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Do I Confront Wife’s Paramour?

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From the U.S.: After much suspicious behavior, I have ran across evidence on my wife’s phone which proves that she has been having at least an emotional affair with a business associate. I’ve discovered they have had “lunch dates”, and he has professed to love her, but she could not say that in return to him, for whatever reason. I don’t know if these are simply actual lunch dates, or if they go back to his hotel room (he is a traveling representative).

I’ve noticed a change in her grooming/cleansing habits, as well as some other things, but haven’t made a big deal about any of them. At least one of her coworkers knows about this illicit connection, even encouraged it, but that’s a whole different story.

My main concern is getting to the bottom of & putting an end to this. As of right now, my wife doesn’t know that I am aware something’s going on, nor does the other man’s wife, or his employer. My plan was to send a text message stating I need to speak with him either in person/email/text, and unless he wanted his wife to be contacted about the matter, he will not tell anyone I’ve contacted him. I feel like he’d give me more of an honest answer knowing that I hold the key to whether or not his wife finds out.

I’m giving him the opportunity to provide the details/extent of the relationship in exchange for a 2nd chance, with the only stipulation being that he ceases ALL contact with my wife outside of official work correspondence. I contemplated just writing a letter to his employer letting them know what he is doing, fraternizing/philandering while on the job, and just emailing his wife letting her know. But instead of damaging their family unit or causing him to lose his job, which would impact the rest of his family, I could just contact him, and can confront my wife once I have a confession/explanation from him.

I’m willing to forgive her if it ends. I think that getting to the bottom of this & taking it on in this fashion will help me even the playing field a little bit, eliminating her playing victim/gaslighting, and we can both learn/grow from the experience. Am I being unreasonable? Any recommendations on how to word my correspondence with the other guy? Thank you so much for your input.

Do I Confront Wife’s Paramour?

Answered by on -

A.

Yes, I think you are being unreasonable. Although I agree that it is hurtful and damaging to all concerned for people to have affairs, I don’t think essentially blackmailing the guy with threats about telling his wife or employer is wise. Your issue is with your wife.

You don’t need any corroborating information. Whether or not she is having an affair, your relationship with your wife has broken down and you don’t trust her. That’s more than enough reason to have a frank conversation with her. You don’t need an admission of guilt. You do need to figure out what has happened between you that you even suspect that something is going on.

Blaming, accusing, and threatening is not the way to go into a conversation if you want to save your marriage. Shaming and blaming will only make her defensive. Instead, talk about your hurt and concern. If it’s true, let her know how much she means to you and how you want to retrieve the closeness you once had. Acknowledge that you probably contributed to the situation, even if you didn’t mean to or if you don’t understand how. Suggest that the two of you go to some couple counseling to see what can be done to repair your relationship. Unless she has already made up her mind to leave, that approach could open a new chapter in your marriage.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I Confront Wife’s Paramour?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Do I Confront Wife’s Paramour?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/01/13/do-i-confront-wifes-paramour/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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