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Contacted by the OW?

(78 Posts)
KaraKaraKodi Fri 01-Apr-16 20:29:11

I'm caught up in the middle of an extremely complicated situation - I can't say too much as would be identifying but let's say I have very strong ties of loyalty (some are blood ties) to almost everyone involved in this situation. (to be clear, I am not the OW.)

MM is a serial philander and has been throughout a long term marriage (10 yrs+ & children) - ranging from one night stands to short term affairs to longer term affairs. He's not otherwise a bad character; sex is his flaw. W is unaware save for (I think) a one off time a really, really long time ago. W is about to take some very serious life changing decisions which she really needs to know about her husband's behaviour to make an informed choice.

OW (one of the longer term affairs this MM has had but so far as I know not currently going on; they remain close/in contact though) wants to write to the W to tell her what the MM has been up to so she is fully informed.

OW is herself married and does not want to leave her marriage (her husband knew about her affair with MM but forgave her) - so this isn't likely to be a "trying to split them up" attempt. It maybe she has an other agenda that I don't know about - eg. assuaging guilt, revenge on MM - but thats not what she says.

I 100% agree that the W should know about the MM's behaviour before she makes these decisions although I think that the OW writing to the W is a bad idea and a waste of time. I'm looking for anyone who has had a similar experience to give me suggestions to persuade the OW not to do this or not to do it in this way. I think it will hurt the W, cause marital disruption at a difficult time but ultimately not be believed.

Has anyone here been in a situation where they received a letter or email or other contact from an OW or another person or anonymously saying their husband had an affair?

If so , how did you react? Did you ignore it and dismiss it as malicious? Did you believe it? Was there any difference in reaction depending on the content (was there any proof in the letter? dates, times, photos?) Were you emotionally hurt by the content? (I assume it is impossible not to be) What was it that was most hurtful and should be avoided (-eg. declarations of "just sex" or "love" - not sure which is worse)?

Assuming OWs going to do it anyway , if you were advising (I know this sounds crazy) an OW or third party who wanted to tell you about an affair for your own interests - to protect you, what is the best way to express it to cause the least emotional upset but at the same time be believed?

I think OW shouldn't do it, but if she is, it would be really pointless to hurt the W if ultimately she doesn't believe the reality of it.

[To put some context here so it doesn't sound overly cryptic, the MM is someone I have strong loyalty to otherwise, I think I would tell the W directly myself. I have told the MM he should tell his W now but he has said he will not. It is in his personal interests not to for reasons beyond maintaining the marriage.]

Any other advice? Sorry so long.

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 20:59:03

Poor cow. It's beyond cruel for nobody to have told her the truth in all this time. Do it yourself and save her the extra humiliation of the OW having to do it. Jesus.

ExpandingRoundTheMiddle Fri 01-Apr-16 21:04:21

Please tell her. From the sounds of it, she'll be the last of many to know and it's much more likely that she'll believe you than the OW.
Make sure you go in with cast iron evidence if you can though and be prepared to take the fall out in the shorter term at least.
Can you imagine if she did believe the OW and realised that you must have known and not told her?

scribblegirl Fri 01-Apr-16 21:05:59

But if Mm is (for example) a DB I can see why OP wants to stay at arms length. Tricky.

Dancingtothemusicoftime Fri 01-Apr-16 21:07:31

I got an anonymous telephone call. The woman who rang me - not the OW but someone who clearly knew her - spoke only briefly but with enough veracity for me to believe her absolutely. It was agonising, like I was being stabbed repeatedly.

But it also had the effect of making sense of the out-of-control feeling I had had over the previous weeks, an 'of course' moment. It gave me back some of the power my H had robbed me of - he was having an affair with one of my work colleagues and suddenly it all became clear. It explained his disaffection with me, the rampant criticism of everything I did, and the OW's incredible and overt hostility to me in the workplace that had previously mystified me.

The anonymous caller did say that the OW's behaviour, and my H's, had upset a lot of people who worked with them and knew me. Without disclosing too much, I headed up a team that the OW worked in - my H worked in the same building but another department.

