Social Question

Eggie's avatar

Is the person that tells you that your wife or husband is cheating on you really your friend?

Asked by Eggie (5865points) December 27th, 2010

Is that person really your friend and did a good deed by telling you about your partner’s infidelities, or should that person mind their own business?

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27 Answers

faye's avatar

I think I’d be terribly hurt if my friend let me flounder on with a cheat. I do understand the person who would want everyone to mind their own business but my firends know to tell me. It’s up to me what I do with the knowledge as with all knowledge.

snowberry's avatar

If I found out my friend knew about it and didn’t tell me, they wouldn’t be my friend anymore.

marinelife's avatar

Hero. I would be so much happier knowing than not knowing (especially if other people knew).

Eggie's avatar

What if we look at it like this…...couldn’t the friend wait until their partner admits the problem or let the couple work things out for themselves? It is usually much painful and embarrassing to find that out from someone else. Also, what if that friend is telling a lie just to break up the couple?

Not_the_CIA's avatar

I told my best friend in high school. I walked into a room with his GF with another guy while he was off fighting fires in eastern Oregon. Somehow I turned into the “bad guy” and was lying. 13 years later and I have only seen him once since.

chyna's avatar

@EGGIE What if that partner has no intentions of ever telling? What if that partner is just going from partner to partner, possibly putting his spouse in danger of a STD?

Eggie's avatar

@chyna Point very well noted…..but what if it isn’t anything going on and it was just a misunderstanding. Just that bit of information can cause a whole big argument and you would not be able to trust your friends judgement or you would not be able to trust your lover the same way as you did before. What is really the right thing?

tinyfaery's avatar

Of course. A real friend tells you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it.

Kardamom's avatar

The “friend” always runs the risk of the “cheated upon person” getting angry and dumping them instead of the cheating husband/boyfriend. It’s still worth it. How horrible would it be to find out that other people knew of your spouse/mate’s infidelity (including your friend) and no one told you?

The trick is for the knowlegeable friend to give the news as delicately as possible. Don’t tell “the cheated upon” this news in front of other people. Don’t shout it out as an “I told you so!” moment. This news should be told in a calm manner, in total privacy and with an offer to keep quiet about it and an offer to help the “cheated upon person” and given with an “I’m so sorry.”

There’s always a lot of talk that the “cheated upon person” already knows what’s going on. This is not always the case and it’s not fair to let the cheating continue. If they happen to already know, then you’re not adding anything worse to the mix. Just let the “cheated upon person” know that you won’t repeat this information.

You still risk the possibility that the “cheated upon person” will blame you, but that’s a risk you have to take. If you’re friendship isn’t strong enough to withstand the truth, then it would have died on the vine at some other point anyway.

chyna's avatar

Depending on the situation: If I saw my best friends husband lip locked with another woman, there is no misunderstanding. If I saw my best friends husband with a woman shopping, or just sitting in a restaurant having a meal or just a drink, I would ask him first.
As a matter of fact, I was with my best friends husband shopping the other day, helping him pick out her Christmas present. It is all in the circumstances.

Eggie's avatar

What if it were the other way around where your lovers friends misinterpreted you and your lover told you about the report that the friend give him/her, how would you feel? What would be your thoughts of the lovers friend? Also it is more than one report..

chyna's avatar

Initially, I’d be really mad, but you have to understand, they (hopefully) have their friends best interest at heart. The friends don’t want their friend screwed over and aren’t trying to be hurtful, but to let the friend know what they think is going on.
This would be easier to answer if you just told what actually happened, but I respect your need not to tell.

BarnacleBill's avatar

There is a saying “they always shoot the messenger,” or blame the bearer of bad news for being responsible for the news. I’m not sure I could stand myself if I knew, and kept my mouth shut, as that would make me a party to the duplicity of the cheater. I think there are ways to deliver the news in a tactful manner, where you plant enough seeds and let the injured party decide what to do with it.

Not everyone leaves a cheater, but it does change the dynamics of all the relationships.

Eggie's avatar

Good points….but what if this family has children involved and a marriage of more than five years? Is it still right for the friend to let the person know? Is it the friends responsibility to let the person know?

faye's avatar

Responsibility, yes, the spouse will decide what to do about it.

chyna's avatar

Yes, because personally, if I found out my spouse was cheating and my friend knew about it and didn’t tell me, I would be really mad at her and probably not want to be friends with her again. But then again, you are talking about the appearance of cheating, no cheating actually happening? If I had any doubt, as the friend, I’d approach the cheater and ask them what was going on.

casheroo's avatar

A true friend doesn’t keep such a secret.
I will say though, I wouldn’t know how to approach it. I would want to be 100% positive before I destroyed a marriage. But, I don’t know if I’d want to investigate it or let my friend do it. It would depend on the situation but I know I wouldn’t hide the truth.

diavolobella's avatar

I would tell the cheating partner that they have a specific amount of time to confess on their own before I do it for them. Either way, I’d make sure my friend knew. If my friend decided to ditch me because of it, that would be sad, but I’d still feel I did the right thing and that would be enough for me. I’d like to think that one day they might appreciate it and know that I did it with their best interests and happiness at heart, but if not, I still feel satisfied that I did what I felt a friend should do.

Adagio's avatar

@EGGIE responsibility?… no, it’s more about practising one’s humanity… and giving someone the opportunity to make an informed decision

Berserker's avatar

If their intent is good and they think they’re doing the right thing, they’re a friend.

augustlan's avatar

I think you’d have to tell, if you’re really a friend. Even though you run the risk of ruining your own friendship in the process.

Response moderated (Spam)
perspicacious's avatar

It always depends on the teller’s motivation for telling.

FutureMemory's avatar

A friend. If they kept it from me they would NOT be a friend.

lonelydragon's avatar

If the person disclosed the news in a smug, gloating manner, then she wouldn’t be considered a friend. But, friend or no, I would follow up on the tip and try to find out if the other person really was cheating.

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