Is it right to expose a cheat?

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In the field of moral dilemmas finding out that someone is cheating on their partner is one of the hardest. If the unsuspecting partner is a family member or friend it can be doubly difficult but even if you have never met the cheater’s partner you may feel some moral obligation to expose someone who is capable of such deception.

Whether you expose them or not will depend on many different circumstances but at the end of the day you have to do what feels right to you. Knowing what that is can prove difficult so here are some pros and cons to help you decide what course of action you should take.

Pros

You will not have to witness them carrying on as if nothing were wrong – if the person being betrayed is a friend or family member watching them make plans for the future when you know their partner is cheating can be excruciating.

You will clear your own conscience – knowing someone is a cheat can make you feel bad yourself. This is especially true if the reason you know they are a cheat is because they made a pass for you.

You will be an honourable friend – this is someone who will tell the truth even when it is painful or difficult because you love and respect your friend.

Cons

You may not be believed – usually cheaters are very good at deception and manipulation and they may be able to convince their partner that you are jealous or vindictive and simply trying to break them up.

You may get the anger and blame of both people – while the cheater will be angry with you for exposing them, their partner may be very angry too especially if they have been turning a blind eye and you have forced them to see the truth. You could end up being the scapegoat with them both blaming you for their troubles

You might be wrong – before you say anything to anyone you need to be 100% sure of your facts but even then if your evidence is based on something you have seen or heard there is a possibility that you have misinterpreted it.

If someone you met online is a cheater

There are some people who register with online dating sites even though they are still married or in a committed relationship. Often it is not until you start dating someone like this that the deception comes to light by which time you may have formed a connection and naturally be hurt and disappointed as well as angry that you have been duped into being ‘the other person’ in someone else’s relationship.

Sometimes these people are looking to start a new relationship but haven’t had the courage to leave their old one first but there will also be people who are leading a double life and are happily dating while still maintaining their other relationship.

In either case they are not being honest – if they openly declared they were still married they probably wouldn’t get many dates – people who are looking for a committed, monogamous relationship will usually avoid anyone who is committed to someone else.

If you discover that someone on eHarmony is deliberately lying about their marital status then you may feel compelled to warn other members so that they don’t fall for their deception. The best thing to do is to call customer support who will investigate immediately.

Two sides to every story

Anyone who has been cheated on will usually say that they wish someone had told them what was going on as it might have saved them from wasting their time on someone who was lying to them. They often have suspicions but no concrete evidence and a disclosure by someone outside of the relationship can really set them free.

People who have never had the experience are more likely to say that it is none of anyone else’s business what goes on in a relationship and you shouldn’t interfere no matter what the circumstances are.

Your decision will ultimately come down to your own conscience when you have weighed it all up but it is also important to question your own motives. If your decision is based on love, respect or a desire to protect someone you will probably feel good whatever you decide to do but if you want to humiliate, retaliate or hurt someone then even if you do the right thing your motives will have been wrong and it could backfire on you.


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