Don’t shoot the messenger

I had a really great idea. Or at least I thought I did.

A friend discovered that a guy she was seeing was getting married to someone else! She was devastated and felt like a horrible person, even though she broke it off as soon as she found out. Not only did she feel bad for herself, she also felt bad for his wife and wished there was a way she could tell his wife.

This gave me the idea. I was going to create a way to anonymously tell people their partner was cheating on them. However, I couldn’t ensure it wouldn’t be used maliciously. By trying to avoid hurt feelings there was too much risk that an innocent could be hurt. Nor could I ensure that I wouldn’t be targeted for providing the service. So I gave it up.

I realized that if you really care about someone, you should tell them in person and support them through it.

There are some things to consider if you suspect someone’s partner is cheating on them:

  1. Do you know the status of their relationship?
    Not every relationship is exclusive. Don’t go jumping to conclusions based on your beliefs.
  2. Do you have proof or just suspicions?
    So you saw your friends partner out to lunch with someone. Maybe it was a working lunch. Unless you walked in on them (ahem) in flagrante it’s difficult to be certain.
  3. How close are you?
    If you found out your boyfriend is someone else’s husband, there’s no way you’re getting out of this without looking like a home wrecker. Leave it alone.*
    If the person involved is a friend consider if you’re a good enough friend to risk the friendship. You know what happens when you tell them — you’re likely to lose them.
  4. Would you want to know?
    Think about it, really. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel? Maybe ignorance is bliss.

If you end up in this awful situation and someone feels the need to enlighten you, consider how hard it was for them to tell you and, please, don’t shoot the messenger.

  • His wife probably already suspects. She’s seen the signs, the same ones you ignored before you realised he was married. Take it as a life lesson; don’t ignore the signs next time.

ETA: I’ve published a follow up to this on my Patreon