(19) "Is it snitching?"... a conversation

Y'all know how these ... a conversation blogs go...
I present a question to people in person or on the Book of Face (/callmephlip, like everything else on the interwebs if you're not already connected), collect answers and then throw the results up in the form of a blog.
This one came from the mind of The Katie, though.
I was cooking last night (04/09/2010, as of when I type this), and she suggested a question, which I will present now, modified for blogification.

"Let's say that you have a good friend, or are good friends with a couple, and one of them cheats on the other, do you say anything, and if so how?"

Yeah, this one will be good...

Kicking the idea around today, I asked during an IM convo with La'Donicca, who does not like her Rap Name, and her response was...
"That's a toughie and I'd consider going about it in a couple of ways:
I'd pull the cheater aside and say most respectfully, though probably undeserved, 'listen, I know what's up and...I think YOU should talk to your significant other before EYE do.'
Or Just go to the one that's being cheated on and say something to the affect of 'listen, I don't want to be in your's and ___'s business, but I feel obligated to discuss that I saw them with another person (or whatever the situation) and I would feel like less of a friend to YOU if I ignored it.'
However If your allegience is more to one than the other, its discretionary. Fr'instance, if I was friends with the cheatee, definitely pull them aside. If I was the friend with the cheater, pull them aside and ask 'em what they're doing and why. And if they want you to butt out, step back because if YOU know they're cheating than other people will associate YOU with dirt."

[Phlip note - Salient point, that last one... Everyone knows I deal people based upon my assessment of those they are closest to. play in shit long enough, you're bound to get some on you]

It was to be a couple days following, on the 14th, that I presented the question to Facebook, but not before asking it of Barri of The Witches Brew via email (since I am typing this part on Saturday, I didn't IM).
First respondent of her crew was Jem, with...
"Good question. I've thought about your question many times before and, fortunately, I've never had to deal with it. BUT, if I did and if this girl is my BFF, then fo' sho' I'm telling her. Either I'm going to her man and demanding HE tell her OR I'm just telling her directly. I can't have my people assed-out like that. Plus, if the shoes were on my feet, I'd expext my friend to look out for me. Ultimately though, I think people really do know when their spouse/significant other is cheating anyway, even if you don't tell them.

Now, if me and homegirl are cool but really ain't all THAT tight, I might just keep my mouth shut!

-Jem, of the Brew :-)"

Next came an unnamed male respondent...
"The answer to your question is NOT blowing in the wind my dear. The answer to your question lies within a verse of a DMX song ( Ruff Ryders Anthem ). I believe Mr. DMX summed it up very eloquently when he said .......
" IS YA'LL NIGGAZ CRAZY?
I'll buss you and be swazy
Stop actin' like a baby, MIND YOUR BUSINESS LADY NOSY PEOPLE GET IT TOO, when you see me spit at you
you know I'm tryin' ta get rid of you " :-)"

[Phlip note - I really do question anyone who quotes DMX and expects to be taken seriously, what with crack habits and all]

Next of her respondents was an unnamed female, with...
"I would say absolutely no. This is a lose-lose situation. If you say something, chances are they wife will stay and things will become really uncomfortable for all parties involved. The spouse who was cheated on will feel like your judging him/her for staying, the cheating spouse will think you're a hater and are trying to break up the marriage. Just a mess! If you don't say something and they find out. Yes, chances are they'll be upset with you too but what are they really upset about? That you can keep a secret? That you're a loyal friend to both of them? That you don't like it messy? I'd rather someone be upset with me for that then for meddling!"


Next was an email response from childhood friend, Enjoli...
"It honestly depends on how close you are to the person and if you know their relationship. If my girl was getting cheated on hell yeah I would rat his ass out. Now if she were being cheated on, but was doing dirt as well. I would stay out of it. So again it depends on your relationship with the person being cheated on. Some people don't want to know and will get mad at you for telling. If your friend is like that then I would leave well enough alone. If you chose to say anything again it depends on the person and if you are close you should know who you are dealing with. If I told one of my bestfriends, my word alone would be good enough becasue they know I would have no reason to lie about something like that, but some people require evidence, which in this age of infornation technology isn't hard to gather. LOL! Tricky questions with tricky answers."

Way out ahead of today's post, I put the question on The Book of Face, and the responses came in.
First was former coworker/long time family friend Derek, with...
"You ask the one who got cheated on, "are you puttin' out"? Then they would ask you "Why do you ask?". Then you tell them that its something that their mate is not getting at home, and they found it somewhere else."

Next came Joe, with...
"Its none of my business, althought my concience would probably intervene and I would end up saying something. However I feel it is not my place, as there could be pre-existing issues that could've let up to that happening, whether it be wrong or right."

Then James, with...
"I guess it depends on who you are friends with and if it's the guy or not.... you know dudes got to stick together because women are always gonna stick together.... no matter what."

Next was former coworker, Adonya with...
"From a females perspective - I don't believe women stick 2gether. Quite the opposite actually, lol. So my answer is 'I don't know anything, I didn't see anything, so don't ask me anything.' If u're not blood, I feel no obligation (Kanye shrug)."

