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Cheating: A Personal or Societal Responsibility?

Submitted by Amber Lee on July 13, 2009 – 11:11 pmComments

In a dramatic turn of events this weekend, my best friend found out that her boyfriend of three years had been cheating on her for over a year. The worst part? Her closest friends, five of them in fact, had known for a quite a while, meaning months, that this had been going on.

Now she not only has to deal with her boyfriend’s infidelity, but also a betrayal by her friends, who claim it just wasn’t their place to say anything.

How is it not? One could view this situation as a private affair, sure. But he had multiple partners and random hookups over this time, and carelessly put his girlfriend at risk.

If the health concerns weren’t enough to motivate these friends, apparently this guy bragged about his conquests, demonstrating his complete inanity.

A sense of responsibility has been lacking. Regardless of consequential conflict or perhaps, the dissolution of their friendships with either party, the safest, most honest and most loyal action would have been to tell my friend about her significant other’s cheating. It was a selfish action for them to detach themselves from emotional repercussions of the inevitable result.

The most heartbreaking part of this story is that my friend feels worthless and idiotic for not knowing she was being duped and that she will live the rest of her life suspicious of the men in her life.

It also speaks the character of our friends, that it is okay for a person to cheat, as long as his significant other doesn’t find out. They can carry on their liaisons, take pride in their promiscuity, and demean the value of romantic relationships.

Hearing this story did not just make me angry but fearful that we will start to expect such behavior from our partners, or even worse, that we will also accept it, as our friends have.

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  • Stephanie
    So true..
    And what options do we have?
    It seems the majority of men treat such behavior as a norm, which only leads us to expect such behavior from men. The options we then seem to be left with are the following: accept the behavior of cheating (because as men would put it, it's 'only natural'); don't accept it and due to our expectation keep every man at a considerable distance either by never being completely vulnerable with him and fully 'theirs' due to the prospect of being hurt again OR by playing with them and never really committing - therefore continuing to satisfy our sexual appetite but not going so far as to get attached and emotionally involved. Of course dumping men altogether, becoming a lesbian or staying completely alone are also options, but not so popular or realistic for those of us that are straight.

    The frustrating thing is if you DO accept for the other person to cheat on you, therefore committing yourself to an open relationship where there is one person you are committed to and the others who you are just having fun with (kind of like being 'married' to one person and the others are 'boyfriends') the guy will never agree to it.

    Enter: double standards.

    And what solution is there? More importantly, what really matters? The love that we feel for the other person or their fidelity?
  • Denise
    Wow, I can't believe her friends could leave her in the dark like that. A good friend would have and should have had her best interests at heart by being honest!
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