If adultery causes a certain amount of total harm versus benefit, and this makes it wrong or not, it wouldn't matter whether we take the perspective of the married or single person.
So from a consequentialist point of view, the ethical decision facing the single adluterer is no different from his or her married partner—wrong is wrong, period.
In the previous two posts about the ethics of adultery, we focused on cheating from the perspective of a married person.
But several commenters to those posts asked: what about the other person, particularly if he or she is single (and, of course, the other person in the affair is married)?
It also covers self-regarding actions—you should do right by other people, of course, but also make sure to do right by yourself.
So if you're a single person considering such a relationship, ask yourself: "Does having an affair with a married person deny me the respect and concern I owe myself?
" If you have any doubts about this, maybe you should cool it down a bit and think about it, because no one can lessen your self-respect except And I hadn't thought of it, before.
In particular, many of the moral problems for the married adulterer are based on the commitment itself—the promise of fidelity that married persons make to each other, and the duties to his or her spouse that the married person assumed.
But, of course, the "other woman" or "other man" made no such commitment or promise, so this ethical aspect of the problem would not apply in the same way (if at all) to the person outside of the marriage (or committed relationship).