If you caught your friend cheating, would you tell their partner?

@jenrl17 (420)
United States
January 10, 2009 7:48pm CST
Say your friend confides in you about an affair theyre having, would you tell their spouse/partner or would you stay out of it, in fear of hurting both people involved? How about this scenario: you go to a restaurant and see your friend having dinner with someone whos not their spouse and its obvious theyre cheating...do you confront them, hide yourself so youre not seen and/or tell their spouse. What would you do? I think with the 1st part, it would depend on how good of a friend they are. If Im not that close with them, I would probably mind my own business, but if it was my best friend or a very good friend of mine, I would feel obligated to tell them. I dont think I could live with knowing a secret like that and if the shoe was on the other foot, I think I would want to know. Even though itll hurt them, theyll appreciate you for your honesty. In the other part, again, I think it would depend on how good of a friend they are. I think either way, I would try not to be seen and if it was a good friend, I would confront them privately about it. What would you do, how would you handle it?
5 people like this
27 responses
@syeryn (574)
• United States
11 Jan 09
There is no way that I would get in the middle of their affairs. I would let them know right up front that I was not comfortable being let in on their little secret and in a nice, but very direct way, I would ask that I be removed from their list of willing ears with regard to the situation.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Well people have to do what they feel is right. If youre not comfortable with that situation (I wouldnt be either), then its probably best to not be involved in any way. Keep your nose clean as they say. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@syeryn (574)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I would still remain friends with them but in all relationships you have to set boundaries or you run the risk of getting walked all over and I would definitely be setting a fine line on this issue. It would be an off limits topic of conversation for us and I would be quite clear on that point too.
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@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Yeah youre right about needing boundaries so you dont get taken advantage of or get mistreated. I heard a long time ago that you teach people how to treat you (Dr. Phil- no Im not a fan lol) and in a way it makes sense. If you let people push you around for example, then they will. If they find what your 'buttons' are, theyll push them too. They will do what you permit them to do and as long as you set certain 'rules' early, you should have no problem, hopefully.
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@brian_s (570)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I would not go to the spouse, but I would confront the cheater. And if they refused to change their ways, there is a good chance that I would stop being their friend. I have enough friends that I can choose to spend time with the ones who value other people, and care about what is right and wrong.
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@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
You know, thats a good point. People tend to associate themselves with those who have similar or the same values as they do. My mom used to say that you act like the people you hang around with and I think thats true. If my friend whos cheated doesnt care about my words or change his/her ways, that says a lot about their character, plus, theyre not only hurting the one theyre cheating on, but theyre friends are also affected in a way cause they demonstrate how they dont care about others feelings, which is bad. Who wants to hang around or be friends with people like that? If they refuse to stop cheating, whats next, steal from me? No thanks, cause cheating is lying to yourself and to others involved. Thanks for your opinion.
1 person likes this
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
11 Jan 09
It's interesting that you posted this discussion. I have gone through the same thing with my best friend. Her husband was cheating on her, and I had proof. I didn't tell her about the cheating, because of the fact that she wasn't emotionally able to handle something like her husband cheating on her. As much as I love her, she is my adopted sister, I couldn't hurt her with news like that. My boy friend and I discussed telling her about the evidence, but we decided that it wouldn't help anything as she was so in love with the man she wouldn't have accepted the information or the proof. About two years later she finally had to accept the fact that he was possibly cheating on her, and he finally admitted to it. If the person is open to discussing the situation, I would present the evidence. Otherwise I wouldn't open the can of worms. News like that is something that can break up a friendship...and it would make you the bad person for telling the party something that they didn't want to hear. I've had it happen with a very good friend of mine, she didn't appreciate the information, and even when she discovered what I told her was the truth, she didn't apologize or recognize me as being a living breathing member of the human race. I certainly wouldn't confront anyone in public. When the opportunity presented it self, I would take the person aside and talk quietly to them about what I observed and wait for the explanation. I would suggest strongly to the person that they present the information to their partner, or after a given time I would inform them. At least I would hope that is what a person would do...I am still not sure that I would want to take on the position of informant about someone else's infidelity. I do think it would depend on the circumstances.
1 person likes this
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I think in the situation where the person wouldnt be able to handle it cause of whatever else they may be going through at the time, I wouldnt say anything either, so I agree with you there, definitely. Im glad you responded having 1st hand experience with the topic, having been there. Its good you didnt say anything, loving her in that respect, saving her more heartache she doesnt need. Im glad that later on when she accepted that he was doing it, that he came clean, so that was good. Yeah, I think if the person is open to discussing it, thats different. What a shame how you were honest with your other friend about what was happening and they didnt appreciate it, treating you like the plague. I wouldnt do that. I may not want to believe what Im hearing, but I would appreciate them telling me, but thats me personally, if they were sincere and not trying to get with my man. I wouldnt confront anyone in public either. Theres a time and a place for everything and thats not the proper way to do it. I would do what you said, by talking to them in private when the time was right and yeah,I agree that it depends on the person and the circumstances. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I truely appreciate it.
