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Friday, June 24, 2016

Do You Tell Your Friend That Her Boyfriend is a Cheater?

Dear Bro Jo,

Mel here, with another question about the guy I wrote to you about last time.

It's a bit of a doozy.

He and I "dated" for about a month last fall. It was strange because sometimes I'd go a week without seeing him, which he always attributed to being busy with a certain sports team he is on, one that I know takes up a lot of time, but that I also know does not take up that much time.

Yet because I was so ridiculously infatuated, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let it slide.

He frequently told me I was the only person he spent time with other than his family and his teammates.

We always had such an amazing time together when I did get to see him, so I figured I could put up with it.

Somehow he managed to be very sweet without ever stating any kind of feelings for me or even complimenting me.

That should have been red flag number one.

Red flag number should have been the discomfort on his face and how he just stopped talking whenever past relationships came up in conversation.

Anyway, after our best date yet, he dropped all contact, completely out of the blue.

A few days later, I saw a very couple-y picture of him with some girl.

One click later, I found out they'd been dating (seemingly long-distance as of that semester) for nearly a year, though his current Facebook relationship status was single.

Though I don't know for sure, I am relatively certain they had still been together when I was seeing him…basically, that he cheated on his girlfriend with me.

I felt far more sorry for her than I did for myself.

It actually explained a lot of the odd things he'd said and done. I didn't know what to do. I knew that if I were her, I'd want someone to tell me. But I also wasn't even sure that they'd been together at the time.

Even so, I figured it was something between the two of them, so I didn't say anything. I myself moved on relatively quickly.

I met someone just a few weeks later, and now, we're actually planning on getting married.

The only reason we're not engaged yet is because he has yet to meet (and ask permission from) my parents, who live halfway across the country. We're flying out there in a little over a month.

Here's the tricky part. The "ex" just got engaged to that same girl he cheated on with me.

My feelings of guilt have returned full force.

Granted, I did nothing wrong, since I didn't even know about her until after he and I were no longer seeing each other.

I just…I don't think he's told her.

If he has told her, then they've worked through it already and double-checking won't do any harm.

But if he hasn't...

On the one hand, I don't want to be a home wrecker.

On the other hand, I'll feel partially responsible if she gets eternally sealed to a lying cheater.

And I'm guessing I'm not the only girl he was with either. I personally am happier than I've ever been in my entire life. I'm marrying the man of my dreams, and even before that all happened, I wouldn't have taken The Ex back even if he begged.

So this isn't any kind of a vendetta. I just want her to have the same happiness I do, because no woman deserves to be lied to.

And I'd enjoy a clear/clean conscience as well.

So Bro Jo, what should I do?

Should I contact him and ask him if he told her/tell him to?

Should I contact her? How would I even do it?

Should I even do anything?

- Melody

Dear Melody,

When I first read your letter I was honestly on the fence.

My initial reaction was "keep it to yourself" . . . but then I started thinking about all of the failed marriages I know about . . . and I was wondering if maybe you shouldn't say something . . . not because you feel guilty (you're right, you have no reason to) but because she may be making a very important choice without enough information.

So . . . I asked one of my classes. (They were taking a test of sorts when I read your email.)

Ten women, four men, not all heterosexual and no Latter-day Saints to my knowledge.

Every single person in the class said keep it to yourself; mind you own business.

(Some were quite passionate in their response . . . particularly how negatively they think about this guy.)

But then an interesting thing happened.

I asked them if they'd like to know if they were the person that had been cheated on.

Every single one of the guys said yes, absolutely.

And every single one of the women said no.

That surprised me.

A lot.

Probably because I'm a guy.

Having to make a decision, my answer to you is: keep it to yourself.

People don't like advice they haven't asked for, and there's a very large possibility you'll come across as the mean and jealous ex-girlfriend.

Let it go, and be happy you've made a great choice in your new boyfriend.

- Bro Jo


Laura said...

I would absolutely say do not try to contact them. You do not have to "keep it to yourself" though if it is going to bother you. Give it to Heavenly Father. Let him take it from you, and pray for the assurance that it no longer needs to be a concern in your life.

I would say there are too many unknowns to really make the decision to speak up. You don't know for sure how long they were dating, you also don't know how "official" they were when he was dating you. And like you said, you don't know if she already knows. My husband and I were in an "open relationship" of sorts (we had nothing posted relationship-wise on facebook) while I was far away at school, before we became "official" and later engaged and married. We kept it "open" simply because of the distance. I went on dates with a few other guys, and he was aware of them. I was also aware that he got a couple of girl's phone numbers. I let some guys flirt with me, and I went on more than one date with one guy in particular because he liked me and kept asking me on them. Over a long weekend, I saw my now-husband and we kissed for the first time (and second, and third, and many many more... :P ) and when I got back to school, I let the guy who had been taking me on dates know that I was not interested in pursuing a relationship with him and don't want to waste his time.

The situation your ex and his fiance are in could be very similar to what I went through. It could also potentially be a sticky mess, but like I said in the beginning, give it to Heavenly Father. Your concern and sympathy are righteous, but it is not your responsibility or within your power to try and fix anything that may need fixing. Leave that to God to sort out. :)

Anna said...

I differ in opinion.

How is it your concern whether or not they were dating at the time? You're not dating him now.

However she is, so I think it is relevant that she knows the timeframe in which you were dating and the extent to which this dating was taking place. She can do what she wants with that info. She can talk to him, or do nothing. That's HER prerogative. The information may not even be relevant such as in the situation the above poster mentioned, but it might be and that's good enough as long as you stay accurate and matter-of-face about it.

Anna said...