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What if everyone knew?

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islesguy posted 5/18/2018 07:50 AM

This is a question for those BS's who are in the situation where many in your family and friends know about your WS cheating on you. Do you think the fact that this was all out in the open helped? I am a WS but if I were a BS I believe I would want the world to know what my WS did to me. But again, I say I believe this without having to actually be in your shoes, perhaps if I was I would feel differently.

Breakaway posted 5/18/2018 08:03 AM

I think it's not that simple. Most of my family and friends know, and my WH's mother knows. However, it created an internal conflict for me, where I wanted everyone to know what a terrible person my WH was and I wanted him to own what he did to me, but then when I decided to reconcile, I wished no one knew. For me, no one I told could really understand or support me. Everyone has an opinion, and you lose friends, and people judge you, and it can make things infinitely harder. If you have people who do support you and help you, I'm sure it can make things easier, but very few people can really understand and help.

jb3199 posted 5/18/2018 08:41 AM

It varies. For me, it was like this:

Dday#1: I told no one.

Dday #2: I told whoever the hell I felt like telling. Apparently, that 1st Dday silence I offered wasn't enough to give me the respect I deserved.

My reasons for my initial silence were my own, but obviously my vanity was stronger in those earlier days. Embarrassment was a factor(for me, not her), and that motivated my decisions to keep it under wraps. But as I got deeper into the world of infidelity, my views changed.

Like it or not, whether full ownership is on the cheating party, I still personally keep it pretty silent, but not to protect my WW......it's for my own selfish reasons. But it is 100% my choice.....and I dictate who I do and do not want to tell.

mamabear22 posted 5/18/2018 08:51 AM

I am a BS And I don't want people to know...kind of.
I wish people did know and then I would have their sympathy and the support from them.
But even more I don't want them to think of me as a fool and judge me. And look at me as a failure that I couldn't keep my own husband happy when really it is not about that at all.
I know you shouldn't care what others think, but I know that most people say, 'if my husband ever cheated on me, I would leave him' and I think many say that, I know I did but when you are actually in the situation things are different.
I do wish at times our families knew then my dear MIL would understand how her son is not perfect and understand why sometimes I look like an evil bitch.
IT is also hard to enforce and implement the NO LIES when we tippy toe around our families on the issue.
I do know if it ever happened again, the whole world will know...LOUD and clear.

[This message edited by mamabear22 at 8:55 AM, May 18th (Friday)]

NowGuarded posted 5/18/2018 09:01 AM

Hi islesguy. I told a whole lot of people but still chose who I'd tell selectively. Telling immediate family members revealed who my wh was to them and who they were to me. The very people who are unforgiving and who are judgmental ironically are a very few of the ones who had themselves been cheaters while other unforgiving family members had been scarred by infidelity as betrayeds. Others who were more forgiving are the very people whom the unforgiving ones once judged for not being more vocal (or for being too vocally inquisitive) about their past situations. (Vocally inquisitive as in "How are you and your h doing?...Is there a chance y'all will reconcile?")

Edited to add: And many of the forgiving ones had also been betrayed in the past/present but just know how to empathize. They show all the time their ability to share stories, tips, and the gospel (by the Christian ones) whether what I say/do is something they agree with or not. They don't brow-beat just because they never would have thought to do something so dumb or say something so inappropriate. They know how to address a situation with really fine-tuning responses. Their attitudes are so centered that there is no wonder why they know how to forgive - even identifying the horror of a situation. The whole experience taught me that a BS should definitely be careful and very selective about who they share the details of their journey with - even here on SI.

So, I basically exposed my wh to keep him in check about his past arrogance/entitlement/self-absorbance that enabled him to cheat plus to keep him in check going forward in our R (as if it could effectively). As a result, I not only discovered the hypocrisies of the few unforgiving ones, I discovered it within myself for how I had judged them based on information I chose to give them. I'm truly grateful for those who showed grace and have given me kind, nonjudgmental advice. They were the ones who were more balanced and showed patience with me through my journey. They chuckled at my mistakes while telling me better ways of handling my problem based on their own experience and based on other situations they knew of.

[This message edited by NowGuarded at 9:21 AM, May 18th (Friday)]

josiep posted 5/18/2018 09:03 AM

I think there are probably as many answers as there are betrayed spouses. We all have our reasons, could be the kids, our career, his career, the type of people we hang around with, our religious affiliation, our religious beliefs (which may or may not align with our affiliation), the ages of our kids, our credit rating, you name it, we BS's can work our minds around it 1,356 ways to figure out the best way to handle this for the good of our families, our WS, our neighbors, our everything.

I personally believe that one of the main reasons so many of us become a BS is because of that last sentence. Notice I didn't include our own welfare in the list of things we're trying to protect. Or fix.

