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How much tougher is R if everyone knows?

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Prayingforhope posted 5/7/2014 17:54 PM

I never thought about this much, but just after dday, in a state of absolute blind rage and shock, my wife told a dozen or so of our closer friends about my LTA, including a bunch of direct family members. I don’t blame her at all for this as it was her immediate emotional reaction to just trying to cope of with the hell I created.

Shortly after finding SI I realized that was pretty unique behavior on her part as a BS and in most of the stories I was reading it was the opposite; I saw a lot of BSs after dday trying to make sure no one knew about their spouse’s affair.

So in my case ‘the cat has been out of the bag’ for a long time now, and in MC my wife said something really emotional about how “I humiliated her in front of EVERYONE”. She was in a LOT of pain when that came out and I couldn’t help but get concerned that her telling all our friends and family after dday might be making R even further out of reach for us. I mean if my wife decides she wants to work on our marriage, doesn’t that mean she will have to justify and explain her decision to all those people? I even wonder if, now that things have calmed down a tiny bit, she might regret letting all these people know? That thought makes me feel even worse than I normally feel…

Anyone have thoughts on that? Do you think we’re in for a longer haul because everyone knows about my A?

painfulpast posted 5/7/2014 18:18 PM

Hi pfh -

BS here. You ask if you're in for a longer haul. Gently - I don't think this is the question you need to be asking yourself.

As a BS that has reconciled, I can say that I'm glad I didn't tell may people. I can also say that the ones that know I don't worry about. I'm not basing major parts of my life - such as who I should be married to - on the opinions of others. Your wife wouldn't be the first BS that stayed with a WS in this circle, and I doubt she'd be the last.

I'd like to ask you a question, and I'm only asking it to maybe stir a new thought process:

I want to preface this by saying that I admire your willingness to do whatever is necessary to help your wife heal. That said, given your post earlier saying you thought there would be more by now, is there any thought in your head to letting your wife know that you are absolutely interested in reconciling, but it seems that she is not headed in that direction, or any direction, and as such you're going to start accepting that the marriage is over and begin working towards being the very best single dad you can be, but holding out hope may be counter-productive? You'd be there if she wanted to reconcile, but you're both in limbo, and for both of you, you're going to start moving towards a true and accepted separation.

I'm not interested in testing your wife, at all. I am curious if her knowing you're there waiting is affecting her decisions, or lack of them.

pfh - I'm fully supportive of you and your efforts. I'm not in any way implying that you or your wife are doing anything wrong, in any way. This is simply something I'm curious about.

Darkness Falls posted 5/7/2014 18:21 PM

I think the fact that people know isn't the impediment to's if the BS allows other people's opinions to color their decision to R/not R or the process thereof.

Everyone in our life knows I cheated. They are supportive of XH's decision to R and therefore it is a non-issue that they know. They were also supportive of his decision to D---basically they support him no matter what.

I asked him, when we began R, what he would do if people in our lives were against it. He said he doesn't care what other people think because it's not their life.

I can certainly understand your BW feeling humiliated by your cheating. Obviously I don't think she has anything to be humiliated about, but I can understand it. We as human beings tend to let the actions of those we are close to define us.

I think you're only in for a longer haul if your BW takes other people's potentially negative opinions into consideration---which of course she shouldn't as THEY aren't the ones married to you---but some people do anyway.

NoGoodUsername posted 5/7/2014 20:53 PM


Shortly after DDay, my BW outed me, my AP and the AP's husband on social media. Hundreds of people got the story. She was the victim of a triple betrayal and the secrets needed to be brought into the light.

I thought at the time, and still think, it was the right thing to do. It was hard, but there was no creeping around and pretending everything was allright.

I don't think that we would have had any real chance of reconciliation at all if it hadn't been done. Exposing things didn't guarantee a good outcome, but continuing to hide would have created a bad one.

ICECOLD posted 5/7/2014 21:53 PM

I don't know, because this is something every BS is different on. I haven't told anyone because while I'm not overly embarrassed he cheated, because I feel thats on him, I would be incredibly embarrassed if people knew I took him back. I'm so incredibly prideful, and I have some bad FOO issues.

I was raised in an abusive household, with 4 sisters who eventually went on to be in there own messed up abusive situations. I was the only one who got out the cycle and I was so proud. Now I'm in my own messed up situation that many here refer to as a type of abuse. I told myself I would never let myself be treated like the women in family let themselves be treated. I'm having some cognitive dissonance.

So yea, even with no one knowing my situation, I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the humiliation of staying, when his actions should have made me single again, in my mind.

Ascendant posted 5/7/2014 22:04 PM

What I've gathered from my time here is that if the WS is still foggy, blameshifting, refusing to admit the truth, or even still in the affair, complete and utter nuclear-level exposure is one of those tactics (along with filing for D) that can shock them out of the fog.

