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iplaydrums24

If someone cheats on a spouse...

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A friend of mine (I know how often in movies when a character says 'a friend of mine did...' they are actually referring to themselves. I assure you this is not the case) cheated on her boyfriend just under a year ago, and to date has never told him. When I asked her why, and told her that I believe he has a right to know that his trust was violated, she told me that she will never bring it up with him because she doesn't want to bring up mistakes that happened a long time ago. Regardless of when it happened, doesn't the boyfriend - who is now her ex for different reasons - have a right to know?

It bothers me that she can be so nonchalant about keeping something of that nature a secret from him.

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A friend of mine (I know how often in movies when a character says 'a friend of mine did...' they are actually referring to themselves. I assure you this is not the case) cheated on her boyfriend just under a year ago, and to date has never told him. When I asked her why, and told her that I believe he has a right to know that his trust was violated, she told me that she will never bring it up with him because she doesn't want to bring up mistakes that happened a long time ago. Regardless of when it happened, doesn't the boyfriend - who is now her ex for different reasons - have a right to know?

It bothers me that she can be so nonchalant about keeping something of that nature a secret from him.

If he is now her ex I don't see why he needs to know. If he wants to be close friends or perhaps get back together with him then it is dishonest for her to say nothing because she would be trying to earn his affection under false pretenses.

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If he is now her ex I don't see why he needs to know. If he wants to be close friends or perhaps get back together with him then it is dishonest for her to say nothing because she would be trying to earn his affection under false pretenses.

perhaps i should clarify: they are still close friends, and he wants to get together with her, but from what I've heard the feeling isn't mutual. Ironically, he cheated on his next girlfriend with her. He is the definition of a scumbag, but despite the fact that I dislike him, I still think he has a right to know.

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perhaps i should clarify: they are still close friends, and he wants to get together with her, but from what I've heard the feeling isn't mutual. Ironically, he cheated on his next girlfriend with her. He is the definition of a scumbag, but despite the fact that I dislike him, I still think he has a right to know.

he has a right to know. And you can give that right as much as you fight for your people's rights.

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Regardless of when it happened, doesn't the boyfriend - who is now her ex for different reasons - have a right to know?
This question presuppose a misunderstanding of the concept of "rights". To clarify, let me draw from Rand's essay "Man's Right". She points out:

"Rights" are a moral concept—the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others—the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context—the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.

Then to frame the question in terms of rights, you would be asking "Does he have a right to listen, if someone speaks and he wishes to hear?" The answer is so obviously "yes" that you cannot be asking that question.

Are you asking either "Does he have an obligation to be told, even if it's against his will", or "Do I have an obligation to break my promise to not tell"? Well, clearly he is under no obligation to be informed of this situation (what would be the source of this supposed obligation?), and as far as I know, you did not promise the girlfriend to keep this secret to begin with, and secondly I cannot imagine what kind of contract you would have gotten yourself involved in where you would gain some obligation to break such a promise.

It does not seem to me that you would be violating anybody's rights by telling or by keeping silent. There is no question of rights involved here at all. You will then have to appeal to some other considerations besides the question of rights, in order to decide whether you should or should not tell. I would suggest considering the options in terms of your values. What would be the effect of either choice (hard to know -- depending on the guy, confronting him publicly with this could be very damaging to him)? What do you gain by messing up his life or her life, and is that really a rational gain for you? This could be an opportunity for you to really mess with his mind and get revenge, but why do you want to do that? The more rational solution would be to simply have nothing further to do with him, but perhaps if he is threatening others in some way, I could remotely see the point of revenge. Can you further justify an urge for payback?

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Are you asking either "Does he have an obligation to be told, even if it's against his will", or "Do I have an obligation to break my promise to not tell"? Well, clearly he is under no obligation to be informed of this situation (what would be the source of this supposed obligation?), and as far as I know, you did not promise the girlfriend to keep this secret to begin with, and secondly I cannot imagine what kind of contract you would have gotten yourself involved in where you would gain some obligation to break such a promise.

There

It does not seem to me that you would be violating anybody's rights by telling or by keeping silent...The more rational solution would be to simply have nothing further to do with him, but perhaps if he is threatening others in some way, I could remotely see the point of revenge. Can you further justify an urge for payback?

