Which is better, Adultery or Divorce?


Which is better, Adultery or Divorce?

When in a dysfunctional marriage where you both feel a real relationship is out of the question, but you decide to stay together for financial reasons, for the sake of the children or because it’s too painful or burdensome to get divorced, in this situation it’s difficult to know how to proceed. Is adultery then the only way forward? Or should they just go ahead and get divorced? In the long run, which is better, adultery or divorce? Each person and couple in this unfortunate predicament must evaluate carefully how they each feel, using their values, judgment and beliefs in order to decide what is best for them. So then since everyone is different, we can’t ask which is better in a large blanket statement, since everyone must evaluate for themselves. But in general, which of the two alternatives is morally a better choice, adultery or divorce? This is not in terms of a bilateral divorce where both parties decide to get divorced. Nor is it unilateral where one person wants a divorce but the other does not. This is when one person is interested in taking part in a romantic and physical relationship with another outside the marriage.

From an ethical standpoint divorce is a far better choice as it does not involve deception. If you are in a loveless marriage but decide to stay together for financial reasons but are childless talk to your spouse about having an open marriage. At least if there is a way to communicate honestly about things, perhaps there is a chance not of reconciling the relationship but the mutual respect that both people shared. If the couple has children, it’s a much thornier issue. They will find out sooner or later that mommy or daddy has someone else. So how do you counteract this? Divorce would be the better option there. Or perhaps separation if the financial burden is too much. If this is a high conflict relationship get out. High conflict homes are the worst environments to raise children in. It would be much better to have two divorced but happier, well-adjusted homes than one miserable one together. The deception part of adultery, especially if it’s long term or serial adultery is the worst part. It shows a grave disrespect for the other person. Like it or not when we marry we attach ourselves to a legal and social union. It may not be easy when marriage falls apart. If you are in this situation, learn to talk to one another and solve things so you can find mutual happiness in some way. See what can be worked out. Give respect and expect it in return. Sooner or later all the tumblers will fall into place. To learn more about adultery in marriage read, Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults are Affected When Their Parents are Unfaithful by Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

The Aftereffects of Cheating on a Marriage


The Aftereffects of Cheating on a Marriage

Once you find out about cheating, it can cut you so deep that it feels as though the pain will never go away. If you are the cheater you start to realize how getting sucked up in the moment can have tremendous consequences on your life. But what are the real aftereffects of cheating on a marriage? If you are staying together, it means trying to pick up the pieces and reestablish trust, no easy feat there. You may feel like you are in jail or constantly on trial in your own house. If you are the victim of cheating you’ll feel like you’re living with a criminal, someone who reminds you constantly of the betrayal, someone you are always suspicious of no matter what they are doing. It’s hard to reestablish trust and it takes lots of time.

If you aren’t staying together, realize that unless the assets were used to conduct an affair, no fault divorce laws in every state means that cheating has no legal bearing on the separation of assets. In Florida the law is such that if a husband was meeting a lover, let’s say at a hotel room using his and his wife’s shared account, if she can prove it she can recoup that money. Adultery may come into play in a custody battle if the lawyer can prove that it shows evidence of that person being a bad parent.

The psychological aftereffects of cheating after divorce are low self-esteem, anxiety, anger and the need for revenge, depression and for some a disconnect from reality. Sometimes you realize the affair all of a sudden and it ends the marriage. Sometimes it’s one person’s dirty little secret that the other knows about, but tolerates for a time. But sooner or later enough is enough. Either way when you find out you’ve been cheated on the pain can be overwhelming. And when it leads to a divorce it is compounded, especially if it is a long, drawn out and painful divorce with fighting over the assets or custody of the children.

Lots of people need to rest after that, reconnect with themselves, their friends, and their family. They have to get used to being divorced and being single again. There are lots of adjustments to be made. Where will you live? Do you have to go back to work? There’s the need for validation which usually comes from dating again or a rebound relationship. Am I attractive? Will others find me sexy? Sooner or later everyone gets over infidelity even if it leads to divorce. It’s a painful journey but light is at the end of that tunnel. Usually things fall into place in the long run. For more help with recovering from an affair, read the book, Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing by Dennis C. Ortman, Ph.D.

Is it Time to Rethink Marriage and Infidelity?


