Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Would you tell?(32 Posts)
I dated a man who was separated from his wife... allegedly. I ended it a year and a half into it when I said I wanted to marry him and therefore at some point he would need to finalise the divorce. The divorce he said was continually 'about to start.' When I demanded answers and said I wanted to speak to the ex wife, it got messy. He almost turned into a different person. I don't know to this day if he had lied to me all along as I cut him off the moment I felt he was lying to me.
Anyway, fast forward a year and I was happily single and enjoying dating. A month ago I saw this man in a restaurant with a woman (not his wife). They were holding hands over the table. He didn't see me and a week after I saw him food shopping with his wife. (We live nearby).
I have no feelings for this man at all and have absolutely no wish to embark on any relationship or friendship with him. But I cannot shake this feeling that his wife should know his lies. Even when we first met I knew she found him difficult as he would often show me texts (she'd be angry or upset etc), which added to the authenticity of him being separated, but obviously now I realise they may well have been selected messages for my viewing. Either way the woman wasn't happy and he told me she used to tell him she was wasting her life with him because he wouldn't tell her what he wanted...
When I saw them together she looked so sad and whilst I don't hate this man, I feel awful that I know what he is doing to this woman again (probably again as I imagine he was doing it with me).
If I tell I don't want to say I was involved with him. Maybe that is weak. I would want to do it in a way that made he find out on her own.
I have no vested interest in what she would do but I can't stop thinking about it, how she is living a lie.
What would you do?!
If it was me I would, although a lot of people on here will say no don't get involved.
How do you think she would find out on her own?
I don't know but I was hoping for some ideas! Looking back on everything he said I'm astonished that it happened and seeing him with this woman, after having time to get over him, has made me see how really awful his behaviour is. Part of me thinks don't get involved and it's his life and what's it to me.... the other part makes me feel like I'm helping him cover it up.
If it was me, I think I would stay out of it - for your own sake. 1) the messenger always gets shot 2) you say you have no feelings for him and I am sure that is the case but it might dredge up a part of your life again that you might not yet be ready to revisit.
Oh and are there children? It may be the case that the wife knows (even deep down) but is only just about keeping it together for the kids and the effects on any children may be unpredictable.
Yes there were lots of messages he used to show me about 'being civil for the kids' or 'until x finishes exams' etc. I think she's had a really hard time with him. When I saw her shopping I just wanted to go up to her and say don't feel guilty for leaving, he's taking the piss out of you everyday.
That said, I don't hate hm. I don't want to hurt him. But now I'm over him I can see objectively how awful it is that he's doing this. especially when his wife isn't even happy with him and could go on to find happiness. I really have no interest in causing problems in someone else's life though ... I'm in two minds about it.
absolutely not. I imagine she would feel a) humiliated about being told by a complete stranger. b) enraged that she was being told by someone who slept with her husband. She may also be totally and tragically financially dependent and fell unable to leave him. Telling her all this won't make her feel any better.
Even though he's clearly seeing a woman now, whothehell?
I just think if it was me I would want to know.
Also I have no intention of telling her I slept with him. Ideally I would just like her to wake up and see it for herself but easier said than done without going to her door to tell her!
I have never been in exactly the same situation. But I have been in a couple of similar ones - as have friends of mine. Even if you are doing the right thing for the right reasons, getting yourself involved in the mess can often backfire and lead to a great deal of stress and misery for everyone involved. I have learned the hard way to stay out of things unless you are backed into a corner by circumstances.
Honestly not. He's clearly not being particularly careful, so she may well know. How would you envisage telling her without outing yourself?
I would stay out of it. Chances are she knows what he's like which is why she looks miserable.
Btw (and this is a genuine question - I don't know you of course but this occurred to me and I thought I should ask in case it prompted something) are you absolutely sure that there is no part of you that wants to get back at him for lying to you/being with someone else now?
It would be understandable/logical if you felt that way and you probably don't, but thought I would pose the question anyway - in the same way I would do to any friend who was in your situation.
I would tell her.
I know they say the messenger gets shot but you have no investment in any them, if she doesn't believe you and he tells her you're a crazy stalker lady it's actually no odds to you. At least you'd have tried and given her an out if she wanted one.
I definately think you should tell her, I would personally tell as I just think I would want to know if my partner was doing that to me.
