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I caught my friend's boyfriend cheating. Now what?

Prayers up, fingers crossed, and throw a rabbit's foot over your right shoulder in hopes that this NEVER happens. In the most unfortunate chance that it does, it's all about your approach. It can impact your energy and the overall relationship with your friend. I've seen the scenario play out a few times and thank God I've never been the one to catch my friend or family member's guy, but I've been on the receiving end of some harsh information via a friend. It's tough for both parties, but there's a way to handle the situation so that you (the catcher) don't miss the mark when dealing with the situation.

  1. Avoid "I told you so". Maybe you did tell her your spidy senses were tingling about this guy, but highlighting that fact makes it seem like you were on a mission to prove her guy was a cheater. Who wants somebody around that's determined to poke holes in their relationship? Uh... nobody! Besides the phrase itself being super insensitive in the circumstance, it creates the need for you to prove that you really didn't go all Dick Tracey on her man (hopefully you didn't).

  2. Don’t tell others before telling her. This one has got to be the worst move ever AND it makes it seem like you’re rejoicing in her downfall. When you have information that is THAT sensitive, sharing it with anyone besides the friend is just shady. There’s no need to meet with other friends to discuss before telling her. She should be the first to know and that’s that.

  3. Don’t delay telling her too long. The longer you wait to tell her, the more of a chance she finds out without you and ALSO finds out that you knew and didn’t tell her right away. Imagine trying to explain why you didn’t tell her immediately. (That’s like snatching a low corner block in Jenga. It’s either going to go sideways or crash!) Delaying also increases the chances of you revealing the information to someone else (violation number 2).

  4. Don’t try to extort the cheater. I heard a story of someone catching her loved one’s boyfriend cheating and agreeing to keep the secret for a while for PAYMENT. I mean we’re all trying to pay off our student loans by any means necessary but getting paid hush money to allow your friend to be betrayed a little longer… savage levels. (Hopefully this one goes without saying… but I said it just in case.)

  5. Don’t defend the cheater’s actions in any way. I see this one too often. “Girl, you were always working, busy, complaining, etc.” Please, please, please do NOT be a sympathizer for the person who cheated on your friend. Saying that he has a point or that you understand where he’s coming from will only exacerbate the fact that she’s most likely already blaming herself and examining what she did “wrong” in the situation. Don’t… just don’t.

  6. Don’t make her decision for her. On the flip side of being a cheater sympathizer, is leading the crusade to drop the cheater on a deserted island—never to be seen or heard from again. (Also, not good) There is the chance that even with this information, your friend won’t be done with this guy. You can’t make the decision to cut him off for her. As much as it may annoy you, you must accept her decision.

There you have it. A list of things NOT to do if you ever find yourself privy to knowledge of your friend’s cheating boyfriend. We all want to be good friends, but in this situation, it’s hard to know just how to handle the task of telling your friend. Be quick, be genuine, and be understanding.

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