Could Cheating Ruin Your Career?

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By now you’ve heard a lot about General David Petraeus’ cheating scandal with biographer Paula Broadwell. The affair cost the four-star general and top commander in Iraq and Afghanistan dearly. For starters, it lead 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 his institutional leadership was compromised by his own actions,” says Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the National Security Network, in a US News and 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 are 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 negatively impact your livelihood.

What do you think?

More from The Nest:

Are Men Hardwired to Cheat?

Can Cheating Save Your Marriage?

Caught Cheating in the Digital Age