Three years ago, I asked the question, would you tell your friend if you knew that his or her significant other was cheating on them? This question is very relevant because once in a while we get caught up in those situations, which is why, a few years ago, I came to the painful realization that silence is the best option. My policy is, I’d never break the news to you if I knew that your S.O was being unfaithful. But if the story were to break and you asked me, I’d tell you everything I know.
You see, I’ve been burned before when I thought I was doing the right thing by telling a pal that his/her S.O was being unfaithful. I got burned real bad.
The situation differs when it comes to giving that information to guys and to chics. No offence to the ladies, but y’all just don’t know how to handle such sensitive information. More often than not, if a chic were to confront her S.O with information that you’ve given her, she will sell your ass out in the name of giving credibility to the allegation that he was cheating on her. And that gets you into major shit. Guys on the other hand tend to be more tactful when confronting their S.O with that information. They’d give her just enough rope to hang herself with, without getting the messenger into shit.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve got myself into a couple of regrettable situations as regards this issue, and both have not ended well.
A year ago, my close pal (let’s call her Mwikali) had the hots for this guy (let’s call him Arnold) who had a reputation for being one of the most prolific prostidudes on campus. She was somewhat apprehensive, so she asked me to use my renowned sleuthing skills to establish whether there was any truth to the allegations. And sure enough, there was. I gave it to her straight and told her that by hooking up with him, she would be setting herself up for a fall.
She hooked up with him regardless.
A year down the line, Arnold and I have become good friends. As far as I know, he’s kept his artillery firmly in its holster. It would be very stupid of him to do anything fishy in my presence, no? But they have their own internal issues and Mwikali suspects that Arnold has been cheating on her.
A couple of weeks ago, I ran into Arnold on the hanye. We had a brief chat (less than three minutes) after which, we went our separate ways. The next day I hooked up with Mwikali for a chat, and happened to mention in passing that I met her man at the club the previous night.
“Oh really?” she asked.
I didn’t notice her texting away on her phone, but 10 minutes later my phone beeped and it was her boyfriend, forwarding very insulting texts that she had just sent to him.
You f***ing c**t, I know you were f**king around last night, yeah Archer told me everything. He also told me that you’re one of the biggest prostidudes on campus!
So I showed her the texts and asked her why the fcuk she’d do something like that. It turns out that Arnold had lied to her about his whereabouts and she was made to believe that he was at his sister’s place. This raised her suspicions that he was up to no good. We had a brief argument, which was resolved when she agreed to call him in my presence and clear the air about the texts.
A few minutes later she asked to use my phone. I agreed, on condition that she did not send any texts to Arnold. Best believe, SHE DID! Chic tukanad him in ways that can’t be reproduced on this blog. Obviously we argued again, and this time it got so heated that campus security got involved. Let’s just say that I’m currently in shit coz of that incident.
**This incident is not easy to write about because one of the concerned parties is probably reading this post**
I have a close friend, let’s call her Jane. Jane used to date this guy, let’s call him Bill, about seven years ago. The relationship ended when Bill cheated on her, leaving her heartbroken. Being her friend and having seen the mess that she was after the breakup, obviously I had a negative opinion about the chap even though we had never met.
By coincidence, Bill and I joined the same university in South Africa in 2004. We already knew of each other, but given the circumstances, we didn’t end up being anything more than just casual acquaintances.
Somewhere in the last one year or so, Bill and Jane started talking again. Soon, old sparks were reignited and a reunion was in the offing, distance notwithstanding. (She’s studying on a continent faaaaar far away) Now, Jane and I have a few very close friends in common, some who know a lot more about Bill and the shifty things that he’s done, and they advised Jane not to get re-involved with him coz he’s bad news.
One day early this year, Jane e-mailed me and told me that Bill had proposed to her. She knew she had feelings for him, but she needed to know if she was doing the right thing. So she asked me to dig around and find out if he was doing anything suspicious in her absence.
