Author Topic: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette? AWFUL UPDATE #78  (Read 17703 times)

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cookiehappy

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Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette? AWFUL UPDATE #78
« on: December 11, 2012, 08:29:10 AM »
Last evening, a friend and I were at a local diner having dinner and going over next steps on a project.  We were seated in a back booth that has a full view of the place.  You have to pass this booth to get to the restrooms down a short hall.

During the course of our meal, my friend looks up and gasps.  I froze, thinking two masked men just walked in with guns drawn.  I turn to see what she is looking at.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  But then she says, "oh my - there's my cousin's husband and that isn't my cousin with him".  I went through the "maybes" - maybe it's a coworker, maybe it's a family member, maybe, maybe, maybe.  The maybes stopped when CH (cousin's husband) dunked his finger into a drink, stuck it in the woman's mouth and put it back in his mouth.  Then they smiled at each other and began holding hands across the table.   :-\

My friend yelped and was about to charge full steam ahead when CH spotted her and walked over to our booth.  At that point, I was totally ignored and the conversation went like this:

CH: Hi, what are you doing here?
Friend:  (arms crossed and blushed) No, the question is what are you doing over there?
CH:  Having dinner with a friend.  People do eat, you know.
Friend:  Go away CH.  You should leave, you and whoever she is.
CH:  Whoever she is, is not your business.  Okay? (a bit menacingly, but not overly so)

Then he put his finger to his lips like "shhhhhh", walked back to his table and the woman he was with glared at us.  They grabbed their coats and left.

Friend was beside herself. She never had any bad inklings about CH, nor had her cousin said anything to her about trouble in their marriage. 

She wants to tell her cousin, but decided to wait a few days to calm down.  I didn't know what to tell her as I've never been in this situation.  I would imagine if you do plan to tell someone a thing like this, it's best to do it as soon as possible - not weeks, months or years down the line.  What is the etiquette in this?  Tell?  Don't tell?

FYI:  Friend and her cousin are really like sisters, grew up together and remain close.  Cousin lives an hour away from our town.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 02:57:00 PM by cookiehappy »

Sharnita

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 08:53:08 AM »
I would say something.

EnoughAlready22

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 08:55:14 AM »
I would definately tell the cousin.  It's obvious CH is up to no good by the way he "shhhh"ed her.  That also tells me he has no intention of telling cousin.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 08:59:06 AM »
I think this is a definite tell situation, and ASAP.  If he's sleeping with somebody else, he can put the cousin at risk for all sorts of STDs and the like without her knowing or taking precautions, and the health risk is just the tip of the iceberg.

dawbs

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 09:01:50 AM »
I'd say tell and leave an 'out'.
Husband knows he's been spotted, so if he's saavy, he'll have a plan to cover his tracks...which means, sisters or not, cousin would be quite normal if her response to voicing suspicions is to shoot the messenger.

So call, have a normal conversation, and say "oh, and I saw Jim last week.  My friend Barb and I were at X restaurant-their tieramisu is to die for, although it's more of a 'romantic' restaurant than I normally go to with friends.  Jim was eating dinner w/ some girl, co-worker maybe?  we spoke briefly--he said I shouldn't mention anything so I waited a few days, assuming he was planning some sort of surprise for you.  I assume he's pulled it off by now?"

(^that's not remarkably good, but it probably gets the point across--I'd leave it so that your friend is giving information, not speculating.  Make it conversational, and leave it so that *cousin* is challenging what the husband was doing/says, not your friend)

RebeccainGA

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 09:04:38 AM »
I'd conversationally ask how things were going, and then mention that you saw someone that 'could have been your husband, but was with someone else, so we were sure it was just his evil twin' at a restaurant the other night. Who knows, there may be a good explanation - but at least you can brush it off as 'wow, that guy looked just like him!' if she's not ready to face it.

Sharnita

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 09:08:58 AM »
I'd go the opposite way. I would say I had an uncomfortable encounter with Jim when I saw him dining with another woman and feeding her by hand, only to have him come over and warn me not to say anything.

Jaelle

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 09:15:14 AM »
I agree with Sharnita. I'd be as kind as I could be when telling news like this, but I think this is a time to be blunt.  :-\

And if I found out after the fact that someone "like a sister" saw this and didn't tell me, I'd really rethink the relationship.
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yokozbornak

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 09:18:40 AM »
I'd conversationally ask how things were going, and then mention that you saw someone that 'could have been your husband, but was with someone else, so we were sure it was just his evil twin' at a restaurant the other night. Who knows, there may be a good explanation - but at least you can brush it off as 'wow, that guy looked just like him!' if she's not ready to face it.

Since she actually had a conversation with him so that would be an outright lie, and I wouldn't be comfortable with that.  Since she is a very close friend as well as a relative, I would tell her what happened and then let the chips fall where they may.  I am sure he has been covering his tracks, and the cousin may decided to get angry and take it out on the mesenger, but I think sometimes you do the right thing and then let the chips fall where they may.

Bexx27

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 09:20:58 AM »
I'd go the opposite way. I would say I had an uncomfortable encounter with Jim when I saw him dining with another woman and feeding her by hand, only to have him come over and warn me not to say anything.

Yup. I'd tell her exactly what happened. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't. This is her cousin who's like a sister, not some random acquaintance.
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MariaE

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 09:31:27 AM »
I'd go the opposite way. I would say I had an uncomfortable encounter with Jim when I saw him dining with another woman and feeding her by hand, only to have him come over and warn me not to say anything.

Yup. I'd tell her exactly what happened. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't. This is her cousin who's like a sister, not some random acquaintance.

Agreed! Tell, and sooner rather than later.
 
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Shoo

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 09:37:53 AM »
I'd go the opposite way. I would say I had an uncomfortable encounter with Jim when I saw him dining with another woman and feeding her by hand, only to have him come over and warn me not to say anything.

This is how I'd do it too.  Don't pull any punches.  Make it very clear that Jim was obviously upset that you saw him and practically threatened you. 

There is absolutely no reason to sugar coat this. 

suzieQ

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 09:38:39 AM »
I'd go the opposite way. I would say I had an uncomfortable encounter with Jim when I saw him dining with another woman and feeding her by hand, only to have him come over and warn me not to say anything.

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Miss Unleaded

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 09:44:44 AM »
I'd go the opposite way. I would say I had an uncomfortable encounter with Jim when I saw him dining with another woman and feeding her by hand, only to have him come over and warn me not to say anything.

This, exactly.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Tell? Don't Tell? What Is The Etiquette?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 09:45:53 AM »
Another vote for Sharnita's approach.