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Exposure?

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cocoplus5nuts posted 12/4/2019 12:02 PM

why wouldn't you expose during the R attempt? Should they have a "heads up" that D may be in the future?


No, probably not. Children don't need to know the details of every marital problem. It can be very damaging to a child to find her parents has cheated. Ask me how I know.


Wouldn't that knowledge soften the blow?


No, it creates unnecessary anxiety.


And doesn't your WS owe those immediate family folks an explanation or an attempt at making amends too, especially your children?


Maybe to the children depending on their ages and the circumstances. No one owes any explanation to any other family members. They are not part of the M. I am always surprised by this idea that the extended family is owed anything.

Not only am I a BP, I am also the child of a cheater, and the exMIL of a cheater. I was 4 when my parents divorced. No one told me why. My stepmother should not have told me when I was 14. My DIL didn't owe me anything when she left my son. I didn't want to hear her explanations. She's a cheater, which makes her a liar. Nothing she could say to me would mean anything.

humantrampoline posted 12/4/2019 12:03 PM

Buck,

I'm genuinely curious if you (or anyone else here) think I owed it to the other parents at the school to reveal the affair to the school board?

One concern is that OW's children were still attending the school. I had empathy for what they might go through in that case.

I did tell OBS immediately after learning. I won't tell my in-laws because I don't care what they think. Is that hypocritical?

emergent8 posted 12/4/2019 12:04 PM

Other than OBS (who I notified immediately), our counselors, and my husband's sister and parents (who he stayed with when I kicked him out) - we told no one. I will admit that at first, there was an element of shame that prevented me from wanting people to know. By the time that subsided however and I truly began to understand/believe that I wasn't responsible for his poor choices, further exposure wasn't really necessary in my situation. My husband was demonstrating remorse and effort and was doing everything he could to own it, make it better and to understand why he had done what he did.

Justifying my decision to R to myself was the hardest part of the whole thing for me. I really struggled with respecting myself for staying with a cheater and it was not a decision I took lightly. I ultimately concluded that I was the best judge of what was right for me and it would be easier for myself not to have to contend with other peoples' input and opinions of what I should do in the situation. Ultimately I believe it was the right choice for me, but I don't think it would have been the right choice for everyone.

Oldwounds posted 12/4/2019 12:07 PM

IMHO, the OBS should always be told unless there is some type of imminent harm situation in the mix.

I agree.

And I did make sure OBS knew despite AP's claim he told her.

IHatePickingName posted 12/4/2019 12:23 PM

I exposed because he kept lying. He was glad i did, because it removed his fear of losing his (undeserved) reputation as a great guy. Once he stopped worrying about that, he was able to open up. But he had to hit rock bottom first and face everyone knowing the worst things about him.

I also did it for myself, because it freed me from having to hide my pain and pretend everything was ok while i was falling apart.

So it was the right decision for us, but it may mot be for everyone, always.

Buck posted 12/4/2019 12:39 PM

Yes she does.
A marriage is the most intimate relationship I have.
It's different than the relationship I have with the guys I've been friends with since 8th grade (like 42 years now). Or with anyone else.
I think that's why infidelity hurts so much BECAUSE it's supposed to be a different relationship than with anyone else.
All I'm saying is choosing who to reveal my innermost intimate issues with -- outside of my marriage -- is my choice.

The taxes analogy doesn't really fly too well. I would, and have, shown my tax returns to my grown children for college financial purposes. I would gladly share financial info with my parents if needed. I don't have anything to hide there, or really anywhere. I've discovered the truth is always better, especially if you strive to live your life authentically and morally. I don't have to worry about anyone finding out and wondering WTF about bringing it up. Shit like this has a way of finding daylight, email left open, therapy appts, gossip, a letter, someone lets something slip, a conversation is overheard. I wanted to get in front of all of that.

Anyway, I'm I've got a better idea of where you're coming from now. Our situations are different too. I only know what I've read here about your situation, which is nothing in the grand scheme, but I don't think I would expose in your deal either. Infidelity is a mess and we all muddle through best we can.

I did find out a few weeks after my WW ended her A. AP outed her for spite after she went NC. I needed some support from my family. I wasn't sure about R, I felt I owed them an explanation about the state of our relationship and why I needed them to watch our children on occasion. I actually had my cheating wife tell my parents, my sister, and her parents right after d day. I feel it goes back to the agency notion. I felt my parents (and others) should be able to choose how to interact with my wife. I also feel that she didn't just betray me, she betrayed our children and extended family too. There's a lot more to a marriage than simply being a spouse. In my opinion anyway.

crazyblindsided posted 12/4/2019 12:49 PM

I went scorched earth, but it didn't matter anyways my STBX turned out to be a serial cheat who loved lying so to expose worked well in my favor and my support systems. He cannot lie to these people they know WHO HE IS. He does however lie to anyone who doesn't know me. He will give 'his version' of events which are starkly different from 'my version' of events.