At the end of last year, another close friend (let’s call her Natalie) was visiting Kenya for the Christmas holidays. During the time, she had a fling with a dude, and she used to tell me about him, just that she didn’t mention his name. About a month later, just about the same time that Bill proposed to Jane, Natalie happened to mention the name of the dude that she was having a fling with, and sure enough, it was Bill.
So here he was proposing to one woman who he claimed to love, while having a fling with another. And both of them are close friends of mine.
What to do?
First, I approached Natalie and let her know that Bill had a girlfriend who he had just proposed to. I also let her know that Jane was having second thoughts about it and had asked me to dig around and find dirt on him, if any. For Natalie, it was no big deal since it was merely a holiday fling. We talked about it, and she asked me not to spill the beans on their affair since it would result in a very ugly scenario. I concurred.
After consulting with the close friends that Jane and I have in common, I gave her sketchy details (without mentioning names) of Bill’s other activities, and told her that not only has Bill hurt her badly in the past (what assurance is there that he won’t do it again?) but our other mutual friends let her know that he had done the same thing in SA to someone else and therefore, she should think real hard before accepting his proposal.
I did my part. Our mutual friends did theirs. She had all the information that she needed to investigate and find out for herself just what kind of man she was getting involved with. She ignored our advice and information and basically told us all off, so we stepped back and let her be. We wished her happiness but let her know that if and when shit hits the fan, let her not say that she wasn’t warned well in advance.
That was about four months ago. Jane arrived in Nairobi about three weeks ago, where she was coming to accept Bill’s proposal and get things moving. However, during that time, Bill has done one or two shady things that have made her doubt his honesty. A couple of days ago, she called me, in tears and told me about her doubts. She also begged, BEGGED me to spill the beans on Bill’s infidelity and give her information that she could confront him with.
I remembered the promise that I’d made to Natalie not to drag her name into any beef. But here I had a stressed out woman, crying her eyes out and begging me to spill the beans.
What would you do?
It was not an easy decision for me to make. I had to weigh my options. I asked myself what was the right thing to do, seeing as I’m a friend to both parties. Which option would serve the greater good? There was no easy option since I could never forgive myself if due to my with-holding vital information, Jane ended up marrying a shifty fellow who would cause her a lot of hurt in future, and if I told her the truth, I stood the risk of losing a close friend, Natalie.
Without giving incriminating details about Natalie, I told Jane about Bill’s infidelity. I simply told Jane that Bill had a fling with a chic who was visiting over the holidays. Names were not important, since Natalie was in the dark about Bill & Jane’s relationship in the first place. She was not to blame for anything.
Armed with that information, Jane confronted Bill and told him she knows everything and that he should just come clean on the whole saga. He’s the one who mentioned Natalie’s name, but denied that he cheated on Jane with her.
Yesterday morning I awoke to very angry emails from Natalie, who cannot understand why I sold her out. It’s not easy trying to explain that I was forced by circumstances to do what I did, but I did my best not to reveal her identity. That kubaff Bill did it all by himself.
I had a discussion about this saga with some friends yesterday, some of whom were of the opinion that whereas one’s intentions may be noble while telling on a cheating partner, the repercussions are bound to be severe. The other half were of the opinion that it is one’s duty as a friend to be completely truthful to someone about their other half’s infidelity.
EGM shared a post about burning bridges, and from it I learnt that sometimes bridges are burnt even when you are trying to do what you believe is right, and when it happens, you shouldn’t have any regrets about it.
If the consequences of doing what is right, honest, truthful, and just, is that a bridge is burned, then, so be it. In those instances, it wasn’t your actions per se that caused the bridge to be burned, but rather, a consequence of someone doing something wrong, dishonest, deceitful, or unjust.
In the course of doing what I believed to be right, truthful and just, I probably lost a close friend. The outcome is regrettable, but my conscience is clear.
My personal take on these situations: A true friend would never hide such critical information from someone. However, experience is a bitch that has slapped me severally and taught me to apply the hear no evil, see no evil approach.
From now on, I’ll simply do what I think is right.
What’s on my Playlist?
C’est la vie – Aaron Rimbui