Part Time Lover


Dear Dharma, 

I am caught in a dilemma, and need some fast advice!  Last week I was uptown, and saw my BFF’s husband with another woman in a restaurant.  It was VERY clear this was way more than a casual or business meeting, they were obviously intimate.

I’ve known him almost as long as my friend, and count them both as among my inner circle.  I don’t know what to do!  Should I tell my friend, should I talk to her husband, or should I just stay out and hope for the best?


Wish I Didn’t See That

Dear Wish,

Ugh.  Just… ugh.

This sucks because the easiest thing for you would be to stay out of it.  However, you know you can’t – you said it yourself, she’s your BFF.  If MY BFF knew my guy was stepping out on me and didn’t say anything?  Holy hannah.  That drama would be intense.  Turn that situation around, right?  You’d want to know, wouldn’t you?  Imagine how embarrassed you would feel when you found out that other people knew all the while you were thinking everything was sugar and spice.

So you’ve already outlined all your possibilities, and we’ve just eliminated one of them. Now you’re left with either speaking to the husband or breaking the news to her directly. Or potentially a combination of both…

Should you decide to go the direct-to-husband route, I would stay calm, and I wouldn’t sugar coat a damn thing.  I would do about 6 seconds of small talk and then just plow right in – “You need to know I saw you with another woman at the ABC Restaurant last week, and don’t try and tell me it was anything other than what it looked like.”  Boom.

Let him say his peace, blah blah blah – but really, no matter what it is he says, your next step remains the same.  “I’m giving you the opportunity to tell her yourself, but if you decide not to, please know I will be telling her by the end of the week.  She’s my best friend and as much as I wish didn’t know this, I do – and I can’t un-know it.”  Make it clear this isn’t a punishment, this isn’t a scorned woman vendetta.  It’s simply the right thing to do and you hate, HATE being in this position.

You’ll know whether or not he dropped his dirty bomb on her pretty quickly, I’m guessing… and should it becomes clear he hasn’t told her within a reasonable amount of time, you’re just gonna have to grit your teeth and stick to your word.  Obviously a more gentle tone is required here, but you have to be straight forward when delivering information like this.  “Jane, there’s no easy way to tell you this, and I’m so sorry, but I saw Dick with another woman a few weeks ago.”  Let that information absorb and answer all of her questions (What do you mean?  Where?  When?  How do you know it wasn’t work related or a friend?) as gently and simply as possible.   It will likely be necessary to let her know you’ve spoken with her husband about this, and she may not like that at first, but explain that you thought this information would be better coming from him than from you.

From there, be prepared to stay a while.  Or be prepared to get the boot.  It really could go either way and you just need to roll with whatever happens.  Should she turn on you for being the bearer of bad news, understand that her world just got knocked on its ass and give her some time.  She’ll find her way back to you, I’m quite certain.

Sorry for your luck, having to be stuck in the middle like this – bet you wish you brought your lunch that day, hey?



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  • aquarius11714 says:

    I’ve been in this exact situation before and its not a good one. my friend thought I was making it up too break them up and stopped talking to me. After awhile she found out it was true and she left him, but it took her awhile to talk to me again beause she was embarrassed. We are friends now and she is grateful I told her. Your friend needs to know.

    • Dharma says:

      I’m a firm believer that the friend will find her way back once she deals with the landslide around her. You did the right thing – thanks for your comment!

  • Anon says:

    Why didn’t you just take a picture? If he is a cheating asshole and you confront him, why wouldn’t he just lie about it? Then what?

    • Dharma says:

      If he denies it, then she will have no choice but to go to her BFF and tell her the whole story, complete with his denial. From there, it goes where it goes.

      Taking a picture would have been a good idea, but if it were me, I’d a) be too much in shock to even think of that, and b) would be chicken of him seeing me snapping pics.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • watson says:

    I think you gotta go with number 2, talk to the guy first. If there is any hope of them working through this (assuming you think that the marriage is basically sound) HE has to be the one to come clean first. And he should leave you out of it, “oh yeah honey I have something to tell you, because I got caught…” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
    Nope, it’s definitely one of the tougher situations a friend can get caught in, especially if you are friends with him too.

    • Dharma says:

      You are so right – he needs to leave her out of it should he decide to come clean. Otherwise it sounds exactly like what you say – he’s only sorry he got caught… Thanks Watson!

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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