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kra127 posted 11/3/2013 20:21 PM

My WS is being a coward and won't tell his family about how he screwed up our marriage. Meanwhile, I have shared the details with my family as I felt I needed the support. When I pushed the issue this weekend about him not telling his family, he ended up calling his parents and gave them about 20% of the story. He claims he won't tell them everything because he knows it will put stress on his parents, who are already not in good health. I told him I will not cover up his mess and if his family asks me what happened (which they haven't so far), I plan to tell them the truth. With the holidays around the corner, I suspect I will see them. My question is, do I wait until I'm asked about it or should I have my WS man up and tell his family himself?

HardenMyHeart posted 11/3/2013 20:26 PM

If you are planning on reconciling, I believe you should not tell anyone. Infidelity is a private matter between the spouses.

It's not a question of your WH manning up, it sounds like you just want to punish him and his family because of your anger. I am sorry you are suffering and this happened to you, but I firmly believe you are out of line on this.

Lostinthismess posted 11/3/2013 20:29 PM

I just recently asked my H to tell his family for this reason. I haven't talked to them since dday, but he's deployed and with the holidays, they are calling/emailing me to check in. I just can't take it. I can't suck it up anymore. So my .02 is that he should tell them if you've asked him to. Of course it's going to suck, but if you need him to and are asking, I think he should step up. I haven't told my family, partly because well they don't give a damn, so I haven't had to evade the truth about how I'm doing and partly because I'm sure if I told them they would hate him. I already want to leave most the time, I don't think I could take the temptation if they offered help.

Lostinthismess posted 11/3/2013 20:36 PM

infidelity is a private matter between the spouses.l

I couldn't disagree more. I think this a very old school mentality. Maybe because the meaning of marriage was the topic for church this morning and of course the topic of troubled marriages came up. But we should not hide in shame if we are struggling. We should reach out and build a community. How is SI any different than reaching out in person. Isn't personal connection more meaningful?? Hiding furthers the stigma of infidelity in my opinion, and I can be way off on this. But maybe if a truly remorseful wayward opening up about how this happened and how he should have prevented it and the pain they caused was discussed, maybe just maybe it can impact another person for the better before it's too late. Instead of meeting them on this board, under a pseudo name....

HardenMyHeart posted 11/3/2013 20:47 PM

I couldn't disagree more.

I have been on SI for a while now and have seen more than my fair share of families that have been torn apart because of this. I know there will be those that say the support was helpful, but there are also many where the damage becomes irreparable.

The problems occurs because it forces people to choose sides. Often the in-laws take the side of their child and the fighting builds from there.

Oddly enough, this is occurring right now in my sisters family. Her son (my nephew) is a BH and he has decided he wants to R. However, my sister and the rest of his siblings are furious he took her back and want nothing to do with his WW. They have a family event coming up soon where my nephew wants to bring his wife, but his family has made it clear to him to him that his wife is not welcome. I am strongly urging all involved to have patience and compassion with each other. My poor nephew needs support and understanding right now, not a bunch of hot heads. We will see.

I think this a very old school mentality.

I don't think so. From my experience on SI, a BW tends to tell everyone, whereas a BH tends to keep it private. Not sure why this is, but that is my observation. I have also seen that telling the family generally does more harm than good.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 10:11 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

Lostinthismess posted 11/3/2013 21:06 PM

Agree to disagree. Maybe I don't see it the same way because no family knows yet, and I sure as hell haven't 'told everyone'. I think my husband has told more people than me so my perception may not be the same.

Eta- I firmly stand by my stance of community though. Be it infidelity, an overwhelmed new mom, depression- our society is too full of that's your problem not mine. Suck it up and don't bother me with it. We should be treating each other with compassion and understanding. We should be offering a hand without judgement. We should be emulating Christ, not turning our backs. We can't do that if we all put on a facade, wearing our 'I'm fine' mask in public. We are all broken. We all need each other. End rant

[This message edited by Lostinthismess at 9:53 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

kra127 posted 11/3/2013 21:31 PM

HardenMyHeart, we are also going to have to agree to disagree. I am VERY close to my family and even if I didn't choose to tell them what was happening in my marriage, I think they'd pick up on what was going on pretty quickly when they came over and saw my WS wasn't living in our home. I am not trying to punish my WS or his family. Like I mentioned, he is not living at home (and it's very apparent he's not here) and I'm trying to avoid an awkward situation around the holidays when WS's family comes over. As you can imagine, WS and I aren't exactly interacting as a happy couple these day and I'm a horrible actor. I won't lie to his or my family to cover up this situation. My family knows whats going on and they've managed to be cordial with my WS especially since we have small children.

homewrecked2011 posted 11/3/2013 21:36 PM

Out him to everyone!

This was the mistake I made -- not telling anyone. Then he told them I was crazy and they didn't believe me at ALL!!!!

It was hell.

Your WS is in a "zone" or "fog" where they believe their own lies and version of the truth -- which is "chill out, I only want to be happy". They are out of reality.

What sometimes works is to smack them over the head with reality -- by outing them to their family, supervisors, the spouse of the affair partner, your pastor, etc.

Losttransport posted 11/3/2013 21:40 PM

I think he should do what you are asking if it makes you feel safe. I didn't tell my family, I don't even know why now. I was so lost for a long time and so used to handling things myself, (holding my cards close to my chest, if you will) that minute to minute was an exercise in survival.

His reticence is not helping you. If his family asks, I'd tell them.

Rainbows posted 11/3/2013 21:40 PM

I agree that it's very important to have support and community going through something like this. I bore the first dday alone and it was so much more painful than it is now that I have support.

