The Aftereffects of Cheating on a Marriage

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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.

5 Steps to Divorcing your Husband

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Getting a divorce is a huge decision. But most people know deep in their heart when the time is right, when you have irreconcilable differences, when there has been too many grievances to repair trust or when you just can’t be happy together or get along anymore. Most people are solid on the emotional issues and how to move forward in that sense. But when it comes to the legal sense they are often clueless. Many don’t look into the process at all. They are vulnerable to shady operators. What you are looking for in the legal sense is a Petition for Dissolution.  Once a judgment is entered then the divorce is final, but not before. Without that document you aren’t legally divorced. Some not-so-honest lawyers let cases go on and on for years without getting a judgment handed down. So it’s best to know, be informed about the process so that it can move forward as smoothly as possible without wasting time, money and adding more emotional distress than there needs to be. Here are 5 steps to divorcing your husband. The first step, file a petition of dissolution. In the 1970’s no-fault divorce laws came to fruition in many states across the country. Find out what the particular situation is in your state. In no-fault states, either party can file a petition of dissolution for any reason. In states where one spouse has to be at fault, reasons such as infidelity, domestic abuse and others may need to be stated. Most states however are no-fault states. But you definitely need to check. A quick Google search should tell you.

There is generally a charge to file this petition. The document will be served to your soon-to-be ex-spouse to notify them of your wish to be divorced from them. It’s a good idea to let your husband know that you’ve filed for a divorce previous to receiving the papers, or else it could be a big shock, make them fly into a rage,  or result in some other negative emotional response. After the one person is served with papers, they have 30 days in order to compose and send in a response. If they fail to file, the petitioner or the person who filed for divorce can ask for a default of judgment. The filer should then receive all of the things they asked for in the original petition. There may be exceptions. Make sure you select a divorce lawyer carefully and discuss this with him or her should your husband fail to respond. Now an automatic temporary restraining order (ATRO) will be put into place to prevent one spouse or the other from absconding with the children, selling or cleaning out the couple’s assets and so on as an act of revenge. You are not allowed to take your children out of state at this time. You can’t benefit from any insurance claims at this time. No concealing or transferring property or other assets. Now you’ve completed the first step and are in divorce proceedings. It won’t end until you get a judgment from the court.

It usually takes around six months or so to get a judgment. That said, custody and the splitting of assets are the two main items to be negotiated and settled upon. Will there be spousal support? Who gets the house and how are the assets to be allocated? Now it’s time for our second step, to get a court date in order to work these issues out, called an “Order to Show Cause” or an OSC. This process is called “pendent lite,” which is Latin meaning, “while the case is pending”. Whatever arrangements met at this time are not permanent, though the longer they stay in place the more likely they will become permanent. You can negotiate with your ex-spouse at any time and reach an agreement during this phase. Both parties should file OSC in order to gain some peace and some space. Now if there has been any physical or emotional abuse you should take part in our third step, filing a domestic abuse restraining order.

Now the fourth step is called the disclosure of finances. Many times in a marriage one party knows much more about the finances than the other. Furthermore, many states assume that even if one spouse has stayed home and hasn’t worked, their contribution through domestic duties and perhaps caring for the children mean that they are entitled to their fair share of the assets. Even if they were total couch potatoes, how the law states it is clear. However, be sure to check on the particulars with your attorney as laws can vary from state to state. Hiding assets will not be looked on favorably by the judge. In fact, he or she may award even more than their fair share in recompense for the deceit. It’s best to disclose everything. Now, once the disclosures are done the settlement negotiation begins. That’s our fifth step. How much will support be? How will property and other assets be allocated? Who gets custody of the children? How will holidays be divvied up? If no settlement can be reached a court date will be required and set. Now you can ask for a stipulated judgment or a marital settlement agreement (MSA). The difference between the two is that one is a judgment handed down by the court; the MSA is an actual contract. If it is breached then you can sue for breach of contract. Finally, you will then receive a Notice of Entry of Judgment which gives you a legal date for when your divorce took place. Once that document is filed you are officially, legally divorced. For more on this, pick up a copy of Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life: A Reasoned, Practical Guide to the Legal, Emotional and Financial Ins and Outs of Negotiating a Divorce Settlement by Sam Margulies.

Why Wives File for Divorce More often than Husbands

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Some have been curious as to why wives file for divorce more often than husbands today. Part of it has to do with changes we’ve seen in society. Traditionally women depended on men financially. Getting divorced then could mean a woman’s financial ruin, or a steep decline in her standard of living. Today with so many highly educated career women, wives don’t have to depend on their husband’s support. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “More working women than men have college degrees.” Another reason, there used to be a social stigma against divorce in the U.S. There was thought to be something wrong with someone who was divorced. But today, with the divorce rate so high and people at various ages finding themselves single again, the stigma against being divorced has plummeted. It was the creation of “no fault” divorce laws in the 1970’s that saw a dramatic increase in divorce. Previous to these laws a serious reason had to accompany a divorce such as abuse, infidelity or even abandonment. Today the divorce rate for baby boomers is around 50%, while for those groups that came after it’s approximately 40%.  Lots of women however still take divorce to heart. They feel like it is a symbol of failure. But the majority of the people in the U.S. are single today. So these attitudes are also changing.

