Should I tell her?
October 31, 2013 4:09 PM   Subscribe

A friend's ex-husband confessed a number of sins to me. Should I tell her? Drama below.

I dated him for two years, then she was married to him for 12. They divorced 4 years ago and she and I became good friends, unbeknownst to him.

As I understood it, she divorced him because his brother sexually assaulted her, and he thought they should protect the brother and not report the incident to the police (I don't know how that all panned out.) She also told me he cheated on her one time with a woman they met in a bar.

He asked me to dinner one night after their divorce (again, not knowing she and I were friends) and proceeded to tell me about many affairs he had during their marriage, including a lengthy sexual relationship with her best friend.

She is still best friends with the best friend and has no idea they were ever involved. If it were me I'd want to know to get the hell away from this person claiming to be my "best friend" but I know this is seriously damaging territory. Which way should I go on this?
posted by Josephine Macaulay to Human Relations (58 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Only tell her if you are prepared to never talk to any of these people or be at any of the same gatherings as them again.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 4:16 PM on October 31, 2013 [25 favorites]

This is not your drama. And you have no particular reason to trust that he's telling you anything truthful at all.
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:17 PM on October 31, 2013 [17 favorites]

That doesn't mean don't tell her, by the way. Just be aware that it'll have consequences and they are likely to be unpredictable.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 4:18 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I were HER, I'd wonder why the hell you went to dinner with my ex-husband after all the shit he put me through. Unless you're willing to wade into that territory, keep your mouth shut.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:18 PM on October 31, 2013 [33 favorites]

There will be plenty of people who will disagree, but I'd tell in this case. She would likely want to know. Arguably, as well, her health may depend on it. I'd phrase it such that she decides if and how much you divulge: "I met with ex-husband, and he shared with me some difficult information that you may want to know."

You don't have to divine whether or not he's being truthful. You can take the conversation in good faith, because that's how he wanted you to understand it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:20 PM on October 31, 2013 [14 favorites]

If that were me I would be very concerned with the possibility of contracting STDs from the women he has slept with. So I would tell her in this case.
posted by littlesq at 4:22 PM on October 31, 2013 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: When he asked me to dinner four years ago wanting to catch up, I asked her first and she said definitely go. We both wanted to know what he had to say. I haven't had contact with him since, and she and I have become closer friends.
posted by Josephine Macaulay at 4:22 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wait so it was FOUR years ago that he confessed the affair with the best friend and it's only now that you feel like you need to tell the ex-wife? WHY?????
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:26 PM on October 31, 2013 [22 favorites]

You're going to get a lot of people who tell you to stay out of this, but not a lot of those people are going so far as to say, "If my (ex-)husband cheated on me with my best friend, I wouldn't want to know about it." If you'd want to know if the situation were reversed, I think you should tell.
posted by alphanerd at 4:27 PM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

This all happened four years ago?

I cannot imagine what possible good would come out of you telling her this now. And I would ask you to strongly question why you're even thinking about doing this, four years after the fact.
posted by kinetic at 4:28 PM on October 31, 2013 [17 favorites]

not a lot of those people are going so far as to say, "If my (ex-)husband cheated on me with my best friend, I wouldn't want to know about it."

Ok, here you go. If my (ex-)wife cheated on me and we'd been divorced for four years, I wouldn't want to know about it. The only thing it would do is remind me never to trust my tattle-tale friend with any personal secrets.

Seriously, what good can possibly come of this? I'd have a different answer if they were still married, but really... it's time for everyone to move on.
posted by toxic at 4:36 PM on October 31, 2013 [5 favorites]

If you were going to tell her, why didn't you consider it four years ago? Why now? What has happened recently to precipitate this? I feel like there's something else going on here.
posted by scody at 4:36 PM on October 31, 2013 [11 favorites]

If you are thinking of telling her now, it is not for her health or so that she can get away from her so-called friend - if that were the case you should have told her right away.

It's bothering you and you want to get it off your chest. Don't do it. Write a letter and throw it away. Find some other way to get your emotional closure. You are not being a friend to her by telling her at this point.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 4:37 PM on October 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

Why on earth would there be a reason now, four years later, to tear into all these people's lives? I cannot fathom one. If she were still married to him and he had confessed this to you recently then there is likely room for debate but now?
posted by Cosine at 4:39 PM on October 31, 2013

Best answer: (I think people are missing that she and the ex wife have become closer friends over the last four years.)

