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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:44 PM

Hmm. In Light of Petraeus Resignation, Interesting Advice Column Letter from NYT Back in July

@Asher_Wolf
Letter in the @NYTimes advice column - interesting in light of Petraeus’ resignation http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/a-message-from-beyond.html … (Second from the top.)

https://twitter.com/Asher_Wolf/status/267109433748885506

From Chuck Klosterman's ethics advice column:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/a-message-from-beyond.html?_r=0

MY WIFE’S LOVER

My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD


Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. The idea of “suffering in silence” for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man’s mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He’d probably be relieved.

The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable. In fact, it’s so over-the-top honorable that I’m not sure I believe your motives are real. Part of me wonders why you’re even posing this question, particularly in a column that is printed in The New York Times.

Your dilemma is intriguing, but I don’t see how it’s ambiguous. Your wife is having an affair with a person you happen to respect. Why would that last detail change the way you respond to her cheating? Do you admire this man so much that you haven’t asked your wife why she keeps having sex with him? I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.

REST OF COLUMN AT LINK

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Reply Hmm. In Light of Petraeus Resignation, Interesting Advice Column Letter from NYT Back in July (Original post)
Hissyspit Nov 2012 OP
Marie Marie Nov 2012 #1
liberalhistorian Nov 2012 #2

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:57 PM

1. Very Interesting...

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:09 AM

2. You know, I remember reading

that because that is one of my favorite columns in the Sunday NYT Magazine, there are almost always some very interesting dilemmas and I like to see what is said about them. Hmmm, indeed!

However, I cannot imagine knowing my spouse was having an affair, knowing and meeting the person, and even watching it intensify, yet just standing by and taking it. If I had been this gentleman, I would have just walked away and gotten a divorce. But it's ultimately up to him and his wife, not anyone else.

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