Morning Quickie: “Should I Tell My Ex-Boyfriend’s Girlfriend He’s Cheating on Her?”

I was with my first serious boyfriend for just under a month. We broke up in 2011, but we have maintained a distanced cordial/friendly relationship over the years. While we were dating, there were times that he left his email logged in; I snooped and found that he was attempting to cheat on me with guys. He denies it, but I can’t be sure. Even before this I knew he wasn’t right.

He’s recently told me all about his kinky relationship with his male Dom and how he’s given blowjobs to all of his Dom’s male friends – all while dating a girl seriously for at least two years. He seems to think it’s no big deal that he’s meeting his kinks outside of his relationships – and he tells me about it, all while making clear that his girlfriend is clueless. I feel horrible that he thinks it’s OK to tell me this. Part of why I broke up with him is because he wanted to cheat, so I don’t know why he feels I’m the right audience to brag to about his escapades.

He recently propositioned me and my boyfriend right after he broke things off with his Dom. I obviously told my boyfriend about it – and reassured him that I thought it was a terrible idea. I told my boyfriend that I’m tempted to tell my ex’s girlfriend about his “extracurricular” activities, and he told me I should. I worry that it’s more drama than it’s worth, but, if my boyfriend were cheating, I’d want to know. Should I keep quiet or let her know? If the latter, HOW should I let her know? — Kinky Guy’s Ex

First of all, it was not a “serious relationship” if you were with him for just under a month. Second of all, why are you in contact with this guy? He sounds like a creep, you didn’t trust him for the few weeks you dated, and he has propositioned you while knowing you are in a relationship. Disengage from this guy completely. Move on. Stop responding to him. And, for the love of God, don’t get further involved in his messy life by reaching out to his girlfriend. Really, no good can come from that. You don’t know what their relationship is like, whether she already suspects his “extracurricular” activities, whether he’s even being truthful to you about his behavior, and how the girlfriend would receive any kind of second-hand information from her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend whom he is still is sporadic contact with. Reaching out to her is just inviting drama into your life. Move on and leave this guy in the past — where he should have been left a long time ago.


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  1. I really have nothing to add, except that I’m thinking the “just under a MONTH” was a typo and was supposed to say “just under a YEAR.”

    1. I get the feelng by “serious relationship” LW means sex.

  2. If just under a month counts as a serious relationship, then my serious relationship number has skyrocketed.

    I have nothing else to add to Wendy’s advice… because I’m usually of the opinion that you shouldn’t interfere with others lives.

    1. I may be in a serious relationship with my lunch, according to this LW.

      1. That just made me smile!!!!

  3. I agree that the situation is wonky, but if I were the gf, I’d want to know. Motivations aside, if the external relationships are something she’s not aware of and ok with, I’d probably tell her. I’d also expect drama and fallout, but if you’re not expecting to stay friends with the guy, then it’s less of an issue.

  4. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

    I think that whenever someone asks “Should I tell a third party about this information” we can safely assume that about 80% the answer is a hard NO. (The only exception should really be if not telling could result in injury to someone).
    The way I keep myself in check is thinking, “If I was this person’s therapist, would I be legally obligated to tell third party person this information?” It’s a pretty good indicator of whether or not I’m really concerned for their well being, or being a busy body.
    For example- I suspect first person of engaging in disordered eating/self harm/suicidal talk- YES TELL SOMEONE ABOUT IT. I suspect first person is being shady about their relationship- Not my thing to tell. I suspect first person of hurting another person/child- TIME TO TELL IT. I don’t approve how fast single person with children introduces kids to new bf/gf- Not my business to share.

    1. It’s rare, but this time I disagree with Wendy and the majority. I think the new Gf could be risking injury. This guy is having sex with many partners and chances are decent that he could pass along an STD to his unwitting gf. As the LW, I would tell the girl as long as I wasn’t terribly afraid of the ex’s retaliation. It would be better to have hard evidence (ie Facebook msgs or texts), so if you don’t have that you may want to get it.

      1. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        But this is secondhand knowledge. I’m going to use some anecdotal evidence as an example.
        When I was a young teen, my dad carried out a long, painful affair. It was terrible, and it was particularly hard on me. My parents ended up staying together afterwards, but it I always felt like I was on high alert for suspicious behavior from my dad. About 2 years-ish after all the drama, I was doing all of my family’s laundry and there was a woman’s thong mixed in my dad’s laundry. It was not my size- nor was it my mother’s size. I flipped out, and agonized over when I should tell my mother. I almost did, until my aunt called a few days later to ask if I had found a particular set of underwear she lost while she was doing laundry at our house. If I had acted on my intuitions, I could have done some serious damage. Was my parent’s relationship worth saving? Ultimately, no. Would it have been my place to rush in with circumstantial evidence and end their relationship earlier? Hell NO.
        You don’t know this girl, and you have one side of the story. I guarantee if you email/call her and the scenario IS exactly what it seems, you are going to be labeled as the “crazy ex who wants him back”. It’s none of your business.

