She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I recently joined Tinder and saw a married male friend of the family with a pretty obscure photo (very close up and only on one eye) — but I recognized him immediately.
He said in his profile that he's been married for a long time and he’s bored and wants to have an affair. Point blank statement.
I immediately swiped left upon seeing this, but it has haunted me ever since.
This is a man with a wife and two children.... and having been thru a marriage with infidelity, I know about the fallout for a family when this happens.
However, I am not very close with either of them, and my friendship is equal with them both.
Do I keep mum about this? Or should I attempt to say anything to anyone?
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UGH. This is that category of information that makes me want to hot potato it on to someone else — as in I have to tell someone else who knows them, so I don’t have to figure it out.
Because it is no fun being in your position. It’s uncomfortable having this sort of intel because we feel responsible for it.
But what he’s doing on Tinder or elsewhere is neither your problem nor your responsibility.
First of all, we don’t know what sort of arrangement they have in their marriage. Perhaps they have an open relationship. I would think if he is putting it out there in such a semi-public way, she knows (or he wants to get caught).
The second thing to consider is the amount of drama you will bring into your life if you contact the wife about this.
If you were close friends that would be one thing, but I don’t believe it’s worth getting involved in this messy business.
However, I would reach out to him and say something like this: Hey, your Tinder profile came up in my feed when I was scrolling through. I don’t know if you and ___(insert wife’s name) have an open relationship, but if I saw you on there, it is likely that others have or will, too. As you know, I have first-hand experience with what infidelity can do to a marriage and a family. I hope that you are not putting what you have in jeopardy.
Then, leave it at that. As I said, it would be different if you were clear on what sort of marriage they have and were close to them. In this case, send him a brief message and then wash your hands of it.
Should anything more egregious come up in the future, you can reevaluate and decide if anything else should be said.
The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I'm not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share with you the wisdom I've gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, recovery, friendship, sex, consent, what I’m watching, Cacoxenite, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo