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Would You Tell Your SO About An Affair After It 'Ended'? - Page 3

post #41 of 68

I would want to be told, no matter the circumstances.

 

I'm pretty sure my husband would rather not know.  Even if he kind of suspected, if the affair was over and no one's health was at issue, he'd rather not know and just keep going along.  It's just his personality. If he knew, he'd have to deal with it.  If it was a drunken mistake or a weak point in our marriage but we'd gotten past it, I am almost 100% sure he'd rather not know.


Now, I'm truthful by nature so living with it would eat me alive, it would be much easier to tell and face it, but he wouldn't want to know so I'd just have to deal with it.
 

post #42 of 68

Direct answer to OP's original question of whether I would tell my SO if I had had an affair after it had ended:  I don't know.  I wouldn't know until confronted with the problem.  It would all depend on a variety of factors, including where we were in our marriage and the specifics surrounding the other relationship.  

 

Sometimes I feel like I'm bridging two worlds:  the world in which my parents/grandparents lived and the world in which I now live.  In my grandmothers' day, women spouses were much more dependent on men for the financial livelihood of their husbands and a lot of indiscretions were often overlooked, even ignored, because (1) divorce was difficult; and (2) even if one could choose divorce, a lot of women were left high and dry even if the spouse was at fault.  I think this thing carries over a lot in our cultural attitudes now.  People are willing to ignore or even wish to be oblivious to affairs because their well-being depends on keeping the marriage intact.  I think it all has less to do with pain than it does with financial well-being for the spouse and children.  I know that sounds jaded but the thought has crossed my mind every now and then.  What would I do without DH?  Not so much in survival/financial terms but in general standard of living and practical terms.  We work together as a unit.  Without DH, my practical daily life would be turned upside down.  That's a real thought that I've had from time to time.  At least I have a choice now, but the practicalities still color my thoughts.

 

If DH had an affair and later revealed it to me, I would probably handle it on a factual basis and analyze it at that point.  I probably would have been more apt to be hurt when I was younger, but as I grow older and think of all the opportunities that have been available to me through the years and how I was tempted (not because I don't love DH, but because I was flattered or feeling bored or whatever), I have a much different outlook than I did 20 odd years ago.  Ultimately I want DH to be honest with me, and I hope I would have the strength to do the same.  I can't make judgments, though, about how the other would handle it or feel about the eventual reveal.  There's too many variables in life.  I can't deny that there would be a level of hurt for either person, but DH and I have been together for a long time, have been through a lot of crap, have survived together on a lot of stuff.  I doubt either of us would throw in the towel.  We've got too much history with each other.  There's too much at stake in our particular lives.  I wish I could say that certain things were "deal breakers" but it is not the way DH and I operate.  There's a lot of unspoken dependency in our relationship.  I know that probably sounds unhealthy to some but it is reality for me and DH.  It's not black and white for us.

post #43 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

I didn't say it was a dichotomy, and I didn't make it an either or.

 

 

 

You strongly implied that this was reason enough to not have to tell a spouse.  "He/she should have been able to figure it out on his/her own" kind of thing.

 

You didn't call it a false dichotomy; I did.  Because it is.  

 

I can't figure out if you're trying to get over being cheated on, or if you're trying to get over the guilt of having cheated.  Either way, I wish you peace.  

post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

You strongly implied that this was reason enough to not have to tell a spouse.  "He/she should have been able to figure it out on his/her own" kind of thing.

 

 

 

No, that's not what I said and I didn't imply that.

 

What I said, for the last time, is that the reason to not tell is because the tremendous pain it would cause. That's why. The tremendous, soul shattering pain. It's the only reason to not be 100% honest is to avoid hurting another person. I know that some disagree with that, and that's fine. But to me, having seen how much pain is involved, I think it is better if the spouse gets their head back in the marriage and starts treating their spouse with love rather than ripping their heart to shreds.

