Nanny knew Spouse was a Louse

I thought i would pose this question on here to see if the responses match the responses I got on a mom site: Would you fire your long term nanny if you found out she knew your spouse was cheating and didn't tell you? To be clear the nanny isn't sleeping with the spouse, she just happens to know that your spouse is cheating on you.


Bethany said...

No. That seems like misplaced anger to me.

Flip the script for a minute, would you have believed her if she told you?

Probably not. You would have accused her of lying and fired her.

Your poor nanny can't win.

Save your anger for the msn that cheated on you and broke your vows.

NannyPants said...

No. Not her fault. That's an awful burden for her to carry without saying anything...for all you know she's been trying to tell you for a while now. Or she's trying to stay out of it because it has nothing to do with her. It would be wrong to fire her definitely.

Onlycreepscreep said...

Yeah, day one you are the nanny, day two the housekeeper, and on the third day you're the marriage counselor?

bostonnanny said...

I would say no, but being cheated on can bring out the worst in people. I think if I was the nanny in the situation I would tell MB right away but be prepared to leave the job. For personal reasons I rather be the " bad guy" then let someone live blindly.

erica said...

I'm not sure if you're meaning yourself or a friend - but can you imagine the weight on her shoulders this nanny had? I know I would have not said anything, it isn't my place nor my business.

BTW, could you please tell us what the majority of the responses were at the mom site?

Rhiannon said...

I was cheated on once before. When I found out, I was under the impression that the other woman had no idea about me. My own principles determined that I needed to tell this other woman. I was wrong, she knew, but if I had it to do again, I would take the same road.

As a nanny, I would probably have to tell. I think in a situation like that, I might be prepared to leave even if MB didn't blame me or hold it against me. I would feel very awkward around DB after that and I would hate to be a nanny in the middle of my employers' divorce! So if they stayed together or not, I wouldn't want to be there.

But should the nanny be fired for any of this? No. It shouldn't be her business, so should she unwittingly find out, you can't blame her. If she gossiped about it or did anything malicious with the info, that is different. But just not telling MB? No way.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Only if it was in her contract. Just kidding.

As your Nanny, she is not required to do anything for you except care for your precious children.

I would be angry if my Nanny knew my spouse was a louse and didn't give me a head's up, but not angry enough to fire her.

Fiona said...

No I would not.

Op said...

Op here, this is just a hypothetical situation. I just wanted others opinions on it, I'm actually the nanny and no I didn't know the father was cheating before the mom told me.

There were over 500 people that voted in my poll and 75% said no they wouldn't fire the nanny 25% said they would.

I actually found the poll disheartening, I figured more would understand the nannys point of view.

I'll wait for a few more responses and then I'll share the reasons people gave for or against firing the nanny

MissMannah said...

The only rational reason they could possibly give is that the nanny was witholding information and therefore making her appear less trustworthy. But even that reason doesn't fly with me. Like another poster said, the nanny is not a marriage counselor.

The Noble Nanny said...

The nanny should never be the one to get in the middle of marital problems. That's not her job. If you were working in a corporate job could they fire you for knowing about someone else's relationship problems and not saying anything? No. So why should it be different for a nanny?

Village said...

No. Don't fire her unless you said 'If my husband is cheating on me, I want to know.' Otherwise it's none of her business.

My best friend's husband has been cheating on her since they married 30+ years ago. I have only one personal incident (I walked in on him and a girl), but I'll never say anything. I think she has to know and will never leave him. It's her choice, AND IT'S NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

Phoenix said...

YUP! I would fire her and tell her she can have a 5 second head start to outrun me.

If someone knows a spouse is cheating and they know both parties i.e.: MB and DB, they have to tell the other one.

If they find out and as soon as they did, went and told the other spouse she shouldn't be fired but thanked for being honest.

If she knew about it and it was over many times then she should be fired. That is the type of person who will leave welts on the backside of your child and try to cover it up.

What if one of the girls your husband was sleeping with had an STD. And the nanny didn't tell you about the first one and you ended up getting the STD too.

If someone knows the information that is this important and they don't pass it down, they are just as guilty.

If the nanny didn't know ahead of time then she shouldn’t be fired. If she found out first, before the mom and didn't say anything then she is guilty.

