle refuse to go to their house as I couldn't bring myself to accept her hospitality knowing what I knew. It's all been over for years but I still wonder if she did know and will question me about it, perhaps more so now that I'm one step removed from SIL & no longer part of the "couples" social group.

I have no real advice, but can empathise with your dilemma .

Madamscorp Fri 16-Oct-15 12:11:40

Of course you must tell her !!!!
I understand your reservations but the poor woman is being made a fool of and has every right to make an informed decision based on the information you give her.
I was informed and was so grateful ,depite suspecting he was cheating already . Have you considered that she may already suspect something ?
I think its awful that you would choose not to disclose something so important to somebody .

megandmogatthezoo Fri 16-Oct-15 13:23:30

Given the general consensus among people who have been cheated on (me included) is that they would want to be told, the only possible reason for not telling is self interest, to protect yourself from any fall out.

The most likely outcome is she will be grateful but will probably remove herself from interaction with you as you will be one of the ones who 'know too much'. It is easier and less embarrassing to avoid seeing people who remind you of what a shit your 'D'H is.

ScribblerOnTheRoof Fri 16-Oct-15 13:31:07

Could you speak to the husband?

I would probably take a bottle of wine over and start a convo about relationships then drop in "would you want to know if your husband was cheating on you"

Joysmum Fri 16-Oct-15 13:31:21

How about you do her the courtesy of deciding for herself what's right for her rather keeping quiet and trying to persuade yourself she's the type that would rather not know.

Either somebody accept their husband is in an open relationship or they don't. If they don't accept it then they need to know, if they do accept it then knowing won't make a difference.

Of course she'll get hurt even if she doesn't know hmm she's wasting the best years of her life on this bastard and you have the peer to give her an out if she wants to take it.

You're not telling her only because it suits you, no matter how much you want to convince yourself that you know better than she does what's best for her.

Cabrinha Fri 16-Oct-15 13:34:41

I do understand why you might choose not to tell her.
I'm not telling my XH's GF that he's cheating for purely selfish reasons - I don't want to jeopardise an amicable coparenting arrangement. I feel bad for that, but that is my decision.

Be honest with yourself why you don't want to tell her.

You cannot know that 'what she doesn't know won't hurt her'.

She may suspect and be glad to be put out of her misery of wondering - see the women who post on here, in that desperate search for evidence.

She is being hurt even if she doesn't know it yet - I expect her marriage is suffering from his attention being elsewhere.

She may be making decisions that will hurt her down the line when she does find out. e.g. For some women that's to not chase a promotion because it's easier not to with family life, and anyway, two earners... great til he leaves her or it comes out. When I knew my XH was being unfaithful but did have evidence, I changed my decisions - like overpaying her mortgage instead of holidays, so we had equity UK share.

I'm not going to berate you for not telling - as I said, for my own reasons I am also keeping this secret. But don't for one moment ever think it is better for her not to know sad

Fuckingfuming82 Fri 16-Oct-15 13:37:40

If I was the wife I would want to know.

Twinklestein Fri 16-Oct-15 13:52:06

If she's the type of person who would rather not know then she can ignore the information she's given. And you can give it anonymously.

If you were my friend and didn't tell me my husband was cheating, once I found out you would no longer be my friend.

CharlotteCollins Fri 16-Oct-15 14:06:13

If you give her the information anonymously, though, she'll be wondering which of her friends know and could feel more a fool.

Hornydilemma Fri 16-Oct-15 14:10:25

Jellybean I initially read your post that your "D"H was cheating on you with his sister!

dontknowwhatcomesnext Fri 16-Oct-15 14:11:12

Every woman I've ever met who has been cheated on (including me) would have wanted to know as soon as possible. I'm always interested on these threads whether those urging restraint have actually ever been in the wife's position. I doubt it. Agree with posters above that if she doesn't want to act on the information that's completely her right, but that's not an excuse for you not to tell her. Please, please tell her, kindly.

Happydappy99 Fri 16-Oct-15 14:11:48

I was the one who was cheated on and I have a really hard time knowing that people knew and didn't tell me. They took away my right to chose and that's wrong.

Sansoora Fri 16-Oct-15 14:16:10

It took me a very long time to get over who was complicit in my husbands shenanigans, even if being complicit was 'just' knowing and keeping quiet.

To this day there are some of them I will never bother with again. Whereas people who then plucked up the courage to tell me will forever be in my life.

JellyBean31 Fri 16-Oct-15 14:32:05

Oh god horny no.....

