≡ Menu

Your Turn: “Should I Tell His Wife He Cheated on Her?”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I went to the beach this weekend and hooked up with a guy whom I later found out, through some Facebook stalking, to be married with a young child. We met at a bar and he wasn’t wearing a ring. We didn’t actually have sex but special handshakes were given by both parties. I also found his wife’s Facebook and I’m wondering if it’s my duty/responsibility to tell her that her husband is a slimy excuse for a man? Unintentional Other Woman
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

{ 231 comments… add one }

avatar 2_J September 15, 2011, 7:24 am

I would say no. It actually isn’t your place to go stirring up trouble in their marriage, you would have nothing to gain from this whatsoever , except for maybe the satisfaction that you just turned his life upside down,which makes you a pretty crappy and kind of stalkerish crazy woman. Don’t forget, you said yourself, you didn’t have sex, and there is a child involved as well. If you just met him at a bar at the beach chances are, you wouldn’t have seen or heard from him again, and if he really is a douche, then his true colors will come out to his wife eventually and he’ll ruin his marriage his own way. Just MOA and and don’t waste your energy on someone you can’t have, go meet someone new who is available.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 8:27 am

Gotta say, I am confused by your response…

“It isn’t your place to go stirring up trouble in their marriage”? – The man appears to have stirred up his OWN trouble within his marriage. The LW is asking if she should reveal it. The trouble is already plainly there.

“…you just turned his life upside down” – he is the one who is married. Not the LW. He turned his OWN life upside down.

“there is a child involved” – yes, and it is the MAN’s child, not the LW’s. That said, shouldn’t he have thought about that before participating in risky behaviors?

“if he really is a douche, then his true colors will come out to his wife eventually and he’ll ruin his marriage his own way.” – so let’s see…the man involved is married and has a kid and got sexual with an unattached female. How is that NOT being a douche, and actively trying to ruin his marriage?

I don’t understand why you are assigning no responsibility to the cheater in this equation – the man. The LW is unattached, and simply is asking if she should reveal something she found out. She does not, to me, sound like she is only asking if she should reveal the knowledge she is privy to that the man’s wife is not.

If you were married and your spouse cheated, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you – as the spouse – want to be able to make your own decisions about the gravity of “remember you didn’t actually have sex and there is a child involved” rather than have someone else weigh the repercussions of the situation? I know that I would not want someone else to decide that since there wasn’t full on penetration and since my spouse and I had a child, that I shouldn’t know.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 8:29 am

oops…my mind got ahead of my fingers! **The LW does not, to me, sound like she is just out to be vengeful and ruin this man’s life – with or without his own active participation – it sounds like she is only asking if she should reveal knowledge she is privy to that the man’s wife is not.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:08 am

Yes, this! No where in the letter did I think she sounded like she was vengeful. And I don;t see how its “stalking” either. All it takes is to type his name in, and to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe she did this thinking she would befriend him on facebook. Not something uncommon for someone who just hooked up, IMO.

avatar honeybeenicki September 15, 2011, 11:22 am

I think the use of the word “stalking” is because LW said herself that she was FB stalking.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 12:06 pm

You’re right.

avatar Natasia Rose September 15, 2011, 9:35 am

maybe the guy and his wife have an open relationship or a “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Maybe they are separated and he doesn’t want to announce that via Facebook. There are a lot possibilities.

Is this guy just a douchebag? Probably, but really no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. This lady had casual sex with someone, that doesn’t give her a free pass to meddle in his life. If they had a relationship and he had lied to her it would be completely different.

avatar Lydia September 16, 2011, 3:10 am

This. You don’t really know anything about his life. The LW may think she is doing the wife a favour, but there is no way to know for sure.

avatar Shadowflash1522 September 16, 2011, 1:51 pm

Turn the question around: Would you take the word of a totally random stranger over that of someone you love?

I feel like this opens up the field to anyone who might want to slander the husband or ruin the marriage to make baseless accusations. After all, you can’t provide proof, so it’s your word against his. You (the other woman) could be anybody, or nobody, as far as the marriage is concerned. If his wife is willing to take some strange lady’s word for it, she probably has strong suspicions/insecurities anyway. If she isn’t, then you haven’t accomplished anything.

He’s clearly got enough rope–he’ll hang himself eventually.

avatar GatorGirl September 15, 2011, 8:28 am

“Don’t forget…you didn’t have sex…”

Personally I don’t see a difference. The LW and this man were naked, persumably in a bed, in an intimate sexual experiance. This is just as much cheating in my book.

avatar honeybeenicki September 15, 2011, 9:03 am

Everyone has a different definition of cheating, but I’m thinking whatever the LW was referring to probably fits the bill for most people.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 12:43 pm

Boo your attitude towards LW! She did absolutely nothing wrong, and is now asking for advice so she can “do the right thing” — she is, in fact, asking for help figuring out what that “right thing” is! It sound at all like she was happy to have “turned his life upside down.” Out of left-field to assert that her attempt to do the right thing makes her a “a pretty crappy and kind of stalkerish crazy woman”, even if it turns out telling him isn’t the best thing. And no it doesn’t. She met a guy, she hooked up, she looked him up online, she found out he was married, and even if she dropped a line to the wife to say, “I’m so sorry, I met and hooked up with your husband this weekend, and just learned that he is married. I am telling you because I would want to know”, none of that makes her crappy. Perhaps misguided, but not crappy.

Thumbs down for unnecessary roughness towards LW.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 12:45 pm

Great comment, even better name though!

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:31 pm

Thanks!

avatar Bossy Italian Wife September 15, 2011, 3:41 pm

I totally disagree.

Who cares if SHE would want to know or not? Since when do random hook ups come with a stamp of morality to disclose to the wife? LW sounds she needs a reality check when it comes to hooking up in bars with strangers. She could just have easily been in a relationship…how was the guy to know? Did she ask? Sure, he wasn’t wearing a ring, but I know lots of married people who don’t wear rings.

I think she needs to leave her hook up at the beach, where she apparently left her head.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 3:45 pm

“…at the beach, where she apparently left her head.”

That must be why they only exchanged special handshakes.

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 4:24 pm

Ba-doomp chee!

avatar mcminnem September 15, 2011, 4:04 pm

So are we all now obligated to grill everyone we meet with “whoa, hey, are you married?” before we interact? A wedding ring is the accepted way to advertise to the universe “I’m taken, don’t hit on me!” If you’re not wearing your wedding ring, you have a responsibility to be the one to volunteer that information, and to turn down unwelcome attention.
Men aren’t robots programmed to have sex with everything that moves. He was capable of stopping her. She didn’t spot an obviously married man and go “I’ma sex that!” He could have, at any point, said “whoa, hey, I’m married. Let’s not do this.” By not doing that, he is telling the LW that he is single, and available. She did nothing wrong, but he did, and he deserves to be called on it.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 4:22 pm

Um, actually, very few people care if LW would want to know if she were in the same situation, including me. The thing most of us are debating is whether the WIFE would want to know or should be told, or more accurately, if morality says that LW should tell the wife.

Hookups, as do every other action in life that involves other people, come with a responsbility to not be evil. Many people also ascribe a responsibility to people to be decent to one another. Our society has called that “morality” (see also ethics). Sometimes determining this morality can be murky, when there are competing factors.

Here, there are competing factors regarding: harm to LW, when she did nothing wrong; harm to wife when she did nothing wrong; harm to child when they did nothing wrong; social ettiquette regarding privacy; acceptance of alternative lifestyles, etc.

Contrary to what you seem to think, none of these complicated and varied calculation include stoning the LW for her actions.

You seem so angry at the LW, that she didn’t do enough due diligence to determine that douchebag was not married, which I find puzzling. You also state that she could have just as easily been in a relationship and he’d not have known. Despite being totally irrelevant as it wasn’t the case, it is totally irrelevant to the aforementioned analysis. She could have lied to him, so its ok that he lied to her? That is a strange equivication you have going on. You seem looking to blame the LW for douchebag’s mistake, because “lots of married people don’t wear rings”, he is not to blame for cheating on his wife?

This and your post below read that you consider women like LW to be the reason that men are able to cheat, and thus, they are responsible for the cheating. But (and boy am I not getting into this again in any detail), just because they are the but-for causation, doesn’t make them the proximate causation for the cheating. No women ever hooked up with men at bars, certainly men would not be able to cheat on their wives with women they met at bars. But that doesn’t make it the women’s fault.

You state she needed a “reality check”, but I think you are the one who does.
Sure, she shouldn’t be in disbelief that a man lied to her about being married, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a right to be annoyed. Or that she’s wrong in wondering if she has an obligation to make the situation right. (and as I said, <– this is the determination we are being asked to help make).

Sounds like if you were the wife, you wouldn't want to know, and it sounds like you'd be really annoyed at the trollop who hooked up with your husband. That may useful in determining that, for the wife's sake, maybe LW shouldn't tell the wife. But your faulty logic and diffusion of blame is just flawed.

avatar Shadowflash1522 September 16, 2011, 1:55 pm

Very well said!

JK JK September 15, 2011, 7:44 am

It’s always weird for me how people who engage in adult behaviour with no problem have such difficulty naming those same behaviours (“special handshakes”? hahahaha)

I’m prety torn about what advice I think would be best. I always say that I would like to know if my husband was cheating on me, but in this case, where LW had no previous relationship with the guy, and she doesn’t know his wife, I find it hard to believe that the wife would even believe her.
I think if I got a FB message saying my husband did whatever I would think it was a bad intentioned joke. So I’m guessing the wife in question would feel the same way. Unless of course she’s already paranoid or doesn’t trust her husband. In which case the marriage probably doesn’t stand a chance, either.
So I would say LW don’t say anything. Maybe if the guy tries to get in touch with you to start something up it willl be different.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 8:31 am

It’s a little more family friendly. =) My radio station uses the terms “special handshake” “selfy-selfy time” and “special kisses” too

JK JK September 15, 2011, 8:47 am

On the radio I get it (I still preer the proper names for acts, body parts too, while we’re at it), but here??? I don’t see the point.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:10 am

Such a tough call. My first instinct was TELL HER. I would want to know. No, they didn’t have sex, but theres a woman out there thinking she has a faithful husband and who knows what diseases he’s bringing home (not necessarily from her, by any means). As to whether the wife would believe it, if she sent a message with details of where the husband was, etc., I’d believe that. It would take a sick person to make that up!

