It is really appalling to see your friend’s partner cheating. These days it might not just be your friend’s partner that you might caught cheating but it can be your neighbour’s, your church mate’s, your landlord’s or any partner for someone you know.
Many people don’t know what to do after witnessing this awkward situation.
People react differently after they see someone they know cheating. If you are also a cheat, you can look at the situation and laugh and say within your heart: “I thought I was the only one yet everyone is cheating” then dismiss the act as normal.
If you are someone who has seen a lot of cheating you can look at the act and say “this is human nature I always see this” but if you are coming from a principled world this will shock you and it will really affect you.
You will obviously would want to tell your friend and you might be so impatient to keep the news. You might want to call your friend immediately and tell him/her about what you saw without thinking of the consequences because in your mind you are saying “my friend has to know about this how can his/her partner cheat like this?”
Let me bring the rules and the consequences here. Before you report cheating you must take many things into consideration and how you report matters. I have seen many people who reported cheating but it has sometimes backfired.
They ended up being victims, being accused of wanting to destroy their friend’s marriage or relationship. They then became enemies yet they were doing what they thought was right.
People react differently to bad news. Some are suicidal, some are confrontational and some are calm for they analyse and carry out wise investigations afterwards. Then there are those that choose to be in denial they start defending their partner.
Before you report, it is good that you know the character of the person you are going to report the bad news to and know how that person reacts to bad news so you don’t become a victim at the same time.
When you report cheating, two things are going to happen: either their love is going to be destroyed or it is going to get stronger. Take all this into perspective. At the same time there are consequences of not reporting. Your friend might end up with living with a cheat for life yet you had the power to save him/her.
So reporting is necessary but the question is how.
I suggest don’t pick up the call and say “I have just seen your partner cheating on you”. When reporting cheating make sure you have overwhelming evidence, take pics if necessary and have witnesses.
If you don’t have overwhelming evidence all you have is “I saw your lover cheating on you” your friend will call to confront and will say “my friend George/Anne just told me that you were cheating on me”.
His/her love will build a case to defend himself/herself and you will be figured out as an enemy. They will settle their differences and you will lose your friendship most of the times. You will be seen as a jealous person.
Have overwhelming evidence with proof that is not just verbal. After having proof, use a third party to report the cheating to your friend. For example, borrow someone’s phone and send the cheating evidence to your friend. She/he will receive the cheating evidence without linking it to you. He/she will make his/her own decisions because the evidence will be there.
Never report a case without overwhelming evidence. Many people are so naive that they report what they have just seen without any accompanying evidence, little wonder sometimes such acts backfire.
It is wise to use a third party when reporting so that your identity remains anonymous, for lovers are unpredictable. They can settle their differences and hate you in the process.
If you are to report cheating to your friend directly make sure your friend is someone who is logical. Avoid telling directly someone who is emotional. At the same time not reporting is equally not a good thing, so find a good strategy to report cheating.
Don’t allow emotions to make you report without first gathering overwhelming evidence and without thinking about the consequences of what you are about to report.
I don’t know how many times I am told by different friends in my neighbourhood: “Brian, look at that woman, the man she is walking with is her husband but she is having an affair with Mr X, the guy who stays at that corner”.
Funny thing about these extra affairs, everyone knows about the affairs except the official partner and everyone laughs at this guy each time they see him walking. We all know people like him. Every neighborhood has someone like him.
People witness cheating many times but they choose to be quiet about it because they like the fact that someone is in the dark so they can laugh at him/her or they don’t want to face the consequences that comes with reporting cheating.
But we have to apply reporting strategies other than doing nothing about it for we can save a soul.
Brian Matsaira is a love and relationships coach and can be contacted on