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Should my wife tell me his name?

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tomsmtih304 posted 9/6/2013 11:58 AM

I just found out a month ago that my wife is in the midst of an emotional affair. Apparently about 6 months the other guy, who was a friend of hers at work, told her that he had feelings for her. She obviously never mentioned this to me - she also never mentioned this guy who she was becoming such a good friend at work - they had lunches together often, talked behind closed doors about their personal lives, feelings, goals, dreams, etc. The about 3 months ago she started having feelings for him and communicated that fact with him.

During all this time - I was working hard to improve our marriage after she had expressed concern and discontent. I was feeling her drift further and further away and couldn't understand it. So I kept questioning her about things and why she was just not there anymore and finally she told me about the other guy.

After it came to light I demanded that she cut off all contact with him or else I would be done with our marriage. She agreed and supposedly told him that they no longer could interact at all at work outside of necessary business matters. She refuses to tell me his name. I want to know.

She tells me that it just isn't her secret to share and that he has to okay her disclosing this to me. But it is driving me mad - I live in a small town and hate that I will probably bump into this guy from time to time and won't even know it. Why should he know who I am but I am left in the dark. My wife and I are trying to reconcile now but this is such a point of contention. Anyone have any input? Is it healthy for me to want to know?

[This message edited by tomsmtih304 at 12:00 PM, September 6th (Friday)]

Rebreather posted 9/6/2013 12:00 PM


Yes, you need to know who he is. And now.

Your wife is deep into what we call "the fog" which is basically a nice way to say she has her head up her ass.

She is protecting her affair partner over her SPOUSE. It is very much her secret to share. No spouses should have secrets from one another. Period.

There is much more to know and learn about this process, but to begin, in order for you to consider remaining married to her, she must offer this information.

toomanyregrets posted 9/6/2013 12:09 PM

What you need to do is ask your WW why she's protecting him.
If she's really interested in you marriage, she needs to be an open book.


RyeBread posted 9/6/2013 12:22 PM


first off I am very sorry you have been betrayed like this. You are not alone, there are lots of guys who have gone through very similar situations here on SI. You are a guy doing your best for your marriage and your wife has taken complete advantage of that.

If your W isn't wanting to give the other man's (OM) name, she is protecting him. Which unfortunately usually means she is still contacting him. Why else would she not want you to know. Because then her little fantasy world would no longer be "her" little fantasy. There can't be 3 people in a marriage. She wants 3 and obviously that won't work. It's bs and you deserve better.

She agreed and supposedly told him...

If you truly want to make this work with your wife then you need to MAKE SURE there really is no contact (aka NC) going on. Your wife (W) needs to prove that to you. Some people have done NC emails, letters, and phone calls. Do what works for you.
Being that your W works with the POS, is it possible for her to switch jobs to make you feel better about NC? If she refuses then you may need to start looking out for yourself. There is a yellow box to the left, click on The Healing Library and study up on the 180.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 9/6/2013 12:23 PM

Total honesty and transparency is required for R. Anything short of that = secrets being kept.

I'm thinking this OM is married and doesn't want his wife finding out...

Make complete honesty and transparency an absolute requirement for you to even consider staying in this marriage.

Sorry you are here, but you will find a lot of support here. Check out the Healing Library in the yellow box on the left of the screen. You will find several very helpful articles there. Might I also suggest you get the book NOT JUST FRIENDS to help you make sense of this nonsense.

NeverAgain2013 posted 9/6/2013 12:34 PM

Well let me tell you - you've got one selfish and completely UNREMORSEFUL wife on your hands.

Right now, she's not in ANY position to call the shots. However, if she IS then you're not standing up for yourself.

Don't apologize, don't beg for the information, don't cajole her for it and don't bargain for it. Tell her she's got EXACTLY 12 hours to give you the information and if it isn't given to you by then, she's going to find all her stuff in garbage bags out on the front lawn.

It's time to take charge, Tom.

BAMAC posted 9/6/2013 13:00 PM

My wife refused to tell me his name at first. While I eventually got it (it turns out he was her supervisor), her not telling me made it easier for her to see him, talk to him, work for him and in general ignore my condition of no contact. She would even talk about him when telling me about her day.

If I had known from the start, my conditions to attempt to save our marriage would have been different. I would have told her that she needed to quit immediately instead of continuing to work there while looking for a new job.

You need to know the truth to be able to make good decisions about your future and because keeping secrets is not fucking acceptable.

