Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hypothetical Question of the Day

Facts of the situation:
Robin is a single person
Pat is a married person
Pat’s spouse cannot have sex for medical reasons.
Pat desires sex.
Robin desires sex.
Pat expresses desire to Robin disclosing Pat’s spouse’s condition and that Pat has no other feelings for Robin beyond friendship.
Robin enters into an FWB relationship with Pat.
Both Pat and Robin remain discreet in their relationship so that no one else knows.

Has either Robin or Pat done anything wrong here?

All characters presented herein are fictional and a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons is purely coincidental.


The Silent Male said...

I am pleading the 5th on this one.

2amsomewhere said...

I guess it comes down to what the criteria for wrong will be.

As someone who has a horribly jaded viewpoint of monogamy, my gut is sympathetic to Pat and Robin's plight, but for the sake of Devil's Advocacy, I'd like to throw out a few questions to ponder.

1) We don't know the type of relationship that Pat and his spouse had either before or after the deterioration in health. If the basis for that relationship was grounded upon an unwavering commitment to monogamy, would it have been at least fair to Pat's spouse to be informed of Pat's desire to do this? If not, Pat deprives his spouse of the choice of monogamy.

2) The statement of the problem includes this proposition:

Pat has no other feelings for Robin beyond friendshipWe only know that Robin desires sex. We don't know anything about Robin's current level of desire for Pat or past history with sexual partners. There is the potential that enough intense encounters could forge an unanticipated emotional bond that would greatly complicated matters. Desire is not always as static as we envision it to be.


selkie said...

actually, simply put, cheating is cheating. Justification aside, if a couple have agreed to be monogomous, then one partner deciding to have sex with someone else is a betryal of that trust. Having said that, do I think they are evil or terrible; no, I think they're human.

Best case scenario, of course, is if Pat's spouse and she talk and agree that she is entitled to a discrete relationship.

But the reality is that I people are funny, not everyone can indulge in sex without developing emotinal ties. I am sure things can start off with good intentions then peoples' emotions get involve.d

That would be such a sad situation.

Seeker said...

For me, the crucial point here is whether the couple believe in God and whether they married in church. If so, then they made vows before God to stay faithful 'in sickness and in health'. That means they should not break these vows, no matter what the extenuating circumstances!

Just my view though........

Desmond Jones said...

You're gettin' some pretty good advice here; I don't really have much to add, other than affirming what's above me here. . .

I would make a small quibble with Seeker, tho; it matters not so much whether Pat, Robin, or whoever believe in God; it matters more whether God exists, and meant what He said about adultery. . .

Ms. N said...

So long as Robin isn't continuing a pattern of getting involved with unavailable men...it could be ok for a time. Boundaries need to be clear.

It's a difficult question. I would tell a friend in a situation like that to really think about it before getting involved. There's so great a possibility for heart-ache and drama. Can it be worth it?

Val said...

Probably I ought to plead the 5th like SM...
But believe it or not, I've clicked over here several times to give this matter Deep Thought. My final answer is: nothing wrong w/two consenting adults if Pat's spouse is cool w/it. Otherwise, yes, the "C" word applies...

Trueself said...

Interesting answers from everyone. Thank you. I posted this because it was a discussion had among friends last weekend (women in mid-life crisis; I fit right in!) and was interested in getting more opinions on the subject.

One thing I did deliberately was give Pat and Robin names that could be either gender, more as a curiosity how people would perceive the parties involved than anything else. Two seem to think Pat is male, one went with Pat as the female, and some left their answers as vague as my set up.

Emily said...

As someone who has a problem similar to Pat's, I have a fair amount of sympathy for their position.

I think the sorry reality is that there are costs whatever they decide to do. If my experience is any guide, a clean conscience and honesty with Pat's spouse would be some consolation to Pat. But it won't stop him or her feeling lonely and neglected and sexless (its hard to feel sexy if your partner simply doesn't desire you) and sometimes deeply unhappy.

I think I have some relationship with God, but I also think morals in the hypothetical realm are basically irrelevant to what warm-blooded, real people actually do.

I love my partner and I am faithful to him, but I will admit that sometimes its been a very near thing. I certainly wouldn't be judging Pat and if I am concerned about anyone here, its Robin! Sex is a very unpredictable thing and there is a reason its called "making love".