Is My Cheating Husband Grounds For Divorce?

Not anymore. The way divorce used to work in most states was that a grievance

cheating husband
Not All Cheating is the Same

would be brought by one spouse or the other and that particular grievance would either be grounds for divorce or not. A cheating husband or cheating wife was often grounds for divorce because the loyal spouse felt so insulted and humiliated that the chances for reconciliation were slim. Eventually most state legislatures were told to mind their own business when it came to a reason for divorce, and they responded by giving couples complete freedom to divorce if there were “irreconcilable differences.” Now a couple can divorce each other very easily, at least as far as most states are concerned.

Is A Cheating Husband Really A Good Reason For Divorce?

I have been asked this question a number of times and my answer is not always the same. There are questions I ask in return:

  1. Do you have any children?
  2. How long have you been married?
  3. Are there drugs and alcohol involved?
  4. Is there any spousal physical abuse involved?
  5. How many times have either of you been married?

As you can see by the questions, the answers are not always so simple. It is important, of course, for spouses to be loyal to one another. But it is also important for spouses to understand what marriage is and what behaviors work within a marriage to enhance all of the marital goals each person has.

The big problem in our society is nobody knows what the heck marriage is and nobody understands the very basics of relationship building. The role models for a happy marriage are nowhere to be found in our society. Television sitcoms, parents, other relatives, and schools lacking “how to live” education, all sent you into the deep end of marriage life without so much as a pamphlet to guide you. So it isn’t 100% fair to expect people to suffer through a blistering marriage without some breakdowns.

In just about every case, infidelity is a manifestation of ignorance-driven frustration and so carries a little less of the taint of evil than we would normally ascribe to it.

Infidelity Is Not Excusable But Should Not Be Punishable By Death Of The Marriage

Every couple who has come to see me in regards to infidelity was able to rescue and resuscitate their marriage.

In fact, they went on to have amazing marriages, because once they learned how to be married, the normal, evil actions of that infidelity were understood and put into a context of non-judgment.

If your husband is cheating on you, I recommend you shift your perspective and recognize his weakness rather than his treachery. Read my Lessons For A Happy Marriage, or Breaking The Cycle so you can have a deep understanding of what created his infidelity. Until then, don’t imagine even for a second that it is your fault. Even those ladies who protest and say they don’t take on any of the blame, there is always a little bit of questioning in their minds as to whether they were adequate wives or not.

Lastly, if you are not married but have a cheating boyfriend or fiance, my answer is very simple: Move on. A man who is not completely caught up in the joys and excitement of marrying you is not worthy of your commitment to him.

Marriage is meant to be joyful and simple, but our culture has done nothing to educate you. Once you learn the simple math of marriage, a very happy family life is assured, but until then you are groping in the dark. Strike the match of education to light your way to happiness.

Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder
Paul has written two books, produced several video programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and continues to guide the growth of The Marriage Foundation to help enrich the marriages of couples around the world.

5 thoughts on “Is My Cheating Husband Grounds For Divorce?

  1. kyleReply

    Been married 6 yrs. She cheated a year into it due to me neglecting her. She showed remorse (briefly) that was a year ago. Since then during fights she has used it to hurt me. We have a 4 yr old. She blamed me and just said she was weak but she continually tries to hurt me. I’m only here cause I believe she will try to brainwash my son into thinking I abandoned him. What should I do? Thank you in advance.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Your assumptions about her motivations may or may not be correct. Can we start with that?

      The keystone for you should be that you strive to behave based on what is “right” as a person, as a father, and as a husband. If you do that, to the best of your ability, you can do no more.

      You have to be clear and determined in your mind, and not let resentment driven ideas take over your behaviors or words. Any and all deviations from the suggested mindset for you to strive for, will have a detrimental effect, and you have had enough of those.

      Can Your marriage be saved?..Probably. But you have to shift your thinking about your wife from judgment to understanding, and you have to let her past actions go, so they do not continue to dirty everything in your marriage-and that is up to you, not her.

      Take responsibility for your end, and don’t allow yourself the freedom to criticize her actions. It won’t help if you continue in that way.
      Kudos to you for remaining faithful, but it is not enough. You have to fix a lot of you, still.

  2. ReevaReply

    We have a 3½year marriage and 2 sons. He is an alcoholic and smokes weed and flirts wherever he can. I caught him having an affair 2 years ago.he confessed,apologised and started justifying that day till now. He also started physically abusing me. Now he flirts via texts and all and deletes. I haven’t caught him having an affair again.
    But he hits me bad now and that too in front of my 3 year old and makes sure he leaves a mark as he hates arguments and that anyone knows any mistake he has made.
    I want to divorce him and want nothing from him except my boys with no joint custody. What are the chances?

    • ReevaReply

      We were friends,he proposed and we married. About his habits, We used to talk it out initially. And he promised he will work on it and as for flirting it’s just to get more customers to come to him so that he can earn more money. He is a tattoo artist.
      But it’s getting so bad that he flirts wid a new girl every 3rd month and deletes the texts and says it’s personal.
      The last time I confronted him. He stopped talking after that and hardly stays home. I don’t want to give him the boys. And I dont want anything from him.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Reeva
      I am not a lawyer, but it is common knowledge that unless a parent presents a real and present danger to their children the courts respect the children’s needs for their parent. Your messages are filled with anger that most people justify, but I have come to realize anger, when carried on for more that a few seconds, is a tool of the angered one.
      You make yourself a victim, and condemn your husband for his diseases of addictions, never once saying what you do wrong in your marriage.
      Was he cheating when you married him? Did you think he would not flirt after you got married?
      Your marriage could be saved, and hi behavior could shift. But if you hate him, there is no way.
      Obviously he should not be acting the way you says he does. But going after him with anger and hatred is more about you, than him.

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