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Estranged Friend Wonders If She Should Tell The Groom His Bride Cheated On Him 3 Weeks Before The Wedding

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distraught woman

Knowing about someone's secret infidelity is one of the biggest moral conundrums.

No matter what you choose to do with that delicate information, there are major consequences, as one woman on Reddit, currently weighing the pros and cons, knows all too well. 

With just 3 weeks to go before her friend's wedding, she wonders if she should tell the groom his bride cheated on him.

Yikes. That sure is awkward.

As she wrote in her post, she's become quite close friends with both the bride and groom, and has become privy to the bride's anxieties about marriage. Unfortunately, with those anxieties came her confession about having cheated on her fiancé.

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She wrote in her Reddit post that her first inclination was to urge her friend to seek therapy and couple's counseling to figure out what she really wanted before going further down the road toward marriage. 

But her friend didn't listen, and soon began another affair with a co-worker. She even asked her friend to cover for her while she hung out with him. Her discomfort at being her alibi was the start of the tensions between them, and things escalated quickly. 

The bride's cheating led to a huge blow-out fight at her bachelorette party after she hinted at the affair to her future sister-in-law.

Things began to take a real turn at the bride's bachelorette party. Because the groom's sister was attending, the bride avoided the wider group and stuck with her best friend, talking privately. As she got more and more drunk, however, she began letting her guard down. 

"[She] started talking about all the things that she had done behind the groom's back in front of his sister," the Redditor wrote. "[At] one point she almost ratted herself out and started talking about her co-worker."

   

   

The woman quickly warned her to cool it before she spilled the beans to her future sister-in-law, but the damage was largely already done. The sister said "how uncomfortable she was about what the bride was saying about her brother" and tensions began to rise. 

Then a huge fight erupted as the bride's best friend and maid of honor accused the woman of judging the bride and trying to ruin the party. Things escalated to the point that the bride severed all ties with the friend.

But the bride still wanted her friend's ex-boyfriend to officiate the wedding for them, and when she approached him, he refused, telling the Redditor that he thought the groom needed to know the truth. She can't for the life of her figure out what the right thing to do is, especially since their friendship is already over.

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Whether to tell someone they're being cheated on is a complicated question, even for therapists.

The woman's fellow Redditors were pretty much unanimous: Since the friendship is over anyway, she has nothing to lose and should do the right thing, especially since her former friend obviously isn't ready to be married in the first place.

This scenario is a bit more cut-and-dried since the friendship being over really does make it easier to decide. But all too often, these situations are nowhere near this simple, and the question is so complicated that there doesn't even seem to be a consensus among mental health professionals.

   

   

Psychologist Dr. Mark D. White explained that this question ultimately comes down to a debate between what is right versus what is good. Obviously the right — the moral — thing to do is to tell. But is it a good thing to do?

Say the affair is over, the cheater is contrite, and there's no way the other partner will ever find out unless you tell. Is it actually good to expose them and blow up their life? What if there are kids involved? Is it better to save them the distress, or be honest?

Many people have a much looser attitude about infidelity, too. The French, for example, famously even have a named tradition for flings, "le cinq à sept," or 5 to 7 — the perfect time of day for the married to sneak off with a side-piece between work and dinner. If a couple has a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" approach to this, is interfering with it the good thing to do?

   

   

But keeping quiet can be just as harmful, of course, and could destroy the friendship if the cheated-on partner ever finds out you knew and kept it to yourself. You could drive yourself crazy going over and over and over the various scenarios in your head. 

Dr. White wrote that the best approach is probably to consider what your friend would want you to do and act accordingly. "After all, it's his or her marriage, life, and future," he wrote. "Respect what I think my friend would want: That's my right answer." 

In the end, many on Reddit agreed. As one commenter put it, "If she is cheating before the marriage, she will cheat after. Save him from wasting his life anymore with her. Would you want to know? I know I would."

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.