Q. My best friend has been two-timing his girlfriend, who is also a friend. I have spoken to him about this a few times, but he keeps on telling me to stay out. I am boiling inside and really want to tell his girlfriend. What should I do?
Ans: Breathe! Although we often feel responsible for the people we care about, do understand that you are not responsible for your cheating friend’s action nor their impact. First, address your need to feel responsible for changing things. Is it coming from a space of protecting someone from hurt? Hurt is inevitable in all relationships.
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Your best friend’s girlfriend is going to probably be hurt if she finds out about the cheating. Do you see value in being the massager of this painful truth? Or is the boiling inside an urge to weigh things out on a right and wrong scale? Many people enjoy being righteous and actively setting things straight according to their moral compass. Remember that in this case, the satisfaction could end up being purely yours.
You will probably lose your best friend, and there are chances that his girlfriend will turn against you too. Understand what your expectations are. Are you expecting gratefulness from her? Be prepared for other reactions too. She could also turn around and accuse you of lying. Sometimes people prefer to live in denial instead of dealing with the pain of a present reality.
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For now, you can have a generic conversation about relationships and cheating with his girlfriend. Maybe tell her similar cheating stories and listen to her reactions. The aim would be to make her feel empowered about having the same chat with your best friend. You will also be able to gauge if she is ready for this type of information. You might lose your pal but not gain another enemy. The best you can do as a friend is to be there for both when it will all end, if and when it will.
The writer is an Intimacy and Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual well-being (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)
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