In Which We Can Handle You The Way You Are

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to or by dropping us a note at our tumblr.


A few weeks ago, I discovered that my best friend’s wife is cheating on him with a neighbor of mine. I’m conflicted on whether or not I should intervene. I’ve been contemplating on telling him, but don’t want to be the one to break his heart. Should I tell him or allow things play out on their own?

Jean B.

Dear Jean,

Ah yes, the insoluble dilemma. This is why it’s important to sit down with your friends and a box of Mike & Ike’s early on and hypothetically hash out whether or not they’d like to know if their partner was cheating on them.

I’d let it play out, at least for a little while longer. Support your friend as much as possible without spilling the beans. If you have any sort of relationship with his partner, gently tell her what you know and give her the opportunity to come clean on her own. Reserve judgment. Unless she is the violent or vengeful type, then emphasize how cool you are with it and suggest she, “Get that ass.”

The bottom line is you don’t want anyone getting murdered over this, and you really don’t know the context of their relationship. So take baby steps, unless there is an actual baby involved, then take no steps.


Two years ago I went on a few dates with a great guy. We had a good time, but I was in a weird mental space and told him I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I haven’t seen him since. Still, I find myself thinking about him all the time and wondering what may have happened if we’d pursued something. Through a mutual friend I recently learned he is single but maybe casually dating someone. I want to give him a call, but I’m not sure it’s the right idea. What should I do?

Megan A.

Dear Megan,

A lot can happen over the span of two years. You may find out that he is not exactly the same as you pictured. Imagine the sense of relief you’ll get after you hear he’s into opera singing. You can spend years wondering the what ifs, which we’re all guilty of, but don’t let it hinder your confidence to move on.

Even if he is seeing someone, there’s no reason you can’t just check in and make sure he can never fully commit to a relationship until he has tried things with you. This is how Jennifer Garner manages to stay in the public eye.

It’s not okay to keep asking Siri if you should call him or not. If you don’t hear back, you know what happened. You shouldn’t be slightly surprised if he has rescued a new puppy named Craig with a significant other. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t get the answer you want. It will be nice to have a sense of closure.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen. Access This Recording’s mobile site at


“Do You Know” – Pieta Brown (mp3)

“No Not Me” – Pieta Brown (mp3)


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