Scene – You’re at a luncheon with your coworkers and in walks Steve, your best friend’s husband. He is alone and you think nothing of it – at first. Then you see a young woman arrive and your eyes follow her over to Steve’s table. Perhaps it’s one of his coworkers and he is having a casual lunch, but then you hear the giggles and (gasp!) her hand reaches out to his and he returns the gesture with a hand on hers.
What is your next move? Do you immediately telephone your best friend and tell her that Steve is there with another woman? Will you wait and tell her after your own shock wears off and you’ve planned a way to ease it in to the conversation? Do you decide it’s best to stay out of it?
There is no simple solution, but here are some things to consider as well as their potential outcome. From there, you will have to make the decision to tell your friend or not.
1. Talk to the husband while he’s in the midst of the cheat – According to the scene above that you have witnessed, the first thing you could do is simply approach the table where Steve is sitting and make your presence known. There are a couple of things that could happen here; Steve could realize he’s been caught and come out to your best friend. He could corner you outside the restaurant and beg you not to tell your best friend. He could do all of the above. What you should consider with this type of approach is that catching Steve in the act could cause a knee-jerk reaction on his part and he may take out his fears of getting caught in the form of violence upon you.
2. You go to the restroom and call your best friend, telling her that Steve is in the restaurant at that very moment with another woman and that they are getting cozy – This is a thought, but consider if you will how your friend may react in relation to where she is at that moment. If she is at work and this type of news hits, she may walk out and compromise her job – something that she need not do if she may be living on her own soon.
3. You decide not to tell your friend at all and let her find out on her own that her husband is cheating – This may be the easiest thing for you to do in the short run, but in the long run, you will not be able to see your friend being duped. Perhaps you’ve waited a few days, a week, a month or longer and then tell her. If your friend knows the timeline of the events in question, she may turn on you for not telling her sooner.
4. You research the best way for her to get help with this situation and then take her out away from the husband and kids to let her in on what you know. This may be the best solution as long as you do it within a day or two of your discovery. If you’re like many women that have been faced with this, you will tell your friend what you have learned, but in a helpful and tactful manner. You should offer her help and advice on where she can turn and how for her to best approach her husband regarding this situation. Your friend is going to be angry, hurt, and scared and you should be prepared for any or all of these reactions.
This type of situation is hard on everyone, including you because you do not like to see your friend hurt, but whichever way you decide to go, give your friend the support she needs to make it through and be prepared for her to take her anger out on the messenger. It will pass and your friend will be appreciative of what you have done for her. The best approach may be the outcome of asking yourself, “what would I like for my friend to do if I were in her shoes?”