- Posted by Shasta on May 20th, 2008 filed in Advice, Ethics And Morality, Mating And Relating, Polyamory
Ethics are a funny thing. Everyone has their own set, much like fingerprints. Generally, Jack and I agree with each other when it comes to morals and ethics, which is nice, and certainly makes life easier.
Recently, a question arose that has us at odds with each other, and in an effort to perhaps gain perspectives that hadn’t occurred to me before, I’m putting it out there to my readers.
So here’s a basic overview of the situtation we can’t agree about:
Jack befriends girl.
Girl is dating a married man.
Married man’s wife is not aware that her husband is dating girl. Girl obviously knows that wife doesn’t know and doesn’t seem to have any problem with the fact that her boyfriend is having an affair on his wife, with her.
Married man keeps telling girl that he will leave his wife. Eventually it becomes clear that he has no intentions of doing so and girl dumps him.
Girl casually expresses interest in Jack.
Shasta feels HIGHLY uncomfortable with Jack pursuing said girl, because she was party to a situation that Shasta feels was highly unethical. Shasta thinks that being part of an affair speaks volumes about a person, their ethics, and their attitude towards honesty and relationships. Shasta trusts Jack but certainly does not trust girl and feels she does not want to be friends, let alone part of a relationship with said girl.
Jack disagrees and feels that since girl wasn’t married herself, she really wasn’t doing anything wrong. Jack also insists that since HE is trustworthy, Shasta has nothing to worry about were he to get involved with girl.
Sorry if that was confusing, LOL. It boils down to the fact that I personally feel you are just as responsible for an affair as the married person, if you knowingly participate in deception of that persons spouse. I would never, ever date someone who I knew was married unless they could provide me with proof that their partner was ok with it. Even if it’s just a brief conversation on the phone, or something of that nature.
Even though she perhaps didn’t directly participate in the lying, it seems to me that someone willing to get involved with someone under those conditions isn’t the most honest or trustworthy of people. Yes, Jack and I are polyamorous, so is there any reason for him (or her) to lie? Maybe, maybe not. She could lie about all sorts of things, like her sexual history or her STI status. I trust Jack completely, but he’s also only human, which means she could manipulate him or otherwise create a whole mess of trouble.
I also doubt I could handle getting to know her, or even meeting her. I’ll admit, I’m judgemental, and suspicious, particularly when it comes to things like this. I don’t want to be her friend, I don’t want to be in the same room as her, I don’t care how ‘nice’ she seems.
Jack feels that this is a little unreasonable on my part. After all, I’ve broken the rules, and I’ve cheated (not when we were married mind you, since I took my initial vows of monogamy very, very seriously) so shouldn’t I try to be at least a little understanding?
Perhaps I should be, even though I think it would be seriously difficult to understand where she is coming from, especially since I don’t get the impression that she felt badly about what she was doing, or that he was cheating on his wife. The only reason she dumped him is because she wanted him for herself, and he wouldn’t leave his wife. That doesn’t inspire a lot of understanding in me, it just makes me think she’s a home-wrecking wench.
What do you guys think? Should I cut the girl some slack and give Jack my blessing to at least have coffee with her? Do you think I am right to be suspicious of her and her ability to be part of a responsible, ethical, non-monogamous relationship? I’m curious to hear any thoughts my readers feel like sharing
Note: Often I don’t make the time to respond to comments, however, since I want to create discussion and dialog, I will be responding to every comment on this post and expanding on thoughts or answering questions.