I'm also the type of person who cannot hide their feelings when asked what is wrong.


landclark posted 12/4/2019 12:54 PM

So you're choosing who deserves the truth and who doesn't?

Yes, absolutely. The OBS is directly affected by the affair. They have a right to know. Nobody else outside of maybe your kids depending on the circumstances deserves to know what's going on in your relationship.

Exposure is up to the individual. If you want to tell all your family and friends, then ok, do what works best for you. I don't think anybody is obligated to shout the affair from the rooftops though.

I am a fan of confiding in a few trusted others. You don't have to go through it alone.

[This message edited by landclark at 1:47 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

humantrampoline posted 12/4/2019 13:00 PM

I also feel that she didn't just betray me, she betrayed our children and extended family too. There's a lot more to a marriage than simply being a spouse. In my opinion anyway.

I agree with this. I felt like my WS owed our children an apology. My siblings treated my WS like family. I also felt he owed them an apology, but only if I wanted them to know about the affair. As for his own immediate family, I don't care. I don't feel like they are my family anyway. Maybe the fact that both his parents cheated in their marriage is a factor for me.

Oldwounds posted 12/4/2019 13:08 PM

I've discovered the truth is always better, especially if you strive to live your life authentically and morally.

Me too.

I kept my vows and everyone who needs to know about my personal life knows all they need to know. I have the same friends I've had for 4 plus decades because I'm told I'm a loyal, honest friend.

If I need to tell anyone else at any point, I'll have no problem doing it. At this point, where my relationship is at, I don't need it.

Infidelity is a mess and we all muddle through best we can.

Absolutely, and I'm glad you got the help you needed by telling who YOU thought should know. I understand why you chose what you did.

As my grandmother used to say, there's more than one way to skin a cat, and I feel really good about what worked for me.

There's a lot more to a marriage than simply being a spouse. In my opinion anyway.

I agree with this too.

In our case my wife's family contributed greatly to her problems and they would have made things far, far worse for her and me. And they would be totally on MY side. I didn't need their alliance. I didn't need to create sides here. I needed my wife to understand her broken-ness.

I needed her to change for herself and not me or her parents.

I wouldn't wish infidelity on anyone. Well, maybe my wife's AP. But not anyone else.

I just understand why some people choose to expose and why some don't. It's not always for bad reasons, sometimes it gives us the room we need to recover.


[This message edited by Oldwounds at 1:09 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

KingRat posted 12/4/2019 13:08 PM

I needed some support from my family. I wasn't sure about R, I felt I owed them an explanation about the state of our relationship and why I needed them to watch our children on occasion. I actually had my cheating wife tell my parents, my sister, and her parents right after d day. I feel it goes back to the agency notion. I felt my parents (and others) should be able to choose how to interact with my wife. I also feel that she didn't just betray me, she betrayed our children and extended family too. There's a lot more to a marriage than simply being a spouse. In my opinion anyway.

This is fine. There's nothing wrong with that. If you need support and felt it proper, then go ahead. Although I agree with Coco about being sensitive to children as children do not need to deal with adult problems and should be able to have a childhood. There is plenty of time later to deal with the stress and responsibility of that comes with adulthood. Because regardless if mom or dad cheated, children should still respect mom and dad as their parent.

I think most BSs are saying the reasons not to tell are not to protect the WS, but to protect the BSs from outside interference/stress that makes R that much more difficult. Not all parents are reasonable. Imagine a holiday, if you took your spouse and your parents treated him/her poorly. Naturally, by virtue of still being married to you, your spouse will be upset and not want to go because your parents are disrespecting him/her. The one who ultimately suffers in that situation is the BS.

Oldwounds posted 12/4/2019 13:17 PM

I think most BSs are saying the reasons not to tell are not to protect the WS, but to protect the BSs from outside interference/stress that makes R that much more difficult. Not all parents are reasonable.

Yes, this.

You're far more succinct than me KingRat. I should hire you to edit my posts down from the lengthy responses I tend to generate.

WornDown posted 12/4/2019 13:24 PM

Because this is the exact reasons we (those of us with experience) give for "exposing"

Nope, not this girl. I don't agree with it for several reasons.

1. Don't immediately go scorched earth, it gives you some power and an ace in the hole if you need it.

2. Exposure to the other BS should happen unless there is a legitimate concern about safety to that person, or your own.

3. When a WS is truly doing the work exposure doesn't have any effect, and can do some real damage to other relationships, especially in situations that friends and family have never been effected by infidelity directly.

When a WS is not remorseful and R is being attempted I do believe exposure to everyone does play a role in killing the A, and shaming the WS into pulling their head from their ass.
When a WS just flat out leaves, I think it completely ok for the BS to out the A to make sure that they are not blamed for D or S. To make sure that friends and family get the real story as we know many WS's are great a spinning things and making the BS out to be the bad guy.

Anyway that was my 2 cents.

WornDown posted 12/4/2019 13:29 PM

WTF does that have to do with exposing your cheating wife's affair? The mental gymnastics folks go through sometimes surprises me. A married with children cheater doesn't just betray their spouse.

