I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!
Today I am answering questions that I receive often, but have been afraid to address here “out loud” until now…
Yes, I believe that she has the right to know what is happening in her marriage.
Infidelity is a malignant cancer. It will devour your relationship, your family, and you personally if it is not brought to light. When my Beloved and I discovered that he had a tumor growing on his kidney, it was frightening. There would be pain and a long road to healing for him, but we knew that we had to take action. After the surgery to remove his kidney, we learned that the tumor had been much worse than we had anticipated. It was Stage II cancer, and it was a blessing to have it removed before it spread to the liver, lungs, brain, and other parts of his body. Pretending like it didn’t exist was not a healthy option for us. In fact, it could have been deadly.
The same thing is true in relationships. I have also lived through the devastating effects of learning that infidelity had weaved its way into my first marriage. I had suspected his cheating, but I continued to bury my head in the sand of my own denial. A friend lovingly removed my blinders and helped me to see what was really going on. The evidence of his betrayal was crushing, but her friendship, engulfing love, and gentle way of guiding me to the truth was the greatest gift that she could ever give me.
Being aware of the unfaithfulness is the first step to your friend having a fighting chance to save her marriage. You can’t save what you don’t know is lost.
Sadly, both my Beloved and I both have experience with this. While my friend told me over the phone, my Beloved’s friend gave him the news in person. We both agree that there really isn’t any one good way to tell a friend that their spouse is being unfaithful. Don’t stress too much over the method – but do realize that the most important thing is actually the tone in which you tell her. It’s all in the delivery.
I can’t stress this enough… Be kind. Come to her from a place of love. Your friend will soon find her marriage crumbling around her. Please be sure that your attitude is one of love, grace, and concern. Never slip into an “I-told-you-so” attitude. You may have thought this guy was a loser to begin with, and even if you had already expressed your dislike for him in the past, this time you need to approach her without any judgment. Just love.
No, you don’t have to tell her, but consider the analogy that I used before of infidelity acting like a cancer. If you knew that your friend had no knowledge of a deadly tumor in her body, would you tell her about that?
Not only does she deserve to know what is going on, it has now become a health and safety issue. This may not be the first time that he has engaged in an affair, and it might not be the last. She should have the right for the chance to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and to insist on him being tested. Please do not think that you are doing her a favor by not telling her.
I understand why you might not want to tell her – but I ask for you to consider what you would want if the situation were reversed.
Another way you can be there for her is to offer to help in any way that she needs. Offer to babysit while she goes to counseling. Be a listening ear when she needs to vent, and a comforting shoulder to cry on when it all feels like too much. Chances are that she won’t feel like eating, but you could bring her a meal or chocolate. Or flowers. She will need your friendship, love, and acceptance now more than ever.
Pray for her. Send her a card. A text message just letting her know that she’s on your mind will mean the world to her. One of the things a friend did for me was to let me borrow funny movies and TV shows on DVD. It was impossible for me to fall asleep in the beginning, but I was finally able to relax enough to drift off to sleep after watching a couple of her SCRUBS episodes each night. Eventually I smiled, a while later I could laugh again – and her thoughtfulness played a huge part in my healing.
I honestly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my friends and family. They walked beside me, encouraged me, let me lean on them when I needed it, and celebrated my growth and healing along the way. I wouldn’t wish this devastating news on anyone – but it is my hope that through our willingness to stand in those dark places with our loved ones, that we can let them know that they are not alone.
Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,
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