Good morning, gentle blog reader,
Every now and then, I come across a newspaper/online column that’s worth sharing. Wayne and Tamara Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara is one such column.
I like their practical, no-holds-barred advice. Here’s an example:
I was recently involved in an eight month affair with a married man. My affair with him was not his first. When ending our affair, I swore to him I would not betray him to his family since I take responsibility for knowing what I was doing when I got involved with a married man.
Although my decision not to betray him to his wife and family remains unwavering, I would like your opinion in reference to his wife. Should she know she has been deceived? I think if the tables were turned and I was the one being cheated on, I would rather know.
Lauren, your decision not to betray him to his wife and family may be unwavering, but the truth is you would like to tell and make him pay. Revenge is a powerful motivator.
A myriad of sayings apply to the three sides of this triangle. Four which come to mind are: confession is good for the soul, there is no honor among thieves, what goes around comes around, and knowledge is power.
Why should your promise to him mean more than his vow to his wife? Why should the word of a woman willing to cheat be good?
We are in a quandary. Should we support you in telling, when your motivation is nothing more than revenge? Or should we consider the wife’s vulnerable position, not knowing her husband is having sex with multiple partners?
Almost always we answer the letter writer, not other involved parties. We cannot protect this married man because his position is the least defensible. Being involved with other women is a betrayal to his wife every single time. But his wife, the person most in need of this information, did not write us. And what about you? Will you learn anything or change if you tell? Probably not.
Mark Twain said, “Therein lies the defect of revenge: it’s all in the anticipation.” Revenge is cold comfort. It doesn’t advance your life at all. That is one thing you could learn. Francis Bacon said, “A man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green.” That is another thing you could learn, but may not.
From among all these sayings, which one do we believe is most important? Knowledge is power. Someone here could benefit from the information you possess. His wife. Go ahead and tell.
Wayne & Tamara
(From the column for the week of January 17, 2005)
A Weak Defense
I read a letter and reply in your column “Old Sayings.” The writer, Lauren, was considering telling the wife of a man she had an affair with about his extramarital activities. You encouraged her to tell.
I am baffled. You encourage a woman who is equally guilty to go and possibly ruin a marriage. Tell me something. What happens if this married couple has kids, how will it affect them? Do you know anything about the wife? Maybe she is the root of the reason why this man seeks other women.
So why encourage heartache and certain trauma? I have an old saying for you as well: what you don’t know, can’t hurt you. Quite fitting for the occasion don’t you think?
Gregory, we didn’t receive a single letter from an innocent party who wouldn’t want to know if their spouse was unfaithful. People who deal with reality seek to know when they are at risk, so they can protect themselves from AIDS, herpes, paternity suits, and the other consequences of betrayal.
A rock climber takes the risk of falling. A cheater takes the risk of being caught. Rocks can’t tell, but a spurned woman can.
You suggest ignorance is bliss, but it is not. It is ignorance. What if the lump is malignant? You ignore the lump at your peril.
Not telling is not an option with a serial adulterer, and telling won’t ruin the marriage. Cheating will. Your final insult was to ignore the adultery and blame the victim.