I will cut to the chase and then fill in a few details. My best friend thinks his boyfriend is cheating on him. He has asked me to snoop around and find out any facts or incriminating evidence.
Here is the thing: I don’t have to snoop around. I know his boyfriend is cheating on him. I don’t think the guy can even define monogamous. He even hit on me one night when we were all out at the bars. I was drunk and blew the situation off. I found him in the bathroom getting a blowjob from another dude like an hour later.
So what’s the problem, you ask? Tell my best friend his boyfriend is a slut and save the day and we can all live happily ever after, right? Well, besides being unfaithful — and I don’t think he ever promised to be exclusive — the guy is an amazing influence on my friend. Since he met this guy, my friend quit using drugs, stopped smoking, and is considering going back to school to pursue an MBA! A year ago he was just another 20-something queer with a day job and a future in rehab and a fat file at the local STD clinic. It is since they started dating that our friendship has become this great. I am afraid that if he breaks up with this guy too soon, he’ll just tumble back down the hill. I realize this relationship may not last forever, but if it could hold out till he was in or done with school, I think that my friend would be a lot better off.
So do I lie to my friend for his own good, or do I tell the truth and risk everything good that is happening in his life? I guess I know the answer, but I’d rather have someone else make the decision.
— Good friends are hard to find
Dear Good Friends,
Good friends are hard to find if they are you. Would you encourage him to use heroin if you thought it made him the person you like and a person who liked you? I understand that he is on many levels a better person, but a boyfriend cannot be the sole cause and support for such life changes.
You sound a little daft, but some of your friend’s changes and new life order must be due to your influence as well. You better hope so, anyway, because it is time to tell the truth.
If you want to avoid the ugly part of telling your friend, you can ask the boyfriend to step up and do it himself. It is the better answer because you avoid getting caught in the middle of a he-said, he-said argument. Tell Mr. Almost Perfect that your friend has asked and you will not lie. Give him the opportunity to talk to your friend about their relationship and his actions. You said he didn’t ever commit to monogamy, so he might want to discuss his actions openly with your friend in the context of their relationship. I can’t say I have ever heard of that argument working out for anyone, but it’s his ship to sink, not yours.
You need to prepare yourself for the supporting role your best friend deserves. There is a good chance that he will not turn back to any of his old habits, especially if he has a strong support system in place. If he is crushed, keep him focused on the positive aspects of his life, like his career and education plans. Remind him that the best vengeance is success. Avoid situations where drugs or other pitfalls are available. Stay home and get drunk with a couple of close friends; don’t hit the clubs. Maybe suggest a get-away weekend or a gym membership. If he wants back in the game, suggest a coffee shop or a not-so-sleazy online dating service.
You get the idea, and you know the right thing to do. Have a little faith and trust in both your friend and yourself.
Much love and honesty,
Your Uncle Mat
P.S. How does having a slutty boyfriend who has random sex in bathrooms with strangers keep your buddy out of the local STD clinic? Has he been tested lately? This is a reminder that relationships don’t guarantee anything. If you’re getting laid, get tested.
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at
email@example.com, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.