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hi.oh god thanks for finding people whom i can talk to.

hi.oh god thanks for finding people whom i can talk to. i'm a single man.i'm in a relationship with a married woman who has a 7 years old child a matter of fact i knew her as the love of my life since 5 years before her marriage.we could not get married together because of the social issues.and i never forget her for about 8 years after her marriage although i walked out of her life.but now this love relationship starts about 2 years ago again and since then i'm with her by her will as she starts it.i'm dying for her and she is the same but she has a life with a reasonable man and a child and she has no reasonable reason(socially)to leave that life.i can distinguish that how hard it is for her to continue this.morally she cant be with me and emotionally she wants to be.i loved her about 15 years (5 years before her husband even know her).i dont want her to be doesnt matter that i'm a victim.what should i do for her.if i quit,she will hurt.if i dont she will hurt.what should i do to reach...

The existing situation is bad in at least two ways. First, your lover is deceiving her husband and the father of her child who is, as you put it, a reasonable man. He deserves better. If his wife does not love him, he should know this and have a chance to plan the rest of his life in light of this knowledge. Second, your affair is likely to come to light at some point, and this might have much worse consequences for all involved, including the child, than a frank confession.

I see two potential ways out of the problematic situation. First, you can agree to end the affair. You can still write each other, see each other occasionally, perhaps, but you should then try to meet the husband and make quite sure that there is no return to a romantic relationship. If this is unworkable, this first option would call for a complete end of the relationship.

Second, you could agree to marry each other after a divorce. You write that this was not workable earlier "because of the social issues". I don't know what social issues these are (feel free to write in more detail about them), but if you really love each other, then perhaps it's worth working really hard on breaking through them.

My current relationship never had the sparks. I was never excited around him.

My current relationship never had the sparks. I was never excited around him. He was very religious and would not even let me sit close enough to see if I liked him in ‘that way’. I met him when I first came to this city, however, we didn’t really seem like we hit off a friendship and lost touch. But after my first semester at college we accidently ran into each other at a common restaurant. We sort of became friends, although not very close. One of my friends at the time really did some things to let me down, and the person I’m now married to ‘came to the rescue.’ He told me that he could not be my friend without marring me because he was in love with me. I told him I was not ready and I wanted to wait for college to be over, but he brought up that it would be better to live together to pay half the bills and not be alone. I thought that was a good idea, and that I would eventually fall in love because we’d get to know each other and even if there’s not a romantic lust we’d learn to love each...

From the description you give, it does not sound to me like your husband is, or ever was, in love with you. You might at least consider the possibility that his insistence on marriage -- "he could not be my friend without marring me because he was in love with me" -- was driven more by his immigration issues than by any combination of love and religion. Should this be the case, then you have no substantial obligation to stay. You are under no obligation to marry someone to help him get a desired citizenship. Nor do you have strong moral reason to stick to a commitment you once made to him if in making it you relied upon deceptive or misleading statements by him.

Even if he is, in some sparkless way, in love with you, you are not in love with him. You should have a real chance to be an A student again, to fall in love, to have a bright life with sparks. What you are missing seems rather more substantial than the benefit he derives from your sacrifice. Moreover, by deciding against giving even more years of your life to keep him safe from the immigration authorities, you are not doing him a harm but merely cutting short a benefit he has been enjoying during your marriage.

You know him and your situation much better than I could. So take the above as light suggestions for how you might think through the whole question anew. Your own best judgment should be decisive.

I studied Sinology for a year, and met a great deal of Chinese people. Whenever

I studied Sinology for a year, and met a great deal of Chinese people. Whenever the topic came up, most of them - particularly the women - insisted that they would only ever date Chinese men, and were particularly vocal about not dating blacks or Japanese men. On the other hand, I met a Korean woman who had moved to Germany (where I lived at the time), and who said she had come looking for a husband, because she believed "Korean men are no good". Interracial relationships are becoming more and more common, and with them come stereotypes: there is one stereotype that would have us believe that all women love black men, and another that all men love East Asian women. For many people (though not as many as the stereotypes would have us believe), these racial preferences in dating and sexual attraction are real, not just media tropes. There really are women who only date black men, and men who only date East Asian woman (as well as the reverse, and all other possible combinations). The relationship of...

