Should you tell when you know a spouse is cheating?

I read an article recently about a woman who was conned in a bar by a smooth talking dude, and later had a very sexy time with him only to find out that he was married. She found his wife on Facebook, wrote and told her what had happened, then she and the wife talked on the phone. That’s the scenario. Now, here’s the question: should she have told the wife? It’s an interesting question and one that I don’t think has a clear-cut answer. In this case, the wife of the cheater was grateful for the call, so the caller felt she had done the right thing. And maybe she had. As for me, I don’t think I would have made that call. Why? Because the husband and wife’s relationship is their business. It’s really none of mine. What is my business is his interaction with me, and that’s the call I would have made. If I were as angry as this woman was after being lured in by this guy’s lies, I’d call him and give him a piece of my lip.

We all react from our own personal histories. In this case the woman making the call had been cheated on by her husband…now her ex, and nobody had told her. She was upset about that, and in that context, her phone call to the wife makes a lot of sense. However, I think if she had fully resolved her own issues around this, she might have made a different decision.

I think we find these things out when we’re ready to know. Most of the time when someone cheats, the spouse has a sense of it, but they don’t follow through on their impulse because they aren’t ready to face it. If someone is in denial, then that’s where they need to be…until they don’t. Don’t worry…the universe will supply the information at just the right time in just the right way. That’s just how it is.

What do you think the wife did after that call? We can’t know, but there are lots of ways to handle infidelity, and cutting the cheater loose is only one option. Hopefully, if someone chooses to do that, it’s after a lot of reflection, introspection, talking things through, and not a knee-jerk response. The shock, humiliation, hurt, anger could lead to an impulsive decision; one the person may later regret. Affairs, one night stands, happen for many reasons not always having a lot to do with the marriage—mid-life crisis, stress level, what’s happening at the job, a person needing something the marriage can’t provide in order to grow, and sometimes just plain curiosity. Lots of marriages grow deeper and more satisfying after an affair if the two people are dedicated to growing together, are willing to explore themselves and their relationship, and have the courage to change what needs to be different. The dalliance could lead to a very positive outcome.

What do you think? Would you want someone to tell you? Have you had a similar thing happen to you? How did you find out about it? Would you just cut your spouse loose? Would love to hear what you think.

Check out my book: The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-Life Journey for more insightful information about affairs and relationships in general. You can buy it on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. A synopsis of the book can be found at


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  1. I found out about my husband’s affair. I knew he was working a lot, but that was normal. I was caught off guard. Completely blindsided. Call it denial, but I didn’t have a clue. Looking back, I know there were people that knew. Sure, I would want them to tell me. As it is, God’s timing is perfect. He confessed to it. I did not cut him loose. Never once did I consider it. Check out my new blog if you are interested in my story. 🙂

    • Thanks for your response to my post. An affair is such a painful experience. If you read my other posts, you will know that I too experienced an affair, and it was the catalyst for moving our relationship to a deeper and more satisfying place. Sound like that happened to you too. Congratulations.

  2. disquestedwithcheatinglyingmen August 16, 2011 — 7:45 pm

    Absolutely, every wife has a right to know. The woman didn’t know right off and why should she considering the fact that who would think that a married man would have enough nerve to to be in public looking for a fling. Its bad enough every chance they get while woman are away that they are looking at half naked women on line and creating dating profiles but he is asking for it doing it out in public. You never know who may be watching.

  3. I’ve been the other woman. Was in what I felt was a loveless marriage and would meet what I thought was a wonderful man only to find out he was married. Yes, I carried on. Left my husband and thought I was going to marry one guy. All the men had tales of woe about their wives. I was naive. And needy. And stupid.
    Long story short, back with a miraculously changed husband and healed marriage. But I’ve seen it happen. Lived it.

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