Revealing An Affair to Spouse of the Other Party Who's Still "In The Dark"

Our initial reaction is that it's not your responsibility to inform this woman of her husband's infidelity. That's his job. Ideally, the guilty spouse should be the one to confess his sin and ask forgiveness of his mate. He needs to be in the driver's seat. If he's not willing to assume that role, there isn't much you can do about it.

Your task at present is to get your own relationship back on a healthy footing, and that's going to require all the time, energy, and determination you can drum up. This means that it's in your best interests to cut off all ties with the "other man" and his wife. To keep up any kind of communication with them is to increase the chance of repeating the affair.

There can be exceptions to this rule, of course. A great deal depends upon the circumstances. If, for example, you live in a relatively small community, and if tongues have been wagging around town, it would be tragic to let the victim be the last one to know. Relationships and motives make a big difference, too. If these people are old friends of yours, and if your goal is to protect the wife, help save her marriage, or enable her to establish healthy boundaries for the future, it might be a good idea to speak up if you think you can offer some practical assistance. Since this isn't the husband's first affair, the possibility also exists that he has exposed his wife – and yours – to some kind of sexually transmitted disease. In that case, everyone concerned needs to be informed of the facts as soon as possible so that they can arrange to be tested by a physician.

In short, we're willing to concede that, under certain conditions, you may have a good reason for enlightening the spouse who is still "in the dark." But on the whole, we'd suggest that if there's anyone else in the picture who can possibly assume this responsibility on your behalf – perhaps a pastor, a counselor, or a good female friend of the betrayed spouse – you'd do well to leave it in their hands. As we've already hinted, it's highly likely that if you stay involved to the point of telling this woman about the affair, you could end up compromising your own boundaries and placing your own marriage at risk.

Focus on the Family has a staff of trained family therapists available to speak with you over the phone. Call us for a free consultation. Our Counseling department can refer you to reputable and qualified marriage and family counselors working in your area. They'd also be more than happy to discuss your concerns with you over the phone.


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Unfaithful: Hope and Healing After Infidelity

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Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough

I Do Again: We Found a Second Chance at Our Marriage – And You Can Too

Moving Beyond Ordinary in Your Marriage

Practical Advice for Protecting Your Marriage

Nothing to Hide: Hope for Marriages Hurt by Pornography and Infidelity

Hope Restored® marriage intensives

Love and Respect

Marriage Alive

Affairs and Adultery

Affairs/Marital Infidelity

Forgiveness and Restoration

Restoration: Four Hurdles You Must Face

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