I chose not to tell anyone the first time because I wasn't ready to end my marriage and didn't want anyone to hold it against him. My friends and family are fiercely loyal and surely would have never let him forget, even after I moved on and forgave.

It's a very personal decision and only you know what's best. This time around I did tell some of his family.

His grandmother was devastated by news of his affair and she had a stoke two months after dday. A part of me wonders if her stroke was caused by the stress or age (she was 99).

Eta: When the rest of his family found out, they immediately went into self-preservation and protect mode. I've always known them to be loving people, but this issue did in some ways force them to choose. They mostly vanished. I guess I couldn't count on them to be there for me anyway, since they're his family. Even after 10 years of being closer to them than him, they're loyalties lie with him.

Trust your instincts and honor your feelings. Healing from infidelity is a long, painful journey and you need to walk the road with your own healing and wholeness as the priority.

[This message edited by Rainbows at 9:46 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

HardenMyHeart posted 11/3/2013 22:18 PM

Like I mentioned, he is not living at home

Sorry, but I did not see where you mentioned this in this thread or your profile. If you are separated or not living together, then that is a different story and the families must obviously be told the truth why.

ItsNotUitsMe posted 11/3/2013 22:29 PM

I think the decision to tell is situational but what is it that you think is important for them to know beyond the "20%"? Just knowing will be hard enough for them to deal with and I'm not sure what details would have a positive affect on your situation. Just curious...

EasyDoesIt posted 11/3/2013 22:29 PM

No, infidelity is NOT a private matter between two people. It's laid down in front of us at every turn. Most of the kids in prison are kids from broken homes. Most high school drop-outs are kids from broken homes. A tremendous amount of unwed teenage mothers are girls from broken homes. Infidelity touches every single aspect of our society. On a twisted note, lots of school bullies are kids from broken homes. Lots of marriages break up because of infidelity.

If your kid comes home with a black eye from a bully, chances are that bully is living with some aspect of an unfaithful parent. Those are the odds.

Sammy2013 posted 11/3/2013 23:03 PM

I believe it depends on what reaction certain family members and people will have. I have been very selective on who I tell for many reasons. I know I will never tell my mother and sister because they will not support me in a way I need. They will not understand reconciliation and will treat WH differently in front of my kids. My WS told my father 2 days after confirming the PA. I was a mess and he was out of town. He knew I needed the support. My Dad has been wonderful. Hasn't let WH off the hook, but doesn't want our family broken and supports whatever decision I make. My WH coming clean to him has been huge in our reconciliation. He also told his father. He hasn't told his Mom yet, but it's only a matter of time. She often comes to me and I've obviously been off. I am not comfortable lying and WH knows that. But if and when he tells her is up to him. I will admit, a small part of me wants it to be sooner rather than later. I know his Mom will give him a piece of her mind and will be a great support for our reconciliation. But I have to let him do it in his own time.

I have told him his Mom keeps asking me if everything is ok and I'm going to direct her to him. I don't want to push him, but I am struggling and I won't lie for him. She isn't just any person who I could just say "we are just super busy and things are hectic". She knows better. Because she cares about our family. Unfortunately she also can't just let it go if she sees I don't want to talk about it. WH doesn't want to cause me anymore pain, so I know he will tell her soon.

I guess if they will hurt any chance at reconciliation (like my mother and sister would), I wouldn't tell them. I also wouldn't tell them if it doesn't effect you and support you need. I don't feel the need to shout my WH's incfidelity from the rooftops. I tell those who I need support from and who I know will support me and my marriage.

kra127 posted 11/4/2013 10:29 AM

Thank you all for your input on this. I'm just trying to get through this. I have IC tomorrow and plan to bring this issue up.

heme posted 11/4/2013 11:21 AM

My WH has no desire to tell anyone... Interesting enough I asked if he would have said anything if the situation was reversed and his response was "of course I would want them to know whats wrong".. Well if its OK for them to know I screwed up (fictional, I have never and would never go against my vows) then it should be equally OK for them to know he did..

Only person who knows is his mom. I was having a really hard time and called to talk to her. My mother passed away when I was a teen, both my grandmas have passed as well so she is the only mother type figure in my life.

Raven96 posted 11/4/2013 11:45 AM

If he is not living there, you are separated. If you are separated, your families need to know...especially with the holidays coming up.

My family does not know. They would NEVER forgive him, and I knew with a toddler I would want to R. I asked him to tell his parents so that he was accountable to someone other than me. No other members of his family know.

It's a personal decision when you stay together, but when you separate, family needs to know. I don't know how close you are to your in-laws, but maybe you tell them so that he can't sugar-coat it and make you look like the bad guy?

Good luck no matter what you decide. We have your back!


BeyondBreaking posted 11/4/2013 20:42 PM

I would insist that he tell them the entire truth.

I ended up having H tell his parents (and grandparents and brother) because we went on a trip to las vegas a year ago. A lot of the activities that they all wanted to do, I did not want to participate in, and H wasn't allowed to either. I wanted them to know WHY we had such conservative boundaries because I didn't want them thinking I was just an uptight, crazy b*tch.

They were supportive, especially H's grandma, who is a very good friend of mine. And were very VERY supportive about my boundaries. I'm sure they still think I am uptight, but at least they know the whole story and don't think I just woke up one morning and got this way.

[This message edited by BeyondBreaking at 8:45 PM, November 4th (Monday)]

Marathonwaseasy posted 11/5/2013 00:27 AM

I don't think a ws gets to chose who is told. I have told a colleague and a couple of good friends. I haven't told my family because they're useless and his family live away and are even more useless. I haven't told our older kids. But it's up to me and ws accepts that. In fact he insisted on me telling someone at work so they could look out for me.

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