my friends wife is cheating on him

Dear Lara, Should I tell my friend I caught his fiancee cheating?

Question: I recently found out my friend’s fiancee is cheating on him. Do I tell him? If I don’t and he finds out I knew, wouldn’t he see this as a betrayal of our friendship? At the same time, I wouldn’t want to be the cause of their split as he would surely be devastated by this news.  -To tell or not to tell

Answer: Knew this question was going to come sooner or later. So there is you, there is your friend (let’s call him John, shall we?), and there is the cheating fiancee (whom we shall call Rose).

Firstly, I want to assume you are ABSOLUTELY sure she is cheating. Also, you mentioned he is your friend, but I need to ask you, how close are you two? I mean, how really close? Are you: “Morning John, it’s been a while, did you see that Manchester United Game? Ok, later, we shall see at the bar” close? Or are you: “Dude, wasup, missed your Mum’s call. By the way, I am at your gate, I am sleeping over tonight, shut up, did I ask for your permission” close?

If your friendship falls into the first category, then the answer is easy. SHUT UP! It is none of your business.

If your friendship falls into the second category, it is also clear what you should do, but it’s much tougher. If you tell him, and they later makeup and go ahead with the wedding, you are bound to be a painful reminder of his fiancee’s infidelity, and your friendship could become strained with him, just as it would definitely be with Rose if she found out you were the ‘source’, although your loyalty is to him, not to her, so her reaction really shouldn’t matter.

As you rightly stated also, if you don’t mention it, your friend could feel betrayed if he later found out you knew all along. I would suggest you approach Rose, tell her you know what’s going on, and give her an opportunity to confess to John herself, before you tell him. Taking this approach could be better for you later on, and if she is logical enough about it, and still loves him, she would recognise that telling him herself might make it easier to possibly earn his forgiveness.

If you do tell John, be sure to do so in a compassionate matured manner, and let him know your intention is not to advise him to breakup (afterall many happy relationships successfully survived infidelity at some point) or to advise him to stay in the relationship (a failed relationship is always better than a failed marriage), but rather to support him in whatever decision he makes.

If despite your best efforts, these all result in you losing a dear friend, you can sleep easy in the knowledge that when push came to shove, you acted as a true friend.


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