This is topic A predicament about being unfaithful in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
Ok, I am in between a rock and a hard place on this. I dont usually like posting a personal problem like this but here it goes. My friend and apartment mate recently cheated on his girlfriend and she found out. She believes this is a one time thing and he is an extremely moral honest guy. She found out about his indiscretion and he told her that this was one time, and that he feels so horrible and it is a one time drunken mistake. The fact of the matter is that he was not drunk when this happened he is full of it. He was sweet talking this girl and giving her a massage, those are not the actions of someone who made a simple mistake, he persued her.

My predicament is this, it is not a one time thing because he has cheated in the past. I know for a fact that he cheated on the same girl this past fall with someone I know. I swore I wouldnt tell, he told me this was a one time thing and he doesnt want to ruin the best thing he has ever had.(I didnt believe him because I know that he is a coniving dirt ball but I stayed true to my word) School is over in a week, he is graduating and I am staying here in college for one more year. They have been dating for a little over two years and she is going to start making plans to spend the rest of her life with him. Do I tell her I knew about this? I am pretty positive she is going to forgive him. I am friends with her too. This is just a flat out crappy situation. Any advice would be appreciated.

edit: because I made very little sense, I hope I made this a little more coherent

[ May 08, 2005, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: Promethius ]
Posted by jebus202 (Member # 2524) on :
Here's how you should do it:

YOU: Hey Jessica, I don't how to say this but Dirt Bag has been cheating on you loads, I don't think he cares about you.
HER: OMG that sucks, how could I have been such an idiot?
YOU: Hey no, you're not an idiot, don't beat yourself up like that!
HER: Yes! I am an idiot! I am!
(If you can hold yourself from agreeing then continue)YOU: No, don't blame yourself, Dirt Bag is a dirt bag, you couldn't have known.
HER: Oh, you're so sweet. Let's have sex.
Posted by Corwin (Member # 5705) on :
Tell her. Chances are he'll screw up again and she'll find out again anyway. If she can live with it now, she might be able to live with it later, but the more she knows, the better. I've seen this situation happen before, and I don't think you telling her is going to "ruin everything". She might just go along for fear of losing him - don't ask WHAT she sees in him, love doesn't work that way -, or she might confront him and tell him if there's a next time then it's over, or break up with him right now, but anyway she'll make her decision while informed. If it's the latter, I say it wouldn't have lasted anyway. What you have to ask yourself is: does she mean enough to you that you're ready to lose your apartment mate's friendship? And does your friendship *allow* you to lie about his actions that you yourself disaprove of?
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
How long do you have to stay apartment mates with this guy?
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
Well, She does not mean much to me at all. I actually do not like her but I dont think she deserves to be treated this way. This isnt like I have been waiting for a couple years to date her or something. I have been dating her roommate for a couple years now too. I feel bad for her, she is getting lied to and used by a dirtball. I used to be good friends with him, but then came to see he would stab his own mother in the back for a dime. Now I simply hang out with him because I live in the same apartment. Friendly but not necessarily friends.

6 more days in the apartment with him

[ May 08, 2005, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: Promethius ]
Posted by jebus202 (Member # 2524) on :
Why don't you tell your girlfriend who tells her roommate who is incidentally the girlfriend of your roommate and the person you want to tell it to!
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
Oh, easy then. Tell your girlfriend, and let her make the call. It's a total cop-out, but she'll know better than you how the other girl will take it.

Thing is, if you tell her, she probably won't believe you and will be mad, 'cause you're ruining her rose-colored view of the guy. If you don't, and she finds out later that you knew, she'll be mad 'cause you knew and didn't tell her. So as long as it's a no-win situation anyway, you might as well just decide to do whichever you think it the right thing by your own moral standards.

Edit: My but I'm cynical today!

