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Momma's needs

Camel posted 4/12/2021 22:55 PM

Momma wants to know what the hell is going on with my marriage. She knows something is up and I tell her it's between my wife and I. I don't know what to do, I really want to tell my mom but she will be devastated....beyond devastated. I know that much for sure and I don't think she needs that on her plate. Any suggestions or should I just keep it to myself?

This0is0Fine posted 4/12/2021 23:21 PM

I didn't tell my parents. I told several of my friends. My family is pretty hard line on this. She would probably hate my wife for life if I told her. The pain was dealt to me and the forgiveness flows from me. I told the parts of my support network that would help me through regardless of outcome and who I could cut it off my life if I had to. You can't do that with parents. I can't anyway.

Bigger posted 4/13/2021 04:48 AM

The general rule-of-thumb is to expose (let know of the affair) to all those that can positively impact the situation. If you think your mom can positively affect the result you want then I would be open to letting her know. If dealing with an ongoing affair then that group tends to be rather larger than smaller – involve more people rather than less. Logic behind this is to remove the affair from fantasy to reality and have enough people poking at the WS, AP and supporting the BS.

However – having gone through your previous posts – it sounds like you and WW are working at reconciling and everything supports that the actual physical affair is over. In that situation I would be more selective on whom I share with.

Would your mom be the typical Lioness and protect her cub? Lash out at your WW, encourage you to leave her and all that? Or would your mom offer some form of support that could help you two reconcile? That is the BIG question IMHO.
You could clarify to your mom that your marriage is in crisis, but that its being dealt with and simply ask her to be kind and supportive to both of you.
Just remember things can’t be untold and right now you want to focus on your marriage rather than possibly fixing some relationship with your mom.

I want to address a couple of issues from your previous posts:
Does the OM still work with your wife? Can you honestly state that this is not causing you stress?
The reason I ask is because of a colleague of mine who had a work-place affair. His wife found out and they decided to reconcile. I know for a fact he ended the affair (I actually knew the OW better). They didn’t work in the same department or even building and the WH took care to avoid the canteen and all situations he might meet his former AP. Yet he shared with me that his marriage didn’t really start improving until AFTER the OW quit and left for another job. His wife told him that simply the possibility of him being around OW was enough to create a block to her ability to commit to reconciliation.
Would that be an issue for you? OM and your WW working together? Is that avoidable?


Her saying the therapist blames your behavior for her cheating…
I agree with Unhinged on that thread.

If true then often a WS grabs something like that because it slightly alleviates their blame. I think it’s important to realize the negative impact of agreeing to this logic:
If your actions caused her to have an affair then there is no way your future actions can prevent her from a repeat or some other inappropriate actions. There is probably no denying that your actions created an unhealthy situation: By your own admission you were inconsiderate and she repeatedly asked for counseling and/or change, but her DECISION to seek solace in infidelity is always inappropriate and always totally on her.
To use a comparison: If you went and spent all your money leaving none left for utilities, rent and food her correct response wouldn’t be to hold up a bank. The need for cash is clearly created by you, but her solution/response would be inappropriate.

I have sometimes wondered what I might ask a therapist that suggests the BS is to blame (even partially) for a WS decision to cheat. I would be tempted to ask them how they deal with clients that are physically abusive in their relationship. Do they tell them that their spouses caused them to clench their fist and punch them or even imply that the action of using violence is understandable due to the spouses past behavior?
Do you think a wife-beater with 100% intention of recovering and changing his ways has ever come home from therapy and told his skeptic and weary wife that things will improve from now on because his therapist has outlined how her actions were to blame for him punching her?
I seriously doubt it.

The1stWife posted 4/13/2021 05:58 AM

Will your mom hold it against your spouse and damage the relationship?

If so. I suggest not telling your mom.

NotMyFirstRodeo posted 4/13/2021 07:10 AM

One of the best things I did for my own sanity was tell my mom. I'd received practically no support nor legitimate effort at home from my WS for 18 months at the point I told my mom and brothers.

My W has told me multiple times how bad it makes her feel (bad/angry/irks/etc.) that I told them the OM's name which was someone they knew. I suppose that's more important than everything leading up to my needing to tell them...

At the time, a day or two after I told her that I then had my mom and brothers' support, she was angry enough that she then went to her parents and told them something embarrassing about me purely out of spite. She admitted to me that she told them because she was angry that I told my family and wanted to make me look worse to her parents who had known of her A this whole time. -Well, they knew much of situation but they don't know some of the things that have hurt me the worst.

Part of my W's concern was the void that could be created by my family knowing. That just appears hypocritical to me after her attempt to harm my image to her family. Since then she's been more hung up on me telling my family out of genuine need than her acting out of anger and spite. It doesn't appear that she recognizes the difference nor importance of the motives.

