Cheating friends
September 1, 2010 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Good ideas for dealing with cheating in one’s social circle.

My husband and I (extremely happily married) are friends with a group of people from his
university. The friendship consists of dinner parties, camping trips, movie nights, and nights
drinking. We love these friends dearly. However, we just found out about a situation that is going
on and we are at a bit of a loss on how to handle it. Here’s the story (names changed of course):

Recently, my best friend Lola came to me and told me what is happening with two married
couples at the center of our circle of friends: John & Yoko and Samson & Delilah.

At a recent get together, John drunkenly confessed to Lola that he is cheating on Yoko by
sleeping with Delilah. Delilah and Samson are in an open relationship supposedly, so Samson
knows about this. Yoko is vaguely aware that something is wrong with her marriage, and has an
idea that John may be cheating on her. Yoko and Delilah used to be very good friends. Yoko
would be utterly destroyed and devastated by the truth.

Lola wants Yoko to know, however she senses that Yoko may not want to face the truth. Yoko
may be dealing with some serious self-esteem issues, she is overweight may think she can do no
better (although the truth is Yoko is much more beloved than John, and John would not be
welcome in the social circle if he wasn’t married to Yoko).

My husband and I are disgusted by Delilah and John, and if they were to run off together and
leave Yoko and Samson behind, we wouldn’t have any problem knowing what to do. However, it
appears for the time being that the situation will remain as it is.

If we weren’t so attached to Yoko and Samson, we would probably just leave the social circle
behind, however, for the time being there is no way to avoid John and Delilah without also
avoiding Yoko and Samson.

How do we mitigate the awkwardness this causes at group functions (where seemingly now
everyone is in the know except Yoko)?

What do we say if Yoko approaches one of us and asks us if John is cheating?

Will Yoko be angry with us if she finds out we knew?

To make matters worse, I had planned to do an activity with John which would require a lot of
one on one time with him next month, now the thought makes me ill. Considering we only have
secondhand knowledge of this, we have no place to broach the subject directly with anyone
involved.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If Yoko asks you if John is cheating, you say yes. I imagine there might be some awkwardness ("You knew and didn't tell me?") but the important thing is this: it is absolutely not your responsibility to cover for John's shitty behavior.

John may be mad at you for passing this information along. Guess what? He's the one who messed up. Don't let him imply otherwise.
posted by Madamina at 2:41 PM on September 1, 2010


Tell John that you heard a rumour about him and Delilah, you have no idea if it's true but rumours being what they are its only a matter of time before it gets back to Yoko. With that in mind it would probably be better if she heard it from him - if only to laugh it off. He will get the message. Or, you could just stay out of it...
posted by Jubey at 2:43 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Say nothing. Do nothing. You heard a rumor. That's it. As far as you should be concerned, it's not true.

If you no longer want to hang with John and Delilah, well, that's fine. But you'll probably be stuck for an explanation.
posted by inturnaround at 2:47 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Considering we only have secondhand knowledge of this, we have no place to broach the subject directly with anyone involved.

Right. So you ignore it because it has nothing to do with you. What people do in the privacy of their bedrooms and with whom they do it is none of your business.

If Yoko approaches you, you come clean: you tell her you don't know but there are rumors she amy want to deal with, and you leave it at that.

And sure you can be "disgusted" but you know one half of this story second hand. People's marriages are never on the inside how they appear on the outside even to close friends. They are messy and complicated, and if it's easy to be judgemental about these people it's only because your relationship has not yet faced this particular test. It never may, but you do not know that.

Really you are best off trying to remain friends with everyone involved here, extending compassion, sympathy and casseroles all around, on the basis that if you make marital fidelity a qualification for friendship, you will eventually lose half of your friends.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:50 PM on September 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Lola needs to mind her own damn business. Tell her as such and pretend you never heard it. It's secondhand intrusive gossip and it's none of your business either.
posted by milinar at 2:51 PM on September 1, 2010


What do we say if Yoko approaches one of us and asks us if John is cheating?

The truth: you've heard a secondhand rumor along those lines.

Will Yoko be angry with us if she finds out we knew?

