So your friend is being cheated on. You saw his or her other half out with someone else and it was obvious they weren’t just chatting about last night’s TV. What do you do? Tell your friend because surely they have a right to know? Or keep quiet because it’s none of your business?
First off, this is a horrible and difficult position for you to be in, and unsurprisingly there’s no straightforward answer. Whatever you do, it’s likely to have consequences and you could cop the fallout. That’s true even if you say nothing. Suppose your friend finds out about the infidelity and then realizes that you knew all along? “You mean you knew and you didn’t tell me!”, they might say – “how could a friend do that?” You could start by trying to ask yourself as a guide how you think you’d feel in your friend’s situation – would you want to know?
You’ll no doubt be worried about hurting your friend. Telling them may seem like the ‘right’ thing to do, but is it the ‘good’ thing to do? . It may also be worth considering how close a friend that person is to you. Would they appreciate this news coming from you if you don’t really spend much time together, and how hurt would they be that you kept it quiet if you usually share everything with one another?
You should also consider whether you have all your facts straight. How much firm evidence do you really have? Could you have misread the situation? Another concern is that you may have no idea if the couple have some kind of arrangement; either an open marriage or a “don’t ask/don’t tell” kind of set up. Perhaps your friend has a suspicion but is in denial and doesn’t want to confront it. Be the harbinger of this bombshell and it may stick to you. If the couple decides to make a go of it after an affair they may see you as a reminder of it and you could find yourself scapegoated for it and given the cold shoulder as a result.
Of course, whilst you’re deliberating all of this, it’s best to avoid telling other mutual friends about the situation. One of the hardest things about discovering an affair can be the humiliation that many people feel when they find out they were the last ones to know. With this said, you must also think of your own mental wellbeing – this is likely to cause you stress and anxiety so it might be worth finding somebody safe to offload to. Just make sure it’s a person who doesn’t know your friend and be careful not to reveal any names.