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Issue Date: June 2007 Issue

You caught your neighbor cheating.

Kristen Hampshire
The neighbor is cheating — you saw it yourself: The mystery car pulled into the driveway next door when you retrieved your mail last week. There’s definitely someone significant other than the neighbor’s spouse in the picture. Do you tell?

“Oftentimes, people find this information really juicy, and there is a form of judging that goes along with it,” says Dr. Antone Feo, a Westlake-based psychologist who specializes in companion-related issues. Really, though, “it’s none of your business,” Feo says.

>What if you tell? Don’t expect your neighbor to believe your story, even if it’s true. “You will lose a friend,” Feo speculates. “Your friend will tell her husband, and he will say it didn’t happen. You will end up being the target of anger.”

>You’re not Dr. Phil. “Don’t give unsolicited advice, because people don’t want to hear it,” Feo says.

>Forget gossip. Zip your lip at the block party, too. “People come and say, ‘I know my neighbor is having an affair,’ and the best I can tell them is that it’s important not to gossip,” Feo says. “That is hurtful to your friend, who is the neighbor, and it will also come back to bite you."

81% of people would keep their mouth shut if they discovered their neighbor’s spouse was cheating.
9.8% would tell.
9.2% would gossip about it, but not tell.

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