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Author Topic: 9999 | Should We Tell The Other Man/Woman Of The Affair?  (Read 13296 times)
scrabble
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« on: July 17, 2009, 11:58:53 AM »

Just interested in other opinions on this:

My stbx had an affair with a married man who also had a young (<2) son.  She may still be. At the least it's now an inappropriate relationship.  

In my times of anger, I've thought about contacting his wife. Haven't done it, but I think about it sometimes.

I realize that my issues are with stbx. I have no relationship with her bf. She caused the breach in our relationship, he was just the tool she used to do it.

Now whenever I spout off about contacting her, literally everyone says "don't".

Why not?  :)oesn't she deserve to know and make her own decisions?  :)oesn't he deserve consequences?  :)oesn't she have the right to know that she needs to protect herself from possible STDs?  If it was you,

would you want to know?

Anyway, just think it's an interesting debate. Not sure if I'll ever do anything about it.  

 Anyone have thoughts, opinions or experiences to share?
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2009, 12:22:09 PM »

Perhaps an annonymous note of some sort to alert her... .as a wife/mother... .if my husband was having an affair behind my back I would certainly want to know.  I would also wanted to protect my health regarding STDs etc.  I don't know why something couldn't be sent annonymously.   I would want to know... .but that's just me.  I think what I would struggle with being in your shoes... .is the feeling that I was doing something strictly out of revenge.  I would not feel comfortable with that being my only motivation; but it's a hard one still, becasue despite the motivation... .if I were the wife... .I would want/need to know.  There's also the line of thought that says most people 'know' anyway on some level. If they are not dealing with it on their own, then it's becasue they are chosing to be in denial.
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 12:23:51 PM »

i thought about that in my case, I came to a different conclusion as my stbxwife was still sleeping with me when she started cheating, I told her that it will be interesting to see the reaction of friends and family in divorce court when I tell the judge that you were sleeping with two men, both married.  One thing about my BPD wife is her public persona means everything and I thought it would frighten her, it didn't.

She is never wrong and has a reason for everything, in the end it doesn't matter, she will just lie, she lies as though she believes it. They all do, you will only hurt someone else and complicate your life, if were a friend maybe, but a stranger it may even backfire on you, forget him and her and move on
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 12:46:37 PM »

I had the same thoughts and struggled for weeks with this.  My T and some parallel experiences really helped me out... .

3 Reasons Not To... .

1)  Dignity for Others... .I had the exact situation... .stbxdBPDw was involved with married man at her work, he had two young kids.  My T told me something... .what if she knows (it is RARE that an affair is not discovered)?  what if she has accepted it?  what if she is in such a situation where if he took off on her she couldn't support the kids?  How embarrassing is this for her children?  What if he has already decided he made the biggest mistake of his life and was never going to do it again?  Anyway, what good for my kids would come out of it?  Best just to focus on me and my boys.

2)  Dignity for Yourself... .My friend was in a similar situation and called his wife's 'soulmtate's wife... On the other end was "which one is your wife?"  Evidently, this was about the fourth call she had in the last decade... .Made my friend feel about 6 in tall... .

3) Make your life easier... .What happens if I told his wife, and he breaks up with dBPD?  Now that BPD has lost her 'soulmate' who do you think she is going to come running back to?  Let him listen to her BPD and deal with lunacy... .good luck buddy... .

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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 12:52:33 PM »

In my times of anger, I've thought about contacting his wife. Haven't done it, but I think about it sometimes.

Here's the first hint.  Though you might rationalize that it is in the best interest of this other woman, you also admit that it is "in [your] times of anger" that you are motivated to do such.  So you are not really doing it for this woman's sake, you are considering acting on your emotional impulse.

This is not to say your feelings are inappropriate.  They are very appropriate.  However, your feelings are clouding your judgment and moreover, they will contaminate you communication with this other person and she will sense that and thus doubt your intentions.  You should express your feelings, but not in this way.

... .Now whenever I spout off about contacting her, literally everyone says "don't".