I shall always be grateful to that caller. What followed was agonising but at least I was no longer being humiliated behind my back by my H's disgusting behaviour and that of the OW. It also ensured that the OW's DH found out too because I was able to say to my H that if the OW didn't tell her DH, I would. So that brave caller gave two innocent parties the opportunity to confront the reality of their marriages rather than stumble on, mystified why their DP's were suddenly so hateful towards them.

The DW deserves to know. Someone should have the courage to let her know the reality of her marriage. That poor woman.

KaraKaraKodi Fri 01-Apr-16 22:41:02

But if Mm is (for example) a DB I can see why OP wants to stay at arms length. Tricky.

I can't say too much but Scribblegirl is along the right lines in general terms. I am not going to be the deliverer of this information.

Dancingtothemusic thanks for your reply. I'm so sorry you had to go through that - what I noticed from your post though was "enough veracity". Seems to me that this is the thing that makes telling a W in this situation something of use. Without that, it would be not believed I imagine.

And I've read a number of threads here before from wives in this kind of situation where the advice has been "likely to be malicious person" and its not true. I'm not sure any good comes from just telling a W - because women with a family want to preserve the family and are going to want to believe its all lies. It is only if there is real proof - which I wouldn't have anyway - that they believe it. It's easy for the man to say "its not true. this must be from psycho Woman who had a crush on me and was semi -stalking me."

The more I think about this the more I think I need to just keep well away. If OW wants to do something, she will or wont and its better I don't have any input into it anyway.

KaraKaraKodi Fri 01-Apr-16 22:42:55

Can you imagine if she did believe the OW and realised that you must have known and not told her?

W would know why I hadn't told her. I don't think she would judge me for it. I have a lot of different loyalties in this situation.

MadamDeathstare Fri 01-Apr-16 22:46:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cabrinha Fri 01-Apr-16 22:47:58

He is not otherwise a bad character; sex is his flaw

Whatever you do or don't do OP, and whatever relation this cunt is to you, can you at least have the sense to see that that statement is utter nonsense?

Multiple affairs.

This man (your brother, whatever) is a grade A ocean going arsehole.
A complete and utter cunt with no morals and no decency whatsoever.

I don't care if he helps old ladies across the road and raises money for sick children. Whatever.
He is a total arsehole.

You can't just take out one MASSIVELY NASTY part of someone and say "but they're good apart from that".

No, he is not.
Don't get involved if you don't want to - but don't FFS a condone it or it reflects badly on your character too.

bakeoffcake Fri 01-Apr-16 22:51:50

Hear hear Cabrinha

Dancingtothemusicoftime Fri 01-Apr-16 23:02:12

OP, I hear what you say and certainly my anonymous caller said things that left me in no doubt at all that what she said was true, although my instinct - of course - was to wish it weren't. But if you have the link with the MM that you obliquely suggest, then surely his DW would believe you as you have no vested interest in misleading her?

But I get that you don't feel you can tell her. I think you are wrong but I understand why you might feel this way. However I can't emphasise enough how cruel this situation is for her. It is the equivalent in my view of the practice that prevailed in the past of not telling cancer patients that their condition was likely to be terminal. It infantalises the betrayed partner and gives those that know a superiority in terms of powerful information that is utterly distasteful. If you were in the DW's position, would you not wish to know? You could then choose what to do with that information; at the moment this poor woman whose H clearly holds in complete contempt is unwittingly powerless. Just grim.

The MM in this scenario is despicable. A cowardly, self-interested liar who does not deserve the luxury of his marriage and the trust of his unfortunate wife. For her sake I hope the ex OW does tell her, and all the more so as you have mentioned the DW is about to make some very serious decisions. I will always be grateful to my 'informant'. It took immense courage to do what she did and I hope that I too would do the same should it ever be necessary.

HoppingForward Fri 01-Apr-16 23:16:18

I wish someon, anyone had the guts to tell me what I already knew but drove myself, with his help insane.

ExpandingRoundTheMiddle Fri 01-Apr-16 23:32:17

Cabrinha is absolutely right. He is an utter cunt and doesn't deserve anyone's respect or consideration. I'm sorry for you OP.

Arfarfanarf Fri 01-Apr-16 23:34:21

If wife asks you, will you lie for him?

