Friday, May 8, 2009

Can You Keep A Secret?


I recently found out that someone that I know cheated on their girlfriend. Now they're married and have been for 30-something years. The wife still wonders if he will cheat again. Is still jealous.

I waffle on whether I'd want to know if the love of my life cheated on me. Would it be better to not know? Or would I want to know the truth and see if we could work through it?

I am such a fence-sitter on this one.

Would you want to know? Or would you rather be blissfully ignorant?

Could you keep it a secret if you cheated...to spare the other person? Or would you blurt it out to get it off of your chest?


36 comments:

Deb said...

Although I believe that honesty is the best policy, cheating is a problem that needs to be dealt with. It goes back to that old saying, "Once a cheater always a cheater" - and I believe that to some degree. Unless it's not "fixed" or "helped"---solving the problem of why he or she cheated, then it will continue...

If it was in the beginning of the relationship and there are no thoughts to ever cheat on her again, I think it's safe to say it was just a mistake and keep it at that.

So many circumstances to contend with here.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I'd probably go all NINJA on the guy and chop off his balls. And tallywhacker. :)

Grant said...

I wonder why the wife is still worried after 30 years of marriage.

Jess said...

I have been on both sides of this...cheater and the cheatee. I don't want to know and don't want to tell.

Melissa said...

Oh, good question! Too many variables. I can see all sides of this one, depending on circumstance.

~Just me again~ said...

I dont know if 'once a cheater, always a cheater' is true. I think if it happens once, it could be a mistake. If it happens again, then its always a cheater.

Myself? Sad to admit, I've been on both sides. But lol, only once did I cheat. It was at the end of my marriage.

Would I want to know? Well I think it depends on if we were getting along...sort of an ignorance is bliss thing. But I would definately want to know if everyone else did, and things were already shakey.

Tough question.

Bina said...

I wouldn't want to look stupid NOT knowing, but yet, I THINK I would want to know, but knowing would bring so much pain, heartache, betrayel, so I just don't know.

The person who cheats and then feels so guilty they have to tell their spouse/girlfriend/partner, is doing so for selfish reasons. They are doing it to make themselves feel and them dumping all that shit on the other person.

But, like you, I'm so on the fence that if I fell one way, I may scramble to get to the otherside.

Lu' said...

I think infedelity is the worst. I would want to know and know right away. It is only by showing me enough respect and telling me right away that the cheater would have any chance of forgiveness; a slim chance at best but a chance.

g-man said...

I'm on the fence with wanting to know, if I had an answer it would be greatly effected by my current mood.

As for telling, well that is why I wont cheat. It would eat me up inside to be silent, so I would have to say something, which may bring my marriage to an end, and I dont want that.

kimber p said...

I'd definitely want to know....that way I wouldn't be wasting another second of my life with the cheater. Also, I've been the cheater and although you do everything in your power to not get caught, you always know deep in your heart it's only a matter of time and you almost want them to find out so you can stop living the lie..

Another Suburban Mom said...

It depends on the cheating. Some one night stand. No need to break someones heart for a one time lack of judgement. A long term affair, yeah I would want to know.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

The only point in knowing would be if you were going to act upon it. If not then there is no point in burdening you with the info.

RiverPoet said...

I'm going to go all "Dear Abby" on you.

First of all, you said he cheated on his girlfriend and then you said they've been married 30-something years, so I'm taking that to mean he cheated a VERY LONG time ago. If that's the case, there is absolutely no point in dredging that up and worrying your friend for something that is way past water under the bridge.

Secondly, unless there is something blatantly ongoing, there's no good reason for you to get involved in your friend's marital business. If she's a jealous type, you will only make her more so. And if there turns out to be nothing to worry about, she'll forgive him and turn on you. Let them stew in their own juices, because after 30+ years, they've both put up with good and bad from each other.

If it were me, I wouldn't care to hear about anything that happened so long ago. I would rather be blissfully ignorant. But if something were going on in front of the world and I couldn't see it? Yes, I'd want to know so that I wouldn't be made a fool of. I would want to know so I could deal with it (i.e., kick his ass to the curb).

Hope that helps - D

meno said...

The answer, of course, depends on the cheater. Does he/she intend to keep on doing it? Or are they truly sorry and want to work to fix the problem?

In the case of the former, i might not want to know. Elsewise, i need to know.

Ashleigh said...

If it's a one time thing and the adulterer feels guilty, they should just keep it to themselves.
Not burden the blissfully ignorant.

If the adulterer is unhappy and is repeating the affair, then they should seek couples counseling or seek a divorce. No fair to each to live a lie.

Akelamalu said...

