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OakStreet posted 11/16/2013 17:42 PM

Looking for advice on who I can share my H's betrayal with. This forum has been very helpful. In the days following D-day (Oct. 14), I was so physically and emotionally devastated and no one to talk to. Then I found this site.

I have 4 close women friends, but I am so embarrassed (I know I shouldn't be) by my WH's behavior, that I haven't shared with them - though I know they would "circle the wagons". Its just that IF we reconcile, I feel their opinion of my WH will be forever tarnished....and that their gut reaction will be "leave the SOB". But it's also hard to NOT share my pain with them.

I have shared the betrayal with my sister, who has her own WH who walked out at the first opportunity. It's just hard to share with her because she is still DEVASTATED a year later, wanting him back and thinks "I'm lucky" because at least my WH wants to work through IC and MC.

The other issue is - do you ever discuss this with grown children? My husband has two married daughters and together we have a 19 year old son.

So, other people's experiences?

41andthankful posted 11/16/2013 17:50 PM

Hello, I only shared with a friend and a sibling. I knew that both of them would support me no matter which choice I made. My baby is very young. I would say that maybe you can wait to discuss with your kids (if you choose to do that) after you figure out what you want to do? Is there maybe one of your friends you could talk and have support?

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 17:51 PM

OakStreet, I completely understand your desire not to tell people in your "real life," as it were. I think it might be good to talk about who to tell/not tell with your IC. I talked with mine previously and shared that my WH had said I should tell whoever I wanted and who cared what they thought of him because me having support was more important. My IC agreed with my decision not to tell people because of the same issue you're worried about...if we R.

Just know that even with regards to who to tell, I think it's okay for us to take our time deciding. Though my perspective on telling even adult kids is that it's probably not a good idea. They will pick sides and hold grudges just like friends will. My standard answer to people (though I have no kids) is that we are going through a rough patch and trying to sort out how we should proceed. With my friends I'm more honest that I'm weighing pros and cons, but don't disclose all the bad things he's done.

Skan posted 11/16/2013 18:17 PM

I told my sister. Didn't mean to, but one day I had such a trigger while I was with her that I couldn't not tell her. Also told a very good friend of the marriage who is on the opposite coast from me. We still talk via email and occasionally phone. My FWHs older sister ended up guessing but she is going through her own health issues, so we don't really talk, although FWH has talked to her a couple of times.

I think that it's really important to have someone to talk to IRL somewhere. But it's hard. My friend back east is the only person who really knows all of the ins and outs. But I find that I don't share all that much with my sister any more just because it's something now that I need to work out and I don't want her having all of that history in her mind when she's with us. I can honestly say though, without this site and my back east friend, I don't know how I would have made it.

betrayed5years posted 11/16/2013 18:27 PM

Oak Street....I am a little over a year since Dday and am so glad I resisted telling any close friends or my family. We have 2 grown sons and one was with me at my discovery of the affair and he shared with the other. They do not know the whole story just who the AP was and length of betrayal....that did enough damage. I did not play with their feelings toward their father, but it has been very hard and will continue to be.

One of my WH's sisters was with me also and I told her out of sheer and total exhausation. It was mentioned once while my WH was still seriously ill but never it never happened. Good on one hand but gives me the feeling that it is not to be discussed or ever mentioned. She is a great person and know she will never share....but not sure how to take no asking me anything.

As you indicated your friends will surround you and protect you...I actually shared it was my spiritual adviser and a close friend that no longer lives in same state...both have been supportive but want me to leave WH. It was hard and still is being with some of my friends and acting like "me" as that old me is gone. My world is not the same nor am I. My WH as gotting more into my world in trying to save the marriage when before he did not want to have anything to do with my friends....and he has little to do with his friends....and is very careful about female friends now.

AS you said his image will be tarnished....and to be, my friends would judge my actions because they love me and want me to be happy. I thought alot about anyone I said anything to....and the possibility of who they would tell. I have known for a year I could still tell all of them but I could never "untell" anyone....

