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  #21  
Old 05-12-2013, 11:35 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thank you for further clarify, Marcus. I appreciate it.

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I think what we are disagreeing about is when does the standard of being honest entitle or require someone to involve themselves (unsolicited) in other peoples lives.
To me “honesty” is not a "personal standard of conduct." It is a “value.”

Ex:

I value honesty.
I value my personal comfort.
I value clean water.

And so on.

And one of the personal standards of conduct (for me) is – “I am responsible for telling if keeping a confidence is hurting someone or could hurt someone.”

Witholding the information that her spouse is cheating and could now have exposed her to STDs? That could hurt her.

That's about it. I could wish I did not KNOW this info, but I can't unknow what I know. So then I'd have to figure out what to do about it.

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I have authority and responsibility over my own life, over my own decisions, how I spend my time, and what people and situations I want to associate with.
I agree with this.

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I do NOT have authority over what other people say or do or the impact those words or actions have on people (other than myself).
I agree with this. I cannot control others. I can only control me.

Quote:
Some here seem to think that there is no limit to how much authority someone should take on in the name of "honesty". If dishonesty is going on, it is somehow their duty to make sure that everyone who could possibly be affected by the dishonesty is made aware of the facts. I personally find that approach to be meddlesome and disrespectful.
The approach is meddlesome and disrespectful to whom?

That's what I'm not clear on. The approach is inconvinient, and uncomfortable to me. But if I have to answer to my higher value of "Honesty" rather than the lower value of "my own comfort" then I have to suck it up and give the woman the heads up. "I'm the other cheated on spouse. I am going to get tested. You could get tested too." Then let her figure out what to do with herself. It's her choice.

I do not appreciate the cheating pair putting me in this inconvenient and uncomfortable position. But now that I am here, how is me withholding information that affects her health and well being me demonstrating "respectful behavior" to the cheated on wife?

Are you saying that my staying silent about information that affects her health would be me demonstrating greater respectful behavior toward the cheated on wife than telling her the information?

"Meddlesome" is unwarranted interference. I think her health and autonomy over her own body put at risk warrants a heads up. You do not seem to.

If so, fair enough. Agree to disagree on that one then.

This is another area where we seem to disagree:

Quote:
In the current discussion I believe the OP really only has one question in front of him:
"Do I accept everything about my partner?"
I do not think the OP only has one question to grapple with. They have MANY. So we basically have to agree to disagree there too.

I think the OP has some of these questions when running the polymath in their heads:

"In accepting my partner's current behavior, am I holding myself accountable to myself? Am I looking out for my OWN best healths -- physical health, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, environmental health, occupational health, and social health?"

Am I holding myself accountable to the people I love and agreements between us?

Am I holding myself accountable to the community/circles/world I live in? "

Because the conclusion is that we draw the accountability line in different places for ourselves, and we hold ourselves accountable to different things and have different standards for personal conduct.

Fair enough. *shrug*

In the end... It's not us in the situation. It's the OP who has to process and hold self accountable to their own personal standard and figure out where to draw their own line in the end on this one.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-12-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:38 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
The approach is meddlesome and disrespectful to whom?
I realized I hadn't responded to this post and thought I should.

My interfering in other peoples lives without their invitation is meddlesome. I do not have the urge to educate or police my fellows on matters which *might* cause them some kind of discomfort in the *possible* future. I also don't feel the irresistible urge to educate people on proper table etiquette, or on the fact that they are tone deaf, or on how to make a proper left hand turn (NEAREST AVAILABLE LANE, PEOPLE!). The world is not my chess board nor are the people in it pieces for me to direct.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
That's what I'm not clear on. The approach is inconvinient, and uncomfortable to me. But if I have to answer to my higher value of "Honesty" rather than the lower value of "my own comfort" then I have to suck it up and give the woman the heads up. "I'm the other cheated on spouse. I am going to get tested. You could get tested too." Then let her figure out what to do with herself. It's her choice.
I am not making a statement about basing your decisions on your personal comfort zone. Comfort is in no way related to what I am asserting.

On this matter, she has the choices you've given her, and you will have made other choices for her. She does get to choose what to do with the information she as in front of her, but she has no choice in the fact that you have changed her outlook and life. She could have been living her happy little life, she might not have contracted an STD, she might have enjoyed a long, happy marriage filled with laughter and puppies alongside her beloved spouse, they might have grown old together, safe and warm in their infallible fidelity and honesty to each other... but now you've changed all of that. You will have meddled in her life in a fantastically profound way.

You may be comfortable making what could be gigantic life changes in other peoples lives based on a *possible* harm that could come in the future, but I am not.

Thus, I find doing so to be meddlesome and disrespectful.
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2013, 05:20 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
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Default Your right Marcus

That is the best way to deal with it, to not be meddlesome in other people's lives uninvited. And the only completely right thing to do is to remove oneself from the situation. That is without any doubt, the only moral and ethical way to go about living one's life doing right.