Some of the stereotypes that drive such preferences could, of course, be racist. But it is also true that the factors that attract us to others erotically are not generally matters of simple choice, and the mere presence of a preference "type" does not seem to me to be clear evidence of racism. Some of us prefer tall partners--is this "shortism" because we tend not to prefer short partners?

I think of racism as consisting in beliefs or practices that would deny equal moral, political, or economic rights to members of the targeted race. I don't think anyone has any kind of a right to have me attracted to them as a potential romantic or sex partner, so I can't really see how my preferences in these areas can have the consequences of denying anyone equal rights.

Having said this, I also think that many cultures do lend some support to sexism or to regarding women as second-class citizens. I wouldn't blame a woman from such a culture for having a preference against men of that culture.

Is it wrong for me to accept the very real possibility (in light of social

Is it wrong for me to accept the very real possibility (in light of social trends in the past decades) that my current partner and I might well break up, for reasons yet unforseeable, in the future? It seems a rational judgement - a large number of marriages don't last, and unmarried partnerships even more so - yet I can imagine that I would be upset if my partner accepted this possibility as one of those "facts of life" we have to deal with.

It is certainly wise to take these statistics seriously and to realize that you and your relationship are not immune from those trends. Yet, I don't think the ideal response is to 'accept the possibility' that your relationship will fail, but instead you should ask yourself why relationships fail so frequently in our society and take steps to avoid those pitfalls. If you do all the same things that everyone else does, you should expect the same results. If you take extra steps to protect honesty, intimacy, closeness, commitment, fidelity, etc. in your relationship that other people don't take, you are more likely to succeed.

What justification could I have for entering a committed, long-term romantic

What justification could I have for entering a committed, long-term romantic relationship? It's probable that I would enjoy many aspects of the relationship. But it seems counter intuitive to say that I should enter a loving relationship as a means to promote my self-interest. So self-interest cannot be a justification for entering a loving relationship. The relationship might also benefit my partner. But there are lots of people who could benefit from being a relationship with me. No one would suggest that I find the person who most needs a relationship and pledge myself to them. Most people select long-term partners based on beauty or compatibility, not on neediness. Besides, few people would appreciate being in a relationship with a person who was only in the relationship out of pity. One could say that I should enter a relationship because it benefits me and my partner. But a combination of two bad reasons is rarely a good reason. Finally, one might suggest that my partner deserves a committed...

Some philosophers have indeed wondered about the basis for family and romantic relations --from Plato to Abelard and Heloise to Bertrand Russell. I wonder, however, whether your worries about a foundation for a romantic, committed relationship wouldn't apply to any number of different relationships such as a non-romantic friendship or even non-committed romantic relationships (whom should I seek romance with tonight?), and the like. In any event, I wonder about the extent to which love is really under one's control. Isn't the situation often as follows: you meet someone whom (for whatever reason: beauty, wit, interests, history, philosophy, theology, athletic ability) you find attractive. You come to know and appreciate her as a good person and (idealy) vice versa, and this naturally leads to a desire for union (what is sometimes called unitive love). Isn't it more common for matters of justification to arise when one considers why one should not continue toward commitment? In other words, isn't the more natural case one in which the burden of proof (so to speak) is on someone not wishing to consumate the relationship in terms of commitment than on someone who is considering a commitment? I suspect that it is because of this, that some of your language strikes me as a little (please forgive me) on the cool side. If I fall in love with Skippy (a made up name) I would not talk or think in terms of whether to commit myself to "the the service and assistance" of him/her. The latter sounds like the language of a client-server than the language of love. In any case, I think you admirably identify possible problems that arise in terms of committed relationships. There is, indeed, the problem of:

Only seeking self-interest

Being with someone out of pity

Only basing a relationship on beauty (alas, beauty may be only superficial and may be passing...)