JK JK September 15, 2011, 9:14 am

True, but as someone pointed out, the guy could easily pass LW off as a crazy girl, obsessed with him.

avatar thyme September 15, 2011, 12:11 pm

I agree, actually, that happened to me. Back in myspace days, I got a message from a girl using what I’m pretty sure was a fake name informing me that my (now ex) boyfriend had been cheating on me with a girl I’d heard of from back home (across the country, where he hadn’t even visited in a long time). I blew it off. I knew that girl had a crush on my boyfriend and I figure the message from was from her trying to start drama and break us up. I trusted him 100% and I know he never cheated on me.

Unless the husband in this story has a history of cheating, she probably won’t believe you anyway. But regardless of whether or not she believes you, I think it’s none of your business. You don’t even know this girl.

JK JK September 15, 2011, 12:38 pm

OMG, I just had a repressed memory resurface… when I’d first moved in with my now husband one night we got a phone call, I answered, and the female on the other side (I hesitate to call her “lady” and she sounded too old to say “girl”) asked for my bf using his full name. I asked “Who may I say is clling?” as usual, and she said “his girlfriend”.
I managed to not freak out and said loudly “Honey, phone, she says she’s your gf!”
Of course by the time he got to the phone she’d hung up. Apparently it was someone from work that had a major crush on him, and wanted to start trouble. Some people are just mean!

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 12:42 pm

Can I just say I applaude you for how you handled that? Awesome!

JK JK September 15, 2011, 12:49 pm

Thanks! I really don’t know how I managed to stay calm, I’m usually a pretty jealous, paranoid person!
To make matters worse my hubby always seems to have someone after him, I’m not too sure why, it’s not like he’s George Clooney (drool), so I’ve had to put up with a couple of things like this.

avatar bostonpupgal September 15, 2011, 1:28 pm

Good for you for handling it so well JK! I actually had something very similar happen to me, but I was on your husband’s side of the fence.

My fiance got a call at 4 am one morning last winter, he answered, and a man on the other end started yelling, said he and I were having an affair, and then he started threatening both my fiance and I. Of course, I was NOT having an affair. My fiance was really shaken, and accussed me outright of cheating. Considering I had no idea who had called us, I was terrified. Well, it turns out it was one of HIS crazy ex girlfriends. Apparently she did some stalking to get my full name (I cannot be found in search results on fb so it wasn’t that easy), his new phone number, our new address to the condo we had just moved to, and then got one of her guy friends to make the call. There are some crazy people out there. My fiance felt awful and apologized profusely.

As for the LW, I say screw it, tell her. If these were people you knew, or would be risking friendships, it might be different. If I were the wife, I’d want to know. Maybe they do have an open relationship, and if so no harm no foul in telling. Or, maybe they don’t, and you’re saving her years of pain and possible health complications. Write her a message. If you remember anything about him, tattoos, moles, etc. that someone would have only seen with his clothes off, throw that in.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 12:53 pm

Though that takes a certain level of mental imbalance to pull something like that. I am most definitely not talking about your particular situation or your husband, who I’m sure is wonderful, but when I hear stories like that, I am very very very tempted to think that THE (not your) boyfriend is totally lying.

It is so so so so easy to blame things on the “crazy, stalker girl with a crush”, when I know no one, even my most ridiculous friend, who would ever do anything like that (pretend to be a gf to “start trouble”, call someone and lie about cheating, etc). I do, however, know several women who WERE a “girlfriend” or something vaguely similar, and got labelled a crazy ex, or crazy girl with a crush when the guy was trapped in a lie. But really, women are not that crazy. We don’t like getting dumped and we’re usually pissed about it, and we don’t like people with guys we love. Sometimes, we do things for bad reasons, like tell your ex’s new girlfriend that he cheated on you with her (if he did). Not very nice, not very “rise-ing above it”, but not batshit, should be on your meds, crazy. It takes that level of crazy to lie about something in the hopes that it will somehow make him love you, and there aren’t nearly as many of those out there as men seem to blame things on. I’m just really skeptical, and think we should be more inclined to believe the girl with possibly bad motivations but telling the truth, than the guy who is so “unlucky” to have a DSM-diagnosiable “crazy girl” trying to ruin his life.

JK JK September 15, 2011, 1:05 pm

In these kinds of cases I think it’s more meanness than crazy… when I was working in psychiatry I found that the patients were a hell of a lot nicer than so called “normal” people.
I guess it depends what kind of thing the other person tells you to see what exactly is going on. If the same person instead of saying she was his gf had said “I’m the person he’s cheating on you with, we meet every monday at lunchtime at x motel” I’m sure I wouldn’t have reacted quite so calmly, and it might have given me more pause for thought.
A friend of mine has been putting up with someone for several months now, that rings her, sends her emails, etc all saying about how she (not my friend) sees my friends husband all the time, that he isn’t in love with my friend, that when the house theyre building is finished hes going to dump my friend and the kids and go to live with this person,etc etc. The guy in question swears that he isn’t cheating. In this case the anonymous person has lots of details (thatmy friend had planted the garden at the new house, etc), which really does make me think he’s up to something. And if he’s not then this person has to be crazy, with all the stuff she’s making up.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:41 pm

Very true.

I guess I just don’t understand the endgame of things like that. (Not that you would know, you have only been on the receiving end :-), just putting it out there). Is the point to ruin everyone’s happiness? Is the point that she’ll dump him and he’ll have no choice but to come running to her? I guess the reason I said “crazy”, is that I really meant — acting without seeing that the natural consequence of one’s actions have no chance of creating the reality that you seek. To me, and what I recall studying clinical psychology, that is a determining factor in several mental illnesses, which i should not have designated as “crazy”, because I don’t think its “crazy” and that’s not nice or fair, especially as i was being rather literal.
(And i hate when people call women “crazy” for acting emotional, which kind of was part of my point.)

I’m an incredibly jealous person and I have very mean daydreams sometimes, but I just can’t imagine affirmatively deciding to calculate and execute a plan to lie to the SO of someone I love/like/lust with the only goal of being mean, especially if i want them for myself. Maybe that’s why I have such a problem accepting that others do it, because it seems like such a stupid and ineffectual idea.

JK JK September 15, 2011, 1:46 pm

I guess that in their twisted minds/imaginations they think that somehow, breaking up the couple thay stand a chance?
I really think it would probably backfire, like in the situation my friend is in, even if her husband is cheating with this person, I would guess he would be pretty pissed off at her for dong what she’s doing. And if he’s not, but she’s hoping that he is going to leave his family for her, I can’t imagine anyone being with a person capable of inventing that!!!

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 6:49 pm

DSM? Dick sucking maniac?

avatar anonymous September 16, 2011, 2:43 am

wow, at first i thought you were my ex boyfriends other ex girlfriend, haha!
I had met him when we were on an exchange from school (we went to another country, though, so it cant have been you! ;) ). we are in europe so the distance wasnt completely crazy. about four months after we started dating, i created a myspace because i knew he had one and that made me want one, too. weeelll as it turns out he has another girlfriend back home. i was seriously disappointed, not only in the guy, but also in people i considered friends (not best or even very good friends, but friends) that did not tell me. i assumed the girlfriend would feel the same way about wanting to know, and i messaged her. at first she seemed to believe me and was like “it all fits!” but then she confronted him and he told her all kinds of lies and ridiculous things about me; like, i was ALWAYS skyping with only a bikini on because i’m a whore, i’m a crazy girl trying to improve my chances with him because apparently, ruining his relationship improves my chances with him? well anyway, she didnt believe me and stayed with him for another year or two.

what i am trying to say is that first of all, i did not want to get revenge on him by telling the other girl, and i’m pretty sure the LW doesn’t, either. how would we benefit from people splitting up thousands of miles away? it doesnt concern us. i did it, and she considers doing it, because being girls, we think we would want to know if our husbands cheated on us. secondly, LW, if you choose to tell the wife, be prepared for drama, because she is not very likely to believe you, as many others have pointed out. but maybe, if accusations and hints like these keep surfacing, maybe one day it will be easier for her to realize what’s been going on and dump him!

avatar McLovin September 15, 2011, 8:03 am

Is it your duty/responsibility to tell her?? You can’t be serious. I think you’re probably a little bit angry, and embarassed and looking for a way to exact some revenge. Let it go. This guy will get caught all by himself eventually.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:12 am

I disagree that she’s angry, etc. only because I see none of that in the letter. However, totally agree this guy will probably get caught on his own at some point. But nonetheless, I’d rather know now than after a few more kids, some STDs and years of my life down the drain because my husband is a dirtbag.

avatar thyme September 15, 2011, 12:12 pm

I think you said it perfectly.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 12:57 pm

Boo again! This question is soo typical and so fair and for some reason, everyone seems to be ganging up on the LW! “I didn’t know, now i do, do good people tell or not tell?” is like, advice column fair 101. Nothing remotely implies that she’s pissed or trying to hurt him. the fact that there isn’t a consensus regarding if she should tell or not, means that the question is totally fair! “I’d want to know, so tell.” “It isn’t your place, and she won’t believe you anyway, so don’t tell” –> none of that indicates at all that the LW is looking for revenge.

Boo!

avatar amber September 15, 2011, 1:07 pm

Here’s how I view it, she sends a random lady a FB message saying oh last weekend I was at so and so bar and your husband and I shared a special handshake. The wife is going to look at her husband and say did you really special handshake this girl? Husband more than likely is going to say um no and wife will either delete message or she will write the LW a nasty message back. Is it worth the effort on her part to assuage her guilt by sending a FB message? Deal with the fact that the guy is married and move on. Telling the wife is more than likely not going to make her think her husband is a slimy excuse for a guy. And she could receieve a nasty response back that she doesn’t want to deal with.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:45 pm

That’s all totally true. I’m not sure writing the letter is the best call, especially if it winds up hurting the LW. I just didn’t like the immediate backlash of “you’re just jealous that this means you can’t have him, why don’t you get a real life and stop wishing for things you can’t have and mind your own business?!”, which I thought was crazy harsh and totally unwarranted. But I agree that that’s probably how things will go down.

avatar H September 15, 2011, 1:42 pm

He will get caught eventually?
Like when one of the women he is cheating on his wife with says something?
Yep.
He’s a scumbag and the wife deserves to know. She can do what she wants once she has the information.

avatar The_Yellow_Dart September 15, 2011, 8:13 am

You barely know the guy! Sure, he might be a “slimy excuse for a man”, but that’s no excuse to start wreaking havoc in his personal life – a life, by the way, that you are only aware of through the art of “facebook stalking”. Let it go and direct your energies instead towards finding a nicer guy who is unattached…

avatar Flake September 15, 2011, 9:28 am

I agree with that one completely. Personally, I would definitely like to know that my SO cheated on me, but it would mean absolutely nothing coming from someone who is using Facebook to “stalk” him. It would put me on guard, but I would also assume that the girl is just bitter and angry and wants a bit of revenge, especially since there was no actual sex.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 10:04 am

But what it would also do is make you more aware for the future. And you would be okay with your SO doing some mutual masturbation since it wasn’t “sex”?

