Infidelity and Divorce: Is There A "Good" Way?
“The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior.”
After it came out last week that former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner had once again been caught having an inappropriate relationship with another woman, his wife, Huma Abedin, announced that she was separating from him. This is not the first time that Abedin, a top aide for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, had to face the news of her husband’s infidelity. In 2011, Weiner resigned from Congress after he mistakenly posted a lewd photo of himself on his social media, intending for it to be sent as a direct message to a woman he met online. Not long after, he admitted to engaging in several of these types of affairs over the years. Despite that, the couple stayed together until news of Weiner’s newest tryst became public, this time including a photo sent to another woman while the couple’s young son lay next to him sleeping.
Infidelity in any form is never easy. The damage caused to a partner after learning the person they trusted over all others has deceived them can be devastating. There have been several studies conducted trying to get to the root of why people cheat. Money troubles, long working hours and mere opportunity have all been cited as reasons that a partner may stray from a relationship.
When infidelity ends a marriage, the potential for contentious litigation can run high. The hurt is deep, the emotions are raw and the feeling of betrayal can create a cloud over the process, threatening to rain down at any given moment. While attorneys are adept at handling the legal issues of the case, the emotional hurdles are best left to good mental health professionals who can help the parties work through their feelings and lead them on a path toward healing. When children are involved, such as in the Weiner/Abedin matter, the need for emotional healing becomes that much greater. Husbands and wives may split, but they will always be the child’s parents. As such, it is imperative that they have as good of a co-parenting relationship as possible.
The Collaborative Divorce model is a commitment for parties to resolve their dispute outside of court. In addition to legal professionals, a key player in the collaborative team is the divorce coach, a trained mental health professional. While the divorce coach does not provide the parties with therapy, he or she does work with the couple on navigating any emotional aspects of the divorce as well as overcoming some of the emotional roadblocks that sometimes hinder progress in the divorce case.
When a person feels betrayed, a natural instinct is to lash out at the one who hurt them. In a divorce case, it’s all too easy to get caught up in this cycle, ultimately costing the family far more emotional and financial damage in the long run. While it may seem impossible to imagine working collaboratively with a cheating spouse, a good professional team can assist parties in all aspects of the situation, gently working through the matter until they get to the other side, dignity intact.
No divorce is easy but one cloaked in infidelity can be more brutal than most. Knowing that there are options available that take into account such a sensitive emotional issue can be the first step in healing and moving toward your new life. To learn more about Collaborative Divorce, contact us for a free consultation.