When is it right to meddle in someone’s marriage?

I’ve never before been confronted with cheating behaviour right up in my social circle – until now. It’s unfolding in front of me and I have no idea what to do about it.

It all kicked off a few weeks ago, when I attended a BBQ with a bunch of friends. All in all, about 25 people were milling about. One friend was working, so her husband and toddler daughter came along without her.

During the BBQ, said husband struck up a friendly chat with a new girl in the group (let’s call her Kelly) who happens to a single. After the BBQ, they connected on Facebook under the guise of him helping her find work; they’re vaguely in the same industry.


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So far, so good. No one has stepped out of bounds and everything is above board, right?

Not quite. Now, Kelly tells me, this guy was getting a little too… friendly.

He was messaging her every day, and sending her messages late at night, saying things like, “Thinking of you”.

Then the messages got even more suggestive – he even tried to engage in some sexy banter.

This was all playing out on Facebook, so there is ample evidence of his attempts. Kelly tells me that when she realised where the conversation was heading, she pulled him up and said, “What if your wife saw the messages you were sending me?”

I don’t know how things have developed – if at all – since. Kelly says she’s stopped responding to his messages, but she hasn’t gone as far as to block him or unfriend him. I don’t know her well enough to know whether she encouraged him to flirt or not?

I’d always thought that if I was in this situation, I would tell the cheating party: “Stop doing what you’re doing, or I’ll tell your partner what I know”.

But in this case – I don’t know what to do. He hasn’t exactly cheated, but he has instigated something that falls well outside of ‘acceptable married guy behaviour’.

I don’t want to meddle (ironic, considering this column is called “The Meddler”!) in someone else’s marriage, but I don’t know if I can stand by without saying anything at all.

What would you do? Say something to him? Say something to his wife? Or stay silent, knowing that my friend is married to a dirtbag?