      2. I think this is really different than your situation. That was your suspicion of one woman. This is a guy who is in sex clubs, blowing lots of guys, and literally propositioned the ex and her boyfriend. If that is true it is very risky sexual behavior that is more likely to result in an STD than your standard affair. Not saying it is better or worse, just statistically more likely to end in an STD.
        Also, I agree, outing the ex will probably not be easy for the LW, and the current GF and the ex may both be mad at her. That sounds like a risk LW is willing to take though, for the health of this new GF. This is not a matter of revenge, it is potentially a matter of infertility or even death for this other GF if she gets an STD that she doesn’t pick up on because she thinks she is in a monogamous long term relationship.

      3. But it’s not the LW’s responsibility to take care of the girlfriend’s health. The girlfriend should be using protection and/or getting regular STD testing. And for all we know, maybe she is. As shitty as it sounds the boyfriend is being, I don’t think LW should intervene.

      4. I think it’s unreasonable to think, that a woman in a 2 year relationship, who assumes both people are dedicated to each other, would be using a condom with a “trusted” partner. While I agree it’s not the LW’s responsibility, I think she should contact the GF regardless. Some states also have legal repercussions for people who knowingly engage in sexual acts without protection if they know they have an untreatable STD.

      5. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all. I used condoms with my husband until we we were married. And I still get tested regularly for STDs for many reasons, nothing to do with me not trusting him. Besides that, telling her under the guise of protecting her health doesn’t seem like the LW’s motive. The girlfriend is fully capable of taking care of her health in whatever way that may be.

      6. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

        It’s really not different from my situation- Third party discovers circumstantial evidence that could reference an affair, but is not involved in the partner’s relationship. Does this guy sound like shit? Yes. Is his relationship any of the LW’s business? NO.
        This woman was sneaking in his email WEEKS into their relationship. It sounds like she’s a busy-body any way. She is looking for permission to put her nose where it doesn’t belong.

      7. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Yeah, I agree. This woman sounds a little nuts. She was already snooping? And she still talks to this “crazy” guy? I just don’t trust her or her motives. Seems more like revenge than anything else.

  5. Wendy, i know you wanna give off this whole “thoughtfully considered opinion of a professional advice columnist” vibe, but this advice is just no fun, and won’t lead to entertaining updates. LW, don’t listen to Wendy. What you wanna do is proposition your ex’s girlfriend, get caught having sex with her, then tell your ex that your boyfriend is really “curious” about his last offer, but will only go through with it if he gets to be Dom and meet in a public place. I would think that the best medium to express all this would be Facebook. Be sure to update! It’s gonna work out great!

    1. I think you need to start advising all LW’s. And since many of the don’t want to hear what Wendy has to say, they’d likely take your advice as a great counter point. I can see the updates now. “DW, I decided not to take your advice, but that genius Diablo had some great ideas. My boyfriend, my ex, my ex’s girlfriend, the former male DOM, and I all had a really fun night. Now both of us women are pregnant, and we are not sure who impregnated us. But we’re keeping the kids and raising them together, all 5 of us, in one big happy family. What could go wrong?”

      1. I simply don’t have the time to dispense all the tragically bad advice we need in the world. Even the research to keep up with current trends is a challenge, because I work days and can’t watch Jerry Springer and Maury for the inside track on all the new therapies: lying therapy, sleeping around therapy, how to be a non-functioning meth addict, cousin lovin’… it’s exhausting.

      2. No excuse. Here’s where you need to start dishing out bad advice – to yourself! Quit your job, live on the couch watching nothing but Jerry and Maury and all of the other trashy TV shows I can’t name, and during the commercial breaks (which daytime TV always seems to have about a million per hour) write bad advice to DW LWers. By the time your wife leaves your lazy, couch flattened ass, you should be making tons of money from grateful LWers who shower you in monetary gifts for your infinite wisdom.

  6. Avatar photo sobriquet says:

    In this case, I say, no, don’t say anything to the girlfriend. However, I do not live by the hard rule that you should never share secondhand information unless people are in danger. I mean, I understand not wanting to invite drama into your life, but sometimes the right thing is to tell and the wrong this is to keep your mouth shut. That’s a moral battle that only the individual can decide.
    Last year I was put in an awkward position when my SIL opened up to me about things involving her marriage that her husband did not know about. It was serious enough for me to tell my husband, and serious enough that there was no way he could keep that information from his brother. My husband talked to his brother about it, his brother confronted his wife (SIL), and… everything turned out fine. They decided to work on their marriage and due to the way the information was shared, my husband and I came out completely unscathed. Conscience cleared, no histrionics, and my BIL had all the information he needed. I think in this situation, since we intimately knew BOTH parties and spent a lot of time with them (to the point where keeping this information a secret would have stressed me out!), and since my SIL chose to share this information with me *knowing* how close I was to the situation, it was the right thing to do.
    In the LW’s scenario, however, since she does not know the girlfriend, she should stay out of it. I think if she wants to do the right thing, she should let her ex know that she’s not okay with his behavior and that she doesn’t want to hear about it anymore, but that’s about all she can do in this situation. I think when an ex-girlfriend shares information with the current-girlfriend… that just isn’t going to end well.

