My best friend's husband is friends with my boyfriend. I called to get advice and his male point of view. He always tells me to move on, and since that's his friend, I feel like he and my best friend know more than they’re telling me. I ask “Why?” and all he says is I should leave and that it will be best for the both of us. Should I leave on his advice alone? —Anonymous
Most men operate by a strict “code,” if you will, of not interfering in their friends’ relationships. A guy can bring a side piece or mistress to hang out with his friends or can openly talk about cheating on his wife. For the most part, he might get a “You’re wilding” or “Be careful” in return. Whenever the friend’s spouse or significant other comes around, most guys—not all—will treat her as if everything’s A-OK and they know nothing. It’s done under the guise of “minding your own business.” It’s a rare guy who will go to a girlfriend or wife and tell her what’s going on or even warn her that she should be careful.
Case in point (and an extreme example): Lonnie Franklin Jr., aka “the Grim Sleeper,” was recently sentenced to death for murdering 10 black women in South Los Angeles during a two-decade killing spree. I wasn’t familiar with the case, so I watched HBO’s documentary Tales of the Grim Sleeper to figure out how someone could get away with at least 10 murders and why there’s speculation that he could have killed up to 100 women.
Among the many reasons? His boys—who watched him torture women, set fire to cars with pools of blood in them and cleaned the carpets of a trailer where he is believed to have killed many of his victims—never said a word to the police. Those same friends knew that Franklin was a married man because they all lived on the same block as Franklin and his wife. Yet they would go out after work with him on weekends to meet and have sex with women. And their hobbies included taking pictures of women in sexual positions and trading them back and forth.
You think anyone ever said a word to his wife? Never! They operated by the very degrading and sexist “bros before hos” mindset. Even after Franklin was charged with 10 murders and the guys lined up, one by one, to tell the documentarian that maybe Franklin did do it based on some past behavior each of them had witnessed, they blamed his wife for not being around more.
I tell you this to point out just how extreme some men can be about protecting their friends and not interfering with their relationships. I also share it to point out just how far your friend’s husband is sticking out his neck on your behalf to tell you to leave your boyfriend. It’s the decent thing to do if you know for sure that someone is being done dirty, but most men won’t do it. For your friend’s husband to do so means your guy may be into some crazy mess that you don’t want any parts of.
He’s warned you. You don’t need a “why,” but you do need to listen to him. Whatever your boyfriend has said or done, your friend’s husband thinks it’s extreme enough to warn you to get on your camel and go.
I’ll also leave you with this: When I was in college, I dated an athlete (against my mother’s wishes). I hung out with him and an older guy, who I later realized was an (illegal) agent type. After about a month or so, the agent and I ended up in the same place but without his would-be client. He didn’t hit on me, in case that’s where you thought the story was going. He told me to stop dating the guy. I, too, asked, “Why?” because I really liked the guy I was seeing. He told me something like, “You’re not built for this.”
I figured if a friend of a guy I’m seeing tells me to leave him alone, I probably should. I mean, he knows his friend better than I do and has known him longer than I have. Also, the guy had never hit on me or flirted, so I didn’t think he was trying to sabotage the budding relationship. I thought he knew something I didn’t and that I should listen. I did.
For a long time, I thought the agent meant I wasn’t built for the headaches that come with dating a college athlete. It wasn’t what he meant. My senior year, the guy got kicked out of our university after seven woman, including one I knew well, accused him of attempted rape or rape.
You don’t need the answer to “Why?” The warning is enough. Offer your boyfriend a quick, “Hey, I’ve given it some thought and this isn’t working for me”—i.e., “Boy, bye!” Then thank your friend and her husband for looking out for you.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as 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. She is also a blogger at SeeSomeWorld.com, where she covers pop culture and travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “My Boyfriend and Best Friend Are Texting Each Other All the Time. Should I Be Worried?”