I remember the first time I found myself really debating this question. It was about fifteen years ago. I was at varsity, eating bad Chinese noodles in a dirty corner of a greasy campus cafeteria. As one did.
"I really think, as a sisterhood, we should always stick together against patriarchal attempts to divide and conquer," I said to my friend Gillian, as she inspected her spring roll for dodgy bits. (I used to speak like that all the time. I also didn't wear shoes.)
"Crap," said Gillian. "You are one of my closest friends, but if I saw your boyfriend all over someone else, I would never tell you. It wouldn't be any of my business."
I was genuinely thrown.
"But, but... that's what friends are for! I'd tell you in a heartbeat!" I replied, indignantly.
"I know," said Gillian, drily. "You've always made that very clear. I am just not sure why you seem to think that's a virtue."
Gillian has always worn the shoes in our relationship.
Fifteen years later, I am married with kids who have Gillian as a godmother... and I find that my fires of righteous indignation have seriously dimmed. I watch the drama in other people's relationships with a much kinder eye, tending more towards Gilly's point of view. It's their stuff, who am I to judge? What if they judged me back?
Does this make me a cynic, or worse, a coward? Or simply a realist?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Would you tell your friend if you knew her man was cheating on her? Or would you turn a blind eye, believing perhaps that she is choosing to do just that? And if you have ever been in the situation... how did you handle it?
Come on, it's only email. Share.
Sam Wilson is Editor-in-Chief of women24.com. If her husband is cheating on her, he must be feeling kinda nervous right about now.