Sorry but cheating is ugly for everyone. Most ugly for the people who held the information. You can't shoot the messenger if they deliver the message on time. You can kill the messenger if they held the knowledge and never delivered it.

MissMannah said...

Village, I totally disagree with your decision not to tell you best friend about her husband's cheating. A best friend is quite different from a MomBoss and she deserves your honesty. My best friend of 26 years is like a sister to me and what hurts her IS my business.

missmary said...

No way should she be anyway involved in the sex lives of her bosses. For all she knows, the parents have an agreement. I'd keep 100% out of that mess.

Phoenix said...

she could get fired for knowing the info and not telling her MB.

That is a form of betrayal in my opinion. And i would think she was trying to protect my husband for some strange reason.

Either way it doens't look good

Lyn said...

I am team "Heck no I'm not bringing this up!" BUT, Phoenix does bring up a good point. If it's somehow brought up by db or someone else that you knew he was a cheater it would definitely look like you were protecting db by not saying something to mb. Which would make me think (if i was mb) that something may have been going on with the Nanny too. Meaning I would hawk eye her until I found something I could fire her for. If i didnt fire her i think i would always wonder. And i cant imagine how weird i would be to her from then on. . .
And yet, I still would NEVER be the one to tell.

aregular said...

The nanny is in a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. It would be unfair to just fire her, because as others have pointed out it is not her fault that the husband cheated and she is not a marriage counselor.
What would be fair would be to have an honest conversation with the nanny about the situation and how you would have liked her to have handled it. Find out from her perspective why she didn't tell. Then go from there.

amy lynn said...

Wow, Phoenix is an idiot. Just my opinion, of course. Actually, legally you can't fire a nanny for not tattling on your spouse, unless it's in her contract; a judge's opinion bears more weight than either of ours!

Aside from the legality, a professional nanny should be very, very careful about "tattling" on either employer's sex life, or ANY other behavior unless it is abusive or dangerous to the children. Tattling is not part of her job, and that is not something an employer should expect from a housekeeper, lawncare company, pool cleaning company, or any other household employee!
The exception would be if the employer asks the nanny a direct question, the nanny cannot lie about it, but should strictly give the facts. For example, "Did he have another woman over when I was out of town?"
The nanny should reply yes or no, share any facts asked for, but not just give her opinion.
If the nanny suspects something, and is very close friends with the MB, I would suggest she try to meet with her outside of work and discuss it as friends, but not as employer-employee.
Personally, I would absolutely tell either the DB or MB only if I was dead sure of it! But I would not say anything as my opinion, just facts that I observed, and let the spouse come to the conclusion. Unless you happened to walk in on the very act, it is possible it's a misunderstanding and there is no affair at all.

Always The Tough Girl.... said...

Phoenix, I'm just curious... Why do all of your replies have to include some threat of violence?

"UP! I would fire her and tell her she can have a 5 second head start to outrun me."

Seriously. It's always the yappy little dog that doesn't leave quite the bite it threatens with. Would it be intellectually too much for you to just comment on something as a rational adult, as opposed to the wet blanket you seem to always be? There are times when I actually agree with what you are saying, but you are such a tool with your delivery, it ruins the entire point of your post. Take it down a notch. We get it. You are soooo bad ass. You can kick all of our butts. Choose a new schtick for your next "personality".. it may make you more tolerable.

Phoenix said...

eh. im actually no different in person. Being passionate at times does mean being agressive. I'm an agressive personality. No one takes advantage of me and no one would try.

You cant fire someone for tattling. You can make up some other strange to fire them, even if they didn't do anything.

Now the nanny should not have to have a sit down with MB and discuss this issue. Nanny is not part of the family. This is no even something that should be discussed in front of other family members. A family meeting, this is not.

All the nanny has to do is say to mom boss, "hey I didn't know you guys had a cousin or whatever come into town. I only saw her breifly though.

There are ways to tell someone something without actually telling them. I do it all the time. Its called planting the seed into the brain of another person. If they are smart they will figure it out. And you look innocent. How are you supposed to know that wasn't a relative.

But I don't know exactly how the DB hobby came to light. I would then be able to tell you how to skirt around the whole situation and still be the one to bring it up.

WhatOtherJob said...

Its none of the nannys business who is bedding who. I wouldn't expect her to care or comment. Its unprofessional.

Lissa said...