OakStreet posted 11/16/2013 18:37 PM

Thank you all. I guess I only THINK about telling his daughters and our son when I'm REALLY angry. I know this wouldn't be a good thing to do.

I guess I will keep this quiet, although it is hard - its affecting my sleep, my work, my mood with other people.

Of course, I will share all my anger and hurt with my IC and eventually our MC.

HollyLou posted 11/16/2013 20:09 PM

Right now, I'm highly resentful that I feel I can't talk with anyone. For the very same reasons you mentioned- if we R I don't want this tarnished. I also don't want someone to judge me if I decide to stay.

However, I'm grieving and no one knows. I'm the great pretender, right now. I offer sympathy and empathy to my friends who are going through aging/sick parents, children in the hospital, breast cancer worries, and yet I'm not getting support that I need.

IT IS NOT FAIR. I didn't do this, yet I have to hold it all in? It stinks.

HardenMyHeart posted 11/16/2013 20:13 PM

I told one very close friend that I knew I could confide in. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago. I would never tell my children about the affair and I hope they never find out. I believe the affair is mostly a personal matter between spouses and should not involve family or friends. The only other person that knows about my wife's affair was our MC/IC.

The best places to discuss are with an MC, IC, or here on SI.

I have seen many times when confiding in other people backfires. If the person you are confiding in does not understand what a BS goes through, they may actually blame the BS, or as you said, their opinion of the WS is forever tarnished. If this occurs, the friendship can become strained; especially if the BS does not follow the advice of the friend.

If the affair is discussed with family, especially in-laws, the in-laws tend to support their child over the BS. When this happens, you can imagine the pain and turmoil that would ensue. For example, if you receive a "leave the SOB" response and then you don't do that, the friend may become angry at you.

If a couple decides to separate or divorce, then obviously it becomes a different matter where family and friends must be told. In this case, honesty is the best policy.

So sorry you are going through this.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 8:15 PM, November 16th (Saturday)]

Siamesecat posted 11/16/2013 21:43 PM

My DD was July 2012, and I didn't share it with anyone. This wasn't because I wanted to protect their feelings about him if we reconciled, it had more to do with a protective feeling I had about him. I know it sounds crazy, but even in my most angry, betrayed state, I still couldn't throw him under the bus. I also didn't want the people who mean a lot to me to worry about me and suffer. For example, my Dad--who is 81 and would be crushed to hear about my husband's actions, and would WORRY about me. I don't want my dad to worry about me. I feel like I need to be there to take care of him. He has gone through enough with losing my mom with brain cancer a few years ago. The last thing I want is for him to worry about my messed up situation. As far as friends, I didn't want to burden them with it. It just feels so big to me, I didn't want to dump this on everyone else. So, basically I just kept this to myself. It doesn't seem fair, but the whole situation wasn't fair to begin with.

MakingLemonade posted 11/16/2013 22:21 PM

(((OakStreet))), I am sorry for the reasons you are here.

You ladies are amazing because I could not carry this burden alone. My first round of D-days I told my in-laws to get my then young children out of the house so I could confront him. (Ironically, his mother already suspected something was going on with him as they worked together in the family business.) And I told my best friend who lived out of state.

When the second round of D-day came around six years later, I chose carefully who I told, but I told a few people, all long time friends, one in ministry, one who is a PhD psychologist, and my best friend again. On previous advice from IC because his infidelity involved sex (the first was supposedly EA which was confessed to be a lie in D-days round 2), I had him move out of the house so eventually it was known. No way to hide it from the kids this time, but they didn't know the extent or that it involved sex which they figured out on their own.

