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May 17, 2017

Dear Chantal,

I’m single and am using multiple dating sites to try and find The One. One of the dating apps I’m using 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 that he’s on Tinder, and if she did I think she’d freak out.

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 become 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?



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 there are 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’s 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 behaviourist 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 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.

Or 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.

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 him and everything you feared could happen to their family will come about. In the meantime though, she’s in danger.

He could be recklessly having unprotected sex, and even if you confronted him and asked if he was using protection 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 lives could be at risk.

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, and she’s probably going to 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 some sort of emotional reaction and will need to be able to process.

Encourage her to get support through counselling, to get tested for STD’s, and to work it out with her husband. Couples counselling is important, because whatever the situation is 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.




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