Author Topic: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything? Small Update - #57  (Read 18464 times)

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Danika

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2012, 04:32:30 PM »
Why is everyone saying tell the fiance and not mentioning the husband?  surely if you think you should tell one you should tell both

That's what I was thinking, too.

Good point. I think telling the fiancee is time-sensitive because it'd be better to know and make a decision before wedding vows were spoken. But I think that if OP does want to communicate this information to the fiancee, then she should also communicate to Vanessa's husband in the same manner.

Sharnita

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2012, 07:05:49 PM »
I would talk to Peter and to Vanessa and tell both of them that they had the option of being with me when I talked to fiance and husband but that I would be talking to each. In same cases being friends with the cheaters might make it more clear OP was telling the truth because she would have no reason to hurt her friends if they were innocent and she could avoid it.

I do think there is a moral obligation to try to help people who are taken advantage of, whether they are good friends or not.

blarg314

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2012, 11:19:10 PM »

Do you know his fiance well enough to know if she would believe you?  Because if she's a casual acquaintance, the chances that she will believe you when you tell her her fiance and father of her child is cheating on her, without really concrete proof, is pretty small.

An anonymous note is worse than useless.  Think about it - if you got an anonymous note on email or snail mail telling you that your spouse was having an affair, would you believe it, and head for a counsellor/divorce lawyer?  Or would you assume that this is some sort of nasty joke being played by an enemy, or someone who has designs on you or your spouse. If you're going to tell someone that their spouse is having an affair, you have to put your name behind it and accept the consequences, however nasty they may well turn out to be.

For the wedding issue, in some ways, it would be better for her to find out *after* the wedding. Even if she kicks him out, they still have a child together. If they divorce (rather than just breaking up) it might increase her chances of collecting child support, as she enters life as a single mother.  Even if she divorces him, she's still stuck with a relationship with him for at least the next 20 years, probably the rest of her life.

The problem is that this is a situation that has no good ending. Regardless of whether or not you tell the fiance, or the husband, if what you suspect is true, they are still involved with someone who is cheating on them. Whether or not you tell them is a fairly minor part of the larger problem.


Anniissa

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2012, 07:08:31 AM »
Thanks to everyone - you have given me a lot to think about. It has been really helpful hearing all the different views. I am still not decided whether to do anything as I want to make sure I think this through very carefully before making a decision.

Just to clear up a couple of points from the replies - I guess it is correct that I don't know for sure that an affair is still going on. The text on its own proves nothing but the conversation snippet I overheard confirmed that at least once in the last few months that Peter and Vanessa have slept together and that Peter wished to repeat it. As soon as I realised what was going on I left as I had no wish to hear any more. Therefore, no-one knows that I know.

I do not know the actual details of either Peter or Vanessa's relationships. They may have open relationships which would allow this. I don't really think that is the case but you never know the reality of someone else's relationship. Peter's fiancee was previously very upset and nearly ended the relationship when she thought he was being overly flirty to a girl where he was only talking to her so I would imagine from this that she would not approve of an open relationship but, as I said, I do not know for certain. I am not sure she would believe me if I told though - I do not know her well at all and she may see it coming now, a month or two before the wedding, as troublemaking.

I am horrified that Peter and Vanessa could behave like this. The likelihood is that at some point there is going to be an almighty mess - not just two marriages/relationships ruined but Peter is risking losing his child who he adores. If he loses his fiancee, he will likely lose any but the barest of contact with his child. I can't believe he would be stupid enough to risk that  :'(

Petticoats

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2012, 10:20:59 AM »
OP, I'm sorry you're in this position. I don't have any firsthand experience, but I'm an avid reader of advice columns, and it seems like the advice I've seen columnists give is to talk to one or both of the cheaters, and tell them, "You tell your SO what's going on, or I will"--and give them a deadline.

It's tough advice to follow, and I'm not sure I'd be able to do it, myself--offering it here for what it's worth.

Twik

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2012, 10:35:57 AM »
For the wedding issue, in some ways, it would be better for her to find out *after* the wedding. Even if she kicks him out, they still have a child together. If they divorce (rather than just breaking up) it might increase her chances of collecting child support, as she enters life as a single mother.  Even if she divorces him, she's still stuck with a relationship with him for at least the next 20 years, probably the rest of her life.