Having seen a good friend have numerous breakdowns because she found out about her husband's infidelities I think ignorance is probably bliss. If I had an affair it would because I no longer loved my man and I would leave him. That's not gonna happen in a million years!

trinity2 said...

I would not want to know. If my love cheated on me they do not get to bear their soul - they should carry that burdon. Also, I would do the same if I ever cheated.

Allison said...

This is a tough one. Unless there is a concern of HIV or other STI, it is probably not your job to tell her. There is a third option, though - get the husband to make the tell/not tell decision.

If you do tell, you have to face the possibility that your friend will be angry with you. "Shoot the messenger" and all.

Would I want to know? I guess it depends. I'd rather hear it from my husband than my friend. Is the husband still cheating? Was it a one-time mistake or is there an ongoing relationship? I don't know. Such a mess.

Jay said...

If I could get a lot of money out of the divorce I would want to know. ;-)

Seriously though, if it was a consistent thing then yes, I would want to know and get rid of that person. If it was one time and it was a long time ago? Nope. Who needs that pain for something that was a one time deal?

we're doomed said...

Silence is golden!!!!

Seamus said...

Guess I'm on the fence. I've been on both side and neither is is a comfortable place to be.

Jules said...

Finding out my beloved of 20 years was a CHEAT has been economically stimulating for me. Can you say alimony?? Rat bastard..............
Glad I knew.

Jeanne said...

I can't imagine Old Dog cheating on me, thank God. And I'd rather amputate my lips than ever hurt him. That said, if I did, I'm a blurter. Which means he'd divorce me and I'd die impoverished and alone.

Gee, thanks for that happy image going into the weekend!

Karie said...

Part of me says I would want to know so I can deal with the reality in whatever way I see fit. The other part of me absolutely would not want to deal with it. Being ignorant is so nice.

Beth said...

I always say I'd want to know. Just tell me, get it over with, so I can get on with life....cuz inside you KNOW if someone's cheated. and I need to set my mind and heart right. I can probably get over it if you tell me the truth....but if you lie for years about it.....that does more damage than the truth, I think.

Alex the Girl said...

Ah, I'm not sure I'd want to know, but then I'm sure that I'd get the guilty hints he'd be accidently throwing around, and it would give me a stomach ulcer.

As for cheating and keeping it a secret, I'm stealing Gman's answer. There is no way I could keep a secret like me cheating without it tearing me up on the inside.

Fences and fence posts.

Karen said...

I could keep a secret. And I don't think I would want to know.

rage said...

I would definitely want to know.

However, whether I could or would want to work it out is another story.

I had a friend who had her guy cheat on her and I tried to tell her but she wasn't trying to hear it. So, I guess each individual is different.

Isabella Snow said...

I'm with you; can't decide. I think I'd want to know -- but I also know I wouldn't be able to stay with that person. Hopefully, I'll never have to find out which is the better scenario!

PS -- I've got a part II up about the Dutchman if you'd like to offer some advice!

Kelly said...

Sad to say, I have totally been on both sides of this issue.. I cheated numerous times when I wasn't happy in my relationships....

Now that I'm not in that situation, no WAY would I cheat.. So, that being said, if I'm being cheated on, I DEFINITELY want to know it! I will not stick around if she cheats. I'd be all finished there!

Am I a hypocrite? I don't think so.. I have been faithful for 8+ years, and have NO intention of ever breaking that promise!

Scarlet said...

The truth is important to me, so I think I'd want to know. Most importantly, I'd want to know why.

I don't think I could ever cheat on my husband, but if I did, I'd take the secret to the grave with me...and I know for a fact he would NOT want to know.

Dana said...

I don't want to know because I would turn that knowledge into "I'm not good enough" when in reality, the opposite is true.

I would really hope that if my significant other was that disenchanted with me that he/she would have the "gonads" to walk away.

I don't want to live my life jealous or always checking up on someone.

C said...

i'm all for saying, honey, lets have a threesome... hahahaha

ok, seriously, i dont think its your place to tell. i think you have the right and maybe the duty to tell him you know, and you are hurt or whatever you feel.... put the ball in his court and let him decide. but if you love them both, it puts you in quite the awkward spot. i say, tell him how this is affecting you, and see what he has to offer.

happy mudders day, btw, to you.


c

Southern Sage said...

I'd rather not know.

I could keep the secret forever. Conscious doesn't weigh heavy on me.

Advizor said...

I made the mistake of confessing 10 years after the fact. Biggest mistake of my life. It did no good, only harm.

I was good at keeping it secret for a long, long time.

Laura said...

YIKES!

Im staying out of this