Q: I need your advice about a situation that is causing me much concern. My best friend's wife is having an affair and people know about it but my best friend doesn't. He is the last to know. The affair is with a priest who comes to her house in the mornings when my friend is at work and the children are at school.
He has been seen molesting her by another friend of mine through the window in her house, and he sneaks around her all the time.
I do not want to get involved and hurt my friend but I don't know what to do. Please advise me what to do in what is an awful situation.
This is a definite fact as to what is happening and it will be the talk of the country if the husband, who will be broken, discovers it.
I did not include my name or my address to protect my friend's identity.
Mary replies: I thought a lot about whether to answer this letter or not, because there are a few things that I don't understand.
I decided however, that I would answer it, mainly because I wanted to address the basic question as to whether or not you should tell your friend what is going on.
From your letter - for it was a letter not an email - I cannot decide whether you are a man or a woman. Obviously there would be different dynamics at play here depending on your sex.
The Valley of the Squinting Windows - now over a century old - kept coming into my mind as I thought about your friend looking in the window at the priest and his prey.
At least you made it sound like his prey because of your use of the word molest.
If a man is molesting a woman it means that he is attacking her or interfering with her sexually, but I cannot believe that any woman would allow someone continually into their home if he were molesting her.
You also say the priest sneaks around her all the time, which I don't understand but perhaps you intended to write that he sneaks around to her all the time. But at the core of your letter is what you should do about telling your friend about his wife's infidelity.
From what you say the dogs in the street know about this and the only one who doesn't know is the cuckolded husband.
How would you feel if the roles were reversed and he were writing to me about you?
You have four options here.
You can go to your friend's wife and tell her that you are concerned for your friend - let's call him Tom - and that everybody knows she is having an affair with the priest.
If she denies it you will have to tell her that another friend looked in her window and saw her in the act. How would you feel about doing that?
Or you can go directly to the priest and confront him.
Alternatively you can go to Tom and tell him what you know.
Bear in mind that he may already know, or suspect, what is going on.
You don't know what is happening in his marriage and there must be some reason for her to be having an affair.
So you may be getting in deeper than you realise, but you will then feel that the secret is not resting with you any longer and he can do with it what he chooses.
Your fourth option is to do nothing.
Things may run their course, the priest may be moved to another parish or one of them may decide to call it a day.
Any one of a number of scenarios could happen, including her leaving Tom and the priest leaving the priesthood. Unlikely, I know, but still possible.
I know what I would like if I were Tom.
I would like to know that I had a friend that I could count on to watch out for me, and to whom I could turn no matter what went wrong in my life.
So if I were you I would meet Tom for a coffee and enquire gently how things are between himself and his wife.
Now you see my dilemma as to whether you are male or female. His answer will likely be somewhat different depending on what sex you are. It will also depend on whether or not you have a wife/husband/partner.
In any event it is going to be a difficult conversation.
You need to be prepared to go further with the conversation no matter what his answer is, because he will want to know why you have asked.
Then it is over to you - you can tell him what you know and assure him that you are there for him no matter what happens.
Or you can keep quiet and make some excuse as to why you asked him.
Tom is your best friend and Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying "true friends stab you in the front".
This I interpret as meaning that a true friend will always be honest with you, even if they know you aren't going to like it.
It takes a lot of courage to be a true friend and I hope I have given you some food for thought.
Ultimately, the final decision as to what you do will be yours alone.
Sunday Indo Living