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Should cheating ruin your career?

It can potentially ruin your marriage, but what about your professional life?

By The Married Chick Nov 14, 2012 3:09PM
Photo: ShutterstockBy now, you’ve heard a lot about General David Petraeus’s cheating scandal with biographer Paula Broadwell. The affair cost the four-star general and top commander in Iraq and Afghanistan dearly. For starters, it led to his resignation as CIA Director. And now, the media is speculating about the state of his 38-year marriage to Holly Petraeus.

Experts largely agree that the general did the right thing by resigning. Petraeus "understood that his institutional leadership was fatally compromised, by his own actions,” says Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the National Security Network, in a US News & World Report column. “You can’t both lead the CIA and recover from a public betrayal of your family,” adds Mieke Eoyang, director of Third Way’s National Security Program.

But what about the rest of us? If you’re, say, a journalist or a doctor or a teacher, could cheating on your spouse sink your career? (And I’m excluding affairs with minors here, just to be clear.) In my opinion, what you do in your personal life shouldn’t be cause for dismissal from your job, so long as national security isn’t at stake and you're meeting your employer’s expectations. That doesn’t mean I think it’s right to cheat on your spouse -- it’s definitely not -- but I don’t think that an affair should have a negative impact on your livelihood.

What do you think?

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Photo: Shutterstock

Nov 14, 2012 6:11PM
No one knows what happens inside peoples homes and while I think extramarital affairs are wrong, we don't know why people cheat. As long as it is not illegal (child molestation etc.), not compromising someone or something (bosses cheating with subordinates as a power play), not affecting national security - then cheating is between the people involved not employers, sponsors, etc. I know some people in this scandal have cheated themselves, and did it effect their work?
Nov 14, 2012 5:00PM

I think how you conduct yourself sais alot about who you are.  If you are a cheater who is to say you wont lie and cheat at work.  I believe it should be up to the employer and how it affected the work place.  Trust is a major issue in any arena.

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