What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Dugu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:24 am

1. If say your spouse had cheated on you, would you want him/her to tell you or best kept it a secret?

2. If say your bestfriend's spouse is having an affair and you found out about it, would you tell him/her or keep the secret?
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:25 am

Hi Dugu
I;ve never been in those situation but if I dif I hope I would respond from a base of equanimity.
My condolences if you are facing difficulty at the moment.
metta

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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Dugu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:43 am

Ben wrote:Hi Dugu
I;ve never been in those situation but if I dif I hope I would respond from a base of equanimity.
My condolences if you are facing difficulty at the moment.
metta

Ben


I'm not in those situations but others are facing them. So I thought I ask this community on how they will deal with them. So what's your answer Ben?
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby cooran » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:47 am

Dugu wrote:2. If say your bestfriend's spouse is having an affair and you found out about it, would you tell him/her or keep the secret?

Hello Dugu,

Regarding your second question, I think this teaching from the Buddha is fairly clear:

"Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord." AN 10.176

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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:56 am

I am not living their lives Dugu.
I am not aware of their sensibilities or the myriad contexts which they and their relationships are set against.
That's why I said what I did. In any situation, including those you mentioned, I hope to respond to external situations from a base of equanimity or as much equanimity that I can muster rather than not. I'm sorry I can't give you an answer you seem to be seeking but I hope you find it useful.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby catmoon » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:06 am

Dugu wrote:1. If say your spouse had cheated on you, would you want him/her to tell you or best kept it a secret?

2. If say your bestfriend's spouse is having an affair and you found out about it, would you tell him/her or keep the secret?



It's a lose/lose situation. You tell, they will both hate you. If you don't tell, eventually it will come out, you will be asked why you did not tell, and you will be hated. If there's a way out of this one, I haven't lived it. It is also possible that if you tell, you will not be believed, then you will be REALLY hated.
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Clueless Git » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:19 am

Dugu wrote:1. If say your spouse had cheated on you, would you want him/her to tell you or best kept it a secret?

With as little elaboration as to to how I know as is possible the 'correct' answer is along the lines of this:

The sole trigger for affairs is "unfulfilled emotional need" which, with a rather nasty twist, can be either positive emotional needs OR negative emotional needs. Example of positive emotional need being, in one who has good self image, the need to feel loved (the need for 'constant positive affirmation' in counsellor speak). Example of negative emotional need being, in one who has poor self image, a need for a degree of denigration and abuse. If either positive or negative emotional needs are not being fullfilled within a relationship then the needy one will always be vunerable, if another who can fulfill those needs hives into view, to fulfiling those unmet needs which usulay ends up in either a purely emotional or an actualy physical 'affair'.

(Does anyone else agree that an intensively emotional 'betrayal', even if non-physical, would be more devastating than a purely physical one btw?)

From that (although the cheated partner is FAR from excluded from having their own unfulfilled emotional needs too) that the cheater has unfullfilled emotional needs which he or she has fallen victim to is a 100 cert.

The issue that arises from an affair is thus ALWAYS that a most likely hitherto unrecognised problem of one, or both, partners having emotional needs which the other has not met is most uncomfortably exposed.

Such an issue will not be resolved without the involvement of the emotionaly stronger partner. It is thus unlikely that if the weaker partner cheats and does not tell that the underlying problem will ever be resolved. It is equaly likely that if the stronger partner cheats that, untill he or she has fixed their own weakness that made them vunerable to an outsider, then they should probably let the burden remain their own.


Anyways ...

Shortest personal answer to the question of " If say your spouse had cheated on you, would you want him/her to tell you or best kept it a secret?:

In such instances what "I" want is irrelevant. "I" will get according to which of my partners various needs I have met, and which I have failed to meet, exactly what I have earned.
Last edited by Clueless Git on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Clueless Git » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:44 am

Dugu wrote:2. If say your bestfriend's spouse is having an affair and you found out about it, would you tell him/her or keep the secret?

Following on from the convoluted ramblings of my previous post ...


If the cheating spouse is the weaker partner then you go to him or her and ask 'em, out of you and they, whom they think it is best to first seek the counsel of your freind.

If the cheating spouse is the stronger partner then you go to him or her and tell them to get their butt back home to their partner and sort their problems out.


Very handily, btw, if one is in doubt as to whom is the stronger in the hypothetical freinds relationship; Merely offering those two options and observing the response would very quickly find that out.
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:23 pm

Chris wrote:Regarding your second question, I think this teaching from the Buddha is fairly clear:

Easily misinterpreted though. The important point is the intention. Do you tell your best friend with the intention to cause a split between them and their cheating spouse, or do you tell them just to warn them out of compassion? It is not divisive speech if the intention is not to cause division.

To assess the benefit/harm is not easy. Since the relationship is obviously not working well it is better that your best friend finds out the truth. Knowing the truth, and with your emotional support, your best friend may then be able to salvage the relationship if it is worth saving, or to get out of it with the least amount of emotional damage, if it is an abusive one.
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby cooran » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:30 pm

Hello Bhikkhu Pesala, all,

Thank you for your thoughts. Here is how I see it. Unless the couple are caught 'in the act' so to speak, then I don't see how anyone can say that a couple are having an affair. Women can have male friends and companions without it involving cheating on a spouse.
Without concrete proof, it is just unwholesome gossip and ought not to be passed on.

metta and respect,
Chris
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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby msmedusa » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:21 am

If my best friends spouse was having an affair I would tell her about it . The betrayal she felt would only be compounded if I too, had lied to her. If she didnt know then she may have no idea that a problem existed in her relationship. If she knew then she would have an opportunity to confront her husband and there may be a chance of a discussion and resolution of their problems. But..as Chris says it is important to have concrete evidence . I would make absoultely sure I had the facts straight before I told her.

A common theme among friends of mine is a sense of betrayal at being 'kept in the dark' by well meaning family and friends who thought it was kinder to do so.
One particular friend - who divorced her husband - was visited by friends after the event who confided that they had known for years that her husband was a cheat . They told her details of several affairs her husband had had previous to the one she knew about. She had suspected for years that he was cheating on her but had never had any evidence. She put it down to her own insecurity and limped through a less than happy marriage trying to breathe life into their cold, loveless relationship. She felt frustrated when she heard the truth because given that information earlier she could have confronted her husband and found out the reasons for his affairs. They would then have been able to try and resolve their problems, or if not , they could have agreed to part, hopefully in a more amicable manner. The fall out may have been less distressing if she had been told rather than having to walk in and find him .

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Re: What would you do in these 2 scenarios.

Postby pink_trike » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:58 am

1. I would want to know. Relationships are best when communication is open.

2. If I knew with certainty that my best friend's spouse was having an affair, I would tell her/him out of concern for her/him's welfare and safety. In this intense time, secrets can be deadly.
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