In general, I just don’t get the inclination for women to blame the other woman instead of their man. I mean, in this case, the LW is unattached, and all these comments are about how the wife would blame the LW instead of her husband! To me, he is much more in the wrong than the LW since he is the one with the commitment.

avatar Flake September 15, 2011, 10:42 am

It’s not blaming the other woman, as much as giving the man you love some benefit of the doubt. As I mentioned before, if that was the first time something like that was brought to my attention, I would definitely listen, but I would also take what he has to say into consideration. And in this case, all he would have to say is, “yes, I drank too much and got too friendly with some psycho chick at the bar, but as soon as it got too serious, I told her “no” and got the hell out of there”. Men have gotten away with a lot more than “special handshake”.
Also, unless you already have no trust in your relationship, in this case of “psycho Facebook-stalking chick said vs. the man you love and have a child with said”, I think most people would have a tendency to believe their SO.

avatar The_Yellow_Dart September 15, 2011, 10:51 am

I agree – I’m not blaming the woman either! I’m just saying that since she barely knows the guy, it’s really not her place to warn the woman since it would probably backfire (for the reasons Flake mentions above).

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:05 pm

Backfire how? The LW obviously does not travel in the same social circles. So, she lets the wife know, and the wife can decide what to do with the info. So maybe she doesn’t believe the LW and calls her psycho or crazy. So what? Maybe the wife thanks her for the info. So what? All the LW has to do is let the wife know and that’s it.

But at least the LW is letting the wife make her OWN decision instead of prematurely making it for her. At the very least because this probably isn’t the first time the guy did or will engage in the sort of risky behavior that could result in the wife catching something unwittingly.

avatar Flake September 15, 2011, 2:38 pm

I don’t agree with the no harm no foul part. The LW really doesn’t know anything about the wife or even the guy for that matter. If they are “happily” married, and this was just a one time indiscretion, she would be destroying a family for no reason other than her personal satisfaction. If the wife and husband have an arrangement between them, it would still be pretty upsetting to find out some chick is “stalking” you on Facebook after fooling around (with consent) with the guy.
And I’m not judging or anything, but like a lot of people have mentioned, she hooked with a random guy at a bar. They didn’t have sex. I can just as well assume that they didn’t go any further because neither of them wanted to, for whatever reason. She didn’t because she didn’t know him, and he didn’t because he didn’t want to cheat on his wife. If he drops it there, I don’t see any reason for her to make a bigger deal out of it.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 2:48 pm

First, if telling the wife destroys the family, then the husband destroyed the family, not the LW. When he took the risk hooking up with the stranger, he put the possibility into place that his wife would find out. If that destroys his family, that was his decision and act that did so.

Second, he did not tell her not to tell his wife. There is no presumption from random sexual acts; if he wanted secrecy, he should have articulated that. Thus, he again is responsible.

Third, as Dan Savage endorses, open marriages, etc, are supposed to (as instructed by the god of non-monogamy) to involve full disclosure (except in extreme cases we are not facing here). Wife is supposed to know, random partner is supposed to know. If part of the agreement involves not having to tell random partner, then wife should be prepared for random partners unloading their guilt in attempts to be good people. If she’s not, they’re doing it wrong, and that’s on them/him, not LW.

Unless LW boils his bunny or does not back off once informing the wife, there is no way for her to destroy anything. All fault falls on him in this scenario.

avatar splashes September 16, 2011, 9:00 am

LMAO at “boil his bunny”!!

Props for bringing Dan Savage into it, and his views on safety in sexual relationships.

avatar Amana September 15, 2011, 8:13 am

I think you should tell the wife. Perhaps she is completely in the dark on his sleazy ways because he has 1000 on night stands and she’ll never know because none of them stay in contact with him for things to get suspicious. I am married, and I’d want to know if when my husband went to hang out with his friends or with out me, he was picking up some strange. I don’t have any children but this day in age, I think most people with children are willing to leave their lying cheating spouse.

avatar PondLily September 15, 2011, 8:15 am

It’s absolutely not your responsibility or your duty. It’s his, and it doesn’t seem like he is going to fess up anytime soon. So get the hell out of there, don’t facebook stalk him, and certainly don’t contact his wife because the last place you’re going to want to be when she eventually finds out is right in the middle of everything. She won’t take kindly to your accusations that her husband is a slimeball, even when she probably already has some inkling that he is. And it is her responsibility, not yours, to figure out what to do about that.

avatar sweetleaf September 15, 2011, 8:17 am

What the hell is a special handshake??

JK JK September 15, 2011, 8:20 am

I’m guessing mutual masturbation.

avatar honeybeenicki September 15, 2011, 8:35 am

You know, I was curious so I looked it up on Urban Dictionary, but they said it is “the act of copulating/intercourse with someone” so I’m not 100% sure what the LW meant by that but I think JK is probably right.

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 8:39 am

Handjob.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:14 am

Anyone watch the League? Hand jibber. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to not use that word now.

avatar sweetleaf September 15, 2011, 9:30 am

Hmmm…very interesting. I’ve never heard this before.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:43 am

There’s also a B-Jibber. Can’t. Even.

avatar sweetleaf September 15, 2011, 10:38 am

What’s a B-Jibber??

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 10:41 am

BJ, Blowie, Head, Worm Nibbling.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 11:04 am

Don’t forget “beej”

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 11:10 am

Worm nibbling?
*adds to list of euphemisms*

avatar TheOtherMe September 15, 2011, 11:39 am

“Worm Nibbling” do.not.like.

That would be a total C-block ( the female c ) for me, ” hey baby, you wanna nibble my worm ”

-Um…no !

avatar mcminnem September 15, 2011, 11:47 am

sounds…so…uncomfortable. Like it involves teeth. Aaghagahgh.

avatar TheOtherMe September 15, 2011, 11:58 am

Well, I’ve been told some men like a little bit of teeth :D

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 1:30 pm

No pain no gain.

avatar McLovin September 15, 2011, 12:25 pm

I love the fact that people “like” that you typed handjob! Makes me wonder how that translates in other languages and how the meaning might get misconstrued.

avatar Mainer September 15, 2011, 9:32 am

He double clicked her mouse. She flogged his dolphin.

avatar thyme September 15, 2011, 12:17 pm

dolphin?? Hahaha

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:29 pm

Love this. LMAO!

fast eddie fast eddie September 15, 2011, 8:31 am

If you tell his wife you’ll get a lot of undesired attention. She’ll label you a slut that manipulated her husband no matter what the facts are. You don’t have any physical evidence so it’ll be his word against yours and she doesn’t know you so his denial will prevail. He’s probably cheated with other women but don’t expect them to come forward when they see what she’ll say about you. It’s in your own best interest to sever contact and move forward with your life.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 8:35 am

I agree with you on what will happen…but again, they obviously don’t travel in the same social circle, so I don’t see the harm is providing the wife with the info and letting her make her own decision as to what to do with it. If the wife decides not to believe it, then so be it, at least the wife got to make the decision instead of the LW making it for her.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:15 am

That’s what I was going to say! :)

avatar Riefer September 15, 2011, 12:18 pm

It would be better if women agreed that we would always tell on a married man. Would sure make married men think twice about cheating. Although I guess married men could always cheat with married women still, since in that case neither side would want it to get out.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 12:29 pm

…in a perfect world :)

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:31 pm

Yeah…but generally speaking, women don’t seem to trust other women or they view them as competition. A man cheats and his SO gets upset at the other woman. it happens on those cheater-catching radio segments, the TV shows, everything. I definitely think in a lot of cases women tend to give their man more leeway and view them almost as a victim of the other woman involved.

Sad.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 3:58 pm

See “bossy_italian_lady” on the bottom for proof. If there was ever an “other woman blaming” situation, and she doesn’t even have a dog in the fight.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 4:01 pm

thanks for pointing that out!

fast eddie fast eddie September 15, 2011, 3:55 pm

Would it be appropriate for a single man to tell on a married woman that was cheating? It’s very hard for me to imagine how it might happen that he didn’t know she was married. Sexual inequality for certain, but I’ll bet money it happens.

avatar splashes September 16, 2011, 9:05 am

Sure. Same premise on the risky behavior

avatar GatorGirl September 15, 2011, 8:31 am

LW, I would not say anything to the wife. We have no idea what situation this man and his wife are in. What if they have an open relationship or where on a trail separation? Chances are he is a slim-ball and was cheating on his wife and young child, but there are lots of different relationship arrangements.

If you must contact someone, I would contact the guy. But since you said your self you were Facebook stalking…I would probably just let the whole thing go.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 8:36 am

Question…if they are in an open relationship, then what harm would it be letting her know?

avatar GatorGirl September 15, 2011, 8:58 am

Maybe they have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? Maybe the wife wouldn’t want a name and a face to the person her husband had a sexual encounter with?

My point is…you don’t know their relationship, so don’t stick your noise in it.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 10:06 am

I’d say that he stuck her nose in his relationship when he chose to involve someone outside of his relationship without telling her.

avatar Riefer September 15, 2011, 12:23 pm

This. He pulled her into their relationship. She’s now a part of it regardless, whether she’s a secret that the husband has to keep the rest of his life, or whether the wife finds out or is told. Whether she decides to tell or not tell, it’s HIM who is messing up his relationship, not the LW.

I was just watching Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie the other night, which I personally like because of SLIGHT SPOILER the story of Alice pushing away from her society’s role for women (similar to Titanic in that regard). Anyway, near the beginning of the movie she sees her sister’s hubby macking on another women. He’s trying to convince her not to tell, and he says “you don’t want to ruin your sister’s marriage, do you?”. She’s a bit confused, but then she says “But I’m not the one…”. She gets called away at that point, but this is exactly the point. This guy is ruining the marriage, not LW. Whether she tells or not, and what happens after that, is squarely the guy’s responsibility.

avatar ktfran September 15, 2011, 12:39 pm

The difference between your scenerio and the LW’s is that the sister has a close tie to the offended. The LW does not have a close tie to either party. It was a one night stand. She found him through FB and his wife through FB. It doesn’t even sound like she has his number. I would MOA and just chalk it up to meeting a complete jerk.

avatar Riefer September 15, 2011, 1:15 pm

I didn’t mean it was the same scenario. I meant that in both cases, someone is implying that if she tells, SHE is ruining the marriage. In fact, HE has already done that, and the wife just doesn’t know it. It’s not the LW’s fault if she tells and his marriage is ruined, it’s his.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:10 pm

So it is okay as long as it is a one night stand? You’d be okay with your spouse having a one night stand as long as you weren’t friends with the person? Obviously having the person your spouse cheated with being part of your social circle gives a second angle to the betrayal, but personally, I wouldn’t appreciate a one night stand either.

avatar GatorGirl September 15, 2011, 4:59 pm

It’s not the LWs job to tell her. It is his. I agree she os already involved in the situation, but she is asking for a lot of hate and drama if she contacts the wife. If she voices her disgust to the man…maybe he’ll tell her or maybe he wont. It’s not the LWs problem.