It's been four years since they divorced. Hopefully she's moved on. Bringing this up wouldn't do her a whole lot of good. Bad relationship was much worse than she thought? Certain emotional truths she had dealt with turned out to be not truths? And now she has to deal with them all over again? Telling her would be the equivalent of opening a sinkhole underneath her, dredging up a whole shed ton of shit. I can't see the plus side here. If the divorce were fresh, I'd feel different, but this is all old news.
posted by incessant at 4:40 PM on October 31, 2013 [9 favorites]

Best answer: If I understand your story and this was confessed to you 4 years ago when they broke up and you are suddenly getting the urge to tell someone, I would think twice about it. I would also think long and hard if telling her is for your sake or hers.

It sounds to me like your ambivalence may mirror well the varied advice you are getting in this thread. It's okay to come to a different conclusion now than you might have held four years ago, as the assorted advice you are receiving supports the difficulty in weighing all the variables. Regardless of your motivations, I think you should think about the outcome, and if it's right to tell anyway, go ahead and do it. If I waited for the perfect motivation to always do the right thing, I'd be sitting on my butt on the couch a lot.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:40 PM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

No. Telling her is only going to hurt her.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:47 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for understanding, spacemanstix and incessant. And yes, seeing the best friend at my friend's birthday recently made me see red. My friend doesn't need friends like that, but I don't want to be one of them either. It's a very difficult situation.
posted by Josephine Macaulay at 4:48 PM on October 31, 2013

I can understand why you'd want to tell her now that you are really close. A "lengthy sexual relationship" between husband and best friend is really not something to shrug off lightly if she is still best friends with this person and has no idea. That's really low!

But is it possible the best friend already confessed and was forgiven?
posted by Danila at 4:48 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

You know, figure out who your lasting friends are here. If he and her "best friend" aren't people you care a lot about, and she is, then yes, I'd tell her. Otherwise, I'd keep this conversation to yourself.

I'd add that to the extent you want to tell her some but not all you learned, the really important information is that he was apparently unfaithful with more than one partner, not who they were.
posted by bearwife at 4:50 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why is everyone saying there would be no point in telling now except to cause pain? You said she is still best friends with this "best friend"? Has everyone forgotten this person? She absolutely needs to know that her so called best friend is no such thing. It's too late to redeem the years with a lying husband, but at least she can have the truth about her best friend now, and get some real friends. While I also don't understand why it's taken four years to wonder what to do, I really think she needs to know about this regardless of the unpredictable consequences to you. She deserves more, and has more to lose here than you do. The idea that you should deliberate and weigh as to how this would have consequences to you, as suggested by others, is absurd. Of course you may lose friendships you don't want to, but it can't be as simple as "tell if you don't mind losing your friends and not being at gatherings".
posted by Blitz at 4:55 PM on October 31, 2013 [9 favorites]

I would want to know if my current "best friend" had habitually betrayed me & stabbed me in the back with an affair with my then husband. Yeah, I would want to know because this person doesn't sound like a friend at all, let alone a best friend. I would personally want her out of my life. So if it were me, I would want to know. I would feel betrayed by what she did but possibly even more betrayed to know she's still sticking around and acting like everything is great, because I never found out about what she did.

I think what makes bearing of the subject is the fact that this "best friend" is still a close confidant of hers, and actively in her life. Sounds like a really shitty friend, who's content to get away with betraying people who trust her.

Hard situation. Good luck.
posted by readygo at 5:11 PM on October 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

If I understand it, you're friends with Jane and Jane is friends with Carol. Unbeknownst to Jane, Carol -- allegedly -- had lots of sex with Jane's ex.

There are some warped people out there, but you know better than us if ex is warped enough to make that up with a thought that it might get to Jane, spin her head around and most likely end her friendship with Carol.

If you've any sense that's possible, clam up.

If your guy says he speaks the truth, I say tell Jane.
posted by ambient2 at 5:12 PM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

This is a really tough one... On one hand, inserting yourself into their drama just seems like a bad idea. There's the chance she won't believe you or will shoot the messenger or that you telling her will damage your friendship in some other way.

She also may not want the old wounds of her ex-husband to be re opened. Plus she will then also be in a world of pain knowing one of her best friends had a lengthy affair with her then-husband.

On the other hand, it doesn't seem like the friend-thing to do to let her remain friends with this person knowing what happened. Plus there may also be another side of the story; maybe her friend thought she was in love and your friend would forgive that, maybe he was drunk and lying... etc etc.

