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Telling friends about my wife's 8 month long affair - more harm than good?

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 Lefonquey1 (original poster new member #79618) posted at 1:31 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Was wondering what your thoughts and experiences are about telling friends about my wife's affair. If you haven't seen my previous post for backstory, please feel free to read about it now. And thank you in advance.

I am so humiliated and angry about what she did that I've only talked about his with a few people - My IC, our MC, my wife, her mom (who doesn't speak English), and the pediatrician's psychiatrist (who swears he did nothing unethical). I haven't told any of my family or friends because because if we plan to continue reconciliation, I don't want them to judge us. I know they will immediately give me an "I told ya so" and will tell me to "lawyer up and kick her to the curb". Also, to explain the entire situation and the corresponding fallout would take many hours long conversations that I simply don't have the energy to have.

As far as mutual friends - We have several shared friends with the AP and his wife, who were already told about the affair by the AP's wife. She told them that she and the AP went their separate ways for a while and the AP and my wife started dating. She told them that my wife wanted to divorce me and marry him, but that he chose to stay and dumped her. She told them that they are starting reconciliation themselves. My wife has since met with several of these people and basically said this was a lie and downplayed everything, depending on what they told her was said by the AP's wife. During the affair, the AP told a couple of our shared buddies that he was in love with my wife, too. These guys then stopped inviting me to their activities soon thereafter. To be fair, they kinda stopped hanging out with the AP, too, but not completely as he was in that circle much longer than me and had more mutual friends than I did. However, they never told me anything about the affair.

Our other mutual friends outside our neighborhood know nothing. They see our happy FB pics and see us all lovey-dovey together... as through the reconciliation process, we have seemingly reignited our marriage and love for each other. At least on the outside.

My question is: Is it therapeutic for me to start talking about the affair with my friends, despite the time commitment and inevitable judgement? What about our mutual friends that know nothing? I feel that the only reason I want to tell our mutual friends is to punish her in some way and that it would make her very angry. So if we do end up in divorce, she would be much less likely to work with me on it and lead to many thousands of wasted dollars in legal fees. Also, I'm afraid that this information would eventually trickle down to my 3 kids, who I hope will never learn what kind of horrible thing their mother did to their father.

[This message edited by Lefonquey1 at 1:35 PM, Friday, November 26th]

posts: 16   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2021
id 8700291
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jolehno ( new member #63885) posted at 2:16 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

I wouldn't tell anybody. In my case, I didn't want to shame her and besides, it was embarrassing for me and my sons.
No need to make a disgusting matter, the happy conversation of others.
But I am not in the US, so my culture it is a bit different.

posts: 42   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2018
id 8700296
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 2:16 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

What do you hope to get out of telling friends?

Is it therapeutic for me to start talking about the affair with my friends, despite the time commitment and inevitable judgement?

It seems as if you are asking the question but have the answer at the same time. You don't want their judgement and you are weary just thinking about the effort to tell them. And then there is this:

Also, I'm afraid that this information would eventually trickle down to my 3 kids, who I hope will never learn what kind of horrible thing their mother did to their father.

I don't know how old your children are, but, they should be part of a deliberate set of actions you deem appropriate not having an accidental slip and finding out about the infidelity where you have no control.

I cannot tell you to tell or not tell. I chose not to - I was absolutely too humiliated to admit anything early on.

At the same time, I can tell you the urge for revenge is very very strong.

I feel that the only reason I want to tell our mutual friends is to punish her in some way and that it would make her very angry. So if we do end up in divorce, she would be much less likely to work with me on it and lead to many thousands of wasted dollars in legal fees.

This is the first of two negative impacts you identify. So is it worth revenge if it negatively impacts your children and your future should you D?

IMHO the best way to manage your emotions is through clear and hard boundaries. What do you need from her at this point? Is she willing to do the work to change and be a safe partner? If not, what will you do? Will you accept her not doing anything and staying in the M?

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2726   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8700295
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 4:01 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

For me personally, I can’t get behind the tell nobody approach. When I confided in friends, there was zero shame or embarrassment on my part. I’m not the one who cheated so would I feel either of those things? I also don’t feel contractually obligated to take his secrets to the grave because it’s my story as well.

That said, revenge was not why I told. I didn’t tell to shame him. I told because I was drowning and needed the support. I didn’t scream it from the rooftops or go scorched earth and post on Facebook. I told people that I knew would support me. Not one person made me regret that decision.

So if your sole purpose is to embarrass her, I would probably rethink it. If you’re telling people who love you and you trust because you need the support, then go for it. You’re under no obligation to keep her secrets for her and need to consider your mental health and well being.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildrenTogether 13.5 years, married 12.5

First EA 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19. *ETA, contd an ea after dday for 2 yrs.

posts: 1948   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8700349
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countrydirt ( member #55758) posted at 4:26 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

I chose to tell family when I saw there was no chance at reconciliation. Not to punish, but so they would understand why I was divorcing.

