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AIBU to think it is incredibly inconsiderate to tell a chum about having an affair

372 replies

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 15:38

Because I am just steaming about this. The scenario is that two friends of ours are in a long term relationship. He was our friend first and he's absolutely lovely. We met his earlier girlfriends, but he was always a bit non-committal with them. He is clearly head over heels about his current long-term girlfriend. Absolutely smitten. They've been together around 6 years.

So last night, in a moment of drunken indiscretion she chooses to confide in me that she is having an affair with his best friend.

And now she has made me complicit in deceiving him and I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THIS SECRET AND I AM FUMING!!


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spamm · 03/04/2011 17:16

My gut feel is that you have to tell him. If he is your friend first and foremost, then you owe it to him. And you do not really want t be her friend any more, do you? Only you know how you feel on that one.

What about if you tell her that she either has to tell him or you will? Imagine the betrayal of them going on holiday, all three together. Sounds awful.

And I agree that the worst would be if he found out and then found out that you knew. He would never be able to trust you again!

Good luck, this sounds like a horrible catch 22.

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 17:17

Ouch! It's not about me at all, I agree.

Thing is, this friend, he's a clever bloke. And not naive. His behaviour to his previous girlfriends has not been above reproach (not to this one AFAIK). He might already actually know and have taken this on board. In that sort of situation, would you want a well-meaning but interfering friend taking you to one side?

I honestly can't tell him.

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atswimtwolengths · 03/04/2011 17:17

Tell him.

I was in that position (being cheated on and people knew) - I felt betrayed by my partner and even more betrayed by so called 'friends' who knew but didn't tell me. I couldn't make a free choice about my own life.

This poor man is thinking of emigrating with someone who isn't only unfaithful, isn't only unfaithful with his best friend, but tells other people gleefully.

He deserves one friend, doesn't he? Looks like it should be you.

BreakOutTheKaraoke · 03/04/2011 17:18

Can you speak to your DH, get him to speak "man-to-man" to his friend? Anonymous email, maybe, or is that a crap idea?

NoWayNoHow · 03/04/2011 17:18

quattro this isn't about what you can or cannot bring yourself to do - your "dear friend" is planning on moving half way around the world with someone who's cheating on him.

If it were me, and I found out that a friend knew about the situation and said nothing I would never, never, never forgive that friend. Ever.

You need to issue an ultimatum in the first instance to the girlfriend - "tell him, or I will". Hopefully this should be enough to get her to come clean and prevent him from making a mistake that he's blatantly already having doubts about.

However, if she DOESN'T tell him, you have to follow through with the ultimatum. It's the least your friend deserves.

NoWayNoHow · 03/04/2011 17:31

x-post quattro - your excuses sound very weak, imho. Of course he wouldn't know what's going on! Just because he's "clever, and not naive" doesn't mean he knows his girlfriend is cheating on him. That implies that men/women who get cheated on and don't know aren't smart enough to figure it out Confused

Even if ( and this is a MASSIVE no way if) he does know about it, he wouldn't for a moment begrudge a friend trying to give him a heads up.

Interfering and well-meaning is my grandmother when she tells me how cold my DS must be in the middle of summer.

This is a whole different ballpark, and your talking to him is in no way interfering.

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 17:36

You seriously think I should tell him? Seriously? He's my age (44), she's a fair bit younger. He might be thinking that, well, she needs to do this sort of thing. He might know already and be toughing it out. In which case, other people knowing and interfering (beitsoever in a well-meaning way) is a shit thing

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Xenia · 03/04/2011 17:39
  1. He may never find out. Women are better at hiding things than men apparently. He may never know. She will leave the lover in the UK and go with him abroad and have a family and live happily ever after.

2. She isn't but was just pretending - you can't know that.
3. He might know but loveh er so much he doesn't want it in the open because he doesn't want to deal with it and he's agreed to go abroad so that she is away from the lover.
4. He has 4 other lovers whom she knows all about and this is her revenge.

or 5. He may beat her up or all kinds of awful things and she seeks solace elsewhere not that that's a defence but we don't know.

or 6 He may have told her she can because he cannot manage to have sex and he wants to keep her.

In other words you know nothing about their situation so it is probably best to do nothing.
BelleDameSansMerci · 03/04/2011 17:39

Or he may know nothing and be thinking that this is the love of his life and worth wrecking his career over. I think you're making excuses because you don't want to tell him.

Usually, I'd agree that it's not your place to tell him but not in this scenario. He has so much to lose. Imagine him finding out when he's on the other side of the world...

goodbyemrschips · 03/04/2011 17:41

Tell him but be prepared for a fall out.

ENormaSnob · 03/04/2011 17:45

What belle said.