And, I have been cheated on, and my BF told me. After a lot of rebuilding, we’ve moved on, but it took all of my power to not totally flip on the other woman. I still hold a grudge against her and am seriously pissed off at her…even though it was two years ago, I’ve forgiven him, and we’ve moved on together. The LW is just going to hurt herself if she brings herself further into the situation

avatar GatorGirl September 15, 2011, 5:01 pm

It’s not the LWs job to tell her. It is his. I agree she os already involved in the situation, but she is asking for a lot of hate and drama if she contacts the wife. If she voices her disgust to the man…maybe he’ll tell her or maybe he wont. It’s not the LWs problem.

And, I have been cheated on, and my BF told me. After a lot of rebuilding, we’ve moved on, but it took all of my power to not totally flip on the other woman. I still hold a grudge against her and am seriously pissed off at her…even though it was two years ago, I’ve forgiven him, and we’ve moved on together. The LW is just going to hurt herself if she brings herself further into the situation.

avatar TheOtherMe September 15, 2011, 9:41 am

True. Or in the process of separation/divorce & it’s not official or final yet.

avatar CG September 15, 2011, 9:22 am

Yes, I was thinking there’s a possibility they could have an open relationship too! Been reading too much Savage Love. :)

avatar honeybeenicki September 15, 2011, 8:32 am

I would say that it is not your duty/responsibility to tell her. And I’ll tell you why:
1) If some random woman sent me a message on facebook saying that my husband cheated with her, I don’t know how likely I would be to believe her.
2) Your last sentence calling him a “slimy excuse for a man” tells me that you absolutely would not be doing it for the right reasons. It sounds more like revenge than out of concern for his wife.
3) You met him this one time and then proceed to facebook stalk him? You have no real connection to either party involved, “special handshakes” or not. It is absolutely not your place.

I would suggest you stop facebook stalking him (and her) and just move on with your life. Eventually, it will come around on him. Yes, as a married woman I would like to know that my husband is out doing these things, but it really isn’t your place to say anything and there is no guarantee it would do any good. This one was kind of hard for me to decide, but I think ultimately your motivation for wanting to tell her is vengeful and not likely to help anyone.

avatar amber September 15, 2011, 9:14 am

I agree with you. She’s doing it for the wrong reasons, because she’s pissed he lied to her. And really the likelihood of the wife believing her is slim to none.

Move on and stop facebook stalking people! Why is the first thing people do when they meet someone new is look for their facebook page? This is why mine is set to private, if I want you to see my facebook page I’ve met you in real life for more than just one special handshake.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:12 pm

Disagree with the conclusions you draw in (2). If I went to the beach for the weekend, went out, had an awesome night flirting with a guy, took him home and engaged in “handshaking”, and then happily went on facebook the next day to look up mr. fun times; and I found out he was MARRIED with a KID, I’d be pissed as hell that he involved me in breaking up someone’s relationship, not that he was unavailable to date, and thus, I would think he was a slimball. Then I would ponder whether, as a member of the sisterhood of women, if i was obligated to tell his wife. My revulsion and anger would be that he (a) ruined by super fun evening by making me an accomplice in shittyness, and (b) that he sucks and cheated, and that i helped. I would think that perhaps, that the way to atone for my unwitting part in this debacle would be to tell her, or else i was somehow becoming party to it. (and Id be pissed about having to worry about that too).

None of those are the “wrong reason” to tell her, and I personally think that people in these situations who do the right thing for the wrong reason are still doing the right thing, and that thing should be done. Just because someone’s motivations are bad doesn’t negate the right-ness of the action (if it is, in fact, right). Someone may begrudgingly save me from dying of thirst by giving me water, but I bet my parents won’t really care why they did it, as long as they did it.

avatar H September 15, 2011, 1:51 pm

Yes. You’re inside my brain!

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 8:43 am

Judging by the fact that you facebook stalked him I am hedging a bet that this “gentleman” may have whispered some sweet-nothings into your ear prior to exchanging “handshakes.” You probably feel burnt – even if you weren’t that invested yet – so I’m not convinced this would be for completely the right reasons.

Erase it from your brain because as other commenters have mentioned it isn’t easy to convince someone that their spouse is cheating on them when you actually KNOW the couple…let alone some random person telling them…

avatar honeybeenicki September 15, 2011, 9:05 am

I am never going to be able to shake hands with anyone ever again without picture a “special handshake.”

JK JK September 15, 2011, 9:15 am

Thank goodness for hand sanitizer :)

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 8:47 am

Nope, don’t tell. Nothing good can possibly come of it, for you. Do you really want to get embroiled in someone else’s marriage drama? Probably not.

Now, I agree that if the guy contacts you for a follow-up, you should tell him what you found out and cut off contact. If he keeps trying, then tell the wife.

But as things stand now? I wouldn’t. If their marriage is on the rocks, she probably doesn’t need this additional pain. If their marriage is good (in her mind), why rock the boat for someone you don’t even know? Then there’s always the possibility that it’s an open marriage, in which case your information is superfluous.

Thing about it this way: If you hadn’t gone Facebook stalking, you wouldn’t even know she existed. But you did, so now you feel guilty. However in this, and most other cases when people confess to cheating, they do it so THEY feel better. They don’t do it for the person who was cheated on. They confess to clear their own conscience, and abate the guilt of being “the other woman” or “a cheater.” The thing is, you didn’t know he was married, so you shouldn’t feel guilty about this.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 8:56 am

I like that you touched on the other motivational aspect of ratting this guy out which is relieving herself of guilt. Sometimes I don’t think people realize this is a big motivator in decisions like this.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:17 am

But would you have a different stance if she spelled out that she was doing it for the “right” reasons?

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 9:33 am

There’s no way she is. She feels guilty that she unwittingly cheated as well as somewhat used/duped by this guy, and probably a little disappointed that there’s no possibility of hooking up with/seeing/dating him again after this. All of those are totally understandable feelings (I’ve been there myself, actually), and I certainly don’t blame her for feeling that way.

The only way someone could reveal this for ALL the right reasons would be if it was an uninvolved third party who just happened to know about it, knew the guy’s wife, and knew she’d want to know.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:16 pm

But who cares? If the wife should know, who cares whether LW has any “wrong” motivations in doing it? Isn’t that just an added bonus for her? “I’m doing the right thing AND I get to feel self-satisfied by it!” If she shouldn’t tell, then she shouldn’t tell, but i don’t get the argument that if she should tell, she should only do so as long as she doesn’t get any satisfaction out of it.

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 2:31 pm

I agree with you, but I also don’t think she is obligated to do anything. If she wants to, she wants to, I’m just commenting on the likely motivation behind that. I think she is tempted to tell to assuage her own feelings of guilt (which, by the way, she shouldn’t have), NOT because she thinks the wife needs to know. If we say she SHOULD tell, then we are, you’re right, saying that her feelings about it don’t matter. But I don’t think she SHOULD tell.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 9:36 am

No – not in this case. She doesn’t know him and therefore could just get herself into something she regrets. The cheater always gets caught…the more he gets away with it the bolder he will get…its better for the wife to stumble on a text or an inappropriate facebook message which will happen in time.

avatar Mainer September 15, 2011, 9:42 am

speaking of which, she *could* passively try to *help* him get caught by sending a FB message or text saying what a good time she had and that he is a good hand-shaker. Though, that may backfire if he tries to make it a reoccurring thing because his wife never checks his FB or his phone.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 9:44 am

hahaha…the tangled webs we weave….this is true and I would neither condone nor condemn this route of action.

avatar Mainer September 15, 2011, 10:04 am

OR, she could just mess with him psychologically to the point where he loses it. Like every morning leave a picture of two people shaking hands on his front door.

“What?! ANOTHER picture! I don’t know what it is, do YOU know what it is? No, I have no clue. There’s not even a “Vote For So-and-So.” Is it a community outreach thing? There’s no information on it!! Where do I go?! I’d gladly help if you’d put ANY information on here!! No, I am calm. You shut up! This is…I….is it gang related? Is it a threat?! Forget it, I’m going to work. No, you deal with it. If it happens again tomorrow I’m buying a gun. No, you’re acting irrationally. This could…forget it, I’m going to work!”

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 10:12 am

It sounds like we are one step away from an I Know What You Did Last Summer parody.

avatar Blitzen September 15, 2011, 10:44 am

:D
thanks for the laugh!

avatar MsMisery September 15, 2011, 9:42 am

I wondered the same thing (re: all the people who care what her reasons are). The end result would be the same regardless of whether she’s trying to get revenge (which doesn’t appear to be the case to me) or if she’s just trying to FYI the wife.

Of course, her mode of communicating the info could differ based on her motivation (a flaming bag of dog poo vs. a formally composed FB message), but that’s a different story.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 9:43 am

you called the shit, poo.

avatar Riefer September 15, 2011, 12:26 pm

Ahahahahaha. Love it! Although in the movie they used the word “poop”, which is somehow even funnier. Because of the hard consonant at the end, maybe? :)

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:46 am

I favor the flaming bag of dog poo, but wouldn’t the note attached burn? :)

avatar honeybeenicki September 15, 2011, 11:25 am

Find something fireproof to write it on and you’re good to go

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 9:58 am

My issue with her motivation is that if she’s doing it for anything but THE most altruistic of reasons she’s going to be disappointed. I’m just 99.9% sure she won’t get the answer she subconsciously wants, and then she’ll end up feeling disappointed/upset for no reason.

avatar PondLily September 15, 2011, 8:58 am

I totally agree that confessing to cheating is for your own peace of mind, not the person you cheated on. You’re not doing it to give them a clear picture of things so that they can then make the appropriate decision regarding the situation, you’re doing it so that every time you see that person you don’t have the weight of your choices (and the burden of your guilt) on your shoulders affecting what you do or say (or not say) around them. In essence, it’s like passing the buck…putting what you did out there so that now the onus of what to do is on them and no longer on you.

avatar PondLily September 15, 2011, 9:02 am

That’s not to say I believe that no one should ever admit their guilt, but just that they should understand that their admission is going to hurt the other person much more, while they will walk away with a sense of relief that the truth is finally out.

avatar silver_dragon_girl September 15, 2011, 9:31 am

Exactly. Since my ex cheated on me, I have maintained that you should only tell your SO you cheated if you fully and 100% intend to do the work to repair the relationship. If you’re using it as a way out (like he was), there is NO reason to cause anyone that amount of pain. If you’re not sure, tell them that you need some space for a while to think things over until you ARE sure.

avatar thyme September 15, 2011, 12:32 pm

When I “liked” your comment, it subtracted instead of added a like and said “-1 likes”! I clicked it again, and now it says “1 likes.” Weird!