Why not?  Doesn't she deserve to know and make her own decisions?  Doesn't he deserve consequences?  Doesn't she have the right to know that she needs to protect herself from possible STDs?  If it was you,

would you want to know?

She has made her decisions.  She chose to be with a man who is capable of having an affair.  As DavidWebb suggestioned, her situation could be much more complicated than you are aware.

Personally I think she has a right to know (and maybe she does already).  BUT, I also don't think it is in your best interest to get involved.  Because getting involved is only going to re-engage you with your ex.  And THAT is the principle reason why I think you should not get involved.  It will only delay your recovery and perhaps set you back due to how your ex is going to react to the involvement.

Here's the question... .are you more committed to disengaging from your xBPD and your own recovery?  Or do you think your conscience requires that you protect the interests of a complete stranger?  Or do you think you will feel better by thwarting your ex's plans?

Best wishes, Schwing
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009, 01:29:39 PM »

I had thought about contacting the other woman since I didn't know if she had a significant other.  I still to this day do not know if she is married, divorced or single.  I had concluded that she was married since once I found out about the other woman, my husband still didn't move out of our home.  If the girlfriend was free, why not move in with her at least temporarily?  My mother-in-law referred to husband's girlfriend as a divorcee, but her information came from her BPD son so who can be sure he told the truth.  My husband had referred to this woman (who was an acquaintance from the gym) as a woman over 40 who had never been married.  If I had information and confirmation that she was in fact married, I might have contacted her husband.  However, I decided against contacting the other woman and gave up trying to find out if there was a husband.  I just decided it wasn't worth it.  I still fantasize about getting some sort of revenge, but that is as far as I have taken it. 
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2009, 01:39:35 PM »

In my times of anger, I've thought about contacting his wife. Haven't done it, but I think about it sometimes.

Thoughts of retaliation are a normal part of the grieving anger.  It is OK that these thoughts are flashing by your mind as tori3297 points out.

Acting on your thoughts of retaliation, however, departs from the "normal" and is not healthy coping on your part.

And as DavidWebb points out - there are a lot of practical considerations like - like the next event in the chain reaction - and you don't want to get shot.

I totally agree with MaybeSo that the women deserves to know for all the reasons she says... .but that is a separate issue from you being the informer.

You could give the information and the contact numbers to your clergy, or your lawyer, or your T, and ask them to do what they deem best for the other family... .and then let it go.

A cheating spouse is a huge violation. I know it hurts.  It really really hurts.

Hang in there... .

Skippy
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 12:22:41 PM »

Thanks to everyone for your responses. Good food for thought and what I was looking for.

I'm clear that the hurt and anger are 90% of the motivating factor here. 10% is concern for the other human to be hurt by this situation.

I figured a healthy way to deal with my urge to tell the other man's woman was to post something here. Bleed off some of that energy.

Also, I just found it interesting that no one I talked to said "you have to telll her.". Just got me thinking why the common reaction was not that one. Never had

much reason to think about it before this year.

So, the natural question is the converse. Has anyone done it?  What happened, if you're willing to share?

I have a friend who was called by his wife's boyfriend' wife. Nothing really came from it besides 2 divorces. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2009, 02:10:33 PM »

When I discovered yet another of my xBPDh affairs, I decided to not look the other way. The reason? I caught him where he simply could not lie his way out of it. He had numerous affairs over the years, and yes, people told me. However I believed him, not them. Its that simple. Early in our marriage a woman he was having an affair with met me for lunch and told me. I was nine months pregnant with our daughter. What did I do? I rationalized she was inventing a "story" to create a wedge between my husband and I. We were a materially wealthy couple and I dismissed her as a gold digger. But deep inside, I knew.

I was stuck in violence, trapped in a horrible relationship with a man I thought I could change. My self esteem was in the tiolet. I thought I could fix him. I eventually realized I needed to fix me.