If a friend didn't tell me my dh was having an affair I would be devastated and the friendship over.

tiredfeet · 03/04/2011 17:46

Speaking as someone who gave up their dream job to just move to the other end of the country for DH, of course you must tell him (or tell her to). It is a huge life change to make and it is not fair for him to be making it in these circumstances. Of course he deserves to know. I would have wanted someone to tell me.

FABsBackAndIsWell · 03/04/2011 17:52

I am interested to know why you posted if you are adamant you can't tell him.

My advice would be to text him and say you have something you have to tell him that his girlfriend has told you and then it will never be mentioned again by you unless he wants to talk. Then tell him she is shagging his mate but in kinder words. You have no option but to tell him really if you are his friend.

Oblomov · 03/04/2011 17:53

The immigration thing to NZ , puts a totally different slant on things. God, I would want to know. I pray that any of my friends would tell me.

beesimo · 03/04/2011 17:53

In my experience people don't let things 'slip out' they tell you what they want you to know. I think the moxt likely thing is that she wants you to tell you friend.

  1. She may feel guilty and want him to find out so he can forgive her.

2. She may want to finish with him and be using you as a means to a end

3. She may be a right bitch and want to punish him for a percieved wrong ie 'it was your fault I had a affair as you haven't been paying me enough attention'

People who have affairs aren't innocent they are devious deciteful creatures and I have no doubt she is now spinning a web to include you in her schemes and plots. Don't go along with the dollymot, next time she starts wanting to 'confide' in you tell her straight you couldn't give a damn and your not interested in her sordid personal life and pathetic dramatics.

Then just try to be 'there' for your friend when he has to pick up the pieces of his life
flyingspaghettimonster · 03/04/2011 17:55

ugh - YANBU - what a shitty thing for her to do. I'd tell her I couldn't keep a secret like that from him so she ought to do the right thing and tell him herself. Or, do you know his best friend, the guy involved? maybe facebook/email him and tell him you know and want him to tell him so you don't have to...

Don't envy you :-( But if it were me being cheated on, I would want to know, whoever told me.

Oblomov · 03/04/2011 17:56

Come on Quattro, you know WWIFN is tre Queen , on these things. Grow a pair of bollocks and tell her that you will tell him, if she doesn't. But you will have to mean it, you will HAVE to , if she doesn't.
You know that this is the right thing to do, don't you, so why are you quibbling ?

SugarPasteFrog · 03/04/2011 18:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shimmerysilverglitter · 03/04/2011 18:11

I would be tempted to pretend I was so drunk when told that I don't remember her saying anything .

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 18:13

I don't know, this is hard. Any one of Xenia's options might be correct. As well as knowing too much, I don't know enough to barge in like a bull in a china shop.

See this girl, she's so unlike me that I find it hard to work out her motivations. I think she is liberal and broad minded and fun but pretty uneducated and not career minded at all. She works in a shop, he's a fairly senior consultant. I don't think she's after him for his money but it's possible, I suppose. But perhaps that's part of the deal - money for youth, maybe? And the trade-off is that youth will have its fling.

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FABsBackAndIsWell · 03/04/2011 18:22

I haven't heard anything so ridiculous for a long time.

You say this man is your friend. If that is the case how can you stay quiet while he is made a fool of by his girlfriend and his best mate?

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 18:22

Now the sexual health thing that WWIFN raised is bothering me as well

See my friend's best friend is a bit promiscuous. Well a lot, tbh. But he is single so that's his prerogative.

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Northernlurker · 03/04/2011 18:23

You have to tell him or be sure this is at an end because if it doesn't end and they have a child THEN it really will be too late. It's not just the moving to New Zealand - your friend's lifelong happiness could be at stake here. I know someone who found they weren't the father of a child they thought was theirs - they NEVER got over it, never got half way near over it. It broke their heart though it didn't change their love for the child. Better to upset him now than for all of you to live with that sort of thing. I think your dh should talk to the best friend and you should talk again to this woman. If that doesn't work then you should talk to your friend.

Oblomov · 03/04/2011 18:34

Agree with FAB. Come on Quattro, is this some sort of bloody joke. Gf with BF is the apsolute ultimate betrayal.
One of our closest friends, her dh is now with her bf. I don't know which is worse for her. She has been married for 20 years and best freinds with this woman for 20 years aswell. Could it get any worse. This would be too much, and I really mean, TOO MUCH, for me to bear.
She sounds a dozey. I mean a consultant with some dipsy 20 year old. and he is a commitment phobe. And the bf is a twat clearly. Your consultant friend has very bad taste, doesn't he, come on. apart from being friends with you, obviously !!

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 18:52

Sorry, FAB, missed your earlier post and only just caught up. Can you not see that I am frightened of telling him? It honestly never occurred to me to tell him before posting this thread (which was a rant because clearly I cannot tell anyone in RL without putting them in the same unenviable position that I am in).

Okay, you all really think I should tell him?

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