2020年1月19日 星期日

Can We Stay Friends 
With Someone Who Betrayed His Pregnant Partner?

What is the ethical response?

My husband and I recently learned that friends of ours — let’s call them Tim and Jane — are separating. They have a baby and had a child who died several years ago, in a sudden and devastating way.

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Tim initiated the separation, announcing he had fallen in love with someone else. He began an affair while Jane was pregnant with their second child.

My husband and I are shocked and horrified by Tim’s behavior and choices. We knew they had problems in their relationship (dealing with the death of a child, who would not?), but we never expected that Tim, who tends to be aggressively principled, was capable of this sort of deception and betrayal. You don’t fall in love from one moment to the next; Tim actively chose to deceive his partner at countless junctures over the last months, and this while she was pregnant and then recovering with a newborn.

I can understand being in a relationship that makes you fundamentally unhappy, and Tim uses this argument to justify his behavior. But it seems to me that the responsible thing to do is to accept your
 unhappiness for a time, to try to sort things out (therapy, which he has refused except for counseling for grieving parents) and then, if it is impossible to reconcile, to separate. Cheating on the mother of your children, and leaving the mother to raise the new baby alone because you feel unhappy, seems the pinnacle of self-absorption.

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