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If cheating is wrong, why are there no laws against it?


BusyNAbroad

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First of all, do you think cheating (= having a secret relationship with someone outside your declared/main relationship ), whether in or out of a marriage, is wrong?

 

Secondly, if you think it is wrong, and considering all the harm it can do (especially psychological), why are there no laws that punish the cheater or at least compensate the person who was cheated on?

 

Libel and slander are also punished by law. Why not cheating (which, in my personal perception, is much more grave than libel and slander)?

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In some countries the penalty for cheating can be death or deportation, so yes. there are extreme laws against it and in most places like CallingAllAngels said its called Adultery and it counts as against the law I believe, it means if your getting a divorce on the grounds of divorce and they cheated on you your likely to get a fairer settlement.

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In most places it is illegal and grounds for divorce. If you get caught cheating and end up getting divorced, then the divorce will more likely go in the other persons favour.

 

You aren't likely to see cops chasing adulterers down in their cars because it isn't a priority crime.

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Anyway, I am also talking about cheating in normal boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.

 

Boyfriend-girlfriend have no formal contract of their relationship, but they are together because they trust each other in good faith. When one is cheating, one is pretending to be respecting the relationship while in fact not doing so.

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1. Yes, I think cheating is wrong.

 

2. I think that cheating is so rampant that it would do no good to create laws against it. It would just drive it further underground. Unless you're caught doing it, there's no real way for the other person to find out. And honestly, who is going to admit to their partner that they've cheated if there are legal consequences. I think a guilty conscience is enough of a punishment.

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What makes cheating different from, for example, libel or slander?
Define cheating - does it mean having sex? Penetrative sex only or including oral sex? Foreplay count? How about kissing? What about emotional cheating? Spending too much time with a co-worker over lunch? Flirting?

 

To some people all those things are cheating.

 

Now define boyfriend/girlfriend? Have they made an agreement abut commitment and fidelity? Specifically or implied? And who agreed to what? Does the age of the people have any bearing?

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One can have a guilty conscience for nearly anything. What makes cheating different from, for example, libel or slander?

 

The difference is that those are public crimes - and there is real damage that can be done to the victim's reputation, ability to be employed, etc.

 

Do you really think cheating should be punished by law? What would the sentence be?

 

I hate cheating - seeing cheating in movies makes me sick, and I hate to hear about someone I know cheating on his/her SO. But I'm glad that it isn't punishable by law ... in some parts of the world I could be killed or sent to jail because someone SAID I had cheated, and I feel grateful that I'm not in that situation.

 

There are no laws about being a jerk, no laws about not loving your parents, no laws about backstabbing in high school ... all of those things are bad, but I'm glad that I get to choose who I am and how I behave, even if it means that others might hurt me because they get to choose too.

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Obviously the definition can be complex and, as in all problems of Common Law, depend on the specific situation.

What most counts is the damage inflicted to a person when the act of cheating (whatever it is) is committed.

 

My confusion is that... if boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are not somehow protected, then what's the point of getting into one? It's a somewhat very risky commitment then.

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One can have a guilty conscience for nearly anything. What makes cheating different from, for example, libel or slander?

 

I think the guilt one gets from cheating is generally far more severe than for most other things. I know it was for me at least. I didn't even "technically" cheat, but what I did was bad enough. I would never do that again.

 

The difference between cheating and slander is that one is between two people (the couple) and the other is an attempt to harm another person's reputation within a community. A totally different ballgame.

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The difference is that those are public crimes - and there is real damage that can be done to the victim's reputation, ability to be employed, etc.

Define "real damage". Is psychological pain and depression not "real"?

They also cause a person to become totally unproductive at work, and can sometimes lead to temporary mental illness.

 

I think the effects are comparable to what can happen when a victims' "reputation" is harmed.

 

Do you really think cheating should be punished by law? What would the sentence be?

For example, a monetary compensation.

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My confusion is that... if boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are not somehow protected, then what's the point of getting into one? It's a somewhat very risky commitment then.

 

Most people feel that entering a relationship is worth taking the risk. I'm sure that being cheated on hurts a lot, but not everyone cheats and I think I'd rather learn to trust than continue to be cynical all my life.

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My confusion is that... if boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are not somehow protected, then what's the point of getting into one? It's a somewhat very risky commitment then.

 

The point is because you love spending time with that person and want to spend as much time with them as possible, because you love the person and want him/her in your life, and because you want to grow closer to them. And, for me, the point is to see how well you two work together so that you can see if this is someone you might want to marry.

 

Breaking up is incredibly painful, but thank god there is that possibility. I have always been 100% committed to my boyfriend in that I have always behaved in a manner that was consistent with us being in a relationship while we were together. But I retain the right to break up with him whenever I want.

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Define "real damage". Is psychological pain and depression not "real"?

They also cause a person to become totally unproductive at work, and can sometimes lead to temporary mental illness.

 

I think the effects are comparable to what can happen when a victims' "reputation" is harmed.

 

Yes, psychological pain and depression are real.

 

I just personally would rather retain some portion of free will, and be able to choose to behave as I want to.

Break ups cause incredible psychological pain and depression - thank god we are allowed to break up!

Hearing from a friend that he/she is no longer interested in our friendship is heartwrenching - thank god we can choose whom we want to be friends with.

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Breaking up is incredibly painful, but thank god there is that possibility. I have always been 100% committed to my boyfriend in that I have always behaved in a manner that was consistent with us being in a relationship while we were together. But I retain the right to break up with him whenever I want.

 

Breaking up is different from cheating (by cheating I mean lying about breaking the trust of a person, going with another person and not admitting it).

 

You retain the right to break up.... but is it right that you retain the right to cheat? Do you think you have the right to cheat whenever you want?

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You retain the right to break up.... but is it right that you retain the right to cheat? Do you think you have the right to cheat whenever you want?

 

Yes, I think I have that right. (I also think I have the right to run downstairs and kill my uncle, and the state will have the right to prosecute me to the full extent.)

 

Would you really want the state to be involved in your relationship? What about other breaches of trust - flirting with a girl, "emotional" cheating, lying about one's whereabouts. I just find this such a slippery slope! As much as many things are incredibly painful, not all wrongs should be punishable by law, and I value my right to act as I want to me much higher than my desire not to be cheated on.

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