what should I do?


Is it a good idea to be friends with someone who is an adulterer?
Specifically, someone who has committed adultery with someone in my own family? Does maintaining a friendship with this person imply that I am condoning betrayal and infidelity? This person is a friend and I know that the affair ceased some time ago but still … I feel strange about it. What is the right thing to do?


The key issue here is REPENTANCE. Has this person repented of the adultery? If a Catholic, have they confessed? If not, why not?

If the answer is “Yes” then we should forgive and accept the person as a friend. Remember the parable of the Prodigal Son. God wants us to see and love others as He sees and loves them.


I guess that would depend on whether this friend feels any remorse for his sin, and if it harms your relationship with your family to maintain this friendship.


So if they say they haven’t repented I should reply that until you repent I can’t be your friend?


Love the sinner hate the sin.

I think that you are leaving a lot of unanswered questions here so it is hard to make a lot of valid responses to the questions that you have raised. Is this person Catholic? Either of them? What is the “family member’s” relationship to you? Sibling? Cousin? Aunt? Uncle? Does this person know how you feel about this, both of them? Has this affected your relationship with the family member? Does your friends spouse know? Was your family member married?

See there are a lot of holes to be filled in here, to many unanswered questions.


Would it really matter if I supplied all the details? The issue is that I have a friend and yet I feel uncomfortable around this friend knowing their sin. (No one in my family is effected by me being friends with this person.) It’s just something that I happen to know and it bothers me. If I were to end my friendship with this person would that be wrong on my part? Would I be guilty of judging them? Jesus associated with prostitutes, outcasts, and sinners but he didn’t make repentence a condition for doing so. I don’t feel like I can do the same, am I in the wrong?


Your friend probably knows how you feel about adultery. You don’t have to say “I’m not going to be friends with you any more unless you repent.” You can just be polite, turn down invitations, don’t get drawn into long conversations with him, and if he asks why your friendship has cooled, tell him you just don’t think you have that much in common anymore.

I don’t see anything wrong with admonishing the sinner either, but sometimes you know that the sinner would be totally unreceptive anyways so it would be kind of pointless.

Maintaining or ending any friendship isn’t really “right” or “wrong.” Just don’t be unnecessarily cruel in your dealings with this man, and don’t pretend that his affair is not a big deal or doesn’t bother you either.


unless you were a party to the previous indiscretion, you actually know nothing about it, and you behave toward this person as if you have no knowledge or interest in their sex life, or in any other area of life where they may have a sin problem. It is none of your business unless their actions are harming themselves, you or someone else.


As a former, repentant adulteress I can tell you That the shame of my past sin being “found out” by my current parish friends causes me to be distant with everyone knowing that if they knew they’d feel as you do. God is much more forgiving than humans in many aspects. I, as well as others who have repented from a similar situation, really do live with shame and fear of being judge for our forgiven sins. I just wanted to give you a point of view from a side similar to your friend’s.


I think more than anything, your focus should be on praying for this friend to come to a place of repentance in his life. Love means wanting the absolute best for another, and that would be repentance and forgiveness of sin. I don’t know that I would make any drastic changes, especially since you say the adultery is not happening presently, is that correct?

Spend some time in prayer about this before you do anything you may regret later. There’s the parable of Christ’s about the splinter in your eye and the log in the other’s eye. The meaning is that our focus should be on our own sin and repentance, not on those around us, to do otherwise may be to our own peril. :blush:


thanks everyone for your replies and insights, i realize now it is time to let go and not let this thing from the distant past (and which is really none of my business) overshadow the present.


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