My best friend, her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s brother, “Adam.” and his fiancée, “Jane,” and I are in our early twenties. Adam and Jane have a 2-year-old daughter together. We all went to high school together but I’ve never really interacted with Adam and Jane. Jane and I go to the same college while Adam works full time to provide for his family. That’s the background; here’s the problem: This past week I ran into Jane with another man two separate days on campus. The first time, I saw her walking arm and arm with another man. The second time, I saw them entangled together on a couch in a secluded lounge near the computer lab where I was working. I saw them kiss a few times (unashamedly, as I was walking by. I was not hiding out nearby and peeping).
I talked to my best friend and without telling her what I saw, asked her about Adam and Jane’s relationship. They are still engaged and actively planning a wedding for the summer. I feel quite uncomfortable because I don’t know Adam and I don’t want to start a grapevine of rumors but at the same time, I feel that Adam deserves to know his fiancée isn’t fully committed. If I were being cheated on, I would like to know before I go through the expense of a wedding. I am 100% sure that it was Jane and I’m 100% certain that the other man was not Adam.
Do I keep my mouth shut? Do I tell my best friend or her boyfriend, Adam’s brother? Do I tell Adam directly? Do I completely stay out of it because it is truly none of my business? — Eye Witness
You may be 100% sure that the woman you saw was Jane and that the man she was with was not her fiancé Adam, but that does not mean you are 100% sure that she’s cheating. Maybe she’s a theater student and she was rehearsing a scene with this guy (hey, it happens. I was a theater student in college and I remember quite a few “couch entanglements” that could at least be partly blamed on “rehearsals.”). Maybe Jane and Adam have an open relationship. Maybe your best friend doesn’t know the details of her boyfriend’s brother’s relationship and Jane and Adam are on a break. Maybe the guy you saw Jane with is her gay best friend and what you perceived as romantic closeness was simply affection between good friends of the opposite sex. There are lots of possibilities here and given that you don’t know these two people, it’s really dangerous to jump to conclusions, especially since Jane and the man you saw her with didn’t seem to be sneaking around. If she were really cheating, don’t you think she’d be less blatant about it?
If it were I, I’d stay out of it. Unless the people in question were friends of mine, or if it seemed like someone was in legitimate danger, I wouldn’t stick my nose somewhere it didn’t belong. If your conscience won’t let you sit this one out, then consider talking to your best friend. I’d assume she’s around the couple fairly regularly and may have information you don’t that will explain what you saw. Even if she doesn’t, she can use her closer position to the couple to decide how to proceed with the information you’ve shared. Basically, it won’t be your problem anymore; it will be hers. But that’s as far as I’d go if I were you. Do NOT go directly to Adam, or even to Jane. It’s just so inappropriate to do that. I wouldn’t even talk to Adam’s brother. If you tell anyone, let it be only your best friend and let her decide what to do with the information. She knows all the players much better than you do and has a perspective on them that you, as an outsider, do not. Hopefully, her position puts her in a good place to act wisely.
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