Depends what you mean by "we knew." You don't know he's cheating; until you catch him in the very act there is no certainty in what Lola told you. What you know is a rumor, and there's no virtue in spreading rumors, ruining reputations and getting people needlessly mad at one another. If Lola wants to tell Yoko, that's Lola's business. It's not your responsibility to distribute someone else's truth.
posted by griphus at 2:53 PM on September 1, 2010


You know what, never mind. You don't tell her you've heard a rumor. You tell her you don't know anything.
posted by griphus at 2:54 PM on September 1, 2010


seemingly now everyone is in the know except Yoko

Ugh, this does not sound like "friends." Friends are honest with each other. I would hate to be Yoko, whether or not her husband is cheating, because all of her "friends" are whispering about her and her marriage and her "issues" and ... yuck.

I would sure as hell want to know. Either so that I could re-evaluate things with my husband, or so I could re-evaluate things with my "friends." Or both.
posted by headnsouth at 3:05 PM on September 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


You've been put in a really awful position. There are no good answers unfortunately.

On the one hand, no one tells Yoko, John could come to his senses, end the affair and recommit himself to his marriage. Yoko thinks it's just a rough patch and 10 years later everything's great and everyone keeps their mouth shut for good. This seriously does happen.

Or Yoko could find out some other way. The humiliation is compounded by the fact that her friends knew and didn't tell her. Also, does happen.

You could tell Yoko, John could deny it, and Yoko could take his side against you. Also have seen this happen.

You could tell Yoko, John could admit it, Yoko might forgive him and life goes on, except you're the bad guy. This one seems to be the most common, but I don't exactly have stats on this.

I would personally confront John about it and threaten to tell Yoko if he doesn't or if he doesn't end it. Whether you follow through on that threat, you have to decide that for yourself. Whether Yoko would really want to know. Whether you think she is likely to forgive him or whether she would be likely to end the marriage. Whether there are children involved. Given the level of betrayal going on here, I think she needs to know, preferably from her husband and not you, but she needs to know. Either way, yes this is likely to explode your circle of friends no matter what. Hopefully you can keep Yoko as a friend and be there for her when it does.
posted by whoaali at 3:28 PM on September 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


My rule of thumb when this sort of thing happens is this: I go to the subject of the rumor and tell them: "You need to know that someone told me this rumor and if it was me I would want to know folks were saying this about me. " Any additional conversation would depend on the two of you. Don't say it in an accusing manner, just give the information. If it isn't true, he can clear it up and if it is true he will know his secret is NOT secret at all.

I would not necessarily tell Yoko but if John tells you that the rumors are true I would tell him HE needs to tell her. If Yoko comes to you in the meantime tell her she needs to talk to John.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:28 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


By the way, this is not academic for me. I had a friend who had rumors spread about her and the rumors were not true. She needed to know. I let her know (and meanwhile told the other gossips they were spreading lies.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:30 PM on September 1, 2010


This is what you know: Lola told something.

You don't know for a fact that Lola was telling you the truth (though you may trust her veracity and intentions). You don't know for a fact that John was telling the truth (though you may find it plausible). Since you use the word "supposedly" to describe their relationship, I think it's safe to say you don't know for a fact if Delilah and Samson are in an open relationship or not. You don't know what Samson has heard or believes. And you don't know what Yoko knows or believes.

That said... ugh, what a tangled mess. Do you know why Lola told you what she told you, or what her intentions are with regards to the information? If she's already gone to Yoko, or is working up the nerve to do so, then that angle is sorta kinda covered. If Yoko comes to you asking about this, I think it would likely make you feel better to tell her there have been some rumors flying around - but that you didn't know what to believe, and that you find rumors to be hurtful so you tried to pay them little attention. Don't get into specifics about who said what to whom under what circumstances, and let her know that you're not participating in the rumor mill yourself. Even hearing that there are rumors should suggest to her that something is not quite kosher in friend and family land, if she's not already there.

When it comes to dealing with John, try to focus on what you do like about him as a person - there must be something, or you wouldn't have signed up for this activity. Remind yourself that you do not KNOW anything, that all kinds of things can be taken out of context, and that in the end your relationship with him depends primarily on how he treats with you. Does he treat you with respect? Then reciprocate.
posted by lriG rorriM at 3:36 PM on September 1, 2010


Your friend Lola is a jerk. Rather than just meddle on her own or tell John he's a jerk for involving her in his deceptions she's now dragged you into it. Don't go along.

Seriously, if Lola really believed ANY good could come from Yoko knowing this then she could have told her herself and not let her entire circle of friends know that she's been run around on. Being betrayed blows. Having everyone know it's happened? Worse.

