My Cheating Friend
By: PETER SATONICK
Published: April 8, 2013 102 Comments
I am a single woman in my mid-20s. I recently learned from my dear friend that she has developed a longtime pattern of cheating on her husband of five years. I understand cheating happens for various reasons — but if I remain friends with her, am I condoning her ongoing behavior? If I am “anti-compulsive-cheating,” do I therefore have to be anti-her? I value many aspects of our friendship but don’t see her (or my) views on philandering ever changing. NAME WITHHELD
It is acceptable to have friends who think differently than you do. Being friends with an individual doesn’t necessarily mean that you must abide to their way of life or vice versa. If your vegan friend refuses to eat animal products, but your dinners regularly consist of eggs, milk, and chicken, your friendship is unlikely to be in jeopardy. Likewise, having a friendship with another person does not mean you must approve of their every action or agree with their every choice.
It is even acceptable to have friends who think differently than you do if they’re system of beliefs are immoral. However, if you assist or become involved with your friends immoral acts, it may be wise to end the friendship. Pretend your friend is a thief. He recently got put on trial for his crime and you were asked to act as a witness. If you lie to the judge and say that your friend was with you the entire night, you are damaging your own character. Your friend may be a criminal for stealing, but you are equally as wicked if you assist him in his falsehood. If you assist in helping your friend cover up a lie or provide your friend with the means to continue their unethical act, you are only hurting yourself.
Now, you might be wondering what you should do with the information your friend has told you. Should you run off and tell her husband? Should you end your friendship with her immediately? Of course not! Doing so would only suggest that you are arrogant. If you remain