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GF cheating on me with her coworker, tell the guy's wife?


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Hello all, I'll try to keep my story short.


My GF and I have been together for over five years, we are both in our late-20's. Three years ago we both moved to a new state and have been living together ever since. Since that time I've made a lot of new friends through work and other activities (which I always bring her along to hang out with and meet people), whereas she has really only made ONE friend, a 40-something co-worker. There have been warning signs for months, but I guess I just always trusted her too much to ever confront her or snoop around.


We went on a mini-vacation this past weekend, a B&B in Cape Cod. While she was in the shower I went to check my mail on her phone, but before I could log out of her account I saw a back-and-forth e-mail between them, with a lot of "Miss yous" and such. When we got back home and she went to work I went on her computer and checked her e-mail. Plenty of saved GChats between her and this guy flirting, throwing around the word "love", a couple messages between her and a college girlfriend talking about my GF and this guy making out, giving massages.


For all I know there is no sex happening, but the kissing and everything else has just ripped me apart, I can't imagine feeling worse if they WERE having sex. I'm perfectly okay with confronting her about this later today, I have no problem admitting I snooped, especially given what I found.


I still really feel like I love her, and despite somewhat feeling like I'm at fault for possibly driving her away to this guy, I don't think I can ever go back to this relationship. I feel sad that I've lost something I spent five years of my life on, and part of me almost wants to just look past this whole thing.


Another bit of info is that this 40-year old guy has a family. A cancer-stricken wife and two small children. They are moving in August very far away, and would have not been a problem for me any more. I have copies of all the incriminating e-mails. I found his wife's account on Facebook and would be able to tell her what's going on if I wanted. What's the right thing to do here? The vindictive part of me wants to not say anything, and let him move away to live a lie while my GF loses both of us. The other part of me thinks she deserves to know, but I have no idea what effect that would have on her health or their marriage. If they get divorced he would be free to stay here and continue his relationship with my GF, something I'm not sure I want to help happen.


Any advice?

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I feel sad that I've lost something I spent five years of my life on, and part of me almost wants to just look past this whole thing.

Don't look past it as a way of justifying to yourself that you didn't just waste the past few years. THOSE years weren't wasted, but future time may be.

I'd confront her and kick her to the curb and let her deal w/ the consequences. I would not advise telling the wife....it will do nothing but hurt her and that's their business. She will find out eventually.

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Don't tell his wife: you don't know what kind of relationship they have - they might have a "deal", an open relationship, etc. Besides, it's really none of your business, you just need to deal with your girlfriend (end your relationship with her and move on). This guy is probably not doing this only with your gf, sooner or later he'll get caught.

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The poor wife has enough to cope with dealing with cancer..do not add this to her plate. This is an issue between you and your gf. For all you know this guy has a history of cheating on his wife and his wife knows it. Confront your gf and I would suggest ending the relationship. I am not sure why you say you may have driven her to it. Problems in a relationship is not an excuse to cheat.

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Thanks for the responses, everyone. It sounds pretty unanimous that I leave the wife out of it.


I guess what I'm most completely destroyed by is how out of left field this was. She's an incredibly sweet girl and always seemed crazy about me until a few months ago. I figured all long term relationships went through their down periods, or maybe she was upset we weren't engaged yet, but I never expected this. I know leaving her is the right thing to do, but I love her so much it's going to hurt like hell to do it. I just wish she'd broken up with me.

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Hopefully I am not breaking any ENA rules by calling your girlfriend and her coworker pathetic and simply immoral. Remember not to make any excuses for these people. Yea people fall in love all the time, but that doesn't mean that you abandon your responsibilities or hurt other people to satisfy yourself. Its really a tossup if it would be better for anyone to tell this mans wife, these two have created a pretty sick and twisted situation by the sound of it and I would pull out of it asap unless you really see some benefit to someone by any further action. Get out of that relationship, any disgust you may be feeling will probably aid you in forgetting her.

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Yeah, I agree to not speak with his wife. Poor woman, what a bad situation for her.


Have you come up with a plan of action regarding your gf? Sometimes it helps to 'rehearse' it a bit and be clear about what you plan to do before going in there with mouth a' blazing. It'll be emotional, and you can be sure she will have her "reasons" for cheating and why you should not leave her. So, it'll be to your benefit to have a good idea of what you intend to do before confronting her.


It seems to me doubly awful that she chose this particular man to cheat with. All cheating is awful, and I know that she has no contract with his wife to be loyal to her, but it seems to me like human decency knowing the situation the wife is going through to not be part of adding to her troubles. Somehow your gf justified to herself not only messing around behind your back and breaking that, but also that she has a right to interfere in someone else's marriage while one spouse is seriously ill! That takes the cake.


good luck.

