Do I tell the OG's wife....or not?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2008
Do I tell the OG's wife....or not?
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 10:36am

I posted this on the "ask Dr. Shoshanna" board, but was redirected here with the idea that others here have "been there, done that". A quick background, my wife is/was having at least an EA, and every time she has told him that they need to cool it, it goes okay for a while, then he puts the full court press on her again and it just never fully goes away. The other guy is married with triplets under the age of two (and a 16 year old from a previous marriage) and to this point, he has been skating through this whole ordeal feeling no negative effects of what he has helped fuel. He tells my wife that he and his wife were going to separate when my wife suggested the same, but when our relationship became less volatile, magically, that was no longer the case with him (I think it is a bunch of b.s. that he is telling my wife anyway). I've received some great feedback here so far, so I thought I would continue with a topic that developed with the final few posts on the other board.

Here is (most of) my previous post regarding whether or not it is a good idea to let his wife "find out" what is going on with her husband:

I've often wondered if letting his wife "find out" would create enough of a distraction at home to make him forget about my wife or if it would backfire on me and be the catalyst for them going their separate ways (especially if they were going to separate anyway, as he claims. BTW, he has told my wife that he thinks his wife is having an affair) and, in turn, create a situation where he has nothing to lose at all by pursuing my wife even more aggressively. The other risk I run is, because I don't know his wife or how she is, does she rat me out or disclose too much that would point the finger at me and then I end up being the bad guy all over again and push her even farther away? BUT, I also wonder if one of the reasons that he continues to pursue my wife is that he has been able to do this for the better part of 8 months (that I know of) without feeling any negative consequences for his why would he stop? If this suddenly hits home for him, perhaps he reconsiders his actions....especially if his every move is suddenly being scrutinized. Or do I just steer her towards counseling and hope for the best. She is a good person who has always held herself to high moral standards (just one reason this whole thing shocks me so much)....I think she has just made some bad decisions and it if it were to be creating friction for him, it may make her reconsider her actions on another level. I don't's a confusing angle for me.

Any thoughts on this? Do I even worry about her (or him for that matter) and just do what I need to do or do I expose him too?


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 11:30am

Hi, and welcome.

Whether to tell the other betrayed spouse is often something we struggle with. There can be a lot of reasons for or against doing it, and I think it's something that should be everyone's own individual choice, but one that we should consider VERY carefully before doing so.

I've noticed that most of the reasons you've stated here about why you are considering doing so are related to trying to keep the other man away from your wife/ have a complete end to the affair.

I'm going to be really straight-forward here with you about this... your WIFE is really the only person that can ensure that she won't continue to do this. It is ultimately up to her to say NO when the other man pursues her, or to say no if ANY man pursues her, if you get what I mean. If you find a way to force this particular man out of the picture, what's to say there won't just be someone else somewhere down along the line?

Your wife will need to address whatever it is within HER that caused her to make the CHOICE to cheat, and figure out why and how she could give herself PERMISSION to do so. And I am not talking about things where she might try to blame YOU, or blame problems in the marriage. If she tries to do THAT, then she needs to figure out why when she was faced with problems in the marriage, she chose to deal with those problems THIS way. Bringing someone else into a marriage never HELPS a marriage. It was a selfish way that she was trying to "help" only herself (not to mention, an affair generally only serves to make things much worse all the way around).

My best advice is to put your focus onto your wife, and onto your marriage. Make sure you are placing the responsibility firmly upon your WIFE'S shoulders for this. Of course the other man is FAR from "innocent" here, but it is very important in my opinion that you hold your wife accountable, and that she takes full and complete responsibility for what she has done. SHE needs to change in order for this to never happen again, and she is the only one that has things she can give you to ease your pain. So I think that counseling for your wife individually, and some marriage counseling for the two of you is the way to go. Try to put the focus onto your marriage, and building something better- doing something POSITIVE. Focusing on the other man will likely be completely unproductive, and will only serve to keep you trapped and dragged down by negative thoughts and emotions.

So my two cents? Instead of worrying about other man possibly approaching your wife again, instead look at her and think about how SHE might REACT if he were to do so. And look to see if she is working upon herself where you will eventually be able to feel confident that she would say NO.

Best of luck to you-


Val                                   &n

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 11:53am

I had to contact all of the other men directly and tell them to go away. With one of them, I had to contact the spouse to feel comfortable. Do what your guts tell you and show empathy to the spouse when you call. A humble heart when sharing this devastating information will go a long way. You want her on your side, helping. Not being pissed off at you.

Last but not least, you have to live with the fallout.

Val is correct. At some point you need to direct these issues at your spouse. Only she can remove this guy from your lives. At some point she will have to take responsibility for this. I felt that contacting the OM's spouse helped DW realize what she had done, not just to our family but to other people's families. I made her apologize directly to her.

At that point it was no longer just a story or a fantasy, but a real person she had affected. When I threatened to call her again just a few weeks ago, I was surprised how much DW's heart softened.


5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Rebuilding

Edited 2/3/2009 12:01 pm ET by pater_familia

Edited 2/3/2009 12:07 pm ET by pater_familia


We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 12:29pm

Well there are two schools of thought on the topic of revealing the affair

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2007
Tue, 02-03-2009 - 5:14pm

I agree with the others that the problem is your wife.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Wed, 02-04-2009 - 3:10am
How can you be sure his wife doesn't already know?


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Wed, 02-04-2009 - 8:30am
My STBX signed a contract with his employer stating he would not engage in relationships with coworkers! He left our 13 year marriage for his 18 yo coworker girlfriend! When his boss caught wind of the affair the two of them were given a warning.. . . cool it or lose your job! Well, she is now unemployed!! I don't think he was worth it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2008
Wed, 02-04-2009 - 1:46pm

I was in nearly the same situation that you were in and contacted OM's wife a few weeks ago.

She didn't believe me, or appear to want to believe me, but she did listen to me for over 6 minutes.

I had my wife send the OM a warning letter back in October to not contact her anymore. Earlier in January I had found a chat session saved on my wife's computer where the two of them were trying to set up a video chat session.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2009
Wed, 02-04-2009 - 2:46pm
I agree with most of the others.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2009
Wed, 02-04-2009 - 3:24pm

BrianM..How are you doing? I have been away for a few days.

Is life getting any better?


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Wed, 02-04-2009 - 4:07pm

Hi - I just read this and thought I had to reply and get your prespective on this.

I just recently found about about my wife and x via phone records - I wasn't even looking for it so it hit me pretty hard. I did the full court press, traced the cell phone, got his name, address, where he works/lives, phone records, text records everything.

Situation is she met him around Thanksgiving at work. He has a family (not sure of marital status but he has girls with sever Autism!!!) She is a contractor and he is a company guy - fairly senior.

I immediatly told her what I found and her response was "I want out". So that was productive, not!