That's a very good point. They are already bonded in a way (legally, emotionally and morally) that is even more intense than marriage. If she wishes to break up with him, it's not going to be a simple matter of "Get out, I don't want to see or hear from you again."
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Tilt Fairy

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2012, 10:36:51 AM »
I think there are times I would tell ( if I was close friends with a wronged party) and I had absolute proof of ongoing cheating behaviour) and times I wouldn't ( not close friends and/ or merely strong suspicion).

 Even in the first scenario, I would approach the cheater first and give them a chance to come clean before I told anyone else.

Never been in this situation thank goodness.

This is exactly how I feel as well. If the person being cheated on was a good friend and I was 100% sure that there was cheating. Not 98%, not 99% but 100%. Strong suspicion wouldn't be enough either. I have so many friends that send flirty text messages to each other or hang out in private or enjoy building up sexual tension between them - but none of these mean that there is an actual sexually physical or emotional affair going on. It's all conjecture.

However, also like Deetee, if I knew 100% and the person being cheated on was a close enough a friend of mine that I care about her wellbeing, I would ALWAYS approach the cheater(s) first and give them a chance to come clean before I tell my friend. I figure it's better the admission of cheating coming from their loved one where they can explain/justify/confess their actions and keep the private matter between themselves instead of coming from me. They know I know and thus have no other option but to confess to their parter or know I will.

OP in your situation, you only have a strong suspicion. You say Vanessa is your friend. If it was a good friend of mine who I suspected was having an affair, I would simply talk to her about it. She will either lie (in which case you still have no proof) or admit it (in which case you can decide whether you want to tell the cheated on fiance or keep quiet). If it were me, I wouldn't say anything in this instance as I don't know the fiancÚ that well. I would most likely have a heart-to-heart with my close friend Vanessa about how this is all going to end/surface/come out.

I actually hear rumours all the time about so and so cheating on his/her girlfriend/boyfriend on a night out but I don't say anything because a) theres no concrete evidence and b) I don't know the person being cheated on well or barely know them at all.

Like Deetee said, the evidential validity of the affair AND the proximity of closeness to the person being cheated on are both key factors. Without both, I wouldn't say anything.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 10:44:38 AM by Tilt Fairy »

kittytongue

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2012, 06:30:45 PM »
I think you absolutely need to have a talk with Vanessa. You say you're going to end your friendship with her over this. I think you need to confirm what you think you know before you do this. What if you're wrong? You'd be cutting someone you care about out of your life for no reason. not to mention maligning two people who didn't deserve it.

Addressing the other issue of tell or don't tell: If one of my friends knew that I was being cheated on and didn't tell me? When I found out I'd be out a partner and a friend. Some secrets aren't meant to be kept. There's a fine line between protecting someone and hurting them in a situation like this. Give me the information and trust that I'm enough of an adult to handle myself.

Moray

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2012, 06:39:07 PM »
While I absolutely think Peter's fiancee should know before she ends up marrying him, I think people are right that it is probably not my place to tell her. I have met her a few times but don't really know her very well at all. Having said that I think she probably would want to know - I know that a couple of years ago she nearly ended the relationship when he was a little too flirty to a girl one night and told him in no uncertain terms that she would not put up with him disrespecting her like that ever again. Apparantly he hasn't learned his lesson  >:( He has a three month old child with his fiancee - quite the prize isnt he?

I guess it is right that I don't actually know the full story - their partners may be aware of what is going on I suppose. I don't know how long it was going on for or even if it continues. The text on its own referred to a meeting and was quite flirty but not necessarily evidence of anything specific. I walked in on them when they thought they were alone and I overheard him discussing sexual matters so I can't see there is any doubt that a physical affair has taken place even if it is now over.

It's a horrible situation that will no doubt blow up in terrific fashion. Several people are going to get hurt. If I do say anything, it would be to Vanessa who I am closest to. I'm not a big fan of getting overly involved in other peoples relationships when they are old enough to know what they're doing but perhaps I can at least tell her I know and it must stop if it hasn't already. I'm not sure if I can do anything for Peter's fiancee because I don't really know her or how she would take me saying anything.

Just out of curiosity, when you say you "heard them discussing sexual matters", do you mean they were talking about sex, or sex with each other. Those are two pretty different things. I have male friends that I discuss sex with in the same way that I have female friends that I discuss sex with.
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Sharnita

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2012, 08:16:20 PM »
I think there are times I would tell ( if I was close friends with a wronged party) and I had absolute proof of ongoing cheating behaviour) and times I wouldn't ( not close friends and/ or merely strong suspicion).

 Even in the first scenario, I would approach the cheater first and give them a chance to come clean before I told anyone else.

