Disclosing the Affair to the Spouse of Your Spouse’s Affair Partner

I received an email question on an interesting question which seems to break strongly into a couple of camps.  The question, when the spouse of the person your spouse cheated with doesn’t know about the affair, should you tell this person what had been going on?

This blog entry is NOT for people who are in, or were in, an affair and purposely tell their Affair Partner’s spouse about the affair – whether it’s dead or not. That’s mean. Vicious. And a horrible betrayal of your Affair Partner, no matter what happens. I know because this happened to me. She thought by telling my wife that my wife would throw me out (and into her arms). It backfired. Drastically. Instead, I terminated things with her immediately and I will never forgive her for this and other vicious things she did and lies she told me. If you are the Other Man or Other Woman, you have no right to do that and it’s a stain on your character or maturity if you do it or contemplating it. Revenge is a bad idea. Don’t do it.

No, this blog entry is for the Betrayed Spouse who is contemplating telling the spouse of their spouse’s Affair Partner. I know the embittered, mean-spirited, will-always-be-the-victim Betrayed Spouse community is going to jump up and yell, “HELL, YES!! TELL THEM! THEY DESERVE THE TRUTH!”, no matter what the circumstances.  Heck, I even saw some advice on one of those message boards where a newbie innocently asked if she should “expose” the affair to the spouse, and everyone else, MONTHS after her husband left her for his affair partner.  The “expert’s” response on this nasty “marital recovery” message board?  “Yes, do it immediately.  Without warning and inflict as much damage as possible.”  Does this sound like good advice to you?

But do they really deserve to be told?  Need to be told?  SHOULD be told?  What is the true motivation of the Betrayed Spouse in telling someone else’s spouse about an affair?  In this case, wasn’t it purely for purposes of revenge? To get back at the person who was your spouse’s Affair Partner.  Isn’t that really the reason most of the time?

I see people all the time here in blog-land who are so consumed with anger, rage, and a need for revenge, even years after the affair has ended and in the face of a remorseful spouse, that they will do anything they can to hurt the Affair Partner, even at their own expense.  They have no interest in real forgiveness, understanding or compassion. They don’t have the courage, maturity or self-insight to take these steps. They talk about “saving” their marriage, but everything they write about is about anger, revenge, justice, control and humiliation of their Wayward Spouses.  Their blogs are too toxic to even touch.  They will ultimately drive their Wayward Spouse out the door anyway, so why bother pretending you’re fixing things?  They will be divorced and are pretending to try and “forgive” as a cover for power and revenge. Reconciliation to them is a big sham (although don’t dare point that out — you will get savaged on their sites.).  This blog entry will do no good for these people.   This is for those who are more balanced, mature and self-aware and truly want to avoid doing things that inflame a situation and make marital reconciliation more likely, not less.

Let’s assume a couple things in this scenario:

1) the Betrayed Spouse in this case is not a close friend of the spouse of the person their spouse cheated with and is someone who doesn’t know about what’s happened).  Because if you are a friend, then it’s impossible not to disclose the information. After all, you have to be around them from time to time and to hold this secret in will erode the friendship and yes you do owe it to a friend to tell them that their marriage is serious danger.   And if they are a friend, and it comes out anyway, they will be incensed that you didn’t tell them yourself.  Ok. Fair enough.

2)  Also assume that the affair is already over — because “exposure” of an affair currently happening is the best way to kill it off and yes then you might tell the other spouse in an effort to save your own marriage.  But this affair is already over. For months maybe. Or even years.  You are certain it’s over and your Wayward Spouse is clearly no longer in contact with their affair partner.

Also, let’s put one more scenario out there. After an affair, if it was physical, it’s appropriate to ask your former cheating spouse to get tested for STD’s.  If they come back positive, then it’s likely their Affair Partner has it too. And then it would be appropriate to contact the Other Spouse.  But not unless you have a positive test on your spouse. That’s legitimate.

So should you tell?  It’s perfectly normal to want the person who had an affair with your spouse to pay for their actions. Obviously, there are a few tempting pros of telling her husband or his wife that can’t be overlooked. If you spill the beans,  he or she is no longer getting away with something. He or she may also be forced to turn her attention to her own marriage and leave yours (and your spouse alone).  And sure, you want to “get them back” — pure revenge.  Suffer as you have suffered. Tempting, I’m sure.  I definitely have revenge impulses inside me too, so I understand this motivation well.

However, there are also some serious downsides to spilling the beans and real dangers.

