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Tell others about A or keep it private?

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imdimd74 posted 7/30/2013 11:41 AM

So, I have been separated from WW for 2.5 months. The A was a huge reason, but not the only reason for D (eg, growing apart, unexpressed disappointment in expectations and resulting resentment, complete lack of intimacy, etc). We have been gradually making our separation public knowledge. But we had agreed to keep the A private. My motivation for this was twofold: protect my DD from having to hear other people talking about her cheating mother, lessen any kind of tension to allow WW to be more agreeable during this process.

I'm having second thoughts now. When I tell my friends, especially my close ones, I feel like I'm lying to them.

I am not out for vengeance. I have been in significant pain, but I do not wish to inflict pain on WW or DD. But, I would like the people I trust to know more of the truth.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic?


LadyQ posted 7/30/2013 11:47 AM

I always say I'll tell anyone who asks me the truth. Funny part is, not many people (aside from close friends and family) ask "what happened?". You might consider having a stock answer prepared, ie "she made choices I couldn't go along with", "I'd rather not talk about it. How 'bout them Dallas Cowboys??" Or my favorite: I divorced him cuz I didn't like his girlfriend. Anyway you say it, it's totally your call how much you reveal.

Fwiw, my middle daughter figured it out all on her own. I only ever gave the "bad choices" response to questions, but kids can be very perceptive!

Later posted 7/30/2013 11:53 AM

I don't know what the right answer is, but IMO -- all these people who you feel like you are lying to - they don't really care. Decide what is in the best interest of you and your family and say to hell with everyone else. You don't owe them an explanation.

IMO, if you don't go public with it that will be one less thing you have to worry about. Any support you get will be fleeting. The consequences will be permanent.

Having said that, I don't think you owe your STBX a damn thing either. You were not part of the conspiracy and your wedding vows did not include keeping her infidelities confidential.

Just make it easy on yourself and your DD.

[This message edited by Later at 11:56 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

hangingontohope7 posted 7/30/2013 11:54 AM

Clearly, I've told my family and a few close friends. I also disclosed the A to a few people where I work. These are people that I trust very much and I felt that they needed to know the whole truth, when they asked what was going on.

I try to gauge whether people really want to know because they care or if they just want to know because they like to gossip.

I refuse to outright lie but thankfully most people don't ask why.

Ashland13 posted 7/30/2013 12:30 PM

Telling people was very hard, but I found if I didn't tell someone, nearly ExH would and he would not tell the way it really happened. Rather, he made up lies about myself and our marriage/life and it's lost me some people. In our worlds, most people rug-sweep big time, so that living here feels rather pretend.

When it came time to tell our daughter, it was very hard, yes. Her friends also missed him, as he used to be very hands on, and enjoyed the attention of the little kids.

I told her that "daddy has some problems that he can't work on at home and that mommy can't help with." I told her she could ask me but I didn't know much about them or anything, but would help her when I could.

I als made sure to tell the adults she would be around the most what I told her, so there would be less chance of mix-up. For my own self- esteem, it was boosted by several counselors, who told me this was okay and my lawyer gave a shoulder-pat. It opened the door to her, also, but in general terms and made no one the bad guy".

Last thing I did, was tell nearly Exh what I told her, this recommended from a counselor and he was actually appreciative because he got to think he "saved face"...what I was trying to accomplish was saving our child from too much knowledge.

It's not easy.

incredulous posted 7/30/2013 12:52 PM

I didn't tell anyone at first, when I desperately wanted to reconcile, because I didn't want people to hate him. When it seemed less likely that he would even attempt reconciliation, and I was a complete basket case, I told only my closest friends because I really needed someone to talk to, and I thought they could talk some sense into him.
I did not tell DD for a berry long time because I didn't want to affect her relationship with him. Even though he's not her dad, she hoped to continue a relationship with him, so I didn't tell her till she finally figured it out. She is still angry that I "lied" to her.
Once I knew we weren't reconciling & DD knew, I told everybody -- and I mean everybody from friends to colleagues to cashiers. Somehow out made me feel better.

phillygirl posted 7/30/2013 13:24 PM

Depending on who was asking, I would tell them about the A.

Friends, family, my boss? You betcha I would tell. Random loose acquaintances, nah.

