Cheating on your partner but never telling them (scenario)

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#1 Edited by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

I'm curious what your takes are on this specific scenario:

Middle aged husband is in an unsatisfying/"boring" relationship with his wife. It's substantially influencing their livelihood and their children dislike their constant fights. Husband loses control of himself when near a close coworker and cheats on his wife. He feels rejuvenated and then intentionally does it again repeatedly. Eventually he realizes how important/precious his family and relationship is. He stops cheating and focuses on being a better husband. His relationship with his wife is now excellent and they feel closer than ever.

Fast forward a year. The husband decides that it would destroy his wife if he told her what he did. Decides to never let her know because everything right now is happy in their family and it might ruin their children for potentially no gain.

What do you think of the husband and his actions? Would you risk destroying the relationship and ruin the kids lives just to get the truth out? What if you knew that everything would always be ok if you kept it a secret?

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#2 Posted by Hallenbeck77 (15707 posts) -

How do you cheat on someone "unintentionally"?

You either cheat, or you don't.

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#3 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@hallenbeck77: I realized that earlier and edited the scenario to clarify. Point is that the husband didn't overtly intend to cheat when, for example, meeting up with a coworker for fun. Then they lost control or gave in to urges and cheated.

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#4 Edited by Hallenbeck77 (15707 posts) -

I have difficulty believing someone "lost control" of their urges when it comes to infidelity, especially if the relationship has been troubled for some time. If he actually respected her, he would have been honest and came clean initially. Better yet, he wouldn't have done it to begin with, and instead have the decency to either try to iron things out with his wife, or end the relationship on reasonably good terms.

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#5 Edited by jaydan (2207 posts) -

Basically the man is weak and couldn't handle working through the hardships of a true relationship he had to find his escape elsewhere, because he is weak. The man doesn't deserve the woman he's married to because he's a fraud towards his sincerity.

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#6 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@jaydan: @hallenbeck77: Let's say that he learned from his past mistakes. He is now a better man and indirectly "makes up" for his cheating by doing his best to make his wife happy. Is it worth destroying all the good things they have now, when the end result of telling the truth would just be pain?

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#7 Posted by DEVILinIRON (4777 posts) -

The guilty should rightly hold on to the guilt. So my vote is no on telling the wife.

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#8 Posted by Hallenbeck77 (15707 posts) -
@XVision84 said:

@jaydan: @hallenbeck77: Let's say that he learned from his past mistakes. He is now a better man and indirectly "makes up" for his cheating by doing his best to make his wife happy. Is it worth destroying all the good things they have now, when the end result of telling the truth would just be pain?

But to me, he's not a better man--he's still a liar and and shady as hell. The only way he would honestly been a better person would have either come clean when he first did it, or not cheat to begin with. All the "good things" he has now is built on a foundation of cheating, and a structure like that isn't bound to hold up forever. What even worse, he did it repeatedly so it's hard to feel any remorse for him. The only thing he learned was to keep his mouth shut, apparently.

BTW... I'm assuming this is just simply a "what-if" scenario, and not based on any reality.

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#9 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@DEVILinIRON: But wouldn't the wife want to know? She's going to live the rest of her life under the illusion that her husband has never betrayed her and feel proud for staying faithful through the rough patches. Wouldn't it work too easily in the husband's interest to just betray her like that then conveniently decide to "become a better person" afterwards?

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#10 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@hallenbeck77: How can one become a better person if your only suggested routes involve events long past? Then they're irredeemable which incentivizes people to just stay bad people.

What if, for example, he used to keep his anger to himself without telling her his honest feelings but then take it out on her by being impatient? Then after cheating he learned to express himself more clearly and listen to her patiently?

Wouldn't you say that dedicating yourself to making up for your own failures is a noble cause?

And yes, this is all hypothetical moral debate stuff.

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#11 Posted by Vaidream45 (1850 posts) -

Honestly in this world that we live in the wife probably cheated when times were hard too. Though I never cheated it sure seems like every married person I know does once things get stale at home.

