In an ideal world, our close ones approve of the things we do and support us. But there will be times when they may have an issue with one of our life choices, so what do you do when your friend is cheating on his girlfriend, his partner, wife? Do you rat him out? do you help him though it, or do you stick for the sisterhood?
A lot of people will go with sticking up for the sisterhood and spilling to his partner, but then, what happens after then. They fight, their relationship probably ends, they date other people and he stills goes on to cheat and above all he still remains your friend.
One of the most common of these events involves infidelity. If a brother cheats, can you still stand behind them?
- Infidelity Changes Relationships
When we become close with someone, we embrace their personality and quirks, so it stands to reason that cheating on a spouse or partner would change the friendship.
The personality traits that we once valued in our friend (such as honesty and faithfulness), can become altered in a friend’s eyes.
More than that, if your friend asks you to cover for them with regard to their infidelity, they are taking advantage of your friendship. Asking you to lie on their behalf pushes the acceptable boundaries.
- Avoid Interrogating Him
Despite your personal beliefs, it is not okay to interrogate him or press to get details of their affair. You can tell them that you are disappointed in their behavior but at the same time it’s not your job to judge them. A better approach is to explain why you are against infidelity, such as: your parent’s marriage ended over an affair, you were affected by infidelity personally, and you feel that this is unfair to their spouse, or you witnessed a friend’s relationship problems over cheating.
- Honoring Your Values While Supporting Him
If he openly tells you he is cheating on their significant other, you have to be honest in telling them how you feel about it. While he might claim that “it’s none of your business,” it will affect your friendship in some way if you’re close. We become friends with people who share our values and outlook, so if someone we’ve included into our social circle is being unfaithful, it will change the way we view them.
If you know your friend’s spouse or partner, this complicates the situation even more. Your friend has put you in a difficult position by telling you about their affair. To support your friend and still maintain your personal values, tell your friend that:
- You care about them and are not judging them.
- You feel strongly about infidelity, and while you support your friend you may need to distance yourself from their behavior. (Note: You are distancing yourself from the behavior and not your friend.)
- You want to help your friend, and will be there for them if they need to talk about things.
You may need to spend time away from your friend for a while. Make sure he knows that you are making the choice because you do not want to be associated with their behavior, but that you hope you two can be good friends again somewhere down the line.
If your friend eventually comes to you after the affair and needs to talk, avoid saying “I told you so” and instead focus on listening and helping them.
I would also keep his girlfriend at arm’s length, or risk feeling really guilty for the things you know every time you hang out with her.
Got any better ideas? Feel free to put them in the comments!