OK now posted 9/6/2013 13:10 PM

I agree with BAMAC, your wife keeping the OM's name as a secret means she can and will carry on with the affair.

Tell your wife that she can have her secret but she must immediately tender her resignation from her workplace, thus ensuring the affair would be difficult to pursue. If she refuses to tell you his name or leave her place of work, then divorce is an option to consider.

You must win this battle or the EA will soon be become a PA; if it hasn't already. WS's do tend to be a little free and easy with the truth.

sportsfan posted 9/6/2013 14:44 PM

What is her rationale for not telling you who he is??

LAFA posted 9/6/2013 15:06 PM

I agree with all the others Tom. You need to know the who, and if he has a wife, she needs to know the what. Why's will need to follow.

tomsmtih304 posted 9/6/2013 15:47 PM

Her rationale is along these lines.....I shouldn't be focusing on the affair partner. My focus should be on the issues in our marriage that even allowed her to be in the place to need support from another man. She also says that she told him that she wouldn't tell me his name and doesn't feel she can go back on that without getting consent from him.

She has also said that knowing a name does nothing for me. Amazingly, she has tried to say that I need to trust her because I have no way of knowing if she has really broken it off. They don't text, email or anything - it has all been at work conversations. Sure I can be part of a NC - but outside of sitting next to her at work for the rest of our lives, I can't really know if she is following the NC or not.

And changing jobs is not an option right now - we just moved her about a year ago for her job - not many great jobs in a small town. I have considered asking her to move with our 2 little ones to another town - but one of the reasons we are having marriage issues is that we have moved cross country twice in the last 3 years. Another move could be too much for us to survive.

I don't know - I am confused how handle this - I see all this 180 talk and knowing my wife. If I play it that way - it will just push her out the door. She is very headstrong and quick to make decisions. If I try to play it cool and not fight for our marriage in some ways, I think it will be over.

Thanks so far for the information. I also am happy to hear from some of the WS out there who can relate to why she doesn't want to tell.

RyeBread posted 9/6/2013 16:19 PM

She has also said that knowing a name does nothing for me.

Not to be blunt here but are you going to let her tell you what you need at this point? She abdicated all sense of power and control over anything moral in regards to you when she CHOSE to go outside your marriage.

The marriage issues are just that...marriage issues. They aren't reason's or excuses for having an affair. Trust me, I got and still get blamed for the A my STBXWW had. You didn't choose this, your W CHOSE to do what she did. She could have had boundaries in place and said NO at anytime. Instead she CHOSE to continue the betrayel. You are getting blameshifted here and you don't deserve any of that.

If I play it that way - it will just push her out the door. She is very headstrong and quick to make decisions. If I try to play it cool and not fight for our marriage in some ways, I think it will be over.

I have been in this exact same frame of mind and dealing with the same type of WW. That tells me you are dealing with a nonremorseful entitled person. She is not going to take responsibility for what she has done until the consequences are right in her face. And even then she might not.

The 180 is for you. It is a way for you to gain back some independence and sense of self that you gave up at some point in the marriage. It is to get your strength back and focuses on you. Start doing some of things you enjoy. Take up a hobby or sport. Take some time for yourself. Make yourself a priority and get yourself grounded again.

I realize all of this is a shock and all the aspects of your personal life that come into play when trying to deal with all this seem overwhelming. Take same time here. You don't have to make any decision right this very second. Let the initial shock where off. Keep your eyes and ears oper. Let her prove to you that she wants to be in this marriage. If she isn't, then you have some choices to make for YOU.

doesitgetbetter posted 9/6/2013 16:34 PM

She's probably not telling because he's someone that she works closely with at work, like her boss. And the promises she made to HIM? So her promise to some random guy supersedes her promise to love, honor, cherish you until death do you part, forsaking ALL OTHERS? Um, forsaking all others means NOT KEEPING OTHER PEOPLE'S SECRETS FROM HER HUSBAND!!!! (Sorry to yell, she just really pissed me off!)

She's also trying to move the focus off of OM (other man) and onto why she "needed his support" in the first place so she can get you to behave like the perfect dutiful docile H she wants while she is still frolicking at work with the OM. Listen, right after DDay is NOT the time to start working on marital problems, for the first year or so it's going to be all hands on deck to just deal with the infidelity. After that is dealt with, THEN you two can start working on the marital issues. If you try to do them out of order, or at the same time, you'll both go mad with stress and likely fail.

womaninflux posted 9/6/2013 16:37 PM

YES. If she is serious about working on her relationship with YOU, she needs to be honest and process this whole thing. One way of doing this is to start coming clean with herself and you and giving you the details (not graphic physical ones but details).

brokensmile322 posted 9/6/2013 16:58 PM

Are you sure they are not texting?