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#12 Posted by phbz (4328 posts) -

I don't judge. Life is too unpredictable and complex for that. Me personally, having been in that position before, I would openly tell my wife what was going on. Just because the relationship is stagnant/boring it doesn't mean that there is no love or respect. And sex is overrated, it's just a fun thing to do and we associate it with a bunch of unrelated stuff. In my case being open about it saved my relationship. No arguments, no fights, just acceptance.

But in this scenario, being a thing of the past. No point in telling, unless you can't live with it.

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#13 Posted by rmiller365 (782 posts) -

Meh. Cheaters are selfish and show poor moral character. Liars are cowards and weak because they hide the truth and live a lie rather than face the consequences of actions taken.

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#14 Posted by Hallenbeck77 (15707 posts) -
@XVision84 said:

@hallenbeck77: How can one become a better person if your only suggested routes involve events long past? Then they're irredeemable which incentivizes people to just stay bad people.

What if, for example, he used to keep his anger to himself without telling her his honest feelings but then take it out on her by being impatient? Then after cheating he learned to express himself more clearly and listen to her patiently?

Wouldn't you say that dedicating yourself to making up for your own failures is a noble cause?

And yes, this is all hypothetical moral debate stuff.

All that does is makes him a more attentive, expressive liar. He only learned to do so by creeping behind her back.

What he's doing is nowhere near the neighborhood of noble. If that person were to make up for his mistakes, failures, etc. and wanted TRUE redemption--he'd man up and confess to his infidelity, full stop. Anything sort of that, he's just a liar and a cheat, no matter how you slice it.

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#15 Posted by SBan83 (39 posts) -

Not knowing how understanding the wife is, a healthy assumption about a relationship that was once contentious enough for husband to look for love elsewhere lends this observer to opine that husband in question stands to get divorced and lose all his happiness with a confession. He is better off trying to work off the guilt by going above and beyond the call of duty at being the best husband/father he can be from here on out and consolidate the happy state he's now in.

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#16 Posted by DaVillain- (36073 posts) -

It's not cheating unless you get caught in the act!

Word of advice, DO NOT get married for the sex. Basically, the sex stops once you've been married for awhile and this leads to cheating which is the problem by reading this thread. All of this is gonna lead to guilt and keeping it for so long is going to do more harm without telling the truth then letting the Wife find out on her own. Telling the truth to the Wife does more good then discovering the Husband is cheating.

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#17 Posted by Dark_sageX (3386 posts) -

If the goal is retaining happiness then sure don't tell the wife, but its completely unfair and he doesn't deserve that happiness especially since he took it for granted, I'd tell the wife on him if I was there.

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#18 Posted by Treflis (13621 posts) -

It is a tough choice that frankly only the one in the position can take.
From the sound of it he can either live with the guilt and make amends by being a loving father and husband for the rest of his life, Or he can admit his mistake in hope of forgiveness but with the immense risk that he will lose both wife and kids instead.

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#19 Edited by jaydan (2207 posts) -

@XVision84: He is still weak for running away from a relationship when he couldn't work through the hard times. Every healthy relationship goes through tough times, but the testament is how hard you work to make it better and grow stronger. He did not take that time to work through the hard times and instead went for an escape; he is therefore, weak. Sure he might just be able to get away with it, but for the rest of his time in this marriage, he's going to have to accept he's a complete fraud towards his own wife and kids.

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#20 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@hallenbeck77: Interesting. Thanks for the input! I've heard marriage counsellors actually advise not mentioning cheating and trying to be better moving forward. Quite a far cry from the conventional "100% honesty" word of advice.

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#21 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@davillain-: I definitely do not plan on getting married for the sex! Some people rationalize the guilt or might not even feel guilty at all. Psychology is quite interesting.

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#22 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@phbz: Interesting take on sex. Some are very personal about it. I'm glad that your relationship is going well after being open.

Fortunately, the complexity and unpredictability of life is what allows for lifelong learning!

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#23 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@jaydan: I agree with you on the healthy relationships part. I can also see your viewpoint about the husband. I believe that good people, given the right circumstances, can do very bad things. Things that they might previously have thought they'd never do. However, they also have the capacity to be better after doing so, but they doesn't absolve them of their actions.

Life can be really tough on people and I really hope I never find myself in these sorts of situations. I don't think most people intend to hurt the people they marry which is why love can be tragic.

