Dear Ms. Anyhooo,
I am writing to you and hoping you can help me figure out what in the world I am to do with the information I happened to learn about a close friend. My best gal pal recently went out of town to check up on her elderly parents for about a week. They had both been under the weather, and she stepped in to give her brother, who lives close by, a break from constant caretaking. She is such a good person and did what all good daughters and sisters should do.
Now the problem. My best friend’s husband has a rather high profile as he is a banker in our little town. So, here I am going about my shopping and who do I see? I see her husband sitting in a restaurant and across from him at the table is a very young and attractive lady, and the two of them are engaged in conversation over lunch. Well, I really did not think much about this sighting as I passed by until he leaned in and kissed her! No, not a peck on the cheek either but a romantic-looking kiss on the lips. I was taken aback but kept moving, and don’t think he saw me through the window.
As upsetting as it was to stumble across this scene… no, I have not told my best friend anything about it. You see, she tells me how wonderful he is to her all the time. She goes on and on about how she gets anything her heart desires because he loves her so, and she simply worships the ground he walks on. They have shared decades and have two children together.
Did I make the right decision to keep my mouth shut and not share with her what I know? Ms. Anyhooo, If staying silent was the right decision please help me understand why I feel so guilty and have a sense of disloyalty to my best friend.
What do you think Ms. Anyhooo did I make the right decision?
Gripped with guilt, Greta in Florida
Dear gripped with guilt,
Glory, glory, hallelujah… darlin you are smack dab in a pickle. Please know I feel your anguish and am so sorry you are being run through the wash over it.
Back in the day, women would trample each other to be the first ones to run over and spill their guts on what they seen. Wisdom can be about as scarce as hen’s teeth, but I like to think nowadays most are a tad wiser.
I reckon you are wondering what type of enlightenment I am speaking of?
Well sistah, as hard as this may be to hear, it ain’t just about how you feel. What feels morally right to you may not be what is the best thing for your dear friend. Is that not the question one should be asking – what is the right thing for the friend I care about?
Precious, to say this another way, no matter how horrible your secret feels to keep – know your burden isn’t the priority here.
Now, don’t go getting your nose all ‘Bewitched’ ya hear? Ms. Anyhoo, while still being a ravishing and vibrant woman, has racked up some of those wisdom miles, cackles – “now isn’ t that just precious.’
Let’s start with a different question you should be asking yourself “would you want her to tell you that your spouse was cheating?” Truly, sit a spell with this one. And as you ponder it consider the following:
- Your eyes may think they saw a man cheating, and while likely, you do not know that is the case.
- If he was cheating, most women instinctually already suspect their man is being a scoundrel and despite your friend’s declarations – she most likely does as well but has chosen not to share her suspicions, doubts, and fears, with you, her best friend. Why not?
- As a general rule of thumb: Women usually know when they’re ready to know. Confrontation, when one cannot accept truths, can be counterproductive – and oh what a mess can ensue!
- As her busom buddy, you should know your expectations may not match hers once the cat is out of the bag. Most women choose to stay in their marriage after they know of infidelity.
- Women do not take kindly to being put in the position of defending their spouse or family and can become rather defensive, angry, and strike back at the messenger. Ducking may sho’nuff be in your future.
Now that we got all that sermon out of the way time to talk about what you should do. Poor dear, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case, expose a deceiving husband.
#1. Take the risk of losing your friendship.
Do not sensationalize it or build tension by an excess of disclaimers. Never add your suspicions of more. Another way of saying NO DRAMA! Tell your friend what you saw. “I saw him (where) doing (what) with (whom), and I just thought you might want to know.” And when she asks you if you think he was being unfaithful, and she will… be honest, and tell her you do not know. Make certain you share why you are telling her and that you have no expectations for what she does with the information but felt like as her friend she deserved your honesty. If you choose this course prepare yourself for her rage to be displaced onto you and she may cut you out of her life over her spouse.
#2. Plot a Discovery.
Since you already know the place he took his hot tamale to dine you could choose to invite your girlfriend to the same place for lunch a few times over a few weeks. Hopefully, he will choose to take his date to the same place again and this way you are not the one telling her, but she can witness it herself.
#3. Confront the no good for nothing.
Choose to reach out to her husband. Let him know what a close friend you are to his wife and how distraught you are over observing him with that chickadee. Confront him and ask him to explain. There is a possibility, however slim, there is a rational explanation for the behavior and he deserves the right to defend his actions if he can do so. If after he does you still feel he was inappropriate directly ask him to tell his wife. Do not threaten to blackmail him or give him an ultimatum. Sometimes just the fact he was caught can deter further acting out or prompt an honest discussion between a married couple. Either way, you can feel you did do something.
#4. Write an anonymous letter.
Disclaimer: Do not do so if you can’t be certain you will not get caught. Oh, and do not post it on Facebook so others can read kind of thing, or gossip the clandestine actions to other messy chirping females. Again, do not write anything other than the following: “Hello, I saw your husband (where) doing (what) with (whom), on this date. I truly do not know what that means but just thought you might want to know about it. I hope what I witnessed was just an innocent misunderstanding.” This allows you to release any burden of a sense that she is being played a fool and in the dark and also protects your friendship. This way your friend gets to choose what she really wants to know, and if she is ready she will approach her husband and ask the hard questions.
#5. Stay Silent.
After you done sat on it a spell – acknowledge to yourself not getting involved in their marriage is a decision you made because you feel it is what is best for her. Honey child, you cannot feel guilty doing what you think is best for someone you care about.
Goodness gracious being a best friend is not always an easy bail of cotton to haul is it, sugar? The stone truth is if your friend’s marriage is going all cattywampus you are not the cause – so don’t go borrowing that downpour! Sometimes kindness comes best when one zips it. If it were me I must confess that # 1 would be buried six feet under. I reckon it would have to be #2,#3,#4. or #5 for Ms. Anyhooo.
I know no matter your choice you love your friend and come to this with a pure heart. I think there is great comfort in knowing she has a good friend to lean on if her heart gets broken and lord knows she will need the support to pick up the pieces.
All good blessings and wisdom to help you make the right choice- you little haint!
Ms. Anyhooo writes for the Right Wire Report, who provides common sense down-to-earth answers to your personal relationships on love, life, and everything in between. Spun from the heart of the Tennessee mountain country, follow her on the hashtag #DearAnyhoooAnswers (save this link to your favorites bookmarks). If you have any questions for Ms. Anyhooo to answer please send them to email@example.com or Contact Us.
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