Between a rock and a hard place, that’s what it can feel like when one of your friends reveals information that could hurt another of your friends; such is the dynamic when you are friends with both members of a couple and one reveals that he/she cheated on the other.
Where do your allegiances lie? Are you obligated to hold a secret or reveal the truth to the victim? How will the truth affect the group dynamic and what are your responsibilities as a confidant/middle man? Should you push the cheater to come clean? Simply pass the news, or keep quiet?
Don’t Let Your Emotions Escalate the Situation
Your friend’s infidelity may draw questions about their moral character and could change the level that you can trust them. However, while these actions may cause your perception to change, it’s important to attempt to eliminate any sense of judgment. While you may have a strong opinion regarding infidelity, it’s a good practice to remain in a neutral corner and/or frame of mind.
Because relationships are multifaceted, only those living within them have a true understanding of their dynamics. As a result, it’s best to avoid language and actions which suggest judgment or condemnation. Rather serve as a sounding board meant to absorb information rather than criticize it; limit your opinions to how certain behaviors have or might hypothetically affect you.
Be Honest With Yourself and Your Values
Being there for a friend during a crucial point in their life is a test that can define a friendship. With this in mind, if you value the friendship you should try to help as best as you can during this difficult time. However, avoid compromising your own moral character by becoming a part of the lie. Advise him/her to the best of your ability and hope that they act accordingly. If you feel obliged to risk a friendship by exposing the truth then you need to be prepared for corresponding backlash and/or consequences.
Serving as the truth holder in the case of infidelity between mutual friends will undoubtedly test your friendship and the values associated with it. You may choose to remain quiet, or reveal the truth. You may in the end lose or alienate friends, and you may not know until the situation is presented how you will react. When the time comes, the best course of action is to look within yourself and use your moral compass to decide what outcome you can live with.