Which is better, Adultery or Divorce?

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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.

Should you Forgive Infidelity or Get a Divorce?

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Should you Forgive Infidelity or Get a Divorce?

Your mouth runs dry and your heart skips a beat when you find out. Maybe you had a hunch. You searched all over and finally your suspicions were confirmed. Or you could have heard it from a friend. Some just stumble into the wrong thing and the secret is out. Then there are those who are confronted by their spouse and told straight out about the affair, often to relieve guilt and ask for forgiveness. It’s difficult to evaluate whether or not you should forgive infidelity or get a divorce. It’s a question that changes depending upon every couple, and their situation. Most couples don’t survive an infidelity. One study found that 20% of married couples were stronger afterward. It was a wakeup call that shook one or both parties out of their sleep and showed them what needed to be changed in order to reconnect with their relationship. Some people will say “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” Others believe it’s not that clear cut.

The first thing to do is allow yourself to feel your emotions. Grieve for the pain, the sense of a loss of innocence, the deceit and the treachery. One poll showed that men are more bothered by physical infidelity, while women are more disturbed by emotional infidelity. Sometimes you will feel confused and lonely. Your bond of trust has been severed. If the relationship is to survive it must be re-established. There will be a lot of work to do. But no relationship lasts long without resting on a firm foundation of trust.

Don’t make any decisions early on. But do understand that you must make one. You should see if your partner feels bad for what they’ve done. Do they empathize with your situation? If they do then see if you can empathize with them and the reason that they strayed. There are lots of reasons. A fear of commitment or a need for validation are some reasons. Others are not feeling sexy, attractive or desirable anymore to one’s mate. Sometimes couples lose their connection. They drift apart. At other times it’s revenge for some terrible transgression, or even as revenge for a spouse’s cheating. If you decide that there is enough to salvage, consider marriage counseling. Learning how to communicate is so important. Sometimes people just get so wrapped up in their jobs and other priorities that they forget what’s really important in their life. Some couples don’t even talk about sex, or what they want in the bedroom. Those who are saved by infidelity usually say that it helped them wake up to the crisis that has occurred in their relationship. Some don’t want to forgive their spouse for cheating. But they want to come to understand what forces led them down that path. They don’t have to forgive but must come to accept the paradigm that caused this phenomenon to occur.

Whether or not you stay with your spouse after an affair is a very personal decision. No one can make it for you. But if you make the wrong one you will have to live with the consequences. Don’t rush it. Take your time. Do some soul searching. Once the pain clears, find out what you really have in this relationship. If this is a wakeup call that the relationship is unfulfilling, than perhaps it’s best to get a divorce. But if there were extenuating circumstances that have to be worked out, if you truly love each other and trust in one another but for this one tangent, and if your problems can be worked out and you do see a far more successful marriage down the road, than perhaps it’s best to try and work things out. Don’t stay together for the children’s sake. You’ll only make yourself and, in consequence, them dreadfully unhappy. Plus, what kind of love lives will they lead, modeled after yours? Financial reasons have a lot of people staying separated long-term today. It’s important to know the financial and legal outcome of that decision. Take your time. Reach deep down inside yourself and your answer, and the way forward, will come. If you know that you want to stay together be sure to pick up a copy of the book, Intimacy After Infidelity: How to Rebuild and Affair-Proof Your Marriage by Steven Solomon, Ph.D. and Lorie Teagno, Ph.D.

Handling Divorce as a Lady at 40 Plus

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Handling Divorce as a Lady at 40 Plus

Divorce for women forty and over is different than for women under forty according to Erica Manfred, author of the book, History; You’re Not: Surviving Divorce After Forty.  The sheer difference between handling divorce as a lady at 40 plus is that you have less opportunities than at earlier times. Some women have to re-enter the workforce. But if she’s been home caring for the house and children, or had a gap in employment, she may be in for a rude awakening when hitting today’s job market. If she hasn’t had a family yet and wanted one her chances are diminished.

The difference today from years ago is that there are plenty of single, available men who are also divorced. But the herd is a bit thinner than what women encounter at a younger age. If you need to reestablish your career consider attending college, community college, nursing school or some form of higher education. Civil service examinations are good avenues for employment. Networking with friends, family, acquaintances and others are good ideas as well, both for employment, and career advice.

Many people stay married for the sake of the children. They wait until the kids have grown up so as not to injure their psyches. But according to Ms. Manfred, “The kids are never grown.” What she means by that is that children are distraught by the divorce of their parents no matter what age they’re at. The kids begin to question their childhood, whether they grew up in a happy household for instance, or if it was all a lie. Now holidays are also separated into two. This will be quite awkward. Problems soon creep up in their own relationship. And they worry about who is going to take care of one or both parents once they get older and can’t take care of themselves. If you need to break the news, no matter what age, both of you should tell the children together according to Manfred. Deliver the news with empathy and understanding. Make sure the timing is right.

Surprisingly, 66% of over 50 divorces are initiated by women. This is because often the man has had bad habits, which she could ignore when he was out and about. But now that he’s home all the time it becomes a problem. There’s infidelity with younger women. And there are those men who recede into themselves and just sit on the couch and watch TV, while she still wants to live an active lifestyle and social life, go out, do things, meet people, and so gets tired of having no connection with him. It may not seem easy but for many divorce makes them much happier.

