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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!!


OP posts:
TondelayoSchwarzkopf · 03/04/2011 21:12

Emigration not so bad. NZ has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Wink

Anyway - I think betraying a female friend and grassing on someone over a matter that does not personally concern you is worse than doing nothing but I realise I am in the minority on threads which to me often resemble The Scarlet Letter.

WereOffToSeeTheWizard · 03/04/2011 21:16

betraying a female friend ??
Yeah sisterhood and all that !
I'd hope you're in the minority with that warped sense of logic

scottishmummy · 03/04/2011 21:22

hell no,this isn't a gals stick together thing,its a she's a duplicitous shagger thing

WereOffToSeeTheWizard · 03/04/2011 21:33

Couldn't have put it better myself scottish

Quattrocento · 03/04/2011 21:37

I have no doubt that it is serious and equally no doubt that it was not a one-off. During our 5-minute conversation she managed to relay that there had been many occasions (had not seen her for a month and she'd spent two weeks of that in NZ). I'll spare you the rest of the details.

OP posts:
MsScarlett · 03/04/2011 21:49

Very selfish of her. She's off-loading her guilt on to you and putting you in a terrible position. YANBU. Why is she staying with him if she clearly doesn't love him or respect the poor guy, I assume they are not married or have kids? She should stop having her cake and eating it IMO.

fromheretomaternity · 03/04/2011 21:52

Hm, have you considered the possibility that he might know her email password, or be looking over her shoulder when she clicks the email open?

Painful I know but I'd say a face to face chat with her is much more appropriate (and more likely to get the desired outcome, ie her realising she really has to come clean)

If you do decide to go with the email, I agree with others that your draft is FAR too softly worded.

YellowDinosaur · 04/04/2011 09:46

What did you decide to do? I am with the majority here that you need to give her an ultimatum to tell him by a certain date and stick to that. You cannot let a close friend uproot his whole life for what is actually a lie.

I have told a friend about her bf cheating (or trying to - with me). She dumped him, he denied it, they got back together and our friendship didn't survive. Still don't regret it though.

FABsBackAndIsWell · 04/04/2011 11:56

Hell I will tell him if you are not going too.

AxisofEvil · 04/04/2011 12:18

Hugely selfish of her and you?re in an awful position. But I?m with the majority here ? you can?t let him uproot his life to the other side of the planet unaware that his girlfriend is cheating on him. You might lose him as a friend but you certainly will if he finds out you knew and didn?t tell him. If DH was having an affair with a friend of mine and other friends knew and didn?t tell me then I?d feel doubly betrayed and humiliated when it all came out.

I?ve had to tell a friend their boyfriend cheated before but I was quite young and it was all very much more casual. I would send lala?s email.

kitbit · 04/04/2011 13:10

Another yes to Lala's mail. Yours was too nice, she'll feel as though she's off the hook.
He needs to know. It's up to you how you achieve that, but he Needs To Know.

Poor you.

redvelvetmooncupcake · 04/04/2011 14:34

I was cheated on by my ex and a "good friend" (ha!). One of the things that hurt me most of all was finding out who knew and had even been facilitating this behaviour. I've got to say that I think those "friends" were even worse than my XP and Xfriend, who at least had something to gain from deceiving me.
No, I am not friends with those "friends" any more, and they fucking deserved to be cut out of my life.
I have also been in the position of knowing my friend's boyfriend was a disgusting creep. I told her, I KNOW she believed me but she decided to cut me out. C'est la vie, I miss her but I can sleep at night. Incidentally she is no longer with the creep...

Sorry but I think you're being very weak over this, and I think she knew you would be and that's why she told you.

lisianthus · 04/04/2011 14:49

Yes to Lala's email.

Think about the up-side and the down-side to HIM of telling him. You have only been thinking of the up-side and the down-side to you. Yes, it is possible that he may be angry with you and embarrassed whether you tell him or not.

However, looking at it from HIS perspective, which you should do if he is a dear friend and you want what is best for him, he will either get the choice to accept what his girlfriend is doing or not accept it, or if you don't tell him, will make a huge life- changing decision without knowing that his GF is cheating on him.

If he already know his GF cheats and you tell him, there is no down-side to him- he'll just say "I know" and laugh it off.

And wouldn't you feel ick telling her that you think she is great, when actually you are furious with her and how she has treated both you and your friend?