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#24 Posted by DaVillain- (36073 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@davillain-: I definitely do not plan on getting married for the sex! Some people rationalize the guilt or might not even feel guilty at all. Psychology is quite interesting.

Living a double-life isn't the best thing and I almost went with that route in my teenage days. As long as you aren't sex addicted, you'll be just fine. I take Hallenbeck77 advice, marriage counselling is the best way for both parties to go and they can help.

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#25 Posted by jaydan (2207 posts) -

@XVision84: You are indeed correct, people can indeed do better, but to hide the truth is a form of cowardliness. The man is in fear of facing the truth, and facing the consequences.

There is a chance the wife can be forgiving, especially if she sees that he has grown...or they break up and divorce. Either way yes, the man could have possibly grown from such an experience, but that growth might not be realized until the next relationship. To hide from the truth really shows that the man does not have the confidence to square up and face consequences. All these things ultimately lead to the same place I stated in the first place: his weakness.

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#26 Edited by foxhound_fox (97854 posts) -

I would hope the guilt of betraying the trust of his wife would eventually eat away at him like "The Tell-Tale Heart" enough for him to man up and tell his wife, regardless of what it would do to the marriage.

Him not telling her "to save the relationship", and you framing him as "losing control" is such a typical excuse men (and even some women) use when they try to justify cheating. Cheating is a choice, you get the opportunity to say "No!" when the option to do it arrives.

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#27 Posted by foxhound_fox (97854 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@jaydan: @hallenbeck77: Let's say that he learned from his past mistakes. He is now a better man and indirectly "makes up" for his cheating by doing his best to make his wife happy. Is it worth destroying all the good things they have now, when the end result of telling the truth would just be pain?

Yes, because he has technically voided the marriage contract. Most people when they get married promise their partner to remain loyal to them, and always tell the truth.

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#28 Posted by Mandzilla (4037 posts) -

Well as someone who's been cheated on before, I'd rather know than be kept in the dark about it all. Particularly if it's consistent cheating and not just a one off thing. Honesty is the best policy in a relationship.

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#29 Edited by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@foxhound_fox: The Telltale Heart is a good read :). The scenario is actually one I've heard from women rather than men. Gender isn't really the main point here in my opinion.

The interesting aspect of this scenario is that rather than justify cheating they're trying to make up for their misdeeds by choosing what they perceive to be the outcome of "most good". It's entirely possible that the wife never finds out and they live the rest of their lives in mutual happiness. That isn't to frame it as a good thing. If I were the wife, I would be devastated and likely never forgive the husband.

I see you place importance of the marital contract above the emotional well being of both parties (at least short term). I can see why, but that's also an impersonal stance because each situation/marriage varies. Upholding the contract to the detriment of the individuals isn't something I believe to be the best course of action.

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#30 Posted by LJS9502_basic (166358 posts) -

Cheating's wrong. End a relationship if it's not working but you're beyond despicable if you cheat. Would you want your spouse/significant other to cheat on you?

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#31 Edited by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: @mandzilla: I'm sorry to hear that you got cheated on mandzilla. I also would prefer to know, no matter how bad. I'd probably sit through all the details too, it would bother me to always wonder.

I do think this situation implores more of a grey area than honesty though. Honesty could fracture the family, ruin the parents and significantly influence the lives of the kids. It's not a question of if cheating is wrong. It's reprehensible. However, given the act is already done, should you really burn everything to the ground?

The Netflix series Ozark recently reminded me of this.

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#32 Posted by LJS9502_basic (166358 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@LJS9502_basic: @mandzilla: I'm sorry to hear that you got cheated on mandzilla. I also would prefer to know, no matter how bad. I'd probably sit through all the details too, it would bother me to always wonder.

I do think this situation implores more of a grey area than honesty though. Honesty could fracture the family, ruin the parents and significantly influence the lives of the kids. It's not a question of if cheating is wrong. It's reprehensible. However, given the act is already done, should you really burn everything to the ground?

That's two wrongs there. Dishonesty and infidelity. Honestly the person has a right to know and if they want to end it so be it. Don't want to end a relationship DON"T cheat. It's not that hard.

