An Ethical Dilemma

    c.64w thinkerEthical Dilemma: At what cost do you maintain your commitment, stand by the power of your word? Do you channel your inner captain and go down with the ship, or do you channel your inner deck-hand, cut your loses and jump overboard?

    Let’s say I commit my life to you, regardless. We commit to a monogamous relationship. We commit to being faithful to one another. We commit to “till death do us part.”

    A. The g-d-forbid happens. You become incapacitated. You’re still living and breathing, but you’re less than you were.

    From my perspective the commitment holds. I remain bound. What happened is beyond your control.

    B. You acquire an addiction. Doesn’t matter to what: drugs, gambling, pornography, internet, exercise. The addiction affects you. Overwhelms you. Takes over your life. You mortgage the house. You lose your job. You put the kidlings at risk. You put me at risk.

    A little more difficult. One school of thought believes addiction is a chemical and/or circuitry imbalance in your brain. Another believes that theory is a cop-out and you need to “own-up and get over it.”

    C. Turns out your actions prove you don’t share my commitment. You decide monogamy isn’t the way to go. You become unfaithful.

    Even more difficult. Am I still bound to my word when you clearly are not? (With AIDS as a possibility, your affair(s) could literally cost me my life.)

    In conclusion, it’s easier to remain fluid and open (thus allowing yourself the option of “cutting your loses”) when you approach a situation with an open, “Wow! Let’s see where this leads” versus “I’ve committed. I’m in for the duration, regardless.” Does that “regardless” still bind you when the other parties comport themselves differently?

    Definitely a tough call, this sticky wicket of ethical dilemma.

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    Sheila Bergquist - January 22, 2015 - 12:28 am

    A sticky wicket indeed! I think it depends on the situation and your own sense of right and wrong. For instance, if my mate cheated, I wouldn’t feel right cheating too…I would divorce him. If that same person became a danger to myself or children (as in the drug use, etc…) I would do everything possible to help them, but if it became clear it wasn’t working, I would leave.
    I am very strong about standing by my word, but I don’t think it has to be either black or white…there are definitely gray areas there.
    Another thought provoking, interesting post Tana!

    kath unsworth - January 22, 2015 - 1:12 pm

    Tana I have seen many of these stories play out with people I know. In the end if there is no love and your light is going out you need to change things for you and your children.

    Tana Bevan - January 22, 2015 - 3:02 pm

    Sheila~I agree with you. Particularly “I am very strong about standing by my word, but I don’t think it has to be either black or white…there are definitely gray areas there.” This post came about from a conversation with a person who subscribes to the “channel-my-inner-captain,” and my attempt to understand such a stand.

    Tana Bevan - January 22, 2015 - 3:06 pm

    Kath~How often when writing we know the back story and thus miss the fact that others do not. My bad. This was not a personal post in that I am not facing this dilemma. (It is beyond sad witnessing the light go out in those you know and love.) This post came about as a result of conversations with a person who subscribes to the “channel my inner captain” and my attempt to understand such a stance~given it’s hefty price.