I read an article recently about a woman who was dazzled in a bar by a smooth talking dude, and later had a very sexy time with him only to find out he was married. She found his wife on Facebook, wrote and told her what happened, then they 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. As for me, I wouldn’t have called.. Why? Because the husband and wife’s relationship is their business, not mine. But what is my business is his deception of me. If I were as angry as this woman, I’d 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 very upset about it, 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, she might have made a different decision.
I think we learn about infidelity when we’re ready to know. A lot of the time when someone cheats, the partner has a sense of it, but doesn’t follow through because they aren’t ready to face it. If someone is in denial, 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 and in the right way. That’s just how it goes.
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 leave, it’s after a lot of reflection, introspection and talking things through rather than 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 to do with the marriage—mid-life crisis, stress level, what’s happening at the job, and sometimes just plain curiosity. It’s possible for a relationship to grow deeper and more satisfying after infidelity if the two people are committed, are willing to explore themselves and their relationship, and have the courage to make the necessary changes. The dalliance, in fact, could lead to a very positive outcome.
What do you think? Have you had a similar thing happen? How did you find out? Would you just cut your partner loose? Would love to hear what you think.
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, to learn how my husband and I got through our crisis and made our bond ever stronger. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com