I beat myself up for not confiding in others who might have been helpful the first round of D-days. But your situation may be different from mine. You will have to decide what is best for you.

myowndystopia posted 11/16/2013 22:52 PM

My situation is somewhat new but I also have grown children. I haven't said anything to them and they have asked no questions but I'm quite sure they know something is going on. They live in the area so they are frequently around and noticed how distant their dad has become. One son has become more protective of me and helps out a lot with the honey-do list since dad doesn't seem to have time. If they do ever ask- not sure what I will say but won't share details.

I have told a couple of my close friends. I need them. And- my emotions are so up and down I start crying for no reason.

Marathonwaseasy posted 11/17/2013 02:07 AM

I told two friends. Chosen because they're world wise. Lots of other friends I would never tell. Told a colleague at work at fwh's insistence because he wanted to make sure I was being supported at work. This was the right call and I'm very grateful to fwh for insisting.
The children now know because stuff was overheard. Not sure they quite get it.
Absolutely will never tell my family or anyone else.
I think it's good to tell some people but you do have to be very careful

Daddo posted 11/17/2013 02:29 AM

It is true that telling lots of people can make it hard to reconcile. You have the right to tell anyone you want - but there may be repercussions.

On the other hand, you have been through a major emotional trauma - you need and deserve a support group. Only someone who has been through this can understand the pain you are in - so many other people just don't get it.

I would tell your sister - she is flesh and blood, she has been through ringer - she will most likely be their for you - this may bond you tighter and give her the confidence that you understand her trauma.

Friends - yeah, you won't be able to hold back - and they won't understand your moods, depression, anger, isolation if you don't tell them.

Children and family - don't say anything in haste or anger. Eventually all the family deserves to know - if it leads to the end of the marriage, but take your time, don't poison the well.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

hurtsobadinside posted 11/17/2013 07:32 AM


I resisted telling anyone about my WW's LTA and to this day do not regret that decision.
I dropped 35# in the 6 weeks between Dday and when i confronted her.

During that time, while i lost all that weight before i contronted her, WW was in lala land...and actually asked me if i was on drugs for the weight loss.

Our recovering eating disorder child thought i had an ED and was coaching me how to eat properly. Our daughter threatened suicide multiple times during her 3 year plus eating disorder issue and i couldnt divorce or separate from her mom as that could have pushed her over the edge. Daughter bacame co-dependent on WW during the Ed time frame and the knowledge that one person she trusted with everything....was lying to her and me would or could had pushed her over the edge...and i would not take that chance. So i had to keep the lid on her moms LTA. AP was friend of family also and daughter knew him well.

I was hospitalized for 2 days (after day and before i confronted) for severe chest pains and actually thought i was having a heart attack and i couldnt tell the doctors at the hospital the truth of the cause of my stress due to having 3 nephews (wifes side of family at that same hospital as new residents. Nephews visited me many times while i was there and was going over my charts etc.I blamed the stress on work. They put me on lexipro.

When all the truth came out in MC/IC, I was later diagnosed in IC as having PTSD. On my side of the family my sister and 2 nephews called multiple times asking if i wanted to talk and was something wrong..??

My wife's parents are very religious and extremely active in the church..this knowledge would have devastated both of them (in their mid 80's) and most likely would have impacted their health.

I did out the A to WW's affair partners wife (i knew her) . SI helped me do that and i am sooooo thankful to all my friends here for prompting me to do that.

Im a year and a half out from Dday...and to this day nobody knows except 5 people. WW, AP, me, AP's wife and our MC/IC (same person)

AP and his faithful wife didnt seek counseling, they read books, used the healing library here as a resource to heal their marriage. They told nobody also.

Sending you hugs and strength to get thru this emotional mess that your selfish Wayward spouse brought into your marriage.

me: 58-FS
her WW- 57
7 yr LTA (PA & EA-maybe 10yrs?) with her former boss
one D-24 yrs old- former eating disorder now OCB
married 26 yrs
in "R"
and its been roller-coaster
D-day 3-13-12
confronted 6 wks later (didnt know what i was going to do?)
I contacted AP's faithful wife who knew nothing, we stayed in contact to monitor their every move.
Broke NC multiple times, final NC July 2012.
Fog, denial, blame shifting, issue avoidance,rub sweeping, TT you name it and she did it but things are finally getting better very slowly
its a long road....and painful

brkn_heartd posted 11/17/2013 10:51 AM

I told a very few people. I think the tendency to be fearful to tell others is that we see it a lack of our "personhood" not to be able to "keep" our partner. However, that is really not what it is about. It is about their brokenness. However, society glamourizes affairs and does not demonstrate the brokenness of the WS.