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#33 Posted by foxhound_fox (97854 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@foxhound_fox: The Telltale Heart is a good read :). The scenario is actually one I've heard from women rather than men. Gender isn't really the main point here in my opinion.

The interesting aspect of this scenario is that rather than justify cheating they're trying to make up for their misdeeds by choosing what they perceive to be the outcome of "most good". It's entirely possible that the wife never finds out and they live the rest of their lives in mutual happiness. That isn't to frame it as a good thing. If I were the wife, I would be devastated and likely never forgive the husband.

I see you place importance of the marital contract above the emotional well being of both parties (at least short term). I can see why, but that's also an impersonal stance because each situation/marriage varies. Upholding the contract to the detriment of the individuals isn't something I believe to be the best course of action.

By "marriage contract" I meant everything involved, from the legal aspects down to the emotional devotion to the partner. There is no "good" that can come from hiding cheating. Your scenario involving a co-worker, that would come to light eventually, no matter how much the husband tried to hide it.

The rampant dishonesty isn't a "good" thing. If the husband hides it, what else is he going to hide from his wife "for the sake of the relationship"?

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#34 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: I agree that the person has a right to know but I don't think it's as simple as you make it out to be. I'm no stranger to the saying "two wrongs don't make a right". People usually use that in the context of revenge. I think that the statement does not universally apply though, as what's "right" is not unidimentional.

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#35 Posted by LJS9502_basic (166358 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@LJS9502_basic: I agree that the person has a right to know but I don't think it's as simple as you make it out to be. I'm no stranger to the saying "two wrongs don't make a right". People usually use that in the context of revenge. I think that the statement does not universally apply though, as what's "right" is not unidimentional.

You justifying your cheating? It's indefensible dude. And to continue the dishonesty does nothing for anyone.

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#36 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@foxhound_fox: I'm going to add an extra aspect to the scenario to get your opinion on it.

What if you knew they would never find out on their own? What if this was the only "dishonest" act the husband would commit? Those were your main points of contention. Imagine that they are certainties now.

Would hiding the fact that the husband cheated then be the best course of action when considering all parties involved? Is upholding absolute honesty worth it if you absolutely know that by being dishonest everyone would be happy?

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#37 Edited by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic: When did I say that I cheated? It's a scenario. I don't like to hold absolutes because I've found, through the course of my life, that there will be things that surprise you. That's why I'm hesitant to adopt the "indefensible" view despite being that way when I was younger.

To be honest I don't know what the "right" course of action is which is why I made this thread.

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#38 Edited by foxhound_fox (97854 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@foxhound_fox: I'm going to add an extra aspect to the scenario to get your opinion on it.

What if you knew they would never find out on their own? What if this was the only "dishonest" act the husband would commit? Those were your main points of contention. Imagine that they are certainties now.

Would hiding the fact that the husband cheated then be the best course of action when considering all parties involved? Is upholding absolute honesty worth it if you absolutely know that by being dishonest everyone would be happy?

That's not realistic, and yes, being honest, even if it might destroy the relationship, is important.

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#39 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@foxhound_fox: Hypotheticals need not be the most likely outcome, only one within possibility (at least to be relevant). That situation is realistic, but very unlikely.

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#40 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43791 posts) -

I mean, if this person has not been caught cheating, then don't own up to it.

It's less about getting away with it, and more about not ruining an entire family's lives with an awful truth.

Neither situation is great, but fessing up to the truth has more collateral damage. Maybe (maybe!) when the children are adults and the wife and husband are together the guy can admit it; but until then, if he feels he has to get it off his chest, he can tell it to his priest or therapist. If this happened to me, I would take that secret to the grave.

What do I think of the husband? Scumbag, but I don't know the whole truth; the wife could be as guilty as she is. Cheating is, like most things, not a black and white situation. My personal feelings are that if you are unhappy, you should remove yourself from that relationship, and then seek other company. Sex is an important part of any romantic relationship and if one partner was dissatisfied, it had to be addressed. Unfortunately, the husband chose the worst possible way to address it.

@hallenbeck77 said:

How do you cheat on someone "unintentionally"?

You either cheat, or you don't.

"heat of passion" i.e. you didn't plan it, it just sort of happened. But I understand the sentiment, it's sort of a copout haha. Disloyalty is, to me, one of the greatest sins a person can commit.

