Originally created 05/01/01

Bad news should come from a friend



THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM Should I tell my friend about her boyfriend? I caught him cheating on her with another girl. What should I do? Should I tell her, or let her find out on her own? - 14-year-old Augusta girl

Here's what you had to say:

Tell your friend that you might be mistaken, but you saw someone who looked just like her boyfriend with a girl who wasn't her. Say it once, then shut up and don't mention it again. After you've warned her one time, there's nothing that can be done if she doesn't believe you. She'll start getting suspicious on her own and investigate. She needs to find out for herself. The more you tell her, the more she'd go into denial. So bring it up once, and let it go into her hands. Then the most you can do is be there for her after she finds out.

Of course you should tell her. She's a friend. Let her know you're not trying to hurt her, and tell her nicely what happened. And if she doesn't believe you, at least you tried.

Yes, you should tell her about her boyfriend. If you don't tell her, she'll be really upset about whoever knew and didn't tell her.

If that's truly your friend, you should tell her.

This all depends on who your friend is and how she feels about her boyfriend. Two things could happen if you tell her: She could believe you and never speak to him again, or she could not believe you and be mad at you until she finds out the truth.

I think you need to tell your friend because if you don't she might get really hurt. If she finds out you knew about it, she'll probably get mad at you and stop being your friend.

I think you should tell your friend because if you don't she could be really embarrassed when she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her.

I think you should tell your friend. She shouldn't be with a guy who treats her bad, and you'll be a friend by telling her the truth.

You should stay out of their business.

I think that you should not tell your friend because it's not going to do anything but make her turn on you. Let her find out for herself. Once a cheating dog, always a cheating dog - she'll find out sooner or later.

If you were a real friend, you would just tell her, and if she doesn't believe you let her find out for herself.

If you're her best friend and you know her boyfriend's cheating, tell her. Tell her you're not trying to break them up, but you don't want to see her get hurt because of his cheating ways.

I think you should just keep it to yourself because she could be like, "You're just making up lies. You're just jealous."

First of all, I'd tell her if she was really my best friend. And then if she didn't believe me I'd let her figure it out herself.

OK, you said that you caught your friend's boyfriend cheating. If you rewind to that key word - friend - that should answer your question right there. Oh yes, you should tell her. Make sure you're upfront and tell her, "I don't want your man. I hope y'all made a happy couple. But if it isn't going to work out, it isn't going to work out. I caught him cheating, so let him go. He isn't good for you. And you're my friend, and I'd like to see you with somebody better than that." I think everybody should be straight up. That's your girl, that's your friend. So tell her. Those exact words.

Xtreme reporter Alisa DeMao says: You're between the proverbial rock and a hard place here because if your friend doesn't want to believe you - and who would want to believe her boyfriend is cheating on her? - it could put a strain on your relationship. If he denies it, she has to decide who the liar is. And people sometimes blame the messenger when they're told something unpleasant.

If you don't tell her, then she's being played for a fool - and other people probably know about it. If you've seen him with another girl, it's likely others have too. If you tell her now, you at least save her the embarrassment of being clueless while everyone else knew her boyfriend was cheating on her. Wouldn't you want some to do that for you? And if you tell her now, she can make a decision about what she wants to do with the relationship before she gets even more entangled in it. The longer she goes out with him and the more she cares about him, the more it will hurt when she finds out.

Give him a chance to come clean first. Tell him that you saw him and that he should confess what he's done. If he won't, tell your friend that you don't want to see her get hurt or taken advantage of and you're concerned about something you saw her boyfriend do. Don't blow it out of proportion. Just say what you saw. Then, don't hassle her about it. She's going to do what she's going to do - confront him or ignore it; stay with him or leave. But the decision has to be hers.

NEXT WEEK'S PROBLEM:

My boyfriend and I were together 31/2 years. He's been gone from Augusta for about two years. Now, he has a baby on the way by someone where he lives. Should I still be with him, or should I leave him? I love him so much, I can't leave him alone.

Do you have any advice for this 18-year-old Augusta girl? Call the Advice Line at 442-4444 and press 8614. You'll have one minute to answer.

Got a problem? Call 442-4444 and press 8613. You'll have one minute to give us your situation. Please state your age and the town you live in.

You also can e-mail your problems to ademao@augustachronicle.com. Put "Advice Line" in the subject line. All e-mail addresses will be kept confidential. Questions may be condensed for space.