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Dear Chantal,

I’m single and using multiple dating sites to try and find The One. One of the dating apps is Tinder, and last week I was scrolling through and saw my friend’s husband on there. He’s using a different name, but it’s definitely him. I’m literally freaking out because I don’t know what to do.

They have three beautiful children together, have been married for 8 years, and with the exception of the fights and disagreements we all go through they seem completely fine. She’s never told me they’re having an open relationship, and we’re best friends so if they were I’m sure I would have heard about it by now. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know he’s on Tinder, and if she did I think she’d freak out.

WATCH: HOW DO YOU GET HIM TO HEAR YOU?

I don’t know what to do. On the one hand, I want to tell her, but I don’t want her family to be ruined and I certainly don’t want to be the person who caused a divorce. Should I tell her? Should I try to talk to him about it? What should I say? Or should I just keep quiet?

Mel

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Dear Mel,

This is a topic that has so many angles it might as well be a round cut diamond.

There really is no easy solution when it comes to something like this, and a lot of variables that need to be considered before I can give an answer that’s anywhere near good advice.

If there are kids, live in in-laws, delicate financial situations, or mental illnesses involved it absolutely changes things – and usually, there are at least one of those elements.

Nobody wants to tear a family apart, but if he brings home an STD then the consequences could be even greater. There really is a lot at risk here and everyone will be affected, no doubt about it.

Look, as a Sociologist and behaviorist I understand many of the reasons why men cheat. Our inner biological animal is not monogamous by nature, which means every seven years or so most of us feel an urge to seek out another sexual partner.

Why? Because our DNA wants to look around and ensure the next baby made gets the best opportunity for survival, so we subconsciously seek out a stronger gene pool for “the next time around.” And before you start raving about effing men, know that statistically women do in fact cheat just as much as men do. It’s a human thing, not a gender thing.

Maybe communication has broken down. Lack of feeling appreciated or desirable by our partner are two main reasons why we’ll turn outside our relationship. We do have egos, and when the person we’re with isn’t giving us enough positive attention it can be all too easy to find someone else to do the job.

WATCH: HOW TO MEDITATE SO YOU CAN BETTER LEAD YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Or…

Or…

Or… Whether it’s instinct or a need to feel better about oneself, this happens all the time and the question here today is, what are you going to do when you find out about it? Do you tell her? Or not?

 

In my opinion, tell her.

Whatever his reasons are, he’s taking part in reckless behaviour. At any time she herself might discover what he’s doing and everything you feared could happen to their family will.

 

In the meantime though, she might literally be in danger.

He could be having unprotected sex, and even if you confronted him and asked he’d lie if he wasn’t, and continue NOT being careful even if you told him to stop, or else. Which means she’s being exposed to who knows what.

He could recklessly be sleeping with people without using any vetting process whatsoever, which means he might hook up with some psycho who starts stalking him, and ultimately her and her family. So her and their children’s safety could be at risk.

WATCH: HOW TO GET OVER A HORRIBLE BREAK UP

 

He could be doing this because he has a mental illness, which means he’s avoiding dealing with a problem that could just escalate over time.

 

Should you approach him instead of her?

Even if you said “tell her or I will,” the likelihood that you’ll have any real impact is small, and now instead of dealing with one person, you’re dealing with both. Plus she might be upset that you didn’t approach her first. She’ll feel disrespected by both him and you.

So go to her, and tell her. Do it at her house or yours, when you have a few hours of uninterrupted time together because she’s probably going to have an emotional reaction and will need to process.

Encourage her to get support through counseling, to get tested for STD’s, and to work it out with her husband. Couples counseling is important because whatever the situation is they both need to come together and find a solution.

We are human, and we make mistakes.

Huge cultural, emotional, inconsiderate and selfish mistakes. Keep an open mind, because you may not know exactly what happened that drove him to do this, and be her support and shoulder through this tough time. They may pull through, and if they do they’ll be stronger than ever. Keep your fingers crossed that they can work this out because their kids will appreciate having both parents finding happiness together.

What you can do:  

If this is a mistake and they both want to work on what I call “Re-Pairing”, I highly recommend they read Fix That Shit – A Couples Guide To Getting Past The Sticky Stuff. It’s how I brought my relationship from 8 years of constant battles to 4 blissful, fight free, magical years. Like, makeout sessions everyday sort of awesomeness.

Relationships are like everything in life, the one constant is change. Hopefully they grow back into each other, and will find themselves stronger than ever. It happens.

Chantal Heide - Canada's Dating Coach
Chantal Heide - Canada's Dating Coach
Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they're looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.

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