We always think of marriage as monogamy that always was and always shall be. But throughout history, this wasn’t the case. Originally, marriage wasn’t about love but social status, wealth and power. It was about political alliances and keeping wealth within families. Plural wives and even plural husbands were not unheard of. Our modern outlook on marriage is only two hundred years old. Marriage was also an institution in which to have lots of children in order to have workhands for the family farm. But that’s no longer the case either. Today we marry for love and we don’t need to marry for economic reasons. Still, with the high divorce rate and high infidelity rate some believe it’s time to rethink marriage and retool it so that it can survive and thrive in the twenty first century. 41% of spouses admit to emotional or physical infidelity according to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, as reported by the Associated Press. The solution that seems to have arrived, rather than spending the rest of your life with someone, is instead getting divorced and serially remarried. But is this really the best method to enjoy love and marriage? The divorce rate is between 40% and 50%. Isn’t there a better way than this?

Until recent history with advances in diet and medical science, life expectancy was a fraction of what it is today. When two young people met and fell in love in their twenties it was reasonable to think that one of them would be dead in a decade or perhaps fifteen years, or even earlier. Today the same couple can be together for six decades or more. We are certainly not condoning adultery, but merely talking about contemplating the institution of marriage in a new way and perhaps organizing love in a new pattern which fits better the current realities of human life as opposed to those of our ancestors hundreds of years ago. One of the reasons adultery is so taboo is that it is the breaking of a promise you made on your wedding day in front of everyone. Trust has been severed which is quite painful for both parties, but especially the aggrieved. Some have argued that perhaps talking to your spouse and setting up rules together on what is and isn’t allowed in both platonic and romantic relationships may be a way to subvert all of the barbs of adultery and yet be able to explore the world that keeps the marriage healthy and intact. For more interesting views on marriage, check out What Is Marriage For?: The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution by E.J. Graff.

Use Caution When Claiming Adultery

Claiming Adultery Divorce

Adultery is generally recognized as a valid basis for divorce. Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s spouse. (Black’s Law Dictionary).

Adultery that is obvious can be easily proven in court. An example is where a married person resides openly with the non-spouse as if they were married before the divorce. Another example is when the married person either impregnates or is impregnated by a non-spouse during marriage. An adulterous spouse will usually conceal the adultery before divorce. In those cases, a spouse claiming adultery should have strong circumstantial evidence of the adulterous affair. Videotape showing the adulterous spouse and the non-spouse entering a dwelling or a hotel/motel on a specified date, and remaining inside for a significant period of time should be sufficient basis for the allegation. Copies of receipts for the hotel/motel coupled with the videotape will make a stronger case.

Caution should be exercised before claiming adultery in divorce. Court records of divorce proceedings are usually matters of public records. A married person falsely or recklessly accused of adultery by his/her spouse may claim defamation of character against the other spouse making the accusation. The non-spouse alleged to be involved in an adulterous affair may also have a defamation claim against the person making the accusation. A false oral or written claim of adultery made to a third party that damages the reputations of those allegedly involved in the adulterous affair is defamatory. A false claim of adultery will also have a negative impact in the divorce case on the spouse making such claim.

Don’t Pull The Allegation Trigger Before You Have A Clear View Of Your Target

clear target

In the very early stages of a divorce, there may be various allegations thrown around by each party concerning the other’s conduct during the marriage.  This doesn’t mean that the allegations are completely false, however, they may be exaggerated and/or laden with misrepresentations.  This is precisely why experienced and successful attorneys won’t act prematurely on allegations made by their clients.  They know from experience that recently divorced clients are filled with negative emotions that impact everything they say.  Sometimes when an allegation is true, the punishment a client seeks to have imposed on the ex-spouse is far worse in the beginning of the divorce than later on, after the parties have had more time apart to cool down and think things through.

One party could accuse the other of adultery and have proof of this, but by revealing this allegation to the court, they could disrupt the relationship the party has with the children or even cause work-related problems.  When time is taken to consider the potential consequences of accusing the opposing of a punishable act, the party could come to realize that the punishment could hurt him or her as an individual or any children involved as well.  For instance, a person’s reputation could be negatively impacted, resulting in the loss of a job and the potential loss of income used to support the family.

Although it’s important for people to receive justice, when it comes to family law, it’s even more important to do what is best or fair for everyone involved.  A good divorce lawyer will attempt to alleviate tension by trying to compromise and come to resolutions, and will not purposefully stir things up or prematurely pull an allegation trigger.  Be sure to review all the possibilities and potential consequences of different legal actions with your attorney before acting on them.  Making decisions based on pure emotion and impulsivity is bound to create chaos and a prolonged divorce case.  Move forward with patience and caution.