Don’t Tell Your Friend Her Husband Is Cheating

But if a wife is cheating on her husband, he has a right to know.

Dear Monica, If you know that your friend’s husband is cheating, should you tell her? — F.P., Chads Ford

Telling a friend about a cheating spouse is a sticky wicket. It’s a good possibility that once you tell her you will not be friends anymore. On the other hand, you can justify divulging the information by telling yourself that it is better to lose a friend and save a family than to remain silent. Personally, I think it is better to stay out of it because the family is not going to be saved anyway considering the father’s lack of morals. If you divulge what you know your friendship will never be the same. As an outsider, stepping foot into someone else’s personal business is most often a lose-lose situation.

Spouses who cheat on each other don’t necessarily end up divorced. Many marriages survive infidelity through therapy and support and friends, family or clergy. Some couples even have open marriages.

In many cases when a husband is cheating the wife knows but turns a blind eye because of lifestyle or convenience. Divorces are very expensive, so she may think that he may not leave her because he can’t afford the legal proceedings. It can be surprising to see which couples decide to officially split. Many stay together, fighting like cats and dogs until the bitter end. You have no idea what the terms the couple has set for their relationships, whether it be an open arrangement of fidelity. It is possible that your friend may simply have put on blinders in order to keep up appearances.

Getting involved only increases the chances that your friend will get mad at you, because if she is not already aware, her husband will deny, deny, deny. Are you prepared to put your friendship on the line? Will you be able to explain to friends why you are no longer connected to this person? The only one who is going to end up frustrated and sad is you. (Does the cliche “no good deed goes unpunished” ring a bell?) Your friend will side with her husband and he will keep on doing what he is doing. Eventually the marriage will probably dissolve on its own, but your friend will not come back and admit you were right. You will be shunned by her, the circle around her, and also by her ex and the circle around him. Contrary to popular belief, no one wants to hear the truth, and when they do, we all know that it is the messenger that takes the bullet.

The only time I am actually in favor of getting involved and telling a friend that their spouse is cheating is when a woman is cheating on her husband. I honestly believe that women have a sixth sense and know exactly what is going on and that men have absolutely no clue. So for the guys who are reading this, if you have a buddy and you know his wife is straying, clue him in since he has no idea. He will actually value your candor. Also know that the friendship between the guys will last since men, unlike women, don’t hold grudges forever.

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  • joanie b

    I value your opinion – however, in my family, my husband is much more in-tune and if I were cheating, he’d know in a minute. So I disagree with your final thought – it is all contingent on the situation. Additionally, if I were extremely close with either party, I would tell the cheating partner that I knew he or she were cheating and that it is time to tell their spouse themselves be honest. If they de-friend me for caring, so be it. Life is short. Putting my own butt on the line is something I can get over and if I lose a friend because of it, then that friendship proabably wasn’t solid.

  • allyson05

    Oh give me a break! If my best friend’s husband was cheating on her and I knew about it I think she’d be more upset with me for not telling her than telling her. If she was upset with me she’d come around eventually-knowing I was coming from a caring place and just looking out for her. I would accept whatever decision she made about the situation. Wouldn’t you want to know if it was you?

    I read your posts because the headlines usually draw me in, but I’m disappointed by the content every time. You sell women short and that’s sad.

  • Alicia

    OK. This article is a ridiculous over generalizing one. Not to mention judgmental and sexist crap. I wouldn’t forgive my friend for not telling me. When you withhold information or outright lie to someone about something big like cheating, you take away their RIGHT to make an informed choice. Essentially you imprison them with lies be it outright or a lie of omission. Nope. Not cool. And it makes no sense that you give woman credit on one hand for their intuition but on the other you bash them as shallow witches who shoot messengers! Not buying what you are selling. Sorry. Cheating is wrong either sex committing the act and knowing about a cheater and not telling the victim is equally as wrong. It’s called by-stander apathy and it’s a disgustingly selfish behavior that needs to be abolished along with cheating.

  • susanq

    keep your nose out of other people’s business