I am not suggesting that the OP leave, but it is what I would do if my spouse continued to see another person whose partner or one of their partners was intentionally kept in the dark or otherwise flying under the assumption that they would be informed when/if they had taken on any other sex partners. It really sucks to later find out that someone is not who you believed them to be, which would be the case if I had to leave my spouse because we didn't agree that cheaters are a no go.

Ideally, my spouse would be on the same page, and instead of me leaving her she would inform her cheating partner that she will not continue the relationship unless she can meet the wife and be sure that she has in fact informed her. If she isn't willing to do that, then as sad as that might make her there will be no relationship.

The worst part is, that until you meet their other partner of BF/GF you never really know, as it's been my experience that if anyone has trouble with perception and what it means to be completely honest, that is where the biggest gray area exists (when they say "my wife knows and she it OK with it")

There isn't anything wrong with continuing to date a cheater, but for me it is wrong to date a cheater because I have dealt with enough problems in my life to know the associated problems are not worth the life that I am afforded by being absolutely, 100% zero responsibility for the harm that such behavior delivers to the cheated on. From my experienced it doesn't matter how little or how much responsibility or minimal part I have in the play that causes another person harm nor does it matter if I position myself upstream from the source of harm, until I put myself in the position of doing what is right, that harm always touches me in my life no matter how much distance I put between us.

It's been my experience the only way, is to do what people here describe as a veto, I don't see it as that, but I have tasted life that is completely free of harm delivered by those who claim to love me but their behavior does say they do not, it may say it in a different language but I recognize it as being the truth.

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 05-20-2013 at 05:26 AM.
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  #24  
Old 05-21-2013, 04:52 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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The world is not my chess board nor are the people in it pieces for me to direct.
That I will agree on. I have no desire to police anyone other than myself.

I will however, encourage people to consider their values and ethics when making their decisions when asked for my opinion.

One does not live in a sterile little bubble, unaffected by the troubles of the people one supposedly cares about or the events in the world around one.

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She does get to choose what to do with the information she as in front of her, but she has no choice in the fact that you have changed her outlook and life.
I admit I didn't give it the best brainstorm power on the best draft ever to the cheated on wife -- but who is perfect? My intent is in good faith. You are correct that blurting at her removes her power to choose to hear it or not. I stand corrected.

So could brainstorm other methods then. The ethics are ok, the intent is ok, but the method employed still needs work. I can accept that.

You seem to be talking about "I can't un-know what I now know" and the desire to preserve the cheated on wife's (autonomy over knowledge.) That could be served by giving the wife a preliminary option then -- "I have information that could concern you about your spouse's conduct. If your spouse's conduct concerns you, and are willing to have it here it is. If not, please disregard and throw out."

Could have the information in a letter to fork over. Then the wife can read it or just tear it up. Up to her.

Both "honesty" could be served AND "honoring her autonomy over knowledge" could be served with that method. So since BOTH can be served with that one method, I'm sure there could be other ideas for meeting both.

My point is that the core ethical problem challenges one's values. One could discern this part FIRST...


"Do I tell the cheated on wife to serve my value of (honesty)? Or do I participate in a lie of omission to serve my value of (my personal comfort)? Which is my higher value? To help guide my next behavior action? Am I going for serving both values or just one?
... and after deciding just that much? Then consider WHEN.

I find lies of omission distasteful. I value "honesty" above "my personal comfort" but I would want to serve both (honesty) and (personal comfort.)
Then having decided that I want to serve BOTH values, I have to figure out the WHEN of the approach.
  • I could see choosing (honesty first then personal comfort) -- tell the cheated on wife in suitable fashion like a letter she could choose to toss, and then focus on triage in my own household.
  • I could see choosing (personal comfort first then honesty) -- deal with my own house crazy first then give the wife opportunity to take a heads up if she wants it.

Once I have that WHEN down, could spend some time kicking around the HOW of it. That's not always my forte -- elegant delivery of the message. To me a blurt is better than nothing.

Quote:
You may be comfortable making what could be gigantic life changes in other peoples lives based on a *possible* harm that could come in the future, but I am not.
No, I'm not trying to decide things for them. I'm willing to consider HOW to give them the opportunity TO choose even though its a stumper to figure out the best way. So that they could choose or not.

And yes, I am comfortable giving wife the opportunity to choose for herself and removing myself from having to continue a lie of omission begun by the cheating affair people.

Again... I admit I didn't give it the best brainstorm power on the best draft ever to the cheated on wife -- so could brainstorm other methods then. The ethics are ok, but the method needs work. I can accept that. So... what suggestions do you have to serve both? In the event the OP wishes to serve both?

Quote:
She could have been living her happy little life, she might not have contracted an STD, she might have enjoyed a long, happy marriage filled with laughter and puppies alongside her beloved spouse, they might have grown old together, safe and warm in their infallible fidelity and honesty to each other... but now you've changed all of that.
You seem to excuse yourself from the ethical responsibility of not continuing a lie of omission you know is a lie by putting it in terms of "protecting the other person from unwelcome knowledge."