1.  Telling the Other Spouse may make you feel better, but you don’t have the right to do it.    As Katie Lercsh wrote (someone who is very knowledgeable on the subject and has written extensively),

Think for a second about how dreadful and betrayed that you feel right now. Do you want to take the responsibility for bestowing this on someone else? Doesn’t it make more sense to concentrate on the fall out of your own marriage rather than taking on someone else’s issues. And, if you can think logically about it, what good outcome can come of this? It’s highly likely that her husband is not going to great you with a warm reaction. And, it’s also highly unlikely that inserting yourself into someone else’s life is going to help your situation. At this point, your number one priority should be yourself. How is inserting yourself into someone else’s life going to help you?  Because what is going to help you the most, and what you really need right now, is reassurance, time, remorse and accountability from your husband, and for both of you to work together to pick up the pieces and fix what was broken. The other woman (and her husband) do not fit into this equation. In fact, it’s entirely best if you cease any contact with them immediately and definitively.

What she’s saying is not only is it a bad idea to focus your attention in this way if you are truly wanting to reconcile your marriage, but also that you have no right, and it’s unethical, to interfere in someone else’s marriage, even if this person interfered in yours.  Your hurt is not license to purposely hurt someone else.  Ethically, you need to stay out of their lives.   Two wrongs don’t make a right.  You aren’t God.  You don’t know all the particulars of their lives and how disclosure might affect the other spouse, their children. Anyone.  What if domestic violence results from disclosure?  What if the spouse commits suicide after ingesting this news?  Are you really prepared to accept that responsibility? An ethical person would not.   Telling may horribly backfire in some cases.

2.  It’s a displacement of anger and blame.  Doing this is essentially an inappropriate displacement of anger and blame from YOUR Wayward Spouse to the Affair Partner.  By going after the Other Man or Other Woman (even indirectly) by spilling the beans to their spouse, the Betrayed Spouse is doing something that is classic Betrayed Spouse behavior – displacing blame.  The Betrayed Spouse sometimes focuses on the Other Man or Other Woman because it’s easier than looking in the mirror and being honest about their own behavior that made an affair an attractive option to their Wayward Spouse.   It’s always easier to lash out at someone else than it is to be honest with yourself and your own shortcomings.

Also, by focusing on the OW or OM, the Betrayed Spouse can put less blame on the Wayward Spouse for the affair, when in fact, Cheater’s actions and decisions are 100% their responsibility, not the OM’s/OW’s.  If you the Betrayed Spouse are blaming the OM or OW for the affair, you must think your Wayward Spouse is a weak-willed, nitwit.  And this is who you are married to?  If so, you have other issues and that’s for certain.

Believe me, some Wayward Spouses LIKE this confronting/exposing behavior by their Betrayed Spouse — as long as you the Betrayed are going after the OM/OW, even indirectly, it takes the focus  off them, even if for a little while.  They get less anger, recriminations and yelling if you are blaming the OW or OM.  They get to escape some responsibility and in fact might secretly revel that you are “taking them back” — forcefully — and marking your territory in this way.  It’s very Alpha-male/female behavior.  But don’t fall into this trap. The OM or OW didn’t make your spouse do anything.  Focus on what you need to focus on — the cheater and your marriage.

3.  You don’t know what the OM or OW will do in reaction to having their spouse informed of the affair:   Are you certain that informing the other spouse of the affair will have no consequences for you personally, let alone your marital reconciliation?  When you go after someone, you don’t know what will happen in return. Perhaps the OM or OW will seek revenge against you or even your spouse, whom they trusted to protect them in this.

If you tattle, they may find ways to retaliate against you.  Your Wayward Spouse may have told their Affair Partner very personal, secrets and potentially-damaging information about you, your marriage, your personal business, or profession. Things they could use against YOU.   They probably already pity and don’t respect you based on what their Affair Partner told them about you, so they may have no problem in coming after you in retaliation.  Maybe violently.  Maybe to destroy your life as you have destroyed theirs.  You don’t know what someone will do in this circumstance.  Are you considering that?

I assure you that if I was the Other Man in this sort of circumstance (and I wasn’t — my ex-OW was single), I would not calmly accept someone informing my wife or coming after me physically or threatening my job.