 

And you can disagree with that, but to insult me or say that I'm saying something other that than just isn't appropriate.

 

I didn't say that he/she should be able to figure out. Quite the opposite. I said that it is possible to have an affair and keep it secret.

 

I said that the best indicator of the health of a marriage is the whether the spouse is emotionally present. I haven't a clue how anyone can argue with that, even though you seem to be, and insulting me and marriage in the process.  I've no idea why saying that if someone wants to know what is going on in their marriage, they should look to how their partner treats them and what is going on in their relationship can be so controversial. No idea at all.

 

I'm nearly 50. My husband and I are happily married, but we have worked hard to get here. We've seen all our friends through divorces.

 

I'm done being insulted on this thread. I'm not living in denial about anything, and this thread isn't about me making peace with anything.  I don't enjoy being told that I said things that I didn't. You are reading in your own issues, not anything I've said.

 

I was trying to offer some well earned advice. It's obviously wasted.

post #45 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'm really sorry for everything that you went through, and I should have made some qualifications in what I wrote. I'm only speaking to cases where the spouse is sane, doesn't have a personality disorder, and is quite serious and being real and being honest going forward. I completely agree that living a lie with someone who has no intention of every being real with you is unacceptable.

 

I do think that with *most* humans, we can tell if they are emotionally present or not by noticing what is going on in the relationship. A few people, such as your ex, are really good at faking it, but  they are not the norm.

 

 

I guess where we differ in our perspective is that I see continuing to hide an affair, because one now has one's head on straight, as continuing with an unhealthy approach to a relationship. Yes - cheating hurts. It hurts a lot. I haven't experienced it, but I have seen it up close, and it's devastating. I just don't see how a betrayal of trust can be repaired by continuing to be untrustworthy. Keeping quiet means lying to one's spouse, every day, for the rest of the marriage.

post #46 of 68

No personal attack intended, Linda.  I completely agree that there are lots of people who turn a blind eye to the state of their marriage, and I really liked what you posted about that.  When I spoke of red flags, that wasn't targeted at you.  It was actually about avoiding the same kind of "sweep it under the rug and turn a blind eye" mentality that you were encouraging people to abandon.

 

To me, it is an extension of that inattention to marriage to not want to know if your partner has cheated.  It's probably indicative of sticking your head in the sand towards lots of marital issues, rather than dealing with the messy and painful stuff.  In that way, I do find it inconsistent to support an honest evaluation of the nitty gritty emotional state of your marriage and its problems - and also support the dishonesty inherent in keeping an affair secret.  

 

That's just my opinion - for you, the pain involved overrides that.  And that's fine - that's your opinion.

 

Whether you want to know is a different question than would you tell.  But they are two sides of the same coin, IMO.  It just depends what role you find yourself in - the cheater, or the person cheated on.  Plus, if I was the cheater, I would take into account my partner's preference for knowing or not knowing.  It's all related.

 

I see both sides of the moral dilemma.  You came down on the side of "better not to tell and spare them the pain" - viewing not telling as inaction - while others (like StormBride and myself) believe the partner would have a right to know, and that lying would be active deception.  People disagree - I never intended it as a personal attack.  It's all a discussion. 

post #47 of 68

I know that I wouldn't tell, for the sole reason that, if my husband has had an affair in the past, I sure as hell don't want to know about it today, when things are actually GOOD.

post #48 of 68

Alphagetti- what is your definition of "in the past." I could sort of see that logic years later- as in , I wouldnt want to know if DH had an affair 10 years ago, but if it was last year that isnt "in the past" enough for me to not want to know. I've straight up told DH that if he sleeps with someone else, his best bet is to tell me the next morning. The longer it sits, the worse it gets. 

post #49 of 68

I wouldn't tell about a single one night stand - nor would I want to be told.

