Saturday, January 3, 2015

Infidelity ... the act itself is bad enough ... don't let the damage continue

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles 
We have had a few cases walk into the office recently where there has been an unfaithful spouse. Everyone handles it differently. Many times infidelity adds a whole new dimension to a divorce. The worse cases, from my perspective, are when the non-offending spouse allows the affair to continuously victimize him or her.

When that happens, the offended spouse either wants to be vindicated and hold the offending spouse up for ridicule in a public forum like court or wants retribution. This can create a stressful and expensive divorce.

Pennsylvania is a no fault divorce state. Infidelity does not generally play a big role in divorce (it can be a defense to spousal support and a factor in alimony). So if a couple has decided they cannot get beyond the unfaithful act, I try to get my clients to put the infidelity behind them and work on their future. Of course that is easy for me to say.

I found this article and it offers advice similar to what I have offered to clients myself:

10 Productive Ways To Move On After Infidelity (

I strongly agree with at least two points in the article:

1. Accept that the marriage is over. Stop emotionally investing in the past. The more you hold onto the past, the more you will recreate it in your present moment and in the future. Go through the logistics of separating your lives. Take off your wedding ring. Ask yourself honestly: Are you stalling the divorce process? Why? Do you feel scared to let go?"


"7. Forgive. Realize that forgiveness is really more for your benefit than for the other person's. As the famous saying goes: 'Holding onto anger is like drinking the poison and expecting the other to die.'"

It is hard for clients to make rational decisions in an effort to settle a divorce case when they are hoping it won't happen or when they are angry and want payback. If you know someone going through a divorce, let them know about this article. It could start some healthy dialogue and get them moving forward.  

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