By: C.D. Owens, Esq.
This may the toughest subject in this series regarding “Can This Marriage Be Saved.” Infidelity is a direct breach of the fundamental concept of marriage. Your soulmate for life and with whom you may have children admits that he or she has had an affair with someone else. You, no doubt, would not recognize that act as having any moral integrity or deserving of any consideration – except divorce.
If the offending party’s position is that the situation involves a new “soulmate for life,” the concept of saving the marriage may not have any likelihood of success. I have had a few cases that worked out later, sometimes involving divorce and then re-marriage later. But in the early months of a new “fling,” there is not much chance for either spouse to give much thought to reconciliation. Working through this kind of breach of the marriage vows requires some form of remorse by the offending party and a disavowal of any prospect for continuance of the conduct. Even if this occurs, it’s still tough. In this kind of situation “forgive and forget” is required and even if forgiveness is possible, forgetting is the element that is often crushed in the blanket of remembering – and being unable to eliminate the mental vision of the acts in the mind of the non-offending spouse. Most of the reconciliations I have seem have been accomplished through the influence of the parties’ church and the strength of their faith. Another top influence in reconciliation is often the love of parties for each other and their children.
But, in a no fault divorce state such as Arizona a party does not need to present any reason for the divorce except that either he or she wants one. Thus, in any divorce proceeding, there will be a dissolution of the marriage unless BOTH parties are willing to reconcile and dismiss the proceedings. And confirmed infidelity can be the biggest hurdle to cross to reach that goal. Even paranoia where one spouse becomes fixated with the concept that the other is having an affair, whether true or not, can be damning to any potential reconciliation and can lead to a divorce.
NOTE: I am not suggesting that the law should be changed and that you should have to prove fault. Actually, it’s worse the other way.
However, this gets back to some language in my first blog, in these divorce cases everybody, i.e., the parties, grandparents, attorneys, etc. need to just stop – cease and desist – back away from all the turmoil and anger – and think! Too many people just go nuts and all that does is increase your attorney fees and emotional turmoil.
My next blog on the subject of “Can This Marriage Be Saved” will deal with money issues with alleged control freaks or irresponsible spenders, as the shoe may fit.