@XVision84 said:

@foxhound_fox: I'm going to add an extra aspect to the scenario to get your opinion on it.

What if you knew they would never find out on their own? What if this was the only "dishonest" act the husband would commit? Those were your main points of contention. Imagine that they are certainties now.

Would hiding the fact that the husband cheated then be the best course of action when considering all parties involved? Is upholding absolute honesty worth it if you absolutely know that by being dishonest everyone would be happy?

My opinion remains unchanged. Reinforced, even: if there is zero chance of anyone finding out, that's all the more reason not to tell anyone.

It makes me feel incredibly dirty to say that, but there's a lot more to this scenario than just a girl and a guy cheating. Sometimes its better to maintain something that's a little broken than to destroy it entirely.

Question @XVision84: outside of the cheating, is this man ethical? Moral? In other words, is he the kind of guy who would say:

  • "I got away with it, I can do it again"?
  • Or is he the kind of guy who would say "Wow, never again. NEVER! And I am going to be the best husband and father ever from now on"?

Some people are motivated by guilt (mistakes) and learn from it, while others are immune to it and think they can do whatever they want.

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#41 Posted by foxhound_fox (97854 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@foxhound_fox: Hypotheticals need not be the most likely outcome, only one within possibility (at least to be relevant). That situation is realistic, but very unlikely.

It's unlikely that the wife will find out about what her husband did with one of his coworkers? That I don't believe in the slightest. He'll take his wife to a Christmas party at work, the woman he cheated with will be extra "friendly" and the wife will know.

My wife and I have an arrangement. If either one of us cheats, it's just over, no attempt at forgiveness or anything. If there's children, it would be better for them to share two happy families than to exist in a single unhappy household.

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#42 Edited by Mandzilla (4037 posts) -

@XVision84: Thank you buddy, was a while ago so pretty over it now. I can understand that having something like that come to light could really have some serious implications for a married couple, especially if there are children involved.

At the same time though, I feel like if the person who cheated really did love and respect his wife, he'd do her the decency of being truthful about what happened. Afterwards, they could decide if they still wanted to be together, and of course try not to disrupt the kid's lives as much as possible.

For sure it is more of a grey area than my own experience, since I wasn't married to the guy or anything that serious. The thing is though, in your original scenario the guy cheated on his wife continously because he wasn't happy with her. It seems like it was only after he had a crisis of conscience that he decided to end the fling and to try and make his marraige work.

What's to say he won't start feeling unsatisfied again in the future and begin cheating once more though? I just think once something like that happens (we're talking about an actual affair here, not just a drunken mistake) it's only fair to put all the cards on the table and make a decision as a couple about the future of the relationship.

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#43 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@mrbojangles25: Of the two options you presented, suppose the man is the second one. He is ethical and moral, outside of the cheating. I like your point about maintaining something that's broken rather than destroying it entirely. It's difficult to completely let go of what you've got for the hopes of something more ideal. I've met people who tried that and ended up regretting it. However, staying in an unfortunate situation also sounds quite dark. Life is filled with difficult decisions! I second your sentiment that some are motivated by guilt and others aren't. I used to think people are naturally good when I was younger, but then I saw people who truly felt no guilt and took enjoyment in hurting others.

@foxhound_fox said:
@XVision84 said:

@foxhound_fox: Hypotheticals need not be the most likely outcome, only one within possibility (at least to be relevant). That situation is realistic, but very unlikely.

It's unlikely that the wife will find out about what her husband did with one of his coworkers? That I don't believe in the slightest. He'll take his wife to a Christmas party at work, the woman he cheated with will be extra "friendly" and the wife will know.

My wife and I have an arrangement. If either one of us cheats, it's just over, no attempt at forgiveness or anything. If there's children, it would be better for them to share two happy families than to exist in a single unhappy household.

I meant the other way around. It's unlikely that the wife WON'T find out. I'm just proposing a situation where the wife doesn't end up finding out. The whole point of this is to suggest a complicated problem where being dishonest could potentially be a 'good' option (contrary to honesty being almost universally valued). That's not to say that it's right, I don't know if there is a right "answer" to this scenario. Just different perspectives. I share the sentiment that two happy families would be better than a single unhappy household though! Best of luck with you and your wife :).