Women’s empowerment and equality since the feminist movement, particularly that of the 1970’s, has seen more powerful women in positions of leadership both in the government, the military and private industry. Women used to feel less powerful and so at the mercy of their husbands. Today lots of powerful women in Hollywood, the corporate sphere and even in the government have endured divorce and are still viable, vibrant members contributing heavily to our society. Gender roles too have changed dramatically. Women no longer feel subservient to their husbands. They feel instead as if they should be their equals. If they aren’t treated as equals or aren’t getting what they need out of the relationship, women feel more empowered to leave the relationship than they have in the past. Still, even in today’s world women still generally do more of the housework. Men may stay longer in dysfunctional marriages only because the lifestyle is far easier than living alone, while a woman doesn’t necessarily have this consideration unless her husband is the one who stays at home. Finally, some men are reluctant to leave a marriage due to their children. They don’t want to upset the children. These men also know that usually the mother gets custody of the kids while the father gets visitation rights. Some men have a close relationship with their children and can’t cope with seeing them less often. This is one of the reasons why shared custody today is far more common than in the past. For more on this topic, read A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce by famous actor Alec Baldwin.

Don’t Marry for Love

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Americans are married to the concept of getting hitched for love. The idea of marrying for any other reason is suspect at the very least. Most would find the idea shallow, manipulative, and wrong. Originally marriage wasn’t for love but for the consolidation of power, for safety, financial well-being and more. In the olden days most people married out of necessity. They needed to create a stable home. It was a practical decision rather than an emotional one. Children were a family made labor force to work the farm. Today, the opposite is true. Those who aren’t financially well off often delay marriage as it brings with it undue costs of a wedding, honeymoon and so on. It was only in the Victorian Era and the onset of the Industrial Revolution that people began marrying for love. The 1970’s brought more of an emphasis on happiness as the ultimate goal in life. No-fault divorce laws in that same decade saw divorce skyrocket. Some experts believe that this emphasis on happiness put too much strain on the institution of marriage, causing far more divorces than ever before.

But love today is not enough for a marriage to work. A spouse has to be financially responsible. Carrying someone else’s debt will put a serious damper on your future together, should you want to buy a house, a new car, get a business loan and keep your expenses low. There should be mutual respect, trust, support and a deep sense of responsibility to one another. The person should be a good parent, should you two decide that you want children. Looking for “the one” may indeed be a fallacy born out of a recent time in history. So many people think they find their soul mate, only to realize years later that they are growing apart. Some people call it settling. Love certainly is important, but it isn’t the only factor. If you are in love with someone who has serious issues like addiction, commitment issues, or serious personality problems no matter how much you love them, these issues will tear the two of you apart. Even if you are attempting to marry for love, you need to know that your future spouse has the all the other traits to make the marriage successful. You also need to have common mores, common interests, shared values and a similar view of your future together. If love is the only bond it is tenuous and if it fades, the marriage is lost. Think of a successful marriage as the culmination of a variety of common traits, not just one. For more guidance on whether or not you should get married, read the advice of H. Norman Wright and Wes Roberts in their book, Before You Say “I Do”: A Marriage Preparation Manual for Couples.

Men Often Seek Divorce Only When They Have Found Someone New

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Various surveys have been conducted among divorced men that have revealed the primary motives behind the male population seeking divorce.  Although many may voice a different reason as to why they wanted out of their marriages, a large majority of men had someone else in mind upon asking for divorce.  So even if the men didn’t say that their new love interest was to blame for wanting a divorce, many of the men surveyed had another partner either in mind or already involved on the side.

Men are said to be less likely than women to seek divorce when things are going poorly in the marriage, and usually will put up with it unless they find someone they feel is “better” in some way. For instance, a man leaving his wife because he found someone younger he was interested in.  As superficial a reason as this is, with no-fault divorce, anyone can get a divorce for any reason.

Women, on the other hand, often seek divorce without having another love interest in mind or on the side.  Women will seek divorce based predominantly on their own emotions regarding their husbands and the marriage.  For instance, many women report that they sought divorce because they were unhappy with how they were treated in their marriages or that they were “bored” or no longer “in love”.

The reasons for both men and women reflect a desire for change, and unwillingness to change the already existent marriage.  Perhaps they had tried before and it didn’t work or maybe they felt it wasn’t’ worth trying.  Often, though, experiencing the difficulties of a divorce has men and women alike questioning the decision.