Cousin cheating on wife...do I say something?


#1

My cousin is in a rocky marriage - one which may come to an end. Nevertheless, they remain married. A careless facebook posting may have done him in with the rest of the clan.

My sister and I were shocked, though not necessarily surprised that he may have been in a relationship with someone else. We also laughed (as siblings can sometimes) over something sophomoric as the "other woman's" name.

I mentioned this to my wife, who immediately reacted by strongly saying that "it's not funny." I tried explaining the context and, of course, it spiraled into a vehement argument. She argued that I had to tell his wife about this, or at least confront him with it - that if he didn't come clean, then it would be up to me to tell the wife. She also somehow decided that the other woman is a prostitute based on an idiotic Facebook group she's a member of (something like "hooter's girls being pimped"). I wasn't quite sure if it was really my place to say anything to the wife, especially since I don't have the first clue as to what's really happening. Plus, a large part of me thinks that this is really none of my business and that it is a path they must find themselves.

Our argument ended when my wife said: "And you're supposed to be teaching morals to our son?"

I haven't spoken/seen my cousin in over a year because he lives very far away. In spite of that, I feel that we are close and - even if we don't speak for years - we just pick up where we leave off. I like to think that he trusts me.

The questions are:
1. Do I say something to his wife? Priests don't spill the beans though I acknowledge that I'm not a priest, nor necessarily close to being one. My cousin has previously spoken to me
2. Am I immoral for thinking that perhaps I should stay out of it?

I've sent my cousin a message asking him pointedly about it - though he's notoriously bad at answering emails and I may never get an answer. Calling would be too hard because of time zones and a lack of privacy/discretion here at home.


#2

I don't know the right thing to do exactly, but I have a feeling that you should NOT tell the wife. I asked my husband about this issue, because we have some friends who are "dabbling" in extra-marital things, and I am horrified to think of the hurt that is being caused to the spouse. My husband said that it is none of our business, and it's for them to work out between themselves. Priests often advise people not to tell their spouses about sins, especially if they have made a firm resolve to stop doing it. This is a kind thing to do for the spouse, who may be needlessly hurt by the revelation.

I do think, however, that you would do well to speak to your cousin and highlight the sin he is committing. I recently read a book by Scott Hahn about confession, and he explains about sins of omission, including when we stand by and watch someone sin without speaking up.


#3

Yeah. You should say something to your cousin. Not to his wife. Print out the Facebook post and show it to him, and tell him how immoral and destructive his affair is, not just to his marriage, but to his immortal soul.


#4

I too think that you should not say anything at all to your cousin's wife.
Even if you knew all the facts it still does not seem right to do so.
Talking to your cousin; now that is something you have to do for his sake. One of the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy is to "To admonish the sinner" Keeping in mind that we are all sinners, your attitude would of course not be judgemental but rather that of a friend who is really concerned and wants to help.


#5

“may”? and you are ready to throw rocks at people based on a maybe?
Even if you had rock ribbed proof you confront the cousin, not the innocent spouse. And never, under any circumstances, to you discuss their problems with anyone else in the family. Ever.


#6

[quote="puzzleannie, post:5, topic:239962"]
"may"? and you are ready to throw rocks at people based on a maybe?
Even if you had rock ribbed proof you confront the cousin, not the innocent spouse. And never, under any circumstances, to you discuss their problems with anyone else in the family. Ever.

[/quote]

Thank you. When I read the OP, all I could see is the number of times he said "may."

OP - you really don't KNOW anything.


#7

Agree with everyone else - do NOT tell his wife, YOU will be blamed and it puts you in a triangle of gossip, because you really have no info. What is on Facebook is not known fact. But I do think you should talk to him, ASAP. Whether he will be honest or will just hide better, is up to him. But you can't let this go.


#8

[quote="puzzleannie, post:5, topic:239962"]
"may"? and you are ready to throw rocks at people based on a maybe?
Even if you had rock ribbed proof you confront the cousin, not the innocent spouse. And never, under any circumstances, to you discuss their problems with anyone else in the family. Ever.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

Do not approach the wife, but since your cousin had something public on his Facebook page I would say it would be ok to approach him and tell him the impression he is giving others with what he has on FB.


#9

I completely disagree with the other posters on this and say you should absolutely confront your cousin AND his wife. Even if you weren't standing in a bedroom watching him commit adultery, pointing out his sinful behavior and telling his wife of your concern is not unreasonable. You're not responsible for where it goes from there, but to deliberately keep her in the dark is acting, in a way, as a participant in his sin and could have some very dire consequences for her and any children they may have. Above and beyond the moral implications, what if this guy catches a disease from somebody and brings it home to his wife? By confronting him you give him the option to CHOOSE to stop and by telling her you give her the option of setting some boundaries in her marriage. Either way it ends up, at least it's out in the open for them to deal with.


#10

I say yes. The reason why, that most people don't consider, is that cheating endangers the other spouses health and even their life. When a spouse is cheating, who knows what they are bringing home. Early detection is key!