  7. Terrible advice.

    Golden rule applies. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Every single one of you would want to know if your partner was cheating on you.

    I’d blow that shit up.

    If the current GF wants to attack the messenger, that’s on her.

    Telling the current GF is the RIGHT thing to do.

    1. I can’t say with 100% certainty that I would want to know in all cases.

    2. Why should you believe your boyfriend’s ex over your boyfriend, though? I have a friend who got a call from a girl claiming that her husband was cheating on her, and in the end she just had to trust in her husband, because it was all he said/she said. So what’s the point of telling if there’s no proof?

    3. Completely agree with you. Send the gf (who I’m sure she can find on FB or something) all the screen shots of the messages and texts and emails, and just leave it at that. Then cut off all contact with the “ex” because keeping him around is also damaging for one’s emotions, because he feeds on her ability to keep her mouth shut while he gets his thrills.

    4. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

      Yes, I would want to KNOW. I wouldn’t want to hear from an ex-girlfriend who snooped in the first few weeks. Untrustworthy. A friend? Sure. But I wouldn’t count this as knowing. I would think the ex is crazy who wants him back. It just makes no sense for her to tell.

      1. Yeah, if the information came from a significant other’s ex, I probably wouldn’t believe it. If it was a friend, or even an acquaintance, then maybe. But regardless of the actual intention, it would look like someone trying to make trouble, not a real warning.

      2. Anonymous says:

        Yeah but at least you do want you can and hopefully she’ll at least consider an std test. But I agree with Wendy about the main point of this problem, why the h is the LW still talking to this guy?! The proposition should be the last straw. Concentrate on other friends. I wish there was a way for her to tell anonymously. Never been in the situation but personally i think I’d feel better knowing I warned a person who may get a deadly std before washing my hands of a situation/cutting contact. At the same time I’d be fearful of any anger, inconvenience, or possible violence coming my way after telling. So it’s a tough call, to tell or not to tell… If the the LW had originally cut ties in a timely manner she would not have this heavy burden on her mind.

  8. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

    So I would want to know in this situation, but I think it depends a lot on the person telling that information–like would I really believe my boyfriend’s ex that he was cheating on me with all these people–probably not so I would say just ignore it, MOA because you are going to cause drama for yourself by getting involved. However, if one of my best friends or family members knew some information, or someone I really trusted and withheld it from me, that would be really upsetting and personally I don’t think it should always be “don’t tell”.

  9. The tell/don’t tell thing is hard since the LW isn’t motivated by the selfish motives we sometimes see – like the person he is cheating with wanting to tell the GF in order to break them up (hopefully) but saying it is because the GF SHOULD know and it is the right thing to do. I think in these situations the source of the information is always key. If you aren’t anyone to the GF then she just isn’t going to believe you… Certainly not over her BF whom she ostensibly loves. If she already suspects then she will get there on her own anyway…and if she has no clue then what you tell her will fall on deaf ears. If the GF was your friend and she would believe you I think the situation would be different. But as it is, is there any point in telling someone the truth when they won’t believe you? Isn’t that just an exercise in futility?

  10. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    Isn’t the answer to this question always “no. MYOB.” ?

  11. karenwalker says:

    LW here

    Yeah, so month was a typo – this guy and I were together for 11 months, just under a year.

    We maintained an acquaintanceship – catching up on Facebook every few months, but have not actually seen each other since we broke up. Part of why I continued to talk to him every once in a while is that I know he is very uncomfortable with his bisexual (gay?) as well as his kinky desires, and told me he’d never feel comfortable coming out to his Italian Catholic family. I could sympathize with that. He also feels that I played a big role in getting him back to school, so he would give me updates on how that was going. Another reason we’re still in touch is because he became good friends with the boyfriend of one of my best friends.

    I know for a fact that the woman he is with now does not know how about his affairs because he’s told me that she doesn’t know. I’ve encouraged him to talk to her about it, but he says he doesn’t feel comfortable, and is afraid she’ll leave him because he believes that no woman would ever want to date someone with his kinks (BDSM, cross dressing, pretending to be a girl) and sexual attraction to men; I agree these (or any of these alone) may be deal breaker for some, though definitely not for all.