The last affair he had during our marriage was with a colleague of mine whom I also professionally mentored. It was humiliating. I contacted her and told her she wasn't the first, nor the last of the herd of women he kept. But this time I told him she could have him, I was finished.I filed for a divorce that day. What also occurred is she continued to have contact with me, as we were working on a project together. I had to go to my supervisor, explain the events, and ask to be removed from the project. Instead of removing me from the project-she was reassigned another project. However, she continued to show up for staff meetings on the project-so they fired her for creating a hostile work environment and harrassment. My xpbdh was explosive when she was fired.  Even though I was protecting myself professionally in this situation, my actions created further hostility with my xspouse. One more endless round of verbal and emotional abuse.

I work professionally with her husband at times. And I have NEVER acknowledged or alluded to the affair. This man and his spouse are still married. And it is obvious he loves her. I am thankful I did not contact him, although there were times I was sorely tempted. But revenge is bitter. What good would come from hurting another human being with my information?

So glad that experience is in the rear view mirror. With all this rambling what I am trying to tell you is this; usually the spouse knows and there are reasons they stay in the relationship. Their ability to face the truth will occur when they are emotionally ready to handle the truth.

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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2009, 02:58:15 PM »

My exw actuallu told me she was going to have sex with others - to teach me a lesson.

We are now apart and I know she is putting it about - but the problem is for the guys that do find her seductive, like I did, she hates condoms and is a Hep B carrier! This is something she neglected to tell me for some time - so she is a definate time bomb.

All I can say is - you always reap just what you sow!

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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2009, 03:45:02 PM »

Scrabble,

If was the other guy's wife, I'd want to know.

If I was you, I wouldn't go any where near her.

More drama, more rescuing, and most frightening of all, W and her bf might split and she'll be back at your door.

That problem belongs to the two people within that marriage. You have enough on your plate.

Shane
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2009, 10:57:24 PM »

I followed the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  If someone found out my stbx was cheating on me w/ their SO, I sure hope they would tell me.

So when I caught my stbxh, about a week after (and only after his mistress wouldnt 'let go' I contacted her fiance.  I emailed him evidence of the affair, explained why I felt he should know, and wished him luck. I never heard back from him.   I honestly now,  months later, dont think he even got the email.  But I did what I felt was right.

Affairs are HORRIBLE and disgusting and those cheating are HORRIBLE AND DISGUSTING, and frankly they should not be allowed to get away w/ it.  PERIOD.

Sometimes I feel I should contact him again... .but I do have my own life and my goal wasnt to hurt anyone, but to make sure the other person in this foursome was not walking around blind like I was for months.

Both my stbx and his mistress betrayed their loved ones, and both are  F ed up for doing so.  No rationalizing or excuses will make up for it.

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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 01:47:36 AM »

Haven't read all of the posts b/c I'm tired but I will read them all later.

I'll tell you this much... .

My uBPDexBF left me for a married woman who had 2 teenage kids. She was married back when they worked together 8 years ago and had an affair. You bet your bottom dollar that I called the husband. The exBF tried to guilt trip me b/c he claims (I don't believe him) that the husband threatened him. My attitude was - maybe you shouldn't have messed with a married woman then if you're such a scaredy cat. (He kept mentioning how much larger the husband was compared to him)

She dumped him and stayed with the husband.

Fast forward 5 months. The exBF got a new GF. He cheated on her. He made the mistake of trusting me and that was not smart considering how he betrayed me. (We had been living together when he cheated on me and I had moved 1500+ miles to be with him). I told the new GF that he had cheated. She didn't care. In my  mind, if I had been her, I would have wanted to know. She apparently believed I was making it up.
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 05:15:01 AM »

Are affairs a "common" behavior for people with BPD... .the person in my life that I now think is BPD... .has had

several affairs... .that I know about... .he says they are only emotional... .but also pornography... .and cyber friends...

this is how we started to get help-... .marriage counseling... .that went  no where... .

he still does not think most of this is a big deal... .it is to me...

thanks for this outlet... .
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2009, 09:23:12 AM »

I feel you should tell this woman. As another poster points out, I would want to know so I could make informed decisions about my life.

Many people knew my wife was cheating and some were mutual friends. No one told me and I thought Ihad become paranoid. These folks could have saved me a lot of anguish had they come forward.