[ May 08, 2005, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: ElJay ]
Posted by jebus202 (Member # 2524) on :

[ May 08, 2005, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: jebus202 ]
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
Removed 'cause it's not worth it. [Smile]

[ May 08, 2005, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: ElJay ]
Posted by HesterGray (Member # 7384) on :
The truth hurts, but ignorance is not always bliss. If I was in her situation, I would want to be told. Even if I didn't believe you, and even if I hated you for telling me, in the long run, it would be better than finding out later that you knew and didn't tell me.
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
Such a hard decision. I hate that she isnt thinking of how he really is, instead seeing who she wants him to be. I really feel like I am stabbing him in the back with this, although one could argue that he is stabbing himself. I dont like this one bit, not one bit. He has been away all weekend because he had to go to work, but they will be talking for the first time tonight face to face since she found out about it yesterday. If she is going to end up dumping him I dont see a point in telling her, or having my girlfriend tell her. But if she isnt going to break up she should know so she can see him for who he really is. A cheater with a pattern of cheating behavior.

[ May 08, 2005, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: Promethius ]
Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
Your roommate swore to you it was a one-time thing when you first agreed not to say anything. He's broken his word first and that puts his behavior in an entirely different light, so that you feel obligated to tell her the pattern. If you look at it that way does it help any?
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
I am about 99% sure if she knows about the past incident she will break it off with him. Because thats two times he lacked self control.
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
I think that while you don't win from either situation, you don't really lose much either. If you don't tell them, odds are you'll lose contact with both of them since you're not too fond of them. If you do tell them, you won't have to deal with either of them after a few more days. If you think that telling the girl would help her out, why not go for it?
Posted by jebus202 (Member # 2524) on :
Removed 'cause it's not worth it.
::puts up fists::

You wan' a fight?

::shadow boxes::
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
Tell her. Maybe tell him that you're going to tell her, and then tell her.
Posted by Kasie H (Member # 2120) on :
I was in a similar situation earlier this year, except it was worse (if that's possible).

My roommate and good friend, we'll call her Judy, had been dating (we'll call him) Mitch for a year and a half. Judy's rommate, whom we'll call Ellen, was one of Judy's absolute best friends. I shared a two bedroom apartment them -- Ellen and Judy shared a bedroom, I shared a bedroom with my friend Molly.

When we got back from Christmas vacation, Ellen told Molly and I that she had, ah, we'll say hooked up with, Mitch -- the boyfriend of her roommate and best friend. Molly and I were presented with a dilemma: do we tell Judy or not?

We told Judy, and I for one think it was the absolute right thing to do. We had some serious issues -- Ellen ended up moving out, etc -- and we did have issues of crisscrossed loyalty, as all four of us were friends with each other -- but in the end, Ellen and Mitch were both in the wrong and we felt it was our duty as friends to make sure Judy knew the truth.

Not sure how other Hatrackers would have handled this situation, but I'm one to think that your roommate's girlfriend deserves your loyalty more than he does. Think of it this way: how would your roommate treat you? Would he get with, oh, say, your girlfriend?

If the answer's yes, you owe it to *yourself* to tell the g/f.
Posted by Kasie H (Member # 2120) on :
Oh -- on what twinky said. We did tell Ellen we were going to tell Judy, and we gave her the opportunity to come clean herself. She refused to do it, so we told Judy.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
I think you should tell. This is too important a thing for her to go into marriage with a man who is obviously willing to lie to her.

She may still forgive him, and thus hate and distrust you for trying to "destroy their love," but even in that case, you will have done the right thing.

I assumed you have no ulterior motive (a la jebus' suggestion), but it is nice to know that you aren't attracted to her and thus leaning towards breaking up her relationship because of your own feelings.

I was in a similar situation once and I told the woman's best friend because:
1) I didn't really know the woman all that well,
2) The friend would know best how to tell her (or even whether to tell her).

As it turns out, this was the right thing to do and I got a thank you for it later. If your girlfriend (the roommate of this woman) is a friend of hers, then you could reasonably do the same thing. I don't think it's a cop out because a friend would know the woman's mind better than you would.
Posted by TMedina (Member # 6649) on :
Ya know, I question the whole "my best friend slept with my s/o" line.