Divorced Wife Wants Donated Kidney Back

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Divorced Wife Wants Donated Kidney Back

Samantha Lamb of the U.K. made the ultimate sacrifice for her husband. She went under the knife and donated a kidney to him. He thanked her by asking for a divorce.  Now the 41 year old mother with one child wishes she could get her kidney back and give it to someone who in her eyes is more deserving. Ms. Lamb speaking to a British newspaper stated, “I can’t believe he now has a second chance to live to see his grandchildren grow up. I would definitely go through the operation again – but I wouldn’t give the kidney to him. I hate him. If I could I’d take it back and give it someone else. Obviously I don’t want people to be put off putting their names on the organ donor list. But all I want from him is his name on the divorce papers.” The couple met working together driving ambulances for an ambulance company. Andy, her ex was funny, quick witted and never stopped delivering punchy one-liners. They originally got together in 2004. Then they broke up, but soon after reunited. They were married in 2007.

Of this period Ms. Lamb explains, “We had a nice life, although there were signs that Andy wasn’t what I had hoped for. He was controlling, like not letting me wear perfume every day. But we had a three-bedroom house in a lovely street and I thought we were happy. Then Andy became sick. His kidneys were failing. But he didn’t face up to it. He just got angry. He thought the world was against him and everyone else was to blame. I loved him and wanted him to get better but his moods were awful and he’d take it out on me.” They discussed it. Over time Ms. Lamb convinced Andy to have one of her kidneys. He had children from a previous marriage and wanted to be around for them. The couple even took part in a BBC documentary about organ donation.

It was after the surgery that Andy started acting differently. He was very ill before. But afterward he was flush, strong and healthy. He even shaved for the cameras. Meanwhile, Ms. Lamb was exhausted. Soon he was as testy as ever. He would pick fights with her then disappear for hours. Soon the truth was revealed. “I confronted him about having an affair with my friend Clare. My mum and sister saw him with his arm around her, “said Lamb. “He denied it and stormed out.” Ms. Lamb confronted Clare who admitted the affair. Though she won’t be seeing her organ returned, she got some revenge, “I did what any woman would do. I cut up his clothes, put them in black bin bags and left them outside the house.” To learn more about infidelity and revenge, read the book, Cheated ON and Pissed OFF! 20 Real Stories of Revenge by Simone Summers.

Divorce Rate among Older Americans Increased Significantly

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Divorce Rate among Older Americans Increased Significantly

A new report by sociologists at Bowling Green State University, found that since 1990, the divorce rate among Americans 50 years old and up has doubled. For those over 65, it has more than doubled. While other age brackets have seen a leveling off or even a decline in divorce rates, 25% of those getting divorced today are 50 and up. 10% are 65 and over. Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Li are the authors of the report. What these researchers found is that this trend stands in contrast from the majority of divorces that take place. 50% of divorces by younger people are among those who have not acquired a college education. But for older people, education level is not a factor. In younger generations, primary marriages last the longest. Second marriages are generally not as stable. But in older Americans, primary marriages have a 50% chance of ending. 55% of divorces take place between those who have spent two decades or more together. Brown said, “We found that flabbergasting.” Many of these older marriages do not come to divorce over constant arguing. They quite simply have grown apart. What researchers have failed to pin down in the document is why the older generation is filing for divorce in such record numbers. Still, no matter what demographic, the majority of those asking for a divorce are women.

Brown said, “It’s not as if marital quality has suddenly declined. Instead, I think we have higher expectations now for what constitutes a successful marriage. We expect spouses to be best friends and marriage a source of happiness and fulfillment.” She added, “As women achieve more financial independence and autonomy, frankly, they can afford to get divorced. And after you’ve launched your children and retire, people may realize, ‘Boy, we don’t have much in common, and I could live another 20 years.’ That’s a long time to live with someone you may not be that into anymore.” Since the social stigma has worn off in most places, people are not likely to stick together for tradition’s sake. As a consequence, there has been tremendous growth in the number of older Americans cohabitating. A multitude of new dating websites targeted toward older Americans has cropped us as a consequence.  For those in a good financial situation and strapping health, a divorce could mean a new lease on life. It will allow more independence, freedom, and opportunities. For those who lack resources, a divorce increases their chances of becoming impoverished. Older married couples have 80% more wealth on average than the older divorced. The financial well-being of the widowed 50 and over is double what these sociologists have dubbed the “gray divorced.”

“Now that they no longer have a spouse, divorced older people have less social support. Relationships with their older children could be compromised as a result of the divorce,” Brown said. “As they age and experience health declines, who’s going to take care of them? Especially if they’re not able to afford the level of care that others with more economic resources have?” This is not only an American phenomenon. According to a senior researcher at the Paris School of Economics, Elena Stancanelli, the same thing is happening in France. Brown wonders if the trend occurring now with the baby boomer generation will hold true when their children, Generation X and Millennials, get older. “As marriage becomes more selective, and more tied to education than in the past, that could help stabilize marriages,” Brown said. She believes these latter generations might save a little time for their partner rather than throwing all they have into career and child rearing, and so be more connected when they get older, rather than not recognizing the person they married, when the couple becomes empty nesters. If you find yourself divorcing and in the upper tiers of life it may be useful to pick up a copy of, Divorce After 50: Your Guide to the Unique Legal & Financial Challenges by Janice Green.