Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Neighbor Should Reach Out After Death

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a restaurant near my job, and as I was waiting for my table, I noticed a couple sitting together. When I looked over at them, I realized that the man is my friend’s husband. This was absolutely not a professional dinner. The two of them were cozied up and holding hands. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My friend talks about her husband as if he is the best man alive. She adores him. She will be devastated to learn that her husband is stepping out on her. I don’t want to tell her, but at the same time, I would want to be told if the same thing happened to me. How do I break the news? Or do I? -- Can't Unsee This, Sarasota, Florida

DEAR CAN’T UNSEE THIS: This is tricky. On one hand, your friend may want to know what you saw, but oftentimes, people do not believe the messenger when this is the news.

If you know the husband, reach out to him to tell him what you saw and ask his intentions. Point out that his wife is your friend, and you know she will be devastated to learn that he is cheating on her. Acknowledge that you wanted to speak to him first to see if there is any way to make this bad situation better. Let him know you intend to tell your friend, but you wanted to give him a chance to address it first.

Then go to her and share the bad news. Tell her you love her and will support her no matter what she chooses to do, but that you thought you should tell her as you would want to be told if the tables were turned. Resist getting caught up in the drama any further, though. This is their issue to work out.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)