I wasn’t in this situation. My AP was single. But if I was the OM in the scenario and my unknowing wife was informed of my affair, at that point, I would have little to lose, and I would definitely find a way to retaliate.  Physically, or through legal means (I might sue you).   Or damage you professionally and personally in more indirect and anonymous ways. Or all of the above.   I would not meekly accept this type of disclosure.   I would probably use any information I had against you.  In fact, I would assume that my ex-Affair Partner, despite her many promises to protect me and never betrayed me, probably gave UP damaging information to you about me to save her ass.  I would assume that she betrayed me too.  And then I might go after your spouse as well as you.  I assure you, the outed Married Man or Woman in this scenario almost always has damaging information on his Affair Partner.   Compromising stuff.  Maybe compromising photos too.  If the outed person feels betrayed by their Affair Partner, they may go after them too, if they have nothing to lose. Totally throw THEM under the bus for being thrown under the bus.   And thereby really complicate your life. Maybe undo your marital reconciliation under the strain.  Consider that too.   Will your disclosure have been worth it at this point?

Consider that holding on to this information instead of releasing it provides you  power over the OM/OW — they know you have it and it may restrain them from interfering in our life ever again. If you give up this info, they won’t have much to lose and then all bets are off!

Remember, the OM or OW (in most cases) didn’t have an affair specifically to hurt YOU.  They did it to have their needs met, with your spouse as a WILLING PARTNER AND FULL PARTICIPANT, and, in general, they sincerely hoped that NOBODY would get hurt by this (including you), even if this was naive.

However, when you go to THEIR spouse with this information, you’re doing it for one reason and one reason only in most cases — revenge.  And only a weak person would like someone do that without a response.  And you the Betrayed Spouse may not have a clue as to how they can get revenge on you for this disclosure.

Disclosure to the other spouse can HORRIBLY backfire in ways you haven’t considered. Provocation may result in you living in fear of retaliation.  Do you want that?

The bottom line is this.   Don’t pretend you’re doing this because you care about the other spouse.  It’s likely you don’t even know them.  You don’t ‘care’ about them at all. You have no ‘duty’ to protect them. This is not rescuing a baby from a fire.  They are adults and not helpless innocents.   Be honest with yourself — you are doing this for revenge, which makes you look mean, sneaky and not classy.  Is that who you are?  Taking yourself down to the same level as your spouse’s Affair Partner?

But if you’re going to do it, do it for the RIGHT reasons, not for revenge and out of self-righteousness.  If you do, and I don’t recommend you do, it is ESSENTIAL that the information about the affair be shared CAREFULLY and with full recognition about the possible risks.   But in the end, “no contact” with the OM/OW and anyone around them is a two-way street. It applies to you too, not just your Wayward Spouse.  Put the focus where it needs to be — on your Wayward Spouse, on yourself, and how to fix your marriage and make it better and more resilient.

As someone else wrote,

But this does point up yet one more way in which your telling her might cause more harm than good — it would deprive (your spouse’s affair partner) of the opportunity to do the right thing on (their) own, and thus would deprive the parties of the chance to work it out between them, to learn something from it, to grow and understand — as you, incidentally, were hoping to do in your own marriage. …Revelation of this affair is up to the parties involved. However painful this must be, (whether you are fixing things or getting divorced) you may as well try to start letting go. Letting go of the matter will free you to deal with more pressing matters of immediate concern in your own life — your marriage, your future, your own damaged trust, and the all-important job of raising your children.

Revenge may make you feel better, but it may not be worth the price you pay.

As Confucious wrote,

confucious

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

Because one of them is for you.

27 thoughts on “Disclosing the Affair to the Spouse of Your Spouse’s Affair Partner

  1. Is it always revenge, though? If you don’t know the other party personally can you not care about them as a human being?

    Let me add to those questions that I’ve never really been in that position. Well, potentially… My husband cheated on me 4 times. The one I found out about initially was most likely a physical affair in addition to a cyber/sexting affair. I never had actual proof, but he visited her area several times for “work.”

    I discovered things through phone activity and did see on Facebook that she was married. I spent all of about 30 minutes worried about her, then focused my attention on my husband/marriage. I never even considered telling him. Didn’t even cross my mind.

    I honestly haven’t really thought about him again until today. That makes me feel a little bad because who knows how many other times she did that to him. My husband did it 3 other times that he admitted (years later). He was a serial cheating sex addict, and based on her behavior she could have been, too. I only hope he discovered what he was dealing with and ran for the hills.

    I got lucky I suppose that I found out, but I would have welcomed someone telling me about the other 3 before her. If I had known it would have saved me years of hurt and fake recovery. Maybe no one owed me that, but are we really only obligated to care about people we know personally?