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:14 pm

yay! I’m not sure if i agree with your advice, but i like the way you talked to the LW!

avatar ReginaRey September 15, 2011, 9:04 am

I’m one of those always wants dirtbag cheating spouses to be caught in the act. But in this case, I don’t think you should say anything for this reason – the wife has no idea who you are. You were just some chick her husband met at the beach, and she has no reason to believe you. Her husband will feed her some story about a crazy psycho chick who can’t leave him alone, and you’ll end up with more drama on your plate than you can handle. I might advise telling this woman if you were a close friend with nothing to lose or gain and had witnessed her husband cheating, but you’re not.

Listen, I admire that it disgusts you that a married man would cheat on his wife with you – there are some women who, unfortunately, don’t care about that. But I think you need to just rest assured that, one day, this guy will get his comeupance. They never get away with it. Never. The wife always finds out. You probably weren’t the first, and surely won’t be the last, so just gracefully stay silent. He’ll get his, I promise.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:20 am

I was looking forward to seeing what your view was. I guess its comforting? to know he’ll probably get caught anyway. Bonus points for terms like comeupance!

avatar ReginaRey September 15, 2011, 9:25 am

Haha, I’m glad I have one person who looks forward to my rambling! But this was a hard one for me. I WANT to say, “YES. Rat the asshole out! He’s a douche! He deserves it!” But life just doesn’t work that way. The wife will, more than likely, think the LW is a psycho stalker, which her husband will vehemently support, and she’ll entangle herself in petty drama that could be endless. I haven’t heard of many cheaters who NEVER got caught…though I’d love to hear any stories that negate that.

avatar LolaBeans September 15, 2011, 10:18 am

I think if the LW does tell the wife, it will at least cast some doubt in the husbands story. the wife will be aware and maybe more cautious. what does the LW have to lose if she tells the wife anyway? she relieves her own guilt. why does she have to worry about their relationship outside of that?

also, i dont think it’s fair to just assume that the wife will believe the husband through and through with accusations such as this.

avatar Addie Pray September 15, 2011, 11:35 pm

Plus, this LW has no idea what the relationship between this husband and wife is. … Just stay out of it, LW. All you should be worrying about it yourself. And nothing good/bad will come out of you disclosing this to the woman.

avatar Riefer September 15, 2011, 12:30 pm

I agree about not wanting to get tied up in the drama. If I was in this situation, and there was an anonymous way to do it, I would do it. Whether the wife believes or not, it will get the wind up and make her watch him a bit more, and maybe she’ll catch him one of these times. But I’m guessing there’s no anonymous way to do it in this case, since the LW doesn’t know where he lives or any other personal details like that. Unless dude is stupid enough to put that info on Facebook.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 1:20 pm

If wife’s email is posted on facebook, she could send an email from an anonymous email address. (I personally have like 5 that I use for signing up for websites i don’t want spam from).

avatar Rachelgrace53 September 15, 2011, 2:57 pm

I feel the exact same way. I WANT this guy to get caught and I totally understand her desire to make his wife know what a douche he (probably) is, but I have to say that no, she shouldn’t tell him. Rats.
But you’re right. Very few people could ever hope to not be caught if they’re serial cheaters. So he’ll definitely get his if that’s the case.

avatar Rachelgrace53 September 15, 2011, 2:59 pm

*tell her. not “tell him.” he obviously already knows.

avatar Amy September 15, 2011, 9:23 am

I don’t think I’d want to know if I were the wife. I am sure it sounds lame – but for all we know this was a one-time indiscretion on his part. I’d much rather be kept in the dark if that were the case…. and if it wasn’t a one-time indiscretion – it will come to light to the wife sooner than later – I am sure.

avatar thyme September 15, 2011, 12:44 pm

I completely agree! I know a lot of people don’t feel that way, but I do. If my husband screwed up once, felt absolutely horrible about it, and was 100% sure he’d never, ever do it again, I’d want him to keep it to himself. The guilt would be his punishment, and I wouldn’t have to hurt over it.

leilani leilani September 15, 2011, 9:26 am

It’s definitely not your duty to tell her, but its also not your responsibility to keep it a secret. This is one of those situations where there is no clear “right” answer, and you could easily make an valid argument for either side. Since that’s the case, do whatever makes you sleep better at night. You didn’t sign up for this, so you don’t have a responsibility to either party. Definitely keep in mind that if you decide to tell the wife, it might not go over the way you think it should. But if you are willing to risk that because you think its wrong to leave her in the dark, go ahead and tell her.

leilani leilani September 15, 2011, 9:38 am

That said, I personally wouldn’t say anything, for two reasons. The first is that it would not be worth the effort for me. This random guy is a douche, but I wouldn’t really feel that it involved me, and I’d rather just stay away from that drama. The second is that I have been cheated on before, and my boyfriend at the time was the one who told me about it. I had never met the girl but he told me her name, and I to this day have never tried to look her up on Facebook or anything. It would just be too hard for me to actually put a face to the name, for some reason. I can’t even imagine how sick and horrible I would feel if the way I found out was from the other woman sending me a Facebook message…I would probably get it at work, and my whole world would be turned upside down by a random message from a girl I have never heard of…..blah. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

avatar JennyTalia September 15, 2011, 9:41 am

I don’t think you should contact her – no good can come from that. Rather, I think you should contact him, let him know that he is a scumbag who doesn’t respect his wife or child, and that he should be ashamed of himself. Remind him that he’s going to end up ruining his and his family’s lives, as well as exposing himself, his wife, and possibly any future children to diseases. I’m not suggesting you start a behind-the-scene nasty relationship, I’m suggesting that you express your disgust and never contact him again – just let him soak in his sins. Maybe calling him out will make him realize that he is a sorry excuse for a man and he can do something about it. Probably not, but at least you did *something*.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 9:42 am

This seems like a good compromise.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 9:48 am

I really like the suggestion.

avatar mcminnem September 15, 2011, 11:33 am

I definitely think this is the best choice – this way you get to put it out there that you will not condone or support what he did. Being the ‘other woman’ doesn’t mean you’re a cheater, or that you are okay with cheating, it just makes you another person he lied to.
I don’t believe you should just move on and pretend nothing happened (unless that’s what you *want* to do), because something *did* happen, and it hurt you, and you have a right to take care of yourself and make yourself feel better. Being a little selfish is not always a bad thing – too many women let themselves be abused or taken advantage of because they don’t want to “seem selfish”.
By confronting *him* about it, you get to let your displeasure be known, and relieve your own guilt, without hurting his wife, who may or may not care what he did or believe it if she heard it.
Though I’d be really tempted to contact him in a way that can’t be easily hidden…handwritten card via snail mail? Voicemail on the household phone? Skywriting?

avatar LennyBee September 15, 2011, 11:53 am

I like this idea. But I’d also add that after you contact him, you block whatever means he has of replying. The point isn’t to start a dialogue or to give him a chance to excuse his behavior, it’s just to get it off your chest, do what you can, and then put it in the past.

avatar Lucy September 15, 2011, 9:46 am

You don’t know enough about their relationship to insert yourself into it. As an example, they may have an agreement along the lines of ‘as long as I don’t find out about it, do what you want.’ Or ‘I don’t care what you do as long as there’s no intercourse.’ Or any of a hundred other possibilities. If any of those are the case, it would have been much smarter for him to be honest with you, but being less than honest with someone one picks up in a bar isn’t a capital crime. I think the LW was careful in the letter to avoid sounding angry or bitter, but I suspect all the same that there are hurt feelings behind this desire to inject herself into a situation that she really knows nothing about, and that could easily backfire in unanticipated ways. Don’t manufacture drama. Walk away.

avatar thyme September 15, 2011, 12:48 pm

“Don’t manufacture drama.”

Like!

Amanda Amanda September 15, 2011, 9:49 am

First of all, no. You should not tell her. It is not *your* responsibility to do anything. *You* are not married to her. He is.

There are a couple of other reasons to not say anything. First off: I’m pretty sure you don’t know the state of the marriage (last time I checked, there is no “Happily Married and In Complete and Utter Bliss” relationship status). They could be separated. There could be a “What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas” policy. They could be in an open marriage.

Or, they could be completely happy. But if you were to tell the wife she would freak out and you could have a stalker of your very own.

Bottom line is that you do not know these people. You don’t know their situation. You know there is a child and that, according to Facebook, they are married. Leave it alone. And go Facebook stalk somebody else. Like the cute barista down the street.

avatar iseeshiny September 15, 2011, 9:56 am

The fact that he cheated on his wife is not your fault. You are not the relationship police, and his relationship with his wife is none of your business outside of making sure you don’t do it again. If shaking hands (I’m still not entirely sure what that entails) can give you a disease, get tested and just be more careful who you shake hands with next time. Beyond that, put this out of your mind. This isn’t an episode of Cheaters. It’s his responsibility to be a faithful husband, and his wife’s to make sure she’s not married to a slimy excuse for a man.

This has little bearing on the subject at hand, but it really doesn’t actually sound to me like he’s a career cheater – he’d have his facebook profile set to private for one thing, so his hookups couldn’t see that he was married, or he wouldn’t have given you the same name as his facebook page.

avatar Flake September 15, 2011, 9:58 am

Another thought: how does the LW know that the child is even his? There are way too many possibilities in this one. Unless he tries to contact the LW again, there is absolutely no reason for her to spend any more time worrying about this.

avatar SGMcG September 15, 2011, 10:14 am

You know, with all this discussion of what the LW should do next, there hasn’t been any discussion of what the guy wanted from her. It’s all fine and dandy to suggest what the LW should do after the incident takes place, but I think what the guy plans to do after the act really judges the type of cheater he is. Assuming that the LW truly wants NOTHING to do with this guy again, I personally think the LW should hold off from doing ANYTHING until a couple of weeks after the “special handshake” took place and wait to see what the cheater does.