If this came as a surprise to you why assume it's true? It's gossip. Maybe it's true. Maybe John was lying to Lola for some reason. Maybe Lola misunderstood. Maybe Lola is a nutter.

Gossip. Tell Lola to leave you out of this and that you're annoyed with her for spreading this kind of thing.

Our friends do not always share all our values or make every decision correctly. Few of us can be said to make every decision correctly. If you know one of your friends is behaving in a way that makes it impossible for you to still respect them, fine, cut them loose. But you know no such thing at the moment and owe it to all involved to react at face value.
posted by phearlez at 3:37 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


If I were in Yoko's shoes, I would MUCH RATHER be put in the position of having make the call about the credibility of such an allegation than to find out that everyone in my circle of friends knew my husband was cheating on me.

Just a rumor? I think it's clear you trust that your friend Lola is being honest with you way more than you trust this guy John not to cheat on his wife. And he's doing it with someone his wife and a bunch of their mutual friends are also friends with! Extreme aggravated douchebag behavior!

If your gut is telling you that you're not doing Yoko any favors by protecting her from the truth, I would go with that.
posted by alphanerd at 3:41 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Currently, you have no confirmable facts. That doesn't stop you from observing yourself or responding to direct questions regarding the facts you know.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:03 PM on September 1, 2010


Ignore this, and tell your friend that if she needs to get this off her chest, she should do it to the parties involved. Then stay out of it. And remember, it could all be a lie, either because your friend has something against the parties involved, or because the guy who drunkenly told her about cheating was just talking out of his ass and it's not at all true.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of people in this group that, even before this, you don't have much interest in hanging out with? You might want to consider not hanging out with them. You're allowed to spend time with one member of a married couple, but without the other.
posted by davejay at 4:05 PM on September 1, 2010


Oh, and it's major douchebaggery for your friend to be spreading this around rather than keeping their mouth shut or dealing with the impacted parties directly, so you might want to think about that -- especially if you ever plan to confide in her again.
posted by davejay at 4:06 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stay. Out. Of. It. You know nothing, and professing anything more will cause more drama than you need.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 4:29 PM on September 1, 2010


This was my life about a year ago. I was Yoko in the scenario. I sensed that shit was going down between John and Delilah and tried to handle it privately like adults. John lied and lied and lied and the circle of friends who knew what was going on got bigger and bigger. This went on for about 2 months. My relationships with John, Delilah, and all the mutual friends involved were destroyed. Of course no one felt it was their business or wanted to get involved.

Here is how it all played out for us: I quit my job and left town. I went on an epic heartbreak road trip, and 7 months later landed in a new city with a mountain of credit card debt and started over. It was especially difficult for me to feel I had no friends that I could trust and lean on for support as I made the very difficult decisions to move away. It was one of those find-out-who-your-true-friends-are moments of reconning.

You may not get to wait and watch it all play out and then choose sides. You are already involved.

P. S. Lola Isn't the big villain here. John and Delilah are.
posted by palegirl at 5:44 PM on September 1, 2010 [13 favorites]


It's interesting to me that all the people here who are saying stay out of it and don't say anything at all even if Yoko asks you directly (don't even tell her there are rumors) are men. (Just to be clear, there are men here saying to get involved somewhat, but all the responses here saying NOT to get involved and NOT to say anything about the rumor even under direct questioning by Yoko, appear to be men.). I don't really have an explanation or any commentary, I just think its interesting. Maybe if the victim here were a man I might be more swayed by that opinion than I am.

But as it is I think you should say something to Yoko. If it were you, wouldn't you want to know? Sometime before every single one of your "friends" did? I would be careful to say you have no knowledge of whether it's true or not, but that there is a rumor out there and here's what it is. And that you love her and are there for her, whatever happens.
posted by onlyconnect at 5:45 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yikes. Maybe I'm in the minority in this thread, but focusing on the dictionary definition of "know" here has the feeling of hiding behind a half-truth. I don't think someone in Yoko's position would be asking you if you've seen Polaroids; I think she'd be asking you if you had wind of anything she'd like to know about.

And I don't share many people's opinion of Lola here; I think she's probably trying to figure out the right thing to do in a messy, messy situation. Yes, what Lola is doing has ugly social consequences, but so does, you know, having an affair with someone who's a mutual friend of your spouse. To me, Lola would still be trustworthy when it came to secrets that didn't concern the royal screwing-over of a mutual friend.