That being said, it can't be undone. People can, and will, tell you their unasked-for thoughts on the decision to stay together. It can make R tougher.

UneasyFeelings posted 5/8/2014 00:34 AM

BS here.

Within 30 mins of finding out about my WW's affair, my boss knew about the situation. I also told him who the OM was, and I made it clear, OM should be no where near the work place if he wants to stay breathing....

By about the 1 hr mark, I told my grandparents. I didn't tell my mother and sisters until the next day, when I was heading out of town.

Now about 4 months later, everyone at work knows. Some of my family are not trying to push me one way or another. Just want me to be happy.

But I've also been told by others, others have stated, I should just be done with it.

Ultimately, it's my life. I will choose which direction to go. And my family will have to agree to it, but I also know I will get support either way.

The way I see it, the only thing that can hinder R is the WS. Everything else, is a non-factor.

[This message edited by UneasyFeelings at 12:35 AM, May 8th (Thursday)]

KatieG posted 5/8/2014 02:56 AM

Prayingforhope, as much as I can hear your remorse in your post, I can't help feeling that your underlying message is "has she made this worse?" I could be wrong.

If her need at that time was to tell people, she can decide what she does now in terms of support and what she tells people.

You could make this a hindrance to R and use it against her if you don't resolve it now. Is it OK for you that she told everyone?

HormonalWoman posted 5/8/2014 05:46 AM

I think it depends on your support system. Our family and friends were very supportive of myself and wh. I guess if people aren't it might make it harder.

Personally I think keeping it hush hush fuels the secrecy of their A and helps keeps it in that bubble they love so much. The bubble was burst big time here.

ItsaClimb posted 5/8/2014 05:49 AM

I was so devastated on D-Day that it was obvious something huge was going on, so ultimately I decided to tell my family and close friends. WH was a bit more open with the truth and told some friends in his cycling club and from there I would assume that the story spread far and wide. So I guess most the people in the town know the story. I also insisted that my husband tell some people at work, he works with OW and I didn't want there to be a secret between them.

In retrospect, in some ways, I wish fewer people knew the truth. But really, it doesn't matter much. Ultimately it has nothing to do with anyone else. The way we conduct our lives and our marriage is no-one else's business.

TheBestMe posted 5/8/2014 07:01 AM

Prayingforhope - Love the name. My H had an LTA that lasted in some form or another for at least 7- 10 years. The AP made sure that their luurve was publicized. This was an attempt to make me aware and also to force my H to leave the M.

When I was confronted by the AP certain details became evident. Similar to your W

in a state of absolute blind rage and shock, my wife told a dozen or so of our closer friends about my LTA, including a bunch of direct family members

So in my case ‘the cat has been out of the bag’ for a long time now

My H has never said anything about me telling my friends or family about his A. He knew that the AP had already contacted some of his family members (that damn Facebook).

I couldn’t help but get concerned that her telling all our friends and family after dday might be making R even further out of reach for us. I mean if my wife decides she wants to work on our marriage, doesn’t that mean she will have to justify and explain her decision to all those people? I even wonder if, now that things have calmed down a tiny bit, she might regret letting all these people know? That thought makes me feel even worse than I normally feel

I told my family and some close friends because I wanted them to hear it from me. Not one person, including my brother, asked me to justify my decision. In fact, these people have reminded me to remain true to myself and to not do anything that would bring shame to me. Because like your W
my H had

humiliated [me]in front of EVERYONE

Sharing this devastation with the people that love me has allowed me to sort of spread the pain and make it more manageable. This has helped in my healing, and thus aids in the R process.

Here is the caveat: Each person should do what is best for them with the understanding that every action has a reaction.

[This message edited by TheBestMe at 7:01 AM, May 8th (Thursday)]

CantBeUndone posted 5/8/2014 07:17 AM

I definitely think it's an individual thing and there's no one size fits all answer. As a woman, even as the ww, I wanted to tell everyone. I felt like a fake and a phony around all my good girl friends. We usually share big things going on in our lives and here I was going through one of the biggest things in my life and was hiding it from everyone. I ended up not telling everyone for my bh's sake. He was torn at the beginning between wanting to tell everyone so that they'd all know what an awful person I am and not wanting to tell anyone because he was so humiliated by it. We're now 4 months out and I'm glad I didn't blast the news. There are a few people who know what happened and I feel awkward when bh and I are together around them. Not because I'm uncomfortable for myself but because I feel like bh is uncomfortable, that they know what I did and he's still with me. The reality is that it's the BS's choice to make to tell or not to tell and if my BH decides in the future that more people need to know, then we'll tell them.