    • Yes, I’ve heard this argument. That you should “care” about the other spouse and are doing so by telling them of this dead affair. Or that you yourself would have wished that someone had informed you. I get that. I just view it with some suspicion.

      Do you scrupulously keep track of all the things your neighbors do wrong and report them to the authorities every time? No of course not. How about at work? When you see a coworker getting totally screwed-over or treated unfairly by a boss, do you RELIGIOUSLY report this with your name on it to that boss’ superiors? Rarely, if ever. Few people would. You’d be too concerned with yourself and your career to take that risk. So you say nothing. So much for “caring” about what happens to your fellow man, and “common courtesy” — and these are people (coworkers) that you know!! So the argument about how it’s “right” to do it because you “care” about this stranger is really silly, isn’t it? It’s simply not true in most cases. So saying you’re doing the “right thing” or that you an “obligation” to expose the affair to the other spouse is a bit of a smoke-screen and doesn’t hold water in most cases, or so it seems to me.

      This question however – to tattle or not tattle — really isn’t about “ethics” or “caring for your fellow man.” Hogwash. Most of the time it’s done for revenge, pure and simple. We have to be honest about that if we are really going to discuss this matter.

      I will let my blog entry stand on it’s own. No reason to restate the arguments again, except to say that this type of exposure of a dead affair is at least questionably ethical to inform, and, most importantly it is not only a displacement of anger and attention away from where it needs to be — on your partner and your marriage — it has unknown, and potentially disasterous, outcomes.

      You can of course do what you wish. But I and others counsel against it taking these types of matters into your own hands. IN REALITY, no matter what many Betrayed Spouses claim, you’re not doing anything because you “care” about a stranger. No, it’s almost always about revenge. And embarking on this has too many unknowns to so confidently go forward and devastate another person based on largely selfish reasons.

  2. You left off a HUGE one & the reason I contacted the supposedly soon-to-be-ex of my husband’s AP: STDs. I contracted one during the affair & was fairly confident she hadn’t shared the info with him – despite the fact they hadn’t actually started divorce proceedings & were reconciling (unknown to me at the time). He deserved to know what diseases were being shared between the four of us, just like I did. Who knows how many other people were involved? But as the spouses, we need that info, and it’s not revenge at all, but a common courtesy.

    • Ok. Then get your cheating spouse tested. If they come back with a disease, then DO go forward and tell the other spouse. that would make sense.

      But I’m sorry. It doesn’t hold water. This is about revenge and anger most of the time — I’m going to get that person that fucked my spouse!

      To pretend otherwise is frankly a lie. Revenge is the motivation in the vast majority of cases. And revenge has unknown consequences.

      Again, do what you wish, and face the consequences of your decisions and actions (just like your spouse), but I let the blog stand on its own. I’m not going to debate it. It’s my opinion and those of people I respect, especially Katie Lersch.

      But you’re right about the disease thing. I am going to edit the blog to include that. Thank you.

  3. The reply I left wasn’t an invitation to debate your point of view, it was merely the other side of the coin. Thought your readers would want to hear it from “the horses mouth” so to speak. I did face it and just wanted to let you and others know that I appreciated the AP’s husband’s courage. I think not telling is just aiding and abetting the cheater. You seem to have a very low opinion of betrayed spouses – and that is a shame.

    • Nice try, but it won’t work. I’m not shamed or intimidated that easily. I don’t have a low opinion of Betrayeds. On the contrary — I am here to help people, including Betrayeds. Most of them have their heads on straight. I get notes of “thank you” all the time for providing alternative points of view that are often censored or drowned out. I help many betrayeds see things from the former cheater POV, or the male one. However, some Betrayeds cannot and will not listen to other points of view on these subjects. They are all about anger, revenge and being victims. Without end. Most who blog on the subject will end up divorced. I see no hope for them. None. I tend to not comment on their blogs on purpose, even if I sometimes read (because it generates ideas for me here). As I said, this blog entry was not for them.

      But as I said, I’m not here to debate this concept. Or any of them, for that matter. My blog is a resource for those who wish it to be so. I have a point of view that I believe will help people, even if it makes them uncomfortable sometimes.

      So Feel free to blog on the topic about how this type of exposure is a good idea. It’s my opinion and those of many professionals that it’s not for the reasons stated above. It has too many unknowns. It’s a misplacement of focus. It could backfire DRASTICALLY.

