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Cheating: Are you a rat or a friend?

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What do you do when your buddy cheats on his lady? Do you tell her and risk a friendship?

What do you do when you discover that your buddy’s lady cheated on him? Do you tell him? It might still risk a friendship.

The situations get dicey when you find yourself placed in these situations. But you can come out the other side successfully if you think before acting.

If you find out that your buddy is cheating on his lady, go to him quickly and directly. In a face-to-face conversation, tell him what you know. First, you want to make sure that you are not incorrectly interpreting his actions. Then, you must tell him what you think of his actions as his friend. If you think what he’s doing is very un-cool, tell him that he is acting un-cool.

Under no circumstances should you help him keep cheating.

Don’t be his alibi, don’t lie for him, do not become involved.

It is not your responsibility to disclose his indiscretion to his lady. Encourage him to tell her, and either try to patch things up or move on. Be supportive of him no matter what decision he makes. But nobody likes a rat. Keep your info to yourself and mind your own business.

There is one exception to this rule…when his lady is one of your close relatives. Family ties should trump friendships. And, even at that, you should go to him first.

If you discover that your buddy’s lady has cheated on him, do much the same thing. Confirm with her that the story is correct. Then, encourage her to level with her boyfriend…your buddy. But you should also give her a short time frame, like 24 hours, before you tell him yourself.

Another real bad no-no is to run this girl down verbally because of what she did. What if you say a bunch of bad stuff about her and then they reconcile? All that bad karma will hang in the air for a long time, and you could lose a friend over your comments about her character.

Don’t expect that you’ll be appreciated for telling him about her cheating.

The Roman emperors used to get pissed and kill the messenger who bore the bad news. I’m not suggesting that your buddy will get violent, but don’t expect gratitude either. Just know that your information will throw your friend into a rough patch of water, and that you are trying to do the right thing.

Just give him some space so he can deal with this situation. Be supportive and let him know you’ve got his back.

True friends can help other true friends become Great Lovers.


By Being Latino Conitrbutor, Russell Longcore. Learn more about Russell at Empower Network


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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