Posted by: Deb | 2005/06/21

Moral dilemma

A woman I work with seems to have endless problems with her children. I suspect her eldest son is an alcoholic, he's beaten his mother on 2 occasions, beaten his ex wife so badly, and fled back to SA, leaving behind his son whom he hasn't seen in 8 years now (and doesn't pay any maintenance). He then hooked up with another woman (whom I know quite well and I like her), she had his baby and then they got married 6 months ago. She's now expecting their 2nd child. This woman that I work with, has opened her heart to me and told me that she took the blame on her son's behalf for an amount of R4k that went missing out of his account. Her son's wife keeps phoning her asking for their money, but little does she know that the R4k was spent on prostitutes and his using his mother as a scapegoat. He doesn't seem to have any shame about telling his mom these things, even went as far as to say he pays the prostitutes extra in order to have sex without protection.

This guy has a good job, comes across neat and well-mannered, very handsome, in his early thirties, lives in the right area, drives the right car, pretends to be intellectually superior etc. etc.

I am not at all the interfering type, but I feel obliged to tell his wife what he's up to, not because I want to cause problems, but purely because she could lose her life (HIV/AIDS). I've told my colleague that it's her responsibility and duty to tell his wife or at least warn her son that she will tell his wife if he doesn't stop. She feels it's his life and somehow I get the feeling she's not too bothered by this disgusting situation. My question is: Should I phone his wife, or maybe even send her an anonymous letter?

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Our expert says:
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Wasn't this "other woman" remarkably foolish to marry a man with a record like his ? If thi vicious psychopath is deliberately having unprotected sex with prostitutes, I would worry about his HIV status, and his wife ought to get herself HIv tested, and insist on him using condom forever more. The wife needs to know about this, even if from an anonymous tip. he is not justified or entitled to risk her life because of his selfishness. His mother is also being flatly stupid and grossly, obscenely irresponsible --- it is NOT "his life" but that of his wife and children that is being risked. He seesm to have inherited his iresponsibility from her.
If she is or does become HIV +, this is the sort of case in which I believe that men like him ought to face criminal chanrges of attempted murder or reckless endangerment of life.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Orie | 2005/06/21

I think since you know this woman and like her , you have a moral duty to protect her . You have a duty to divulge any information that could have an impact on her. Same as if he was an excellent guy, the best a woman can get , you would have told her so that she'd realise that she has something valuable & precious to treasure and be proud of . If he is something else , why not tell her . But as you say any negative news have got a potential to do some damage. You'll only be telling her but not telling her what action to take . Action will depend solely on her , she will have to do what she wants to do with the info you give her. Send her an anonymous letter ,e mail - dont telephone her in case she recognises your voice .

Reply to Orie
Posted by: Keli | 2005/06/21

In that case then if it means saving the poor woman, you can then interfere!

Reply to Keli
Posted by: Deb | 2005/06/21

Keli, that is exactly what I've done. As I said, the mother doesn't seem too perturbed by his irresponsible behaviour, and he attitude is it's not for her to interfere or tell her daughter-in-law. Do you still believe I should then just leave it at that? Believe me, it's not to cause problems in their marriage (they have enough already), my intention is purely to protect this pregnant mother of contracting an STD or worse even, Aids.

Reply to Deb
Posted by: Joanne E | 2005/06/21

if it means saving her life, either from an STD or being beaten to death one day go for it and interfere.

Reply to Joanne E
Posted by: Keli | 2005/06/21

I personally think you shouldnt interfere to that extent, rather sit down with his mother and tell her to take a stand against is selfish, spoilt child. I mean what kind of a mother would willingly be a scapegoat for his sons irresponsible behavior. Is she teaching him anything. Surely a loving caring mother would not even entertain hearing stories of him sleeping with prostitues without protection. This woman is condoning and encouraging this behaviour. I wouldnt for a second put up with this, and I would straight away tell my daughter in law. So what is the point of you telling the wife if the mother gladly covers for his irresponsible son, and comes pouring her heart to you. I think you should just tell her to first take a stand against her son lay the ground rules, no matter how old he is, she is a mother, and he is her child.

Reply to Keli
Posted by: Deubel | 2005/06/21

Do it, maybe you can save at least one life. There is nothing immoral in revealing his promiscuous activities.

Reply to Deubel

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