Being included in a friends' lies and deceit can test a relationship to the limit, especially if we are involved in several areas of their lives.
We may be expected to provide alibis, cover stories at a moments notice and it can be very difficult if we feel that they are being unfair, wrong, cowardly.
Living with a friends' guilty secret can completely turn our life into turmoil.
Often our own stress levels escalate, sleep and eating patterns can be affected and our life can effectively stop being our own.
It is very difficult being placed in the middle of someone elses' personal situation.
Often we have only an overview of their life, based on the selective things that we have been told and what we have witnessed for ourselves.
Dealing with someone elses' secret can cause serious conflict of interest.
What happens if our friend is cheating on their partner or we know that their partner is cheating on them? There are serious implications at being cast in the middle of someone elses' domestic turmoil.
We may start out feeling that there is no problem in supporting them in their emotional angst.
It may even be exciting for a time, being included in the regular updates of their situation.
But as time goes on we may even become part of the problem, almost as duplicitous as the wrongful party.
What if we know that our friend has serious financial or health related worries and does not want to worry their family? Sometimes we need to ask ourselves how we would feel if a friend of ours concealed that secret from us.
I suspect that we would want to be told.
Often in these situations it is best to support your friend and be there for them.
If they are the one with the guilty secret then try to encourage them to tell their partner, honesty is usually the best policy.
If they are afraid or have concerns at how the news will be received you have to respect their judgement and support them if you feel that you can.
Discuss their issues with them.
What is it that they are afraid of? Sometimes people are afraid of being rejected, being seen to be a failure if they have lost their job or a lot of money.
If someone is cheating is it a one-off situation or a longer term affair.
What do they want as an eventual outcome from it all.
They may need to face up to what is happening and also consider their partners' future options too.
If it becomes too difficult to keep their secret whilst you are still meeting their family or partner on a regular basis you may need to be straight with them and say that you cannot continue supporting the lies.
You may want to still be friends, but not be included in the lies.
That is a reasonable decision to make, to protect your own integrity.
After all, a good relationship should be based on honesty and truthful communications.
It may be difficult to tell our partner a tough truth, but in the long run it is usually better for all concerned.
More respect for everything and everyone is demonstrated through being honest and open.
At least all parties become aware of what they are dealing with and can base any decisions and choices about their future on the true facts.