What to do when your friend thinks you’re cheating with his girlfriend?

Milan asks:

My childhood friend has a girlfriend. She and I started talking, only to solve the disputes or quarrels between him and her, but as this kept going we kept talking to each other and we got addicted to each other, till we got talking to each other almost every day, though neither of us wants a relationship with each other. But when my friend got to know that we talk this much, he told his girlfriend to not to talk to me. We kept talking, though, even though my friend told me to not to talk to her.  So now he thinks that me and his girlfriend are cheating on him and he don’t trust me. What should I do?

Hi Milan –

         I think the problem here is pretty simple, even for a doggy brain, but how to deal with it is much tougher.

         The fact is, your friend asked both you and his girlfriend to not talk to each other, and you went ahead and did it.  Your friend lost trust in the two of you, and is even imagining that you two have done more than just talk behind his back.  I have to admit, that makes sense to me.  You went against his wishes, and he’s hurt and angry, and imagining things.

         But there are two ways to look at this, and what you do next depends on which of them you pick. 

         First, if we say he had the right to ask this of you two, then you and she are at fault, and you need to beg his forgiveness, and start obeying his wishes, and not talk with her, at least unless you’re with him.

         But second, you might say that he had no right to ask you two to not speak, especially as you were working to help their relationship get better.  And if that’s the case, then he’s the one at fault, and you and she need to let him know this, so he can improve.

         But is it possible to do both?  Could you and she both tell him that you kept talking because you felt his request was absurd, and figured he’d get better at dealing with it.  But that now you realize you were wrong to do so behind his back, and you both feel just awful about hurting his feelings this way, and so will agree to not talk with each other for a while, till he can start to trust you two again.

         Do you see the difference here?  You’re agreeing to do what he wanted, because it means so much to him, but you’re still saying that you think his concerns and request were mistaken, and are hoping he works past all that soon.  That’s very different from saying either that he was purely wrong, or that you were.

         It’s like when my human friend Handsome leaves food on a short table that’s below my head-level.  Was I wrong to eat it when he wasn’t looking?  Sure.  But was he dumb to leave it there?  Absolutely.  And when this happens, he doesn’t get very angry with me; he knows it was really his fault.

         Here’s hoping your friend has as clear a realization.

         All my best,


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