WASHINGTON, June 14, 2014 – Cheating on your spouse is wrong, dumb, expensive, and has permanent relationship costs that have nothing to do with money. Don’t cheat.
Also, do not assess your situation, either before or after cheating, by watching television or the exploits of celebrities.
Cheating spouses are always in the headlines, as there seems to be a voracious appetite for stories about celebrities or those in positions of power. Consider Tori Spelling and her cheating husband Dean McDermott. The ratings confirm the public’s desire to watch these melodramas.
The cable television show “True Tori” details every one of Tori’s thoughts and emotions.
If you are a woman, do not confuse Tori’s life with yours. While her emotions are real, and you many identify with her in that way, you may or may not have the network of friends for emotional support nor the money for the therapy Ms. Spelling seems to have.
The publicized and sensational issues that attach to celebrity infidelity do not address the reality for most people. Indeed, for many male celebrities, the publicity of their behavior often serves to enhance their personas. Kobe Bryant saw headlines applauding him for the unbelievable jewelry he bought his wife as an apology after his cheating was exposed.
The lot of celebrity cheaters is quite the different for the non-celebrity cheater. Most people who cheat will likely suffer very significant setbacks.
We enter into an exclusive, romantic, sexual relationship in good faith and we want the movie version of ever-lasting happiness. We have the intention of “forever,” in spite of knowing the statistics on marriage break-ups.
Reality sometimes throws a wrench into the dream.
Aubrey Hammack, a man with experience, apparently, wrote in an article found on the Internet that “the best solution to those that are contemplating an affair is that you should get into some sort of counseling with a professional and decide if you want a marriage or a divorce. Of course, this step should come long before the thoughts of an affair even surface”.
Tim (last name not given), another with experience, wrote a blog titled The Cost of An Affair. He says:
1. DON’T DO IT if you care about your marriage. If you don’t, go nuts.
2. Try to fix your marriage.
3. If outside sex/romance is something you need, negotiate an “open” marriage that can at least still be based on trust. The violation of trust is the worst thing by far, perhaps the only bad thing.
4. As a last resort, if you do it, NEVER, EVER, EVER confess. Lie through your teeth until the day you die. Never tell anyone else. The cost of this is high though: it puts up a huge barrier to intimacy and closeness. I am convinced that was a lot of the problem in my marriage for the last 17 years. This may kill your marriage, just much more slowly and subtly. This is a real hidden cost, which is why it is the last resort.
Advice on the website haveanaffair.com provides steps for men to make sure they do not get caught. The advice is apparently for men without any integrity:
How much is an evening of pleasure worth to you? It is probably not worth more than your marriage. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t go out and hookup with random women. But you had better be careful or your wife will find out. One little slip up could cost you your marriage. Men get caught having an affair because they make one of these 3 mistakes…
Carelessly using SMS and cell phones;
Paying for the affair with a shared credit card;
Not deleting IM chat history.
Cheating has costs. Virtually every article written on this subject details some or all of them.
Summarizing, short-term costs can include emotions ranging from betrayal, rage, grief, embarrassment and guilt. Financial costs can include therapy, which compound as attending therapy diminishes work time and pay. Stress abounds, and absolutely affects children if they are present.
Perhaps the worst long-term cost is the lingering trust issue. How can I trust my spouse? What can I do to get my spouse to trust me?
The thing that divorced individuals say hurt the most was the deception, the lying and the betrayal. They say that the sex or even the romance was almost inconsequential. If the cheater does not get caught, how does he or she allow the other to look into their eyes with love and trust, knowing that adoration is undeserved?
Of note, statics reveal that most marriages end after just one instance of cheating.
Judges across America do not have to care about the details of a failed marriage. This is because no-fault divorce laws allow people to get their divorce without having to document the reasons for their marriage tanking. Courts are not looking for blame unless a trial actually occurs.
Then, judges do not like cheaters, and awards can reflect that dislike.
In most divorces, financial “awards” come down to formulas. Big expenses however can be incurred in the “fight” to either prove a point or to hash out the financial arrangement. When adultery is on the table, there is just that much more sapping money. Many people spend fortunes and deplete or nearly deplete their assets in fighting to prove a point; then they usually “settle” rather than going to court.
Even where divorce is “agreed” and no-fault, infidelity can cost the cheater significantly. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements often include consequences for affairs, and call for awards and alimony to be higher.
If the cheater spent significant money on the paramour (an apartment, jewelry, trips, etc.), that money can be a bargaining tool for extra compensation in the settlement.
About 95% of divorce actions are settled without trial. Infidelity can matter in the settlement negotiations.
Cheating is always wrong. The psychological costs of cheating can be deep for both parties, their family and even friends, and cheating can ruin or detrimentally affect relationships with co-workers, employees, and clients. Then there are the financial costs.
Absent someone getting you wasted drunk and taking advantage of you, there are always choices. Life is never “a” or “b.” There are always options.
Paul A. Samakow is an attorney licensed in Maryland and Virginia, and has been practicing since 1980. He represents injury victims and routinely battles insurance companies and big businesses that will not accept full responsibility for the harms and losses they cause. He can be reached at any time by calling 1-866-SAMAKOW (1-866-726-2569), via email, or through his website.
His new book “Who Will Pay My Auto Accident Bills?, The Most Comprehensive Nationwide Auto Accident Resolution Book, Ever” can be reviewed on http://www.completeaccidentbook.com and can be ordered there, or obtained directly on Amazon: Click here to order
Mr. Samakow’s “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign, El Textarudo, has become nationally recognized. Please visit the website http://www.textarudo.com and “like” the concept on the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/textarudo.