Dear Anni: This is a response to “Let the Truth Out”. I was the woman at the end of an affair with the injured partner, and I disagree with your advice not to tell the woman about her husband’s cheating. The cheater who informs his spouse is something that rarely happens, what perpetuates the lie.
In the end, someone outside of marriage should let the injured partner know. Injured partners, unaware of infidelity, stifle opportunities for the couple to seek support and give the partners no opportunity to move forward.
My husband cheated on me 20 years ago. The affair came to light recently after 41 years of marriage. Only now, with the help of a counselor, do we cope with the injury, pain, and destruction caused by this long-held delusion and finally resolve the problems in our marriage.
My husband’s affair was with someone he worked with. To know that the school staff knew and gossiped about them and that this was public knowledge in our community is extremely hurtful. The fact that nobody told me about it kept the affair going for 14 months. Had I known about the affair when it was ongoing, it might have ended sooner and we could have dealt with problems in our marriage 20 years earlier.
Yes, it could have ended in divorce, but at least I wouldn’t have lived in a sham marriage for 20 years and been with someone who deserves my love. I claim that it is hurtful, but not cruel, to tell the injured partner. In the end, having someone inform the injured partner offers the opportunity for healing or for ending the marriage. The real cruelty to the injured partner is to live a lie.
It is devastating to find out about an affair, but when the injured partner becomes aware of the deception, the couple has an opportunity to deal with the problems in their marriage. No matter what decisions are made regarding the marriage, the injured partner does not live in an unfulfilled marriage that is full of delusions. Knowledge is a gift. – I wish I had known
Dear wish, I would have known: Thank you so much for your letter and I hope that you and your husband find healing through the truth. If you love him, work to forgive him for your sake. Remember the old adage that acid can cause more damage to the vessel in which it is kept than to anything it is poured on.