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Exposure?

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Thissucks5678 posted 12/4/2019 22:18 PM

For me personally, I needed support. I had 3 kids, 2 of them were very young and none of them knew (still donít), so I started small. I told my best friend on dday. I called another friend the next day to find out what he knew because he used to work with them and his GF was friends with the COW. Over the next few weeks I told my WHís sister (coming into town and I was barely functioning, she had to know), another good friend and my aunt. Over time, my mom and some other work friends that I had to see at his functions just because I would get drunk and they would talk about how great he was and I told. I never went full scorched earth. I regret some of the people I told. But some of the people were an amazing resource when I just wanted to die. I had to put on a brave face all day, every day for my kids because I didnít want them to lose their hero like I did - but I needed support for ME. I needed people to know he was not what he appeared to be.

Sisoon and Oldwounds, if I remember both of your stories right - neither of you had kids at home? It is so damn hard when you do. If Iím wrong, Iím sorry. Sisoon, I know you hate generalizing, but I will say this as well - my WH has never told a soul besides his sister because I told him to. Not during, not immediately after, even now. He doesnít talk about it ever, unless I bring it up. I donít know if thatís a man/woman thing or not. I can talk about this to death.

I will say I am so glad I was able to somehow shield it from kids. I have no idea how. I feel incredibly blessed that it worked out like that, because we had done horrific fights after they went to bed and he was positive I woke them up some nights. They still think weíve all only ever argued over positive things like who gets to do the dishes. Itís bizarre.

Buster123 posted 12/4/2019 23:41 PM

EXPOSURE is a personal decision, one that I encourage in almost all situations, here's why:

1) As thrive in secrecy, EXPOSURE typically replaces the "magic, excitement and romanticism" with pure ugliness, shame and embarrassment, damaged reputation and integrity, plus other type of consequences in cases of workplace As. Because of those consequences it typically decreases the chances of a repeat, cheaters fear exposure. After Dday and for a long time the BS loses complete trust and doesn't really know if the A has ended and/or could resume at some point (or with a different or more than one AP), the first step towards a successful R is to END the A(s), nothing kills an A faster than EXPOSURE (and D papers served).

2) When cheaters have to face the sheer embarrassment of an A, it typically helps with regret and remorse, therefore chances of a successful R increases, if the R attempt fails and results in D, at least the cheater has a more difficult time blaming the BS and controlling the narrative.

3) When asked by other people "what's wrong" "is everything OK?" you don't have to lie (even by omission) for many, it is a relief not to have to protect the WS for the huge betrayal.

4) EXPOSURE makes support by loving ones possible, it could be a life saver, lack of support can even lead to a deep depression and even suicide among other things, if you have the support of loved ones, it typically helps.

5) If honesty and integrity are important to the BS, exposure helps with making the BS not feel like an accomplice to hide the A. Exposure was always a risk that the WS took and kept taking during the A and they decided to go ahead with the huge betrayal anyway.

These things come to mind but there are so many others, I agree it doesn't have to be "scorched earth" but I always suggest to expose to at least OBS, family and close friends (in that order and without warning) that the BS feel can have an impact in the situation even if it's by just knowing the truth.

Again I agree is a personal decision and in cases where the WS confesses (by far the minority of cases) the exposure should only be limited to stakeholders but I think and based on THOUSANDS stories here and other forums, the benefit of EXPOSURE outweighs keeping the A a secret, we all know As thrive in secrecy so why keep the fertile ground for it to continue and/or happen again in the future? you don't want to be exposed for cheating ? the simple answer is that all you have to do is remain faithful and not cheat.


