We see this in movies from time-to-time…
Frank, you have until the end of the week to tell Suzie. If not, I am going to tell her myself.
I think this is a viable solution, because you are presenting the realization that their infidelity is no longer a secret. However, you are giving them the chance to take ownership, and come clean. So, how does this play out?
Let us say you were once again in the restaurant and witnessed your friend’s partner, French kissing someone who is obviously not your friend.
Should you intervene at that moment, should you wait until they head to the bathroom, exits the restaurant, or should you make contact later?
Well, depending on your personality, it depends. Perhaps you want to determine, if the other woman or man is aware that they are engaging with someone in a relationship.
Therefore, you decide to sit at their table as a third wheel, and share this information.
Hi. I am a friend of (name of cheating partner), and you do not know me of course, but I know (enter name of betrayed friend), who happens to be married/dating (enter name of cheating partner). Did you know that (enter both of their names) are in a relationship?
From where I was sitting, I honestly could not tell, with the way (enter friend’s name) had their tongue down your throat. Wait, so you knew they were in a relationship. That is interesting. (Enter friend’s name), I do not want to know why you are here with this person, I do not care what story you believe I should hear right now, but I love you guys too much to know about this, and not share the information.
You have until the end of the week to let (enter betrayed partner’s name) know, or I will make sure to pay you guys a visit bright and early, the next morning. By the way, if you are thinking of dodging this and simply telling me you shared what happened here today, but actually did not, I recorded our entire conversation on my phone.
What happens when they are reluctant to share the information? You have to stand firm with your threat, and make contact with the betrayed friend the night of the deadline.
I know we said bright and early the next day, but if they did not share the information, they clearly have a plan and will expect your intervention the morning after.
You must be one-step ahead, thus, one day ahead. You see, if a person truly wants to share their infidelity announcement and are aware of your deadline; do you really think six hours, 12 or 18 makes a difference?
In other words, they have more than enough time to come clean over a span of several days. If you cut their deadline short a few hours, it means nothing in the grand scheme of things.
On the other hand, keeping your friend in the dark on this matter for too long can be problematic.
If you were the one experiencing the betrayal, how would you feel knowing your friend knew about the infidelity, but held onto the information because they felt your partner would come clean?
This discussion is one you should have in person, as opposed to over the phone. Preferably, do it somewhere you will not have any interruption during the conversation.
Why is this important? While they are in your presence, you have the ability to limit them from leaving and acting purely on the emotion, they are feeling during your revelation.
While in your presence, you have the ability to calm their nerves, soothe their anger and allow them to see things clearly. Over the phone, you have absolutely no control.
What if the person in question, decides to share the information with their partner, before the expiration of your deadline? How should you confirm this?
One method is to set a meeting of sorts with your friends, in order to place all of the cards on the table, where the cheating partner will express your involvement.
The purpose of this meeting is to remove any blame on your behalf, in the event your friend ever discovers from another party, that you knew about the infidelity but did not present the information. Remember, these situations can have you go from hero to villain in an instant.
(Enter your name) was present in the restaurant that afternoon, and noticed that I was there with someone else. They approached me and gave me an ultimatum, where I had to come clean to you by the end of the week, or they would approach you directly about everything.
They did it to give me the opportunity of taking full responsibility, when they did not have to. I am sorry I placed them in such a compromising position. I am sorry I made our relationship matters, become public in such a way.
As much as we may want to provide the information to our loved one, in my opinion, we should first allow the guilty party to come clean. That way, the message comes through the person responsible, as opposed to you, which is the third party.
Sometimes, the horror of the infidelity alone is damaging. However, knowing that someone close to you became aware of the infidelity, can add insult to injury.
In this life, the only thing we have of true value, are the connections we build with others. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has more value to you when your time draws to its end, than the memories you create with other people.
Friendships are important. When you are making the decision to involve yourself, in the infidelity of someone else, tread lightly.
This is not whether you should, or should not share the information to a loved one. The issue comes down to the how, the when and by whom.
As mentioned before, clarity is important. You should collect your thoughts, make sure you understand what you saw, determine your loved one’s personality and then begin the process of what to do next.
Perhaps you feel it is best for you to explain what you saw, but in other instances, you feel the cheating partner is better suited for the role.
There is no right or wrong in that regard. Each person’s relationship determines the best approach.
This is my perspective, I am interested in reading yours. Would you give the adulterer a deadline to come clean, or approach the friend directly?
How much time would you consider acceptable for a friend to give the adulterer, if you were the partner left in the dark?