My Husband Is Telling People About His Affair. It’s Embarrassing And Disrespectful

By: Katie Lersch: There is an inclination when you are dealing with infidelity in your marriage to play things close to the chest. What I mean by that is that even if your spouse cheated and you did nothing wrong, you still feel as if you don’t want other people knowing your unfortunate personal business. Having everyone know that your spouse cheated on you is not something that you will typically want. And so you limit this information to only your very closest family and friends (and sometimes, to no one.) That’s why it can be very frustrating and maddening when your spouse goes and blurts out details of the affair to anyone who will listen.

Here is what you might hear from someone explaining this. A wife might say: “honestly, in the three weeks since I found out about my husband’s affair, I have barely left the house. I have been so upset. It is like my world stopped. But, life has to go on. My kids still have to go to school and be fed. And we were completely out of food. So yesterday, I ventured to the grocery store. I admit I looked awful. I was praying that I would not see anyone who I knew. And of course, this meant that I would. I actually ran into the wife of one of my husband’s coworkers. I actually pretending to be texting on my phone in the hopes that she would not approach me. But no such luck. She came right up to me and told me that she was so sorry to hear about myself and my husband. I was going to ask her what she was talking about before she blurted out that she would never peg my husband has someone who cheats. I could not help myself and I asked her how in the world she knew about all of this. She told me that my husband confided the whole sad story to her husband while both men were at work. I was honestly tempted to just leave my groceries and flee and I would have if there had been any groceries in our home. As it was, I excused myself, bought only the bare necessities, and got out of there as soon as possible. As soon as my husband got home, I confronted him. Not only did he admit that he’d told his coworker about the affair, he announced that he’d told his family and some friends. He says that this is part of his life and he shares his life with people who are important to him. He says that he was just looking for advice and support. I told him that he is NOT to go talking about the affair anymore. He said that he is the one who had the affair, so his discussing it is no reflection on me. He said that I can choose not to tell my friends, but I can’t control his talking about it. I feel that his making these types of announcements are insulting and disrespectful. I don’t want everyone knowing my martial business. And I feel like everyone is now going to know that I couldn’t keep my husband happy. These are judgements on me. How can I make him stop running his mouth?”

I am not sure that you can “make” him do anything, but you can certainly appeal to his sense of commitment, decency, and common sense. I don’t blame you for not wanting the whole world to know about the affair. It is no one’s business.  None of us wants to be the source for someone else’s gossip. With that said, none of this is your fault. If your husband chooses to blab to everyone, that is really on him because this is his mistake, not yours. The people who he is confiding in may not be making negative judgements about you at all. They might be feeling empathy. But, regardless, you can’t take this back or turn back time. This is done. What you can do is control who YOU do or do not confide in. And you can ask your husband once again to use discretion.

I think it may help to appeal to his sense of protectiveness. Perhaps you could try something like: “I know that in your own mind, you were just looking for a sounding board and for support. I know that you didn’t anticipate for your coworker to go and tell his wife. But think about how that encounter made me feel.  And think for a second about how many people his wife potentially told. And then those people could turn around and tell their friends. Dealing with this is hard enough without worrying about everyone knowing my struggles and making judgments about our family. I am requesting that you ask your confidants not to repeat this information. And I am asking you not to share details of our marriage with anyone else. If you need support or advice, please let’s both get it from a counselor. I have not told other people so that you don’t have to be confronted in the way that I was at the grocery store. I know that you can’t take back what has already happened. But please, don’t continue on in this way. Because if you do, then I will be confronted with this again and it makes me uncomfortable at a time that is already very painful for me.  I don’t want for the kids having to deal with this, either. Can you keep this between us and within our own home?”

Hopefully, when you put it this way, he will be able to empathize with your point of view. To be fair, he was likely looking for support for (and input about) his mistake, which is normal. He likely didn’t count on your being confronted at the grocery store. He likely didn’t consider how this might affect you and his children. Now that he sees that it has affected you greatly, he will hopefully stop.

Dealing with third parties is just one of many things that you have to deal with in the aftermath of infidelity.  Take it one day at a time and be very kind to yourself.  None of this is your fault.  Try to focus on healing and not on what other people might think.  In the grand scheme of things, you have bigger issues to deal with right now than the opinions of others.   If it helps, you can read more about how I handled the aftermath of the affair on my blog at  http://surviving-the-affair.com.

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