The only thing worse than knowing your friend is being cheated on is being cheated on and not knowing it! Here’s what to do if you know your friend’s boyfriend is cheating…
Here’s what Xena (not her real name) asks:
“A friend of mine has a great boyfriend. She’s been cheating on him for a really long time, over a year. I know he doesn’t deserve that and I want to do something about it. I have talked to her about it but she does not get the message. I really think he deserves to know because he so in love with a girl who is treating him like he is worthless behind his back. What should I do?” – on Can Trust Your Boyfriend After He Cheated? 5 Ways to Tell.
I definitely without a doubt think she should tell her guy friend that his girlfriend is cheating on him.
Here’s what I would do if my friend’s boyfriend or husband was cheating on her, and she didn’t know it:
Give the cheater fair warning that you’re telling your friend
I’d tell the cheater that I can’t know he’s cheating and not say anything to my friend. I’d give him a few days to tell her the truth, and then I’d go ahead and talk to her about it. This wouldn’t be an easy conversation – I’d be causing my friend great pain. I’d also wonder if “ignorance is bliss.” Maybe my friend would be better off not knowing that her boyfriend is cheating on her?
Remember who is causing the pain
I’d remind myself that I’m not the one who is cheating. I’m not the cause of this pain; the cheater is. I’d also consider the other types of pain the cheater is exposing his girlfriend to, such as sexually transmitted diseases and the embarrassment and humiliation of being cheated on (if you know your friend’s boyfriend is cheating, then other people know, too).
Consider an anonymous note
In my current position as a Mentoring Coordinator with Big Brothers, I interview potential volunteers. One of my volunteers recently told me that his friend was cheating on his girlfriend, and he decided he needed to tell the girlfriend – even though he was closer to his friend than the girlfriend. He left an anonymous note in her mailbox, because he couldn’t stand the thought of telling the girlfriend in person. I may use an anonymous note to tell my friend that her boyfriend or husband is cheating. It depends on my friendship and how close we are.
Learn why men cheat
Even though my reader was asking about a girlfriend who was cheating on her boyfriend, I think men are more likely to cheat on women. My husband disagrees with me – he’s had several male friends whose wives and girlfriends cheated on them. But, I think statistically speaking, more cheating happens on the guys’ part.
Knowing why men cheat can help you tell your friend that her boyfriend is cheating on her. It’s not because she’s not pretty or good enough – it’s because he is lacking something (there is no emotional connection in the relationship, or he’s an amoral pig).
Prepare to lose your friend
The road to hell is paved with good intentions! You may think you’re doing the right thing by telling your friend that her boyfriend is cheating, but she may be too hurt to see your sincerity. She may not believe you. She may take her pain and humiliation out on you. She may never want to speak to you again.
It would be terribly sad if you lost your friend because you told her about her cheating boyfriend…but it’s worse to hold this information back. She deserves better than this. You are doing the right thing by telling her.
Reading about how others have coped with similar situations can help your friend deal with her cheating boyfriend – and so can expert advice. Reading articles such as What to Do When You Find Out Your Wife Cheated on You may help. They can help her decide if she should forgive her boyfriend, or if she should hightail it outta there.
What do you think – would you tell your friend if her boyfriend was cheating on her?