Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A View Of Adultery And Its Lasting Effects Philosophy Essay

A View Of Adultery And Its Lasting Effects Philosophy Essay This essay is about adultery and some of the things that happens to people who are the victims of it. By victims, I not only mean the spouse(s) who was being cheated on, but I am also referring to the children who are in the family unit as well. I am focusing on the fact that adultery is a selfish and very horrible act that can literally destroy a family. Along with the family being destroyed, the lives of each individual person involved are destroyed as well. The victims of adultery will face many challenges, emotionally and mentally, that could result in some very long term effects. My argument is that adultery does so much damage to a persons emotional and mental well being, that it should be treated as an abusive crime. Adultery Is Abuse Adultery, to some, may not be that big of a deal, especially if they are the ones committing it. But what happens when a spouse or a partners whole entire world falls down around them after they learn their partner has committed adultery? Adultery is a selfish and very cruel act that happens every day. It not only ruins marriages, but it can literally destroy the lives of everyone around the adulterer. Someone who is a victim of adultery can be presented to large amounts of downfalls in their life. Emotional and mental abuses are two of the major things they will go through. If the case is bad enough, and the person cant take mentally and emotionally dealing with what their spouse has done, adultery can even lead to death. Its mind boggling that such a selfish act can bring so much pain to so many lives, but it does to thousands of people every day. Even more disturbing, the adulterer is rarely punished or held accountable for all the pain their actions inflicted on so many other liv es. Adultery is nothing less than abuse, and should be treated as such in a court of law. Maybe you have seen it happen, or perhaps you have even been a victim of adultery. It is nothing no one person should take lightly. It creeps into the marriage and eats away at the very core of the once blessed union. It can effect even the strongest of couples and literally tear families apart at the seams. David M. Buss and Todd K. Shackelford (1997) showed that despite its destructive impact, infidelities are estimated conservatively to occur in about half of all marriages. (Buss D.M. Shackelford T.K.,1997 p.216). It can definitely be shocking and scary to hear that adultery can occur in almost half of all marriages. This can lead one to believe that marriages, as well as issues pertaining to adultery, are not being taken very seriously in America anymore. With this being said, its sad to see exactly how many peoples lives are ruined over the blatant lack of respect the general population has for marriages and staying true to their partner. Adultery in itself can affect every single person that is exposed to it or around it, especially the children. The effects of adultery can even ripple to the non-immediate family and friends. Out of everyone adultery effects, the spouse or spouses who are having adultery committed against them as well as the children who are involved with the families will sadly take the brunt of the pain adultery has to offer. Ruth K. Westheimer and Pierre A Lehu (2007) proclaimed adultery is probably the single-most cited grounds for divorce. (Westheimer, R.K. Lehu, P.A., 2007 p. 332s) Not only will the family have to deal with the tragic act of adultery once it is brought to the light, but they will also have to deal with the horrible divorce they may face if they choose to go through it. Divorce in itself, for whatever reason, can cause enormous amounts of negative impact on the whole entire family, including the children. Alison Clarke-Stewart and Cornelia Brentano (2006) suggested that compared with children in intact families, children from divorced families are more likely to have conduct problems and show signs of psychological maladjustment; they have lower academic achievement, more social difficulties, and poorer self-esteem.(Clarke-Stewart Brentano2006 p.107) This can also stay with the children far beyond the point of reaching adulthood. Clarke-Stewart Brentano (2006) pointed out: In one study of college students, researchers found that those who had experienced their parents divorce reported distressing feelings, beliefs, and experiences. These were resilient young people and the divorce had occurred years earlier, but still they harbored painful feelings. (p.108) If children live with one parent full time, they also have a chance of having less and less contact with the other parent as time goes by. This can also cause a great deal of strain on a child, as well as feelings of abandonment and possibly hate. As mentioned earlier, children will only have to deal with these issues if their parents decide to get a divorce after the adultery is found out. Unfortunately, the effects of divorce on children are only part of the problem when adultery is involved. Adultery can cause some very serious effects to children without divorce even being present. Children of all ages, even adult children, can be affected by