If you're pretty sure you know what Yoko would want, I would advise in that direction; failing that, I'd do what you'd want if you were in her place. She may get mad at you, but sometimes it's necessary to put your friendship with someone on the line to protect them. It's your call.
posted by alphanerd at 5:55 PM on September 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


So Lola doesn't want to tell her because...she might be too fat to care if someone is cheating on her? Okay then.

Anyway, I suggest that you tell Lola to tell Yoko. If she doesn't, you go ahead and do it. But know that it might have bad consequences for you in terms of social comfort.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:07 PM on September 1, 2010


It all depends on the people involved. If you are friends with a bunch of drama queens, then feeding the gossip monster not might be a good idea. If true, this rumour will work its way to the surface eventually, without your intervention.

And if Lola wants Yoko to know, she should tell her already, instead of involving more people in the potential shitstorm. A few years ago, a good friend of mine heard that my boyfriend was cheating on me and she let me know. It turned out to be true and I'm so glad she told me. The relationship had run its course and needed a final nail in the coffin and that was it.
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:19 PM on September 1, 2010


I think we're basically on the same side, headnsouth, but the people who I think we disagree with would say anonymous should show respect for Yoko by staying out of her personal life and/or by not doing something that's going to "cause drama" (although I'd like to hear from these people why they think that beats spending decades of your life with someone who's betraying you on a very deep level). I frown upon the strike through, though because anonymous's decision on what to do with the knowledge is very much a vote-by-proxy on Yoko's behalf and is I think encapsulates what is really being debated in this thread about the fundamental nature of friendship, i.e. are good friends people who can be trusted to do what we would want, or do good friends know where to draw the line, leave us the hell alone, avoid talking about us behind our backs, and so on. Of course, I also think it's much better to make the disclosure to Yoko here, for the reason you mentioned.
posted by alphanerd at 7:08 PM on September 1, 2010


Poor Yoko. I would hate to be her- less because of being cheated on and more because my chickenshit friends minded their business and let my humiliation continue longer than it needed to. I think you should plant a seed of "something may be up" and let Lola put herself on guard.

Twice I've had inklings that the partners of two different good friends were getting too friendly with other casual friends. In both cases, I love the good friend, am less close to the partners and the casual friends, so my loyalties were clear- as are yours, I think, if you like Yoko so much more than John. I didn't know for sure, but I had a suspicion and saw some fishy behaviour. My solution was to approach good friend and say something like, "Wow, I had no idea your partner was so close with that person! They really got along well, and even hung out late after that thing you didn't come to." In one case the partner was indeed cheating and my comment was the thing that pushed the already-suspicious friend to dig for the truth and eventually break off the relationship- and friend was glad I said something. In the other situation, the friend said "Yeah, my partner and that person are tight, they have XYZ in common and have bonded" and that was that, my friend had no suspicions of infidelity so it ended right there. In both cases, I was glad I said something.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:11 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


> and let Lola put herself on guard.
Sorry, I swapped names and I was unclear. I meant, "Subtly let Yoko know so that if she's suspicious, this might intensify her doubts and put her on the search for whether John's really cheating."
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:12 PM on September 1, 2010


I think the worst thing about being cheated on by my partner with a friend of mine would be the humiliation.
If my other friends knew, that would make the humiliation much much worse.
If you don't clue her in, you are contributing to the humiliation.

I like pseudostrabismus' suggestion of casually suggesting things that would make it clear, if you don't know enough to actually sit her down and say something straight.
But do something.
posted by smoakes at 8:19 PM on September 1, 2010


I think characterizing Lola as telling the OP as spreading vicious gossip is horribly unfair. Lola told a close mutual friend who cares a lot about Yoko. This is huge and messy and really ugly. I would run this by a close friend who I trusted who was familiar and cared about Yoko before I exploded someone's marriage and someone's life. I would want to get their advice about what I should do and if my thoughts on how it should be handled were the same as theirs. I would want to know if they thought there was anything I hadn't considered before moving forward. Just figuring out how the best way to break it to Lola is hard enough.

I'm really tired of every time two women getting together to talk about anything other than the weather being called "gossip."