    Monday, one week ago, he told me about this most recent stuff – breaking up with his male Dom because he wanted him to start hormone therapy and live with him as a girl, servicing his friends with blow jobs, and propositioning me and my boyfriend for a threesome. Yesterday, pictures were all over Facebook of him proposing to his girlfriend! I can’t believe he’d be so bold as to have a Facebook message with me about his activities (aka leaving “evidence” of his cheating) and then propose days later. He has since blocked me from both him and her on Facebook. I feel like he’s tricking her into marrying him and putting her at risk for an STI (I know someone said she should be using condoms anyways, but that doesn’t protect against things like herpes or syphilis) and that’s a really shitty thing to do. I don’t know this girl, but I know I wouldn’t want to get married to someone who was doing all this stuff behind my back. I know she may not believe me, but I do have the Facebook message I can show her.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      If they have gotten engaged then I think she deserves to know because the life she is entering isn’t what she thinks it is and if she found out when they had small children it would be a much more complicated situation.
      The big question is do you think she would believe you?

      1. karenwalker says:

        At this point, I don’t know if it matters if she believes me; regardless of the outcome, I think she should know so she can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed. At least if I’ve told her I can feel like I’m not an active participant in this lie.

      2. Skyblossom says:

        I’d tell her and then move on with a cleaner conscience. It’s his decision whether he tells his family about his lifestyle but it isn’t his decision to hide this from his future wife if he intends to keep having sex outside marriage, which is what it appears he will do. There are woman out there who would like a polyamorous marriage but he won’t find a partner like that if he is lying about looking for monogamy. It isn’t right to drag a woman into a marriage just to cover up his sexual orientation from his parents.

    2. Bittergaymark says:

      Eh, this SCREAMS bullshit to me . A gay male DOM who wants to force his lover to become a woman?! I call b.s…
      This letter REEKS of homophobia disguised as otherwise. Either the friend is lying. Or the LW. My money is on the latter…

      1. Ding ding ding, bullshit. Maybe he was just using the LW as a sounding board for his fantasies. LW did it look like he might have been typing one handed? lol.

        Seriously, dude needs to break up with that lady and get on Fetlife already, he’s not as weird as he thinks he is. You’re all blocked now so just leave it alone, he seems sloppy so the girl will find out what he’s up to soon enough if he’s really doing it.

      2. Bittergaymark says:

        Update edit. Seeing KAREN WALKER wrote this makes me certain the friend is lying… It’s all just so far-fetched. It’s all just the over the top, messed up fantasies of an admittedly messed up closet case…

      3. RedRoverRedRover says:

        She’s been posting as karenwalker for months now. The story might be fake I guess, but she’s a real poster who posts replies in the forums a fair bit.

    3. This is probably not going to be popular advice, but I think you should tell. It’s up to the gf whether she believes you or not, but she’s being put into a risky situation health-wise and he’s straight up lying to her. Due to the fact that she’s thinking about marrying this guy, this is information she has a right to know before she walks down the aisle. Perhaps she will believe you, perhaps she won’t. But at least she will be able to make an informed decision and save herself heartache and an expensive divorce down the road when things are much more complicated and there are possibly children involved.

    4. Anonymous says:

      send her the messages.

  12. This is just… all kinds of off. In a distant, cordial relationship, one doesn’t share the type of detailed information about their deviant behavior that you’re referring to here. It had to be a lot more than that for him to be telling you all this, you not shutting it down, and then him going so far as to ask you for a threesome. The fuck? By staying in touch with this creep who cheated on you and continuing to engage him, you put yourself in the position of being part of this lie.

    That said, if I were engaged to this freak, I’d want to know. I think I’d have figured it out long before though, so you may not be dealing with a bright bulb here. I say mail her a nice clean Manila envelope of screenshots with a brief note, and then wash your damn hands of it.

  13. Avatar photo Boobs Magee says:

    I think you should tell, and I speak from the perspective of the clueless girlfriend.
    I was in a long-term, serious relationship for just over 4 years when I received a FB massage from a woman that I had never met or heard of. It was a short message that simply contained a partial nude pic of my ex-boyfriend, and links to several adult sites; gay and straight. Apparently, my ex-boyfriend had been soliciting NSA sex from strangers for the duration of our relationship. I had no clue. He traveled a lot for his job, and I trusted him completely. Even with all of the proof (Life Tip #936: If you are going to post nude pictures of yourself on the internet, but you don’t want to get caught, don’t include your face), I didn’t want to believe it. My world shattered when he admitted his betrayal.
    Yes, I got tested for everything right away (he didn’t always practice safe sex during his trysts), and I’m lucky that I’m clean, but emotionally I’m still a wreck, though I hold no ill will towards the messenger who contacted me. I’m only grateful that someone told me.

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