Sense & Sensitivity

Reader Struggles With Telling Co-Worker About Husband

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a gay man. I went clubbing with some of my good friends, and at one of the bars, I saw one of my co-workers’ husbands. I went over and said hello to him so I could see for sure what was up. He was definitely hanging out with dudes. I know his wife, and she is sweet. She is also a devout Christian. I can’t imagine that she knows that her husband is stepping out on her at all, let alone with guys. Should I tell her? I know it can be tough coming out to people, but this is a married couple, and I know the wife pretty well. I feel like I would want to know. How can I tell her if I decide to spill the beans? -- To Tell or Not to Tell, San Diego

DEAR TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL: Know that straight or gay, when you find yourself in the position of having to decide if you will tell what a friend’s spouse is doing, you are walking into dangerous territory. This is true, in part, because the messenger often ends up being the bad guy in these situations.

If you feel you must say something, be neutral in your disclosure. Stick to the facts: You went to the club. You saw her husband. He was hanging out with a group of friends. Do not go into conjecture about what all he may have done. Do say that you spoke to him. Add that you thought she would want to know. Do not ask her what she thinks about this or if she knows.

Often, when spouses are cheating, their partners have a sense of it. Whether they are ready to accept it and do something about it is a totally different thing. Do not get involved with her next steps.

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