 

An affair is trickier - but no, I would not want to know about one that went on in the past, and was truly over.  I might even be ticked with DH if he told me about an affair from years ago - why devastate me because you feel guilty?  An affair going on in the present is a much trickier thing.  I don't know what I would want.

 

I think the key is to know you spouse.  I would not want to know in all circumstance, DH would not want to know in all circumstances, so by "telling" we would going against our spouses wishes.  If you know your spouse would want to know, then you obligated to tell.  It is a parameter of your relationship.


Edited by kathymuggle - 10/3/12 at 6:07am
post #50 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I wouldn't tell about a one night stand - nor would I want to be told.

 

 

May I ask why? With an affair, I get that it's ongoing, so once the cheater has had sex with the spouse again after the first time, STD risk is already established. But, if dh had a one night stand, and didn't tell me before having sex with me again, he's basically telling me that he doesn't give a crap that his one wild night may expose me to STDs. Wouldn't you want the knowledge, so that you could decide if you wanted to get tested?

post #51 of 68
Yo! Linda isn't a bad guy here. She has an opinion. She's allowed. I know I'm normally all feisty and shit but today I'm at Disneyland. Can't everyone love each other? joy.gif
post #52 of 68

Dude, you're at Disneyland and you're on MDC?? Go ride Star Tours for me. I've never been.

post #53 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

May I ask why? With an affair, I get that it's ongoing, so once the cheater has had sex with the spouse again after the first time, STD risk is already established. But, if dh had a one night stand, and didn't tell me before having sex with me again, he's basically telling me that he doesn't give a crap that his one wild night may expose me to STDs. Wouldn't you want the knowledge, so that you could decide if you wanted to get tested?

Well, I am working on the  assumption he would use a condom for a one night stand.  

 

Maybe that is a big assumption - but he has always been really responsible about these things.

 

If he did not use a condom, yes, I would ideally want to know before we had sex, so he could get tested before we had sex again.

 

I would also be really upset that he risked getting someone pregnant through not using birth control


Edited by kathymuggle - 10/3/12 at 11:47am
post #54 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Dude, you're at Disneyland and you're on MDC?? Go ride Star Tours for me. I've never been.

Disneyland is not open at 1am when I have insomnia. :) MDC loves me long time.

 

Would you like any pictures in particular? You are one of my favorite MDC people and I would take pictures of just about anything you wanted me to. And I'll stop thread hijacking. Although I don't feel that bad about it. This is a depressing topic where there aren't many "right" answers just what is right for your relationship.

post #55 of 68

 

For those that wouldn't want to know, is this something you have discussed with your spouse?

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I'm advocating tending one's marriage so this doesn't come up.

 

I, personally, disagree with the above if "this" means "an affair".  I think flawed people have affairs, regardless of how great the marriage was or is.  I certainly don't believe that the betrayed spouse has anything to do with the affair.  Do they need to take responsibility for their actions and issues within the marriage?  Yes.  But, the married person having the affair is the only person to blame for the affair, in my opinion. 

post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post

 

I, personally, disagree with the above if "this" means "an affair".  I think flawed people have affairs, regardless of how great the marriage was or is.  I certainly don't believe that the betrayed spouse has anything to do with the affair.  Do they need to take responsibility for their actions and issues within the marriage?  Yes.  But, the married person having the affair is the only person to blame for the affair, in my opinion. 

 

I think marital issues can be a huge contributing factor to an affair. (I speak as someone who had an emotional affair, when my first marriage was almost over...and should have been dead and buried for at least two years at that point. I would have sworn that I was incapable of becoming that involved with someone while still in a committed relationship. I hadn't factored in what years of emotional neglect, abuse and manipulation could do.) But, I also completely agree that the choice to cheat lies 100% on the person making that choice.