I also think it's simply being willfully naive to pretend that since no one has literally seen John having sex with someone else (and hey maybe it was just naked wrestling if someone did) that Lola is just an awful, awful liar telling really evil lies to everyone for no reason whatsoever. Of course there is zero evidence that Lola has any reason to lie or that she is lying or that she has a history of lying. In fact since Yoko already sort of suspects cheating and their marriage is on the rocks, it makes a lot of sense.

This is nothing more than a convenient excuse to avoid having to make a very difficult decision to avoid some very upsetting situations under the guise of "being above some ugly gossip." You don't get to opt out of difficult situation just because the answer to an ethical quandary is neither easy nor clean. No one wants to be put in this situation, but once you're there you owe it to the people you care about to carefully evaluate it and do the best you can to do what is right. You don't just get to bury your head in the sand.
posted by whoaali at 8:48 PM on September 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


If it were me, the next phone call I made after hearing this would be to Yoko to tell her. YMMV.

Also, I agree with everyone who said watch out for Lola in the future. Spreading stuff like this around to large social circles for gossip's sake is a really crappy thing to do, IMO.
posted by Ashley801 at 8:51 PM on September 1, 2010


I am with Whoaali on this one. And while I haven't been in the same situation, palegirl's post makes a lot of sense to me.

I think the situation is going to require a ton of delicacy and probably get messy. But if you are very close with Yoko, can you really sit this one out? I know that if I were in Yoko's shoes, I would be crushed to find out about the cheating, and just feel awful hearing about it secondhand. But I would want to hear about it.

"What do we say if Yoko approaches one of us and asks us if John is cheating?

Will Yoko be angry with us if she finds out we knew?"


To me, these are the two questions that matter, and frankly I don't think any of us can answer them. It's possible Yoko won't believe it and will turn on you if you tell her. It's possible she already knows and doesn't know what to do. It's possible she doesn't know yet, and will be crushed but glad you told her. It's possible she doesn't know yet, and will be crushed and wish that you hadn't said anything.

I think that I would want to know. You are the only one that knows Yoko, though. The only thing I can think to do is to think really hard about what she values, and then try and do what you think she would want you to do.

Crappy situation. Hope it resolves itself soon.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 9:22 PM on September 1, 2010


In situations with lots of gray area, I look for what my motivations would be to take certain actions. It sounds like your motivation here is care, enjoyment, and compassion for Yoko. If you did want to tell her, I think you would do it in the right ways.
posted by salvia at 10:08 PM on September 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can easily lose a friendship due to a cheater if the person being cheated on isn't ready to accept the truth. I once told a friend that the man she was in a relationship with was active on a dating site. I even sent her the link to his profile. She made excuse after excuse for him because she didn't want to believe it. The day she flew out of the country for a 2 week overseas vacation, he changed his status to "available" on the dating site.

People will only believe what they want to believe regardless of how much evidence to the contrary they're presented. They'll only believe what they want to believe.

You could easily be walking into a disaster. Everything could backfire on you if one of the people involved claims it's all a lie or chooses to believe it's all a lie.

Please be careful.
posted by 2oh1 at 10:50 PM on September 1, 2010


I've been both Yoko and Lola.

When I was Lola, I told John that he needed to come clean with Yoko, else I'd talk to her. He did, I'm glad I didn't have to have that conversation. They stayed together and their relationship became strong again. My relationship is still strained with John, but fine with Yoko.

When I played the part of Yoko, I had one friendly acquaintance that was in Lola's position. Lola ended up coming clean with me, and I greatly appreciated it. I was a little put off about how long she had known and not said anything, but she wasn't a close friend.

When Yoko finds out about John and Delilah, she's going to feel devastated, lonely and unloved. Not just by John, but by the whole world. And if you knew and didn't say anything? Once I found that out, I would not have still considered you my friend nor someone I could rely on when I really needed them.

It sucks that you're in this situation, but here you are, and your first priority is being a good friend to Yoko. That means making her aware of the situation, so she can deal with it and move on with her life instead of wasting her time with this loser.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 7:54 AM on September 2, 2010


If I was Yoko, I'd not only be devastated that John was cheating, but also that everyone else had known but me.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:09 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I was Yoko, I'd not only be devastated that John was cheating, but also that everyone else had known but me.

This is why the OP should keep her mouth shut. This is why what Lola is doing is gossip.

