Dear Wendy: “Should I Warn My Friend About His Cheating Ex?”

I found out recently that my friend “Samanatha” cheated on her ex-boyfriend “Brad” when they were still dating. When I asked Samantha about it, she immediately denied it, but I’ve known her long enough to tell she was lying. Plus, the guy she slept with has absolutely no reason to lie to me about it. She and Brad are now broken up, but when he’s in town he stays at her place and they sleep together. She’s cheated on him in the past with a different guy and Brad forgave her. It was one of those things that’s understandable (while totally not right) because Samantha’s mom told her that if she wasn’t engaged she could have more than one boyfriend. It’s common knowledge that Samantha is completely hung up on Brad still and will take any chance to get back together with him. We’re talking saying things like “I’ll wear him down one day and we’ll just get married.” Brad is a really nice but passive guy. Plus, he doesn’t want to lose the guaranteed sex. The chance of them getting back together is fairly high, so I’m wondering if I should tell Brad now about the cheating, wait to see if they get back together, or just keep quiet? Brad is like a brother to me and I don’t like seeing him get hurt over and over again. — Trying Not to Meddle

“I’m 32 and Have Never Kissed a Girl”

If Brad knew about Samantha cheating on him once before and he forgave her, what makes you think his reaction would be any different a second time? Furthermore, isn’t Samantha your friend, too? And didn’t she deny the second cheating claims? What kind of friend spreads unconfirmed rumors about a pal behind her back? And make no mistake about it: unless Samantha confesses, the rumor is unconfirmed. All you have is some guy’s story and your belief that he wouldn’t make it up. I’d hardly call that enough evidence to go putting your nose where it doesn’t belong.

If you really want to protect your friend Brad, why don’t you remind him how hurt he must have been when Samantha cheated on him the first time and ask if he trusts her enough now after everything they’ve been through to give their relationship another chance. Why don’t you ask if he’s really thought through what getting back together with her would be like and whether he’s ready to risk a broken heart again. If there’s enough negative history between them, it doesn’t hurt to encourage him to consider the repercussions of reconciling with her. And if there isn’t so much negative history to deter him from dating her again, it’s simply not your place to give him reasons that may or may not be true. It’s his life and he needs to be allowed to live it on his own.

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