I have no desire to tell him, as I feel that if he is going to find out, my friend should be the one to tell him because she was the one who committed the act. I do not care for him as a person, and I have no desire to exact revenge upon him or to ruin his day. I agree that I should have nothing to do with him, and I don't, yet despite my lack of respect for him, I feel that the obligation for him to know what happened comes from my friend, the one who cheated one him, continuing to be good friends with him, and with him having feelings for her.

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I feel that the obligation for him to know what happened comes from my friend, the one who cheated one him, continuing to be good friends with him, and with him having feelings for her.
When A makes a promise to B that he will do X, he has an obligation do do X. Are you saying that he promised someone something, for example he promised that he would deal with the fact of being cuckholded? (An obligation also involves an exchange, so he would have had to make such a promise in exchange for getting something). The only way that he has an obligation coming from your female friend would be if he obtained something from her in exchange for the promise made to her to be told and to bear the knowledge of being betrayed. I doubt that is the case, and therefore I do not see how there is any obligation on him (and certainly none on you).

The only alternative path that I can see is to consider the woman's possible obligation to confess. Kat's point about her attempting to gain value under false pretenses is basically in the right direction, if their relationship is indeed contingent on withholding this information. She potentially has a moral obligation. However, there is no absolute duty to confess, and it could be that confession would be an irrational sacrifice.

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The only alternative path that I can see is to consider the woman's possible obligation to confess. Kat's point about her attempting to gain value under false pretenses is basically in the right direction, if their relationship is indeed contingent on withholding this information. She potentially has a moral obligation. However, there is no absolute duty to confess, and it could be that confession would be an irrational sacrifice.

Like Kat said, isn't the continuing friendship now based on false pretenses? Is it not unfair to him to believe that their relationship has mutual trust and is strong, when in reality it is a facade? Shouldn't the woman, who wishes to continue to be friends, admit to her mistake? I see the act of cheating as the irrational sacrifice, the potential sacrifice of a relationship, rather than the admittance being an irrational sacrifice. Wouldn't the admittance be the woman owning up to her mistake, and admitting the truth in order to show her ex that she can be honest and make amends? The sacrifice was when she cheated on him. If admitting is a sacrifice, than what is the point of ever admitting to anything if it just has the potential to ruin things? If one didn't want to ruin something, one shouldn't commit to making a mistake, like cheating.

Edit: I am only referring to her moral obligation to tell him. I don't feel like it is my place to tell him, especially considering I don't like him at all.

Edited by iplaydrums24

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Like Kat said, isn't the continuing friendship now based on false pretenses? Is it not unfair to him to believe that their relationship has mutual trust and is strong, when in reality it is a facade?
I don't know, since I don't know either of these people. Is it really the case that their relationship is based on an assumption of previous fidelity? If so, I would agree that she should fess up. Maybe in fact he doesn't care but would prefer not to have it in his face. If she had slept with his best friend before taking up with him and never confessed, absolute adherence to truthfulness would similarly compel her to admit to that act. She must honestly judge whether she is stealing a relationship that would otherwise be terminated by suppressing the truth, or would be pointlessly destroying the relationship because the guy couldn't handle the truth. I basically think she should fess up and that this is not a relationship objectively worth maintaining, so any deeper analysis of what should or should not be done is founded on a questionable basis (that she wants to continue some version of the relationship).

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Like Kat said, isn't the continuing friendship now based on false pretenses? Is it not unfair to him to believe that their relationship has mutual trust and is strong, when in reality it is a facade?

I think this depends on the current character of the woman, not any instance of it in the past. One does not need to be a confessor of every single sin one has committed in order to have a healthy relationship with someone. If confessing will actually hurt the person more than repair anything in the relationship, then I think it's particularly second handed.

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Unless you are friends with the guy, you don't really have any kind of obligation to tell him. If you made it your mission to inform everyone who has been cheated on and not told about it you would have to close down shop for any other business. You should be more concerned with the character of your friend. Have you seen a pattern of dishonesty from her? If so, why would you want to be friends with a dishonest person?

You have to understand the full context of the act, of course. Some situations, like Hank Rearden cheating on Lillian, strike me as entirely acceptable. If she see's it as a mistake, which you indicated, the proper response would be for her to condemn the improper behavior, make reparations (if possible), and work to understand the underlying psychological evasions that led her to engage in it... resolving never to make the same mistake again. Telling the guy that she betrayed his trust sounds like a step in the right direction.

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