If during that time, the other guy contacts her and suggests a rematch or asks to take it further, by all means, contact the other woman and with her apologies let her know that this guy is horrible and wants to pursue sexy times with someone else while she’s home with a kid. If the guy doesn’t contact the LW at all, he probably dismissed his encounter with LW as just a typical one-night stand. The LW should then take it upon herself and contact this guy, giving him the what-for about how horrible he is to pursue sexual activities with others while his wife and mother of his child is home. Hopefully, that’ll shake the cheater up enough to confess to his wife what he did or ideally, not cheat again, but if it doesn’t, at least she did something.

This is a long shot, but this could also occur. If during this wait-and-see time, the LW is contacted by the wife, by all means, tell all you potentially know and give your apologies accordingly. Also assure the woman that you want nothing to do with this guy again.

avatar MiMi September 15, 2011, 10:28 am

Yes, absolutely tell her if you’re 100% sure you’ve got the right guy. Her husband, with whom she has a young child, is engaging in very risky behavior that can put her health at risk.

avatar Blitzen September 15, 2011, 10:52 am

concur.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 11:18 am

Nah, not with a handjob. No STD transmission there except in VERY rare circumstances.

avatar jena September 15, 2011, 11:49 am

Chances are, though, if he’s getting an hj from someone, he’s probably doing other stuff with other people. I still say she shouldn’t tell her though.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 1:41 pm

I gave a hand jibber with a paper cut and ended up with herp-hand. (also, i am totally kidding)

avatar mcminnem September 15, 2011, 2:54 pm

I lolled. Herp-hand.

avatar Kalipzo September 15, 2011, 8:01 pm

Is that better or worse than derp-hand, I wonder?

avatar ReadingIsFundamental September 15, 2011, 10:29 am

LW: You had casual sex with some guy you just met in a bar. Are you really surprised by what you found out about him? If you’re going to be troubled by what you find, your best course of action is to think twice before having casual sex.

avatar iseeshiny September 15, 2011, 10:38 am

I’m not sure if you meant to, but you came across as really judgmental just now. I will admit I had a thought along the same lines, but that’s more of a personal preference about not having sex with strangers. Still, a grown woman has the right to have sex with someone she meets in a bar if she wants to. And married men are not the only ones who frequent bars. Lots of plenty nice single men go to bars too.

avatar SpaceySteph September 15, 2011, 10:52 am

I agree that it maybe sounded a bit judgemental but that doesn’t make it a bad point. If you are concerned about the moral fiber of the dudes you are hooking up, maybe save the hookup until you know about their moral fiber.
If you want to keep hooking up with guys you don’t know, maybe consider not checking them out on facebook afterwards. Keep random hookups random and meaningful hookups meaningful.

avatar iseeshiny September 15, 2011, 10:38 am

Not to mention she was clear that there was no, er, coitus.

avatar Jubietta September 15, 2011, 10:47 am

I agree! This feels like a Life Lesson for us all. “No special handshaking with strangers you meet in a random location, it may cause untold moral quandaries and lead to electronic stalking.”
While the past can’t be undone, the future is ours to improve.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 11:26 am

She’s single and unattached! Let her do what she wants. He gave her no reason to believe he was something other than single. Plus they didn’t have vaginal,anal or oral sex, so it was basically the safest thing they could have done while still having contact with each others’ genitals.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 11:34 am

Aside from maybe dry-humping?

avatar kf September 15, 2011, 12:38 pm

She can do what she wants, but RIF and SpaceySteph are exactly right. If she’s going to have casual sex with complete strangers, odds are the moral fiber of the guys she hooks up with is not exactly going to be impeccable.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 12:40 pm

While I agree with you in general, the LW did not have sex with him.

avatar kf September 15, 2011, 12:48 pm

If it’s not sex*, then there’s nothing to tell the wife about, and nothing to write Dear Wendy about. Can’t have it both ways.

* It’s sex.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 1:43 pm

?? LW specifically wrote something alluding to a handjob, which is still cheating in my book, so if she planned on telling the wife, there certainly is something to tell. I can’t imagine the wife is sitting around not minding hubby getting handjobs from strangers.

avatar kf September 15, 2011, 2:37 pm

Reread my footnote.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 2:00 pm

It’s definitely a sexual act. Regardless of how we define it (sex or not-sex), it’s still cheating if I’m of the expectation that my partner is monogamous. Although, as we said, we don’t know what this particular couple has worked out in their relationship or what their “rules” are.

IN ANY CASE, I always find it interesting what people consider to be “sex”. I work in the STD/HIV field, and I have to be very specific when talking to clients, and even more so when teaching a class of adolescents. I’m also fascinated by the concept of virginity. I wonder if anyone who got a handjob for the first time would say, “Hey I just lost my virginity”. I doubt it. And yet… it’s sex. Weird. I’m just rambling now.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 3:03 pm

Agree. In college, I was only “partially” sexually active, I guess you could say, but I was terrified of STDs, so I’d go to get tested every couple months. And there were times where they honestly refused to test me, being like, i’m sorry, you could not have gotten an STD from that. In my head, i’m going, “that is NOT what your pamphlets say!” and I made them test me anyways. But that always struck me as funny.

avatar ktfran September 15, 2011, 12:54 pm

Exactly. Of course she can do what she wants. But if that’s hooking up with random men, then move on, don’t FB stalk, and don’t get caught up in someone’s relationship if you don’t like what you see. One night stands are just that, one night stands. It sounds like this was a one night stand.

If he was trying for more, like a handshake buddy, I might think differently.

avatar soandso September 15, 2011, 10:39 am

MYOB!

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 10:47 am

You sound like my mother. Haha.

avatar Sue Jones September 15, 2011, 10:45 am

Ugh. Walk away, do nothing. You do not want to be the agent for this man’s karma…

avatar SpaceySteph September 15, 2011, 11:03 am

LW I know there has been alot of questioning your motives. Lets assume he is actually married with a child, not in an open relationship or separated or any other logical explanation. Lets assume he is a dirty rotten cheater…
If your motivation is revenge, then I think you need to realize that the response you get will not be satisfying. You may start a load of drama that will only make you more miserable, or she may completely disregard your message, assume you are a crazy stalker bitch, and he will not get his punishment at your hand.
If your motivation is to assuage your own guilt, then I think someone should tell you that you are not guilty of anything. You didn’t cheat on his wife. You didn’t pick up a married man at a bar. You hooked up with a guy who looked, talked, acted single. The only one who should feel guilty is the married guy cheating on his wife. He doesn’t, and you can’t change that. Move on!
Stay out of it. You don’t know him, you don’t know her, and if you tell her you will destroy her marriage. Maybe he deserves it, but does she?

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 11:05 am

I like your post, but the one thing that keeps me wondering what the absolute best course of action is is if the wife is the type that wants to know….or if she is the type that wants to be clueless. I think that is the missing piece of information we can’t know that would ultimately decide the best course of action for this situation.

avatar SpaceySteph September 15, 2011, 11:10 am

Well even the LW doesn’t know the wife. If she’s the type who does want to know, you can hope that the next girl (if there is a next girl) will tell her. But if she doesn’t want to know, that can never be undone!

avatar SpaceySteph September 15, 2011, 11:26 am

It is interesting to me, and the reason I said “(if there is a next girl)” that he didn’t go all the way with the LW. Maybe the LW is the one who didn’t want to have sex. But maybe he realized he didn’t want to cheat on his wife. Maybe its a one time thing and he has realized he will never do it again. Maybe he even HAS already confessed and she’s forgiven him, on the grounds that he never talk to “that girl” again. Because we can’t know, and because the LW can’t know, there is far more chance that she will make it worse instead of better.

avatar Riefer September 15, 2011, 12:37 pm

That’s true. But there’s an equal chance that this was his first time crossing the line, and next time he’ll be braver and take it further. Otherwise, why was he out at a bar picking up chicks?

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:20 pm

Personally, I think she should tell the wife, but your analysis regarding not being satisfied if she has a particular purpose. That I can agree with.

As far as what the wife wants, if she doesn’t want to know, IMO, she is likely to disregard the LW anyway.

However, on hoping the next girl tells the wife, it reminds me of how people can see an emergency happening and the police won’t show up because everyone absolves themselves of the responsibility of calling 911 and saying that someone ELSE will do it.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 11:28 am

I say, don’t be the shit-stirrer. You don’t know these people or their situation.

avatar Kerrycontrary September 15, 2011, 11:31 am

NO NO NO!!!! Do not tell her. This has nothing to do with you!!! Ugh I always think that when the “other woman” tells its not because she really feels a moral obligation to the wife/girlfriend, it’s because she’s hurt so everybody must hurt. Accept that you slept with a married man and don’t get involved any further. Do you really want to be the one responsible for wrecking a family? Yes, clearly here the guy is the main culprit, but nothing good will come out of telling the wife. She will find out on her own if she is meant to.

avatar jena September 15, 2011, 11:47 am

No, you’re a stranger, why in the hell would she believe some strange woman on the Internet claiming that the man she married cheated on her? Don’t tell her.

avatar Renee September 15, 2011, 12:05 pm

If I was single, I would of made the mistake of telling the wife. I understand why after reading all these responses, I would probably be in the wrong. I’m the type who always feels to say something. Sometimes it comes with much appreciation and sometimes I make things a lot worse. Given the reasons others have mentioned, if I was the wife I would not believe you and you personally have no idea the state of their marriage. You’ve sought out advice, which is a reasonable thing to do, and it seems to let this go.

avatar AndreaMarie September 15, 2011, 12:23 pm

Absolutley do not contact her. And stop “facebook stalking” both the guy and his wife.
You know absolutley nothing about their relationship…or anythign about either of them for that matter. This isn’t like you caught one of your close friend’s husband’s cheating.
You met a random guy at a bar and you gave him a handjob. He turns out to be a a creep. Random one-nighters you pick up at a bar usually are. It was a drunk handjob. Move on. You will never see this guy, or his family again.
Maybe that’s why you want to tell her. Maybe you feel a little burnt by this guy. Maybe you thought there was potential there for something else.
No good will come of telling her. If anything, you’ll end up only doing damage to yourself as opposed to being seen as some sort of hero of women. Think about it from the wife’s perspective. some random women messages you on facebook to say she gave your husband a hand job. You don’t know this woman from Adam and she only found you because she was Facebook stalking your husband?!
It’s best to just write it off and move on. You had a fun night with a random guy you met. Story ends there.

becboo84 BecBoo84 September 15, 2011, 1:44 pm

If I was the unsuspecting spouse, I would DEFINITELY want to know, but that is just me.

sobriquet sobriquet September 15, 2011, 1:46 pm

Can we all just mind our own business when it comes to extramarital affairs? With all the open-marriages, swinging, and polyamory going around, I think it’s best if we don’t jump to conclusions. It’s one thing if you met a man at a bar, he courted you for months, you fell in love and then OH SNAP HE’S MARRIED! That’s different. But drunken fooling around, sans-penetration, after knowing him for a handful of hours does not constitute facebook stalking or sending creepy emails to his wife.