3 adult sons
Married 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021

posts: 362   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8700363
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 4:48 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

My question is: Is it therapeutic for me to start talking about the affair with my friends, despite the time commitment and inevitable judgement? What about our mutual friends that know nothing? I feel that the only reason I want to tell our mutual friends is to punish her in some way and that it would make her very angry. So if we do end up in divorce, she would be much less likely to work with me on it and lead to many thousands of wasted dollars in legal fees. Also, I'm afraid that this information would eventually trickle down to my 3 kids, who I hope will never learn what kind of horrible thing their mother did to their father.

I basically just told my siblings, closest friends, and my boss. I was a mess, there was no way I was going to pass muster with people who really know me. My kids were young adults at the time, so I told them too, although with the caveat that they were to let me handle my business and maintain their own relationships with their father. I didn't tell his parents or his family, although I insisted he speak with one of his brothers and with his oldest friend because I felt like he'd get common sense advice from them as well as support. My father had passed, but I chose NOT to speak with my mother about it since she was a histrionic personality and I didn't want her opinion twelve times a day. That though, turned out to be a mistake. It ended up straining our relationship which, sadly, never recovered before her death.

Once you've told someone, you can't take that decision back. It's out there. So, think about who your key people are, people who know you well enough to know when something is off, people whose support and opinion matter to you. Stay away from gossipers or people who will thrill to the schadenfreude and drama. Eventually, believe it or not, this will all be behind you and you're not going to want everybody you run into knowing your business.

My wife has since met with several of these people and basically said this was a lie and downplayed everything...

This is another red flag for me. There should be a policy of non-tolerance to ANY dishonesty from your WW, no matter who she is speaking to. She needs to be speaking only the truth, at all times, or shutting her yap. It is too hard, once we've been betrayed like this, to watch our WS tell lies. It only reminds us of every time we were lied to, right?

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4886   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8700377
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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 6:01 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

I haven’t told many people about my WW’s affairs. I don’t see any value in it, unless they are good, close friends that can offer support.

We didn’t inform any of our immediate family either. We are reconciling and I didn’t want the affairs to hang over us.

Many people who have never been through this don’t fully understand what the BS and WS go through.

posts: 731   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2016
id 8700393
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 6:03 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with telling close, trusted friends.

I would imagine ALL of the people in this circle of friends know about the affair. People talk.

Understand friends who kept the affair secret are not true friends.

How do you feel about your wife wanting to leave you for OM?

Your wife downplaying everything and basically calling the OM's wife a liar is concerning. The fact is cheaters lie and they deny and they are so good at masterfully manipulating the truth and trying to protect themselves by controlling the narrative.

posts: 11381   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8700394
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 6:43 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Probablynot,since quite a few folks know already. That type of info will spread like wildfire, despite your wife's denials.

Most people will not have bought the denials for a couple of reasons.

First, folks believe bad stuff about people pretty readily.
Second, as I recall, this is the second go round, at least,for your wife with cheating. People can sense that type of character, it kind of oozes out from a serial cheater. I bet a lot of folks are not surprised and will buy the info put out by the OM's wife. I bet those male friends that knew are not exactly sworn to secrecy, as well.

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8700396
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 6:44 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Probably moot.

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8700397
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 6:45 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

There should be a policy of non-tolerance to ANY dishonesty from your WW, no matter who she is speaking to. She needs to be speaking only the truth, at all times, or shutting her yap.

I cant stress this one enough.

Look, right now, reconciliation should not even be on the table, even if this is what you desire. You need to step back, and watch her actions over some time to see if she is a good candidate for reconciliation. Right now, she absolutely IS NOT. This lying and downplaying is a perfect example. So is her hatred toward the OBS, whom she apparently had no problem insert herself in her marriage. These are enormous red flags.....as a matter of fact, are worse than a red flag---they are behaviors that point towards clinical. Please do not dismiss these.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3898   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8700398
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 6:46 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

If your goal is to feel less isolated, then only tell a couple people at most who you completely trust and whose opinions you respect.

Do not air out your laundry with all and sundry. You will get flooded with unsolicited advice (much of which will be garbage) and achieve nothing more than become gossip fodder for your shared social circle.

If your goal is to control or shape the narrative about the affair, don’t bother; it’s not the best use of your time. People who really care about you will ask you for your side of the story and the ones that don’t will believe whatever they want to believe.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 603   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8700399
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 7:41 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

I told nobody except one friend who had no association with my other friends or family. I told my FWW that I didn't want anyone to know. I was ashamed and humiliated. I wanted to R and I didn't want the shame or judgement of other people on her for what she did or me for trying to R. I also didn't want to destroy her parents image of her because I cared about them and they would have been devastated. She still told multiple friends.

In retrospect, it seems like willingness to talk about it with friends or family has a lot to do with how much blame each partner is owning and how much they're thinking about themselves rather than their partner. I was owning all the blame that was being heaped on me and she was still posing it to her friends like some great collision with destiny.

