A friend of mine has a great boyfriend. She’s been cheating on him for a really long time, and they are both friends of mine. I know he doesn’t deserve this and I want to do something about it. I have talked to her about it but she does not get the message. I really think he deserves to know because he’s so in love with her but she’s treating him like he is worthless behind his back. What should I do?
Dear Concerned friend,
This matter is a very delicate one and must be treated as such. I know the rules of friendship include, honesty, loyalty and trust, all of which I agree with, but I don’t think they always lead to the intended result.
The first thought that would naturally come to mind in this kind of situation will be to run and tell, it’s a lot of pressure but you need to slow down and examine it carefully.
Yeah, you may feel if you don’t tell you’ll be seen as an accomplice to the cheating partner. And in this case, as friends to both parties you don’t know how to be loyal to one friend without betraying the other.
First you need to determine the severity of the cheating before you go rushing off to your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend. Was it just harmless flirting? or a full blown sex- involved kind of cheating? Some types of cheating are worse than others, and different types deserve different reactions. If it’s the first, you may only need to talk to your friend about how being too friendly to other guys could be disrespectful and hurt her boyfriend and she should consider stopping it, though it may seem harmless to her.
Make her understand you don’t want to have to be two-faced around her boyfriend. But even in this scenario, if you feel her boyfriend really loves her and she’s willing to correct the mistake, it may be advisable to give her a chance to make things right by letting her tell her boyfriend about it herself.
If it’s the other, a more severe cheating case, like in this case, you should first talk to her, stressing the fact that you are giving her a friendly warning because you want her relationship to succeed and moreover, her boyfriend doesn’t deserve her infidelity. If she doesn’t listen then telling her boyfriend, your friend, is your best bet because keeping it a secret would be wrong since it involves sexual infidelity and even more importantly because your friend’s health is now on the line.
If your friend has no intention of changing her ways after you’ve talked with her then you may have to be the conveyor of the life changing news. To minimise the shock and anger that your friend may feel come prepared with evidence to prove your claim. Also let him know that no matter what decision he makes in regard to his relationship you’ll stand by him and only want the best for him.
One sad fact about this situation is that it hurts so much that people, especially those involved, therefore be prepared to lose one or both parties in the relationship as friends. However, if you’re lucky, and if your intervention comes in time, you might just help steer their relationship back on track toward a richer, more trusting and respectful love. At the very least, they’ll know that you are a person who cares enough about them to put their relationship needs above your own comfort.
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