To tell or not to tell is the question....

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2009
To tell or not to tell is the question....
11
Sat, 03-17-2012 - 9:07am

I was hoping that Andy's thread would inspire someone to start a discussion down here re whether one should or should not tell their spouse they had an A. I know that some of you had no choice due to discovery, but for those of you who have managed to get past your A without disclosure, perhaps you would like to tell the readers how and why you chose this path, and how it is working for you. Then there are some of you who have come clean to your spouse, and I would like to hear the pros and cons of this decision. I don't want this to turn into a debate, but rather a mature exchange of opinions.

I was single and never had to face this decision, although I did eventually tell my adult children. They had already sensed my fondness for XAP, so I felt I owned them the truth.

Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life. ~ Buddha

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Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sat, 03-17-2012 - 11:44am

Just like A’s, we all have differing opinions on this subject.

I have chosen the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell approach.

To those who don’t know my story, I have been on the other side of a DDay many times.

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2009
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 10:03am

RBM,

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Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life. ~ Buddha
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2009
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 11:38am

I deeply respect the opinions from both sides, as long as the reasons behind that opinion are coming from a right-minded heart.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 12:37pm
I can respect both sides. It is purely an individual decision that can be based on multiple factors. I am on the team of do not tell. I have witnessed first hand the destruction and pain that has come from knowing or being told...my mother discovered, two girlfriends of mine were told, and ironically the terrible toll I saw it take on my xap(yes, I know, I know, should have realized what I was starting) that not much good comes from telling. Everyone I know wish they never knew. No one has ever said, you know what hopeful? I am so f*cking glad I know about my spouses infidelity.
One could argue they have a right to know. Sure, do I feel guilt that I deeply deceived my H for about 2 years, do I feel guilt that he has more or less been living a lie for two years? Of course I do, everyday, but I think his not knowing outweighs the pain he would have and the life altering experience he would have to go through. He has also commented that the friends we have that have told he agrees with me that these men should have kept their mouths shut. He has said that as long as it is over, they are sorry, realize they made a mistake and are trying to remain committed to their W and family that that is what's important and that it was selfish for them to have told. I have to agree with him.
My H confronted me twice about my "friendship" with x, I denied like a crazy lady. I often fear those questions could come again, I think he had to know something was up between us in order to ask twice and he believed me because that was easier to swallow than the truth. I feel guilty about that too, if it ever comes out one day, those two confrontations will just be salt in the wound as well. As are terrible things, I had lost all rational perspective. I regret that I have even put my H and kids in a position that could harm all of them. My behavior is shocking to me.
I will carry this secret. This whole A has taken its toll on me and I regret it ever happening. I did it though and I do not want to hurt anyone else if I can avoid it.
Hopeful
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 12:45pm

Dee, your situation reminds me of the question I once posed to MH.


Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 2:48pm

If you wouldn't mind, could you expound more on what you meant by some DDays were better than others? I also need to ask you, "Why did you stayed M. and after what she has put you through, why would you deny your own A? Have the two of you ever had MC?

This is all subjective to me, my situations, and above all are my opinions.

PREVIOUS AFFAIRS

When younger I felt it was just a bad situation and it wasn’t as unusual as a lot of my friends were going through the same problems. Somehow when you are younger you can accept a lot more.

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

Avatar for happyasme
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2012
Tue, 03-20-2012 - 12:41pm

I have had 2 A’s 10 years apart.

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Tue, 03-20-2012 - 3:18pm

Would you have handled it differently had your W not had affairs?

It is only speculation at this point but I believe that is why I was so open, (and ready) for an A.

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
Sun, 04-08-2012 - 4:16pm

I find this thread very interesting as I still think about this question on a daily basis even though the A has been over for over 3 months...we've not been nc the whole time, but the A has been over.

Sometimes you just have to die a little inside in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you!
Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 6:59pm

I think this is really an important question and think it is worth serious consideration. I read an interview with a therapist and a man who was feeling really bad about an affair he had some ten years earlier and the therapist advised him not to tell his spouse as so much time had passed and the devastation of the spouse vs healing in the relationship was well past relevance. I remember being very angry about that advice and it took me a long time to accept this as reasonably good advice as I am a betrayed spouse and feel strongly that spouses deserve the right to know what is happening within their marriage.

I’m a betrayed spouse, four plus years out from d-day. I still feel strongly about a betrayed spouse’s right to know, but see the wisdom of not inflicting the devastation on a spouse after so many years. I don’t know what the right answers are; buy may I share what and why I feel that the betrayed spouse deserves to right to know.

My spouse had four affairs, three physical and one emotional. Strangers knew a great deal about very intimate and troubling things regarding my children, myself, and my spouse that I was not being made aware of.  There was a small handful of friends and family who also knew about the affair that never gave me a heads-up and could have prevented my spouse from making further devastating decisions. After my spouse admitted to an affair, it was absolutely humiliating to find out that so many people knew about intimate problems in my marriage that I wasn’t being made aware of. That fact added a significant layer of pain to an already painful discovery. I will say that I’m just as upset with those people, innocent or not, as I was with my spouse. They didn’t deserve to know what was going on with my family. I did. I deserved to know these things even though it took me two painful years to get over the discovery and to repair our relationship.

What I feel I absolutely deserve to know is when the affair[‘s] started, when and where they occurred, if they were physical and if they involved sex, and when and if it ended. I don’t believe it was ever useful for me to know the physical details of the sexual encounters my spouse had. I still can’t shake those images and they continue to be problematic in our intimacy four years out. She shielded me from some of that and I think it was wise to do so.

It would not have been ok for strangers to know things about my marriage that I didn’t. Even though it was unbelievably painful finding out.

my two cents.

Thomas

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

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