Then came regular respondent, Tiffany, with...
"I say something to my female friend if I KNOW he is cheating or has intentions of it - but I do not say anything if it's a rumor. If she is the cheater...I don't tell him....I do eventually make it clear that I don't like it, though...if I feel she is messing up what she has. If it's one of these situations where the man has done her wrong, well....I shrug and think to myself "this ain't gonna last long" I will reiterate what I stated on your last question, though. Speaking in general terms, I think women who cheat do so because of some personal vendetta against her man, because she feels neglected or has been cheated on. It's purely emotional for her. Men cheat mostly as a direct result of testosterone, it's physical. I am not saying it is right for either side, but I do think that a woman should just move on if she isn't getting ALL of her emotional needs met - cheating for her is more vindictive, intentional, well-planned, and heartless than when a man acts on a whim after stretching his neck at a nice piece of ass."

Next respondent was Joi, with...
"I've already lost 2 friends that way... I know ppl say they would like to know but truth is that most of them can't handle it... Both attacked me with 'You're just jealous and want to break us up!'. I wouldn't do it again...

But I might happen to take my friend out somewhere I know the cheating partner might be and just step back and let them find out on their own... "

Tiffany came back to the conversation with...
"I agree with Joi....I have had similar situations....but the fact is that those chicks are just in denial, and when given their space, they may come back around...if they don't, they weren't really your friend, so I'd rather weed them out anyway. The key is to give the woman the info and step back to let her do with it what she will. No asking 'what you gonna so about it?' and 'did you ask him, what'd he say?' type thing. The obligation of the friend is to disclose what she knows, not to tell the friend how to deal with her relationship. Most of the time, if that is how it is handled, she doesn't take offense....now if her man came on to YOU, be prepared to be the fall guy...but again, telling her upfront is still the only way to go."

Next, came Stone with...
"U never ever get involved NEVER. If you are honest then you are the @$$hole."

Former coworker Sheena says...
"I say don't say anything. It's not my business."

Next was another former coworker, April, with...
"Hay-ull NAW! Not no more! A friend of mine from college had a boyfriend that always cheated on her. A few of us (her friends) saw him on campus with this other chick, so we decided to tell her. They ended up mad at us...and still together! SMH."
[Phlip note - these people are not "friends," they're people you know... Don't confuse the terms, that complicates things]

Best friend in the universe, Roger, comes in with...
"Fugg it, i say tell them, why should u value the relationship more than the cheater? If they break up? Cheaters actions did it, just sooner than later because u saw em'. They stay together: he/she is fugging stupid or its simply a snag in their road. Either way. What will be will be. Example: i would feel like an asshole if cheater brought aids or something to the other person and i couldve spared them possibly with info. Truth is truth. Let them figure out what to do with it..."

Stone came in with...
"U never ever get involved NEVER. If you are honest then you are the @$$hole."

Next was Ace, with...
"I mean, you check the cheater and make sure you ain't misread the situation, but you NEVER snitch, it's not your place. We deal with what we saw. If it hurts too bad not to spill the beans, then we must evaluate our definition of relationship. Love covers sin, and we often forget that in these situations. Let guilt make the cheater get correct."

Then Tiffany was back with...
"I did already answer, but I think a true friend tells you things you don't always like to hear, that is what separates a friend and an agreeable tag-a-long. If we can't tell each other the truth, we not really friends. And worrying about someone getting mad at you is not a reason to keep it in, because when that person finds out you knew and didn't say anything??? They are gonna be even hotter than if you had. "


Not that I didn't know this before, but I will use this space to advise that women can be grimy as FUCK!
Answers seem almost divided down gender lines that "well, if he cheated on her, I would say something, but if she cheated on him, then he probably brought it on himself."
That is fucking filthy, just for the record.

As for me?
Thanks for asking, even though I am the one who asks the questions here...

I am in the enviable position to make a point of surrounding myself with standup people who have not put me in position to have to make this decision.
I mean that to say that most in my circle don't do this shit, and the people who DO get out and put it in the streets like that have a significant other who knows and is dealing with the shit accordingly, no need for me to add fuel to the fire.
BUT
If presented with a need to deal with it, I surely would.
If it was, for some reason, someone(s) in my immediate circle who was doing the cheating, I might be so inclined to ask what it is they look to accomplish and just what kinda future is seen in someone they can't remain committed to. If, post assessment, they continue with the relationship, with or without the philanderous behaviors is where any other side of this may come about.
I would NOT, however, present this as the catalyst to WW3 though. No intervention, bringing them both into a room and explaining that she got drunk and fucked some dude/dudes one night or that he, perhaps when somewhere that I happened to be in attendance, took some chick upstairs for an intoxicated quickie... As an individual who shuns confrontation, I would be doing MYSELF that favor. The thing most worth considering here is that the person to be confronted is the cheatER, not the cheatEE -- UNLESS the cheatee is your best friend on the planet, of which you should only have one... At that point, all bets are off and you are spilling the beans.
If the conversation with the cheater has to suggest that THEY need to talk it out with the cheatee on the chance that you might, then so be it. This conversation, though, should only take place with someone close enough to you for you to even care enough about their situation and with the understanding that this COULD be the ultimate strain on a friendship, and your willingness to face that. In my opinion, however, if this is something that can cost you a friendship, then you weren't very good friends to begin with.
All that said, I can understand if you sit and say nothing, "live and let die," I've often said. I would also implore you to think on the golden rule and consider how you would have your "friends" deal you if the tables were turned. At the end of it, it seems there is a sticky balance between "concerned friendship" and "minding your own business," a very thin line that it is nigh impossible to approach without somehow encroaching, so the most consistent modifier has been "just how close am I to them?" damn near every time. At the least that allows you to decide whether or not you want to deal with the possible outcome of it all before acting.

Individual results may vary...
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