My position is that the A did happen, it did cause the marriage to implode and it is not your shame to wear. I wouldn't allow anyone I cared about think that we just "drifted apart" like two ships in the night. Especially the children, I think allowing kids to think that "mommy and daddy just fell out of love" can be scary for them. They will draw all sorts of harmful conclusions from that.

You can do it in a non-vengeful way, just the simple fact without any emotional editorials like "my exW is a big slut who went around fucking other men", more like "she had an A, we tried to R for awhile but it didn't work out".

sparkysable posted 7/30/2013 13:55 PM

I told everyone.

tryingagain74 posted 7/30/2013 15:10 PM

I knew early out that we were getting a D, so I immediately told my family and close friends what was really going on. Now, I tell on a case-by-case basis; I do want my side of the story out there because I'm sure that XWH is lying about what happened. He has a neighbor who moved in after I left that will barely look at me when I run into her from time to time. I couldn't care less what she thinks, but it makes me think that he's told her a load of BS, and I'm not having that story be the prevailing one that circulates.

Furthermore, my kids know the truth and are in counseling, so there really isn't anything that I'm protecting them from other than the more salacious details (which I generally don't share with people I'm not close to because it would be TMI, I think).

You do what's best for you and your DD. Don't worry about protecting your STBX. If she had really cared about her reputation, then she wouldn't have cheated on you.

Dreamboat posted 7/30/2013 18:16 PM

I personally want to take out a billboard and put a sign in my yard.

But when you do make it public it then opens you up to questions, speculation, and gossip. For me, it was best to tell people what happened. Back then anyway. Now I do not talk about it unless asked a direct question or on SI (dday was 8 years ago). I got really sick of feeling like I was on the Jerry Springer show...

Another difference was that DD already knew because she was in the house on dday when I caught them together (what the fuck where they thinking??!! Oh yeah, they were not...)

Do what feels right for you and the situation. If you feel the need to get support from a friend or family member then do. If you don't want to lie to someone, then don't. You no longer have to protect your WW from the judgement of others -- she fired you from that job. Her actions have consequences and it is not your job to mitigate those consequences for her. But it is your job to mitigate those consequences from your DD and yourself so it is a fine line you sometimes have to walk.

Good luck

myperfectlife posted 7/30/2013 18:40 PM

In a small town like mine there's not much choice.
The gossip mill probably knew before I did.
Hey, if he wanted no one to know he shouldn't have done it.
Even my children know.
Of course OW is a nutcase who works at the only highschool in town and her "best friends" are all 17 (she's 35) and she told them EVERYTHING.
Yeah, that's where 2 of my kids go.
Just another thing stbxws didn't think about when he decided to destroy our lives.
The collateral damage is infinite.

All my close friends know because I turned to them for help. As I go through my Divorce, if others ask what happened I will tell them that he was unfaithful and that it was a dealbreaker. I refuse to be blamed for the destruction of my marriage.
I'm telling my family this weekend. They know something is up, but they don't know the details and that I filed yesterday.
But take it on a case by case is true that some people just really don't care.

phmh posted 7/30/2013 19:15 PM

I told everyone. The support I received was tremendous. I have nothing to hide.

I feel that too many BSs act as though they did something wrong, which perpetuates this silence and secrecy around it, preventing betrayed people from getting the support they need.

I did nothing wrong. I was a fabulous wife who married a broken man.

doggiemom12 posted 7/30/2013 19:34 PM

I told everyone. He has the affair - I guess he should have thought about the consequences. No one thought he was such a great guy anymore. Too bad.

kernel posted 7/30/2013 21:21 PM

He was telling everyone we just grew apart and didn't have anything in common anymore. One lie too many, asshat. I blew a gasket and told everyone. No fucking way was I covering up his steaming pile of cheater-shit. He was pissed. Too fucking bad. Should have kept his private parts private. (I totally stole that from someone on this board - maybe DCK? Thanks to whoever it was)

[This message edited by kernel at 9:22 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

cmego posted 7/30/2013 21:47 PM

In the beginning, I told no one. The "things just didn't work out" routine.

Primarily because ex wanted it that way. He had a "reputation" to consider after all! He works in a high profile position within the community, in a conservative organization. He did not want our children to know what he had done, and...well...frankly, he was embarrassed. I was embarrassed too... not only had be been unfaithful for many years, but that he was gay.