      Merely because it worked out in your case doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for the majority of people out there. Furthermore, it wasn’t done out of courage by this man. What crap. It was done out of vengence and to keep your husband away from his wife, more than likely. Revenge doesn’t take courage. It’s an impulse and emotion-based. And in most cases, revenge is a bad idea. Sorry you seem to believe otherwise.

      But sorry. This IS a debate and it’s not what I wish here on this or any topic. I let the blog stand on it’s own. Betrayeds have LOTS of places to push their POV — numerous message boards, blogs, website. But people like me rarely do. We are pushed out, censored and banned. People need to hear our POV on things in response to the overwhelming information put out by Betrayeds everywhere. So if you feel that strongly, I recommend you go to those boards, blogs or create your own on the subject.

      Some blogs on the subject block comments altogether. I don’t. I don’t require that people agree with me — You can disagree if you wish. Just not here. Sorry. I think you’re wrong on this particular point. Let’s leave it on that. No offense intended. It’s not personal. I knew this blog would strike a chord with some, but I’m not going to restate the arguments already in the body of the blog entry here in the comments, which is all I would end up doing. You won’t convince me and I won’t convince you. Clearly. SO why bother debating?

      Ignore my warnings, and those of some experts, at your own peril, that’s all I have to say.

  4. I contacted my the AP’s husband on Day 2 after D-Day and I will admit it was done out of anger, spite and revenge. When I discovered the affair I confronted the AP via email and she would not respond to me immediately. My third email told her she had until Sunday morning to tell her husband or I would (I actually didn’t intend to tell him at all). That brought a response from her and she said she wasn’t married anymore. For some reason, that made me want to tell her (ex) husband. I contacted him and told him that his wife was sleeping with my husband from Sept 2011-2012. He thanked me and asked if his kids were ever at any risk or saw anything to my knowledge. He was ONLY concerned about his children and whether this affected them.

    Last month I contacted him again because I needed some details filled in. During our conversation he told me that my post D-Day text arrived on his phone right after he left church on a Sunday morning. He had been praying for months to know the truth and I provided him with the answer. In some ways it bothers me that something done out of anger could bring someone what they prayed for… Idk… But this conversaton truly helped my healing process because I needed to know the truth about the timelline of his marriage ending and lies the AP told my husband and me. What I realized when I contacted him was that because he’s divorcing the AP he knows nothing. He has no answers to his questions… he’s damaged just like any other betrayed spouse but he has little (if any) support.

    I also found out that her husband suspected they were sleeping together during the affair. Both my husband and I were bothered that he never said anything to either of us about it. I would have rather heard it from my husband but someone out there knew the truth and they perpetuated the lies. I think he didn’t contact me because he didn’t need any revenge–in his mind his marriage was already over and he didn’t love his wife anymore.

    In my mind I was protecting my marriage–right or wrong– I acted out of pure emotion. Women are probably more likely to contact AP’s spouses because we tend to act from our hearts in situations like this.

    • so you contacted the husband AFTER they were divorced?? What for? Purely spite, correct? For no good purpose whatsoever.

      I thank you for your honesty, but you’ve made my point. Granted, nothing bad happened to you as a result, correct? But bad things COULD have happened. That’s what I’m saying here. She could’ve come after you. Or you husband could’ve become FURIOUS that you did this and this might have set back reconciliation. Or or or….you did it without consequences (or so it seems), but there could’ve been some. THAT is the point here.

      I can’t see how contacting this man long after the affair was over was “protecting your marriage.” I really don’t see the point here.

      That’s not “heart”, but it is “emotion,” I’ll grant you.

      Anyway, you’ve made my point here. Courageously.

      • They were just beginning the divorce process…

        Yes, you are so right that I made myself a target for the AP. There could have been huge consequences for my behavior and it could have put me at risk. I think that’s a huge point though for betrayed spouses–I didn’t care if I died in that moment. The pain of my husband’s affair was all-consuming. Nothing could have hurt me more in life…. not even death. That’s horrrible but at the time it was how I felt.

        Thanks….

      • Takes courage to admit that. But yes, when we do things out of emotion, we often can go very much astray and put ourselves at great risk. I’m hoping this blog at least gives some people pause before they act…I know this is a big thing in my life. NOT acting on impulses and emotions. I’ve worked my whole life to get that under control. Its one of my flaws — acting rashly. I’ve done it. And it’s usually got me in trouble. As I’ve said to many, “my own worst enemy is my own big mouth.” I’m trying. I’m doing better. But it’s still a struggle. I understand the impulse for revenge. TOTALLY. I have fantasies of revenge on many people for various infractions against me in my life. But I have to leave them there. In my brain.