Birthgeek Fri 01-Apr-16 23:34:25

So maybe he's your son... Even so, his 'good' behaviour otherwise does not make up for his being an utter disgrace. I would be completely ashamed of any family member who acted in this way. You allude to vested interests in him keeping shtum. Appalling. He's not a 'cad'. Shagging around is abusive behaviour and anyone who turns a blind eye is an enabler.

JolseBaby Sat 02-Apr-16 07:25:19

I really don't know if I would be able to maintain 'loyalty' to someone that had multiple affairs. Especially if that someone was refusing to tell his wife because it wasn't in his 'personal interests' to do so beyond saving the marriage - which implies that there are probably some serious financial consequences to this. The icing on the cake for me is the fact that his wife is about to make some life-changing decisions, which would be impacted by knowledge of the affair!

Looking at all of that information I genuinely could not stand by and watch someone change their life (presumably to their detriment if the affair knowledge came to light post-change), without being in possession of facts that would potentially change their decision.

I presume there is a family connection to this man? Blood ties run deep but my God, how can you say that he is not a bad character, when he is quite willing to stand by and watch his wife make a choice that she presumably wouldn't if she knew about him shagging around?

I bet my shiny pound that the wife has been sitting there all these years, being quietly undermined by this man whenever she's felt something is wrong. She must feel like she is going mad. If you aren't prepared to tell her then I would let the OW do it. Either way she needs to know.

P1nkP0ppy Sat 02-Apr-16 07:36:10

Cabrinha is totally right, and you're totally colluding with and enabling this adulterer. I just hope you don't consider yourself a friend of the poor wife, which would be utterly hypocritical.
Weird twisted loyalty op. sad

JolseBaby Sat 02-Apr-16 07:47:51

Reading your OP back I wonder if this is your son - is this the case?

SomeonesRealName Sat 02-Apr-16 07:50:33

I think your attitude is awful OK you might not be in a position to tell yourself but OW is ready to tell - great thank god someone is. Christ only knows what the big decision the W is planning to make is beyond choosing to spend ten years with a cheating lying thieving bastard and having his children. If you have a shred of decency you'll let it play out and not try to intervene to dissuade the OW or influence how she does it. Poor poor woman.

SomeonesRealName Sat 02-Apr-16 07:55:39

If you are the MIL and you are whispering with the OW behind your DIL's back then my god the apple has not fallen far from the tree I sincerely hope you are not MM's mother.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 02-Apr-16 08:09:02

Cabrinha grin I think you nailed it!!

QuiteLikely5 Sat 02-Apr-16 08:10:32


I think you are complicit in the whole thing.

The dw deserves to know but I'd be surprised if she didn't have an inkling about these things already

Veterinari Sat 02-Apr-16 08:20:19

I understand the venom towards the OP but I don't think it's going to help here.

OP if you aren't willing to support the deceived wife by being honest with her, then at least please support the OW in doing so.
A brief phone call or email with a few dates and times are all that is needed to give the poor wife an honest picture of her husband. You could actually do this yourself from an anonymous email account.

By being brave now you could avoid the destruction of this poor woman's life and allow her to make an informed choice. Please stop infantilising her and protecting him. He's an adult, and as such can deal with the consequences of the wilful choices he has made

TheBlessedCheesemaker Sat 02-Apr-16 08:28:28

Only situations that would ring true for me are that this is either OPs son or OPs boss. So imagine there is a lot at stake.

I'd suggest two stages. 1) get OW to call W and spills beans at a specific time. 2) you innocently turn up appx 2 mins later, and - assuming she asks you what to make of the phone call - you gently explain that you have also had suspicions, or you know it's true, or whatever - enough for her to be swayed that this is the reality. You will be in deep shit with her for not tellng her first but, as you say, you think she will understand. Meanwhile MM cant blame you for the fact it has been brought out into the open, and you can argue you were put on the spot, she could see you were hiding something, etc.

What you can't do is let her take life-changing decisions without all the information to hand.

timelytess Sat 02-Apr-16 08:31:26

A man phoned me and told me my husband was having an affair with his girlfriend. It was a bit of a shock but it gave me the ammunition I needed to get the husband out of the house. Usually, I advise 'Say nothing'. Be aware that she might blame you for not telling her before, and that if its your DB, he might never forgive you for telling, and tell her.

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