In your situation, I would most likely spill the beans. But that's because I don't like to harbor secrets like that. The guilt would eat me up.
posted by Autumn at 5:13 PM on October 31, 2013

To elaborate upon my answer, the reason I said that it would cause more pain to tell her now is that telling her now is a betrayal on 3 levels: the husband who had the painful affair, the best friend that had the affair with the husband, and the writer of this question, who has betrayed her by keeping the affair a secret. The likely outcome of revealing this secret now is that this friend will lose her best friend and will also no longer want to be friends with the question asker. There is nothing additional that the friend can gain from this knowledge, aside from getting 'revenge' on the best friend by breaking up with her as a friend (or perhaps doing other things to get revenge, although hopefully not). Since the friend is aware that her husband had affairs, and it has also been 4 years since the breakup of the marriage, it is unlikely that telling her would cause her to make any new decisions about getting STD testing. Maybe losing friends who lied to her (in the question asker's case, a lie of omission) is not a bad thing for this person in the long run, but it's also undeniably going to cause her a lot of pain in the short run - pain that would definitely be worth experiencing if she was still in the relationship with the cheater, but in this case, I don't think the positive outcomes outweigh the negative.

However, my perspective is that one need not be close friends with another person to tell them that their partner is cheating on them. I say that as someone who exposed a cheater to another person who was only an acquaintance of mine. As such, I would not have kept this a secret, even if this ex-wife was not a good friend at the time I learned of the affair, I would have told her about it right away.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:18 PM on October 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

Tricky situation.

I think what makes it difficult is that you asked her permission to meet with him, then didn't disclose then what he said. That in itself was pretty uncool, because asking her if it was ok, that both of you wanted to know what he would say. That clearly means she was expecting you to divulge information.

For practicality, I would outright ask her if she was tested for STDs after the divorce. i.e. if he cheated once, he cheated again...

The friend situation, I don't know. Disclosing now is asking for drama. Here is the criteria you should use: What would be the best outcome for her, either way. That really should be your priority. Her best friend may be a horrible friend, or may have serious regrets, and you don't know either way.
posted by annsunny at 5:35 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe this? "If I heard rumors about your ex's behavior during the marriage, would you want to know? Or is that in the past and you're over it?" "Yes, I'd want to know." "I heard a rumor that your BFF may have been involved with your ex, before you divorced. I have no sense of whether this is true or whether it's just malicious gossip, and I agonized about whether to tell you for kind-of a while."

Ugh, I don't know. That's really tough. You don't know if it's true, you don't know if she already knows, you don't want to hurt her, but you also don't want her to get hurt by being friends with a backstabber. There's not a great answer.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:44 PM on October 31, 2013 [5 favorites]

I think you shouldn't tell her. I think it's less likely that her BFF is still this malicious husband-humping Iago character, and more likely that she screwed up years ago -- maybe she was in love, maybe she was in a deeply vulnerable place, maybe she wasn't that close with your friend at that time -- and that telling your friend now about this terrible thing that the guy says happened (and who knows if it's even true -- he may have invented or embellished) would cause enormous pain to your friend, and she'd lose her BFF for sure, and that's just… I feel like overall, it'd cause more pain than it would avoid.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:54 PM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

You know, there's been shitty people like this in my life.

And you know what sucks? they somehow always manage to claw there way back in to the center of thought and attention. And every time they do, a bunch of negative shit and drama comes out of it even if they've been gone for a couple years like this.

By bringing up "hey, so by the way i thought you should know that person X did another shitty thing you didn't know about" you're just giving them relevance again. Yea, they're not around to revel in it or anything but you're putting them back in at the very least your friends mind.

And just allowing their shittiness to breed more shittiness again this far in the future. It's like freaking nuclear fallout.

I absolutely agree that the time to say this has long since passed.

On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who will just always be going "omg omg omg omg i can't stop thinking about this" and just loves to blurt stuff out, you might as well get it over with and let whatever is going to happen happen. expect drama though.
posted by emptythought at 5:57 PM on October 31, 2013 [10 favorites]

When you say "lengthy" relationship between ex and BF, how long is that? How long ago was it? If they were married for 12 years and divorced for 4 it's conceivable that the affair was many years ago. While its clearly a betrayal of the worst kind, for all we know the friend could have spent the last 10 years full of guilt and remorse and actively being this woman's best friend for real. Good people do bad things sometimes. Your friend has already lost her husband, and I'm wondering whether she needs to lose a close friend as well 4 years after you knew there was something to tell. The damage it would do to her sense of trust in people might be worse than the betrayal itself.