I have no regrets. I now have support where I did not and her being angry about it is a consequence of her own lack of effort and empathy. I hate that she has to now deal with it but I hate that she did this to both of us more.

My recommendation is to do what's healthiest for you and/or your family's healing with the understanding that it may cause a new set of problems telling family, but it may also assist with curing bigger problems. A "choosing the lesser of two evils" -kinda thing. Then again, it may bring more problems than what it solves. For me it definitely helped me by giving me a support network that wasn't prepared to lie to me or suggest I rug sweep. It gave me what I needed and it could not come a moment later.

Follow what your gut says. It's probably right.

Chaos posted 4/13/2021 07:11 AM

I didn't tell my parents - for a variety of reasons but predominately in echo of The1stWife - it would damage the familial relationship.

While I am glad you have a good relationship with your mom - what you already told her will have to suffice. If you add anything else perhaps a "I love you and am glad to know you there for me if I need to talk - but right now this is a private matter between me and my wife"

Anna123 posted 4/13/2021 07:48 AM

Uggh. This is one of the big reasons I ended up divorcing after trying R. I knew that thought of my family knowing what he did would forever be a part of all of our relationships, yet I knew I couldn't bear to keep it from them. It really messes with your mind and heart. Another of the gifts of infidelity.

Good luck whatever you decide. I promise you, us mamma's know when somethings up and yours sounds like an in-tune one. This will be tough to keep under wraps in addition to all of the other emotions.

CaptainRogers posted 4/13/2021 08:34 AM

Did not tell my parents, my siblings, my wife's dad or her siblings. They are 1000 miles away and would not have been able to be of any real support. I know that my family would have been greatly wounded and that hers would have excused her behavior. A no win situation on both sides when R is your first choice.

So, mom, we have hit a rough patch, but we're working on it. I'll let you know more if the situation calls for it.

sadgirlinsouth posted 4/13/2021 08:44 AM

I haven't told my parents because they would be heartbroken - they love my husband. I think they would be supportive of any decision I would make. They would lean to reconciliation first for the children's sake. They don't need the added stress at this time. My older sister and her husband divorced, they helped her with the girls, financially... but I rememeber my mom saying are you sure this is right.... it's not just you and him... the girls will be affected. I don't know the whole story as to the whys.

Camel posted 4/13/2021 08:44 AM

Thank you for everyone's thoughts/ideas. I'm still in a pickle and don't really know. I have told my brother (super religious) and he has been super supportive and I know that he will not open his mouth to anyone. I know my mom wouldn't either but I just don't need her stressing. She loves my wife and my step son. She cried yesterday asking what the hell is going on basically fearing we will divorce and she doesn't want to lose him as her grandchild. Thank you again and I will continue to think about positives vs negatives when it comes to telling momma.

thatbpguy posted 4/13/2021 10:12 AM

I'm a full exposure person. Tell your mom. Look, your wife has dropped an atomic bomb on the marriage. Why not be honest about it? If your mom opts to hold it against your wife, so be it. That can be dealt with later. Besides, your wife needs to feel a little peer pressure.

Camel posted 4/13/2021 10:59 AM

I put pressure on her already by making her call her own mom and telling her what she did. That did wonders. Her mom was shocked that she did this and really has been supportive of both. I don't want to tell my mom because she has a lot going on and I know this will hurt her a lot.

jb3199 posted 4/13/2021 13:45 PM

I don't want to tell my mom because she has a lot going on and I know this will hurt her a lot.

You don't have to. This is one of the situations where your choice is the correct one.

If you decide later to tell your family for support, then that is also fine. Just make sure that the reasons for telling/not telling are from a good place, and not motivated by such reasons as revenge, fear, etc.

gmc94 posted 4/13/2021 15:41 PM

I told one parent & stepparent as well as my siblings pretty quickly. I don't regret it. I needed support and keeping it in to them would have killed me. Told the 2nd parent several months later - just felt wrong to be hiding something so serious (that parent has their own mental health issues and I knew did not have the capacity to be very supportive, but still treats WH with decency and respect).

I think there are really TWO issues here:

1- what kind of people they are - will they support R? Will they treat the WS with contempt?
2 - the ways in which keeping that secret from a loved one impacts YOU. Does it cause you stress to keep this kind of secret? Is it hurting YOU to keep it in? If so, then perhaps there is a need to consider priorities.

I have to say that I really didn't know - and prolly didn't even consider - what telling my family would mean for my WH. My attitude on that front was that he's the one that created the mess, he can deal with the consequences.

To this day I am FLOORED by how gracious my family has been to WH, despite knowing about his As.

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