Based on serving the ugly

Out of these, I suspect that there has to be some perceived, mutual beauty in a romantic relationship (otherwise one would be taking 'the attractive' out of 'the romantic') and some mutual gratification (the relationship brings gratification and good to you both that you commit to long term as a goal). It appears that romance and gratification and the goods of long term commitment (fidelity-trust over years, deeper affection over time, perhaps shared sustained goals involving children etc) are sound reasons for being with a specific person, even if those reasons would not identify which person to select. In other words, you may have sufficient reasons for being in a relationship with someone, even if those reasons would be equally good for being with Skippy or Jill or.... This would not logically make one unjustified in selecting Skippy rather than Jill. You would only be unjustified in trying to be with both simultaneously (assuming by committed relationship, we mean monogomy).

Many people criticize the concept of an "open relationship", that is, a

Many people criticize the concept of an "open relationship", that is, a relationship in which both partners are allowed to have sexual relations with people other than the primary partner. There are also other forms of so-called "polyamory", for example a three-way relationship which excludes sexual relations with anybody besides the other two partners. While in some cases such relationships may only benefit one party, may involve coercion or neglect, or sacrificing for one's partner, there are some such relationships in which both or all partners find themselves more fulfilled and happy than they otherwise would. Yet these "good" polyamorous relationships are the subject of the same moral aversion and disdain as the abusive, coercive ones. What kind of moral argument could lie behind the idea that such relationships are wrong - surely not a morality based on happiness. Is some kind of deontological sexual ethic at the root of the criticism of open relationships and polyamory? What does this ethic...

I will leave it to others to supply whatever they may think is a good reason for supposing that there is some kind of rule written in Heaven (about which, more in a moment!) as to why "one size fits all" in terms of fulfilling sexual relationships. As you quite rightly point out, it is one thing not to abjure any kind of relationship that amounts to abuse or coersion, and quite another to lump in with these any sort of relationship that deviates from the social norm of a single partner.

Nor can it even be said that single-partner relationships are a norm that is or has been always realized in human societies, even if it is endorsed in most (but not all) cultures. Were that the case, prostitution would not be, as the saying goes, the world's oldest profession, and polygamy would be unknown.

I rather suspect that the historical basis for the very restrictive ideal to which you refer goes back to a time when women were regarded as men's property, which is why in so many cultures the sexual fidelity of the female has been a topic of acute and intense social and legal mandates, whereas the sexual fidelity of males has been treated as a matter of indifference (or even regarded as a kind of "unmanly" aberration). This "double standard" received strong support from religious institutions, which have generally regarded sex purely instrumentally as the process required for procreation, but the pleasures of which were mostly regarded as morally corrosive.

Some will object that there are strong evolutionary advantages that accrue to societies in which both parents are deeply invested in child-raising. But, of course, these advantages speak not at all to the issue of polyamorous relationships. (Must a "swinger" not be deeply invested in her offspring? Must a society in which polyamourous relationships are widely accepted also be one in which children are too often neglected? I fail to see why! Of course, if the only way in which adequate support of children is expedited in a culture is though strong enforcement of norms of private families, then of course those who feel unfulfilled in such relationships will be forced into decisions that can have the cionsequence of putting the welfare of children at risk.) Moreover, these same considerations apply not at all to relationships not involving fertility (either from controlled fertility, infertility, or in same sex relationships not involving adoption).

Not all people prefer polyamorous relationships, of course. But I can think of no good reason why such relationships among fully consenting adults should be anathematized or demonized in the ways they often are. So I stand with you in hoping someone (else) can explain well why such relationships are regarded so negatively.

Does the wife of an adulterous man have grounds to be angry with "the other

Does the wife of an adulterous man have grounds to be angry with "the other woman?"

Yes, at least assuming that the "other woman" knows, or should know, that the man is married. The wife has grounds, in the sense of appropriate reason, to be angry because anger is an appropriate emotional response to having an important relationship messed up (not to mention other things, such as parenting help, financial help, etc.), and appropriate targets of that anger include persons who knowingly did things to mess up that relationship (hence the wife also has at least as much grounds to be angry at her husband). I am assuming here that it is sometimes appropriate to feel anger, an assumption that might be questioned by some (e.g., Buddhists?). Whether the wife has grounds, in the sense of moral justification, to be angry at the other woman is a more complicated question, since it is not clear what it means to be morally justified to feel an emotion towards someone (and also because the facts of the case might make such justification unclear).