Even though I recognize now how backward my reasons for wanting it kept quiet were, I'm glad that we didn't tell her family. My FWW's father was diagnosed with brain cancer nine months after D-day and passed away just three months later. He was a good, religious man and it's a blessing that his last year and his time with her were not sullied by knowledge of the choices his daughter made.

Me: 60, BS
Her: 59, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 199   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8700408
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 8:19 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Do what you need to do to have the support you need. But before speaking, weigh the cost. No one here, no one, can give you the right choice to share or not.

But it really is as simple as this: does the cost outweigh the benefit or not?

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 8:19 PM, Friday, November 26th]

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 275   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8700413
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 8:37 PM on Friday, November 26th, 2021

Gotta agree with the earlier posters pointing out that both you and your wife seem fairly unvested in truth as an important concept. Maybe it is due to the genesis of your marriage stemming from cheating.
It struck me how, despite her recent cheating, you are so accepting of her lying to others now. Really not a good sign. She is, obviously, integrity deficient.

The truth is already out there. This will not be contained, IMO.

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8700418
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thatbpguy ( member #58540) posted at 3:21 AM on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

The reason I think all should be exposed is to build a level of accountability. It's also honest. If your wife doesn't like, maybe she should stop having sex with other men.

ME: BH Her: WW DDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I left; Divorced Remarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4464   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8700557
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:28 AM on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

I don’t regret telling family and a few close friends about my H planning to kick me to the curb.

I was planning to D him anyway. And I was making sure he did not blame me for the D as cheaters are likely to do. The cheaters love to blame the betrayed.

Even though we have happily reconciled I don’t regret my actions at that time.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11155   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8700568
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:34 PM on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

Yes. Exposure might make reconciling harder. However – exposure tends to be what makes reconciling possible.
What makes reconciling 100% doomed to fail is lack of accountability and ongoing infidelity. What exposure tends to do is create pressure from friends and family where the romance or justification for the infidelity is completely washed away and the situation where it becomes near-impossible to continue the affair.

In my books harder is still possible, whereas impossible is impossible.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10172   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8700575
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 8:53 PM on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

You gotta ask yourself, do you want to be with someone who requires public shaming and peer pressure and supervision to keep them in check and make them remorseful?

Are BSs to act as puppeteers pulling the strings of their WSs in an attempt to walk them properly down the road to reconciliation with divisive tactics used to affect self serving desired outcomes that would not otherwise naturally occur?

I don't believe in maneuvering WSs toward R.

I believe the beginnings of remorse should occur on D-Day, and originate from latent concern and love for the betrayed. If love for the betrayed has been replaced or overshadowed by love or limerence for the AP, then the BS should leave. No other divisive tactics should be employed.

The simple, decisive, impactful and profound act of leaving, first by leaving emotionally (The 180), then the formal execution of leaving physically (Filing for divorce) should be all that is required to maneuver a WS properly towards reconciliation and remorse.

If the loss of you is not enough to invoke a proper response, than you don't really have anything of meaningful substance to work with, let alone build an enduring future upon.

I advocate exposure only to control warped narratives and surgically effect support for the betrayed.

I don't think it wise to use exposure to:

-Maneuver a WS towards BS agendas

-To control WS actions

-To affect consequences

-To supervise

If the consequence of you leaving, the family torn apart, kids screwed over, is not enough, then you got little to work with and any other consequence is pitifully trivial.

Also, exposure, if not done correctly, with discretion, grace and class, can have adverse effects on the betrayed by souring the court of public opinion and reinforcing WS false narratives that suggest the BS is unbalanced, abusive, controlling, vindictive, etc, etc

Public Relations is a dangerous game that should be very carefully considered.

[This message edited by RealityBlows at 9:07 PM, Sunday, November 28th]

posts: 776   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8700603
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 1:12 AM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

I told because I was drowning and needed the support. I didn’t scream it from the rooftops or go scorched earth and post on Facebook. I told people that I knew would support me. Not one person made me regret that decision.

me too. Only told family and a few close friends (who live far away / are not part of my social circle with WS). I did this for many of the same reasons you cite - makes it harder to attempt to R (tho the horse has now left the barn on that front), didn't want to be punishing him further (well, actually I DID at the time, but somehow managed to trust my gut that it wasn't the person I wanted to be), etc.

However, it sounds as if your circle is already aware - which IMHO adds a different dimension, in that I don't think I could have kept quiet if I felt my WS's As were already a topic of gossip (and TBH, I would not be at ALL surprised to learn that he made moves on women in our social circle and that was already happening).

Also, why would you want to continue socially with folks who were aware of your WS's cheating and did not tell you? Is that the kind of person that YOU want to be "friends" with?

And I agree with CT - if your WS is not being 100% accurate/truthful with folks who bring it up, that is a big red flag (assuming you two have not mutually agreed to some course that is less than candid).

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3618   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8700609
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