        Acting on emotions and impulses is what got me in trouble in the first place. It’s not just a problem of women (Betrayed Husbands are more likely to go and confront the Affair Partner than women, I’m guessing), or of just Betrayeds. It’s a big problem for a lot of people. We get hurt and we want to hurt back.

        It’s just a bad idea, fraught with unknowns, ethical questions, and danger. THAT is the point of this blog.

        so anyway, thank you for this.

  5. I agree with you.

    Revenge is a selfish emotion. It feels wonderful to wallow in the idea of it, the creativity if it. But in the end, it is a tool to your own destruction. There is no reason to contact anyone else about the behaviour of the person, they are most intimately related to. If an affair has occurred, then staying or leaving is determined by the two people involved. Details or lack of, are given by one person and accepted or rejected by the other. Confirmation or validation even details provided by another are an example that your partner is not giving you what you need. Its proof the marriage is broken.

    Unless a STD is transmitted, leave the discovery of someone’s infidelity up to the person who is a partner to the one committing the affair. I have no loyalty to all other women to protect her interests, simply by virtue of being another woman. You aren’t believed anyway when you trust and adore the person who looks you in the face and lies to you. Its why you should never act in haste. Perhaps they had an agreement in place of knowing but not admitting to their partner’s affairs. You don’t know because its not your marriage and its none of your business.

    Why you should measure your words and response to a stranger because you shared intimacy with their partner? You don’t aid or assist actions of anther person, by not disclosing information you have no right to share. That’s infantile and uneducated reasoning. For the purpose of classical monogamous relationships, there are 2 people in an affair, not 4. There are 2 people in a marriage, not 4. Details are unimportant. Cheating is cheating. The how or why does not matter.

    You decide to deal with the affair as a couple. Deciding to “tattle” because it makes you feel better, serves no purpose. It won’t make your marriage better or stronger. It won’t help you make hard decisions to stay or to leave. The self satisfaction it initially might make you feel is not compensation for what happened to you. It is not the retribution you think it will be. It is just an example that you want others to hurt like you did. Its self serving and its vengeful

  6. It is such a personal decision on whether to contact the other spouse – or not to contact. Each case is unique. Yes, some BS’s are out for revenge, but probably only a small percentage. Others are just given bad advice or just react on emotions.

    My hubby left it up to me to decide and said he would support me either way. We had to consider a potential legal action after the affair with the 1st OW REALLY ended, so we consulted with a lawyer. The lawyer recommended NO CONTACT. That 2-3 day delay gave me time to cool down and consider what my husband and I would get out of exposing her to her husband. We knew he already knew about their 1st affair (they had 2 affairs together) because he confronted my husband. So what would be the point, I thought? The only thing I came up with is that it might give me a false sense of security, that the OW’s BH might “have my back!” And I felt that it would NOT benefit me and my hubby at all and may cause them to take legal action against him for something he did at the end. Nope – I wasn’t willing to risk it.

    • I appreciate your input and your story. I will however, disagree that “revenge” motives represent a “small percentage” of people who inform the other spouse. On the contrary, it’s the majority of cases. It’s the number one motivator to tattle.

      At least you made the right choice. You realized that there were consequences to it.

      Look, people can do what they wish — my advice would be to NOT do this. Too many unknowns and dangers. Too much “playing God” to interfere in someone elses’ marriage, even if one of them interfered in yours. It’s best to go “no contact” with all concerned and MOVE FORWARD and fix the marriage.

      Revenge is almost never a good idea, in my opinion. I’ll go with Confucious on this one!

  7. Theres no other spouse in my situation, although there was supposedly a boyfriend at some point.

    I wouldnt tell, because I want nothing to do with the AP. I want her gone. I dont want more information. Shes been in my life enough. I do not want to be all up in hers.

    It does sound tempting however. To have someone to comiserate with perhaps? And it would be different if they were people i knew. But really its just perpetuating the drama for me. I would just like the drama to be done.

  8. I chose not to contact her long term live in boyfriend. We are pretty certain that to this day, he does not know. I am sure he suspects, as his actions towards the end of their affair would indicate. I will admit I was temtpted. But I kept asking myself what was to be gained by it. Ultimately the answer was…not a damn thing. My husband is extremely remorseful and we are working on our marriage. As you know, his AP is a total psycho. I feel sorry for the guy she lives with, but he knows who and what she is. He doesn’t need to hear anything from me.