She gave you the ok to have dinner with him to find out what he had to say, then you didn't tell her what he said. I don't really understand that part, but I think that was your opportunity and its now passed. How could you explain that you just didnt tell her when you found out? Your sense of injustice at seeing this woman at your friend's party is something you might have to put up with.
posted by billiebee at 5:57 PM on October 31, 2013 [10 favorites]

This is a shitty situation, full of shitty people. I would do two things.

1. Leave it the hell alone from here on out. It will only get worse.

2. Realize you are one of these people. Sorry for any insult, but you have waded thighs deep into this, and in some ways, have just prolonged it and made it worse. Stop.
posted by timsteil at 6:09 PM on October 31, 2013 [9 favorites]

Don't tell anyone anything. You are so far removed from the original incident, the confession afterwards... it's been so long as to be pointless, even if it were your betrayal to confess.
posted by RainyJay at 6:14 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Putting myself in your friend's shoes:

If I had a best friend who had a lengthy affair with my partner, I would want to know about it. Whether I found out four days or four years later, I would still want to know, because eventually I may find someone new, and I would rather not let people who have seriously betrayed me in the past hang around my new relationship. Way too much liability.

Many commenters here are worried about the pain your friend may feel at hearing how her friend cheated with her ex-husband. But you know what would hurt even more? Having that same "best friend" cheat with her next partner as well.
posted by Shouraku at 6:36 PM on October 31, 2013 [6 favorites]

I would want to know, so as to remove toxic people from my life, and also to get therapy on why there's a tendency for me to be drawn to these personalities.
posted by kinoeye at 6:37 PM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

If in doubt, tell the truth. I think that telling the truth and allowing for transparency is almost always the best default policy. If the path of least resistance is to hide the truth, it might not be one of the reasonable exceptions to this rule.

As a general life principle, I think that concealing the truth or lying to protect people is rarely in their best interest, and is too often an excuse to take the easy path or not get involved in difficult situations where it is warranted. People aren't delicate flowers to be protected. It's a little bit insulting, actually, to put yourself into the role of protector in such a way that it takes away the autonomy of individuals to know important things about their own lives, and as a result, take important steps based on that information.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:43 PM on October 31, 2013 [9 favorites]

Under the circumstances you gave -- four years ago, I would have told her. Four years ago, if I were her, I'd want to know. But now?

The news about the ex husband would hurt, although perhaps I would not be surprised that my ex was a serial cheat. But that my good friend has been sitting on this information about my best friend and being all judge-y about it? I dunno OP, it'd be hard for me to want to be good friends with you afterwards, even if it turned out to be false (about the best friend).

In your shoes, I honestly am not sure what I would do.
posted by sm1tten at 7:00 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think it depends on:

- Are you in a point in your life in which you can handle various people you know going nuts and being angry at you?
- Is she at a point in her life at which she can handle hearing this?
- Is she going to do something soon which requires the trust of her best friend?

If you can answer 'yes' to the first two, and I were the friend in question, I would want to know.

If the answer to the third question was 'yes', then I might want know even if 'no' is the answer to the first two, depending on what's at stake.

The trustworthiness of my friends is very important to me, however. If I had mistakenly placed trust in a friend, I would want to know immediately so that I could deal with them accordingly. She may not think it's as important.
posted by ignignokt at 7:19 PM on October 31, 2013

Telling "the truth" is a fine idea if you posses the truth. Your information as provided does not indicate that you actually know anything.

Back off.

The fact that she said "go for it" doesn't negate the fact that you asked. If he was such a heel, I can't imagine why you didn't say no right away.

Thigh deep indeed.

Seriously, remove yourself from this drama. According to you, she already knows he was an STD risk.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:37 PM on October 31, 2013

Stay the hell out of this. There is no possible good result from it.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:11 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Stay silent. It's not your business, particularly after four years of keeping quiet.
posted by shivohum at 8:13 PM on October 31, 2013

Whoa, I missed the part where you hadn't said anything for four years. I think at this point your opportunity to come clean has passed. If you still choose to, prepare to lose this friend for hiding it for so long.
posted by Autumn at 8:35 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Josephine, from what you've said you perceive a significant difference in the depth of your friendship with her from four years ago when it was more of an "enemy of my enemy" kind of deal and the two of you bonded over mutual dislike for the ex. You haven't really explained why you didn't tell her everything then. I could understand being uneasy coming between her and her best friend because that's pretty devastating news. Now you see her as a friend with a history and bond between the two of you in its own right and what the "best friend" did weighs more heavily when you see them both and when you care more.