It is wrong of you to not tell your "bestie" that her hubby is cheating on her.

I had a best friend know that my BF was cheating on me...she never disclosed it to me and I found out the hard way. Anyway, she said she didn't think it was her place and it totally ruined our friendship.

Loyalty should prevail over everything in a friendship.

leftcoastmama said...

No I wouldn't fire my nanny for not telling me.

I might be hurt , if she knew and didn't speak up, but I can understand why she wouldn't tell.

I have never been a nanny, but when I was 19 I worked at a mom & pop store. I found out Pop was cheating on Mom. I told Mom and she lashe out and fired me.

So I can understand why a nanny might hold back on the information.

She could fear losing the job anyway.

OP if I read your poll results correctly most people support the nanny and would NOT fire her.

Phoenix said...

yeah it is a double edge sword.

My childhood friend's brother was working for the family business. He found emails from his step-dad to some other lady. Confirming in writing he was having an affair.

He printed off the emails and showed his mother.

she accused him of typing up the emails himself and that he was lying. He was prompty fired from the family business and banned from the house.

Later on his mom found out and she apologized.

But either way. you could be fired

If she finds out. The best thing to do is act like this is news to you as well. Just pretend you didn't know about it. That may be what saves you.

If it werw me i would still tell. Cheaters deserve being outed and embarrassed

cleveland said...

This is a very common question (hypothetical or real) on message boards.

It always perplexes me when people assume that the third party who knows the dirty secret and wants to speak up must do so in person.

Personally, I feel that anyone being cheated on has a right to know that they are living a lie, but if I were the third party who knew, I would simply spill the information anonymously in a way that left no doubt but also left no trail to me being the informant.

Stfu said...

Phoenix no one cares about your personal stories. You always bring up stories about yourself or people you know in others posts. No one cares.

Phoenix said...

personal stories are good to reference situations that i know what im talking about. i can't give comments on events that i don't have personal connection to because i wasn't there so how good would the advice be.

Ive never been to the moon so I cant tell you what it was like.

So many haters, let me count the ways... LOL

OP said...

I was surprised at just how many women on the other site would fire the nanny in the situation, I figured the number would be much smaller than 25%

Most of the reasons for firing the nanny were that they wouldn't be able to trust the nanny after that, that if she could hide that from them what else could she be hiding.

The other big reason for wanting to fire the nanny was the moral aspect of it, they felt the nanny owed it to the spouse (whether it be the mom or dad) to tell them that their spouse was cheating on them.

The reasons for not firing were that the nanny would be stuck no matter what she did and that it's not the nanny's job nor obligation to babysit the spouse or tattle on him or her. The other reason was in a corporate setting you wouldn't tattle on your boss if you caught them cheating on their spouse so why would it be any different with the nanny.

Some of the women there were just batshit crazy though, even after explaining it was a hypothetical situation and in this hypothetical situation the nanny was not sleeping with the spouse they still accused me of sleeping with my boss, sigh, sometimes stay at home mommies can find a soap opera anywhere.

Now in my situation I truly had no clue the spouse was cheating. I was told in an email along with the fact that they were divorcing. I do though see red flags looking back that pointed to that but I had no reason to suspect nor would I have told, even slyly, that's simply not my business. I was hired to watch the kids and do housework, no where was I ever told that I was to babysit the adults.

sotrue said...


Phoenix said...

OP. so your question was semi-hypothetical.

Did either one of the spouses find out you knew?

in this tpye of situation i dont see job status as a condition to either hide or reveal the dirt.

in that case it would be the moral side of it, i guess would be the best

I agree that it is not your position to watch adults. But someone being unfaithrul is hurtful. I guess the MB would be exrra hurt if the nanny knew. She would think she was being played as a fool, regardless if you slept with DB or not.

This is a situation that has no happy ending.

Katie said...

Mommy sites are crazy, but they probably say the same about nanny sites.

I would hope my boss wouldn't fire me. I did not sign on to be Dr. Drew.

I'm not surprised the moms felt that way, many moms view their nanny as friends and allies not just an employee.

OP said...

phoenix I stated I had no clue that one was cheating on the other. I got an email one day out of the blue stating that the spouse was cheating and they would be getting a divorce, I was shocked as hell though introspectively there were clues that I just didn't see. There were clues of the infidelity but also that the marriage was over and that they were in the process of divorcing long before I was told.

