Q: During lunch, a married friend started telling me about an affair she’s having. I cut her off, saying it was wrong and I didn’t want to hear about it. She was clearly offended. My husband says I was out of line. Do I owe her an apology?
A: Yes, you do-not for what you said, but how you said it. I’d suggest something like, “I really care about you, and I want you to know I’m sorry for the way I spoke to you. I was wrong to cut you off, and I realize I let you down when you wanted to confide in me.” You’ve already made it clear that you don’t approve of the affair, so you don’t have to be false to your own values. Simply be honest-and tactful-in letting her know that you still feel uncomfortable hearing about the relationship, and you hope she understands that.