Is Ignorance Really Bliss? -- Women Discuss Whether They'd Want to Know If Their Husband Cheated

Adriana Velez | Aug 20, 2015 Love & Sex

Your husband is nearly perfect. He spends loads of time with the kids, he makes you feel loved, and he seems genuinely happy at home. But what if he cheated? Maybe just one slip, or maybe an affair. Would you want to know, or would you rather he "protect" you from that terrible knowledge? We asked a group of moms if they'd want to know about an infidelity and some of their responses will surprise you.

 Image via triocean/shutterstock



  • It Wasn't So Perfect


    Most moms say of course they'd want to know -- and that if a spouse cheats it's a clear sign that your marriage isn't as "perfect" as you think it is. "Well seeing as how this is happening to me right now, yes," says one disappointed mom. "I would want to know. Because cheating means everything was NOT perfect. Ignorance doesn't change that."

  • I'd Want to Work Things Out


    Some women would want to know so they have the chance to address whatever caused the cheating in the first place. "I would want to know so that we could work on our relationship together," one mom says. "I don't want things to just feel perfect and happy for myself, I want my husband to feel happy as well."

    More from The Stir: 10 Classic Signs Your Man May Be Cheating

  • Agreement to Talk Before We Stray


    Not only would this mom want to know if her husband cheated -- she wants some warning before it happens. "We've made an agreement to speak to the other if we're even contemplating cheating," she says.

    It's rare to get that warning. "My husband and I had the same agreement," a mom replies. "He cheated several times anyway, with no regard for me or the kids." Still, it sounds like a good intention to start with -- talking with your spouse if you feel tempted.

  • Not If It Was Just a Fling


    Several women draw a distinction between a love affair (sign of real trouble) and a one-night stand (just a mistake). They'd want to know about the first, but could let the other slide. "An affair, yes," one mom puts it, "a one-time incident that he won't repeat, no."

    "If it were just sex with no emotions and my needs were still being met then no," another mom says. "Ignorance is bliss, my family is provided for, I'm not feeling neglected, and everything else is fine, I would just rather not know."

    "If it was a one-time thing, or it was over and done with, then no. I would not want to know," a third mom says. "If it was ongoing, then I would want to know because I would be leaving."

  • It Depends on His Reasons


    One mom says it would depend on the circumstances of his cheating. "He and I have actually had this conversation. With me struggling with a lot of health issues I have actually told him that if he were to go out and hook up with someone I could/would probably forgive him."

  • Only Know the Important Things


    "I realized that it's best not to know everything. Only know the important things," one wife says. "If we are not having sex 'cause I don't want it, then no I don't want to know if he's getting it somewhere else. I would already know there is a good possibility that he will go somewhere else. I don't need confirmation."

    More from The Stir: 11 Lies Women Have Shamelessly Told Their Husbands

    On the other hand, this mom does care if an affair is siphoning away her family's financial resources, or if her husband exposes his affair to their kids. "He just better not be spending our money on her or bring her into our home or around our children." 

  • I Don't Want an STD


    There's a very important reason why a wife might want to know about an affair or even a fling, and it's protecting her health. "Yes, I would want to know," a mom says. "STDs are too common to play around with, and I would not want to take any chances." 

  • There Are Worse Betrayals


    Do we place too much importance on sexual fidelity? This mom things so. She says she wouldn't want to know about cheating. "I have a much different perspective on this than 95 percent of the women on here though," she says. "They act as if cheating sexually is the ULTIMATE betrayal. There are so many other betrayals that they put up with but cheating is an immediate divorce. I think it is because they think their man straying says something about their own desirability or attractiveness."

  • Yes Because It Gives Me a Free Pass


    Another mom says finding out about her husband's infidelity liberated her from any guilt over cheating on him. "Now if/when I meet someone I'm interested in, I can and will get mine, guilt free." We wonder, why stay married in that case?

  • The 'Other Woman's' Opinion


    Here's an interesting perspective from a mom who played the role of the "other" woman in an affair. "Absolutely not! There's nothing to be gained by learning the truth," she says.

    "For the record, I've been having an affair with a married man for several years. [His wife] found out about us early on and was livid. We're much more careful now. Now that she's in the dark, she's simmered down. She insists upon a sexless marriage, and he loves sex. I'm not sure what she expects to happen."

  • I Wish He Hadn't Told Me


    For all those who say they'd want to know, there's one woman who wishes she'd been kept in the dark. "I wish he'd had his little fling and then ended it. It broke my heart, my trust in him, and my faith in love," she says. "It was three years ago and I still wake up in tears sometimes. We're still together and did two years of counseling and he's worked very hard to change ... but still I can't seem to let it go."

    More from The Stir: Betrayed by the One I Love: 12 True Stories of Cheating

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