Sometimes in life there are no clear or straightforward answers to the most important of questions. Your decision will have short and long-term consequences. Some of these may be more apparent to you now than others.
When making decisions within social relationships we are often faced with ethical dilemmas which challenge our beliefs about intimacy, trust and loyalty. You will have your own views about what is morally right or wrong to do in this situation. You might have spiritual or religious ideas that you rarely question.
You may choose to let these existing beliefs guide you if you find yourself facing the dilemma of what, when, if to tell a friend about her husband’s infidelity. It may also be of help to you to consider some of the perspectives below:
What is the evidence? How sure are you that what you know is clear and concrete evidence? The less sure you are the more thoughtfully you will need to consider whether to tell or not. Think very carefully about whether you might be spreading gossip or passing on third-hand information that is inaccurate.
Consider whether it is at all possible you might have got the wrong end of this particularly thorny stick. Can you think of any other explanations that make sense of what you know differently? Are there any circumstances in which what you know could have an innocent explanation?
Withholding can be just as loyal as divulging. What is motivating you to tell or not? Consider your intentions carefully:
Are you feeling guilty about knowing and want these feelings to stop?
Is it difficult for you to spend time with your friend now you know?
Do you want to protect your friend from the distress of finding out?
Do you believe it’s enabling the husband’s behaviour if you don’t tell?
Start making your decision by putting yourself in your friend’s shoes as best you can and leaving your own beliefs and feelings to one side (for now). Ask yourself "am I putting my friend’s best interests before my own?"
Be prepared, there will be consequences. Many people who face this dilemma may ultimately lose their friendship whatever they decide to do. If you tell, your friend may well react by ‘shooting the messenger’ as shock and denial are typical responses when we are told upsetting news. If you don’t tell, your friend may well discover at a later date that you knew. She may then find it difficult to trust you in the future.
Either way, there may be arguments and conflict to deal with as your friend adjusts to knowing what you know and that you knew first. Try and be as tolerant and supportive as you can. Let your friend have a chance to express how she feels about what you decided. Let her know, if you can, that you made your decision carefully because you love and care about her and your friendship.
Gaining confidence..read more
So, the divorce is finalised, the relationship is over, how are you left feeling? You have had to cope with multiple life changes: financial worries, childcare issues, changes in roles and relationships with others.
Loss? Rage? Jealousy?Fear?...read more
How you are feeling is going to depend upon the circumstances about what you've discovered. Key to this will be how you found out, who is involved,