If they were indeed your best friend, it would never have happened. Or maye I'm expecting too much from people.

Be that as it may, your roommate had no business putting you in the hotseat and expecting you to keep his laundry secret.

Do what you need to - you can't and won't save this girl from the roommate, but you can be honest and let the chips fall where they may.

You don't have to live with them, but you do have to live with yourself.

Posted by TMedina (Member # 6649) on :
An equally overrated line.

When people say, "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," I usually wonder about their class of enemy.

Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
I think theca also made a good point about him breaking the verbal contract ALREADY, when he said it was a one-time thing and he did it again.

And Bob makes a good point about diseases.

She's got to know.
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
In fact, he almost agreed that you could tell if it wasn't a one-time thing. By offering that as a justification for not telling, he acknowledges that a multi-time event would be a justification for telling.
Posted by StickyWicket (Member # 7926) on :
Cheaters rot in hell
Posted by Olivetta (Member # 6456) on :
I think telling would be the honorable thing to do, but be prepared to wash your hands of them both.

The father of one of my friends at church put his hands (and mouth) on me inappropriately when I was a teen. I made sure to avoid him after that, and would always wait to put my coat on until I was outside the church. People hugged a lot at my church, and he'd slip his hands inside the coat to do his 'hugging' if I didn't.

A few years later, I heard that he had volunteered at the local Group Home for Girls. I was away at college by then. I was just sick about it, so when I visited the church during spring break, I told the director of the Group Home (who had once been my youth leader) about what he'd done to me. I knew she wouldn't believe me, and she didn't.

But I HAD to tell her. Not because I wanted him punished (I think that being the sort of person who does that sort of thing must be a peculiar form of hell in itself) but because I knew some of those girls already have a big problem separating affection from their sexuality. I owed it to them to try, even though I didn't know any of the current batch.

The principle is the same, though. Tell the truth, and wash your hands of it. What she does with what you tell her will be on her own head.
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
So, I told her and I thought everything went well. She left school yesterday to go home and today I get an instant message from her while I was out saying how I am such a bad person and the grin on my face when I told her speaks volumes about the type of person I am. She also said how horrible it was that I took pleasure in something that hurt her. When I talked to her he had already told her but not the whole truth about the incident with the first girl

Classic example of shoot the messenger
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
Yeah, you got the crossfire there. I'm sorry - she had to have someone to blame. You did the right thing, though.
Posted by HesterGray (Member # 7384) on :
You had a grin on your face when you told her? Somehow, I don't imagine a conversation like that would involve any grins.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
I doubt that he did. If it was, it was definitely to appear friendly.

It was undoubtedly a very embarassing conversation for her. She needs a reason to dislike him so she can blame him for the humiliation.

That's among the worst things about infedility - it means the person doing it is crap, but it makes the person cheated on feel horrible for a hundred reasons.
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
Yeah I really dont think I had a grin, and as Katharina said if I did it was just that, an attempt to be friendly. She pretty much turned on every one of her friends who said he was a dirtball. I told nobody else about the first time he cheated on her. The only people who know are me, him, his girlfriend, and the girl he cheated with. I told her I didnt tell anyone because I didnt want everyone talking behind her back and judging whatever decision she chose. I felt like I was very ernest and nice about the whole situation. I emphasized that I wasnt there to tell her what to do or give her my opinion, just to tell her what I know.

I didnt like her much anyway, just annoys me that I am seen as a jerk for something her jerk boyfriend did. We all knew this would happen, oh well.
Posted by Olivetta (Member # 6456) on :
"Deffend the jerk" is a response to this kind of information that many people seem to have.

But I don't get it. "Slap the jerk in the face and never speak to him again" THAT's something I could totally get behind. [Wink]
Posted by TMedina (Member # 6649) on :

It's not easy to believe something when you don't want to believe. Particularly if that admission means you were really wrong.