1 person likes this
@underdogtoo (9591)
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
I used to be a victim of malicious reporting to my wife about my alleged infidelities. My wife never believes them but it made me see that there are people who are out to break up your marriage and I would never place myself in the situation where I would be the bringer of information such as this. Why anyone would put their noses into other people's affairs is beyond me.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Yeah its a shame that there are people out there to purposely hurt you for their own benefit. It just makes them look bad in the long run and not trusted. I guess I wouldnt want them to come back to me and say, 'you knew and didnt tell me? how could you not tell me?' or something like that and then ID feel bad when the cheater is the one who should feel bad.
1 person likes this
@LaurenInLA (2271)
• United States
11 Jan 09
The quickest way to lose a friend is to get involved in anything whatsoever to do with their romantic relationships. If the friend confided in me, I would keep it to myself and advise them if they asked for my advice. For some reason, people prefer to believe their romantic partner over their good friends. I wouldn't consider confronting them because frankly, how they choose to live their lives isn't any of my business.
1 person likes this
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I think a reason they believe their partner vs their friend is maybe they dont want to believe it, being in denial, or perhaps they can start to think 'hey, you want him/her' so youre trying to break us up. In that case, Id let them find out on their own too cause I wouldnt want them to think I have any other alternative motives. Id just try to be there for them and be a good friend if they needed someone to talk to. Thanks for your input.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
I think not because its their life. They have to know the things their doing and they have to plan their lives as how they wanted it to be. If my friend, whose cheating ,is really one of my closest friends well, id rather talk to him/her and remind him/her that what he/she is doing is perfectly unacceptable.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Yeah, it is their life and they of their actions and whatever happens is probably going to happen whether you interfere or not. Like another poster said earlier, having someone interfere in your relationship in that way could hurt any reconciliation for the couple cause in a sense youre contaminating their relationship by the mere fact of your butting in and people dont like squeelers or tattle talers anyway. Plus, even though youre meaning well by looking out for them, it can still send a negative message to them by doing so.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Yeah youre right. It is their life and they know what theyre doing. Youre opinion on it should not factor at all and you should probably stay out of it. As another poster had said, by staying out of their business, any possible reconciliation has a better chance of working out vs meddling where you dont belong. That meddling can infact make things much worse, ruining any chances of mending their relationship by you simply getting involved where you have no business. Thanks for your comment.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Sorry about the double post. Thought my message got erased.
@vanities (11410)
• Davao, Philippines
12 Jan 09
hi jenrl...what a situation!!! in my case no i wont confront them..but ill see to it the my friend sees me so that it will serve as a warning that somebody knows his/her secret...which means that his/her spouse will sooner or later knows about the infidelity thing...
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
12 Jan 09
Yeah I know. No matter what its a tough situation. What do you mean by this: 'but ill see to it the my friend sees me'?
1 person likes this
@vanities (11410)
• Davao, Philippines
13 Jan 09
what i mean is that..i will surely pass near their table on the way to the bathroom or if not i will say hello ...so that my friend will see me!!
@robert19ph (4584)
• Philippines
12 Jan 09
hello jenrl17, If they're already married, I think I should talk to my friend regarding what I saw and ask about it. If she'll tell me that she/he is only a friend then I must believe her/him. But then again, I will remind her/him that she/he is married and that she/he should not cheat to her/him. After that, I will leave all to her/him. She/he is already old enough and know what is right and best for her/him. It's his/her life and he/she will deal with it whatever his/her decision. I did my part as a friend and that's it.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
12 Jan 09
Hey robert19ph, I think especially if they are married, I would do what you would do, by talking to the one whos cheating or ask about what I saw. If I saw kissing on the mouth though and she/he says it was a friendly kiss, Id be so offended because they (my friend) is then playing me for a fool and it would hurt our friendship. If it IS innocent and thats what my friend tells me, then yes I would have to take their word for it. As they say, innocent until proven guilty. Thanks for sharing.
@HLFelkel (15)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I think you should not tell your partner because we all tell things to people that we don't even think about sometimes and if you would and she/he would tell someone that could hurt you and your friend's relationship
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I know Ill say things I shouldnt, things that are better left unsaid. I think we're all guilty of that at one point. Thanks.