I would take a look at the phone records, Tom.

I bet you will find a number texted more than any other. If not there, then email. The pattern seems to be, once it progresses, they really can't seem to NOT stay in contact.

If you can get a number or an email address, you can perhaps get his name.

Realize, her not giving you his name is showing who her loyalty is to....

It is out of balance because the loyalty should be to you.

My guess is that he is either married or in a position that could be troublesome for the both of them, or both.

Keep digging. And do not take her reasoning. Tell her if she wants him, she can go to him. Call her bluff.

Hugs. Keep posting.

pewpewpew posted 9/6/2013 17:00 PM

Oh wow.
What a selfish person she is...

Yes! You have every right to not only know WHO he is but for her to be open and honest for the rest of your marriage.

This is no longer a secret. She betrayed you and your trust...

Fuck that noise.

I would demand answers and if she didn't comply with my wishes, I would serve her with D papers.

She is protecting him when she should be focused on YOU and what she can do to make you feel safe.

sportsfan posted 9/6/2013 17:06 PM

Dude, she's not giving you his name b/c she's protecting him, plain and simple. There is absolutely no other reason. And for her to suggest that she would need HIS consent to tell you is absurd.

Don't buy her bullshit.

I agree that doing the 180 will help YOU. Please re-read it, understand it, apply it. She won't go anywhere.

One more thing and please understand that although you're hurting you really need to hear this ... whatever she told you was the tip of the iceberg. There is more. The A was probably physical and was likely with a married man ... it usually turns out that way.

Be firm with her. If you want the AP's name, and you sure should know it, then demand it. Do not compromise on this.

toomanyregrets posted 9/6/2013 18:42 PM

She made a promise to the OM?
What about the promise she made to you on your weeding day?
Why should you ever trust her? You already did and look what that got you.

Holly-Isis posted 9/6/2013 18:54 PM

She's protecting him over rebuilding with you.

She's choosing him over choosing you.

Whatever "selfless" rationale she gives you is window dressing.

It's crap.

MrH wouldn't tell me anything more about xOw2 than what I saw in the emails...her name and that they worked together. I walked around absolutely traumatized, not knowing if any woman I saw was her or even looked like her. After going through that, I believe that the WS is either in the M and an open book to the BS or they should GTFO and leave the BS in peace to rebuild without the cancer of a selfish WS eating away at their heart and safety.

Crumbled324 posted 9/6/2013 19:23 PM


I'm sorry that you find yourself here. Please take the advice that has been given to you.

T/J - DEMANDING the OM's name at the get go is one of the many things I would do over if I had to. I didn't, I was scared could only think of losing my then 4 year old daughter. My wife told me it didn't matter, you don't know him.

I finally got a name and how she new him. That he wasn't married, that he didn't have kids. It was of course all a lie.

A few weeks later I had the phone number blocked from our phones. I asked the operator who it was. It was of course the person I initially thought it was. He was married with kids and of course she knew it. Told her that I knew. There was promised no contact, etc., blah, blah, blah.

7 month's later of false R I found the receipt for the secret "Affair Phone" bought the day after I blocked the number.

Do yourself a BIG favor. Grab a box of Hefty Bags and start loading her clothes into them. Clean our her closet. Tell her you are taking them to (insert friend or family member that cannot keep a secret)and tell her dirty secret is not yours to keep any more! Tell her if the kids ask you will tell them she is helping the sick friend.

She is welcome back in the house when she can start being honest and begin the work on fixing what she destroyed. She can start by giving you the OM name.

Just threat of this plan of action drove home to my wife that I was DONE playing games. I have never in my life caused drama or made a scene. She knew I was deadly serious. Didn't even have to pull out a garbage bag.

This crap with his name ends when YOU say it ends. Read that again - When YOU say it ends. End it today. She is in the FOG. I'd bet my paycheck that he is married with kids.

I don't post much, but this one hit home. Please try to make it over the Betrayed Men thread in the I Can Relate forum. There is a lot of healing in there. One month out is a scary place to be, please take care of your health and read up on the 180.

[This message edited by Crumbled324 at 7:27 PM, September 6th (Friday)]

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