Ask Swan: I found my friend's wife on a dating app

Dear Swan,

I’m a single man in my 30s. I use Swan and a couple of dating apps. Recently, I was swiping and came across a profile of someone I know: my friend’s wife. They’ve been married for three years and I went to their wedding. He’s not my best mate but we’re close enough that I feel a responsibility to say something. What’s the right thing to do?




Dear Matt,

There are a few things that could be going on here. Your assumption is infidelity, and the numbers are on your side: in the UK, a good 20% of people admit to having had affairs. 

There are alternative explanations (although they’re less likely). Is it possible that your friend’s wife just failed to deactivate her dating apps? Depending on the app used, you should be able to see when she was last active. If the photos are old and there’s no sign she’s used it recently, it might be worth taking her aside in private before you risk your friend’s marriage. 

Equally, her use of dating apps may be something her husband knows about already. It might even be something he accepts or supports; for all we know, he’s doing the same. Whether or not this is likely depends on the kind of circles you move in, the character of your friend, and other variables known only to you.

The best question to ask yourself is what you’d want if the situations were reversed. About 90% of people say they’d want to know if their partner were unfaithful, so the odds are good that your friend would rather be told. It’s best to do this in person, discreetly, and with evidence to support your allegation. Be prepared for your friend to react emotionally, and make sure he has the space he needs to digest the information (i.e. don’t tell him when he’s just about to go out for dinner with his wife).

Let him know that you’re there to support him if he wants it, and that you have no intention of sharing the information with anyone else or behaving differently towards him or his wife. Listen before you offer advice.

Your instinct to look out for him is a good one, and whatever the situation turns out to be, he’s lucky to have a friend with his best interests at heart.

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