When to butt in and make a clean breast of it

2009-10-02 12:35

CHEATING is one of those subjects on which we’re all supposedly experts. Each of us thinks he knows why people cheat, what type of person gets cheated on and how to handle cheaters once they’re caught.

We think we know all of these things until we find ourselves confronted by an infidelity scenario that is decidedly not hypothetical. When a buddy cheats or is being cheated on, things get cloudier, murkier and more complicated.

Do you report your buddy’s indiscretions to his significant other? Do you keep quiet or lie to protect him out of a sense of loyalty? What about if you spot a buddy’s girlfriend cheating? How do you break the news?

When a buddy cheats

Don’t expose him

Ratting out your buddy when he cheats is pretty sketchy. Even though what he did was wrong, and even though he probably deserves to suffer the consequences for his boneheaded behaviour you don’t want to take ­matters into your own hands.

Nobody likes a tattletale. And while you don’t want to help him cover up his indiscretion, you don’t necessarily want to be the one to shine the light on his dirty little secret either.

That said, there are a few circumstances in which this rule does not apply.

If your buddy is dating a member of your family, or if you are closer to his significant other than you are to him, you should feel obligated to expose him.

Confront him

Let him know you think it’s uncool, and encourage him to resolve the situation ­either by ending his relationship or by ­coming clean to his significant other.

Address the issue man-to-man rather than handling matters behind his back. Good friends are able to level with each other, and call one another on poor decisions and bad behaviour. Tell him what’s what and he’ll appreciate your honesty.

Keep it to yourself

Once you’ve talked things over with your cheating friend, you’ve done your part so don’t talk about it with other friends.
Just shut up. If word gets out, you’ll inevitably be identified as the source of the leak.

Don’t be an accomplice

You’re likely going to be uncomfortable when a buddy cheats, so tell him upfront that you’re not going to lie for him. Make it clear that while you’re not going to call the relationship cops on him, you’re also not going to drive the getaway car.

When a buddy is cheated on

Tell him

If you know that your buddy is being cheated on, you have to tell him. Put yourself in his shoes. Would you want to be in the dark while a buddy knew your significant other was running around on you? No.

Have proof

When you do tell your buddy, come prepared. Depending on how crazy he is about his girlfriend, your word might not be enough to ­convince him. You don’t need photographic evidence or anything, but you need to be absolutely sure.

Be certain before making any ­accusations. You might consider bringing another friend along to backup your story.

Prepare for the backlash

Recognise that your buddy may be defensive about his significant other. After all, there’s probably a reason he hasn’t noticed the signs of a cheating girlfriend on his own.

He might get hostile, in fact, he might even temporarily terminating your friendship. This is a risk you have to take as a friend.
When a buddy cheats or is being cheated, you may find yourself inadvertently and unwillingly involved. With a little consideration though, you can help mitigate the consequences for yourself and keep the drama to a minimum. – askmen.com

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