Pizzatheaction posted 12/5/2019 02:30 AM

I have told two very good friends, in confidence, who have been extremely supportive.
My Mum is disabled, frail, 90. I see no good reason to tell her, unless we decide to split, as we are currently reconciling.
I didn't tell the OBS as he has a history of domestic violence and criminal activity.
No one else I wanted to know, or needed to know. None of this was to protect the WS.
What I don't want or need on this forum is someone telling me, that I am being inauthentic or lying in some way.
Everyone on here has to get through the best way they can.
Throughout this shitshow, what I have never lost is being true to myself, my values, being authentic to me.

cocoplus5nuts posted 12/5/2019 07:48 AM

my WH has never told a soul besides his sister because I told him to. Not during, not immediately after, even now. He doesnít talk about it ever, unless I bring it up.


Same here, except I told my fch to tell his dad. The only other people he has talked to about it are therapists. He doesn't bring it up with me, although he's willing to talk about any aspect of it when I bring it up. He says he doesn't think about it. I don't 100% believe that, but I can understand why he wouldn't. He would love to be able to forget it ever happened.

WRT telling children, first, I assume we are talking about minor children. Adult children are another issue. With minor children, it's not about maintaining respect for their parents, at least for me. I had lost respect for my mom long before I was told about her cheating.

Knowing that about my mother, and maybe the way in which I was told, damaged my psyche, my self esteem. I felt like a bad person by association. I became extremely depressed and, eventually, attempted suicide. I was 14 years old. I had other problems, all leading back to my mother. Being told that was the last straw.

So, please, please, please, be very careful about what you say to your children about their other parent. It will affect how the children view themselves.

sisoon posted 12/5/2019 11:01 AM

I don't see informing the OBS as exposing. I see it as an act of bravery and an act of kindness. I agree it's essential, no matter what one calls it.

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 think I'm starting to get it. I didn't expose because I thought exposure would hurt me because of my circumstances.

If my circumstances were as quoted, I think I would have exposed, too. Where support is desired, exposure will, one hopes, help the BS, not hurt him.

I'm really uncomfortable with using exposure to end an A. If the WS continues the A after d-day, s/he's not a good candidate for R, and I think I'd just leave her/him be, soaking in her/his own slime. But that's not really a fully-formed thought.

I guess I want to see each BS make up hi/her own mind about exposure. I think I'd like to see SIers recommend considering exposure as a tool of recovery rather than exposure itself. That's JMO.

Thanks for the discussion. You've helped me get closer to understanding this.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:02 AM, December 5th (Thursday)]

EllieKMAS posted 12/5/2019 11:09 AM

I think I'd like to see SIers recommend considering exposure as a tool of recovery rather than exposure itself.

I can't speak for all, but I would say the majority of SIers are suggesting exposure more so for this reason.

I said that in a JFO thread the other day - that advice to expose was not for revenge, but for taking back the BS's control of the situation.

FWIW, I didn't expose right after DDay. Knowing what I know now? I would have blown that shit right up.

sewardak posted 12/5/2019 15:02 PM

one of the reasons I wanted to expose to our kids is that I didn't want them to think we are perfect. PPl screw up. In MANY marriages. I think having a "everything's great" attitude and not allowing yourself to be vulnerable can hurt ppl in the long run.
Sisoon, had you told your son, maybe he wouldn't have felt so alone in his own marital breakdown.

I apologize if I'm misstepping. Everyone gets to make their own choice. AFfairs are real life. how can we help each other through real life?

MamaDragon posted 12/5/2019 15:12 PM

I exposed my FWH A to the AP's spouse & he exposed it to their boss. I exposed because I thought her BS needed to know. Oddly enough, he was not surprised (not her first go around) and he was cheating on her!

I think it depends on the situation. I do think that every BS needs to be informed for their own safety (IE STDs).

As for work, in my case it didn't matter if he lost his job bc I am the breadwinner and I had already told him he had to quit and find something else or we would divorce. In some situations that is not the case -

Thissucks5678 posted 12/5/2019 20:53 PM

Mama dragon just reminded me - my WH did tell a soul - the owner of his company because he needed to give a heads up in case shit hit the fan. Thankfully she quit within a few weeks because she couldnít bear to work with WH with him not speaking to her.

Itís the only nice the COW ever did for me.

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