I don't want to get into specifics as to what the clues were because there is always a chance my bosses will stumble upon this site and it just would not be fair to spread their dirty laundry like that. I love my job and those kids and my bosses (yes even the one that cheated) so I don't want to do anything to compromise my job

fairy dust said...

Great hypothetical. If you come up with anymore ideas or situations and want to share them, in comparison to the opinions on other sites, please do! This was definitely something different and interesting! :)

UmassSlytherin said...

I would fire my husband because he is a dick. then I would fire the nanny because she knows way too much about their personal life, which I feel is icky and inappropriate.

Bethany said...

Would you give her a good reference, UMASS?

I agree about knowing far too much about an employer's personal life.

It's icky, but can't always be helped.

daisy said...

I think mis-directed anger is a not a valid reason to fire someone. It is in no way a nannies place to get involved in the parents relationship. In fact it is highly unprofessional to become more involved in the workings of the home/ relationships/ life's of any family member beyond the care of the children. Women who would fire the nanny in such an angry and violent way perhaps should not have nannies and should search out the real reason's they are so angry (their own spouses, childhood, disloyal friends). I agree with many comments that if you worked in an office and found out about someone sex life would you go around saying something? If the nanny found out the parents were harming their children they are required to report them- that is the only amount of reporting they are required to provide. Don't blame someone else for your spouses misdeeds.

that said- when building boundaries with a nanny try to remember you can't have it both ways. if you want a nanny that does her job and stays out of the issues (the ones not related to the children directly) then remember that means she won't be a watch dog for your marriage.

UmassSlytherin said...

No, I would not give her a good reference. I would actually decline to give a reference. I feel I would be too emotionally invested to give her a valid reference.

UmassSlytherin said...

and violent? who said violent? I would never get violent. I would just let her go. OP, who sent you the email? the husband? why? I think we are missing something here. I am, anyway. But through it all, yes, of course I would let this nanny go. that's a given.

Susannah said...

I've been in this situation. I chose not to tell.

DB was very messy and left various details of his "business trip " encounters around the home. Mainly an email.

I chose not to tell because I was afraid I would be fired.

My MB found out on her own.

She ended up staying with him after filing for divorce.

I am also like Village and have a good friend with a husband that cheats. I know she is aware of it with out me telling her. She prefers to keep her cheating husband and his fat bank account.

For those who said you would fire your nanny, would you turn in your boss if you knew he was cheating on his spouse who was also your boss?

ums said...

I feel cheating is abusive. I would not stay at a job like that, where that was going on with the family. It is a highly emotionally abusive situation and I could not work for someone like that, right there in thier home. Most people think that they can act like that, cheat, and engage in all sorts of infidelity and it doesn't effect the kids: it does effect them.

so, I would quit, and then tell MB about it.

I caught a MB cheating said...

I worked for a family where the wife was 10 years younger than her husband. Once he was gone for a working trip and she had her friend at home. They stayed for a long time in the home office with closed doors. Later she asked me to watch the baby until late, since she had to go out. I went to bed and did not see the time she got back home. Next day she talks to me about how great nanny I was and that she was very happy for having me there, she was about to cry. She gave me a gift card and asked me to not comment with her hubby about her outing. If she hadn't done it, I'd never even suspected that something was up. I never told anything to her husband, who himself, kind of look at me on a sexual way.

Aries said...

It all depends who I'm closer to. If MB is a B-word who tries to take advantage, etc then no, i wouldn't. And i'd laugh the whole time.

If MB was sweet, friendly an caring. Yes, idk how I would tell you but i'd make sure she found out.

daisy said...

many of the responses on here have leaned towards a violent response to the topic of cheating. (*give her a head start, so on) as happens in the non nanny world but the world on a whole- when cheating happens often times third parties get the brunt of blame (friends, family, employees who know). When the real anger should be directed at the parties involved in the cheating.

cheating is a very heated issue obviously. But it remains that it is not the nannies job to become involved in marital issues. giving advice to fire someone using sneaky and dishonest reasons- is that really ethical? Or is that continuing the kind of behavior you are upset at your nanny for in the first place?

how did you find out the nanny knew? to what degree did they know? if you want a fresh start- which is totally understandable- then take it from that approach but please don't blame someone else for the choices or issues in your own relationship.