Lola's actions have now put Yoko in the position that, should she decide she wants to try to work things out, she will have to look all these people in the eye knowing that they know these intimate details about her marriage. Hasn't she had enough problems? Isn't this hard enough as it is?

It is none. of. your. business. what goes on in anyone else's marriage but your own.

It's gross that John chose to violate his promises to Yoko. It's disgusting that he can't just be shitty but has to also talk about to Lola and who knows who else. Lola's actions have made it worse. If you go to Yoko and tell her that you have heard about John's infidelity from a third person you confirm that this is an open secret among your friends.

This train wreck is already in progress. Don't mistake the fact that it's going to suck no matter what for being culpable in it. The right course of action is not to make it worse.
posted by phearlez at 11:10 AM on September 2, 2010


Lola's actions have now put Yoko in the position that, should she decide she wants to try to work things out, she will have to look all these people in the eye knowing that they know these intimate details about her marriage.

This is going to be true regardless. These people all ready know, and she will know they already know. There is no such thing as a secret affair. If you're messing around and you think no one knows, you're only fooling yourself.

Whether or not to tell really depends on the specific details of each individual person, but no matter what or when, Yoko is going to know that everyone knew but her. For me personally (but of course not for everyone), I would want to be told ASAP, so I could kick the jerk out, and I would be forever grateful to the person who was a good enough friend to tell me. And to me, the longer it went on, the worse it would be. I would be furious at my friends who knew and didn't tell me. But of course, Y(oko's)MMV.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:01 PM on September 2, 2010


Well, it's not really none of the poster's business. Have you read all the comments above from women who have been in Yoko's position who dropped or lost all their friends because they knew and said nothing? And the women who say they are glad their real friends told them what they knew? It's not just the marriages that are at stake, but the friendships as well. I don't think this is the right time to pretend you are an ostrich when it is most likely that the woman potentially being cheated on would rather know what you know, whether it's rumor or straight from the putative cheater's mouth. So I guess we disagree.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:09 PM on September 2, 2010


Lola's actions have now put Yoko in the position that, should she decide she wants to try to work things out, she will have to look all these people in the eye knowing that they know these intimate details about her marriage.

Yoko is already looking John and Delilah the eye on a regular basis without the knowledge that they're complicit in something deeply hurtful to her. And yet it's the fact that two other people knew about this that we should be dwelling on here, and feeling bad for Yoko about?

Is that really what you're saying?
posted by alphanerd at 4:12 PM on September 2, 2010


Once I was Yoko, except that John was screwing around with Jezebel instead of Delilah, though Sampson quite enabled him and Delilah was merely peripheral. What happened in my case, was that I too was vaguely aware, but wasn't twigging fast enough and everyone was growing more and more uncomfortable as time went by - but not one person wanted the sole responsibility of telling me. At one point, they even thought of working together on a ransom-style note, and would have each held a corner on the way to the mailbox.

But as it happened, Iggy's sense of honour was so offended once he was aware that he immediately took me aside and told me that I really, really needed to speak to John, and that when I was ready, he and Lola and even Sampson and Delilah and Anni-Frid, Björn, Benny and Agnetha would happily offer friendship and support and provide me with whatever they knew, after John had an opportunity to confess. And here it is now: John and Delilah are still happy years and years later - and so am I, with Elvis. And with all the other friendships intact on my side too.

How do we mitigate the awkwardness this causes at group functions (where seemingly now everyone is in the know except Yoko)?
If you believe it can't be anything but true, warmth and friendly support to Yoko; cold shoulder and stink eye to John, Delilah and Sampson? Or not. But beg Lola not to tell you any more, and you don't ask. Be polite to everyone, and responsive when it comes time.

What do we say if Yoko approaches one of us and asks us if John is cheating?

"You really, really need to speak to John about that. And we'll be here for you after you have."

Will Yoko be angry with us if she finds out we knew?

Well, this Yoko was sad, a little embarrassed and ashamed that she'd married such a jerk. And tearful and grateful for people who didn't think less of her for it. Mad at herself for ages. But mostly, angry that John and Jezebel put everyone in such a hurtful, awkward and stupid situation. A little extra resentful toward Sampson for enabling. And enormously grateful to, and a little sweet on Iggy for being brave and kind.

If John's personal life gets really messy any time soon, your activity with him might be curtailed, and that would solve that problem, I guess.
posted by peagood at 9:40 PM on September 2, 2010


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