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Should You Tell Your Friend Her Husband Is Cheating On Her? Why The Answer Is Yes
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  • Would you tell your friend that her husband is cheating on her? Pose this question to your girlfriends, and you’ll find out that their conscience says ‘yes’ but their brain says ‘this is none of my business.’ Not only that. Somehow the question tends to transform into something else: “What if this truth breaks their marriage and their family, will I be the one to blame?”

    Kwame Anthony Appiah, in his column “Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine, dissected every possible dilemma one can face and gave compelling reasons why the answer to this tough question is a big YES.

    Where does your loyalty lie?

    The first business of any woman confronted with this dilemma, Appiah, a philosopher and a novelist, says, “isn’t to anticipate how your friend will respond to the news; it’s to figure out whether your friend is entitled to hear the news from you.” He adds if the couple is your friend, but you are closer to the wife than to the husband, then your loyalty is to the friend closest to you.

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    Isn’t this none of my business?

    Well, not precisely. Appiah argues. “...the betrayal of a close friend is your business. She would expect you to tell her something like this; … you would want her to tell you if the situation were reversed.”

    If they separate, will this be on me?

    Appiah says that it is predictable that the husband, and even their child/ren, could blame you for possibly breaking up his marriage but he says, “playing a causal role” doesn’t mean that you’re to blame for the outcome — the fault lies on the husband’s bad behavior. 


    Appiah also advises involving your husband on how to approach the problem, especially if both of you are close friends of the couple.

    Bottom line: You need to tell your friend her husband cheated

    Appiah’s advice is to tell your friend, and here’s why: “It’s for her to decide how to respond to this betrayal, not you. That’s why she’s entitled to your honesty. By protecting her from the truth, you would be making a decision that rightly belongs to her.”

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    What you can do after the truth is revealed

    If you believe that things can still work out between your friend and her husband, help her see this, says Appiah. “If what’s stopping you from telling your friend what her husband has been doing is that you think she’ll make the wrong decision, why not try to help her make the right one?”

    We posted the same question “Would you tell your friend that her husband is cheating on her?” on the Facebook group Smart Parenting Village. The majority of the respondents favored telling the truth, and the moms even had suggestions ‘how’ to do it.

    Mom Hope says one tell a friend the truth, but with these conditions. “I think, as a friend, you must tell her (make sure close friend kayo). State what you saw and give solid evidence para di ka mabaliktad sa dulo. Saka siyempre choose the right timing din. Wag birada lang without considering the situation. Dapat kayong dalawa lang, yung di sya mapapahiya at dapat sa comfort zone nya. Tapos unahan mo ng statement na ginagawa mo to kasi mahal mo siya para alam na nya na intensyon mo na malaman niya ang totoo at di na siya magmukhang tanga.”

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    Luiza advises women to protect themselves and their friendship, too. “Kuha ka muna evidence and maybe puwedeng gumawa ka ng ibang account saka mo i-send sa kanya yung mga evidence mo, para di ka rin madamay. If ever di sya maniwala, alam mo sa sarili mo na ginawa mo yung part mo, and di rin maaapektuhan yung friendship nyo.”

    Deonelene’s advice is to see beyond the moral aspect. “Yes, I would tell my friend. More than the emotional aspect, isipin mo nalang baka mahawahan si friend ng STD so habang maaga say it and make sure may evidence ka. Kung wala pa, tell her to investigate before going hysterical.”

    Arvie suggests going straight to the husband. “It would be best if you talked to the husband. He should be the one to tell his wife. Give him time. If hindi niya pa rin sinabi sa wife niya, then that’s the time that you should tell the wife.” 

    Karilynn says the moral burden should be on the husband not on you.  “Yes, she deserves the truth, especially if may evidence ka na. If you’ll keep it to yourself, para kasing you’re tolerating her husband na rin because you’re being silent with what you know. Di naman sa nanghihimasok, kahit magalit yung husband, eh ano naman? Siya naman gumawa ng mali in the first place, he cannot blame you for something that he did.”

    Jenn says it is hard to predict the consequences if you tell a friend her husband is cheating on her. Without proof, you can lose your friend like Jenn has. “That happened to me years ago. I told my friend that her husband was cheating on her. Wala akong proof. Hindi siya naniwala at since then hindi na nya ako kinausap ever. Sila pa rin hanggang ngayon.”


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