Recently, a Dear Abby column had me steaming. A reader wrote in that her best friend “Heather” wanted another child, but her husband did not. The two of them had been arguing about this. Heather had said she was going to stop using birth control without telling her husband. The friend wanted to know what her responsibilities were now that she has this information.
PAUSE – Think of how you would answer this question while humming Jeopardy music.
Okay – we’re back. Got your answer? Well, here’s Dear Abby’s answer: Tell Heather what she is doing is a bad, bad, bad idea, but if that doesn’t work – tell the husband.
Tell the husband? Wha-Wha-What? Really? Interfering in someone else’s marriage is the way to go here? Creating a triangle of distrust? Yep, that sounds like a great idea!
1. Who knows if Heather was serious? We all say things in the confidence of best friends that we may mean at the time, but don’t actually follow through on. “If that happens one more time, I am quitting my job.” “I am sending my children to a work camp in Siberia.” You know things like that.
2. It’s none-yer-business! The friend’s job is to BE A FRIEND! We have all done things our friends have disapproved of. Some friends has been successful at talking us out of it, some have not. Either way, disrupting a marriage is not the way to go.
I have tried to see this from the husband’s perspective. Would I want to know? Would I be angry if I later found out the friend knew and didn’t tell me? I really don’t think I would want to know. The only thing I can see happening out of this is that the friend tells the husband. Heather denies it. The friendship is over and the fighting in the marriage just gets worse.
Now, the friend should consider if she wants to be friends with someone who would engage in this type of behavior, but that’s a different post.
What do you think? Should the friend tell the husband? If you were the husband, would you want to know? Have you ever been in a situation where a friend confided uncomfortable news? What did you do?