I have been dating a guy for about a year, and the chemical spark has faded for

I have been dating a guy for about a year, and the chemical spark has faded for me. How important is this in a relationship? He is a very nice guy and I realize the value of this in a long term relationship.

I think this is really a personal, even private question that involves many other questions: how important is the "chemical spark" for you? If you no longer have romantic feelings for him, does he know this or, if he does not know, should you tell him so as not to mislead him into thinking the relationship is very different from what it actually is for you --perhaps a non-romantic friendship? If you ceased dating, would the relationship transition into a friendship? Are you at an age and in a place when meeting others whom you can connect with --both sensually and in terms of friendship- is possible?

I know of a number of couples in different age groups who certainly appear to be happily married, though romance or the "chemical spark" seems to be very subordinate to a life-long, profound friendship, and I know some couples who give primacy to eros and little thought seems to be given to a deep friendship between them. Personally, I would prefer only choosing friendship AND eros, but (again this is personal) I think that if one HAD to choose between the two types of relationships, I would go with the one that was built on a profound friendship for, in the end, I think eros without friendship is very hard to sustain, or at least sustain with the same person as time goes by.

Why is guilt so often associated with love and relations? Should we banish guilt

Why is guilt so often associated with love and relations? Should we banish guilt from our relations or is guilt a form of "ethical anxiety" towards an other, and thus desireable?

Guilt, like pride, shame, and embarrassment, is an emotion of self-assessment; all these emotions, too, are social emotions, in that they involve reference to (real or imagined) relations to other people and our place in the social order. Given that guilt involves--one might even go so far as to say that it is at least in part constituted by--relations between the guilty party and some other party or parties, it is natural that it might arise in the context of love, understood as a loving relationship. Insofar as love is indeed a relationship--this, I think is a controversial claim: you might consider other entries on this site on love for other perspectives on love--then it would be natural that guilt, shame, and other social emotions would arise in the context of that relationship. What's distinctive of guilt, however, is a feeling of responsibility for an action that one regrets, an action, moreover, that violates authority or breaks rules--including, in this context, the rules constitutive of a loving relationship. Although it may be natural to feel guilt in the context of a relationship--including the relationships with other people that might be taken to be constitutive of morality--there is, however, a deep question whether guilt is justified. Indeed, Nietzsche sought to banish guilt as a manifestation of 'bad conscience'; in his rich and wonderful book, Shame and Necessity, Bernard Williams gives a genealogy of guilt and its relation to shame. One suggestion that can be derived from Williams's book--a suggestion, moreover, which I take very much to be in the spirit of Nietzsche--is that guilt should perhaps be reconceived in terms of shame: rather than feeling guilty for what one has done, and seeing it as requiring reparation, in order to, as it were, make the social fabric whole again, perhaps the party in question should conceive of the action as reflecting who s/he is, and therefore calling instead for reparation. Regardless, however, of whether such a reconceptualisation can and should be undertaken--considerably more argument is needed in order to settle the matter, of course--it is unlikely, as a matter of natural fact, that social emotions should be extirpated, at least as long as there continue to be social relations.

Can I hate someone I love?

Can I hate someone I love?

I do not think it is possible to both love and hate someone at the same time. Love requires a kind of psychological 'embrace' and 'protectivenes' while hate requires a kind of psychological 'rejection' or 'attack'.

I would reject the possibility of loving one aspect of a person while hating another aspect of that person, since I think we must love whole people and not just select parts of people (otherwise, it is not love but selective liking).

It is certainly possible, though, sometimes to hate a person that one usually loves -- to have a strong and stable disposition to love someone while occasionally slipping into hate instead.

Indeed, since hate is usually a defensive response to a felt threat, and since the loss of love is usually experienced as a very great threat, it is no surprise that we can find ourselves hating (however fleetingly) the very people we have loved.