I guess the point is that it doesn't really matter at this point. It's done. There's no benefit to focusing on something you can't control so whether it was a benefit or hindrance to R is neither here nor there at this point. Just keep focusing on what you can control each day.

[This message edited by CantBeUndone at 7:33 AM, May 8th (Thursday)]

mindbody posted 5/8/2014 07:32 AM

In retrospect, I believe exposing the A to some relatives and/or real friends of our relationship would have benefitted our R. Yes, I think it would have hastened WSO's thought processes and accountablility, sparing me the "need" to fix things on my own. That's on me.

He cares very much what other people think of him, so in the beginning I do think it would have been beneficial, a catalyst. And I do think the R ball would have been rolling along a little smoother with some support and helpful concern of some people close to us.

OTOH, we both did not want to involve other people. Looking back, I believe it was for different reasons of self-protection. I wanted to tackle R hoping the rest of my wonderful life could be the same, comparmentalizing the hurt. He, of course, did not want those closest to him/us knowing what he had done. I guess I did not want my family to know what he had done either.

Pfh, your BW exposed "in a state of absolute blind rage and shock." I think it's way too early in R to decide whether this is going to be a hindrance or not. It is part of your R history, and if you are truly committed to R, I would not look back and second guess. Stay focused on what's real, letting go of the consequences. Focus on your healing, MC and R.

I was reading it was the opposite;

I've read a considerable amount of those who did tell other people. Maybe because we did not tell, I notice the opposite. Either way, R is not easy, it's not a fine science, and our choices are not always right. And that's OK.

mindbody posted 5/8/2014 07:59 AM


I was cross posting with CBD.
I wanted to clarify something after reading CantBeUndone's post. Even though WSO and I chose not to tell or speak to other people after D-D, the cat was out of the bag. OW told some of our mutual friends and then they passed the information along. I knew OW as well and it amazes me to this day that so many people that I knew were aware of this and I was not. WSO has said that OW wanted him to make up his mind. The people who were speaking on her behalf did approach him.

I agree with CBD's advice to you.

IntoTheLight posted 5/8/2014 11:22 AM

I am a WW and, like CantBeUndone, I wanted to tell everyone who is close to us (I asked BH permission, of course). My reason for telling friends and family was that I knew it would come out eventually and I wanted them to hear it from me. I wanted to be able to say to the people who love me, "I made a terrible mistake, I hurt a lot of people, I am remorseful and I'm trying to make things right." I wanted them to hear it from me and not through the rumor mill. I wanted to let them know so they could decide if they still wanted to be friends with me (I would have understood if they wanted to drop me). I was glad I did, because 1. a few weeks later a good friend heard from a totally random person who got the information 4th hand (from the AP BW side) so I'm glad I told her first and 2. every person I've told has been unbelievably kind and supportive. BH told a few friends as well and it just doesn't bother me- probably because every single person he's told is encouraging our reconciliation and telling him what an amazing Godly man he is. Not one person has told him to leave me. It's a miracle, as I fully deserve for him to divorce me and find someone more deserving (anyone would be).

I'm sure there are people out there gossiping and saying what an awful, evil adulteress I am, but that's a consequence of my actions. And honestly it doesn't matter what they think- it's between me and God and BH, who has chosen to forgive me and reconcile. Maybe later I'll regret that so many people know, but for now I'm glad BH and I have friends to talk to and that we don't have the added pressure of hiding and pretending that everything is perfect. It's a dark time, but we are pushing through. We give all the glory to God.

Prayingforhope posted 5/8/2014 11:37 AM

This is really amazing feedback and has given me a lot to think about. Just from these responses it’s obvious how individual each situation is. Like some of the comments here, my wife has more pride than any woman I have ever met, so my initial reaction was that meant she needed to leave me in order to be strong in front of her friends. But it’s that same pride that has always allowed her to carve her own path in life, so if she decides to reconcile with me, then it won’t matter what anyone else thinks.

The new thought these posts triggered was how helpful her telling everyone was to my own recovery. I never really put that together, but by everyone knowing it helped me immensely take responsibility for my actions. I never really thought about the alternative, but after thinking this through and reading all this input, I am grateful to my wife for shining the public light on my affair. Secrets would not help at this stage and it’s important to me that I can talk openly about what I did with my family and friends.

mightsurvive posted 5/8/2014 11:42 AM

I am a BS 2 & 1/2 yrs out living in a small town. I told all close friends and family. I also knew other BS told by now everyone knows. I feel this has helped me heal as
1. Friends/family understood changes in habits and behavior of me and my WS. Therefore we didn't have the added stress of putting on an all is well facade.
2. People who matter to us have been very supportive of our R.
3. Sorry but this is a consequence for my WH.

mightsurvive posted 5/8/2014 11:44 AM

4. Oh and it made me more confident that it would be much more difficult for my WH to continue or have another A.

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