• Resolving Problems

My friend cheated on her husband and didn’t tell me

Published: September 29, 2014 | By | 8 Replies Continue Reading
Which was worse: That she cheated again or that she didn’t tell?


Hi Irene,

A friend of over 40 years, who cheated on her second and third husband, lied to me and made me feel sorry for her, leading me to think it was her husband’s entire fault that they weren’t getting along. I knew about the cheating with the second husband but not the third.

She said she was trying to protect me and that’s why she didn’t say anything. In the meantime, she talks about others whose spouses cheated on them like they were lower than dirt.

I’m not speaking to her now because I am fed up but I’m feeling badly about it now. Should I continue this crazy friendship or move on and get over it?

We have the same friends and go to the same places, and it’s an awkward feeling. Thanks for your advice!

Signed, Leanne


Hi Leanne,

If you have known this friend for 40 years, I suspect you know her well and that this affair didn’t come as a total surprise.

Are you miffed because she cheated again? Because she is a hypocrite? Or, because she kept her messy private life a secret from you? It sounds like she was too embarrassed to tell you because she knew you would disapprove of her behavior.

Before you make a decision that you won’t be able to undo, you need to cool down and figure out precisely what annoyed you. It may have been a combination of these factors.

It seems to me that what she does privately doesn’t necessarily have to be the death knell for a 40-year friendship unless you find her behavior so discrepant with your own values that you no longer trust or respect her.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Secrets & lies

Comments (8)

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  1. Ruth says:

    Leanne, I am baffled as to why you would think she should tell you of her affair?

    Her affair is not about you, nor is it any of your concern.

  2. Nancy says:

    Not your business to know, and not her responsibility to tell you. However, if I were position and a friend tells me she cheated on husband number 2, I will lessen my exposure with her until it dies. If she can cheat on her husband, she can cheat on friends. She can cheat on a lot of other things. That’s just me. I will never trust a self-confessed cheater.

  3. Leeanne says:

    I agree with some of the previous statements. Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you’re entitled to know ALL the details of someone’s life. I had a friend once who got involved with a married man and I strongly disapproved but stayed in the friendship. Eventually when he wouldn’t leave his wife for her, she called the wife who was now 8 months pregnant and told her about their entire, disgusting affair including what this married couple’s bedroom looked like. The woman cried and begged her to stop but my friend continued to let her in on every sordid detail. I ended the friendship. Our values were too different.
    She would have been better off not telling me.

  4. Lottie says:

    Hi Leanne,
    It really is none of your business. Telling just one person about what she has done or is doing is just one too many.She is treading dangerous ground.Try to imagine if her husband was suspicious and asked you if you knew anything, would you blab or deny? Still be friends I am sure you have other interests you can discuss. She might need a shoulder to cry on soon,and some friend you would turn out to be if you dropped her.Lots of people have many friends,but it doesnt mean that every detail of their lives is discussed with all of them.
    A friend of mine I can discuss financial matters with…my bank manager.That doesnt mean my swimming club friends would be privy to the same information,nor would my friend in the bank want to know what my weight might be this week,but another friend would be delighted to know.
    Think carefully before you call time on this friendship. Lottie

    • Leeanne says:

      @Lottie. Sorry for the late reply but I just got a notification of your reply today.
      In general I try not to be judgmental but I saw the affair unfold right from the beginning. I couldn’t stay friends with her after that. I even tried to appeal to her from the perspective of the unborn child.
      Her husband did find out and she ended up losing him too…that was long after I was gone.
      I realize that we don’t always know what is going on in someone’s life or why they do the things they do but when disclosing something as socially unacceptable as infidelity, we need to either keep it to ourselves or make sure we know who we’re telling our secrets to.

      I personally don’t feel I have the right to know the deepest secrets of my closest friends unless they feel safe enough to tell me.
      Ps we’re friends again but it took over a decade to mend and it has never been the same.

    • ami says:

      “She might need a shoulder to cry on soon,and some friend you would turn out to be if you dropped her.” Are you for real? This is your advice? This woman is making people miserable, cheating and you think that she deserves a shoulder to cry on? Jesus

  5. Maddie says:

    Imo why be friends with someone with no moral fortitude.

  6. tanja says:

    It depends. You don’t have to tell friends everything. In my experience, some of my longest friends tell me nothing. I grew up in a poor neighbourhood. Now, I am married and happy. Yet, my one friend is not and most friends I had or have got pregnant very young on one night stands etc. Well, one of my friends, I just found out has a boyfriend and she is worried because he flirts with her teenage daughter. I found this out through another friend. This friend will not tell me that because she may feel I may judge and say get out of that relationship NOW. I will judge! A lot of people I broke off friendships with because they live in a completely different world. I understand they have esteem, confidence and financial issues. So, if I talk to this friend I ask how her kids are. Her kids are teenagers, mine are still under the age of 6. So, we have different lives now, but the most important thing I want them to realize is that I will always listen if they need or we are free to contact each other if need be.

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