Should You Tell Your Friend His Girlfriend Is Cheating on him?
How to Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating
Can you think of a more awkward and uncomfortable situation than knowing your friend’s partner is cheating and deciding if and how you should tell? Probably not. It may seem like a clear-cut situation, but there’s a lot to consider before sharing what you know. Start by making sure you really need to break the news. Then, have a compassionate conversation with your pal. Afterwards, be sure to care for yourself emotionally, if the fallout is negative.
Making the Decision to Tell
Be sure.Before you jump the gun and start dialing your friend to tattle, make sure what you saw was actually cheating. You’ll stir the pot for no good reason if it turns out your friend’s partner is simply having lunch with a coworker or a distant relative. Carefully evaluate what you saw just in case you are reading into something completely innocent.
- Was there hand-holding, hugging, or kissing involved? What about the interaction makes you think your friend’s partner is cheating?
Consider what you know about the relationship.You must be willing to acknowledge the idea that your friend and their partner have an open relationship. Such relationships, in which both partners agree to date other people, are becoming increasingly more common. You could be assuming their partner is cheating, when they actually have permission to see other people.
Weigh the pros and cons.Consider the ramifications of sharing what you know. You might automatically feel like telling is the “right” thing to do, but it may not be what’s best for your friend. Spend some time pondering the ups and downs of telling them.
- Make a pros and cons list that outlines the positives and negatives associated with breaking the news to your friend. A pro might be “She’ll know her partner’s unfaithful.” Cons might include “She’ll be angry at me for delivering the news” or “She is already fragile from being cheated on in the past. The news will ruin her.”
Put yourself in your friend’s shoes.Another way to make this decision is by using empathy. Ask yourself what your friend would do if they were in this position. Consider what you know about your friend, their personality, and their beliefs.
- Are they a champion of being honest? Do they have trouble believing anything negative about their partner?
- Use what you know to consider how your friend might respond to the news and whether telling is the best decision.
Talking to Your Friend
Choose the right time and place.Disclosing sensitive information to a friend is distressing enough. Avoid doing it right away or when you are still angry. Wait until you have calmed down and decided what you will say. Choose a time when you and your friend are alone.
- Instead of breaking the news in a public place such as a restaurant that may feel like a fishbowl to your friend, go somewhere private like a park bench or a quiet courtyard.
- Don’t talk to your friend at a time when or at a place where their partner could walk in on the conversation.
Approach the topic by asking about the relationship.You might ease into the topic by asking your friend how the relationship is going. Starting here may also give you an opening to bring up the infidelity.
- For example, you might say, “How are things with you and Brittany?” Use your friend’s response to determine how you approach the subject.
- If they believe things are good, you might say, “Hmm…Well, maybe I misread the situation…”
- If they admit things have been rocky, you might say, “I’m sorry to hear that, but that’s why I wanted to talk to you…”
Ask if they’d like to see your evidence.Don’t automatically assume your friend wants to see proof. They may need to process the news before being forced to see pictures or watch a video. Let them know that you have it, if they’d like to see it.
- You might say, “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing so I took a picture. I have it, if you’d like to see.”
Caring for Yourself after the Talk
Assume your friend may distance themselves.Even if you plead with them not to push you away, your friend may still do so. They may want space from you, as the bearer of bad news. Plus, if they choose not to leave their partner, they may prefer not to be reminded of the cheating by seeing or talking to you.
- Signs of avoidance might be that they stop answering your phone calls or constantly be "busy" when you try to make plans.
- Expect that they might react this way and know that there isn’t anything you can do about it.
Vent to an unbiased friend.It may help to talk the situation over with someone you trust after you’ve told your friend. You might decide to do this if you are hurt by their reaction towards you or if you simply need advice about how to move forward. Be sure to choose someone unrelated to the situation who doesn’t’ know your friend or their partner.
Perform self-care.Be gentle with yourself and keep in mind that you did what you thought was best for your friend. Don’t beat yourself up if they seem to resent you for telling. Take some time to nurture your physical and mental health and well-being.
- While you may regret telling your friend because of the stress and conflict it has caused, remember that withholding such important information from your friend may have been just as stressful.
- Be sure to get plenty of rest, eat nutritious meals, and get regular exercise.
- You might also perform calming activities like visiting a spa, meditating, taking a warm bath, reading a book, or going for a hike outdoors.
QuestionI want to tell my friend her partner is cheating but I am afraid he will literally kill me. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCollect evidence to prove to her that he is cheating, then create a plan with her to get her out of the abusive relationship. If he threatens you, contact the police immediately.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my best friend's girlfriend is cheating on him with my other best friend and I know about it? Do I tell my best friend and possibly make the other one hate me or keep it a secret from him?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell him. If your other friend hates you, it's his fault. He shouldn't have cheated with the other's girlfriend.Thanks!
QuestionMy husband has been secretly seeing his ex over 8 years. He says they are only friends, and insists that he was never physical with her. I do not know if I can believe him. What do you think?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, I don't think you should believe him. As they say, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. If they were only friends he wouldn't have hid the relationship from your for all that time. You can do better girl!Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if my friend is getting catfished and I know it?Community AnswerTell your friend.Thanks!
QuestionMy boyfriend's friend is cheating on his girlfriend, but my boyfriend would be furious with me if I spoke to his friend about it. How could I explain it to him without potentially damaging our relationship?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHonestly if his friends are more important than you, you need to move on to someone who would put you over their friends. If he would get angry with you for trying to be honest and good then dump him. If your boyfriend was cheating on you, wouldn't you want someone to tell you?Thanks!
QuestionMy friend has a crush on my boyfriend's best friend, but my boyfriend says he is a player and he would hurt her. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell her the truth about the guy. She might be sad in the beginning, but it's better for you to be honest with her and try to help her avoid getting hurt.Thanks!
QuestionMy best friend has been with his girlfriend for almost 2 years and she has cheated on him. I showed him proof and he doesn't believe me. I've let it go, but is there anything else I can do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, there really isn't. It's his right to ignore the evidence if he chooses. If you're a really good friend, you'll just accept his decision and when she breaks his heart (which she almost certainly will), be there for him (without saying "I told you so").Thanks!
QuestionMy wife is having a Facebook love affair with her high school sweetheart. I can't fight it. I asked her where has he been these 35 years? She says he was always thinking of her.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWell, you two need to work something out. You can't stop your wife from feeling whatever she may feel for someone else, regardless of how irrational it may seem to you or how painful it may be. And presumably, you don't want to be with someone who isn't faithful. So divorce would seem like the right thing for both of you here. But if for some reason you'd both prefer to maintain a sham of a marriage, so be it. Just communicate and make your feelings and intentions clear.Thanks!
QuestionI think my friend's boyfriend is cheating on her. He goes on trips 4 hours away, comes home late a lot, and only sleeps with her about once a week, if that. Should I tell her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt might go badly for you if you tell her directly what you suspect, because it sounds like you don't have any proof, just some legitimate concerns. Try to get HER to admit that SHE suspects something. For example, next time she's complaining about him, say something like, "So where do you think he is when he comes home late? Do you believe his excuses?" Once she has turned the conversation in that direction, then you can let her know your opinion.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend is about to go on a date with this girl, but she's seeing another guy too and he doesn't know. She said she will keep seeing the other guy even if they start dating. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to tell him about it. It is his choice if he wants to still be in that relationship or not, but it sounds unhealthy to me.Thanks!
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