The Analysis:

Whether it’s yours or your spouses, extramarital affairs throw a marriage into another realm.   The excitement and illicitness of your affair is a contrast to the disappointment of your marriage.  Escape from it gives you promise and optimism; a seamless transition from the bad to the wonderful.   The discovery of your spouse’s affair is a shock into another reality.  How long has it been going on, when and why did it start, with whom, and why didn’t you notice the signs earlier.  It becomes a pendulum of self-doubt and enormous anger.  The discovery of your affair springboards many spouses into rages which drive the divorce into expensive litigation.  It’s used against your morality, your parenting, your integrity. He/She will use it over and over again whenever they can. Don’t give them the chance.

The Recommendation:

Manage your expectations.  Your affair may or may not be your escape.  Keep your feet on the ground and think strategically about how it impacts your divorce.  If necessary, put the romance on hold temporarily to keep it from becoming central to the divorce.  Don’t let it become the fuel which drives the litigation.

An affair may be emotionally debilitating to you, but must not be disclosed to or discussed with the children, nor provide the fuel for your fire.  Unless marital assets are dissipated by the affair, they are of little consequence to a judge.  Do not let your divorce become a forum for revenge; it’s only a vehicle for separating two lives.   Sadly, the process doesn’t pay much attention to the personal pain affairs inflict.


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