LittleOneMum · 04/04/2011 17:29

Ok (deep breath) I am going to stick my neck out and say it: I AGREE WITH XENIA.

I don't think you know enough about what is going on. Long ago, before I was married to DH and had my DCs, I had an affair with someone (DH knows about this now). It wasn't his best mate but it was someone at his work. Looking back, it was the least happy period of my life and the one I am least proud of. I realise now that I was doing it because I was terrified of the future, I knew that DH was going to propose, and I had never had a long term boyfriend before and I thought "Jeez, is this it?"

Instead of being a rational being and dealing with it like an adult, when the opportunity presented itself, I had this sordid affair. I told a friend, who was understandably upset (but was not his friend). Then, after a few months I realised that I loved my DH and came to my senses. I broke off the affair, told DH (who had not yet proposed) and begged forgiveness. I even wrote a letter to his parents to apologise for treating him badly. Bloody luckily he forgave me and then about a year later I proposed and luckily he said yes. Years on, we have a truly happy marriage.

So, yes, I was a complete idiot. Yes, I hurt someone I love. No, the reasons for it did not justify it. BUT it just shows that it is possible to have an affair and for it to be over and for things to be fine before marriage/kids come along. In a very odd way, I don't think our marriage would be as rock solid now if I had not done it and lived with the doubts.

So maybe ASK her first about what she is doing. Don't tell him yet. Give her a chance to make this come good.

Katiekitty · 04/04/2011 18:08

OP Quattro

Grow a pair FFS

What will you do when he calls you - one of his best friends - to say, oh no, his beloved has been shagging about with his best friend - and he turns to YOU, his other good friend to weep and let free with the sadness and...

... and you say: yes, I knew.

What do you think your friend would feel, think, say?

Are you involved with a DP? How would you feel if it was you?

And, BTW, your first email is kissing her arse. Tell her like it is. Or is she so ickle and cute and will crumble to dust because she deserves to be shagging about while in a relationship.

I am disappointed in you

Quattrocento · 04/04/2011 19:21

Thank you all for your advice

There seem to be three camps here

  1. Do nothing

2. Have a strong word with her
3. Tell him

I was in the first camp when I started this thread, for a bit of a rant. I'm in the second camp now.
OP posts:
Sanesometimes1 · 04/04/2011 20:10

Good luck Quattro - can you come back to us and let us know the outcome ?

Quattrocento · 04/04/2011 20:31

Will do :) Thanks all

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ThierryHenryismyBoyfriend · 04/04/2011 20:40

I would phone the BF and ball him out, and get him to grow a set and admit what he's up to.
Quattro, you're in a difficult position buy don't let him move to the other side of the world and then find out.

Northeastgirl · 04/04/2011 21:31

Your draft email is way too friendly and affectionate.

Far better to say "You've put me in a very awkward position.........." ie emphasise that all this comes from her, as opposed to "I feel very awkward about this..."

Often the perceived wisdom in these situations is that you should stay quiet as you don't know what happens in other people's relationships. I've always struggled with that, as I don't see how you can keep quiet about something so major. Think you need to accept that if you tell him, you may lose his friendship as he will feel so awkward with you, but on the other hand, it would be more of a betrayal if he later discovers that you knew all about this and kept quiet.

Quattrocento · 04/04/2011 21:55

Okay I have sent a much tougher email. Much tougher. Ditzy girl.

Waiting with some trepidation for a response. Will keep you posted.


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tiredfeet · 04/04/2011 22:14

You were very brave, and in my opinion a good friend to him. I have been really hoping you would not just keep quiet, I think it really matters to me as much as I love dh and my life here, I am conscious of how much I gave up when I gave up my dream job and moved away, and I really feel he doesn't deserve to be doing so on basis of a lie.

BecauseImWorthIt · 04/04/2011 22:19

Well done, Quattro - not an easy thing to do at all.

freebreeze · 04/04/2011 22:24

She's a selfish soul. She's really put you in the middle.

But the thing is, you do know now and I do really think it IS your place to tell him. You're his friend. If you aren't supposed to tell him, who is?

Please don't let him bumble along like a fool with this women - you can't do that, hard as it will be for you, you have to tell hi so that he can move on and stop wasting his life x

BitOfFun · 04/04/2011 22:49

Good for you, Quattro- I think that was the right thing to do.

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