Whilst reading about Iggy Azalea’s guy trouble and learning that her fiancée’s friend filmed and released a video of him basically admitting that he cheated on her (crazy), my mind floated back to a conversation that occurred within my group of friends last week, centred around the following question that I also want to pose to you:
If you’re best friend found out that your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife was cheating/had cheated on you and didn’t tell you until a year later, could you still be friends with them?
When thrown out there, an immediate outpouring of “hell naw!” “ah but that’s my boy though…” “I get why they wouldn’t want to tell me!” “what kind of friend does that?” etc. ensued. The discussion went back and forth, up and down, round and round, with most people sternly voting for or against the maintained friendship, leaving a few stragglers flicking to and fro between both extremes. The responses that were shared can be grouped under the three categories below:
- Absolutely not!
- It would take some time, but I think we could be friends in the future
Now, you probably already had your mind made up milliseconds after reading the question (as did the majority of us when first hearing it). But, in the rare event that you haven’t, or just in case you’d like to check whether or not you may be swayed by other approaches, I’d like to give you a (hopefully) well-balanced, quick summary of the three angles from which you can select your final answer. So, here goes…
1. The “Yes” argument (or as I like to think of it, the “forgive and forget”)
Few responses will fall into this category. You are someone who understands how difficult it is to break such news to someone about the person they love and you understand the consideration of repercussions. To you, your friend neglecting to inform you does not equal disloyalty but shows that they really care about how you would feel, so much so that they waited and waited for the right time to bring it up which unfortunately never came. You are quick to forgive due to the fact that in that situation, you’re not entirely sure of what you would do and you understand that love and relationships are complex things that if possible, should not be interfered with.
2. The “Absolutely not!” side (the “bye Felicia”)
This is where the majority of responses will lie. Both people – your partner and your friend, hurt you. They’ve been looking at you for the past year knowing what was going on but pretending that everything was okay. You feel betrayed by both. You feel embarrassed and like the butt of a sick, twisted joke. You say, “if you were my real friend, you would never leave me to be oblivious and to be disrespected in such a way. Your loyalties lie with me.” You understand the notion of forgiveness and in time, you believe that you could forgive your friend but to you, forgiveness does not mean that you have to rekindle what once was. Forgiveness to you simply means, not seeing red every time you cross paths with or even think about them and being able to have a nice, healthy, cordial conversation. Ultimately, the trust has been eternally broken.
3. The “It would take some time, but I think we could be friends in the future” stance (the “balanced” view)
This is a close second and as expected, lies somewhere between the previous two. You are initially taken aback by what you perceive to be complete disloyalty but you also understand how difficult it can be to deliver bad news to someone you love. You are able to rebuild the friendship after a period of time because you don’t believe a situation like this should ruin years of deep-rooted friendship. Bros over… you get it right?
Me? I’m B.
I completely get all that stuff around it being difficult to tell a loved one something as hurtful as this etc., but I also know that lots of the things in life that we should do, are difficult. I personally cannot stand the thought of being taken for a mug, unknowingly, for a WHOLE YEAR. Are you kidding me?! The embarrassment would overflow within and I would be looking back on all those times myself, my ex best friend and my cheating partner were all in a room together, imagining what was going through both of their heads, cringing at the thought of it being the cheatation in question.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Harbouring ill feelings and adopting an eternal side-eye towards your friend who probably didn’t mean to bring you any intentional harm is unhealthy and can develop into something much greater. As we all know, forgiveness is essential in order to truly heal and to be able to move on, not to mention that it’s simply a requirement of us from God. Of course, forgiving is easier said than done, however it is absolutely essential that we try our best. You may not be the friend who omitted to disclose information in this hypothetical scenario, but inevitably we all find ourselves in situations where we desperately need forgiveness at some point in our lives. How can we expect that from others and more importantly, God, if we are not prepared to offer that ourselves?
“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
Now, the whole topic of cheating and getting back with someone who betrays you etc. is a WHOLE different thing and I won’t get into my views on that now because it’s not the point of this post, but I’d just like to leave this here if I may…
“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” Proverbs 6:32
Adultery is destructive for everyone involved – you may think that you’re only hurting your loved one but ultimately, you are also destroying yourself.
Back to the topic though: which category do your views fall under – A, B or C? Let me know!
Love, Stella xoxo