I think you need to be really clear as to why you waited so long and whether or not you can trust what he said. Could he have been saying that to throw a little more dirt on her? And if the best friend has already come clean about it, you bringing it up really is opening old wounds and will come across more poorly. None of us really know you or your friend, the ex or the bestie.

I can say I'd be willing to lose my friendship over it rather than keep a secret which isn't really mine to keep. I think any friend I ever had would want to know if their best friend did such a thing, if the information was reliable. That depends in large part on your reliability and why you have kept this secret for as long as you have.

If this secret is true I don't really see it as yours to keep.
posted by Danila at 8:47 PM on October 31, 2013

I think the most mature thing is to stop thinking about all the various powers this piece of information(?) gives you, and all the things you might do with it, and to just move on from it, and the terrible people that are trying to manipulate you with it, completely. Don't be so infatuated with what you think you know. Concentrate on your friendship with your friend and being a solid source of support for her.

If she ever finds out and feels you betrayed her by not telling her, you can honestly say "I didn't want to act on something from an unreliable source, which I could really not be sure was true given the person's willingness to hurt you, and possibly do permanent damage to your friendships by passing on unsubstantiated gossip."
posted by Miko at 9:13 PM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've been in this EXACT position, except I only know the ex wife and I'm not good friends with her.


I did not tell. I still feel it was none of my business, but wished I could have done more to protect the ex wife.

That said....

Fuck these people.

posted by jbenben at 9:25 PM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

The ex-husband could been have lying about the affair in order to cause his ex-wife some grief by ruining her friendship with her best friend, assuming that you'd tell her.
posted by 445supermag at 10:19 PM on October 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Wow, this is tough. I was all set to tell you to disclose what the ex told you until I realized you learned all of this four years ago. I don't say that in a "tsk, tsk" way, but it definitely changes things. I like Eyebrows McGee's suggestion of giving her the choice with the added suggestion of encouraging her to take some time to decide what she wants to know. I suggest saying something along the lines of, "Remember that dinner I had with your ex? There were some things he mentioned unrelated to the sexual assault that I wasn't sure about sharing so I sat on them for awhile and I think that was a mistake. As we've become closer, I realize I probably should have brought this up sooner, but I've been worried about damaging our friendship. Ultimately, I want to do what is in your best interest and hopefully keep you as a friend because you mean a lot to me. Would you like to know what he disclosed or do you feel like you'd rather not hear it? Before you answer, if you want to think about this a bit before letting me know, I think that's a good idea and I'm happy to share everything he told me, whenever you feel ready, if ever."

I think most people's immediate impulse would be to say "tell me everything, right now" but given some time, their answers might be different, which is why I strongly recommend encouraging your friend to take some time before giving you an answer either way. For what it's worth, I had a friend who made the very difficult decision to tell me some unfortunate things about an ex in not the most timely manner and I never held the time passed against her because I realized what a tough spot she was in and I greatly appreciated and respected her decision to tell me the truth. None of us can predict what your friend's reaction will be and since she gave her okay to this dinner as a fact finding mission and you didn't initially share all the facts, she might be understandably pissed, but I think your desire to right a possible wrong will probably balance that out and, while it might not be immediate, it is likely that she will eventually forgive.

Lastly, if I were her, I'd want to know, especially since I'd want to escape this so-called friend as soon as humanly possible. Also, if she ever has moments of feeling lonely, being in doubt about her decision to divorce, and/or any second-guessing that sometimes comes with being a sexual assault victim, this is additional fodder that can reinforce her decision to move on and assure her that she really was seeing the situation clearly in many ways. It sounds like both the ex and his brother are total jackasses, and I would not be surprised if they did a number on her emotionally as she tried to decide what to do about the assault, the divorce, and how to view the world in general. You've both been put in a shitty situation, but there is a way out of it, even four years later. Be honest, kind, and compassionate while acknowledging that you probably should have handled this differently, and I think you have an excellent chance at not only preserving this friendship but also making it stronger.
posted by katemcd at 10:19 PM on October 31, 2013 [6 favorites]

I would want to know, but also, I would probably feel quite betrayed that you hadn't told me sooner. I think katemcd has a good script.