@mandzilla said:

@XVision84: Thank you buddy, was a while ago so pretty over it now. I can understand that having something like that come to light could really have some serious implications for a married couple, especially if there are children involved.

At the same time though, I feel like if the person who cheated really did love and respect his wife, he'd do her the decency of being truthful about what happened. Afterwards, they could decide if they still wanted to be together, and of course try not to disrupt the kid's lives as much as possible.

For sure it is more of a grey area than my own experience, since I wasn't married to the guy or anything that serious. The thing is though, in your original scenario the guy cheated on his wife continously because he wasn't happy with her. It seems like it was only after he had a crisis of conscience that he decided to end the fling and to try and make his marraige work.

What's to say he won't start feeling unsatisfied again in the future and begin cheating once more though? I just think once something like that happens (we're talking about an actual affair here, not just a drunken mistake) it's only fair to put all the cards on the table and make a decision as a couple about the future of the relationship.

Learning about situations like the bolded part actually intrigued me. I've never known anyone personally to do this, but I have heard second hand (from therapists) that some people don't feel guilty at all about cheating until they're caught. They'd sleep with someone then move on the next day as if nothing ever happened. Then when the truth slips out, the guilt overwhelms them. I used to think that you'd either feel very guilty right away or just not care at all.

Your last question is definitely a relevant one. The point of the scenario is to find a situation where being dishonest might check out as a reasonable and 'moral' way to go, so that's why I'm taking that question for granted and assuming he'll never cheat again (supposedly by rectifying all the problems in the relationship).

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#44 Edited by Blackhairedhero (3221 posts) -

I'm going to sound like a dick. But the only men who don't cheat are ones that don't have the opportunity. If you have a 8 an up throwing it at you your probably going to cheat.

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#45 Posted by comp_atkins (35603 posts) -

some arguments here presume no growth on the man's behalf ( once a cheater, always a cheater mentality ). i don't think that is true of all people.

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#46 Posted by mattbbpl (16990 posts) -

@blackhairedhero said:

I'm going to sound like a dick. But the only men who don't cheat are ones that don't have the opportunity. If you have a 8 an up throwing it at you your probably going to cheat.

I've met mend who shared this view, but it's simply false.

As for the topic, I like to think of these hypothetical situations in opposing terms. If I were in the other position, would I want to know that my wife cheated on me, or would I prefer to be kept in the dark? I would want to know, so in this situation I'd feel ethically bound to extend the same courtesy to my wife. Anything less would be duplicitous and cowardly on my part.

@XVision84 said:

I do think this situation implores more of a grey area than honesty though.

I don't think it involves any less honesty implications, but I do agree that it's a grey area. I've met people I respect would have simply stated that they wouldn't want to know. I don't personally understand that mindset myself, but if you know your spouse holds that opinion then it makes this hypothetical much easier as you could simply have your cake and eat it too.

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#47 Posted by Blackhairedhero (3221 posts) -

@mattbbpl: Women generally don't think about sex the way a man does. They generally cheat for different reasons.

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#48 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@comp_atkins: I agree with that. I believe everyone has the potential to change.

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#49 Posted by XVision84 (15796 posts) -

@blackhairedhero: I definitely know that not to be the case. It might for some, but it cannot be attributed to all men.

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#50 Edited by KungfuKitten (26420 posts) -

I don't think that the truth is always better. Because some people can't handle it. There is a reason why we lie to ourselves, and why when the news talks about a 1000 casualties, we don't feel it as much as when they focus on 1 casualty. But I am very much against holding people away from the truth as well. Because truth is our calling, it's so important to us in our growth and understanding of our world. It's the one thing that allows us to act and change our reality. It's the most valuable commodity. So that is a tough conflict of ethics.

Pain and potential destruction and misunderstanding, or no truth? In this edge case scenario I would say no truth. That is partly based on how little the truth would be of value here, probably... (dangerous proposition), and how poorly people can handle these kinds of things. But the person should avoid these situations if at all possible, if her feelings and perception matter. And I think that the husband realizes they do matter, or this wouldn't be a question.