Although this situation is common, this is the first time since high school, and the second time in my life that I have been put in this position. In high school, my close friend’s boyfriend at the time tried to get with me, and I told her. Her reaction not only shocked me, but it made me vow never to tell anyone, friend or foe, anything about their man cheating, even if that cheating behavior was directed at me. She got angry with me, and suggested that I may have “misunderstood” his actions, but I know I didn’t. He was a trifling a**hole. I knew it and so did she. She just didn’t want to admit it.
Fast-forward 20 years, and I am again in this awkward and complicated position. As I’ve gotten older, the relationships that I form with friends is almost sister-like in nature. I truly love my friend, like family, and I desperately want to tell her that her man got fresh with me, but I simply don’t know how I would or if I should. I know that I would want to know, but others may not. She loves this guy, but if he was bold enough to hit on me while in her presence, I’m pretty sure he’s getting his on the side with other women. I had decided not to tell her because I was certain he would cheat on her eventually, and they’d break up anyway. I was right. He did cheat, but to my dismay, when she found out about it, she didn’t break up with him. She is still with him, and it bothers me at times. I feel like a bad friend, but I fear that telling her could ruin our friendship since this happened months ago and telling her now would appear shady. What should I do? Should I just stay out of it and hope that she kicks him to the curb one day or should I let her know?
Dear Tracy D,
This is certainly a difficult position to be in. Honestly, there is no “right” way to deal with a situation like this. Many would say minding your own business would be the “right” thing to do because you don’t know what type of relationship they have or what goes on behind closed doors. Also, maybe they have “an understanding” or an open relationship where he can get it in on the side as long as he’s discreet. Or, maybe they’re swingers trying to feel you out and bring you into the fold. These days, women tolerate so much more from their men, so you just never know.
On the other hand, just like you, most of us would want to know if our man was cheating, especially if it involved getting flirty with one of our closest friends. This is far worse than cheating with a random woman. It is disrespectful and shows total disregard for your friend and their “relationship.” Since it involves a close friend, I think you should tell her. I know you said it’s been a while, but it’s better late than never. She needs to know the type of man she’s dealing with. God forbid they actually go the distance and get married, you’ll always know in the back of your mind that he’s no good. If it were your sister or cousin, would you feel differently, or more obligated to tell? If you say she is like your sister, then treat her as though she really is your sister and tell her the truth.
If you all weren’t that close, I’d probably tell you to let it go and hope that she finds the strength to kick this boy to the curb, but that isn’t the case. Things may not go the way you want. She may get mad at you just like your high school friend did, and this could even hurt your friendship, but if it does, just know that she probably wasn’t much of a friend to begin with. Good luck with that!
What would you all do? How would you all advise Tracy D?