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I Knew About My Best Friend’s Cheating Habits. Here’s Why I Did Not Tell His Partner.

I Knew About My Best Friend’s Cheating Habits. Here’s Why I Did Not Tell His Partner.

Why I didn’t tell on my cheating best friend

My best friend and his partner were attached for about two years. There was nothing visibly ‘wrong’ about them that would have indicated any cheating or unhappiness. In fact, he even introduced his other half to us and brought her along for most of our parties. We got close as friends but I always drew the line at some point; to me, if you’re my friend’s partner, you’re always going to be their ‘plus one’. I only know you because of my friend and in my eyes, you’re simply an extension of their life experience.

It is through mere coincidence and time that we crossed paths, just like how I’ve met his other exes through the different phases of his life. As best friends, we went through Junior College, National Service, and life together for eight years. We made important decisions together and grew to be each other’s anchors as we transitioned into intimidating adulthood. To me, our collective experience has a bubble of its own and anyone beyond that are simply part of the fast-changing world we live in.

Contemporary relationships are way too complicated

Furthermore, relationships are complicated and complex. Don’t even get me started on contemporary romantic relationships: social media, lack of filters, and constantly enmeshing cultural perceptions have made ‘love’ and communication way more complicated than before. Our ‘broken’ generation seeks out love as escapism or to heal from deeper wounds. Honestly, I don’t think most of us know what we’re doing when it comes to love. We’re just winging it.

Relationships are driven by human emotions and most of the time, our emotions are not objective. As much as we feel the confusion of relationships, I think we’ve gotten so obsessed with labels that some of us fail to acknowledge that everything else that happens under the surface constitutes a ‘relationship’ too. So when it came to my best friend, I never knew what happened between them behind closed doors. Of course, I heard a lot from him but that’s just one valid truth. Some of the ‘good’ stuff he mentioned might have been exaggerated and some of the ‘bad’ stuff downplayed but it was never in my place to probe.

I knew that his partner probably had her own version too, and knowing was enough. I was not interested in finding out more but I reminded myself that such things are so multi-faceted, there’s no way an outsider is going to be able to see everything objectively. So I always stayed out of their business and let them flow with it.

It is because of this very nature that I don’t think it’s possible for people to throw a blanket judgement on someone based off one incident or a confession. When my best friend told me he was cheating, I was not surprised, nor was I ‘triggered’.

Here’s some context. He had to go overseas alone for an attachment for about one year and during that period, their relationship just wasn’t working out. She was being extremely demanding through text and as much as he wished he could resolve it, doing so online was simply impossible. Texting when you’re in a bad state honestly misconstrues things so much more. I knew things between them were messy but I also knew he never liked talking about it much. One night he went clubbing and made an impulsive choice to hook up with someone. He knew he was escaping and he confessed to me the very same night that it was a habit he had cultivated while overseas.

It’s important not to personalise things when someone opens up to you with trust. Just be their listening ear and hear them out. Of course, I have my own aversions to cheating but I caught myself and reminded myself that I was once in that situation too. I just chose to empathise than make him feel bad. He’s an adult, he knows what he’s doing and all he needed was my affirmation that ‘it’s fine’.

More often than not, people cheat because they want to escape a situation. I don’t think the intention is to hurt anyone per se.

I think we need to start being mature and accept that mistakes can happen. Unless they’re a narcissist then you need to have your realistic expectations.

Snitches are hypocrites who probably cheat too

People I know that claim the moral high ground when it comes to ‘cheating’ are plain hypocrites. To set it straight, for me, any intention or motivation to cheat already makes you guilty of it. Back when I confessed to physically cheating on one of my exes, I remember one of my attached acquaintances berating me when she was making out with guys every time she clubbed. So I told her she literally had no place to judge anyone. Downplaying making out like it’s “cheating lite” is ridiculous. If you engage in one of the following, you’re a ‘cheater’ too:

  • Sexting
  • Flirting in DMs while omitting you’re attached
  • ‘Casually’ exchanging IG handles or numbers because you find the person attractive
  • Making out
  • Sex

Based on my first-hand experience, most snitches would engage in points one to four constantly but feel ‘uncomfortable’ when it approaches the boundary of sex. More often than not, I genuinely feel they just ‘chickened out’. But the fact is, the intention to go out there and spark a conversation with someone attractive despite being attached, already makes you culpable. It might be a bitter pill to swallow but I’m going to keep it real.

If you snitched, you guys were probably never best friends

If you snitched on your ‘best friend’, then let me set the record straight by saying, you guys were never best friends to begin with. Your best friend is your ride-or-die—you’re supposed to be there for them unconditionally, without any judgments.

cheating text

I love my best friend. In fact, we’ve shared so many intimate moments together that I call him my ‘soul mate’. I’ve done a ton of stupid sh*t in my life and made my fair share of really bad decisions in the past—many of which were borderline incriminating. Every time I became self-conscious and knew I had f**ked up, he was the first person I’d text or call. Not to make an excuse, but because I knew I could open up to him, confess, and not have consequences meted out at me.

He was my safe space and I think it was the reason why I grew to be a better person organically.

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