So, I'd like to get people's reactions and thoughts on this situation. Here is the breakdown - we have a large group of friends back up on our old hometown. We are still in touch with them, and when we go visit we usually hang out, someone will have or host a BBQ or something so we can all congregate in one spot to catch up. Most of the folks are couples with younger kids.
A few days ago, AlphaGeek's best friend called to chat, and in the course of the discussion revealed that one of the husbands in the group may be cheating on his wife. He doesn't have any actual proof, but he's seem some things that have created a lot of implication, like Cheater McCheaterson and the *Homewrecker holding hands, snuggling, stealing hugs, etc. Cheater's wife also caught some questionable texts between the two of them, and forbade him from seeing her in social settings, which he has completely disregarded.
AG's best friend is not super close to the wife, so doesn't feel comfortable bringing the possible cheating to her attention. I should also mention, most of the husbands in the group now know about this. The only couple that doesn't know, is the couple whose wife is best friend with Cheater McCheaterson's wife.
No one knows what to do. When (not if) this gets out, it's going to be ugly. Everyone will have to take a side, and the whole group will likely get thrown out of orbit.
What the hell do you do in this situation? Actually, can you do anything? Cheater will likely lose everything in the divorce, seeing as how his wife has been the major breadwinner for their entire marriage. I just can't believe he is willing to sacrifice so much just for some new tail.
*I only refer to her as the Homewrecker so I have something to call her. I totally believe the husband is also a homewrecker in this situation.
DON'T GET INVOLVED. Be supportive if it blows up, but don't do anything now. If they were your best friends, that would be different, but not here. And you *don't* have to take a side even if it does blow up.
I hate lying. I also have hated the few times in my life where I've been made a fool of. Everybody knew something but me and when it came out the notion that my friends were all conspiring to keep the truth from me was far more devastating than the original issue (of course, this was high school, so in the scheme of things how devastating could the original event have been?).
To this end, to me, somebody has to tell Cheater's wife. The whole issue is worse because she is now a double fool. Both her spouse AND her friends are lying to her. What obligation does anybody have to Cheater to keep a secret like this? Sides might have to be picked, initially, but after the dust settles down and what is, is, friendships can be restored, albeit differently than they were before I think.
Also, lucky you to live away from the drama. :)
i agree. don't get involved. you may feel bad for the other parties involved (like the spouses of the cheaters) but it sounds like the wife of Cheater already knows. and if she even suspects i'd be willing to bet that her bff knows too. the wife of cheater might be waiting to get more proof before acting. does their state have a no-fault divorce policy? if not, proof might be something she's collecting right now. she might be playing nice just biding her time. in any case, getting involved wouldn't be a good thing.
This is exactly why I'm torn. The wife is certainly not stupid, and she already suspects. However, I also agree with mcglory, because if I put myself in the wife's shoes, I'd wonder why none of my friends had taken me aside and said anything. Cheater actually called around to the husbands to tell them not to say anything to bff's husband, for fear he'd tell the bff, who would then tell Cheater's wife. Ugh. It's all so ugly. But back to the other side, HBD makes a good point, that we aren't best friends with them, so it's kinda none of my business, other than the fact that I actually know what's happening. Gah!
Preface: I am in a really, really bad mood. Well, to me this would make the side picking thing (in case of divorce) pretty easy. As long as they don't tell, they've all picked the cheater's side. If I were the wife, I'd probably think less of everyone's character and drop them all.
Which is one way to simplify the mess. :)
I'm with HBD--I would stay way the hell out of it. Unless the wife was somebody I was really close to, 'not my business' would be my mantra.
And if it were me in the wife's place, I honestly don't think I'd be all that upset at acquaintances for not telling. If a very close friend knew something like that and didn't tell me, I'd probably be pretty upset, but friendly acquaintances are a whole other thing. However, if I were good friends with somebody in the position of Cheater McCheaterson, I'd have very strong words for that person and I don't know that I could continue being close to someone who did that sort of thing.
If Wife DID get upset at the people who were involved in the embarrassment, she may remember first the person who told her. She may suspect you knew, but without proof she wouldn't really have a reason to be upset.
Wife may be biding her time and gathering evidence to use in court. Then again, maybe she's more interested in holding onto her marriage than being embarrassed, and thought that by telling him to stop seeing *Homewrecker that this would be enough. Plenty of spouses turn a blind eye for various reasons, and if others insert themselves, it could throw off the delicate balance. Think of how many political wives keep quiet only until it becomes a major media shitstorm and they're publicly humiliated and never heard from again?
Dan Savage just wrote a Letter of the Day last week about this very situation saying not to get involved, and I agree. This is not your drama. That said, when I saw that Alleged Cheater called all the dudes and said not to say anything because Bro Code, I thought, like McG, every single one of these people are acting like asshats. Be glad you don't live nearby, and next time you come into town or someone tries to drag you into the drama, say "huh. That all sounds like a bummer for you guys." and leave it al0ne. Misery loves company, but that doesn't mean the company has to be you.
"Misery loves company, but that doesn't mean the company has to be you." I love this quote Kommish. :)
Agreed with kommish... If this was *your* best friend different story. Also since she already 'suspects' I would bet money that means she knows and is perhaps trying to figure out what she wants to do... And consider this - that a lot of partners stay even after infidelity...Not everyone divorces or wants to have public hanging because of their spouse's mistakes.
When my husband was cheating and his entire workplace knew (where I spent a fair amount of time at with my newborn at the time) no one said boo to me... Was I embarrassed? Yes. Was I mad at them? Fuck no. My husband (ex) was the asshole cheating... and frankly, I didn't want my dirty laundry aired out amongst co-workers and people I considered acquaintances or friends.
In my world if you want to throw in your 2 cents on the relationship confront the McCheater Pants...that's who needs to hear it the most...
The wife knows. She may not know she knows, but she KNOWS. I have been that wife. Marriages are complicated. Sometimes people cheat. Sometimes you can resolve things. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes it takes you a lot of time before you realize you can't. But telling her that her husband is cheating on her isn't going to be bringing her new information. I have been in her place and one of the fears of leaving the marriage is knowing that the social bonds you have will inevitably be severed. If she's caught questionable texts and forbade things, she just already knows and is coming to terms with it. She may not be ready to wrap her brain around it. It is a hurtful thing to come to terms with -- this person that you trust, share a home/family/future with could hurt you like this. She may go for years like this, hoping he'll change, whatever. So my advice is to not get directly involved, and encourage everyone to keep the gossiping/speculating to a minimum (because that may pressure her to leave him when it could be resolved, and this has to be a decision they make on their own), and somehow find a way to let her know that you are a friend through thick and thin.
I vote for with the stay out of it camp. Sounds like Wife isn't a close enough friend (emotionally not geographically) to get enmeshed in it.
But, your situation does suck, and I'm sorry for you.