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Hax: On exposing unfaithful mate

Fri., Dec. 31, 2010

While I’m away, readers give the advice.

On telling people their mates are being unfaithful:

Having been there myself, I think people should remember that telling the truth does not always make one popular or even appreciated. Consciously or unconsciously, those who do tell the truth may be motivated by a bit of a “savior” complex (“I’m going to save my brother from a lifetime of deceit and misery”) and may expect to be loved or seen as heroic for their efforts.

Well, they don’t usually make whistle-blowers president of the companies they expose; the outcome is usually ostracism and anger when the truth costs thousands of innocent people their jobs. Not a rationale for not doing the right thing, but simply a caution: Your truth exposes one person as a cheater and causes the other great embarrassment.

For my part, I’ve decided to trust my adult friends to make their own decisions, good or bad, and be there for them when things fall apart. It can be painful to watch these train wrecks in motion, but it is free of the overt judgments that breed resentment, and has strengthened more long-term relationships than I can count. – Reformed savior

On announcing a pregnancy to a friend who is struggling to get pregnant:

I was that friend, or a version of it, at one point. My husband and I started trying to conceive right after our marriage, but it took four years and lots of medical intervention to do so. During that time, many, many of our friends did get pregnant. The most thoughtful friend of all wrote me a very nice card telling me she was pregnant, because she thought I would want time to process the information privately. I still have that card … and a charming 7-year-old who is thankfully still sleeping on this rainy Sunday morning. – K.

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