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Is there a 'nice' way of telling someone something that could end their relationship?

(49 Posts)
TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 20:27:04

I (unfortunately) have found out something that could, if 'exposed', end the relationship of a close friend. I don't like knowing this, I wish I didn't know it, but I don't feel like it's something that should/could be ignored.

For purposes of clarity, it does involve one party cheating, and I was given the information inadvertently. Ie, I was not supposed to know and I am now being asked to keep it quiet. I don't know what to do.

Would you tell the wronged partner? This is the person I am closest to in the couple (I only know the other person because they are in the relationship) and the person with whom my loyalty lies. If I was to tell, is there a 'good' or 'nice' way of doing it? I'm thinking no, but hoping someone might have some ideas.


ThePosieParker Mon 19-Sep-11 20:28:08

How long is the relationship?

TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 20:29:10

About 14/15 months.

LadyMary Mon 19-Sep-11 20:29:24

I think it absolutely depends on how good a friend the 'wronged' partner is and what has been going on. Do tell.

puzzlesum Mon 19-Sep-11 20:29:44

Just to be clear, your friend is the cheater, or the cheatee?

RedBlanket Mon 19-Sep-11 20:29:57

Would you want to knowing you were the cheated on person?

TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 20:33:06

The wronged partner is a really good friend, and has been for about 10 years. I don't know if this is relevant, but this is the male half of the relationship.

What happened, in a nutshell, was a one night stand, and the cheater says she was under the influence at the time (not just alcohol).

Yes, I probably would want to know, I would be devastated if DP cheated. I don't know whether that justifies my meddling, even if it is out of concern.

TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 20:33:42

Sorry, my friend is the one cheated on, his girlfriend I only know because of him.

Theala Mon 19-Sep-11 20:37:39

I think in a fairly new relationship, I would say something to a good friend.

If the relationship was more established and/or there were kids, I probably wouldn't.

DoubleDegreeStudent Mon 19-Sep-11 20:38:37

How would you feel if your friend found out from someone else and came to you to be cheered up. Would you be able to still pretend you hadn't known? I think if you ever tell them, you have to do it now. If you think you can get away with never doing it, and are happy to, then don't.

Maybe just say you have heard something and you aren't sure if it's true, but didn't want to keep it to yourself. For what it's worth, I would want to know. And I'd rather a friend told me.

TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 20:38:43

There are no children involved, but they do live together.

TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 20:40:53

This is going to sound like a really bad Hollyoaks plot, but I know because an email was accidentally sent to me that was meant for the girlfriend's friend (we have very similar names). I really don't know how to handle this.

Sorry to drip feed it, I've been thinking about it all day and i'm still no clearer on how or what to do.

She is the one asking me not to say anything.

Xales Mon 19-Sep-11 20:45:34

There is no nice way to tell sorry sad

I would want to know and I have told, it was really really hard to do.

If she is shagging others under the influence within little over a year into their relationship, what is to stop her next time and the time after when she is under the influence. Also she is more likely I would imagine to take risks in this state which could affect his sexual health.

Finally she is not exactly being discreet about it if emailing others!!! Perhaps she wants to find out and thinks subconciously that you will do the nasty deed for her.

Be prepared to be shot as the messenger if you do tell though.

crispface Mon 19-Sep-11 20:45:47

I actually think that makes it easier.

Reply to her and tell her you cannot keep this quiet as you owe your friend more than that. Give her the choice, either she tells him, or you do.

Then speak with your friend in a few days and let him know that you know, and will be there to support him. If she hasn't told him by then, that is her choice isnt it.

SamsGoldilocks Mon 19-Sep-11 20:46:21

Have you thought of contacting her and telling her that actually your loyalty lies with your friend, suggest that she tells him and then inform her if she hasn't done so in a fortnight you will feel that you need to pass on the information

Then the onus is on her to fess up and you are not holding indformation that you are uncomfortable with.

Xales Mon 19-Sep-11 20:47:00

Cowards way would be maybe just to forward the email with a simple 'thought you should know and I am here for you if you need a shoulder'?

buzzskillington Mon 19-Sep-11 20:48:57

I think the tone of the email would affect my decision. Was it worried/guilty/upset about what she'd done or was it boastful/dismissive?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-Sep-11 20:50:18

I have done this. Please don't do it like I did it (as I was a twat).

Tell her she has to tell him or you will. And give her a time to do it by.

Ideally it should come from her.

LittleWhiteWolf Mon 19-Sep-11 20:57:18

If this friend is a real friend then you owe it to them to tell them face to face (with a copy of the email to hand) and with the offer to be there for them. Thats the nicest way you can possibly do this.

CarmenSternwood Mon 19-Sep-11 20:59:32

I would tell him if he is a genuinely close friend and if you know it to be considered a mutually exclusive relationship. They've been together for barely over a year and already she's at it with other people, which is a terrible sign - and the fact that she has only been caught once doesn't mean it has only happened once. I'd definitely do it in this case.

FlubbaBubba Mon 19-Sep-11 21:00:48

Yes, what crispface says

TheOriginalFAB Mon 19-Sep-11 21:06:14

Tell him. He is your friend but might not be if he finds out later you knew and said nothing.

TidyDancer Mon 19-Sep-11 21:07:37

The tone of the email was worried and I think guilty. It was definitely more worried about being found out than anything else I would say. I can't say for certain if it was upset, but I definitely wouldn't say it was proud.

I have to tell him, don't I? In my head, it would go something like "I want you to know that I love you and care about you and therefore I feel that I have to tell you this" and then perhaps show him the email.

I agree, it's a terrible sign that she's cheating. Part of me wants to think that she only did it because she was wasted, but I'm generally a believer that drink/drugs exasperates feelings/behaviour that are already there (ie that they are a catalyst not a cause, IYGWIM).

Bogeyface Mon 19-Sep-11 21:17:55

If she is emailing a friend about it, accidentally sent it to you and is clearly not at all discrete when she has had a few, I am thinking that it would be just a matter of time before he found out anyway.

I would tell him, in the way you describe, giving him a copy of the email so that there can be no accusations of lies from her to you.

LilBB Mon 19-Sep-11 21:24:09

I think you need to tell him but there's no nice way to do it. Just be prepared for the fall out to affect your friendship.

I worked with my husbands best friends girlfriend. We didn't get on that well. I heard through the company grapevine that she had cheated on her boyfriend on a works night out. I then heard it from the horses mouth along with her asking me not to tell DH. I was wracked with guilt. I don't keep secrets from DH and I didn't want it hanging over me. I told DH, who told his best friend. Best friend and his girlfriend decided to stay together and stopped speaking to us.

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