All a drunken hookup like this should do is make you re-evaluate the men you’re choosing to sleep with. No judgment here, I’ve certainly had my fair share of drunken hookups, but you have to understand that when you sleep with someone you’ve only known for a few hours (especially after meeting him at a bar ON VACATION) you’re sleeping with someone you don’t know. That’s fine as long as you understand the implications.

It’s like we expect men (at bars!) to be these respectful gentlemen who would never cheat, and of course they’re being honest when they say they’re not married because WHY LIE? So we sleep with them immediately and act totally shocked and surprised when we find out that, oh damn, he’s married. What a lying scumbag! Whenever we should actually go into these situations knowing that lots of married men peruse bars for easy hookups (key word: easy) and that, yeah he’s really nice and so hot, but he could totally be lying about his relationship status and that’s a risk I’m going to take by messing around with a total stranger.

So yeah, stay out of it.

avatar TheOtherMe September 15, 2011, 4:02 pm

“sans-penetration”

that’s priceless !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

avatar LSS86 September 15, 2011, 1:52 pm

I’ve been waffling back and forth on this one. Finally I found a way to get an answer. You don’t know anything about the wife. You have no idea of their marital status and you have no idea whether she’d want to know or not. All you can go by is your own feelings. So while this reasoning may be selfish, I think it’s the best way to decide what to do:

If you don’t tell her, will you be able to forget about this incident, or will you feel guilty about it for a long time?

If you do tell her, will you be able to deal with the outcome, whatever it is? You might never hear from either of them again. You might get a nasty response from the woman. The woman might thank you that you confirmed her suspicions.

Since you can’t know what would be best for the wife, which of those options would be best for you? Again, I know this reasoning sounds selfish, but the wife is a completely unknown variable. All that’s known is yourself. So do what’s best for you.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 2:04 pm

That’s where I came to after all the discussion as well. Since the wife is the unknown variable you can’t make a decision based on how the wife would feel…you can only make a decision that is right for you (weighing what you DO know).

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 2:02 pm

Lots of hostility from people because she “facebook stalked” him. I know she used the word stalking,as a colloquial expression, but this was not stalking at all. Nor was it something people should jump on her for. And here’s why

Reasons why this anger is misplaced/unjustified:

1) If she knew his name, she did not stalk him, she looked him up. If his settings are at all lax, she can see that he’s married in info and maybe he has pics up of the kid. That’s the guy’s call on his privacy settings.

2) It is totally reasonable to look up a guy you made out with the night before, on facebook. It is totally reasonable to look up the guy you just MET the night before, on facebook. Facebook’s entire existence, other than to make me feel bad that I have no diamond ring, white dress, or ultrasound pictures, is to connect people. This is an appropriate use, to connect with someone you met via an interpersonal social infrastructure. If he wants to be untraceable from people he meets socially, he should change his settings to hide himself.

3) There is nothing wrong with a single woman meeting a man at a bar , “handshaking” with him later that night, and casually checking out his details the next day to see what the possible potential might be (if that’s even why she did it). The strangely un-empowering backlash of “she should not have expected anything from him” as a justification for why she should not have looked him up on facebook is non-sensical. Just because they engaged in physicality that night does not, by some strangely newly-invented rule, mean that they are barred from ever interacting again. I bet a whole lot of you met your husbands/fiances/boyfriends in bars. Or exes. Or two-night stands or flings, etc. Should she expect a ring? probably not. Is it outlandish that something might possibly have grown out of one night of manual lovin’? Not at all. For all we know, she also has his number, and his business card. She was not delusional or pathetic for looking him up. She wasn’t ANYTHING for looking him up.

4) There’s a whole lot of “get off of facebook and move on with your life.” Um, first of all, the amount of time we all spend on this site shows we are all living in our little glass houses of internet consumption. Second, she looked him out and found out he was married. It wouldn’t have mattered if she had stumbled on his wedding announcement (many years later?) or any other information conduit which would have told her this information. The vehicle for the info is irrelevant now that she has it. It is also irrelevant for the type of advice she asked.

Way harsh on this LW, Wend-ites! pretty judgmental too.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 2:06 pm

1. “Facebook’s entire existence, other than to make me feel bad that I have no diamond ring, white dress, or ultrasound pictures, is to connect people.” You’re awesome.
2. Be honest 6nap, did you just get home from giving a handjob to a stranger and look him up on facebook? I’m kidding! Promise! I actually wrote something similar to what you were saying earlier. Totally agree.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 2:09 pm

Would that I did, if only it meant that I actually went to the beach once this summer. Alas, twisn’t so. Although, I can almost see water from my office, oh so high in the sky.

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:24 pm

I love you. =) letsbehonest is pretty awesome too

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 2:26 pm

As (hopefully not) pathetic as it may sound, I get a cheeseburger smile on my face with the DW community likes me or gives me thumbs up.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 2:28 pm

I’m depressed no one thumbed this one up though…
http://dearwendy.com/?p=5297#comment-36706

JK JK September 15, 2011, 2:31 pm

There you go :)

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 2:32 pm

haha, thanks!

avatar splashes September 15, 2011, 2:35 pm

it probably wasn’t thumbs-upped because you clarified you were kidding. Where’s the fun in that?? ;-)

avatar SpaceySteph September 15, 2011, 2:47 pm

I am totally with you on this part: “the amount of time we all spend on this site shows we are all living in our little glass houses of internet consumption”

But I still think that if you are going to hook up with a random guy at a bar, you don’t have to right to be enraged when you find out he’s married. If he even is married. Facebook is not the arbiter of truth in this world. The profile could be old and outdated, they could be years divorced by now. Maybe they got married for citizenship or to convince her evangelical parents that she wasn’t a lesbian even though she is. Or they are just staying together for the kid while both sowing wild oats. While the most likely explanation is that he’s a dirty rotten cheater, its not the only possible explanation. And sticking yourself into the middle of whatever is going on in their marriage is unwarranted.

avatar amber September 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

I guess her use of facebook is just different from me which is why I viewed it as needing to walk away from it. I don’t meet someone and then immediately look them up on facebook or the computer in general. I do enjoy DearWendy and other sites but I also wouldn’t for instance try to facebook 6napkinburger and look at your profile unless we had become friends. That though is why like you said I have my profile set to private. Not that I have anything to hide but I don’t like the idea of random people being able to look me up and see the pictures I took of my niece’s birthday party or anything else I share with friends.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 3:25 pm

Though I might suggest substituting a 5 and googling that. It’s pretty yummy, and I have no affliation with it whatsoever.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 3:27 pm

Was that on man v food?

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 3:40 pm

I guess.

I am the weird in-between generation, as are a lot of people here, which got facebook half-way through college. It was exclusive to colleges then, and effectively replaced the (literal) facebook that the university had online. After a fun night, we would go home and “face” the cute guys we met the night before, to show our friends. Fast-forward about 8 years, and now, its still basically that same tool. If I go to a friend party and meet someone new, I am not surprised if I have a facebook invitation from them the next day. I don’t feel stalked at all; sometimes, I’m happy because I totally forgot their last name and couldn’t look them up. Sometimes I meet guys out and don’t feel like giving them my number, so I tell them my name and to “facebook me,” (I have most privacy settings on, just not the search function) and recieve a message from them instead of the next day text/phone call. If I meet a guy and want my long-distance friends to see, I’ll tell them his name so they can pull him up.

But in response to your “friend” comment, if I meet a girl who I think is cool and would like to hang out again, but didn’t get her number, I’ll message her on facebook. That’s a way to make friends, by following up with real-world interactions, to plan more real-world interactions.

All this and I would describe myself as NEVER (i.e. minimally) use facebook… I don’t really post, I don’t really do status updates, I don’t ask people to vote for my cousin as the cutest gerber baby, etc. I actually only USE facebook as a tool, I don’t really kill time on it. So I guess, yeah, people use facebook differently, but using it as a tool isn’t stalking. Its socially networking :-).

avatar amber September 15, 2011, 3:57 pm

I’m not even old and I’m feeling a little old right now haha! I guess that is the difference. I still prefer to give my phone number or email address out over facebook. I guess I’m just not in to the social networking as much as younger generations are? Oh man now I feel old again!

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 4:00 pm

I went to grad school straight from undergrad, which extended that lifestyle, making it totally the norm, which is not typical, i guess.

avatar Betty Boop September 16, 2011, 6:50 pm

As a woman in her 30′s who’s online dating I ABSOLUTELY look up cute guys on Facebook right after meeting them. It’s a way to crush on somebody and enjoy the butterflies of possibility without being creepy or inappropriate. I also google the names of dudes I’m interested in. Doing so has allowed me to avoid dating a guy deeply into bestiality and a guy who lied about every single important thing on his profile. It’s a tool for information and, as we all know, Knowledge is Power!

avatar Kalipzo September 15, 2011, 8:07 pm

This times a billion.

avatar Betty Boop September 16, 2011, 6:51 pm

This, right here, is a beautiful thing. Thank you for saying what I’m thinking so clearly and eloquently.

avatar Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich September 15, 2011, 2:08 pm

NO no no no no no NO NO no. As much as I might want to know this if I were the wife, she may not even believe it. You, a random from the internet, will likely have no credibility and will therefore only stir up drama. NO good will come from that. None. Also, you don’t know if perchance this guy and his wife have an open relationship. That’s possible (…maybe not likely though).

All in all, STAY AWAY FROM FACEBOOK. No one needs another facebook-cheating-scandal in their lives. Get on with your own life, leave this dude alone, and always do your due diligence with hookups.

avatar Morgan September 15, 2011, 2:44 pm

I’m going to sit this one out. On the one hand, I’d want to know. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to insert myself in a relationship that was not mine and about which I know absolutely nothing.