I know my reasons for keeping schtum were selfish, my stbxh has no principles (that any normal person would recognise) so carried on socialising with the man while refusing to speak to his DSis (single at the time) for shagging one of his mates hmm

Telling the wife, would've not only had repercussions for me socially (which I could've shouldered) but domestically as stbxh would never have forgiven me for disrupting his comfortable little world, that's the bit I wasn't prepared to deal with. Shallow & cowardly I know and I'm not proud.

Hornydilemma Fri 16-Oct-15 14:35:38

Sounds like making him STBXH was a good choice though!

JellyBean31 Fri 16-Oct-15 14:37:08

On and btw.... I found out later stbxh also cheated on me around the same time, so I have been on both sides! No one knew, everyone blind sided so I never asked myself the "do I wish someone would've told me" question

RoisinIwanttofightyourfather Fri 16-Oct-15 17:44:46

When my exH was having an affair, all our friends knew and some even facilitated them meeting.
I hated that every bit as much as him having the affair.
I cut my friendship with everyone of those people. They were no friends to me. My exH and I reconciled temporarily but I refused to have anything to do with those people so he stopped socialising with them too. It ended with the entire group splitting.
I wish one of them had thought enough of me to be honest.

Elendon Fri 16-Oct-15 17:57:17

Tell her. You are not the harbinger of bad news. Rather the giver of a new life.

One of our (me and ex who left to live a life with OW 250 miles away) mutual friends rang me and it was a strange conversation. I realise now he wanted to tell me, but was afraid to do so. I so wish he'd been straight with me on reflection (but don't blame him for his hesitancy).

DoorToTheRiver Fri 16-Oct-15 19:17:36

DW is not a friend as such, if she was I would tell her. I don't know her too well and part of me feels I should mind my own business. However, when I see her I kind of feel horrible knowing her DH is cheating on her and she is in the dark.

Without question it is her DH's doing but I would feel indirectly responsible for her pain if I was the one to tell her.

What if she really doesn't have a clue, doesn't suspect and is quite content in her life. Am I not hurting her by telling her. In her shoes I would want to know but she may not.

Scribbler yeah I could speak to the DH but say what? Come clean to his DW or I will tell her he's cheating? If he tells me he will tell her and reports back he has told her and they are staying together how will I know if he did tell her.

SmallLegsOrSmallEggs Fri 16-Oct-15 19:28:19

1) it is likely that she is not contented. Many cheaters don't have the rnergy to play nice with 2 ppl so they withdraw affection from their dp.

2) you tell him. He tells her. He tells you he told her. You call her and say i am glad he told you if you need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold.... or at least you tell him that and you'll find out soon enough if he is lying (probably is)

TooSassy Fri 16-Oct-15 19:45:20


This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't situations. Here's the thing. If someone had told me STBXH was cheating, I'm not sure it would have meant we were over. Because this is what would have happened (and tends to happen).
- he would have denied , denied, denied it. And potentially accused the messenger of being jealous/ vindictive
- he would have admitted to a small portion of it, and then sworn just how much he loved me etc etc.

Because of my DC's and a combination of shock/ fear, I would have not made any immediate decisions. The messenger would then inevitably be out of my circle due to head in sand syndrome. I may eventually have dealt with it and plucked up the courage to separate but not necessarily. Because when you have DC's, you just try and make things work.

You have to do what you feel is right. Just be prepared that she may stay and freeze you out of her circle. Equally she may fall on you in gratitude. It's hard to know.

FrancesHeck Fri 16-Oct-15 19:50:00

Do you know anyone who knows her well enough to have a generalised "if your partner was cheating would you want to know" type conversation? Or could you? Then you could decide to proceed based on the answer.

Plus the fact that someone was asking her about that, might lead her to put two and two together for herself.

I was in a similar situation. Fiance of one of a group of female friends made a pass at another member of the group (it was roundly rebuffed). I didn't know the engaged girl very well, knew the girl who knocked him back a lot better. Group consensus was don't tell her, she knows what he is like already so it won't make any difference.

I was the only one who thought she should be told, but I had always thought he was a total tosser. Couldn't go to the hen do or wedding, as I knew I would blurt it out when pissed. The rebuffing girl was a bridesmaid. I have no idea how she kept a straight face. Anyway, I never looked at the rest of the friends the same way again and the couple divorced messily after a few years. What a mess.

RoobyTuesday Fri 16-Oct-15 20:41:42

I was cheated on by my ex - father of my eldest child (have been with my new do for 11 years now with two more children).
A dear friend told me. She just came out and said it. I could see she felt awful but I really appreciated her honesty. I'd been having my suspicions anyway. I later found out that a fair few of my other friends also knew and hadn't said anything - that felt like a double betrayal. So personally I'd always say something.

expatinscotland Fri 16-Oct-15 20:48:00

I never understood the 'don't tell' idea. Fuck that. Tell her.

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