I'd think through all the reasons you didn't tell her before and what has prompted the change of heart now. How you articulate those reasons will likely be important.
posted by salvia at 10:45 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I honestly think you should assume that the ex was lying or dissembling or changing details for some strange damaged reason of his own, and forget about everything he "confided" to you.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:30 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the more I think about this, the more it seems important that you really don't know what happened. You don't know any details about what this supposed affair looked like. In fact, you don't even know if he was telling you the truth.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:15 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just leave it be.
To bring it up now would only serve to open an old wound and pour salt in.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:07 AM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am surprised no one has mentioned talking to the best friend. I would be inclined to meet alone with the best friend, inform her of what the ex disclosed and kind of go from there. Maybe it is a lie and she can refute what he said in a convincing manner ("I was living in Africa the decade they were married - we only connected again after her ex moved out") or maybe she will beg you not to tell or maybe she will say she's been forgiven or maybe she will tell her bestie etc, etc. If it is true, she hasn't told and has no plans to tell... I would kind of leave it up to her as to whether she would feel comfortable remaining besties with someone and fuelling your emotions while just waiting for the shoe to drop. This could of course backfire and the bestie could start a smear campaign against you since she already has a history of self-centred and dispicable behaviour.

Your goal seems to be to want to protect her from possibly toxic people while causing her the least amount of personal trauma.
posted by saucysault at 6:43 AM on November 1, 2013 [7 favorites]

If you care about her enough that her happiness matters more than yours, tell her.

If you care about your happiness more than hers, don't.
posted by corb at 7:03 AM on November 1, 2013


No good will come of this.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:48 AM on November 1, 2013

Are you sure the information he shared with you is the truth? Are you sure he had no idea that his two ex-wives knew each other? Do you have any evidence of anything other than the tales of a recently divorced confirmed liar?

If you don't, then I think you shouldn't bring any if this up with your friend.
posted by grog at 8:04 AM on November 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm late to this, but I agree with saucysault and am surprised more people don't suggest that. I'd talk to her best friend and tell her that exhusband is going around telling people that they had an affair.

if she's horrified, then accept that it isn't true and she can try to straighten out the jerk or whatever.

if it's true, I'd discuss it with her about whether it was some kind of awful mistake she's trying to get past because she values her friendship like crazy, which then maybe you have that discussion with her and feel better. or if she's a double dealing jerk who I would tell her she's got a month to fess up or I will.

I would just be completely honest with your friend if you do tell her, tell her you've known for a long time, but are unsure of it's truth and if it's your place to tell her, and she seemed to want to put the past in the past and you respect that, but seeing the constant inclusion and friendship she extends towards a person who did SUCH a bad thing to her upsets you and you feel weird keeping it secret since you're now good friends. she has enough people lying to her.

I would want to know this x1000. seriously, best friend is a jerk and should NOT be allowed to be my best friend anymore, years gone by or no. she made that choice.
posted by euphoria066 at 11:00 AM on November 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wait, is it at all possible to talk to the "best friend" in this situation? Do you have a relationship with her at all? As a way to potentially avoid some of the drama, get some answers, and maybe help you deal with the anger you feel about seeing her interacting with your friend ("seeing red"), I might pull her aside, let on that you know about it and that it troubles you, and see what she has to say about it. Might even be a decent way to gauge whether he lied about it. You don't even have to mention how long you have been holding onto the information, only that you know it. From there, it might be easier to figure out what to do w/r/t your friend, or she may even come clean to her friend by herself.
posted by likeatoaster at 11:35 AM on November 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

(Oh, I see others have suggested this already. My bad.)
posted by likeatoaster at 11:41 AM on November 1, 2013

... seeing the best friend at my friend's birthday recently made me see red. My friend doesn't need friends like that, but I don't want to be one of them either

So is it that seeing the best friend recently sparked feelings of guilt about not speaking up earlier, especially now you are closer friends, or might it be that you were feeling a little bit put out at the best friend's unchanged status despite their perceived betrayal (as others have said, do you have anything more that the Ex's word to go on? Maybe your friend knows what happened?). Do you feel that they somehow threaten your own friendship in some way?
Because if the reason for wanting to tell your friend about Ex and Best Friend is more prompted by the latter than the former, then you should probably not tell them.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 6:36 PM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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