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Dont tell the wife and dont be naive enough to think your GF has not slept with this guy....alot. The only thing I will add is stop making excuses for her actions, you did not drive her to do this. She is an adult and is responsible for her own actions. Now that you know she is a cheater and she cheated on you while things are relatively good and stress free can you imagine what she would do when life gets stressfull with kids, mortgages and marriage??

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I would probably not mention anything to the wife. She is already sick, why add more to her frustrations? However, that's just my opinion.


The one person you do have to speak to is your gf. Let her know that you're onto her, and you won't tolerate this behavior.

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I'd tell the wife. I've been in your shoes before, to tell or not. In the end, although it was a very painful process for me (he didn't believe me at first, that his gf was cheating with my then bf, and proceeded to call me names, accuse me of "tarnishing" my then bf's reputation, etc.), it made me feel better that what is most important, the truth, is out.


Although I could've not told the truth (and let that be the easier way out), I don't think I could've lived with myself regretting the what ifs. I was also in your situation, I found out enough information to get his facebook, etc. It was eating me up inside.


Of course, you need to choose what's best for you. Just remember, once you've made up your mind, DO NOT go back and snoop to see what happened to their relationship and whatever happens to your gf. It's no longer your business once you reveal the truth.

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  • 2 weeks later...



It's been a wild couple of weeks, just thought I'd update here for any who were interested, and would be interested in hearing any advice, similar anecdotes, criticism or thoughts...


First off, I've decided not to tell the guy's wife. It isn't my business. If it makes any difference I was mistaken about her cancer... it was something she went through many years ago and is now better, she is not currently sick.


As far as me and the girl go (let's call her Karen), I went home that night and told her what I had found in the e-mails. She was shocked by everything, extremely apologetic and guilty, not at all angry about the fact that I checked her e-mail. I ended the relationship and left the apartment for a few hours.


I finally came back home (we live together) around midnight. She had spoken to her mother about it and her mom had basically said that she screwed up and needed to give me time. She pleaded with me that I not move out yet, and give her time to prove how sorry she is and that this won't happen again. I told her for this to happen she needs to be completely 100% honest about everything that went on, and she agreed.


The next few days we rarely saw each other. I spent a lot of late nights at work or out with friends, only really coming home when I thought she would be asleep. During the day we would e-mail or chat online back and forth. I copy and pasted specific lines from these e-mails about things she had said and demanded explanations, specifically with things that seemed to contradict what she was telling me had happened. I was very angry during these conversations and did not hold back. She accepted it and was very open about everything, even admitted to things that I wouldn't have known about from the e-mails. Her explanations had merit, and even made a logical sense to me, it didn't just sound like excuses and bull * * * * . I made up my mind early on that I wouldn't believe anything "because she said so", but that I needed to understand why it happened or why it didn't happen, it needed to be explained to me in a way that made sense.


So here's the basic rundown: about a year ago she developed an eating disorder. When she attempted to tell me about it, I reacted negatively and inadvertently lost her trust. (I think I wrote about it on here at the time if you feel like you need more details) The only other person she told was this work friend. While I felt she was in denial about the whole ordeal and needed to be firm and demand she get help (which she refused, saying she could stop when she wanted), he told her there was nothing wrong with her and she was still a wonderful person. So the disorder continued, she lost a little bit from our relationship, and gained a more personal connection with this guy. Soon her entire self-esteem and self-image was based on what he thought of her. She had trouble believing me if I complimented her because I saw her through "boyfriend eyes", whereas he had no reason to say anything other than what he felt. When he decided he wanted a more physical relationship, that dependence she had on his opinion of her moved things forward faster than it otherwise might have. It began as simple hugs and kisses at work, and then became "french kissing" at our apartment. The MOST of what happened (and this is the thing she admitted to me that I wouldn't have otherwise known about, which makes me feel like she's telling me the truth about it) is that he kissed one of her breasts. When things got to that point, she says, she felt like she "snapped out" of the euphoria and became disgusted with herself and how far things had gone, ended it immediately and decided then that she wouldn't allow herself to be alone with him again. She had a lot of trouble admitting that part to me. She tells me he had asked once if she would ever sleep with him, and she responded never. She tells me that no sexual contact of any kind went on, no oral sex, no hands down pants, no nudity, no sex. She needed him to feel good about herself, it wasn't a sexual need.


