Should I reveal a cheat?

Hi Meredith,

I have recently found myself in the awful, awkward, uncomfortable position of learning that my friend's boyfriend is cheating on her. If that situation on its own isn't complicated enough, it gets worse.

To start, my friendship with her began because she is my boyfriend's friend's girlfriend. We used to hang out together all the time: double date dinners, drinks, and even weekend trips together. Through that I became good friends with her, but the reason we got to know each other in the first place is through our boyfriends.

About a month ago, my boyfriend and I heard about the cheating. We confronted the cheater and he insisted he had ended things and realized how wrong his actions had been, is turning over a new leaf, and that his relationship is better than ever. I personally don't believe a word he says, but perhaps that's beside the point.

I am absolutely disgusted with the cheater and have avoided hanging out with him and his girlfriend as a couple since I've heard about this. She talks about marriage and her future with him, and I feel guilty and terrible that I know about her boyfriend’s infidelity and am not telling her.

The final complication is that my boyfriend and his friend started working together, so now there is a professional element of their relationship. I certainly don't want to do anything that will complicate their professional or personal relationship, but knowing about this and not telling her is absolutely killing me with guilt!

Should I tell her? Is it even my place to tell her? Is this my business at all?

– Having a Moral Dilemma, Boston


These questions make me squirm ... because there's no answer that will bring anybody any peace. I squirmed about a similar question in March. I squirmed about cheating in chat the other day.

My gut always says, "Leave the cheaters alone. Don't get involved." Then I think, "But I'd want to know." After that I usually wonder whether the cheater might be carrying some awful STD that he/she will now give his/her innocent, unassuming partner.

In your case, you have to tell. You mention that the guilt is killing you. You became this woman's friend and now you're avoiding her. You believe in your heart that she should know. That's your answer.

You and the boyfriend did the right thing by approaching this problem as a couple. Please explain to your boyfriend that you're just not done, and that he needs to stand by you as you reveal the truth. You must handle the aftermath -- whatever it is -- as a team. Decide whether you're going to confront this guy for the second time or go straight to her.

Again, my answer to these types of questions tend to change based on the situation, but you need this woman to know, and by confessing to the cheat, this guy made it your business. Talk to your boyfriend and come up with a plan for your next move. Get it done.

Readers? Am I wrong? Does the new work relationship mean that they should keep silent? How should they go about this? Should she warn the cheater that she's going to reveal his cheat? What if her boyfriend disagrees with her plan? Help.

– Meredith