Monday, April 12, 2010

"A Willing Participant": Can a Wife Truly Not Know About Her Husband's Cheating?

Jim Carrey went on Twitter yesterday with a bizarre "tweet". He noted, in 140 characters or less, that Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods' wife, must have known about his infidelity. "No wife is blind enough to miss that much infidelity," Mr. Carrey tweeted.
He then went on to, essentially, blame the victim, suggesting she might be motivated to "participate" in her husband's infidelity due to "lifestyle/kids."
I've got news for all the Jim Carreys out there who consider us "willing participants" – I'm neither willing, not a participant...but there were certainly days when I wondered if I was blind, deaf and incredibly dumb.
I had not a clue. I used to laugh at the fact that the edges of my husband's mouth would twitch if he tried to lie to me, like about who polished off the Ben & Jerry's the night before. Turns out, 12 years of bold-faced lying later, the joke was most definitely on me.
My friend Annie was similarly blindsided to learn of her ex's affair. "I used to think women who didn't know their husbands were cheating were stupid, naive or ignoring it," she says. "I always thought that I would know..." Her voice trails off. She didn't know. It took a phone call from the other woman's boyfriend to alert her. Even then, she was disbelieving. It was only when the boyfriend played an incriminating voicemail recording of Annie's husband that the truth sunk in. It had been going on for months. And she'd been clueless.
But no. We're not blind. Or stupid. Most of us are simply loyal. Perhaps a bit too trusting. We're generally highly principled people who couldn't imagine cheating. (Though I'll confess: I can imagine the cheating part. It's the coming home and looking my spouse in the eye and lying about where I'd been that I knew I could never stomach.) And we tend to think that everyone else operates with the same moral code.
Willing participant? Nope. And, I feel quite certain, neither was Elin Nordegren.


  1. Even though I was suspecting something wasn't right for a good year or longer, and even had a few pieces of evidence that he always refuted and had a good excuse for, it still was totally unexpected when I found out! When I spent an evening talking to the OW, she kept asking me why I didn't suspect something when he would always leave for the if SHE was implying I was dumb.......I told her you have no idea how many times we fought over him taking off again for the weekend (excuses: motorcycle trips with his friends, helping his cousin refurbish a room, got in too late off the road (truck driver) and will have to leave first thing the next day so he'll just spend the night at his cousin's instead of driving the 80 miles back home and again the next day, etc.). I look back now and yeah, they were all lies, but I really didn't know for sure at the time. I believed his stories. Why would I not? It's amazing how opposite I feel about it now........

  2. I was the same. Even when faced with pretty convincing evidence, I still wanted so desperately to believe there was some explanation for it. It's not dumb...innocent perhaps. Naive. But I've always been someone who takes people at face value (or rather, who DID take people at face value). Now I find myself doubting just about everyone...

  3. I now officially despise Jim Carrey.

    What a complete A$$...

    I can promise you this. I will NEVER be that naive again. But that is what it was. I'll even take blind stupidity perhaps. But not once did I suspect because I trusted him and more than that I loved him. I would never do that to him so it didn't even cross my mind that he would do it to me.

    I hope he caught hell from folks about that little bit of insanity he had the nerve to post.

  4. I've always adored Jim Carrey. Excuse my French, but F**K YOU, Mr. Carrey! When you sincerely trust someone to make smart choices, to hold true to vows the made to you in front o a priest, or judge, and your families, certain things just simply don't come to mind even when the signs are there. I was in complete denial right off the bat when my husband confessed, I thought he was playing an April Fools prank on me 2 weeks early. Still to this day, 5mths after Dday, I have thoughts that run through my mind like, "this can't be happening", and "he swore he'd never do this", and "I must be stuck in a horrible dream....when will someone pinch me awake". Looking back, the signs were all there which makes me feel incredibly blind, naive and stupid. I remember having a spat in bed one night because he wanted something I didn't want to give him and I made the comment, "if your dick is all you care about, go get IT somewhere else". Little did I know....he was. :( Obviously my comment was not sincere and was said out of anger with feelings of loneliness behind it because at that point, that's how he made me feel, like his satisfaction was all he cared about. My comment was NOT permission, as he may have taken it, rather a cry for affection in other ways.

    1. One of the reasons we are trusting and holding true to vows is that the world typically does not give us the same courtesy...I worked for 21 years in a backstabbing corporate environment and wanted to come home to The One Sanctuary I did have and not have to have my guard up 24/7/365...did I know something was wrong? Yes. Did I suspect infidelity? No.

    2. I think a lot of would say the same thing: Yes, we knew something was wrong. But we never thought THAT!



  5. I knew something was wrong. I used to tell people we were like 2 ships passing in the nite. Yes is make breakfast & dinner when he got home, took care of the finances, & we talked about kids & $ but we weren't really connected. We always say we make a great team but now 6 months post d day we ARE really connected. Then we were just going thru the motions. I don't know if that was a cause of the affair (going thru that child centered stage of marriage) or a result (he withdrew from the marriage because he was spending so much time & emotion on OW).

    So I knew something was wrong but having no prior experience with infidelity I had no idea that's what it was


  6. There's no way I could ever have known. Any time he was with her, it was during lunch time while he was at work. I always knew all his computer and phone passwords and had access to them, but never needed to look through them (or so I thought). He never bought her anything. He seemed stressed, but always said that work was the reason. There really was no reason for me to suspect anything at all.

  7. I have recently found out (May 2018) about my husband's affair with his married coworker last year. I told the other woman my thoughts and that she needs to tell her husband. I see in this post that one woman discovered the affair from the other woman's boyfriend. The OW's husband still doesn't know about this affair. Is it my place to intervene or to let it be? I've thought long and hard about this, and if I were in his shoes, I would definitely want to know.

    1. MelissaRuns,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through.
      It's a tough question but the way I think of it is this: Would you want someone to tell you that your husband was cheating? I certainly wish someone had told me. Of course, it creates potential problems: Will this guy believe you? Will he cause problems for you/your husband out of anger? Is he abusive, therefore putting the wife in physical jeopardy? But...if he's just a regular guy, then I would tell him. A simple: I think you should know that your wife had an affair with XX from Date to Date. Letting her tell him means, of course, that she can minimize or gaslight.
      Let us know what you decide to do. It's helpful for all of us to know how others handle these tough issues.
      Good luck, MelissaRuns.