Longish story, but you may learn something here.
All names here are made up to protect identities.
My WH cheated on me in 1977. He was in a band, and his two bandmates, Jane and Mike, were dating. WH slept with Mike’s sister at least twice. Jane and Mike knew it and never told me. WH an I had a brief separation of about three months (gee, I wonder why…) but ultimately reconciled.
We were good for many, many years. Then, in 2005, he had a PA with a friend of ours. That friend was married, her husband knew all about her sexual activities outside the marriage, knew she was sleeping with multiple partners, and was a supervisor where I worked. He never told me. My friends knew, and never told me. I found out accidentally when I ran across a photo on his computer of her boobs. She was in a hotel room, on her anniversary wither HER HUSBAND, taking boob shots and sending them to my husband.
This June, an update on my computer caused my husband’s texts and emails to forward to my iPad. There was a text sent to "me", very romantic, only the next text was a boob shot - from JANE. The thread went back three years, through which they were sending nudes, expressing love, a desire to see one another in person, etc. And of course, denigrating me.
So she knew he cheated in 1977, and was now his AP.
Only what she didn’t know?
In 1977, he was also the AP of HER SISTER. He confessed that while we were separated he slept with her sister.
I actually called her, and told her this. I wanted Janes to feel burned, yes. And she was shocked, and instantly denied that this could be possible. I gave her detailed information, and she recalled the night and event surrounding it - and the letter that he sent afterwards (Jane sent him a copy of it in the texts but didn’t realize the two had sex that night). There was some schaudenfraude certainly.
But also, the fact is that her sister’s betrayed HUSBAND has a right to know. And now he does.
And affairs have no right to be kept secret, no matter how long ago they were, no matter who they were with.
My WH kept this secret for this long, and finally has confessed it all. We are trying to rebuild. This is no circus here. It is a fucking nightmare of no sleep, anger, desperation, tears, fear, grief, anxiety, love, radical honesty, change, and crawling up out of the depths of a hole he dug for the two of us.
If there is any hope of moving forward, every person who has a stake in this has to have the truth of their life.