@ronnyb (6117)
• Jamaica
11 Jan 09
My approach to this situation would depend on how close we were and what type of persosnality my friend has.One thing though is certain that I would never appraoch my friends partner without talking to him first .So I would approach him and talk about it first and I would choose my words carefully so as not to aggravate him especially if I knew his personality was explosive. The only way I would approach his partner is if I was somewhat concerned about his life or his partner and this would be after repeatedly talking to him to no avail.Lets say he was cheating with someone who I knew had a partner who would bodily harm him or if the girl was someone infected with aids .
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I think thats a very important factor, how close you are with the people involved. If my friend whos cheating has an explosive temper, Id just stay out of it, personally. I dont need their grief for them doing something wrong. You bring up a very important, interesting point though. If the person he/she was cheating with had aids or a deadly disease, Id definitely intervene. I wouldnt care who got mad at me by saying something either cause a life is at stake and the one whos cheating isnt aware of the danger theyre putting themselves in. If I lost their friendship for telling them, at least I tried to save a life. That is an exception in my opinion.
• United States
11 Jan 09
If I found out my friend was cheating i would try my best to get her to stop. No matter how hard a relationship is. If you don't like it, then you need to get out of it. You shouldnt cheat. Because no matter what, everyone gets hurt that way. The best thing to do is end the relationship, then go on with another. If thats what you choose to do.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I totally believe that myself. Dont cheat, just leave the relationship, but I guess its not always that easy. Cheating is a sign that maybe something isnt right somewhere in the relationship, whether it be with the cheater themselves inside or something missing from the relationship. I never wanted to know why people cheat but unfortunately I found out. Thanks for your comment.
• United States
11 Jan 09
I think with me it would depend on if she was my best friend or just a friend and how well I knew her husband or boyfriend. If I were really good friends with them or not. I think mainly if she was just friend and I didn't know their husband or boyfriend really well, I would mind my own business. Especially if you don't know the whole situation.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Exactly. You may not really know whats going on and seeing what something may look like may be totally innocent, it all depends. Im with you, that if they both were real close friends of mine, I would probably privately confront the cheater and just say how I felt, trying to convince them that what theyre doing is wrong and to try and stop, but if they werent very close to me, Id ignore it and let the cheater 'hang' themselves eventually, hopefully sooner than later. Thanks for sharing.
@celticeagle (123622)
• Boise, Idaho
11 Jan 09
I totally agree with all you said. I had a situation like this happen to me years ago now. I saw a co-workers husband in a compromising sitauation and when she asked me at one point if I had seen anything I told her. How could I not? Then I proceeded to get alot of negative feedback from other workers who had also seen things and didn't think I should have said anything. They felt I should have kept my mouth shut. To be honest I probably would have if she hadn't ask me point blank if I had seen something. It was something I played around with in my head and was actually alittle relieved when she asked me about it because I had been trying to decide what to do about it.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Well in this case, I think youre damned if you do and damned if you dont, meaning if you lied to her saying you didnt see anything and she found out later that you indeed did see something, it may give HER trust issues with you cause she may figure you wont be honest; ironic cause shes the one being dishonest to her partner. On the other hand, if you do what you did and tell her that yes, you did see something, then what happened can happen where you get negative feedback from others, which is wrong cause its really not their place to judge you either. Its crazy. Ive always been told dont admit to anything, but what can you do sometimes. Thanks for sharing your experience.
@murugezh (273)
• India
11 Jan 09
I have caught a few of my friends doing cheating, but I never reports to them parents but I'll advice them.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I dont quite understand your comment. Could you clarify it? Do you mean that you caught a few friends cheating, but never told their spouse/partner, that you just talked to your friend who cheated to try and talk them out of it?
@fasttalker (2797)
• United States
11 Jan 09
No I would mind my own business. I think that is a sure fire way to destroy a friendship. They will get their ownselves caught in time. I wouldn't get involved because there is going to be way too much emotion involved and anytime there are strong emotions involed it is dangerous territory.
@mikeysmom (2091)
• United States
11 Jan 09
i would stay out of it for sure. i learned the hard way not to get involved. years ago a friend of mine had a boyfriend and he was at a party that i was at. he came over to say hello and when one of my friends walked away he pushed himself up against me and kissed me. i pushed him away and asked how he could do such a thing and he just snickered. the next day i went to my friend's house, she was my best friend by the way, and told her what happened. she was really upset and then he came over and told a completely different story and made it look like i kissed him and she believed him. it ended our friendship until about 3 years later when she was going out with someone else and she came to me and apologized for believing him instead of me. it hurt that she did not believe me because i am fiercely loyal but i got over it.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Wow, that is quite a story. Someone else here said that the one whos being cheated on tends to believe their partner vs the best/good friend. I dont know. I would believe my friend I would think (as long as they were sincere and didnt have any other alternative motives) cause they dont have a reason to lie to me, my partner would. I wonder if youre friend wouldve gotten more mad at you if you DIDNT tell her, cause then she may think you have something to hide when in fact you dont, you just didnt want to hurt her, but would she buy that? Its a hard call to make. Im glad though that eventually you both made up and are again friends, so thats a happy ending.:-) and at least she knows she can truely trust you cause of what happened too. Thanks for your story and for sharing.
