If you know a woman whose husband is cheating for her, it may have taken you some time to decide it is in her best interests to tell her. It's difficult to feel you are doing the right thing when you know it will lead to hurt, says Mark D. White in the article "Should You Tell Your Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating?" for "Psychology Today." Unfortunately there is very little you can do to soften the blog of your revelation, but you can tell her in a way that shows you have her best interests at heart.
Most women see warning signs that they choose to turn a blind eye to, says life coach Shasta Nelson in the article "Help! Should I Tell My Friend that Her Husband is Cheating on Her?" for "Huffington Post." If you really don't think she knows, give her only a small amount of information without going into too much detail. Nelson recommends doing this with an element of uncertainty, because she may remain in denial for some time. Let her have her pride and don't force every sordid detail on her, even if you are 100 percent sure of the affair.
This is Not About You
You may be feeling physically sick at the thought of telling a woman her husband has cheated on her. It's definitely not pleasant to be the bearer of bad news. Perhaps you and your husband are friends of the couple and the knowledge of the affair is causing conflict in your marriage. Remember, however, that how you are feeling is nothing compared to how she will feel when she finds out. Make sure your motives for telling her are the right ones. Don't do it to relieve yourself of the burden, warns Nelson. Tell her in a mature way and keep your emotions in check.
By telling a woman her husband is cheating on her, you are placing yourself directly in the firing line. Consider the range of reactions your news may get: anger, shame or disbelief. The woman may even accuse you of lying, simply because she is not ready to face the truth. You can avoid adding fuel to the fire by assuring her that you care about her feelings and are there to support her through this difficult time. Never badmouth her husband, no matter how you feel about him, advises Nelson. Tell her that you deeply regret being the one to tell her this news, but that you would regret it even more if she found out from someone else that you knew and kept it from her.
Be a Friend
By choosing to tell this woman her husband is cheating on her, you have made a commitment to helping her work through the various stages of grief. If you don't consider yourself to be close enough to her to be there for her during her darkest moments, you may not be the right person to break this news, warns Nelson. Give her a shoulder to cry on. Let her get mad and don't take it personally if she directs her anger at you. Keep telling her that you're there for her no matter what.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."