I met Cate a few years ago when I began dating my music-manager boyfriend. Cate was dating Parker, a musician in one the bands my boyfriend managed, so we saw each other at every show and became friendly enough to hang out outside of music venues. It was really nice meeting someone I had so much in common with, as it doesn’t happen very often. However, there were a lot of secrets I knew about Parker that I was unable to tell Cate due to my boyfriend’s management relationship with him. Parker cheated on her many, many times while they were dating and even routinely slept with his roommate/band member/ex-girlfriend, Jessica. Parker used to very seriously date Jessica (they even had an abortion together), yet told Cate that they were never more than friends. Oh, dramatic musicians! This information was kept top secret because if I spilled the beans to Cate, it would have hurt (potentially destroyed) my boyfriend’s management relationship with the band.
The last time I spent time with Cate, she told me that Parker told her he loved her, and she continuously asked me about him. When she asked me questions, I had to tell her that I didn’t know anything, so I gave her some generic advice about following her gut instinct. I know she would have broken up with him a million times over if she knew the extent of his behavior. Eventually, I realized I could never be friends with her without the ability to tell her the truth. I couldn’t watch her fall in love with a guy who cheated and lied to her. Therefore, I’ve spent the past 6 months being cordial whenever I see her at shows and keeping conversations friendly and brief, but we’re nothing more than acquaintances at this point.
In a recent change of events, however, my boyfriend is no longer managing Parker’s band and has completely moved on from that business relationship. So now I am left with a predicament… should I try to reach out to Cate? She is still dating Parker and I would have to tell her everything if it came up. My boyfriend has already given me the go ahead if I decide to. Assuming she believes me (I think I would really just be confirming her suspicions), I think we could really become good friends. I tend to steer clear of drama, so if I didn’t see potential with this friendship I would let it go. Or should I simply leave this all in the past and resign myself to the idea that the timing was just not right for this friendship — Not in the Band
What concerns me about your situation is your motivation for telling Cate that her boyfriend is a no-good cheater. Rather than sparing her the potential hurt of investing more time with her loser musician, you’re more interested in creating some space for your once-budding friendship to bloom again. While it’s not a bad thing to want to be friends with this woman you have so much common with and whose company you enjoy, I’m afraid using that as your motivation for cluing her in on what sort of fellow she’s been with all these months could backfire. How do you suppose she might react when she learns you’ve known about his cheating ways all this time, but you let her believe you knew nothing — even when she pointedly and repeatedly asked you if you had information about him? I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s pissed. Really pissed. Does the phrase, “Blame the messenger” mean anything to you?
But I’m not saying you shouldn’t tell Cate what you know. On the contrary, I think you should. But don’t do it because you hope to be besties with her. There’s a really good chance she’s never going to want to speak to you again after you share your information with her. If she even believes you’re telling the truth, she’ll likely be embarrassed, hurt, and angry you lied to her — emotions that don’t lend themselves all that well to forging a solid friendship. So, instead, tell her because it’s the right thing to do and if the tables were reversed — if you were with someone who had repeatedly done you wrong and a person you trusted knew about it, you’d want her to tell you. Do it because you like her and you hate seeing a good person with a bad guy. Do it as a favor from one woman to another.
And when you do tell her, be sure to explain how terrible you felt keeping the information from her for so long and that had it not been for your boyfriend’s working relationship with Parker, you would have been truthful much earlier. Tell her, even if it isn’t 100% the truth, that the reason you’re coming clean now is because you think she’s such a wonderful person who deserves to be with someone who respects her enough to be faithful. And then apologize for lying to her all those times she repeatedly asked what you knew and you said nothing. Ask for her forgiveness, and hope she’s got it in her heart to move past her pain and eventually give a friendship with you a shot. But know if she does, know that it’s probably going to take a while to re-earn her trust.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected].