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Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Resolve: Some people are less ethical within their closest relationship.
Resolve: Some people confuse "legal honesty" with "ethically truthfulness"

[See how nice I made it for the 'skimmers'... now they don't even need to read the below crap! wink ]

I know there have been a few 'ethics' discussions and a few 'relationships' discussions but I think that some have been missing the point that it's essentially the same thing. Many relationship problems arise from one partner abandoning ethics and acting selfishly.

Please note that this has nothing to do with any relationships that I am in or have had. It's actually based on the contrast between those relationships and some of the relationships that I see others having. Of course, we all have those friends with completely dysfunctional relationships. I had neighbors two floors down that yelled whenever they'd have any minor disagreement. I then had an eye opening realization:

A large number of people will distinguish between "legally" and "ethically" when making decisions within their relationships.

How many times have you heard (or said) stuff like this:

"I never lied, I just left out a portion of the story"
OK, LEGALLY, that's true. You never lied. But ETHICALLY you have purposely and directly mislead someone.

"I never said that I'd be there, I said that I'd PROBABLY be there" (when, in fact, you had no intent of being there)
Again, LEGALLY that would stand up in court, but ETHICALLY you purposely deceived someone to get your way. Most, if not all, ethical discrepancies occur when someone is being selfish.

"I said I was going to the library and I did. I just left out the fact that I went to the library for 5 minutes and spend the rest of the 3 hours at the strip club"
Legally sound, ethically unsound.

"Hey, you never ASKED me specifically if I [slept withthat guy/was at the bar all night/went home early/took all of your money/saw you drop your passport/etc]."
Heh, again... legally true, ethically deceptive.

Some people seem to speak in technicallities and legal-ese to 'get away' with ethical crimes. People reading back transcripts of conversation like evidence in a trial. "Your Honor, my client stated that she did not check her messages so she could then use the phrase "I did not get your message" without it being an actual lie"

Look at most sitcom plots involving married couples. Many of the major plots come from one spouse trying to deceive the other...
A few which use that as a MAJOR plot device are:
Everybody loves Raymond
King of Queens
Whatever that god awful show with Jim Bellushi is
The Simpsons (We all love the show but it's usually funny because Homer is being destructively selfish)
Pretty much ever "Teen" show on TV (OC, One Tree Hill, etc.)
So many more... even such classics as "I love Lucy" is usually Lucy trying to trick Ricky into getting what she wants at his expense and failing.

Now I'm not criticizing these people entirely. Because most of them are truly good people in other areas of their lives. But why would someone who would take the time to return a wallet they found on the street or protest human rights injustices not give the same ethical respect to their significant other?

Are there people out there like me who think a relationship is a partnership? Does anyone else view their partner as a teammate? Or are most couples just content being competitive and fighting over every bone?

I understand that there is compromise in all relationships. But how can one claim to be an ethical person when one bases relationships on manipulation and control? I remember in High School my very first relationship was horribly based on manipulation and deception. I vowed never to have a relationship like that again. It made me feel horrible about myself.

I've seen so many posts on HoP (and everywhere else in the planet of course) where relationships turn into "Guys vs. Girls"... "Oh here's how to control men" "Oh here's how you can get what you want from your girlfriend" "Oh here's how you can trick your spouse into..."

It might be 'legal' to manipulate and deceive, but it sure isn't ethical.

Am I one of the few that thinks that?
Am I one of the few that actually acts on ethical thoughts as opposed to "what I could probably get away with" in a relationship?

We're a community that spends hours spinning little balls on the end of strings. Yet it seems that some aren't putting the same amount of time and effort into nurturing those that are most dear to us. I'm sorry if this sounds preachy but it just never seemed that difficult for two adults to have an honest and sincere relationship, I'm curious as to why so many people chose not to.

Or, is this like most things where 98% of the people have legally honest AND ethically honest relationships but you only hear about the other 2%? smile

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Tao Star

Tao Star

Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted: Written by: NYC

I can't see "doing what I ought to do" as very far from "doing what I want" in a relationship. If there was then I'd wonder why there was such a difference.

as far i as i think that gets to the crux of it for soon as what you ought to do is different from what you want to is, maybe that implies that your relationship isn't so great any more.

i don't think that necessarily covers it for everyone, but for me my relationship is so easy because we both do exactly what we want, and it always seems to please the other...the way we think compliments eachother perfectly.

this is just one example, but we used to have an open relationship, and so when we were at the stage where we wanted to sleep with other people we could, and we wanted to be honest with eachother which we could to. now it's 'closed', and that's also what we both want.

there shouldn't be a gap between what you should do and what you want in a relationship..i think that's the definition of when problems start.

I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.




Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Rozi

hug I think we have gone as far into psycho-analysing me as I would care to go in this thread, hun.

Didn't mean to pry. smile I know you're relatively sane, especially compared to this lot. wink

I was speaking more in general terms than personally.

hug to you.

Now wait a minute.... so you revitalized the thread so you could watch others. I SEE.. wink wink wink

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:As much as we need honesty in a relationship, we also need privacy. We pretty much all come into our relationships with some form of baggage, but truthfully, how much of it matters?

I care about my partner's previous relationships, but not his one-night stands. Looking at his behaviour in the past I get some idea of what sort of a person he is and where he's at morally. Honesty to questions like "have you been faithful in the past?" is important, knowing about a very brief fling with a backpacker isn't.

Ultimately I'm engaged to this man, so I've got to be special in a way that no-one else has been. He's told me he's always been faithful in relationships, I have no reason to doubt that so I don't care what he got up to and with whom four years ago.

You can't get on with your future if you spend too much time lingering in the past.

There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.




Total posts: 6650
Posted:*post edited for clarity*

What does the past have to do with anything?

Here and now! Isn't this what is important?

Stories from the past are likely to provoke judgement of some kind, which is completely irrelevant unless it involves criminal and/or violent actions.

How you behave NOW and in relation with me - this is what is important to me.

Let the past be done.

If someone wants to know about the past is one thing, if the partner does not want to discuss it, another.... I guess both should be respected and if one asks questions, s/he should be prepared for the worst kind of answer...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1145438647)

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


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