But, I realized I was still protecting him, the role I played for far too long. I decided to stop lying and let the chips fall where they may. Lying is what brought us to the position we were in.

Not everyone knows the "whole" truth. If I am close to them, they know. If they are casual acquaintances, then it is a version of the truth. It simply depends on the circumstances...but I am in control to let people know what I think is appropriate. Since he is now in an openly gay relationship, there is little need for me to hide anything.

The children know the truth in age appropriate terms. "When you get married, you promise each other not to date anyone else. Daddy broke his promise. Mommy's heart was broken and it cannot be fixed." As they have become older, then more of the truth is out. What is appropriate, obviously. I would not go through life with my children thinking we "grew apart". I don't bash their father and I encourage their relationship. We talk openly and honestly.

For me, "The truth shall set you free" saying certainly was true. It was freeing for me to "let go" the urge to protect him. I no longer cared if he was going to be contentious or agreeable...his actions and choices are his own. It is what it is.

PhantomLimb posted 7/30/2013 21:54 PM

On DDay (#1) we agreed to R at first and I told WS that I wouldn't tell anyone what he did because I knew if I did, there were friends and family who would never accept him fully again.

I think that lasted about 12 hours.

The first DDay convo was an all-nighter. He went to work. I tried to get some sleep. I woke up and realized I couldn't handle this on my own. And I also realized I couldn't be like him and live a double life.

I picked up the phone and started calling/telling everyone.

I think that ultimately hurt our chances for R because WS is a conflict avoider. I think it made the mountain seem that much bigger.

DDay#2, he refused R. I then had to quit a job in his office (OW was a coworker). He tried to muscle me into not telling his boss what he did ("you know, she and I could get married and it wouldn't even matter! No one will care! It's not against the rules!"). I ended up tapping a senior colleague for help and he crafted a resignation letter for me that didn't say that he cheated-- but challenged his version that our break up was "amicable" and made it clear that I didn't have a choice, given his actions. I ran it by a few other senior colleagues who called it "masterful." I didn't let him see it because I wanted to let him sweat on whether I was going to out him or not.

Since then when someone asks me what happened, I tell them. He cheated, tried to hide it, I found out and he just wasn't up for doing the work it was going to take to fix it. Very few people have been uncomfortable with that. 99% of people are extremely kind and compassionate.

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 9:55 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

JensSux posted 7/30/2013 22:24 PM

The first few times I did not tell anyone. It was a huge weight off when I finally started to share. The amount of support I received was very helpful.

mandan66 posted 7/30/2013 22:38 PM

At first, I was so desperate, that I went with her story, how we had grown apart, etc. Then, it turned into such a nightmare, I told everyone and every thing, just to ease the pain. Friends, family, the neighbor's dog, dandelions,garbage cans... you get the picture. It's not easy keeping a scumbag's secret, for sure. But now, 8 months in, I rarely talk to anyone about it. For me, almost everyone I knew had already guessed; I was the last to know (double suck for me!). Remember, the WS is the one that screwed up, not you. So never feel guilty about speaking the truth. Hang in there bro! I never thought I would survive this nightmare, and now I sure gotten a helluva lot closer to normalcy.

Sad in AZ posted 7/30/2013 22:44 PM

I just diffuse the situation with humor by saying I divorced him because I didn't like his girlfriend. (Thanks, Pippy) That's always been enough. No one has questioned any further.

[This message edited by Sad in AZ at 10:44 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]

Lisa2You posted 7/31/2013 00:27 AM

My situation may be very different than yours, but I've had the same questions. I'll be talking to the kids (adults) in the next few days. I have believed in the expression that, "You're only as healthy as your secrets." But I've come to know that there are no cookie cutter solutions, or ways of going about these things. Every human being is different; no two of us are alike. So handling situations like this are also different.

My thinking now is that just like there are repercussions for my H and his shitty decisions, there are also repercussions for decisions I make in the wake of it. I don't see anything good coming from spouting it all over town and in fact it may end up hurting those I'm only trying to help - my kids. So, for me, I've decided I won't lie. But I also don't feel obligated to tell anyone.

If it feels like it's right, I'll tell. If not, I won't. Let's face it, a lot of people who pretend to care, just want gossip they can spread to make themselves feel important. So, my advice would be to be honest but not to feel obligated to anyone. Be true to yourself and your children. That's all that matters. ~L

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