Poppy704 posted 5/18/2018 09:06 AM

My H literally told EVERYONE. Seriously, EVERY friend, EVERY family member, EVERY coworker, our favorite waiter, there were times hed announce it to the horrified cashier at the grocery store.

It was punitive, and it didnt provide him with support or comfort for the most part.

We are still married. I did not attempt to stop him because it was his right to express his hurt. He says he regrets it now, for his own sake, not mine. He wishes hed chosen differently.Its a small town, people talk, not everyone feels sympathetic towards him and people have long memories.

[This message edited by Poppy704 at 9:08 AM, May 18th (Friday)]

EmbraceTheChange posted 5/18/2018 09:33 AM

I posted on fb, on dday, that my x-h had a girlfriend at work. Everybody knew we had 5 kids, everybody knew that the last 3 kids were small (1,3,5).

I did this at 6am, after spending the night trying to find out what happened. The day before I read an email from the COW, that she sent when he was supposed to be at work. The way she was writing ticked me off that something was going on, it was how I would write him an email. So he spent the night at a hotel and I constantly emailed him that night to find out what had happened/what was happening. I was frantic. I got a very very light version of the truth. He went on "2 walks" with the COW, when his meetings were cancelled. Nothing else. He was leaving huge gaps between his emails, like 2 hrs, while I still frantically emailed him. Then his phone went "flat" because he had forgotten his charger at work. So at 6am, I had reached my boiling point. I went on his account and posted on his wall that he had a girlfriend at work, and small kids at home. His mama called him later on, to see if her little saint was ok. So sweet.

Everybody knows that he cheated. Some friends dropped us when we went started the divorce proceedings. I suppose so they wouldn't have to take sides. My dad and my brother still like my x-h, they didn't go in between, just tried to help us.

His mom blanked me (and the little kids) as soon as she knew of his A.
Apparently we both had to forgive each other, and I "had to think of the kids", which was unbelievable, considering I was a SAHM and homeschooling them. She also gave him 7k so he could leave the house and told him to make sure that "only him use it" (the money).

I told my friends and family for support. I was always a bubbly, happy person. I was organizing playdates, bbqs, day out with friends. I was always very talkative. I went from being organizing playdates at home to not answering emails. I knew after dday that I was not going to be this person anymore. His shit really did flatten me. Everything was fake. So i gave people the heads up.

JayMom posted 5/18/2018 09:38 AM

I had no qualms about telling people what happened, but I divorced immediately. Everyone was very sympathetic, and no one (at least to my face) blamed me for not keeping my xH happy. To the contrary, most people were kind of like: "what the hell was he thinking?" Seriously, mostly the response was: "I'd do the same thing, kick his ass to the curb..." Which, of course, is what almost EVERYONE says they would do if there is cheating and of course so many people do not.

He too has been honest about what happened between us. In particular with his subsequent girlfriend (he did not pursue the AP after we divorced), which I think is really good. He's not trying to paint pictures of himself that are not accurate and he also has done a lot of work on himself so that's vital. As a result of his honesty, it has allowed us to maintain a decent friendship in the last decade. Because if he had been out there painting me as a villain that caused him to cheat, that would have been a totally different post-divorce picture, I tell you.

I think, honestly, that if we had tried to reconcile, I would have carried that secret to my grave (or until we eventually divorced). Because I would have felt compelled to protect his reputation so I wouldn't have looked like a dupe. To be clear: I know that I wouldn't have actually been a dupe, but I think that people would have thought I was.

I personally find that people are very judgmental of those who stay with cheaters. And here's a slight thread jack. Does anyone see a gender imbalance? What I seem to see is that the men who decide to reconcile get a short end of the stick here. Because people seem to assume that a woman kind of HAS to stay married and suck it up. But a guy should just kick that bitch out. Has anyone else noticed that?

NowGuarded posted 5/18/2018 10:15 AM

Does anyone see a gender imbalance? What I seem to see is that the men who decide to reconcile get a short end of the stick here. Because people seem to assume that a woman kind of HAS to stay married and suck it up. But a guy should just kick that bitch out. Has anyone else noticed that?

Yes, for the most part, I see the imbalance. And I notice how it's unapologetic. My dad had 2 LTA's and said those very things about ww's during the time his affairs were going on. And on that note, to bring your point back to the op, what's so hypocritical is how hush-hush and careful he was to keep those affairs secret. But he made no efforts to keep secret what he knew about ww's out there. sad

Edit to add this sadder point: My wh, during his 2+yr affair, falsely accused a female in-law of cheating on his cousin - sharing the information with me and his aunt, but not to his cousin's wife.

