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QUESTION: Does my mother-in-law’s long-distance boyfriend have a right to know she is cheating?
“Hi, I can use some help. My mother-in-law started dating within four months of my father in law passing. She met someone online and we all like him. He is a very sweet man, and he has made many trips here to AZ to visit her, he gifts her weekly with flowers, chocolates, and other cute things, to try and make up the distance. When she first announced they were dating, we all warned her long-distance relationships could be hard, and my mother-in-law got very angry at us all and told us not to belittle her, and that’s she knows what she is getting into, so we all left it at that.
It’s been now like 9-10 months they have been dating and now are “engaged,” but she just dropped a bombshell to us all last night that she’s been going to the bars and is out with other men because she is so frustrated with the distance, so she is justified in cheating. But she insisted she loves her boyfriend, and he is her chapter 2, but it’s acceptable for her to cheat because he lives so far. We are hurt because we all like her boyfriend, and we aren’t sure if we should tell him the truth or leave it be because she is an alcoholic, and anytime she gets sh*t-faced drunk (daily) she posts everything online so we know he will see her post about it eventually. Any ideas or advice is appreciated.”
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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“No girl, please tell him. He deserves to know that the person he’s been doting on and loving for the past year is cheating on him. No one deserves to be cheated on, if you know its your obligation as a decent human being to tell him.”
“Oh god. This is a hard one. I would want to know if someone is cheating on me. This man is ready to start a whole new life with this woman. He doesn’t mean to much to her. Thanks awful. I think I would tell him.”
“Secrets are bad, cheating is bad, that poor guy deserves better and deserves the truth, grief, long distance is not excusable for cheating and going behind someones back and doing that, she shouldn’t be engaged to someone she can’t fully commit to.”
“I think you should tell him. Morally I think if you don’t your condoning her actions/treatment by allowing it and essentially covering the lie by acting like everything is fine when he is around.”
“Sounds like your mother-in-law has her struggles with the relationship already that is also only 10 months long lol, it is her relationship not yours.”
“I feel like your mother-in-law didn’t give herself time to grieve just be love and support her no matter what. You don’t have to agree with your mother-in-law’s choices that’s on her. I wouldn’t get into her personal business that would on put a strain on your relationship with her.”
“I’m torn on this one. I personally believe that under no circumstances is cheating acceptable. If the distance is now an issue for her, that is a conversation that she needs to have with her boyfriend. She is grown and is the one to live with both the choices she makes and the consequences of those choices. I would want to know, but it’s not really your place. If I were in your shoes, I would encourage the family as a whole to confront her and encourage her to come clean, act like an adult and have an adult conversation with her boyfriend about the issue. If they are engaged and planning to get married, I assume that one of them plans to move to where the other lives. Maybe they could move the date up to take care of the distance issue.”
“Stay out of it. Casual tune her out. She was probably married along time before her husband passed and grieving in her own way. Let her be single and learn on her own. Not your place or your business.”
“Stay out of it . We don’t know what he is doing there plus she could be still grieving the loss of her husband.”
“As the in law I would stay out of it. If it were my mom and I really cared for him I might tell if it seemed like they would actually marry. I’m sure if she’s posting it online and they are social media friends he probably already knows. Have you considered that they’re in an open relationship?”
“You don’t know what kind of arrangement they have. They could be ok with an open relationship until they are together. Don’t let someone else’s business bother you..”
“I would say something honestly. But be prepared for drama to start because of it.”
“I agree with a lot on here about minding own business…but. if she marries this guy they better make sure mom has a will. And this so called boyfriend that she cheats on doesn’t clean her out. It can and will happen.”
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