When to Snitch on a Suspected Cheater
Ask Demetria: Got proof that a friend's hubby is trolling online for dates? Warn her tactfully.
I know you are hesitant to do this and would like to find a way to get out of it while still relaying the information to your friend. Whatever you do, don't contact her husband. This is something that is often done in movies -- and there's good reason for it there: It significantly ups the drama. Telling him what you found and giving an ultimatum to tell his wife might theoretically sound like a great way to get him to do the dirty work and keep your hands clean, but in application it doesn't work.
He's unlikely to confess and more likely to delete the profile and concoct some wild story to tell his wife before the deadline. Trust that whatever tale he weaves will make you look inappropriate (to discredit you when you do tell her), and he becomes the good guy. Even if you still have a screenshot of what you initially found as proof, your friend will be confused and may be more likely to believe her husband's versions of events -- and as his wife, she should give him the benefit of the doubt -- than yours. There's no need to make a messy situation messier.
Once you've shared what you found with your friend, she'll likely want the backstory on how you found it. If she does, tell her. But if she asks what to do, your answer should be, "I don't know. Only you and your husband can decide that." You may be the bearer of bad news, but don't get mixed up in any back-and-forth between your friend and her husband.
If she needs to talk, listen, but don't offer any advice on how she should proceed, whether it's to confront him, leave him or any other option she may want to take. It's their marriage, and ultimately they are the only ones who can decide what to do with it.
On the off chance that she doesn't come back to you about what you've told her, double-check to make sure the email went through (that's why you bcc'd yourself). If it did, drop it. She may be embarrassed (though she has no reason to be), or perhaps she decided to handle it privately or even not address it at all with her husband. There's the possibility that she knew about his profile, and perhaps his infidelity is an ongoing issue in their marriage. She may even be cheating, too. There's a lot that goes on in other people's relationships, and even the closest friends aren't privy to certain details.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.