My close friend recently broke up with her boyfriend, and told us it was mutual, just grew apart, blah blah. But I ran into his best friend at a party and he told me that my friend not only cheated, she gave her boyfriend herpes. Once he woke up with herpes, basically, he realized she’d been sleeping around and dumped her. I know she’s in a “take a guy home from the bar” phase post-breakup, and seeing as she didn’t even tell us about what happened, I doubt she’s telling the guys. Should I say something to her? Should I go out with her and cockblock? I have no idea how to handle this, but I’m afraid for the eligible male population.
There are a few issues here, all of which are concerning, but some of which are more important to your friendship than others.
It’s absolutely uncool if your friend is spreading an STD, especially since she presumably knows she has it (although let’s put things in perspective; genital herpes is so common that 1 in 6 people have it, and while it sucks, it’s basically harmless).
But you don’t actually know if that’s what’s happening, because she apparently has never really talked to you about the breakup, and the possible STD, and whether she’s actually being open with the guys she’s taking home about her recent…acquisition, and, and, and…
See where I’m going? The problem isn’t really whether or not this is true, per se, it’s whether your friend feels the need to lie about herself to the people closest to her. The herpes is actually a red (-sored) herring in this situation.
Before you do anything, think about whether your friend has proven herself trustworthy in the past; is it likelier that she would lie to make herself look better, or that a bitter ex would tell his friends mean things about your friend because he’s pissed (or that the ex’s friend is spiteful enough to make something up in a twisted show of loyalty)?
Then, sit your friend down and tell her that you heard something kinda disturbing from her ex’s friend. Say he’s been spreading this rumor. Say you want her to know that you absolutely wouldn’t judge her in the slightest if it’s true. Then add that the discussion can end now if she wants, you just want her to know this is what he’s saying, since it could do lasting damage to how people think of her.
Depending on how she responds, press a little more–not on the herpes, on the cheating. Try to find out whether or not your friend is the victim of a vicious slander, here, or whether she’s not willing to be honest with you.
If it’s the former, it’s good that she now knows the things that are being said about her. If it’s the latter, she should know that she’s not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes…and that she has someone that she really CAN be honest with.
If she still refuses to, you may want to consider whether you want to keep someone who makes a habit of dishonesty–and here’s where the herpes is relevant again, because it’s DAMAGING dishonesty–as a close friend.