A lot of people probably see some holes in the story, and believe me, any little thing I could think of has been asked to her at least twice. I believe what she is telling me, about the emotional dependence, the lack of sex, I really do feel like she is being honest with me. The kissing in my apartment is still a sore subject with me, but it's something I really feel like I'm able to get past. I also don't like that she sees him at work. She avoids him, but they are the two "IT" people for this entire company and their paths will cross once or twice in the few weeks before he moves away for good. She says she regrets ever letting it get as far as it did because at one point all he was was just a good friend, and she'll miss that, but mostly just feels disgust towards him now, and promises to never be alone with him again. The only time they spoke about what happened is when she told him I knew about it and suggested he tell his wife, too. He said he would "eventually".


After the week of not speaking much, she spent the weekend at her parents' (about two hours away) and I had the place to myself. I tried to keep myself busy, and when home alone just tried to write down my feelings to get my thoughts out (I have two lists, "stay" and "leave") and generally drove myself crazy. I went out on Saturday and got drunk, and briefly kissed a coworker of my own that I'd known for a few months. It wasn't out of spite or revenge, but I was just weak for a girl who was acting like she liked me after a week of feeling unlikable. I stopped kissing after a very short time because at this point I really did want things to get better with Karen, and didn't feel like any feelings I had for this girl at the moment were sincere anyway. I came clean to Karen about what happened and she felt upset about it, but realized there wasn't much she could say. The two scenarios are pretty different, so I don't feel like it makes us "equal". If anything it helps me understand a little bit what it feels like to need emotional attention.


As far as trust goes, I'm slowly coming around but it's been hard. If I leave her alone in the apartment now there's a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it's still going on. This has subsided over time, but it's still there. If I have an issue with something Karen has said, or just a general feeling of anxiety, she's always made herself available to talk about it. This has ranged from the justifiable "me getting upset that she hasn't avoided him completely while at work", to the more out there "me thinking she's sending him secret messages via chat away messages". She's been open and patient about everything. I hate that I've turned a little bit into 'psycho jealous boyfriend', but feel it's my right after everything that happened. She offered to sign me up for her "Google latitude", which would allow me to monitor and track everywhere her blackberry goes. I opted not to, because it's just one more thing to obsess over. To be able to move forward and trust her, I need to be able to just believe what she says, not hear what she says and have the evidence to back it up.


After last weekend she offered to get a room at a hotel to continue giving me space, I told her not to because we need to start communicating if I'm going to be able to make a decision about whether or not to stay, whether or not I can get past this, whether or not we can improve as a couple. It was important to me that we start being completely honest with each other about our feelings, our thoughts, and being "separate but together" was a good time to just get everything out in the open. The relationship has lacked this openness for a while, and I'm hoping that one positive we pull from this entire situation is that we become more open and honest with each other on a regular basis. We've gone on several walks, shut the television off during meals, and have spent a great deal of quality time together. She has started going to therapy (she wanted to, finally admitted it might be a good idea after refusing it all that time ago). She's been about three times since then and genuinely seems to like it. It's refreshing to hear that she's getting perspective, and likes the woman she's seeing, after saying for so long that therapy is useless and she can take care of her own problems. Her self-image is still hurting, but I know that's not the sort of thing that heals overnight.


So where are we now? I've agreed that I'm not going to move out. We're still in a limbo state as far as being "officially back together" (not many people even know what happened, so this makes little difference), but we're both committed to improving what went wrong the first time around and becoming a better couple for it. It hasn't been completely easy, there are good nights and bad nights, but in all honesty if it was too easy I'd feel like we were just kidding ourselves. I really do believe her when she tells me that this is over and it won't happen again. I'm sure there will be many of you telling me this is a mistake, and I welcome your comments and thoughts.


I've written a novel, and if you made it all the way through I appreciate it. At the very least writing this all out has been a little cathartic... I was angry at the start of this post and gradually felt better as I went on, much like I've felt through this whole ordeal. I'm in love with this girl, and I know she loves me too. This will hurt for a while, I'm sure, but I know I'm doing the right thing. Thanks for your support.

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Good for you. It sounds like she learned; that's what counts. If you have money, I have heard a lot of good things about doing phone counseling with one of the Harleys over at marriagebuilders. Their forum is shyte, but the MB program makes a LOT of sense, and a lot of people who have used it and the phone counseling said it made their marriage better than ever. It is pro-marriage.

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What I would tell you is that you likely have not heard the entire truth of everything that happened, and you probably never will. Cheaters seldom tell the complete truth in effort to minimize the damage they have caused. The fact that she allowed this other man to invade your home yet did not have sex with him sounds odd to me.


As long as you can live with that and start fresh with her, then best of luck to you.

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