How to Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating

Friendship is an amazing thing. However, it has its drawbacks. One main characteristic of a true friendship is honesty. All of use, thrive, or even request honesty from our friends, but when we get it, sometimes instead of appreciating it, we get angry or even tend to ruin the relationship. Due to this, you can find yourself wrestling with a tough moral dilemma if you know a painful truth about your friend's relationship.


  1. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 1
    Make sure you are right. If you have seen or heard first-hand (from the cheater or the person s/he is cheating with) then you have actual knowledge that something is going on. Do not trust anything you get second-hand (someone else tells you about it). Find actual evidence or say nothing. Everyone makes mistakes. Think about that twice, because for the sake of your friendship, you cannot afford to make even one when it comes to a situation like this.
  2. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 2
    Record or take some snapshots of the action(s). You must have personal, incontrovertible proof of infidelity before you tell your friend anything. If you see it with your own eyes, take a picture if you can. Discreetly use your mobile phone to record a video or to take a photo. If getting a video or a picture is very dangerous for you, then try the last solution which is voice recording. Your mobile phone should have this application too. If all else fails, you may be able to capture a voice recording with your phone.
  3. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 3
    Talk to your friend's partner. Make the partner understand that you are aware of his or her actions, and you are ready to protect your friend. Tell the partner that you will give him or her until X-time (the time of your choosing, preferably within 24 hours) to confess to your friend, or that you will tell your friend. A relationship requires honesty. Although you want to help, remember firstly this situation is between the two of them. If the partner does not admit to the infidelity, present your evidence. Repeat your offer: "I can't allow you to do this to my friend, it just isn't right. I will wait until Friday night at 8pm, to give the two of you a chance to talk about it together first, but if you haven't told him by then, I will."
  4. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 4
    Give some hints to your friend. Ask your friend how things are at home. If she/he wants to know why you ask, say, "Has your partner been her/himself with you lately? He/She's been acting a little strange when I've seen her/him lately."
    • Just be careful - you don't want them to get angry at you for accusing their partner. Even if they suspect it themselves, they could get mad at you for suggesting it if they're denying the evidence. Avoid this step if your friend is likely to be mad at you.
  5. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 5
    Invite your friend somewhere to have the final talk. Let your friend know that you have something important to talk with him/her about. This will be painful, no matter what the outcome, so try to arrange a meeting in a place that is relatively isolated rather than at a noisy nightclub. A park, the field at school, your house -- all of these things will work well.
  6. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 6
    Come straight to the point. Asking your friend over because you have something important to discuss is likely to put your friend on edge in the first place. Don't beat around the bush, but do try to be compassionate - remember: while you may feel that his/her partner is a skank ho now that you know she has cheated on him/her, your friend loves him/her and will be devastated, humiliated, embarrassed, and angry. Try saying something like, "You don't know how hard this is for me to say, but I need to tell you, I was out with a friend the other night, and we saw your partner with some other one. I wanted to believe she/he was just a friend, but the way they were acting was more than friendly." Your friend will be understandably upset, will want to know who it was, etc. Try to remain calm and keep him/her calm. If he/she doesn't believe you, tell him/her, "I'm positive that this is true. I'm so sorry. But I spoke with your partner about it the day before yesterday and told him/her to tell you or I would. I guess he/he couldn't bring him/herself to be honest with you. I'm sorry."
  7. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 7
    Present your evidence. Do not just drop photos in the lap. That is cruel. Instead, if he/she persists in disbelieving you, let him/her know that you have some hard proof, and you will show him/her if he/she wants to see it. Tell him/her again that there's no need to upset himself with pictures of the third person, because you confirmed it by talking with his/her partner already.
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    Encourage your friend to go home and discuss it. Don't make yourself the bad guy here. There are loads of cases in history where the guy who tells the king the bad news is the guy who dies first in the war that's about to happen. Tell your friend that this news makes you almost as sad as it makes him, and ask him/her to try not to take it out on you - but if he/she does, let him/her vent his/her anger on you for a little bit and try not to take it personally. When he/she's done, gently encourage him/her to go home and talk to his/her partner, and see if they can decide what will happen next.
  9. Image titled Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating Step 9
    Do what you feel is right. Sometimes in the process we lose a friendship trying to do what's right. The friendship loss can be the result of your friend not being able to accept the truth so s/he blames the messenger, not the message. You could discover that s/he already knows the character of his or her partner, but will stay with regardless. If this is the case with your friend, you must accept that decision and show respect to his partner - even if it is limited to being civil at gatherings and not accepting invitations to do things with them as a couple unless it is in the context of a large group of people.


  • Be honest with yourself and your friend when the time is right. Basically you are caught in the middle and you need to find a way out. The most important thing is to tell your friend only if the partner does not.
  • Sit back and relax. You did the right thing.
  • If your friend comes to you after his/her partner confesses (to prevent you from telling him), and wants to know if you knew about it, tell the truth and say that you did. If he/she becomes angry that you didn't tell him/her sooner, apologize and let him/her know that you felt this was between him/her and his/her partner, and that you had spoken with his/her partner about it. Tell him/her that you gave the partner time to discuss it with him/her herself, before getting involved. Your friend will have to see reason on this, but it sometimes takes some time.
  • Put yourself in your friend's shoes. Wouldn't you like to know? Your friend will thank you in the end.
  • In extreme cases, leave an anonymous letter. By this way, your name will not be mentioned at all , but there is a low possibility your friend will believe a letter like that.At least, she will certainly get suspicious.
  • You can also leave the whole relationship alone, and it is certain that the partner of your friend will be eventually caught.


  • Your friend will be embarrassed and humiliated, and if they find out that you knew before they did, they may feel like you just saw them "naked". This can make them act a little crazy for awhile - give them space, but let them know you are there, that you care, and that you will support them as they need you.

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Categories: Supporting Friends | Cheating Spouses