adultery. Children, for the most part, look to their parents for guidance and as role models. Children also tend to put most of their trust into their parents, trust adultery can easily break. Watching their parents go through the strains of adultery will most likely affect them and cause enormous amounts of strain on their own life. They will be in the front row seat watching the tension, stress, arguments, grief, sadness, loss and despair. The parents could try and get the children to take sides, making them feel torn inside and also making their lives seem completely out of control. Some parents who commit adultery can even tell the secret of their actions to their children, making them promise not to tell the other spouse, causing the children to be filled with even more pain and despair as they dont know which direction to turn. The spouse isnt the only person to feel betrayed, as the children will feel it too once they find out about the adultery. Children who are a product of adultery will, without a doubt, be negatively affected as well. In the worst circumstances, pregnancy due to adultery can even result in neonaticide. Nicky A. Jackson (2007) describes neonaticide as the killing of a newborn within twenty-four hours of birth. (Jackson, N.A., 2007 p. 568) Jackson also states the most common reason for neonaticide among married women Is extramarital paternity. (Jackson, N.A., 2007 p. 568) If these children are carried to term, they still have a chance of being born surrounded by controversy. They may immediately be given up for adoption or have their mother deny them information about their real father. The worst of these scenarios is having another man raise them, only to find out years later the man they knew their whole life as their father was never their real father. This can lead to emotional problems for the child, depression, feeling of rejection and difficulty having healthy relationships in their life, among many other things. Emotional abuse is definitely presented to the family, whether intentionally or not, from adultery. Unfortunately, there are still many other things that adultery negatively impacts families with. Physical health is something else adultery affects. People who are in a marriage trust their spouse enough to have unprotected sex with them. The natural thought for married couples is the fact they dont have to worry about catching any kind of sexually transmitted diseases from them. Even if the adulterer is careful in using protection, it is still not 100% effective. Every day, an unsuspecting spouse takes a trip to the doctors office because they havent been feeling very well, or have a sudden rash appear on them. And every day, there is an unsuspecting spouse who receives the news that they have a disease. Some even get told that the disease they have is incurable. Jennifer S. Hirsch et al.(2009) even stated for most women in the world, their biggest risk of HIV infection comes from having sex with their husbands. (Hirsch, J.S. et al., 2009 p. vii) Married men, who are the victims of adultery, are no doubt unknowingly catching these diseases as well. To find out you have a disease that you caught from the only person you have had sexual contact with, and to realize they had to catch it from most likely having sexual contact with someone else can be described as nothing less than devastating. Fortunately, a lot of people dont find out about adultery from being diagnosed with a disease. Even with no disease present, the mental and emotional anguish people go through as a result of finding out their spouse has committed adultery is still the same. Someone finding out their spouse has been cheating on them will go through a plethora of negative emotions and feelings. Paul R Peluso (2007) says finding out that your spouse had an affair can be a devastating experience for the noninvolved partner. The revelation of an affair ushers in a host of emotions including rage, sorrow, shock, and shame. (Peulso, P.R.,2007 p.63) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is unfortunately something else the victim of a cheating spouse can go through. Mark A. Whisman and Tina P. Wagers(2005) found that major depressive episodes and post- traumatic stress disorder are the most common diagnoses found in noninvolved partners.(Whisman, M.A. Wagers, T.P.,2005 p.61) It is horrific to think that people are going through so much trauma because of adultery, that they are actually catching a horrible psychological illness in return. PTSDs symptoms include flashbacks, depression, anger, nightmares, and anxiety. This condition is strong enough to disrupt everyday life for someone, and can also last for years. The onset of PTSD can also cause people to turn to drugs and/or alcohol. Even if PTSD is not present, people who are the victims of adultery will most likely deal with severe emotional and psychological stress. Michael Clanchy and Chris Trotter (1999) stated: In many instances, betrayal through infidelity can be very close to what we term domestic violence. Unfaithful parties are often insensitive to the pain they inflict, as are perpetrators of physical and psychological violence. Often the faithful party is as vulnerable and dependent as the victim of repeated bashing. Furthermore, the [behavior] patterns of ongoing