I'd like to lift this up for consideration -- that's the same type rationale some cheaters use for not telling:

"I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want it to upset you . Why disturb your peace of mind?"
Which initially surprised me from you, Marcus, because you are vocal about not liking lies and vocal about people having autonomy. I perceived you to value honesty higher than personal comfort. It did not seem to reconcile. But if your higher value is “my personal comfort” then it appears it does reconcile.

If I am missing the mark, I am willing to stand corrected again. But right now? You appear to value (my personal comfort) ahead of (honesty) and when push comes to shove you appear to not want to serve both. You seem to want to serve (my personal comfort) only. Was that how you meant that?

Whether it is or is not how you meant that -- I'm not out to make you uncomfortable and you don't have to respond. I'm going to let it go.

Because it IS an option for the OP to consider -- to change the order of her values and to NOT try to serve both. I cannot deny it is an option.

And TBH, I'm too tired/sad over family news to be carrying this on. I have no desire to threadjack.

Oyl1 -- hope you are doing ok over there with all these problems in your household. Hang in there.

Namaste,
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-21-2013 at 05:34 AM.
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  #25  
Old 05-21-2013, 07:38 AM
Oly1 Oly1 is offline
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Hi guys (and gals),

Just wanted to pop-in, I don't mind the thread-jacking, it's an interesting discussion and you might as well have it here, since not a lot is new on the original post front and I've opened a newer thread anyway.

As I've written before, I am fairly sure what my position is on the subject of telling the cheated on wife -which I won't. Both your points have merit, but on the personal level I tend to agree with Marcus it could do more harm than good, and the wife has a right to decide whether or not SHE wants to know right now, which I believe she doesn't. Or maybe telling her is just too far out of my comfort zone. Anyway, I don't really debate it much with myself, I already know what is the right thing for me to do in this particular situation (which is not to say it is always the right thing for anyone in any situation).

I did do what was possible on my end, by telling my wife how uncomfortable I am and will forever continue to be with the cheating situation, and thankfully she got scared at how much it was pushing us apart (and how bad it was making her feel about herself), and decided to end it. Which I hope she will live up to in future days (it's been "ended" for a week now, and she's doing a pretty good job at avoiding contact, so I think she's serious about it this time).

GG- I'm sorry to hear you have family trouble, sending you good wishes.
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  #26  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:56 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thanks for the concern. I appreciate it. It's a bear and I feel kinda... flat.

Quote:
I did do what was possible on my end, by telling my wife how uncomfortable I am and will forever continue to be with the cheating situation, and thankfully she got scared at how much it was pushing us apart (and how bad it was making her feel about herself), and decided to end it. Which I hope she will live up to in future days (it's been "ended" for a week now, and she's doing a pretty good job at avoiding contact, so I think she's serious about it this time)
Oh, I'm so glad for you! Hearing your good news chirks me up some so thanks for sharing that too. You did what you could do with what you had and it yielded a good outcome for you. Your wife is letting it STAY ended with the cheater. Yay!

Hang in there!

GG

Last edited by nycindie; 05-23-2013 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Near-duplicate posts with slight differences merged
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  #27  
Old 05-21-2013, 06:00 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Which initially surprised me from you, Marcus, because you are vocal about not liking lies and vocal about people having autonomy. I perceived you to value honesty higher than personal comfort. It did not seem to reconcile. But if your higher value is “my personal comfort” then it appears it does reconcile.
Here is where you and I are not seeing eye to eye; you have created false dichotomy between "comfort" and "valuing honesty". No such dichotomy exists. There is only deciding which actions are most closely in line with our priority of values and thereby acting in a fashion that will cause us the least "discomfort".

If you choose to tell the jilted partner that they are being cheated on you will have decided that watching the lie happen was more uncomfortable for you than sitting this person down and revealing the truth to them. You will have decided that the path their life would take without your intervention is a crappy option for them, so you put them on a new path by changing their perception of reality. You will have decided that your value of honesty is more important than your value of autonomy. Thus you have chosen the path that is the most comfortable for you.

If I choose not to tell the jilted partner I have decided that, while it may be uncomfortable for me to watch them function under a falsehood, it is far more comfortable than my altering their perception of reality without their request. I will have decided that my value of autonomy is more important than my value of honesty. Thus I will have chosen the path that was most comfortable for me.

When push comes to shove, I will have to choose allowing someone to live/get hurt/grow/fail/love/learn over some need to interfere with their life. At least that's the theory, of course in practice my record is far from perfect.
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  #28  
Old 05-23-2013, 03:47 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Well, we're seem to agree that you and I are each are choosing from amongst our own values in our own value system.

We don't have the same systems.

Fair enough.

Like I said... I'm going to let that one go. Too many family problems right now. I did enjoy the discussion though, Marcus. Thank you.

GG
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