Should you tell her…
You’re out with some friends at a bar early Friday evening. It’s happy hour, so the room is filled to the brim with after work attitudes and folks trying to mix and mingle before the weekend officially arrives. You’re a social butterfly, so making the rounds throughout the room are necessary for you in order to meet the needs of your networking appetite. You start to excuse yourself from the table then step casually to the left. You leave your friends alone at the bar while you bounce happily between each corner of the room pausing only for light conversation.
Then your eyes spot him, but you’re all by yourself witnessing the impossible. You’re the only one who sees him. And no, he doesn’t see you glancing in his direction because he’s too busy occupied by the affections of her. Directly in the archway there he stands before you. Arm and arm with another woman, that looks nothing like your friend, who seven days out of the week headlines as his official girlfriend. A tiny scream of alarm gets lodged into the pockets of your throat as you meditate on the possibility that your best friends man is cheating on her.
But wait, you tell yourself. Maybe she’s just a coworker, to whom which his arm is graciously interlocked with, that is in need of a gentlemanly attempt to help balance a bad ankle or steady an alcohol induced stumble. He is Mr. Perfect, as your friend so often states, right? Yet it would be easier to clarify the situation had she also come to the bar that evening with you. The explanation of his actions could be summed up without words had her own eyes fallen upon the sketchy incident with her boyfriend.
But as you allow your mind to playfully discredit your general common sense by playing the devil’s advocate in a sticky situation, your trip down “What if” Avenue, takes a drastic detour to the obvious when he goes in for a sensual kiss… Now it’s quite clear, he is in fact, cheating on your friend.
Should you tell her?
That’s one of the first questions most friends have as a reaction to a man’s wayward behavior. Tell her, we often think, but spilling the dirt on an ugly situation might not deliver the results our good intentions were ever expecting. Shining the ugly truth on your friend’s sour relationship might actually prompt her into leaving. But while you’re aiming the spotlight on infidelity, you might want to consider the alternative that lurks within realities shadow. If the message you’re delivering is not one she is ready to accept, your friendship might end up on the chopping block while the cheater is left to bask in the glory of getting a second chance at what should’ve always been a solid relationship.
Before you opt to tell her you may want to weigh the pros and cons first and truly examine the type of person you’re delivering the message to.
Pro: If your friend is like your sister, “thick as thieves” or closer to you than a whisper, then hearing about her boyfriends indiscretions would not only prompt her to ignite an Angela Bassett fire, but also gain you an award for upholding your end of the sisterhood. Choosing not to tell her might be considered an infraction on your “Do you tell your Girlfriend Everything?” relationship if later on she found out you knew of his negative actions before she did. She’ll also likely return the favor if she ever catches your man stepping out on you too.
Con: If your friend is the type of person who doesn’t give up on her man easily, or has a mentality that makes casual room for cheating slip ups or other negative issues, then telling her about her boyfriends misadventures with another lady, would only be a waste of your breath and likely irritate the bubble she lives in. Why bother.
Pro: If your friend has been a pressure cooker of worry and concern about the wonderment of her boyfriends secret behavior, then telling her what you saw that evening, might give her some restful answers and alleviate a major portion of her insecurity. When a woman is already questioning whether or not her man is cheating, she may be more open to verbal or visual proof from a friend who is willing to give it to her. She’s already seeking information from her man, so if you have the 411, it will counter his continual lies to her.
Con: Sometimes giving out doses of the ugly truth can cause a backlash of unwarranted behavior. Your intentions and honesty may have come from a good place in your heart, but your words are only as good as the recipient feels they are, especially if they don’t believe your story. Infidelity can make people do crazy things, and when exposing it you must be aware of the possible mixed bag of emotions the girlfriend might bring to you. She may turn against you. Say you’re jealous, lying or wish you had a boyfriend as good as hers so that’s why you’re trying to ruin her fairytale relationship. It’s not rare for the messenger to get shot down after a delivery, so be advised when sharing such a mood-altering story. When you’re actively participating in another persons relationship, even if it’s merely as a truth meter, you’re putting yourself directly in the line of fire. When the blame game begins, those who are willing to accept the lie will fire at the one who brought the hurt to them. Someone has to take the fall when others choose to deny a failing relationship, so since you’re the one on the outside looking in, you quickly become the target.
Pro: If your friend is the type of person who can rationally consider the reality that all that glitters isn’t gold, then she may be the type of person to be open to hearing what you have to tell her. Sure, it’ll be hard to stomach, but she’s reasonable enough not to only hear you out, but also talk it over with her cheating boyfriend to cement the facts. If he lies and says it wasn’t him, she’ll still be your friend, but be weary and have her eyes open for her opportunity to catch him in the act for herself. If he admits to his mistake and she chooses not to forgive him, you’ll be saving her from not only a lie, but a myriad of issues that may’ve surfaced later on down the line.
Con: Some women know already what they’re cheating mates are doing. They opt to stay in the bad relationship because for some, it’s easier than starting over again. Maybe they believe all men cheat, so they find no reason to start anew with a man who will likely do the same thing their current partner is doing. Whatever their story, the reality is clear, they already know the situation and are fine accepting his secret. Your bringing them the goods on a platter may be the type of press they aren’t interested in anyone knowing, especially not you. So for you to rain on her parade of lies, due to her embarrassment of choosing not to leave, she may push you away instead, because she fears the negative things you may be thinking about her. In my opinion, when a woman is in a relationship with a man she knows is bad for her, she’ll flock around other women who share her same mentality. Birds of a feather… If you come around disrupting her decision, you will be immediately ousted for trying to redirect her situation even if it is for what you consider the better.
So Clutchettes and Gents, before you choose to “tell her” you might want to think hard over such a serious decision.