Ask Athena: Bottled Betrayal

Oversharing under the influence. 

Q: My husband of 25+ years overdid the wine at a Holiday party and, on the way home, confessed to cheating on me several times during our marriage. He’d passed out shortly after, and then when I asked him about it the next morning, he had absolutely no memory of our conversation. Now he’s expecting me to brush it off because he was drunk and “obviously making stuff up.” But I don’t know. Anything’s possible. How much credence should I give Mr. Big Mouth when he’s bombed? ~ Mrs. Big Mouth

A: In vino veritas.  This old Latin saying translates as ‘in wine, there is truth’ and means that people who have drunk wine then speak the truth. I am inclined to think that the Romans had some reason to believe this. I would too.

Do I know for sure your husband was telling you the truth? Of course not. But I’m glad you are not buying his excuse that he just happened to pull this out of thin air when he was under the influence. Since that’s his story and he’s sticking to it, some detective work would certainly be in order.

Thanks to cell phones, credit cards, and other ways we leave our digital footprints wherever we go, it’s remarkably easy these days to check up on a possibly wayward spouse, from search history and phone gps, to keyloggers and other spyware apps – a woman I knew just left a voice recorder running under his car seat all day. However, since your husband’s infidelity seems to have happened in the past, tailing him now might not provide any answers anyway.

Catching a cheater doesn’t solve anything, though, it just underscores the old adage that when you go looking for something, you best be prepared to find it. Not just mentally and emotionally, but financially – if you’re considering divorce, now’s the time to look into what that means for you and your family’s security.

And speaking of security, if there’s any chance your husband has a violent side, the absolute last thing you want to do is make any threats to walk out and take his kids/money before you’ve actually executed your exit plan. Leaving a relationship can be a very dangerous time for many women, take all the precautions you can to protect your safety.

The More You Know…

Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined. Of total domestic violence homicides, at least 75% of the victims were killed as they attempted to leave. Philadelphia’s Domestic Violence Hotline is free, anonymous & ready 24/7 for crisis intervention, safety planning, resources and referrals. / 1-866-723-3014

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Read last month’s Ask Athena here.

About Athena 44 Articles
When she’s not advising mortals, Athena spends her time on earth in NW Philly with her husband, two sons and a day job where she’s paid to tell important people what to do (naturally). Send your questions to

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