#11

Do you have PROOF there is cheating?

If no PROOF, it is just gossip.

According to Facebook, my son's relationship (age 16) is married to a fellow student. They even post that they love each other almost every night on their walls. Anyone not knowing these 2 would legitimately think they are together. Fact is, they are not even dating. They are just good friends. Now if grandma were to see my son's Facebook page, she would really think they were together.


#12

You have not spoken to him in over a year......so what do you REALLY know? Nothing about his current situation.

I would not say anything. You have no facts. Stop spreading gossip.


#13

[quote="Catholic90, post:11, topic:239962"]
Do you have PROOF there is cheating?

If no PROOF, it is just gossip.

According to Facebook, my son's relationship (age 16) is married to a fellow student. They even post that they love each other almost every night on their walls. Anyone not knowing these 2 would legitimately think they are together. Fact is, they are not even dating. They are just good friends. Now if grandma were to see my son's Facebook page, she would really think they were together.

[/quote]

I know some really good kids who do this out of fun.


#14

That “large part of you” is absolutely right in staying the heck out of this. The last place you want to be is in the middle of someone else’s marital strife.

As far as teaching morals to your son… Unless your son is being taken along to these alleged extramarital assignations, this has nothing to do with him. Nothing. If anything, staying out of this altogether will show your son the real-life meanings of restraint, perspicacity, and discretion.


#15

Teaching morals to your son?

I would hope you are teaching him not to assume things about people based on third hand knowledge.

I would hope you are teaching him not to judge people, especially without facts.

I would hope you are teaching him not to be a part of destruction of a marriage, that is, any action you take should be that most likely to support the marriage.

I would hope you are teaching him not to engage in gossip.

I would refer to the Bible, first we are to approach our brother alone...


#16

Tell you cousin (in a nonjudgmental way because, as others have noted, you don't really know what is going on) what you saw on Facebook. Other than that, mind your own business.


#17

Thank you for your your (mostly) kind input. I must say, I’m a little dismayed by the appearance of eager self-righteousness in the language that some posters used. Nevertheless, the points are well taken.

Odhiambo: thank you for your kind words and bringing in scripture. Really helpful.

I have sent my cousin an email (as I mentioned in my first posting) asking him “what’s up?” and to spur a conversation to - hopefully - get him to do the right thing.


#18

Odhiambo: Thank you for reaffirming what my gut was telling me, and what I thought my Catholic teachings were telling me: that we are all sinners, that we all have failings and that God taught us compassion. May God bless you.


#19

[quote="juan_41, post:1, topic:239962"]
My cousin is in a rocky marriage - one which may come to an end. Nevertheless, they remain married. A careless facebook posting may have done him in with the rest of the clan.

My sister and I were shocked, though not necessarily surprised that he may have been in a relationship with someone else. We also laughed (as siblings can sometimes) over something sophomoric as the "other woman's" name.

I mentioned this to my wife, who immediately reacted by strongly saying that "it's not funny."

I can understand your wife is alerted if you can laugh at anything pertaining to adultery.

I tried explaining the context and, of course, it spiraled into a vehement argument. She argued that I had to tell his wife about this, or at least confront him with it - that if he didn't come clean, then it would be up to me to tell the wife.

Listen to you wife. How would you like if your spouse was sleeping around and all of your family or hers knew it but no one told you? You are cooperating in the betrayal, and you need to tell your cousin that either he tells his wife, or you will.

She also somehow decided that the other woman is a prostitute based on an idiotic Facebook group she's a member of (something like "hooter's girls being pimped"). I wasn't quite sure if it was really my place to say anything to the wife, especially since I don't have the first clue as to what's really happening. Plus, a large part of me thinks that this is really none of my business and that it is a path they must find themselves.

.
Our argument ended when my wife said: "And you're supposed to be teaching morals to our son?"

Im fully with yoru wife here. You are your brother's keeper it says in the Bible.. That brother right now is the wife of your cousin, and she needs to know what kind of man she is living with.

I haven't spoken/seen my cousin in over a year because he lives very far away. In spite of that, I feel that we are close and - even if we don't speak for years - we just pick up where we leave off. I like to think that he trusts me.

*Are you not repulsed at his action? I would think right now would be a natural time to feel estranged from him as a person.. *

The questions are:
1. Do I say something to his wife? Priests don't spill the beans though I acknowledge that I'm not a priest, nor necessarily close to being one. My cousin has previously spoken to me

*You tell your cousin that he will tell his wife shortly, or you will. *

  1. Am I immoral for thinking that perhaps I should stay out of it?

*I think you are selfish. *

I've sent my cousin a message asking him pointedly about it - though he's notoriously bad at answering emails and I may never get an answer. Calling would be too hard because of time zones and a lack of privacy/discretion here at home.

If he can post the infidelity on facebook for the world to see, I don't think you should be very concerned with his feelings.

[/quote]


#20

You are very welcome juan :slight_smile:
Even if he “bites your head off”, so to speak, you would have done your duty by him :slight_smile:
Good luck and God Bless!


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