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Do I tell his girlfriend that he cheated?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 6, 2012 08:33 AM

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Q: Meredith,

I met a very cute, charming, southern boy on my birthday in Boston. I must have been seven vodka and sodas in at that point and I was feeling great. He was looking over at me and shot me the kind of the smile that melts a girl's heart. Naturally, I went over and started talking to him. Turns out, he's in the Coast Guard and stationed here.

We sat at that bar and talked for at least an hour. Opened up about deeply personal things, which, being as intoxicated as I was, probably wasn't a good idea. We kissed, exchanged numbers, and he left early. I didn't think much about it. He texted me immediately.

The Officer: I'm actually really sad that I had to leave
Me: You shouldn't have left! We could have had a lot of fun.
The Officer: We could still have a good night ;)
Me: Oh yeah?
The Officer: I plan on hanging out with you soon :-) I gotta make up for the time I missed your birthday.

We continued texting almost 12 hours a day for the next 4 days. We asked questions and I learned a lot about him. It got to the point that he was even calling me to ask me how my day was.

A few days later we finally went out. It was unreal. After we went out to eat, he invited me back to his apartment to see the view of Boston. We went to his roof then started to walk inside and I literally fell down the stairs. We both laughed hysterically. Went back to his room, kissed a lot, and then I went home.

He texted me "Did you make it home alright?" This guy was too good to be true. He continued to tell me "I had such a good time with you." I thought this guy might actually work out.

We continued talking for the next few days. Then one afternoon I was doing a little Facebook stalking and I noticed that there was one girl who was constantly writing on his wall. I clicked on her profile. It was private, but I could see her pictures. So I started to go through them and there were some major red flags. Posts about her boyfriend being in the Coast Guard, a boyfriend that appeared to be him. So naturally I text him. The exchange goes as follows:

Me: I have a really important question
The Officer: Go ahead!
Me: Do you have a girlfriend?
The Officer: Lol no I figured that would come. Are we talking about [name]?
Me: Yeah
The Officer: No, she is probably one of my best friends !
Me: Okay
The Officer: A lot of people ask that. But she and I are just close. What made you ask?
Me: I was on Facebook and I clicked on her. She had under one picture something about how her boyfriend is in the Coast Guard ...
The Officer: I don't think she meant literal boyfriend
Me: Misunderstanding.
The Officer: Let me make it up to you. I want to bring you out tonight.

So being the stupid girl that I am, I met up with him that night and slept with him. Big regret. He dropped me off at the T that morning and that was the last time I ever saw him. He texted me a total of 3 times after that.

So here is the question that only you and your faithful readers can answer: Do I tell the girl? After more research it looks like they have been together for over a year. I feel dirty. I need some guidance. Help me!

– Lost in the City, Boston


A: I want you to send her a message, LITC. An email would be best, but if you can't come up with her address I suppose you can send her a private note on Facebook. Keep it short and sweet. Let her know what happened and then sign off.

I don't always recommend that people tattle on cheaters (I always worry about the emotional and physical safety of the tattler), but in your case, disclosure is important. First, you slept with him. She should know that her boyfriend is putting her body at risk by having sex with other people. Second, her boyfriend is telling people that she's just his friend. She should know that according to him, he isn't her "literal boyfriend."

If it turns out that he was telling the truth and that she's just his buddy, you've lost nothing -- because he's already gone. But if you're right, you're doing her a big favor. Wouldn't you want to know?

Just keep your note brief and respectful. Don't let your anger seep into the message. Explain that you don't want to get involved beyond the note. You might get a response from her or an angry message from him about your disclosure, but you don't have to respond. That first note should tell her everything she needs to know.

One last request: Before you send the message, tell your friends. You'll need their support, and they can probably help you figure out the safest way to send this note. Disclosure is important, but I don't want you to put yourself at risk. Your friends should be able to walk you through the logistics while they hold your hands and make you feel loved.

I'm sorry this happened, but don't be too hard on yourself. You got caught up in a mess, but you're not the villain here.

Readers? Would you tell the girlfriend (assuming that's what she is)? Should the letter writer just stay out of it? Anyone have ideas about how she should make contact? Would you want to know if you were the girlfriend? Is it possible the guy was telling the truth? Help.


– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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