Imagine an atheist's reaction to St. Peter, for example. [Big Grin]

Pro - if you have to break painful news, never smile. Be grim, be sorrowful - I opt for a quiet, determined and vaguely professional approach.

Not that it really helps - people always shoot the messenger, but if you're gloomy and depressing, people tend to refrain from hitting back.

Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :

Sorry it worked out that way. Not too surprising. But you can feel good in that you discharged a moral obligation to give a person the information she needs to avoid being hurt. She may not have wanted to hear it, but better now than before she marries him.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
Well, you don't really know yet how it'll turn out. It may take her a few days to figure things out, and she may dump him them. Or in a year or two. Or she may not. But either way, you did what you had to, and it's over.
Posted by Kiwi (Member # 7982) on :
I definitely think you did the right thing. She's just hurting, doesn't want to believe the truth, and is taking it out on you. It's a tough situation for her to be in right now. I still don't think it justifies what she said to you, particularly when you were trying to help her out, but I can see where she's coming from.

Anyway, well done. It's not an easy thing, to tell someone something they really don't want to hear. [Smile]
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
I also think I did the right thing. Right after I got the nasty IM I shot off an email because she logged off of instant messenger immediately afterward but I typed the address in wrong and it came back. Its for the best because it wasnt well thought out and I will write a better one later.

I really thought I did have a grim sad expression on my face when I told her. Apparently she didnt think so. Like I said, oh well, we knew there was a chance she would react this way. I'll email her later and say I was just trying to be comforting or something of the sort. I honestly think she would have reacted in a similar way no matter what expression I had on my face or tone of voice. She is a pretty nasty person in general. The whole reason I said anything at all is because I thought this was the right thing and I dont like to see people get screwed over when I can stop the screwing from happening. This wont stop me from telling someone in the future about their significant others cheating. I know it was right, so does everyone except the couple in question.
Posted by quidscribis (Member # 5124) on :
You know, given that you've said that you don't like her, and she's a pretty nasty person in general, I don't even know why you're worrying about her reaction. Yes, you did what you felt had to be done, yes, you don't like people getting screwed. I get that. But stop beating yourself up over how she reacted. You don't owe her anything else, especially feeling bad just because she didn't like the message. It's not your fault, you're not responsible, and yet, it seems like you're the only one feeling bad in this situation.

Don't you see anything wrong with that?

Forget about it and get on with life. [Kiss]
Posted by TMedina (Member # 6649) on :
If you really want to stoke the fire...

"Smiling? No, sorry - it was gas. Considering your boyfriend, I'd think you could recognize hot air..."

Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
I'd have said, "If you tell her, prepare for no one to like you except Hatrack."

I'd've have told you that the vast majority of the time, the person won't believe you anyway. And they'll be mad at you for telling them what they don't want to hear, to the point of misinterpreting everything you said and attributing all kinds of nastiness to your character. Then in a while, maybe sooner rather than later, they'll be filing divorce papers, and maybe remembering that you alone told them the truth.

Her screw up was thinking that a one time "mistake" only happens one time, that it's not an indicator of his basic character. You'd have been fine not telling her, as far as I'm concerned, since she was pretty much in denial already. But it took guts to do what you did, and I seriously honor that.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Most churches (and some civil institutions) require premarital counseling these days. One can only hope that this couple -- if they are intending to get married -- will go through the process with truth and a bit of courage. It's not impossible to forgive someone's infidelities and even to have it become a non-issue if the relationship is strengthened afterwards. But it's not easy and it never happens if the parties don't actually address the issue(s).

Sure, people have stayed married despite infidelity by just ignoring it and never mentioning it. But that's not very healthy. It's a bargain and builds rather than breaks down barriers. But it's easy and gives both parties built-in excuses.

The other way is better, but infinitely more difficult. This couple sounds too immature now to really be trusted with each other's hearts. I'm tempted to say things like "they deserve each other," but really I hope they don't get married and if they DO get married, I hope they grow up a lot before they bring any children into the relationship.

I wouldn't trust them with a puppy at present.


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