Cheating is never okay. We know this. And yet, often we know it’s happening to someone, or at least have an inkling, but say nothing because it’s not our business.
After all, nobody wants to be responsible for ending a relationship and putting someone through the pain of finding out their loved one has been so disrespectful. But it’s also hard to sit back and watch someone have the wool pulled over their eyes, especially if it’s a close friend.
Earlier this month, a football fan at a game in Detroit really took the “total honesty” thing to the next level, when he passed a note to the man in the row in front of him – a total stranger – to let him know his wife had been texting another man during the fame.
“I don't know you & you don't know me,” read the note. “When you get home check your girl's phone. She's been texting "Jason" saying she wishes she was with him all day! Take care, wish you the best.”
Even though on paper this might seem like a morally upstanding thing to do, the man received criticism online for acting before he knew the full story and possibly leaving the woman in danger of domestic abuse.
What if you did know the full story, though? If it was a relative or best friend being cheated on (or doing the cheating), and you found it difficult to sit back and let it happen? It’s hard to know what the right thing to do is in that situation. If you reveal what’s happening, you can be 100% guaranteed of turning one person’s – if not two people’s – life upside down. That’s a hard thing to have on your conscience. Even if you’re not the one responsible for the cheating, your actions will still indirectly cause a lot of heartbreak and anger.
Irish people often tend to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell attitude” of keeping themselves to themselves and not interfering in other people’s business. For that reason, whistle-blowers are criticised for being nosey and meddling, rather than praised for being honest and forthright. By telling someone that they are being cheated on, you’re setting yourself up for resentment and anger from at least one party involved, if not both parties.
On the other hand, by letting the cheating go on, you are, in essence, condoning it.
The most important thing to keep in mind if faced with that situation is that you’re on foreign territory. This is not your life, it’s someone else’s. Put yourself in that situation and ask yourself if you would like to know what was going on. Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t.
If you do decide to reveal what’s going on, consider telling the cheater first and giving them a chance to come clean, rather than shaking things up without giving fair warning.
Cheating is never a positive move in a relationship, but simply knowing it’s happening doesn’t give you the automatic right to play God in someone else’s life, so tread carefully.