Would you tell your son, mother, father, siblings, etc., if you're getting a divorce and the reason why? If so, why wouldn't you expose during the R attempt? Should they have a "heads up" that D may be in the future? Wouldn't that knowledge soften the blow? And doesn't your WS owe those immediate family folks an explanation or an attempt at making amends too, especially your children? I think so.

You're confusing what is meant, in this context, by "exposing."

When the torch and pitchfork crowd scream, "Expose them!" they are talking about telling everyone and anyone. Putting shit on facebook, etc.

That's a far cry from telling your family why you are getting divorced.

When I got divorced, I didn't tell the world that I was divorcing because my (ex)wife is/was a ho.

But if anyone asks why I got divorced, I don't lie about.

If you are reconciling, then it doesn't really make sense to "expose" them because it will make every relationship you two have with others that much more awkward and tense - especially with family.

IMO, if one's opinion is to expose to any and everyone, that's a reflection on you - you want to inflict pain on the WS.

Understandable, but not really healthy or helpful.

Buck posted 12/4/2019 17:32 PM

humantrampoline
I am no expert on this subject matter, I'm merely giving you my thoughts\opinion, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Have you looked into the 'code of ethics' for the school board? Sometimes those things have character or integrity bullets in them. If so, you could approach the school board along those lines. I think I would just let it go though. I don't see how she gets exposed without exposing your WH. I would worry about how this would impact my children in school. I would hate to see my kids get teased about a cheating parent or to be fodder for the gossip mill. Heck, those things may not even be legitimate concerns. I guess I would just focus on me and my shitshow and not worry about what goes down with the OW or on the school board.

humantrampoline posted 12/4/2019 18:12 PM

Buck,

These are really hypothetical situations for me at this point.

I did read through the school board code of conduct. There was nothing infidelity specific, but enough general guidelines to indicate it was against that. And really, would the parents who voted her on there still want her on the board?

To be clear, my child wasn't at the school on D-day. Also he found out already, so that wasn't my issue.

In the end, it's moot. The situation was that my WS helped start a club as a volunteer. OW was involved. The school decided to fund the club and paid a small fee ($100-$1000) the next year to him. After D-day, WS decided as part of his amends he would refund the money. He wrote a letter and sent a check to the school board president. WS asked me about it, probably because the money required my approval. It's all joint. I was ok with it but didn't want to read the letter or otherwise want to know. I didn't know he was going to out the OW and the affair in the letter.

The board didn't acknowledge the letter. He sent a follow-up saying he was cancelling the check and giving the money to another charity. I know that was received. It still wasn't acknowledged.

Honestly, this is part of my skeptical nature of people caring about infidelity if it doesn't directly impact their life. Protect the school. It's a personal thing between adults, right? Ugh.

survrus posted 12/4/2019 18:36 PM

Unlike many other personal matters this one is a crime, or in a legal sense was, still is in islamic countries, and we are under no obligation to lie about how we feel or what was done to us.

It's as bluntly truthful as saying it's sunny today, simply a fact about the world.

Exposure also removes the need to pretend your life is ok,and allows you to get support from others and discover who supports cheating. It can keep the BS from bottling it up in a self destructive way.

It also creates a disincentive for the cheater to repeat their behavior, not all but perhaps more so for those with a conscience.

Even if exposure ends the marriage its a good story to tell prospective partners.

rambler posted 12/4/2019 20:42 PM

Why expose

The majority of affairs survive only in secret. Exposure ends that.

If done correctly, exposure will kill any good feelings regarding the affair. This occurs because most OM will not leave their wife and family. When exposure occurs they throw the affair partner under the bus. The affair partner finally sees them for what they are.

Exposure can level the playing field by getting the affair partner out of the equation.

Exposure generally provides support for the BS and at the same time puts the WS on the defensive.

By not exposing the affair the BS often suffers in silence and continues to assume a role as a victim versus moving forward as a survivor.

cocoplus5nuts posted 12/4/2019 21:02 PM

I felt I owed them


You don't owe anyone anything.

Maudlin posted 12/4/2019 21:08 PM

I exposed because the marriage was over for me when I found out. Done.

And no way was I going to take the blame for it’s demise, because it wasn’t “irreconcilable differences” or “we grew apart” or whatever- it was a good marriage by everyone’s measurement and it ended because I found out he was a cheater. Period. He would have happily gone on fucking anything that he could pay to do so, and stay in our good marriage. But I wasn’t.

I mean we are getting divorced, and you tell people that, and that’s why, so? Why shouldn’t I say that?

Our children are legal adults, and while I don’t think I’ve handled things great with them always (I over shared my pain with them, I think, but we are very close) I do t regret them knowing. I mean it was inevitable. It would mean telling no one for them not to know, and that wasn’t option for me. I needed support from friends and family, and that meant telling the truth.

If there is no chance of reconciliation, why protect a liar? I’ve done loads of things people disapprove of and I’m not proud of but I own them. I dont expect other people to protect me from my bad choices.

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