When you tell people, it is hard to untell them. I you tell them, you need to know that they will support you regardless of you decision. As far as your daughters, I would tell if it becomes essential.

I did not tell my daughter. Although she knew something was wrong and I was not there for her in her first year of college. She thought it was because my Mother had just died. I let her think that. There was no reason to disrupt that part of her life. So in making your it essential that they know...tell them. However, if not, keep to yourself for now.

Hugs to you.

stillprettyupset posted 11/17/2013 15:56 PM

So sorry Oak...making this decision and taking a higher path for something you didn't create sucks. My only two friends would only tell me to either kick my wife out or offer to help bury the body so I can't count on them to help with R. She on the other hand, has told her mother and every gal she works with. I stop by her office and I'm sure the whispers start immediately... should make for a lively Christmas party. Point is, she has all the support she needs and I'm being portrayed as the villainous jerk. I have nobody to talk to about it except within this forum. I feel your pain. Vent here. Celebrate small victories here. We're all real people in the same leaky boat.

loyalwoman posted 11/17/2013 17:00 PM

I had more thoughts on this so wanted to share again.

I told a couple people who I thought were "safe." One I can tell is judging me and my situation, the other is incredibly supportive and encourages me to make the decisions I need to make for myself, not concerning myself with what other people think.

What I say to get support when I need it is that we're struggling and trying to figure out what we're going to do and I'm conflicted. Or I just say that things are rough and I need support. If they press, I tell them I don't want to go into details. Which is honestly true at this point because I'm sick to death of talking about my situation with people who ask. I figure true friends will be willing to offer support without details, knowing that if/when I feel comfortable I will confide in them.

Nest2007 posted 11/17/2013 18:20 PM

I spent four months in near complete isolation and it nearly killed me. My doctor, our IC/MC and one close friend who lives 7 hours away were the only people who knew. Having to restrict speaking about it to occasional 15 minute doctor consultations, once every two weeks for an hour with the IC/MC or occasional phone calls to the friend (who I felt guilty about burdening so much onto, and who despite supporting me, can't actually get it as she hasn't experienced it) meant I was spiralling in isolation.

In the last four weeks, at a time when my pain and anger has become epic, I have confided in three other friends. All divorced, one remarried, one newly betrayed (H left on New Year's Day and was shacked up with a new GF a month later) and one who's engaged to the man who cheated on her for five years and she found out two years ago. It took me four months to decide that I could reveal this and trust these women, and I'm so glad I have. The relief of having several friends who know and who can support me is invaluable. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

My recommendation is to take your time about telling others. What is said can never be unsaid, so choose wisely. A little bit of time between DDay and confiding in friends can help you process things, make a good choice in who to tell, and give you clarity and perspective.

Gajit posted 11/17/2013 18:28 PM

I told everyone, his family, my family. It made me feel better and I am divorcing the douchbag after 25 years together.

He is the big pretender, and now I realize it after all this time. I will waste NO MORE of my precious life thinking about this after my divorce is finalized. Good riddance!

OakStreet posted 11/17/2013 18:40 PM

Thanks again everyone!

Good advice, and I will keep this quiet for now (except for sister and IC and MC).

Besides, just found out one of my four friends will be going into Hospice soon (spreading cancer) - we have other things to be sorrowful about.

My group of friends met 41 years ago in the freshman dorm. We have been tight ever since! We have been through it all together, but I am going to keep this drama out of the loop for now.

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