    One note on STD’s. In that case I would have told him. I would not want someone to withhold hinformation that oculd impact my health. The most frightening STD is HPV, for the fact that it is usually symptomless, and can lie dormant for years. So one “negative” test does not necessarily give you a clean bill of health. Certain strains of this
    virus can cause cancer (typically cervical, ovarian, uterine) It is sexually transmitted, but is passed with skin contact. So condoms dont’ gurantee protection, and most people (sorry to be blunt) don’t use barrier methods when they have oral sex. HPV can cause issues in the throat. My doctor said he will check me yearly, as it would be a little more of an issue for me, post having a hysterectomy.

    Great post. I think it’s a highly personal decsion. It is hard to know that she goes on with her life, while I deal with the emotional fall out that my kids have from this mess. Still, I have tried to take the moral high ground. I agree with the commenter who said that the truth will always come out.

    • That’s because, unlike some here in blog-land, you have taken a fairly rational and logical approach to reconciling from a very difficult situation. Many here cannot. Will not. They refuse to forgive, although they blather on and on about how they are “saving” their marriages. It’s a smoke-screen. I read what they say to their spouses or do to them, or about them, and it just makes me shake my head. They are so caught up in anger, rage and being a victim that they have no intention of forgiving. And almost all of them will end up divorced, mark my words. I don’t tell them so directly on their blogs, but I think it. They are cutting off their noses to spite their face.

      You on the other hand are pretty rational, considering the circumstances. Thoughtful. Mature. It will help you in the long run, no matter what happens in your life.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      • Thanks, that means a lot. The blogs and my journal have been the place where I can let out some of the frustration and hurt. Some of the anger too, that bubbles up from time to time. My therapist considers that a healthier outlet for some of the emotion rather than dumping that on my husband. We have been together for thirty years, and what we have isn’t worth losing over a year of crazy and some psycho beyotch that isn’t worth the time of day. I think it really truly is hard for many betrayed spouses to put that into context. My favorite mantra is that, YES, she took some things from me. He gave away some things. BUT. That time is OVER now. From here on out it is up to me to claim my life, not give her any more of it.

      • You have such a great attitude and I know you will ultimately succeed because of it. I know it’s really hard. I know there is still anger and that’s understandable. But you are taking the right steps IF you want to not only save your marriage, but make it a better one. And so many Betrayeds that blog don’t have the right attitude and are doing things that seem to me are making reconciliation less likely, not more. But you can’t tell any of them that. They are a very hostile, defensive bunch. So I don’t go to their blogs and write any more. I just write about the general principles here instead, hoping (against hope) that it will get through to some of them.

        But you are doing fine, from what I can see. :)

  9. I personally would want someone to tell me however, I would not tell the unsuspecting spouse unless it was going to benefit them health wise as far as STD’s or if their partner had exhibited dangerous behavior to others or even themselves suggesting mental instability. Then and only then would I inform them.

    I know a man who was shot in the testacles and abdomen by his wife’s lover. He has a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. It is a sad story and reality that affairs are destructive and everyone handle’s emotions differently.

    I would hope that the other spouse would tell me. I don’t care if it’s out of revenge to get back at my cheating spouse or what the motive is. I would want to know and not be left in the dark. That is worse to me. Everyone knowing about the situation but not telling me.

    Knowing this information would allow us as a couple to explore why it happened, how it happened, and if we should proceed or call it quits. Most people think it’s wrong to tell or wouldn’t want to know but I am different and would appreciate knowing. Knowledge is Power.

    • there’s a difference between WANTING to know if you are the unsuspecting spouse and the responsibility of TELLING the unsuspecting spouse. because YOU would want to know does not make it right or ethical for the other person to tell you and interfere in your marriage, given the unknown consequences. That was the point of the blog. Real difference here. I’m sure MOST unsuspecting spouses would WANT to know, but that doesn’t make it ethically right to insert yourself into the situation. Especially out of revenge.

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  11. My husband committed suicide after the wife of the man i was having the affair with called him. She found out at 7:05 am called me at 7:20 told me i better get to my husband before she does. She called him at work repeatedly until the office opened at 8am. She then continued to contact him after he told her he didn’t want to meet. At 11:29 the following day he committed suicide. she then when to my work and opened a case against me in HR not once but twice to get me fired. She then told everyone she knew and told them to tell everyone they knew that i had an affair with her husband.