 

I've also seen cases where the cheating had nothing to do with the state of marriage. It had to do with issues the cheater had and his/her spouse couldn't do anything about. In one case, it was the classic ego thing - and one woman, even a loving spouse, simply wasn't enough to feed his ego. Some of the others were more complicated. But, they certainly had nothing to do with the state of the marriage.

post #57 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
It had to do with issues the cheater had and his/her spouse couldn't do anything about. In one case, it was the classic ego thing - and one woman, even a loving spouse, simply wasn't enough to feed his ego. Some of the others were more complicated. But, they certainly had nothing to do with the state of the marriage.

 

I I think that sometimes the issue of the cheater might be seen as ego, or entitlement, when really it could be that they are feeling so lonely in their marriage they feel like they could die.

 

I can sometimes be kind of flirty (which for the most part doesn't bug DH), and so I feel like if anyone ever thought I was cheating on DH, they'd all be on my husband's side because he is 'loving' and 'nice'.

 

Well, sometimes nothing can be further from the truth. Things are better right now, but partially because I've decided that I don't need to get my emotional needs met from him and have become very self-protective about my feelings and emotions. He has never been good about connecting at an emotional level, and to be honest, I don't know how to reach him on that level either. So we go along, trying to love each other but not getting our needs met. If he cheated I wouldn't blame him.

 

Just saying, there's always at least two stories about why an affair happens.

 

ETA ~ things aren't as bleak as I made them sound, we're actually doing really well right now :)

post #58 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

I think marital issues can be a huge contributing factor to an affair. 

 

I see what you're saying, but I think the point of the poster you quoted was more that, while marital issues can be a huge contributing factor to the decline or dissolution of a marriage, making the choice to specifically have an affair lies squarely on the shoulders of the adulterer. They could have chosen to leave the marriage first, in other words, rather than cheat on their partner. 

post #59 of 68
Quote:

Disneyland is not open at 1am when I have insomnia. :) MDC loves me long time.

 

Would you like any pictures in particular? You are one of my favorite MDC people and I would take pictures of just about anything you wanted me to.

Aww, that's sweet! Thanks. :) Honestly, I'm a bit obsessed with Disneyland at the moment - we were going to go last December, but got broke and had a baby instead. :p So from time to time I watch Disneyland videos on YouTube and read Disney blogs, just to keep the dream alive. :p Any pic you can take will probably make me happy! CarsLand is up and running now, right?

post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post

 

I I think that sometimes the issue of the cheater might be seen as ego, or entitlement, when really it could be that they are feeling so lonely in their marriage they feel like they could die.

 

I can sometimes be kind of flirty (which for the most part doesn't bug DH), and so I feel like if anyone ever thought I was cheating on DH, they'd all be on my husband's side because he is 'loving' and 'nice'.

 

Well, sometimes nothing can be further from the truth. Things are better right now, but partially because I've decided that I don't need to get my emotional needs met from him and have become very self-protective about my feelings and emotions. He has never been good about connecting at an emotional level, and to be honest, I don't know how to reach him on that level either. So we go along, trying to love each other but not getting our needs met. If he cheated I wouldn't blame him.

 

Just saying, there's always at least two stories about why an affair happens.

 

ETA ~ things aren't as bleak as I made them sound, we're actually doing really well right now :)

 

The particular couple I'm thinking of weren't in that kind of situation. They were happily married for about 40 years (yes - they had their ups and downs - everybody does). He's now dead of cancer, and they were still together right up to the end. His cheating had almost certainly stopped before his diagnosis, but he was also getting up there in years by that point. It was ego - and I don't mean that in an entitlement sense, more in an insecurity sense. He had to prove to himself that he still "had it", and his wife couldn't prove that, no matter what, because she loved him, and he knew it.

 

I'm not getting into details (it's his business and I don't air his issues, yk?), but there are things in dh's life that I could see triggering an affair, and they're thing I can do nothing about - nothing at all. He hasn't had one, and for a lot of reasons, I highly doubt he'll ever lie to me, but if he ever did have one, I already know the most likely (like 99.99% probability) trigger, and it's got nothing to do with the state of our marriage.

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