In HazelNutCoffee’s thread, the discussion is primarily about whether or not the friend of the adulterer should tell the adulterer’s girlfriend about the affair. There has been a bit of back and forthing regarding how much blame the Other Woman should take for the situation.
Of course, “Other Woman” simply refers to the outside partner in an adulterous affair and could be a man, a woman, or an ocelot (though I’d let the ocelot off, as it can’t give informed consent to the activities going on). Let’s make it fair and just say “The Other”, instead of implying that it’s always a woman.
I speak as someone who has been The Other on two occasions. Both involved deception on the part of my lover, but that is no excuse. I knew, in each case, that he was living with and/or married to another person, and that person had the reasonable expectation of an exclusive relationship. Both times I became involved, I was already at an emotional nadir - desperately needy, impulsive, naive, gullible, blind, and self-destructive. Both times I was wracked with guilt for what I was doing and the harm I committed to the person on the other side of the equation.
I believe The Other bears just as much blame for infidelity as the partner - so long as they are aware of their partner’s marital or relationship status. A married man or woman may be inclined to commit adultery, but if there is no willing person, then the act cannot be committed, and the unwitting wife or husband is done no harm.
I think laying all the blame on the partner is an easy way to assuage guilt. It does not excuse The Other’s behavior in the slightest. I don’t believe the Other should be vilified, because I don’t believe that does anyone any good.
Now, I exclude polyamorous relationships, because there is an implicit or explicit agreement between the partners that sexual exclusivity is not required. Therefore, if one of the partners begins an extramarital affair, it is with the consent of their partner, and no harm is done.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?