  12. My goggle search brought me to this blog…and I enjoyed and appreciated reading it. I’ve never blogged before…but I would thoroughly appreciate someone else’s opinion.

    My husband had an affair with a married woman and it lasted for nearly 2 years. (An ex girlfriend from 12 years ago at that). One that still maintained a relationship with his family.

    After I found out, I had to have many heart to hearts with myself and many therapy sessions to make a decision to not inform her spouse. I had substantial evidence to include all of their correspondence using their secret email address that she had set up using both of there middle names, 2 years of phone records noting their 600 text messages a day. As a stay at home mom I guess she found plenty of time to lock her kids in the other room and spend all day taking and sending very incriminating photos and videos at least 5 times a day…sometimes more. There were even messages where she would ask about my husband and I’s daughter….hard not to feel anger about that one.

    I did make a decision to write to her, in a very “kind” yet direct way after I found out everything I could about her and her family. I informed her her of my substantial evidence, I made my husband call her in front of me and tell her “goodbye” just so she could hear how humiliated he was about the situation……and I told her just how misguided and ignorant I thought she really was. As much as I wanted to hate her, I realized it was him I was mad at….she was merely a “tool” that helped him when his insecurities were getting the best of him. This thought actually made me feel “sympathy” in the mix of my anger for her, realizing she was just not very bright….and lacked dignity and morals. I then felt sadness for her family (kids and spouse). In this case, I actually did know more about her situation at home than most, because as I said she was still friends with my spouses family. She apparently had an extreme lack of self esteem (just like my husband) and needed her ego stroked.

    I told her I would not inform her husband after much digging, because I did not want to inflict the same pain on her family as I was feeling in mine. I considered that the only way I could release my anger was to forgive her and that didn’t mean damaging her spouse and kids. I kept believing in Karma……

    So our last conversation we had was over the phone, I told her that I was mailing a package to her house….and it contained all of the evidence that I had discovered (to include photos, phone logs, emails, letters, etc) and that she would know the exact date I mailed this package so that she could get to it before her husband did. (**I did keep copies of myself also, just in case)

    I told her that I was releasing all of my anger and resentment I felt towards her when I mailed this package. Because she was undeserving of me feeling any type of emotion at all about her….I only wanted to feel indifferent. So I did, I mailed the package, and put a short hand written note saying “goodbye”. I also noted to her that she was to no longer have any contact with my husbands family….because I found it disrespectful and I felt as though further contact would only be mocking me.

    Pretty calm and level headed way to handle things in my opinion, she still gets to go home and kiss her kids and husband good night while I get to spend countless therapy sessions learning to not feel disgusted when he hugs me or fight my constant urge to “not trust”.

    All she had to do was follow the simple rule of “no contact” with anyone! Friends with his family or not, I considered that to be a reasonable consequence of her actions.

    Well I am writing this because I just passed one year in October since all of this happened….and I have recently discovered that she is still contacting my husbands sister and his mother….she will even make posts on their facebook pages commenting on photos of my nieces and nephews…and sometimes photos of my daughter and our family. I am disgusted…was I too polite? Did I somehow leave a door open for her to walk on me and laugh while she does it. Is she egging me on to inform her spouse? What do I do? (And yes, I have asked her 1 time AGAIN this year, to stop)

    • I think you made the right decision and handled it well. And honestly, I don’t think it really matters that she is contacting your husban’ds sister and mother, unless the reason is to get messages back to him. Then it would be a problem.

      I doubt she’s laughing at you. And I assure you, the information you hold on her scared the crap out of her. knowing that at any moment, you could dump this pile of evidence you have on her husband. I doubt she feels like she got away with anything. And why would she “egg” you on to inform her spouse? Seems non-sensical.

      but if it bothers you that much, perhaps drop her a note. Remind her of the evidence you have. And tell her that she needs to stop contacting your husband’s family. In any way. If she continues, then you might still disclose the whole sorry story to her husband, neighbors, friends — – everyone.

      That usually puts a stop to them. Fear is a strong motivator.

      However, be prepared to actually do that and feel the consequences of the disclosure, as I outlined in my blog entry above. There are dangers. Unknowns. I’m sure your husband, especially since more than a year has gone by, will not be happy with you.

      However, the THREAT of it is the real power you have over this woman. You need to remind her of what you might do if she doesn’t knock it off.

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