[This message edited by NowGuarded at 10:17 AM, May 18th (Friday)]

DesertLily posted 5/18/2018 10:38 AM

The only people I have discussed my situation with IRL have personally delt with infidelity. Some D, some R, one totally rug swept. All were people I could trust, and one is a member of his family.

I didn't want to hear hypothetical advice. My opinion was, 'If you haven't lived it, you won't understand it, so how could you understand me?'

Fear of judgement kept me silent for months. Ironically, it wasn't until I started opening up that the hurt, mind movies, obsessing etc started to fade.

DebraVation posted 5/18/2018 10:50 AM

I told lots of people - both sets of parents, my sister, quite a few friends, people at work, my hairdresser....to be honest, I was functioning so badly I couldn't NOT tell people as they would definitely know that there was something wrong with me anyway. Most of them were supportive (well, actually all of them were). Some reactions annoyed me (notably my inlaws but no surprise there). I told SOME people at my kids' school but not many because OBS asked me not to but then I found out that they (OBS and AP) had been spreading their own version of the story so I kind of regret not getting in there first.

My parents were here in my house on DDay so I kind of had to tell them. I told my inlaws before I confronted him (kind of punitive I admit, but also because I suspected they might have already known and not told me (they didn't).

Really, I don't see that I did anything wrong so I just didn't hold back from telling people what was the matter. As time as gone on (we're still together) it has made some relationships difficult with some friends (mainly those that were friends with the other couple as well) but even so I wasn't in the mood for having to make up excuses as to why I'd quit my job and looked like a wreck.

Txquail posted 5/18/2018 10:50 AM

For me for the affair to stop and have closure.

I made my ex Cheating Wife.

- Call POSOM Wife and tell her everything on speaker phone with me there.

- Call her parents on speaker and have her tell them.

- Told all our friends and hers. Made her end all relationships with "male" friends and friend who helped her hide and commit the affair. No coworker friends allowed.

- Had her go to her HR department and report sexual harrassment against her boss (POSOM). They both got fired.

If it was someone that knew us, they got told.

1 I did this so that if they caught her with another guy, they would tell me.

2 I didn't want people to assume I was the bad guy when I gave her divorce papers after this was all done. I didn't want her to tell anyone a story that I was unfaithful or that I was abusive.

Monkidew posted 5/18/2018 10:51 AM

Well, since the OW outed it on my Facebook page EVERYBODY found out when I did. Frankly, if she had just messaged me privately I would have quietly filed for a divorce and ended it. I divorced my first husband for cheating, no second thoughts. We're Roman Catholic (my first marriage was non-religious, my church didn't recognize it) and don't do annulments. It popped up on our son's pages. They immediately left work. My 90 year old mother called a cab and picked up our priest on the way. My siblings all called me, madder than hell at him. My special forces brother offered an execution. My nephew, a lawyer, offered free service and informed my husband that adultery in Michigan is a felony with 25 years. No, they no longer jail anymore, but, it overrides our no fault divorce and is taken to property court. Average payout to a betrayed spouse, 115% of the marital estate. (First pump🙌 So, was it a good thing everyone knew? For me personally, no. Worst humiliation I've ever been through. For the marriage, yes. Having a trauma team doing CPR immediately after impact and convincing me to hold for 6 months and my son's begging me to wait and see what counseling could do. So, yes and no, but I really wasn't given the option.

Hardroadout posted 5/18/2018 11:52 AM

I was like Embrace, I had to tell, bc others knew something was off. I totally crumbled. I still am not back to full capacity.

Embrace, your MIL and mine should meet. She's a real peach, and her precious baby boy a real saint.

k94ever posted 5/18/2018 12:08 PM

I told anyone who asked. But then FWS wasn't very smart and people knew anyway.

So Islesguy...you being a WS how do you feel about people knowing?


k9

PricklePatch posted 5/18/2018 12:48 PM

I thought it would help. All it did was show me true friends and family versus acquaintances or fake o friends.

islesguy posted 5/18/2018 12:56 PM

Thank you for all who responded. I can understand all sides of this and the motives for telling or not telling and also the difference between which path to go depending on whether the future is divorce and reconcile. I know in our situation relationships between my BS and her family were destroyed in the way they responded to finding out by basically telling her that they didn't want to get involved in the drama which is now something else that I feel responsible for.

islesguy posted 5/18/2018 13:00 PM

k94ever,

So Islesguy...you being a WS how do you feel about people knowing?

A few things bother me. First my family were complete assholes to my BS before and unrelated to my cheating. I don't have a relationship with them anymore but it bothers me that they don't know that she has always been supportive and loyal to me and I was the douche who blew up my family.

Second, it makes me insane every time I hear someone tell me what a beautiful family I have whether my BS is present or not.

In all cases I feel like I am still living a lie.

SI Staff posted 5/18/2018 13:04 PM

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