DEAR CHRISTINE: Neighbours hid his cheating from me
This is my second time writing to you and I have followed your advice in the past. I am sure you will again give me sound advice.
My husband was always the “quiet type” – the last person in the world anyone would suspect capable of infidelity. Nevertheless, he was.
I returned home unexpectedly from a business trip one day and caught him with his girlfriend right in our bed. Of course, I was distraught and could not get over what he did to our marriage. I decided I had to call it quits.
After I filed for divorce, some of my neighbours told me that for the last year they had seen this young woman entering and leaving my home many times after I had left for work. I felt even more embarrassed after being told this. I wanted to scream, “Why didn’t you tell me? You could have spared me the hurt and humiliation.”
I then came to the conclusion that my friends thought they were doing “the right thing” by keeping quiet. Christine, had I been told, perhaps my marriage could have been saved through counselling or just knowing would have caused me to file for divorce earlier and be spared the humiliation of walking in on such a scene.
I know it’s now water under the bridge, but are we not supposed to be our brother’s keeper? My embarrassment comes from knowing that my neighbours were aware of my husband’s infidelity but while they were speaking to me on a daily basis, they were also probably laughing at me behind my back.
I am sorry to hear about your situation but I do not believe it was your neighbours’ duty to inform you of what your husband was up to. Furthermore, I could never advise anyone to inform on his or her neighbour. There is too much margin for error.
As it stands right now, it is virtually impossible for me to say how the situation would have turned out had you known about your husband’s infidelity prior to catching him in bed with his “girlfriend”. I am also of the opinion that your neighbours should have kept their lips zipped after you filed for divorce, and perhaps it is best that you also do the same thing at this stage. It will not help the current situation at all.