Motivation is irrelevant as regards what is best for the betrayed spouse. You should tell her even if it is to retaliate. Your motivations have no impact on her. She needs to know, IMO.
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2009, 10:33:38 AM »

I go back and forth on this but I do resonate with the tone of the last few posts regarding the idea that if more people were willing to speak up and be truth-sayers then this kind of behavior and the damage it casues in our society would perhaps be less tolerated in general.  There are so many reasons why I think someone should know if they are being 'dupped' via affairs: 

1) someone mentioned in this post that he thought he was being cheated-on, and others knew it,  but never said anything to him. he was left to feel like he was 'paranoid'.  Personality disordered people can be effective gaslighters, this happens quite often.  In this case, not saying anything in a way in truly cruel... .it helps to keep a person in the dark and feeling tormented and confused. This is wrong.

2) but what if the spouse knows or suspects anyway and just is not willing to deal with?  Granted, many folks probably know their partner is a filanderer, or suspect it.  If they are in denial, if they don't want to deal with it, they will assume what you are telling them is not true and remain in denial.  It still does not hurt that someone spoke up as a witness to what they know.  What the person does with the info is entirely their choice, but does not absolve us of alerting someone that they are, indeed,  being mistreated.   If they are being gaslighted, your confirmation of what their gut is telling them anyway,  could be a life-saver.

3) regarding AIDS, STDs, Hepetitis, pregnancy... .for all these reasons and more, if you KNOW someone is cheating on a person, even if it's done anonymously, it just seems to me the other person should be alerted.  If you knew someone had the password to a person's bank account and was slowly siphoning off their life savings... .would you NOT tell them?  Why is this any different?  Cheating and lying ROBS the person of their ability to protect themselves. I fthey kind of know their partner is stealing their money and they chose to allow it, that is their choice. But for us to ASSUME they know and therefore we should not alert them to what we know... .that seems weird.
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2009, 10:53:43 AM »

You may end up in a divorce situation and your stbx may try to damage you to an extent thay you may not even imagine now.  If your SO's new SO has a spouse, they may also try to damage the spouse in the same way.  If telling the other spouse about it can F*&% the adulterers' worlds in some way, interfere with their relationship, expose them, etc., etc., there could be practical reasons to tell the other party.  You can be sure the adulterers are telling some other story to others to make themselves look good.

If you get into a war it may be good to have additional weapons, evidence, an ally, and force your enemies to fight a war on two fronts instead of one.  Blow that other relationship to hell if you can, not to damage anyone or to get revenge, but to protect yourself.
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2009, 11:13:46 AM »

Scrabble, I was in a similar situation - I told the husband of the woman my exBPDbf was cheating on me with. I also kind of nudged him into installing a tracking program on her computer. He found out that not only was she cheating with my bf, but numerous amounts of men... .meeting men on the internet and then leaving her children home alone at night while her husband worked nights so she could hook up with all kinds of men for sex, broadcasting herself lewdly on the internet with her webcam... .it was truly sickening and disgusting. He ended up divorcing her, and I was glad I told him. He thought she was up to something, but had no idea as to the extent of what she was doing behind his back, and what she was doing to his children. She was a disgusting piece of work. My bf didn't even know what a w%re she was, nor did he care about her in the least, but he was using her because she was easy. Sick, sick, sick.

I would recommend telling her, but the only thing I would change about the way I did it was that I shouldn't have gotten involved in it at all. I set up an anonymous email at first, but then eventually told him who I was, and we corresponded and he would tell me all the crap he had found, and shared with me IM's between her and my bf, and lots of other stuff I really didn't need to know. It only hurt me more and kept me tangled in a disgusting mess. I would suggest you tell he in an anonymous way and then let it go. How I wish I had done that. I can't even tell you how this contributed to the depths of despair I went through with my ex. Do it - just stay out of it.

htl67
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2009, 01:44:54 PM »

I agree that there are no easy answers here, but maybe consider this: How would this be revenge on your wife? The husband will have to face his wife - but she probably won't. And even if she does - it's an uncomfortable conversation for her at best. She didn't feel remorse for cheating on her own husband - do you think she's going to feel guilty over this? Probably not. He'll either dump her and make things right with his wife - in which case she'll have a new soulmate in a month. Or, his wife will leave him, and now your ex will have him all to herself. I don't really see a huge downside for her. It sounds like her boyfriend would be the big loser here. For her, it's a bump in the road.