infidelity often parallel the well-documented stages in the cycle of domestic abuse. (Clanchy, M., Trotter, C., 1999 para. 4) Unfortunately, adultery can go even further than just the dilapidation of lives. The most horrid outcome from adultery is death. Adultery can, without a doubt, hurt people enough to take other peoples lives. There is not one life that should be taken or lost over adultery; sadly enough, innocent lives are lost due to adultery every day. Death can occur by suicide, murder, or even murder/suicide cases. There are even instances were murder will involve the children of the family as well. Two of the more disturbing instances that involve the children are spousal revenge filicide and paternal filicide. Spousal filicide, according to Jackson (2007) is parents who murder their offspring in a deliberate attempt to make their spouses suffer. Infidelity, either proved or suspected, is a common precipitant for spousal-revenge filicide. (Jackson, N.A., 2007 p569) The second is paternal filicide which Jackson (2007) explains as [husbands] killing the childs mother as well as the child, often followed by the [husbands] suicide. (Jackson, N.A., 2007 p569) It is clear that a heartbreaking act, such as adultery, will push people over the edge and do things they normally would never do. As a matter of fact, Richard Worth and John L. French (2008) claimed among the oldest motives for murder are passion and jealousy. (Worth, R French, J. L., 2008 p34) Even though a spouse may commit murder against their spouse, their spouses lover, or perhaps both, they still have a chance of only getting charged with voluntary manslaughter. This is by no means justifiable to take other peoples lives; however, it only goes to show exactly how much adultery can damage someones emotions, as well as their mental state. According to Jim Silver (2008) if a killing that would otherwise be murder is committed in response to sufficient provocation, it is voluntary manslaughter and is usually punished less severely than murder. (Silver,J., 2008 p30) Silver (2008) also adds: Over time, most jurisdictions developed rules about what is sufficiently provocative to cause a reasonable person to lose control of his passions. The standard ones included things like a serious physical attack or a husband finding his wife committing adultery.(Silver,J., 2008 p31) As you can see, adultery is as sufficiently provocative as a serious physical attack, thus allowing someone to act in such a way that they can take lives away from other people. Crimes of passion cases like these are heard in court every single day in the United States. One of the most popular cases like this is with Eric McLean from Tennessee. According to Yvette Martinez (2008), McLean shot and murdered his wifes boyfriend, but only received a conviction of reckless homicide, which is only punishable by up to 4 years in prison. McLean only served 47 days in prison and was allowed to serve the rest of his sentence on parole. (Martinez, Y., 2009) The victims in this case were both Mclean, who was having adultery committed against him as well as the boyfriend of the spouse who was shot at close range and murdered by McLean. The lives of both of these men, as well as the two children McLean and his wife shared and the family of the teenage boyfriend, were severely disrupted by McLeans wifes selfish choice of committing adultery. The young boyfriend did not have to lose his life nor did his family have to lose their son, while McLean should not have to live the rest of his life with a death of another person on his shoulders. Sadly enough, the one person who brought all of the pain and sorrow to both of these families (McLeans wife), did not get punished at all. In conclusion, given all the emotional and mental anguish as well as the severe disruption of lives adultery causes, it should be treated as nothing less than abuse. Laws pertaining to adultery do exist in some states, but are rarely enforced. You probably never even heard of anyone going to jail simply because they committed adultery, but you do hear people of going to jail over abuse. It is my argument, that people who make a conscience decision to step outside their marriage and commit this selfish act, should be punished. There are laws pertaining to the lover of the spouse committing adultery, specifically alienation of affection, that allows the victimized spouse to sue the lover; however, sometimes too much damage is done, and no amount of money can possibly fix it. Sadly enough, peoples lives can be lost over this situation. If bloodshed is cast, and people die over this type of situation, it should be the adulterer who is charged with the murderer(s) as well. The lives of people, especially family, should never be treated with such disrespect. Clanchy and Trotter (1999) claimed infidelity can be as devastating as a violent attack. (Clanchy, M., Trotter, C., 1999 para. 8) There is nothing truer than that statement. Adultery is a crime against people and their emotions as well as their mental well being, and should be treated as violence. It is time this crime is taken seriously; the people who commit it are thoroughly punished, and lives are no longer ripped to shreds by adultery.

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