Cheating is disgusting and dirty, If she has a go at you at least you have told her the truth x
I dont think there's any feeling of getting back at him...I really have moved on. I do think he doesn't deserve to do what he's doing and get away with it. I'm confused though. Maybe that is a bit of getting back at him? But I really do have no bad feeling. It's confusing!
If I tel her how should I do it? Anonymous message? I don't think I could face it telling her directly.
I wouldn't. It's not your business. Maybe the wife turns a blind eye for reasons unknown? People do strange things, leave them to it.
Threads like this baffle me because whenever there's a cheated on wife thread it's full of condemnation of people who knew and didn't tell, telling the wife she is better off knowing even when she says she wished she didn't etc. Would you want to know OP? This is a long standing thing, it's all well and good saying perhaps she knows and is keeping it together but perhaps she doesn't? If she does telling her won't make a difference but if she doesn't and thinks her marriage has fallen to shit but that he's faithful putting her in the loop can't be a bad thing. Maybe she suspects and he's making her think she's crazy? Maybe she has no idea at all and thinks they're working on it? I'd want to know, would you? If so, tell her. Do it in the way you'd want to be told. Back it up with evidence. Photos, dates of times you were together, anything you have. If they were separating and now aren't the dates will correspond with those times and she can disregard if she wants to.
It's difficult to know what to do for the best in this situation. My ex cheated a few times and I was almost as annoyed with the people who I found out knew about it and didn't tell me as I was with him. I would say that cheaters are always found out eventually but I know this isn't always the case. I think I would definitely rather know, even if from a stranger.
My measure is that I would want to know - so I would tell. I understand your reluctance to get directly involved though, so anonymously with any evidence you have (dates, times etc) is the way to go. And thank your lucky stars, you could be in her position now. Once you've given the information, it's up to her what she does with it.
I was cheated on and will always be grateful to the person who had the guts to tell me about it.
This is a tricky one. There is so much 'keeping out of it' in life. so many bystanders watching people in horrible situations. I've been in both places in the past 2 months. a) I found out my partner was having an affair for 4 years. How would I have felt if someone had told me 2 years ago? The same - in utter pain, but with 2 years not wasted in ignorance. b) the woman my partner had an affair with was married with 2 small children. There were points where I wanted to tell him, but was persuaded out of it my friends. The selfish truth is that if I told I may be throwing her and my ex partner together, so I didn't. I don't know what you should do, but I do think the easy way out is by not telling. Unfortunately this woman may be so broken that she cannot leave anyway. This man sounds truly horrible, this poor woman. If you do tell, I would suggest writing her a detailed and supportive letter, perhaps providing her with a email address (you could make a new anonymous one) so she can ask questions of you. But really it could very messy.
Personally no I don't think you should get involved and tell her. You really don't know the truth there. I know you say it's not about being vindictive, you're just wanting to be doing a good deed, deep down it probably is an element of vindictive.
You don't know what's going on in their lives. She may be having an affair, she may know he is, she may have cancer, her parents may be ill, there may be financial problems, they may have issues with the kids they are trying to deal with, you don't know and you don't have the right to involve yourself in their relationship and blow it out the water. Nothing is as simple as it looks.
I'd want to know. So yes, id tell her. She might 'know' already and be ignoring it / putting it to the side but you only have one chance in this world to be happy. She deserves all the info to make an informed decision. Not going to be easy for you to tell her though...
You could send an anonymous letter.
Despite all the excuses listed above not to tell her, I think most likely the poor woman plain doesn't know but is being driven crazy by his odd behaviour, disinterest in family life and suspected lies.
The chances are also she will find out sooner or later and will be devastated to (a) realise other people knew and denied her the choice to stay or leave and (b) be angry about wasted years of her life and feeling an utter fool, thinking she was building a solid future with someone but who turns out is a fraud, when she could have found happiness with someone else.
Not wanting to get involved is the voice of a coward and an unfeeling person in my experience. An anonymous letter beginning, "In case you don't already know . . " is enough to confirm suspicions she might already have but thought were not enough to break up the family.
She deserves the information to be able to make her own choices about her own life.
Deprive her of the information and you are complicit in her DH's deception IMO.
I understand you don't want to get embroiled, that's why I think anonymous contact is the way to go.
I think you ought to leave well alone, you've already done enough damage really.
You didn't want to come clean when you were in a relationship with her husband, but now he's replaced you, you suddenly feel the need to go telling.
No. There's just no way your motives are right, whatever lies you tell yourself.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.