A woman who absolutely hates cheaters discovered her brother was unfaithful to his wife a few years ago.
Now, her whole world has turned upside down and she’s conflicted about keeping his secret.
On Reddit‘s “r/AmItheA*****e” thread in which Redditors share their dilemmas about being wrong or right in an argument, u/Regular-Person asked readers if she would be the a*****e if she revealed his secret to the wife – who is also a close family friend – because “it’s the right thing to do.”
The siblings were due for a proper catch-up after a period of 5-6 years of not seeing each other. The meeting started causally before he dropped the bomb.
“Couple days ago me and my brother we’re hanging out late night doing regular guy things drinking, watching sports, etc. We haven’t seen each other in maybe 5-6 years so naturally, we started talking about life and what’s been going on the past few years.”
The conversation switched gears as they began to transition into the “secrets” portion. The sister admitted to something she did that clashed with her principles.
“Towards the end of our conversation we started to get to the ‘secrets’ I mentioned something along the lines that I smoked weed for the first time and did various other substances (This was hard for me to tell because my whole life I was pretty much anti-drugs and such.) We both laughed about it saying ‘Just don’t let mom find out.'”
However, she was not prepared for his out-of-left-field confession.
“The joke died out after a little bit and then he just blurted out ‘I cheated on my wife…'”
As someone who looks down on cheaters, she tried her best to reserve judgment for her brother as he explained what led to the one-time extra-marital coitus.
“At first it didn’t register until I saw his face and he was dead serious. I for one hate cheaters, but I try to do my best not to judge anyone for their actions. He begins explaining this was something that happened about 4 years ago when his wife was always busy with work.”
“She would travel a lot and be away for weeks at a time. He told me they were going through a tough time back then lots of arguing, not communicating, and that he felt really lonely.”
We won’t even get into the brother faulting his wife for his bad decision.
Enter, the other woman.
“During this same time my brother met a girl at his local gym, started off as friends, slowly kept bonding and you guessed they did the sex.”
“He told me this occasion only happened once and pretty much cut her off after that night because he started to feel guilty for a short while.”
His marriage improved, and life continued with the wife left in the dark about her husband’s secret.
“Few months later his relationship turned for the better for him and his wife. Pretty much after his wife’s travels slowed down his whole relationship has been great.”
“They’ve both gotten promotions, bought a house, more family vacations. (They have a kid) He told me life has been good to him now and he’s just thankful things have finally worked out.”
So who should she be most devoted to? Her close friend, or her brother?
“As stated before I hate cheaters and I’ve always felt that the person being cheated on always has the right know. I know for sure this would probably destroy their marriage and there would be a fight for the kid.”
“My heart tells me I have to tell her because it’s the right thing to do, especially because I’ve known my brother to cheat one other time on an ex-girlfriend couple years before his current wife.”
Is ignorance bliss? After all, there is a child involved.
“My brain tells me it’s none of my business and I should keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to see their kid go throughout that kind pain either.”
“On one hand I betray my brother if I say something on the other hand I betray our close family friend because I know this secret and I don’t say anything.”
“I wish he never told me, ignorance is truly bliss. So there it is, WIBTA if I said something?”
Readers offered their advice, with many saying his indiscretion is ancient history and that it should be left in the past.
“YTA if you tell her now. I am usually on the side of ‘the cheated partner absolutely deserves to know.’ But here it seems to be a thing in the past, your brother has genuinely regretted it and improved his marriage. So it’s better if you don’t stir the pot now.” – TessaGray16
“Not sure if I agree but I also don’t disagree I think this is a very tough decision either way. I think OP if doesn’t tell wife needs to have another talk with his brother about how this can never happen again even if they become distant or whatever as there is no excuse. But yes it was years ago and they’ve moved on had a kid e.t.c. so ruining that is not ideal so would understand him not telling and wouldn’t say he’d be TA for not telling.” – veggiebuilder
“Agree with YTA, brother made one mistake one time. Not as if he continued and it was a long term thing. To raise it now would not only make him pay dearly (not talking about money) for it, but also his wife and kid. I would give serious thought to the impact on people’s lives. No one is perfect (though many profess to be). Could there be some envy with a sibling having a good life?” – GentleLion2Tigress
Those who disagreed said they would rather know if they were cheated on, regardless of when it happened.
“I disagree. Would you want to know if your spouse cheated on you a couple of years ago? Because I would want to know it and I don’t think I’m alone with this mindset. I don’t think he should get a free pass without ANY consequences just because their marriage is going well now. NTA.” – lilaknoedel
“If he really regretted it he would’ve told his wife when she came home from her trip. He blames his cheating on her too. ‘Oh she was gone for so long for work and we had just fought.'” – Smol_Daddy
Someone who was informed about their unfaithful spouse managed to come out of the other side remaining as a couple, despite the emotional scars.
“As someone who found out that their SO cheated on her 5 years after the fact – it hurt. A lot. Nearly destroyed me, my self-esteem, our relationship. Similar situation, in a way, too – he was going through some extremely rough life s**t, and he spiraled a bit. (Doesn’t matter, as far as excuses go, but I suppose it made his decision to cheat more…human to me, I guess.)”
“I’m glad that I found out. I would still much rather know about it, even years later, than not. And yes, we’re still together.”
“It’s up to you what you do from here, OP. I just wanted you to know that there are many people out there who would want to know, no matter the circumstances.” – Aezeecle
This user believes cheating should not be tolerated under any circumstances, and that the brother letting himself off the hook with time is unacceptable.
“He kept it to himself and faced literally zero consequences for betraying this woman and making her live a lie for years. Bet he’s reaaaaaal regretful.”
“Apparently cheating is absolutely fine as long as you don’t get found out. Great message to send to all relationships out there.” – SlamSlamOhHotDamn
This Redditor emphatically believes YTA (You’re the a*****e) if the sister ratted out her brother.
“If you did this you would be doing it solely for your own sense of self-righteousness. Follow your brain.”
“He told you in confidence, he knows it was a mistake, and he is your brother.”
“You may think she has a right to know, but she might not want to know – you just don’t know and sometimes ignorance really is bliss. Don’t turn her life upside down for your own purposes.” – nowaternoflower