A couple is made of two people – not three; so what would you do if you found out that your best friend’s significant other is not being completely loyal to her? Some would suggest that the right thing to do is tell her about it immediately so that she can confront the issue, but experts say that what matters most is how you’re going to tell your friend about it.
“Every friendship is different, every marriage is different and every affair is different. There is no one answer to the question that will fit everyone, all the time,” says Shasta Nelson friend expert and author of the books Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness and Friendships Don’t Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends.
“Some of us will have added complications if we also feel loyal to the person we know is cheating, if we all hang out together regularly as couples or families, if we know she’s had painful history with this subject, if she thinks her relationship is perfectly fine, if she’s pregnant or has young kids or any other number of variations,” she adds.
So how exactly should you break the bad news to your friend? Here are a few tips to consider:
Make sure you’re right.
Before you open up to your friend about her partner’s infidelity, make sure he really is having an affair. You wouldn’t want false accusations to strain your relationship or be the cause of their fight.
Be brief, yet completely honest.
Stop beating around the bush! Prolonging it will only cause more pain because of the anticipated bad news. Tell her what you know and don’t add unnecessary details.
Talk in private.
Don’t opt for a coffee shop, a restaurant, or any other public place – give her the chance to react to the news without being embarrassed. You wouldn’t want her bottling her emotions, right?
This is just in case your friend doesn’t want to believe you; don’t bring it out the moment you two sit down for the talk. This can also help her understand the situation.
Be someone she can lean on.
Whatever her decision is, assure her that you’ll be there to support her all the way. Admittedly, she could wallow in self-pity for a few days; so let her be and just offer a shoulder to cry on to demonstrate your unwavering support.