He cheated on her and she knows it but she is afraid to confront him about it. She loves him and she does not want to lose him; that is her reason. Confronting him would also mean having to face the consequences; like opening a can of worms, a process that she is not sure she wants to know how it will end. She is a friend to my girlfriend, Elle.

As Elle told me what her friend was going through, she kept reminding me and swearing every 10 seconds or so that if any man every did anything like that to her, she would not even think about it; she would leave him immediately. I asked her if she had given this same advice to her friend. Strangely, she had not. In their strange way of looking at things, Elle was going to support her friend in every way she could, but would not tell her friend to leave the man. That was her decision to make. I found it wise, but considering the circumstances, also disturbing.

The way Elle looked at the situation was troubling; yes, her friend and her man had issues, and perhaps the blame was entirely the man’s but it was being handled as if the girl had no choice in the whole thing, no alternative. To choose between staying and leaving? I also understand that sometimes, the decision is not as easy as it seems, whether to stay or leave. And if that was the case, and the girl was to stay, then shouldn’t there be more effort put towards resolving the issue, than talking behind his back, seeking sympathy and yet no one has brought the issue up for discussion with him.
This is what disturbed me. Why suffer in silence? The man was at fault, she kept saying, and it is something she could not tolerate. At this point, the ball was in her court. If she wanted to be a martyr for love, let her keep it to herself.

Before I told Elle what I thought about the whole episode, I asked her what her friend wanted exactly, and from whom. Elle seemed surprised that I was taking such a tone with her. She could not understand how someone would not sympathise and side with the girl in her tricky situation.
My continued refusal to express sympathy for her friend made her angrier and angrier, to my bafflement, until finally, she asked me, as if I was supposed to have known, ‘and so what happens to the baby?’.
Oh, so there was a baby... No, there was no baby as yet, but the girl was pregnant. Two ways to go about this; one way, I could show her that her friend was fighting a losing battle, because if her man could cheat on her when she was pregnant, there was surely no hope for him. It was time to jump ship now.

Alternatively, I could play the sympathetic understanding man, and pretend that I agreed with her friend; hers was a dire situation, the best way was to let bygones be bygones and hope for the best. The choice would come down to the girl at last. Elle still has not forgiven me for taking a stand against the man.

-eugenemugisha@gmail.com