• United States
11 Jan 09
i wouldnt tell the partner because its really not my place to. Unless my friend ask me to or Im friends with the partner and I think that he/she is a good person other than that it should be the responsibility of my friend to let the partner know whats going on.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Well very rarely does the cheater tell the one theyre cheating on about it, which is the whole purpose behind it, the secrecy. But I would maybe, depending on the situation, tell the one whos cheating how I felt, trying to talk them out of continuing the cheraid (sp?), in hopes of them not telling me to mind my own business lol. Thanks.
• United States
11 Jan 09
I absolutely would not tell their partner if they were cheating. While it is not a behavior that I condone, it is also none of my business what somebody else is doing. That said, I wouldn't stand by and do nothing. I would confront my friend, without being judgmental, and encourage her to either stop cheating or tell her partner. I would just try to be there for her and listen to her, so that she would have someone to vent to while she figures out what it is she wants out of life, or rather who she wants to be with.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Yeah I think its important to know what our own boundaries are, to not interfere in what isnt our business. That way it keeps us out of the situation. I think trying to talk to your cheating friend in confidence is important though so they can maybe realize what mistake theyre making if they dont think what theyre doing is wrong and so they knew I didnt approve, but they still have to live their own life without me meddling in. I think being there for them to vent is good cause youre not judging them by their actions and youre being a true friend. Hopefully having you there just to listen will help clear their heads and help them realize they have to stop doing it or yes, make a choice of who they want to be with. Thanks for your comment.
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
I don't know what you mean by "its obvious theyre cheating..." Seeing the subject friend once or twice with a person who is not his/her spouse would not raise any alarm bells with me. I would give them the benefit of the doubt and consider such meetings as pure chance or job-related. A third meeting, however, would be too much of a coincidence. But I will not jump to conclusions as yet. In fact I would try to join the table of my friend who is with the other person. I will act naturally and try to get more details of the person, the reason for the third meeting, potential future meetings, dates, venues, etc., all indirect, all diplomatic, all James Bond style, to avoid embarassing my friend. If both my friend and the other party would show embarassment, then that will raise further alarm bells. But since I have no reason for any conclusion beyond the fact of the three meetings, I will talk to the spouse of my restaurant-going friend and try to get him/her to get out more often together with each other, to get more involved with each other, and to provide a little bit more tender loving care to the other person who has been "having dinner with someone..." Again indirect, diplomatic, James Bond style, if you know what I mean. Under the circumstances you have cited, that is as far as I will go.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
To clarify my statement, what I meant was if you see a friend of yours or their spouse/partner having dinner with someone whos not their partner and if they are behaving in a way that is inappropriate, for example, like sitting very close to each other or showing open affection in public, basically anything that they shouldnt be doing with that person cause its not their spouse, would be obvious signs that they are cheating. Anything other than that, I agree, could be pure chance or perhaps job related since there are employers who take potential employees out for lunch to discuss matters. I know a friend of mine who indeed did that. She unfortunately and surprisingly didnt get the job, but that is very possible. In that case though, you wouldnt (or shouldnt) see any inappropriate behavior going on, so thats not what I was referring to, just so you know. You have a very interesting approach and very productive way of 'finding out' what the story is by joining in with their dinner tho, acting very cool about it all until you have a reason not to be, if they show embarrassment, and yes, that would be a clear cut sign of wrong doing happening I would think, unless one of the people, say the stranger or the one theyre cheating with gets embarrassed easily or blushes easily, but thats not very common. I also think going to the other partner to encourage more bonding is a good thing cause youre trying to help the relationship stay strong and offering some good tips on how to improve things, as long as its not out of the ordinary, making it look suspicious to them as to why youre telling them this. Good points. Thanks for your input.
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
I guess friendship would dictate that I don't go directly to my friend's partner but I would definitely talk to my friend about the cheating she is doing. I would tell her straightout that I would never betray her but that I strongly disapprove her cheating on her partner.
@jenrl17 (420)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Thats a good way to handle it. To try and talk to them separately or privately about it, just advising them to either stop or not do it as often. That way youre offering some advice and at the same time telling them how you feel about it, that you disapprove but youre still staying out of it really. Plus that tells them your position on the topic for the future. Thanks for your input.