Q: I JUST discovered that my friend's boyfriend is cheating on her.
She's not my best friend and in fact I don't know her very well at all but I know her socially and have for years and she's a really nice woman.
She has been single for a long time and talked of wanting to find a special man and has seemed so happy in the last few months since meeting this new guy.
I don't want to burst her bubble and make her sad by telling her.
I've seen him out with another woman not once but three times.
I'm sure he's cheating.
So should I tell this woman? And if so, how should I do it?
A: This is quite a dilemma.
To tell or not to tell is actually a very personal decision.
In polls of people across the world on hypothetical situations much like this, the split is pretty even between people who would tell, and people who would stay away from being involved.
However a hypothetical situation is very different to a real one.
There's always how we think we would act, and then how we actually do when push comes to shove.
And then there's the nature of the relationship of you to those involved - that can be an important and deciding factor as well.
You say you only know the woman socially and presumably you hardly know the man involved, since you haven't specified, but I'm making a leap of an assumption here.
It's easier to tell yourself that you shouldn't get involved because you're not close with the woman and you have no strong ties of friendship and loyalty to her that would make you feel compelled to tell her.
But then again, aren't even strangers worthy of our compassion and honesty?
For all anyone knows the other woman could have been his wife and the "cheating" is being done by him with your friend (who may or may not know about it).
The point is, unless you're in it, you can't know everything about it, and when you don't know everything in the picture, or at least most of it, making a decision is going to be risky no matter what.
However you may decide intruding on a relationship with your news is better than not speaking up.
All you risk is you being told to mind your own business if you're wrong.
And that might be easier to sleep with than this dilemma.
If you're really torn, you could talk to your woman friend/acquaintance, and find out more about her relationship with this man.
There might present a natural opening for you to drop a few comments and test her reaction to whether she expects monogamy, whether they are in the early non-committal dating stages, how would she feel if he went out with someone else, is she dating anyone else.
Based on her answers, your decision might be a lot easier.
You could also ask her the hypothetical and if she says she would tell, that she would want to know, then there you have your answer.
But as I said, a hypothetical is different from reality and she may regret saying she would or wouldn't want to know once it hits her real life relationship.
Think it through carefully. Good luck.
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