Never been in this situation thank goodness.

This is exactly how I feel as well. If the person being cheated on was a good friend and I was 100% sure that there was cheating. Not 98%, not 99% but 100%. Strong suspicion wouldn't be enough either. I have so many friends that send flirty text messages to each other or hang out in private or enjoy building up sexual tension between them - but none of these mean that there is an actual sexually physical or emotional affair going on. It's all conjecture.

However, also like Deetee, if I knew 100% and the person being cheated on was a close enough a friend of mine that I care about her wellbeing, I would ALWAYS approach the cheater(s) first and give them a chance to come clean before I tell my friend. I figure it's better the admission of cheating coming from their loved one where they can explain/justify/confess their actions and keep the private matter between themselves instead of coming from me. They know I know and thus have no other option but to confess to their parter or know I will.

OP in your situation, you only have a strong suspicion. You say Vanessa is your friend. If it was a good friend of mine who I suspected was having an affair, I would simply talk to her about it. She will either lie (in which case you still have no proof) or admit it (in which case you can decide whether you want to tell the cheated on fiance or keep quiet). If it were me, I wouldn't say anything in this instance as I don't know the fiancÚ that well. I would most likely have a heart-to-heart with my close friend Vanessa about how this is all going to end/surface/come out.

I actually hear rumours all the time about so and so cheating on his/her girlfriend/boyfriend on a night out but I don't say anything because a) theres no concrete evidence and b) I don't know the person being cheated on well or barely know them at all.

Like Deetee said, the evidential validity of the affair AND the proximity of closeness to the person being cheated on are both key factors. Without both, I wouldn't say anything.

OP has said that she is certain there was cheating. Doubt would give her a convenient out but she has no doubt.

Tea Drinker

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2012, 08:58:55 PM »
With regard to your follow-up: if someone in your situation came to me or my husband, the answer would be some version of "Oh, I thought you knew we had an open relationship. Sure, talk to her/him if you like." If someone we knew didn't know that, I'd be glad that they wanted to protect me, or him, as the case might be.

So, yes, it's possible, but I wouldn't lose sleep over that possibility when deciding what to do.
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything?
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2012, 10:55:16 AM »
Having been the cheated on party, I am still hurt that so many knew and said nothing.

I wish I had been told after the first affair and not discovered the other four when the fifth one happened.  I was embarrassed and felt humiliated even though I did nothing wrong.  As I found out more and more friends and family knew/suspected and said nothing the angrier I became.  A real friend would have voiced their suspicions to me and at least I would have had a clue to look for something before it became repeated.  I finally caught on one day, followed up and starting finding about all of them.  After my divorce I was tested for HIV regularly for several years afterwards.   

Tell Vanessa and Peter what you know and let them know that you will not tolerate the affair continuing with your knowledge, they need to shut it down or you will be notifying their spouses.   

At least then you will not be witnessing anymore inappropriate behavior and it may be what they need to shake them up and make them stop.

As for the wedding, no I wouldn't go.   

Anniissa

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I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything? Small Update
« Reply #57 on: October 23, 2012, 12:45:19 PM »
Thanks for all the posts everyone. It has been really helpful getting lots of peoples' opinions as this is not something I am currently comfortable sharing with people I know just in case.

Anyway, whilst I have been sitting here mulling over the options, I have received an email from Vanessa asking myself and another close friend out for "Crisis" drinks. Basically, she explained that things have been kind of crazy in her life at the moment and she wanted to get some help/advice. She did not elaborate on what the situation is but I don't think I'm going too wild with the guess that it's about this situation. I suppose, even it is isn't directly that it will be my opportunity to broach the subject. So, I guess at least it will push me into a decision about what I do. Yikes...

PennyandPleased

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything? Small Update - #57
« Reply #58 on: October 23, 2012, 01:50:19 PM »
My Mom was actually in your exact position many, many years ago.

She told the cheating party that they had 48 hours to tell their spouse or she would. Cheating party came clean.

25+ years later the person being cheated on still randomly brings up how my Mom "saved her life".

If I was in your position I would do the above.

grannyclampettjr

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Re: I wish I didn't know - now I do should I say anything? Small Update - #57
« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2012, 10:19:24 AM »
I was once the one cheated upon...or at least he was trying to cheat (she ended up not wanting him and it was all a game to her HA!), and I knew, but I wasn't ready to "know" yet as I hadn't formulated my escape plan from the marriage.   

She may very well know but not be ready to KNOW know.  Does that make sense?