Best friends should always have each other’s back right? In all situations, even when they are cheating on their partner, who is also your friend or whom you just like? What’s your answer? I’m very sure, you have paused there, thinking of what you would do, whether to tell and likely end both your friendship and their relationship or not tell and keep your friendship and their relationship.
It’s a serious position to find oneself, as you are bugged down by your morality, which tells you that what the other person, has done/is doing is very bad; they have broken the trust in their relationship. You most likely even feel offended at said friend for cheating even in the minutest form on their partner but the question is, is it your business to tell?
And if it is, who should you tell and how should you do the telling? These questions boiled in Sanmi, when she found her friend in a very compromising situation with another guy at their office. First off, this was a guy that had been hitting on Sanmi and she was just starting to soften towards him, and encourage his advances, only for her to find him and her friend, Kate in the act right within their office premises.
Kate, who was almost off the singles market, the same Kate with the steady long term boyfriend, who had become her friend, she was shocked to find her in such a situation. A lot of emotions coursed through her at that moment; jealousy at having Kate snatch a guy, who had been eying her, shock at her friend’s infidelity and the moral dilemma of whether to tell Benjamin (Kate’s boyfriend) about it or not.
When they finally got to talk about Kate’s tryst with the guy at work, they started from the jealousy part, Kate apologized to Sanmi profusely, saying if she had known, she had set her sight on him, she would have stayed clear, after all, there were other guys. Sanmi was even more shocked, that she asked, “So, you mean, this is not your first time of cheating on Benjamin? I thought, I knew you, I thought, we were friends, who told each other everything, I don’t know this Kate” She said through her shock.
Long forgotten was her jealously, there was more at stake now, her friend was a serial cheat and she ran the risk of being fingered as the motivator, because of her single status and lifestyle, when in truth, her friend was quite able of motivating and carrying through on her nefarious acts without a single help from her. Sanmi decided to tell her friend’s boyfriend that her friend was a cheat and he needed to be careful with her. STD and HIV is real!
Hell was let loose on Sanmi’s head for her telling; first Benjamin did not believe her, he asked, if they had had a girl fight and this was her way of getting back at her friend. When, she said no and added that, her ‘friend’ was not just a cheat but a serial cheat, as she always had a side bit. She made sure to include that she had thought it wise to tell him and that her friend knew, she was going to tell him. Ben was perplexed at the way, the mind of the ladies worked.
In the end, that confession, led to the demise of that relationship, a 5 years long relationship and as you can imagine, Sanmi and Kate’s friendship hit the rocks.
So before you tell, consider some things and please, don’t ever mention the cheating to anyone other than the people involved in the matter or someone who can call the cheating partner to order. Any other person and you are doing a major disservice and do not deserve to be called a friend in the first place.
This not your problem: Yes, it could affect your friendship, your image of your friend; as it did that of Sanmi’s, your beliefs system and if you are not careful, your relationship, if you are in one. In the case of Sanmi, her reputation as a hard girl just got reinforced, given, she had been able to convert Kathryn to her path, at least, that is what people would think. Whatever you do, it is important to remember – getting hit by a fruit from a tree isn’t the same as falling from that tree. Keep this about your friend as much as possible.
And don’t bother blaming yourself for what your friend did. It happened and it was their choice, you cannot live their life for them. So let go of the blame, if you have any. Additionally, there are a thousand reasons women don’t tell their friends, many of them very genuine reasons, so don’t get worked up about when and how you found out.
While you are at it, yes, it feels like the worst secret ever. And you are physically sick with what you know. Unfortunately, that is not really of concern here. What you are feeling is nothing compared to what your friend would feel, if the secret came out or even what he/she feels at the moment. Your feelings might be huge and scary, but if all you are thinking is,” let me tell the truth, so this burden can be lifted off my shoulder”, that’s the worst reason for you to confess.
One sad fact about infidelity is that it hurts so much, beyond the two people involved, sometime; it can lead to a blame game, where the unfaithful partner blames everyone else but themselves and their partner.
If you feel compelled to tell your friend’s spouse or partner that their loved one has been cheating, be prepared to lose one or both parties in the relationship as friends. However, you could get lucky and/or your confession could come right on time and that way, you might just help maneuver their relationship back on track toward a loving and respectful place. At the very least, they will recognize that you are a friend worth keeping close, as you care more about their relationship, than your own comfort.
Relationships break down under the strain of cheating!
Kristine is a member of the The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.