When A Man Is Cheating On His Affair Partner With His Wife Should The Wife Tell?

By: Katie Lersch: When there is an affair and another person within your marriage, the relationship that is being prioritized (or which relationship is the most important) can get muddled. Often, the other woman assumes that the husband is no longer intimate with his wife. In order to carry out the affair, it is often easier for her if she thinks that the marriage is so broken that no sex is taking place. This is often very far from the truth. She usually assumes that the only intercourse is coming from her. And the wife wonders if she should enlighten the other woman and tell her the truth.

Someone might say: “I know for a fact that my husband’s affair partner thinks that she is the only one in his life. I read their emails. And she believes that he hates me and that we sleep in separate beds. We absolutely do not. In fact, we have sex regularly. And he most definitely does not hate me. She believes that he is only biding his time until he can divorce me and be OK financially. And yet, we have sex all of the time and he is always talking about the future with me. He’s clearly selling her a ton of lies. And I’d like to set her straight. Should I tell her that he is cheating on her with me? That he is cheating on both of us?”

I can certainly see the issue here. You often hope that if she knows that he is lying to her and sleeping with both of you, then she will break off the affair because it’s all been happening under false pretenses. I know how attractive this must seem.

But I have to tell you that I often suggest not allowing the other woman into your life – which means not confronting her or talking to her.  I know you feel like you have a good reason to contact her, but I nearly never see this scenario working out in anything but a very negative way. She often is not receptive to what you have to say simply because you are the one saying it. And she is often very invested in believing her own version of the truth.  Sometimes, she may even believe that your husband is having sex with you, but she does not care because she still believes that it doesn’t matter.

Since it’s not healthy or advisable to have a relationship with her, my suggestion would be to take this up with the person you do have a relationship with – your husband. Because quite frankly, this triangle is every bit as unhealthy for you as it is for her. I know you want to point out that your husband is “selling her a ton of lies.” And yet, I’m going to say this as gently as I can.  But, he is doing the same with you. I believe that it is going to be very difficult to make any headway on your marriage when he is involved in two relationships.

So I might suggest something like this: “I know that you’ve told the other woman that we have no kind of relationship and that we are not having sex. Clearly, you are leading her to believe something that isn’t true. This isn’t fair to anyone. And I can only assume that you are lying to her because you know that she would end the affair if she knew the truth. This tells me that you really don’t have any intention of ending it with her and that you are willing to lie in order to keep it going. I can’t participate in our marriage under those circumstances. We don’t have a good chance of repairing anything if you can’t focus on one relationship. She deserves to know the truth. And I deserve your fidelity. You are relating to both of us under false pretenses and it is not fair.”

You didn’t threaten your husband that you would tell the other woman the truth in this conversation, but he might logically come to this conclusion and either chose to tell her himself or to end the relationship. I understand that you don’t want to have this conversation because there is risk in it. The fear is that he will choose her.

But here is another perspective. By allowing this to go on, you’re allowing him to choose her anyway. He’s choosing you both and he’s choosing to operate both relationships under complete dishonesty. Perhaps you can’t control how he conducts his relationship with her. But you can control how he conducts it with you. And you can make it clear that you won’t tolerate the lies and the betrayal in your own relationship. You can choose to pause things until he comes to a decision.

He may need time to come to a decision about which direction he really wants to take. This can seem unbearable, but it’s my belief that it’s better than continuing on with this very unhealthy cycle. It has to be very painful to know that he is continuing on in the way that he is. And his current path doesn’t offer any sort of resolution for anyone. It is just continuing on with the lies with two relationships that can’t possibly be healthy. Because one can’t thrive while the other exists.

But I don’t think that there is any benefit to your being the one to break the bad news to her. Likely, she will figure this out for herself. And when she does, at least you didn’t allow her into your life any more than she already is.

I admit that I was tempted to confront the other woman.  But ultimately, I decided that doing this would give her more power.  And my whole aim was to lessen the power she had over me. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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