If a friend cheats on their partner, should you tell or just drink water and mind your business?

If you ever find your friend cheating on their partner, should you turn a blind eye or let them know about it?

Would you tell if you found your friend’s partner cheating on them? [Credit Shutterstock]

For the whole four days of Easter, Pascal lodged Ify in his apartment - sleeping and waking with her. Laughing, making meals, cuddling, Nexflix-and-chilling, making out, getting down… going through all the romantic motions of a couple who have no worries in the world for four full days.

No job to worry about, no deadlines to think about, and no tasks to be bothered by. Just long days and nights together.

And it was all perfect, all they had envisaged… until Pascal’s girlfriend of three years, Feyi, arrived unannounced.

Holy shit!

By the time Pascal’s friend and flatmate, Bolaji, came into the apartment and met Feyi seated on a couch and sobbing, he was, as expected, alarmed and rushed to her to try to comfort her. Her sobs were soft and consistent and she wouldn’t say a word no matter how much Bolaji prodded and tried to make her stop crying.

Eventually, she spoke, the words tumbling out in a mish-mash of regret, indignation, betrayal, accusation.

“How could you let him do this to me,” she asked.

“I trusted you! I thought you were my friend. I took you as my own brother! And yet you could not tell me about that bitch?!

“How could you, Bolaji?! How could you let Pascal do this to me? How could you let him take me for a fool?!

“And for how long has this been going on for? For how long have you both been laughing at me behind my back? For how long have you scum bastards been up to this?

“Is this how you treat your girlfriend, too? So you camp other girls in your room too? You’re just like him, aren’t you?

“You fucking bastards. Pieces of trash, the both of you!”

Damn! Pascal has finally been discovered.

Those were Bolaji’s thoughts as he walked away to his room, leaving an uncontrollable, inconsolable Feyi still ranting at his back.

Bolaji wanted to tell her that he was not like Pascal, that he does not do that to his own girlfriend, and that he had actually been warning Pascal against cheating on her.

And it was true. He had been against the relationship with Ify right from the moment it began five months ago and he had warned, pled, guilt-tripped, fought, argued and done every possible thing to make Pascal stop… he had done everything except tell Feyi about it.

Not like he hadn’t considered that option, though. He had. He really had, and on several occasions, too. But of course, he was conflicted, and had always bit his tongue every time he had had the urge to tell Feyi about Pascal and Ify. How could he rat his friend to his girlfriend, he had always thought. It didn’t feel right.

But now, as he heard the door slam and Feyi go out for what might be the last time she’d ever step into the apartment, he wondered for a second where the hell Pascal had disappeared to before mentally asked himself again: should I really have told Feyi that Pascal was cheating on her?

To report a cheating friend to their partner or not?

Now this is one issue that would, understandably, always divide opinions. It is not a question easily answered and maybe better addressed based on a situational basis, rather than from a general perspective.

In the scenario above, did Bolaji do right? It depends on who you ask. Ask his friend and he would likely say he did. Ask the hurt girlfriend and the answer would surely be different.

But, really, from an angle of objectivity, I think he did right. No way he should be expected to rat out his friend to his girlfriend. And this has nothing to do with any stupid bro code. It’s simply knowing your boundaries and not overstepping.

When your friend is cheating on their partner, in my opinion, you can only warn them and maybe even severe your ties with them if their actions continue to bother you. Going on to tell the babe may be a step too far. Removing yourself from the situation totally sounds like a better option.

But, if like Bolaji you are too close to the situation and there is no way to ‘remove’ yourself, still keeping your mouth shut and minding your business is still the advisable thing to do.

What if you found your friend’s partner cheating on them?

Same rules apply.

Relationships and marriages are complex – far more complex and not as straightforward as ABC. You could, out of friendship and loyalty, inform your friend of your discovery and they’d tag you an enemy of progress who wants to see their ‘blissful’ marriage fail. You could also do this and they’d be angry that you told them at all. Best believe; some people would rather stay in ignorance of their partner’s philandering ways.

However, some friendships are deep, so interconnected even to the point of almost being family. These friendships pose a greater difficulty in that refusing to speak up might be seen as a bigger betrayal. In such situations, or one in which your friend has previously mentioned that they would like to know if something like this happens, then opening up to them sounds just right.

On a general note, though, minding your business is a safer bet than any other thing. When in doubt, I'd always go with that if I were you.


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