We’re friends, should I tell his wife he’s a cheater?

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - el­liead­vice.com DEAR EL­LIE

Q. A close friend con­fided to me that he’s plan­ning to leave his wife. He has a good job, and of­ten works late or trav­els for his job.

They have two kids with very dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests, so even when he’s avail­able, the par­ents are of­ten go­ing in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions with each tak­ing one child to an ac­tiv­ity.

A work col­league, who’s also mar­ried with chil­dren, pur­sued him. They’ve been hav­ing an af­fair for sev­eral months and have fallen in love.

She’d pre­vi­ously tried to leave her hus­band but he be­came de­pressed af­ter be­ing laid off so she stayed.

She says she’ll leave him when he’s bet­ter. Or, that’s what my friend be­lieves. He says he’s ready to sep­a­rate now but is wait­ing till af­ter his sis­ter’s wed­ding in a cou­ple of months, to avoid up­set­ting his whole fam­ily.

My wife and I go out with th­ese friends and va­ca­tion to­gether.

I now feel in a very awk­ward po­si­tion know­ing his wife’s life is about to be turned up­side down.

She ap­pears com­pletely clue­less about the af­fair and what’s go­ing to hap­pen.

How do I con­tinue so­cial­iz­ing with my friends with­out giv­ing up his se­cret, or los­ing the friend­ship with my buddy, or both of them?

A. Your predica­ment re­flects the larger ques­tion faced by many: Do you “out” a cheater?

In this sit­u­a­tion, he’s your close pal, and you’ve ac­cepted that he’s fallen in love.

It places you on the “keep mum” side about his be­haviour, but how will your own wife re­act to your friend de­ceiv­ing his wife?

Your friend shouldn’t have placed you in this awk­ward po­si­tion.

Un­less he val­ues your opin­ion and sub­con­sciously seeks a dis­cus­sion with you. Try it. Ask him how he sees events un­fold­ing, how he’ll man­age the chil­dren’s re­ac­tions, whether his wife’s anger at be­ing be­trayed will in­ter­fere with their abil­ity to share joint cus­tody.

If this gives him pause, urge him to get cou­ples’ coun­selling with his wife, to see whether they can both make ef­forts and changes to stay to­gether.

They should ex­am­ine their mar­riage closely, with pro­fes­sional help.

Af­ter all, his lover may not leave her hus­band.

I caught them with locked lips

Q. My part­ner of 17 years brought home this cou­ple years ago. He’d said they were very poor so I pre­pared a good meal for them.

Now they’re vis­it­ing us. I see my part­ner goes to the kitchen and she fol­lows.

When I go to get some­thing, I’m shocked to see they’re lock­ing lips.

My part­ner’s drunk; she goes to his bed­room while her hus­band calls her, till they left.

When I re­ported what I saw, my part­ner said it was noth­ing.

I emailed her and she said it was he who was kiss­ing her, they’re just friends.

My part­ner still vis­its them. They party, he fools around, and she lets him while they make a fool out of the hus­band.

My part­ner still in­sists it’s noth­ing. I don’t be­lieve him. Your thoughts?

A. “Locked lips” takes two sets, each kiss­ing the other.

There’s more go­ing on than fool­ing around when your hus­band gets drunk. He drinks of­ten enough to keep re­peat­ing the scene, in­clud­ing be­ing to­gether in a bed­room.

The next move is up to you. Tell him you don’t be­lieve him.

But know ahead what boundaries you in­tend to draw, e.g. in­sist­ing this woman’s off limits.

Know what you can and can­not ac­cept in your re­la­tion­ship. Then get le­gal ad­vice as backup.

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