Bigamist Bomb

25 Jun

Dear LetterBalm: I just found out some alarming news. The husband of my sister’s best friend is a bigamist. I work as an administrator in our state secretary’s office and learned about this by accident, checking on some unrelated records. I’ve done further checking and, yes, he has another family in another city. None of our friends knows in our city, so I could just keep quiet. But I think I have a responsibility to say something, even though the truth will cause chaos and pain. Now, what do I do? Tell his wife (we’re all good friends)? Confront him? Tell my sister?

–Holding an Incendiary

This is the second LetterBalm in recent days to deal with this terrible situation. Ms. L.B. will be succinct: Speak to no one else, but tell the bigamist husband as soon as you can. It will be better to tell him in person, but if a private meeting raises eyebrows and causes speculation (“why are they getting together?”), call him. Say this:

Warren, I was checking records in the state secretary’s office, and I accidentally came across records of your marriage in Springfield in April 2009. Don’t deny it – I’ve done further checking and it’s incontrovertible. I know you have two children from that marriage, too. I want no explanations or justifications. And I can’t pretend that I don’t know the truth. I’ve said nothing to anyone, and I won’t. But I’ll give you two weeks to tell Sharon, or I’ll be forced to tell her what I’ve found out. Maybe you’re relieved that this will finally come out, and maybe you’re just a well-meaning guy who let the lies go too far. In any case, it’s time for you to come clean and be honest.

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