What are the limits of bro code? Do you think it’s okay to cover up for a friend’s infidelity? Example: it’s Sunday morning, and you let your wife sleep in. You fix the kids a bowl of cereal and plunk them down in front of cartoons. As you wait for the coffee to brew, you check the phone for messages and there it is, a text from your best friend.
Hey Bro—if she asks, I told her we had a few too many last night and I spent the night on your couch.
Now, not only has your friend cheated on his wife, he’s dragged you into it as well. And he’s managed to drag your wife into it too, as you either need to lie to her or tell her that your friend is cheating. When is lying for a friend okay?
When you learn that a friend is cheating, and assuming that you and your wife are friends, or at least friendly, with his spouse, your options are limited, and none of them are good.
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You can go along with his lies.
You can back up the story he gave his wife and forget about it. It’s not your problem, it’s his. The downside of course, is that you’ve got to get your wife to agree to lie so you’re dragging her into it. And maybe, out of loyalty to the woman in question, or friendship or girl bonding or something like that, she’s not going to agree to lie. So you know, one day it will come up and the sh*t will hit the fan and some of it is going to come flying your way, bro code or not.
You can tell his wife.
And won’t that stir up a hornet’s nest. Your friend gets pissed because you wouldn’t cover his lie and he’s in hot water with an angry, hurt wife. His wife gets pissed at you, and maybe your wife as well, because you “must have known about this” despite your protests to the contrary. And the woman who was played for a fool is pissed because her marriage is severely damaged, if not over, and she’s got a whole new set of worries about STDs.
You can lie just this once.
You can reply to your buddy’s text and tell him this is a one-time bro code deal. You’ll cover his ass this time if asked but never again. Then you’ve got to convince your wife that lying for a friend this one time is all right. And then every time you see your buddy’s girlfriend are you going to have to repeat the lie?
You can say no.
You can send McCheater a return text and tell him no way. He’s made the decision to cheat on his wife, and he’s a grown-up. He can either lie to his wife and risk getting caught, or come clean, as long as he keeps you the hell out of it. You don’t condone cheating, you wouldn’t cheat, you won’t support him if he decides to play the field.
How you handle this situation depends on how you relate to the parties involved, and maybe to what you know about their relationship. Are they both unhappy? Is there a history of infidelity by one or both parties? Or is this lifelong buddy of yours just a serial cheater who is physically and emotionally incapable of monogamy? Is the woman your wife’s best friend? Is what you say or do likely to change their relationship for the better, or end it completely? How is your response going to affect the friendship you have with this guy, and how much does that matter to you?
There’s no easy answer as to whether you should help cover up your friend’s cheating. What would you do if you received that text? Tell us below, in Comments.