In accepting that there really is no revenge to be had here, and you still think you want to toke the risk of bringing a LOT of drama on yourself with your ex, then you have to do what you feel morally comfortable with. I totally understand why you want to say something, but it seems to me that the big losers here would probably be you and this other guy (not that he doesn't deserve it). But these people aren't a part of your life. Your ex is your only link to them, and I think the repercussions to her will be negligible - if not positive if he leaves his wife for her.

Just a thought.   
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2009, 02:19:04 PM »

I've been in a slightly different dilemma, but it's related to infidelity and STDs.

My DH (we've been married 3 years) was previously married to the uNPD/BPD ex we call The Dark Princess.  She was unfaithful from earlyon in the relationship, and he contracted herpes from her (the gift that keeps on giving).  Fortunately, I understood (my best friend has dealt with the same situation since she was 19) -- the last statistic I heard was that over 20% of the U.S. adult population had herpes, so there's a very high chance that the failure to use condoms will result in herpes.

My dilemma?  The Dark Princess left DH back in the mid 90s, got a job in an Asian massage parlor (she's Thai), and eventually opened one of her own.  She actively engages in the "business" (yes, happy endings and a few more services).  We've seen "reviews" of her business on the internet, and apparently she does engage in sexual activities that without a condom could be risky for herpes.

For quite a while, part of me has wanted to flag the local law enforcement agencies to the risk.  DH says good riddance, as long as she is leaving us alone (95% of the time), let the buyer beware.


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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2009, 03:43:55 PM »

I've been in a slightly different dilemma, but it's related to infidelity and STDs.

I think the STD point is valid - and it's come up on this board before:  What do you do if you know your ex has an STD and is possibly spreading it?

But it sounds to me like you do not have reason to believe your ex has an STD at this time.  Of course, she could get one in the future, then pass it on to her lover, who could in turn pass it on to his wife, if they are all still sleeping together - but that's a lot of "ifs" that haven't even happened here.

No one likes to think that their loved one is having an affair, and it's especially heinous when you find out that other people knew about it.  Being the person that knows about it, and doesn't blow the whistle feels pretty awful too.  Especially after having been betrayed yourself.  But I don't think that in and of itself says that you definitely say something.  There are a LOT of factors that go into it - especially with a BPD involved - and I think you have to consider all of them.
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2009, 08:05:47 PM »

I can't offer a whole lot of reasoning behind my opinion but if only for the poor woman's sexual health she should know!
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 04:46:59 PM »

As I have already stated on here... .my exuBPDw is a Hep B carrier. She slept with me for nearly a month before she came to my house in tears and pretended she only just found out! I was no immuned but didnt catch it - it can prove fatal.

I know she slept around when we were married and is now - and she hates condoms so never uses them... .

So, this woman is now intentionally/knowingly putting lives at risk just to fulfill her own ego - what a selfish btch!
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2009, 07:44:00 AM »

None of the concerned parties in my story were BPD but still I'd still like to offer my opinion.  My ex husband had an affair with my best friend.  When I found out about it I struggled with telling her husband for all of the reasons that you mentioned.  I decided that I would let God sort it out and take care of it.  She is still with her husband and from everything I hear, its a VERY small town, things are very difficult for my ex-friend and her family.  She and her husband are in an abusive, alcoholic relationship.  I find myself at times feeling very smug and satisfied with how her situation turned out.  At the same time I feel guilty for feeling good about another persons hurt.  At one time I loved the people who nearly destroyed me and still would like to believe that they are good people deep down.  Don't lower yourself to their level.  Live your life and take care of you.  In the end everybody has to live with what they've done and answer to someone way more powerful than we are.
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2009, 08:44:34 PM »

I just wanted to say that people with BPD are amazingly charming and have this ability to turn bad news into good news.  I've also noticed that when it comes to love, people want to believe the person that they love more than anything.  To be honest, this is how I see it playing out:

You tell the wife - she reacts in a negative way to you because she thinks that you don't know her personal life.  She confronts her husband (already a well-established liar) and asks for the truth (and that is if what you've told her has led her to question him).  He lies and tells her that you are just a loser (like his piece on the side tells him) with nothing better to do than to be a home wrecker.  They mutually pity you (or greatly dislike your desire to sabotage their lives) and your stbx gains ammunition.  All you would be doing is feeding into her - and that is the last thing on earth that you want.  The mess that she makes of others lives is not your problem (heartless to say but true), it's time to start disengaging and letting your BEST revenge being that you find a way to lead a happy and carefree life without her (and trust me, for a BPD that REALLY is awful).  Perhaps she even thrives on drama and would actually enjoy having the wife find out.
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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2009, 09:22:54 PM »

But I think even if the SO of your SO's lover does not believe you right away, it is one more chink in the armor.  Sometimes we don't believe things the first time, but the evidence builds.  Sometimes being told once is not enough, but being told twice is.  It doesn't matter if you are the first or the second--you are still doing your part.

I agree in many ways it is best to disengage, but I also question (I may face this myself once I gather more facts) if it would be helpful in moving on to take the action.  It probably varies by person, but I personally seem to have the need to settle scores to some degree before I can let go of some things fully.  Otherwise it takes more time because I am haunted by the thought that I allowed someone to abuse me without defending myself or striking back in some way.  I don't like to put out signals to the universe, or to myself, that I can be abused with no consequences to the abuser.  I find that is not good for my confidence and in general it could encourage others to do the same.  Consider it a personal flaw on my part if you like, but that is how I am and it is not likely to change.  I developed this view after a long time in my earlier life during which I did not protect myself enough.  I think if you practice standing up for yourself in any way you will develop the skills to do it better and sooner the next time.  I have not always retaliated for everything, but it takes a long time to forget if I don't, especially I have a chance to act while I am still trapped in the situation.  In spite of all this talk, I am still pretty soft on people until they really push me too far or back me into a corner.

For example, in my current situation I have the option of quietly going through a divorce and letting results of the smear campaign against me just remain, or amending my divorce filing to tell the truth about the adultery, abandonment, mental illness, cruelty, terrible parenting and diversion of marital assets.  Nobody in the legal system will care about the first five (I am only a SF), but I can probably get some mileage out of the last one and have grounds to bring some truth to the surface, or at least threaten it if I need a weapon of protection.  I have not made the decision yet on this.
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lbmeyer
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« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2009, 07:41:46 AM »

To me it sounds like self satisfaction.  It's like hurting someone because you are hurt. Just my opinion!  If my best friend's husband were cheating on her and I found out about it I would tell her.  That's a different scenario though.

Lori
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Dustoff
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« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2009, 09:32:38 AM »

My_Memories,

You are right on.  The exact same thing happened to me.  Exgf turned it all around and made me out the bad guy and a liar.  These people can make you believe their story even if you have seen it with your own eyes.  They are amazing as to their power and hold over people.

Dustoff
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ifsogirl26
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« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2009, 11:05:54 AM »

My husbands friend cheats on his wife. They have a 2 yr old girl. He will call my H and ask him to say that he was with my H that night in case his wife questions him. She and him have had this issue come up and she knew about at least one of these affairs. I actually like the guy but he cheats. Sometimes I want to say something but I don't. What would it do? She knows what he is capable of and if he keeps cheating then she will find out sooner or later but I can't say anything cause it is my H's friend not really mine. It sucks to know and have to look at her and talk to her while you are thinking he just cheated on you last night!
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lbmeyer
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« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2009, 07:55:01 AM »

I just couldn't do that.  Especially to protect the cheater.  I know what it feels like to be cheated on and all of my friends knew about it and no one told me.  I can't even tell you the humiliation that came with finding out a year later than everybody else did.  I would risk a friendship before I would let someone else go through that!
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