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My friend is having an affair. I’ve been friends with her for years before she met her husband, but consider him a friend as well. They’ve had problems for a while, but she just started this affair a couple of months ago. I hate knowing what she is doing because I feel really bad for him. No one deserves to be cheated on. I want to tell him, but I know it will ruin our friendship, and I don’t know if I even want to be friends with her anymore after all of this. She seems like a different person now that she’s cheating and sneaking around and all she ever does now is talk about how in love she is with this guy and how great the sex is and how she needs to leave her husband but just isn’t ready. I think she’s even used spending time with me as a cover to spend time with him. What do I do? Should I tell her husband or not?Caught in the Middle
I’m sorry you dealing with this unfortunate situation. I know how difficult it can be to figure out what part, if any, you should play in this scenario. I’ll give you my advice on how to communicate with your friend as well as my take on whether or not to tell the husband. Ultimately, you will need to look within and decide what feels best for you.
If you want to salvage the relationship with your friend at all, you need to communicate clear boundaries with her. I suggest writing down everything that bothers you about the affair, her, her husband and then let it sit for a few days, adding or subtracting from the list until you feel like you are able to clearly present your position to her.
When confronting her, try to come from a place of compassion and understanding. This doesn’t mean you approve of what she is doing, it means that you can at least understand that she has been going through a hard time in her marriage and this is her way of acting upon it. Operate from the space of understanding the pain that lies beneath the affair. This will help you communicate in a caring, rather than accusatory manner. People are much more open to receiving when they don’t feel attacked.
Let her know how strongly you feel about what she is doing and tell her you do not want to be involved her affair moving forward. Lay it all on the table. That means whatever you want it to mean. I would suggest, at the very least, telling her that you do not want to hear anything more about it from now on.
Her response is not your issue. Your issue is to extricate yourself from a situation that is making you feel terrible.
As far as telling her husband goes, that is for you to decide. I am a believer in staying out of other people’s relationships. If she continues, he will most likely find out on his own. By telling him, you are inserting yourself onto a gameboard that already includes her, her husband, and the guy she is having an affair with. By telling him, you will almost certainly end the friendship with not only her, but her husband as well. the phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” comes to mind.
Ask yourself why you feel it is so important to tell her husband. What will you gain from telling? What will he gain? What will you lose? What will he lose? What if she decides in a couple of weeks that this affair was the biggest mistake of her life and tells him herself and they salvage their marriage? Who are you to take away that opportunity for healing and growth?
There are always two camps in this situation: tell or don’t tell. Obviously, I am firmly entrenched in the don’t tell camp. That may or may not be the right decision for you. All I ask of you is that you take the time to consider how serious of a decision it is to involve yourself in another’s relationship.
I wish you the best,
Email me your relationship questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gillian Sky Walker believes in you! Her belief that her life’s calling is to be an inspiration and source of encouragement to as many people as possibe led her to create shinygilly.com, where she offers personal growth and wellness videos as Shiny Gilly. Gillian has over 15 years of counseling, teaching and speaking experience. She is the founder of Therapeutic Trance Training and leads several trainings a year, certifying others in this method. Her authentic and dynamic delivery makes wellness accessible and fun for everyone. Her certiﬁcations include Certiﬁed Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner, Registered Yoga Teacher and Reiki Master. Gillian spends most of her time speaking, teaching and ﬁlming. She and her husband run Shiny Gilly Productions, filming web content for local business owners out of their home studio. They also co-host a youtube show together where they discuss current events, interview local business owners, and answer relationship questions. They are ﬁnishing up a book on dating advice that will be released later this year