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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Debate on 'Cheating':

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Author Topic: Debate on 'Cheating':
breath
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Alice and Frank are in a relationship. Franks cheats on alice with Jane. Alice says that it's 50-50 both Frank and Jane's responsibility.

However, I think that it's more of the Franks's responsibility, since the Frank is the person who is actually in a relationship with Alice and so it's more of his burden to uphold the monogous contract that he had with Alicia. Jane engaged sexually with Frank, and it was consentual...yes maybe in a good two shoes highly moral frame of mind, Jane should have "put her herslef in Alicia's" shoes and not slept with a man with a GF. But on the otherhand, I don't think everyone thinks like that, and I don't think that's necessarly long. What happens with Alice and Frank is their business. Why should Jane stand up for it?

Alicia also thinks that Jane should know that her actions had a big consequences like Alica broke up with Frank after finding out, and nearly lost her job due to depression. But is it really really fair to put this on "Jane"? I think partly Alice also wans't and perhaps didn't handle the break so well...


Also, Alice says that she was pushing Frank to do something he didn't want to do (ie move in) so he had to go out there and get validation. To me that sounds like self-blame and similar to blaming the girl, a way to safeguard or protect her self from realizing that perhaps the guy wasn't who she thought he was.

Your thoughts comments? Of course all this is really Hard for Alice and her response can be understandble but I'm talking more from a factual matter of fact point of view...

[ 04-14-2012, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: breath ]

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Heather
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What's the question here: who is responsible for Frank and Jane choosing to engage in sex together?

If that's it, then Frank and Jane are. It doesn't sound like Alice was included in negotiating anything, had any part of the sex they chose to have, or said, "Hey, you two, go have sex."

Ultimately, I think, like a lot of things in life, the sexual choices people make and then enact are the responsibility of the people who make them and enact them.

If it's "who is responsible for Frank choosing to not honor his monogamy agreement," then it's Frank, clearly in my mind. It was his agreement, he chose to go outside of it. Someone outside an agreement between two people and no part of that agreement can't break that agreement for either of them: only the people who are part of the agreement can.

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breath
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The question is who is responsible for causing Alice hurt, emotional turmoil/depression after she learned of the cheating?

Is it alright to say that BOTH Frank and Jane were? Alice says that Jane's actions ie cheatin ghave consequences - such as Alice almost losing her job due to the depression she experienced once she learned of the cheating. Keep in mind that Jane and Alice never met or anything like that.


Isn't Frank's responsibility to uphold that agreement between Alice and Frank, not Jane?

I had this conversation with a Friend, who is 'Alice ' in the above scenairo. She said that I was defending Jane b.c I could see myself doing the same thing. I guess people are often times bias and not wanting to put the blame on their near/dear ones?

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breath
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Oh and also, Alice says that Jane should have "better moral conscience" to not do this, to have thought of Frank's GF (alice ) and she should not have done that because one day, it will come back to her.

I mean, given that there are so many relationship models and given that Frank clearly seemed OK / interested in having sex with Jane, is it really a moral issue for Jane to look out/decide/consider Frank-Alice's relationship before she engages?

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September
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I think it's really tough to try and locate responsibility and blame here. How Alice feels is how Alice feels, and whatever that is is totally valid and okay.

In other words, whether or not Alice is upset with Jane is a completely separate issue from whether or not Jane had any moral responsibility to not sleep with Frank.

While other people can certainly evoke or trigger emotional responses in us, the emotional response is within US, and not something that is in their control. That is why a variety of people will respond in completely different ways to a variety of things - because we're all different, and have our own reasons for reacting in specific ways. And those feelings are real and valid regardless of whether there is anyone or anything we can "blame" for our feelings.

So, if Alice is upset with Jane, that is how she feels. And if you think you would react differently, then that is how you feel. And that's just how it is.

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Johanna
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breath
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Thanks September. Of course, I agree that all feelings are valid and it is completely understandable and acceptable for Alice to feel how she feels toward anyone.

I guess the point of my post is to sort of see where the 'ethics' lies...I guess what I'm saying here that Alice is upset because of the contract that was broken, and it seems to be, as Heather said, it has to be with the person who is actually in the contract with Alice, not jane..perhaps another bigger question is, If you are jane and you are engaging with someone, is it your responsbility to probe/be aware/alter your decisions/actions based on a contract that the person have? You may or may not know the details (whether it is monogous or not,etc etc),....is it OK to engage with the other person if they seem consenting?
if things go around with the other party involved (ie. Alice here), should it be considered your fault , too? It seems to me that since Jane or you aren't really in the contract, it shouldn't be much incumbent on to you...

[ 04-16-2012, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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Heather
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I think "fault" is a problematic word here, especially since you've asked about if any of this is the fault of one party who wasn't engaged in the sex you're discussing at all. I think responsibility is more helpful.

Ethically, we all get to make choices about what we participate in and don't when we have a choice. If someone chooses to get involved sexually with a person who is already in a sexually exclusive relationship with someone else, and they are informed of that, then I'd say that person bears some responsibility when it comes to that agreement being broken, yes.

Of course, they don't have the power to not have it be broken if it isn't theirs: the person who intends to break it could just find someone else.

Too, it's pretty common for people in these situations -- who have had a partner break an exclusivity agreement -- to deflect the responsibility of their partner unto the person they had sex with. That can tend to be a lot more comfortable than acknowledging that their partner chose to do what they did, rather than being seduced, etc.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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