I can very much relate. Outside of my counselor, I have only told one friend that I have known since high school, and it turns out his wife had an affair on him also. The thing that kept running through my head was, "Once you tell somebody, you can't untell them."
On the other hand, there are a lot of members here who were very open about telling people, and that was an integral part of their healing.
There are both good points and bad points to either side. What it comes down to is whatever you are more comfortable with.
Hang in there, and take care.
I can only give you my experience. My 1st therapist, 1st week after dday and my husband had left me for ow, told me to tell everyone. She said it was not my shame to bear and that by keeping his secret I was basically protecting him and shaming myself.
In retrospect, I understand that she thought that I needed support, wherever I could find it.
I also learned as the weeks went by that to talk about any chance of reconciliation with her was not acceptable. She would lash out and humiliate me.
I didn't try to hide it from anyone, I don't think I could have. I could barely function and at work, it I hadn't told them, they probably would have thought I was drinking or doing drugs, I was a zombie.
Now that h and I are trying to reconcile, I have feelings of shame and embarrassment and find myself reluctant to let others know.
I guess his behavior was so extreme and cruel after dday it makes me feel like I gave in tooo easily?
Anyway, the support during the months alone was great, helped me to survive. Having so many people know now, it's difficult.
I have told h, if in the beginning, on dday, if he had been remorseful, had not left me for her, I probably would not have told anyone.
At the time I believed he was gone forever. I believed that in order to do what he did, he must truly love her and he would build a life with her.
I guess caution would be the course. Although if h had been cautious we never would have had to deal with this.
Once it became clear that there was no choice for R I told my best friend since High School and I almost had a nervous breakdown once and had no choice be to tell my mother. Both of them should get an Oscar because you can not tell that they know.
I told my Cousin this past January when my Aunt was dying because I was a mess and she could tell that there was something else wrong. I do regret telling her because it ended up her bashing him which is something I don't need. I can do that just fine on my own.
The last person I told was my neighbor. It definitely fell under the "diarrhea of the mouth." I sort of regret telling her, but I know she understands.
It's hard to know if you should/can tell someone and what their reaction will be. You just have to decide how much of your personal life you want to make public. Also, the more people you tell the more you risk them telling other people about your personal business regardless if you ask them to keep it to themselves.
D-Day June 12th 2008, D-Day #2 Sept 28th
D-Day #3 Feb 15th & 16th 2010, D-Day #4 Nov 29th 2010
Finally this is R 8/14/13
"Forgiving is a journey; the deeper the wound, the longer the journey".
I eventually told a very close friend, but that was it. I was ashamed and didn't want to be judged for trying to make things work.
D-Day was about 18 months ago and I have told more people. For me it wasn't about "outing" him. It was about getting the courage to say those words ("My H had an A"). Sharing this information is a personal decision. It helped me come to terms with the reality of the situation. It was like the more I said it, the more it sunk in. That helped me.
If you're not comfortable telling anyone else, don't. I had a lot of emotions to work through on my own before I could start hearing people's reactions.
I also think that if more people were open with it it might change people's perceptions. It might make it possible for other people to offer support or ask for it. I also think that if someone realizes that their secrets aren't sacred they may think twice before doing things like that again.
But it does make things awkward sometimes.
When I'm feeling particularly angry, I have to stop myself from telling everybody WH cares about - his mom, his dad, his "like a mom", his best friend. When I'm mad I want to oust him as the asshole he is. The rest of the time, I'm still hoping that R is possible, and that someday WH and I will look back on this as something that happened, and not something that defines us.
If we can't work this out (and right now it's not looking very good), I will probably tell more people. I mean, when we're not living together anymore, and people wonder why, I will tell them the truth. Until then, I think enough people know.
[This message edited by krazy8516 at 4:02 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]
married 2y, together 2.5y
1 beautiful daughter, 23m
"Someday soon, I'm going to put my life together; Win or lose, I'm starting over again."
I even told a Wal-Mart cashier because she comments on the pretty necklace I was wearing. "Yes, it is pretty. My cheating lying husband gave it to me for Christmas!"
After we reconciled, only 1 friend was against it - she had been cheated on in the past and didn't think I should ever consider reconciliation. Everyone else has been very supportive.
It was the best thing I ever did. I also told my therapist. And I've told all of you! :) My WH has told one of his best friends (who encouraged patching up the M). I think his secretary might suspect, too. And, he says, she's on my side (just from a couple things she's said).
We both have the support we need without people pointing fingers and second-guessing our decision to R. It's none of their business what we do, but it certainly adds to the awkwardness and shame of the whole blasted situation.
IMO, you need someone: ecclesiastical leader, friend, family member, journal, therapist YOU can talk to aside from your WH. One person. Someone who can hear you vent when such venting might actually damage your R. Since my BFF knows, we can actually joke about it now--about the OW's manure-colored hair, about how we'll "out" her publicly, about her horrible name, etc. It's silly but strangely therapeutic and highly recommendable.
[This message edited by RippedSoul at 4:47 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]