That being said, in my wild single days I would always look up a guy on facebook the night after hooking up with him if we weren’t already facebook friends. That’s the totally normal thing to do. Confirm he’s as cute as he seemed while you were drunk, look through his profile pics, make sure he doesn’t list “Nickleback” or “white supremacy” as an interest, and check the relationship status. And on several occasions this led to my finding out said guy in question was listed as “in a relationship.” And no, I never messaged the girl.

So I’m not sure what my advice is on this one. I’d want to know, but I also wouldn’t want to get involved.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 2:46 pm

nickelback or white supremecy. oh. my. god. that’s too funny.

avatar Lindsey September 15, 2011, 3:00 pm

Special handshake? What does that even mean? So…you gave him a hand job? or am I being too literal here?

Just wondering, because it’s sort of bothering me that you seem to qualify his cheating by saying you didn’t *actually* have sex. Isn’t that just as bad?

and NO DO NOT TELL THIS WOMAN!

avatar mcminnem September 15, 2011, 3:30 pm

You know what, I’ve changed my mind. I just thought of something:

Say that, instead of being ‘the other woman’, the LW was and employee at a company and this dude was her coworker. Dude is a really awesome employee, boss is thrilled with him, yadda yadda. But Dude is committing fraud and stealing from the company, and LW knows about it.
LW isn’t sure about going to her boss with this info, because she’s afraid of being labelled a “shit-stirrer”, and Dude could get fired, causing trouble because then the company would lose an ‘otherwise awesome’ employee. Maybe boss would be super embarrassed because he hired/vouched for this guy, so he might be pissed.
If that was the letter, would we be telling the LW to keep her mouth shut? Hell no, right?
We’d tell her to rat this dude out, because he’s committing a crime, and by knowing about it and doing nothing, the LW is condoning his actions. We wouldn’t be saying “oh he’ll get caught eventually, don’t worry’ or ‘someone else will alert the authorities.’ We’d say “shit is going down, and you have a responsibility to stop it if you can.”

Well, shit is going down. If the wife doesn’t believe her? Then at least she tried. If there’s some kind of agreement going on whereby handjobs from strangers are okay? Then they tell her that, and she says “my bad, I’ll go away forever now.”
If it does ruin their marriage, then that’s his fault for being out at a bar, not wearing his wedding ring, and accepting advances from drunk women. *He* made the choice to endanger his marriage.
And to those who think the wife should be spared the devastation of finding out, if we’re operating under the assumption that cheaters will eventually get caught, wouldn’t it be better to find out now, rather than finding out years down the line that her husband has been unfaithful ALL THESE YEARS, while she was at home with their kid?

avatar Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich September 15, 2011, 3:54 pm

I just don’t think that relationships are as black and white as committing fraud. Infidelity isn’t a “crime” per se. It sucks, it’s not laudable, it should be avoided… but relationships are so much more complex than that.

avatar mcminnem September 15, 2011, 4:07 pm

I was more on the “by not saying anything you are condoning what he did” angle rather than the “infidelity is a crime” angle. Since so many people seem to be convinced that he’ll get caught anyway, why shouldn’t she be the one to do it?

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 3:55 pm

and THAT is why she asked the question! I’m sure the “It’s none of my business” idea has crossed her mind, but she clearly thought beyond that to other reprecussions, like you mentioned. It would be WAY easier not to do anything; the difficult thing is to act.

Agree.

Budj Budjer September 15, 2011, 3:59 pm

Telling is opening pandora’s box…if the LW is ok with that then she can go for it.

avatar Flake September 15, 2011, 4:25 pm

The difference is, in the office she would know for a fact that he is stealing from the company. Here, she doesn’t know anything about the relationship with a wife. They could be on a break. He could be a recovering alcoholic/sex addict who slipped up. He could have just intended to flirt with her and stopped himself when it went too far. There are just way too many possible scenarios here. For example, if I see someone taking a pen home from work, that doesn’t make that person a thief. If it happens a few times, than it’s a different story. You can’t go and mess up people’s lives just to make yourself feel better. The risks far outweigh any possible advantages in this case.

avatar Bossy Italian Wife September 15, 2011, 3:35 pm

No no no no no no NO!

Lady, where do you get off? You meet a stranger in a bar and then you want to tell his wife on him? His bad marriage is his business… it sounds like you have enough to worry about without getting all “fatal attraction” on this guy.

Do yourself a favor and get to know people before randomly hooking up with them… and if you don’t mind the random hook ups, don’t be surprised when they turn out married. Sheesh.

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 3:49 pm

Lady, where do YOU get off? A stranger writes in for advice to tough question regarding what the proper moral actions now that she has unwittingly helped a man to cheat on his wife, and she is asking how to do right by his wife. He has made his bad marriage her business, by involving her in it. Sounds like she is justified in asking for advice without people getting all Scarlett Letter on her.

Do all of us a favor and think through the question before unfairly lashing out on completely innocent LWs… and if you don’t mind the harsh backlash you get for answering so unfairly, don’t be surprised when you faind yourself duly chastened.

avatar bostonpupgal September 15, 2011, 4:15 pm

Agreed! No need for slut shaming. The LW is single, and it’s not like she engaged in behavior that could get her an std or worse. She was at the beach, met a man who expressed he was single, had some fun, and moved along. Nothing wrong with that.

Also, telling the wife in a non-confrontational, respectful way that she unwittingly hooked up with her husband is not going “fatal attraction” It’s trying to save this woman serious pain and possibly illness. Also, using the words “tell his wife on him” makes the LW sound like jealous, petty bitch, and makes what the husband did seem ok or like no big deal. LW is just trying to do what’s right in the wake of the husband’s despicable actions

avatar 6napkinburger September 15, 2011, 4:38 pm

I seriously don’t understand why people are so against the PAST actions of the LW. I get the people who are debating whether its better for the wife to know, worse for the wife to know, unknown so don’t mess with it, bad for the LW to tell, etc. I seriously don’t understand the people who keep berating the LW for “knowing what she was getting into”.

Um, she does not need to assume that a guy she makes out with on the beach is necessarily a shithead, and if he does turn out to be one, she gets to be put off by it. Not necessarily surprised, but still annoyed. AND yet, that isn’t even the point! Regardless of whether or not she’s annoyed, put off, etc from her diliance at the beach, she still has a real decision to make: to tell or not to tell.

The argument that she “knew” she would necessarily be in this position – that she would have to decide whether to tell the wife or not – is not only categorically untrue, its besides the point! Wife still innocent, husband still likely cheated, LW still in tough place and needs advice.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 4:28 pm

Thanks 6. I was too exhausted from eating my body weight in Boston Market to reply to this, but that’s what I would’ve said.

avatar Mr.44 September 15, 2011, 7:42 pm

The average marriage is way to long to believe that either party won’t get into any trouble. C’mon, a little trouble is fun and men & women break the rules occasionally.

It reminds me of a buddy of mine whose wife was partying at the club and got a little too close with some other guy. Drunk, harmless, relationship would’ve lasted if took place in different town even if the husband was right there. Unfortunately, it happened in front of some of his friends and got back to him. He felt emasculated & decided he had to end the relationship even though he loved her a lot. I know if only the two of them knew about it, they would have stayed together.

We don’t know the details. If this guy is a total douche, she will find out on her own or she already knows.

By the way, anyone else want the purple thumbs back? I like the controversial posts.

katie katie September 15, 2011, 8:14 pm

LW, i think you should tell her. depending on your views of cheating, this is no different then if you saw this man rape someone, murder someone, steal something, ect.. would you tell his wife then? if i was his wife, i would definitely want to know what kind of douchey things my husband was doing.

now, she probably wont believe you. the husband will say that you are a crazy ex girlfriend, or some stalker-ish co-worker, or something, and lie up and down that he is faithful. so, really, nothing will come of it. but, in my opinion, it is better to do the right thing and have it not believed then to just not say anything and let this terrible act against his marriage and family continue. and yes, he will slip up at some point and he will be caught, and then the wife will remember you, and then you will be justified in what you did.

i think everyone deserves to know the truth, as hurtful as it may be sometimes.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 15, 2011, 8:39 pm

Dang! While I abhor cheating, I don’t think it’s AT ALL comparable to rape or murder. Purple thumb.

avatar lets_be_honest September 15, 2011, 8:54 pm

In trying to understand how someone could think theyre at all comparable I realized maybe she meant like Ten commandments v. Real life/laws

katie katie September 15, 2011, 8:56 pm

i wasnt trying to say its comparable, but trying to say that what he did was wrong, and if you saw a person do other wrong things, would you still keep your mouth shut just to keep the spouse ignorantly in the dark? wrong is wrong is what i meant.

avatar the other guy September 15, 2011, 11:35 pm

My take, married guy had a few to drink, flirts with a pretty lady, no intention of taking it further. If he was the cheating type he would never have give out his real name.

Several drinks later and the ‘common sense’ brain cells have passed out, ends up in bed with the woman.

While some might say he should come clean with the wife I believe he should keep his mouth shut if it was a one time mistake. Bring it up will only poison even the strongest of marriages and remember there is also children involved.

If there is even a 1% of the above being true (and I think the chance is a lot higher) then DON’T tell the wife or contact the husband.

avatar Betty Boop September 16, 2011, 7:14 pm

I don’t know what you should do LW, but I can tell you what I did in a similar situation: I told her. I composed a very calm, concise letter telling a bare bones account of what happened, expressed that I didn’t think she would believe me, and that I was sorry be in this position and that I knew I was putting her in an untenable position but I didn’t feel right not telling her. She didn’t believe me, I was blamed for his lying to me, told I must have seduced him away because how could I possibly not know he was involve, etc. Essentially, I was treated like a whore for but I didn’t, and still don’t, regret it. I felt that not telling her was just like telling HIM I condoned HIS actions. Their marriage didn’t last, his cheating continued and eventually she believed one of the women who told. I’m not gonna claim I decided to tell her for all the right, altruistic reasons, that’s illogical and highly unlikely. What I did do was try my damnedest to keep my emotions out of my letter and keep it to informational and not assigning blame or judgement.

You’re very, very unlikely to have a good outcome if you tell, but I agree the decision needs to be based on what you feel is the moral choice. If you can’t handle the shit storm that may ensue, do not start it, I don’t think anyone can blame you for that. If, however, you feel it’s necessary and you are prepared for the likelihood that you will be blamed and ignored, go for it.

And, as an aside, I’m really surprised and disheartened by some commenters here attacking the LW character for asking for help! It’s true that some letter writers need a reality check, but to assign blame on this LW for not fully vetting a guy she made out with is simply wrong. Maybe I’m being sensitive or melodramatic, but it doesn’t feel any different that when I was called a whore for not knowing that man was lying to me.

Leave a Comment


1 + = nine