Infidelity is a complex and sensitive issue that can deeply affect individuals and relationships. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), infidelity in the United States accounts for 20-40% of divorces.
In this blog, we will discuss its various types, underlying causes, effects on a marriage leading to divorce, and the crucial role that a divorce lawyer can play in such situations. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Types of Infidelity
Infidelity occurs when one partner deepens a connection with someone outside their marriage, violating the agreement of sexual or emotional exclusivity they made with their spouse. It may involve sharing intimate thoughts and feelings with someone other than their spouse. Unfaithfulness can manifest in various forms, and it’s crucial to comprehend these distinctions. Here’s a look at some of the different types of infidelity:
- Physical Infidelity: Physical infidelity involves engaging in sexual activities with someone other than one’s spouse. This type of cheating comes to mind first when discussing the topic.
- Emotional infidelity: This involves emotional attachment or intimacy with another person. Emotional affairs can do as much damage, if not more, to a relationship as a physical affair.
- Cyber Infidelity: With the advancement of technology, cyber infidelity has become more prevalent. It involves engaging in online relationships or sexual activities with individuals on the internet.
- Micro-Cheating: This form of infidelity may seem subtle or seemingly harmless actions that may indicate an emotional or physical connection with someone outside the marriage. Examples include secret texting or keeping a dating app profile.
Whether or not someone has been unfaithful depends on whether they’ve respected the agreed-upon boundaries of exclusivity, regardless of whether the relationship is monogamous or non-monogamous. Let’s dive into the causes where it can occur.
Identifying Causes of Infidelity
Infidelity, often referred to as cheating, duplicity, adultery, or unfaithfulness, can have its roots in various factors. It’s seldom straightforward, as relationships can become more fragile during transition periods, such as when young children begin school or when adult children leave home. Some common causes for infidelity in relationships include:
- Lack of Communication: Poor communication within a marriage can lead to feelings of neglect or dissatisfaction, pushing individuals to seek emotional connection elsewhere.
- Emotional Disconnect: When couples grow apart emotionally, one or both partners may seek emotional intimacy outside the marriage.
- Unfulfilled Needs: Sometimes, unmet emotional or physical needs within a marriage can drive individuals to seek fulfillment elsewhere.
- Opportunity: Easy access to potential partners, either in the workplace or online, can increase the likelihood of infidelity.
- Personal Issues: Personal problems, such as low self-esteem, unresolved past traumas, or addiction issues, can contribute to infidelity.
Irrespective of the specifics of an affair, its consequences can profoundly affect the couple involved and those around them.
Effects of Infidelity on Marriages
Infidelity can have profound effects on a marriage, often resulting in divorce. The individual involved in the betrayal may also wrestle with intense emotional reactions, such as overwhelming guilt or shame. Some feel trapped or helpless within the relationship, while others despair that change is impossible. The most common effects of infidelity are:
- Broken Trust: Trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship, and infidelity shatters this foundation, making it arduous to rebuild the marriage.
- Emotional Trauma: Both the betrayed spouse and the one who strayed may endure emotional trauma, grappling with feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and depression.
- Legal Consequences: Adultery can influence divorce proceedings, particularly in states with fault-based divorce laws. It may affect alimony, property division, and child custody decisions.
Giving up the extramarital relationship can be a struggle, even when they acknowledge its necessity, and some may even experience a sense of grief. If your relationship has been affected by infidelity, consider seeking the help of a divorce attorney who is experienced in family law affairs.
How A Divorce Attorney Can Help
In cases where infidelity leads to divorce, hiring a divorce lawyer becomes crucial. If you’re currently residing in Illinois and seeking a divorce attorney to assist you in finalizing your divorce, Masters Law Group is here to provide the support you need. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys and mediators is fully prepared to advocate for you and your family. Here are some crucial areas where we can help guide you:
- Parenting Time: If you have children, it’s essential to work closely with your attorney to determine the most suitable arrangements for child custody and visitation. We aim to help create arrangements prioritizing your children’s well-being and best interests.
- Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: We encourage exploring options like mediation and collaborative divorce, which can facilitate mutually beneficial agreements outside the courtroom. Our family law attorneys will skillfully guide you through these processes, representing your interests and helping you secure a smoother negotiation experience.
- Post-Divorce Modifications: Life can bring unexpected changes even after the divorce is finalized. Circumstances may arise that require modifications to parental responsibilities, visitation, or support arrangements. Our attorneys are here to assist you in addressing these changes promptly and effectively, safeguarding your rights and the interests of your children.
Infidelity is a complex issue that can have devastating consequences on a marriage. When divorce becomes inevitable, hiring a divorce lawyer can provide the legal experience and support needed to navigate the process and protect one’s rights and interests.
At Masters Law Group, you can rest assured knowing you are consulting with trusted and experienced legal professionals. Our family law attorneys can help protect your rights and interests during this challenging time. With a focus on helping clients residing in the Cook, Will, Lake, and Dupage counties, our practice is committed to providing a comprehensive suite of services to support parents, children, and families during challenging periods like divorce.