Your Friend Cheated – Now What?
Friend: I have to tell you something.
You: I know, I love The Real Housewives of Atlanta, too.
Friend: No, well yes, but that’s not it. You have to promise not to say anything, okay? Promise?
You: Well, yeah obvi. Your secret is safe with me.
Friend: I hooked up with Alex last night.
Okay, so here’s the problem: Alex isn’t just some guy. Alex is the guy with whom your friend is cheating (well this is the second time) on her boyfriend. Bigger problem: you happen to be really good friends with boyfriend boy.
So, what do you do? How do you deal? Should you smack some sense into her? Pause, breathe and listen up. There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with this sticky sitch and, just so you know, leaving a handprint on her cheek is definitely the wrong way.
While what your BFF is telling you is hard to hear, she’s coming to you for a reason. It’s obviously been buggin’ her and she wants to get it out. This can be taken as a cry for help, or just because she needs to get it off her chest. Whatever the reason, you got some work to do, sister.
1. You need to evaluate your relationship with her.
If she is your best friend, then you are going to stick with her through this no matter what. No, that does not mean you are going to be supportive of this bad bad behavior and celebrate her mistakes, but it does mean that you are not going to run to Boyfriend and tell him what happened.
2. You need to make Friend understand why she is doing this.
People usually don’t just cheat because they are bored and don’t have cable. Most likely, there is an underlying reason for the behavior, whether that is jealousy, boredom, confusion, or just the fact that she knows she can get away with it. But in no way do any of these things make it okay. How much does she truly care about Boyfriend?
3. Is this what she really wants?
No one said relationships were easy. And college relationships are probably the hardest to sustain in a healthy manner. With constant temptation, alcohol flowing, and our hormones going crazy, college seems to be just one giant ad campaign for cheating mates. And for many people, they just cannot do it; they can’t handle a relationship. Maybe she is one of them. If Friend doesn’t want to put in the effort to make the relationship work, (that means NO cheating) then she doesn’t deserve to be in the relationship in the first place. Explain this to her, as hard as it may be. Tell her to put herself in Boyfriend’s shoes – how the hell would she feel? Is this really the type of person she is? If she doesn’t stop now, why would she ever stop?
4. Don’t forget about yourself!
Guilt trip her. Okay, not really, but kinda. Tell her how terrible you feel for knowing this and tell her it’s not fair to you to be put in this awful position. If she isn’t upset that you are upset, maybe this friendship needs to be reconsidered, too.
Look. This sucks. Cheating sucks. Knowing your friend cheats just sucks. But, ultimately, the decision of continuing to cheat, stopping, telling her BF, whatever, is hers. Not yours. She is going to do whatever she wants, so the best thing you can do, without completely getting absorbed into her life, is just help the girl out. Give her advice by telling her what you would do. Don’t be afraid to be harsh, but don’t be too judgmental, either. Not only will that not solve anything, but it will push that girl right out of your life. Just sit back and be the best best friend (BBFF?) you can be.
Have you ever been in this icky situation? What did you do?