The Long Lasting Legal and Psychological Effects of Infidelity

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By Howard Iken , Guest Author - March 04, 2014

Fotolia_61170179_XS.jpgInfidelity can have some big impacts on a marriage other than the obvious and sometimes more damaging than the loss of trust. The long lasting psychological effects for either partner along with the legal ramifications that can occur during the divorce proceedings should make more spouses reluctant to have an affair, but as with many mistakes we make in life infidelity is the result of living too much in the moment at the expense of future consequences.

Legal Ramifications

All states are now no-fault states with New York’s recent abandonment of the outdated system of fault grounds for divorce. It used to be that a person seeking a divorce would have to prove that pretty extreme events had taken place like cruelty, imprisonment and adultery to name a few. This type of law has been interpreted by some to be a force to make divorces harder to get as they were seen as a morally wrong thing to do and should be avoided unless completely necessary.

A no-fault ground for divorce worries some clients when it comes to alimony and property division topics. It can be beyond frustrating for many that a no-fault system means that adultery doesn’t have to be considered when it comes to the division of marital assets unless funds were used toward the affair. A lot of times it can depend on the judge that rules over the case.

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that many factors go into the decision of property division. If a husband can show that his wife spent money on hotels or gifts for their secret lover, the husband can get this money back.

Psychological damage

Finding out that your partner has been having an affair can be a heart breaking experience and cause serious emotional and psychological problems. Not only is it overwhelming information to deal with, it can be the turning point in a relationship from “ignorance is bliss” to filing for divorce. MaritalHealing.org maintains that infidelity can cause something called acute distress disorder. This can include the following symptoms:

  • Detachment from reality
  • Sadness and despair
  • Intense feelings of rage, hatred and the need for revenge
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Low self-esteem

How detrimental to a person’s mental health is finding out that the person you trusted enough to share a life with has been hiding their true feelings and has essentially replaced you with some other person? Victims often ask themselves what that person has that they don’t, but the answers are never satisfying.

Most people may not realize that being unfaithful actually inflicts some psychological damage on themselves as well as their unsuspecting partner. NetDoctor.co.uk states that those who go down the path of adultery can suffer from intense guilt and depression as feel they are always hiding their true feelings and looking for an escape from their marriage problems.

Adultery is never a healthy experience.

Cheating can do more damage than just erase any trust between two people that used to be in love. It can have financial implications if the couple does decide to divorce and the judge is sympathetic toward the victim of infidelity. There are long lasting emotional problems that occur as a result for both parties in a broken marriage. These can easily be avoided if a person can be honest and deal with the problems in a marriage instead of looking for short term satisfaction with an affair.

Howard Iken is an experienced divorce lawyer who also specializes in bankruptcy and criminal law. Howard is currently the Managing Attorney at Ayo and Iken PLC which can help those looking for divorce attorneys in Clearwater, FL.   

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