Do you know where your husband is?
If he’s successful, you’d better find out. The bonds of marriage may be sacred, but even the sanctity of marriage has its price. According to a survey by SeekingArrangement.com, 46 percent of single Scottsdale women admit they would have an affair with a married man. And when the factor of being “generous and wealthy” is included, 132 percent more women would have an affair, making Phoenix the city with the highest chances of infidelity.
“Studies have shown that women cheat for emotional reasons,” says Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com. “Our survey reveals that there is an emotional attachment to both wealth and generosity. In fact, most women value this dynamic more than a relationship status, especially when deciding to engage in extramarital affairs.” Before you think the SeekingArrangement.com survey is an aberration, AshleyMadison.com, which caters to men and women looking to have an affair, says its top cheating neighborhood is in Scottsdale.
So what should you do if you suspect your spouse a Scottsdale sinner?
If you suspect your spouse is cheating, it is probably true on some level,”says, Norma Izzo Milner, a family law attorney with Jennings, Strouss & Salmon. “Ask the question directly and be prepared for the answer.” Milner says that if it’s important to obtain proof before you ask the question, keep these three things in mind:
1) Gather information that is accessible to you — phone records, Facebook posts, cell phone statements, etc. In gathering the information, do not break into any accounts to which you have not been provided access.
2) Do not follow your spouse because that behavior could be considered stalking.
3) If there is proof around the affair, a yes or no response will be difficult to hear. It might be wise to do some initial work with a counselor to address your suspicions, your emotions and the status of the marriage before you initiate the conversation.
“The discovery or disclosure of infidelity can be traumatizing to a partner, even causing symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Dr. Shannon Chavez, a psychologist at SHE, Sexual Health Experts, part of the MomDoc family of practices. “A partner that has been cheated on feels more than a betrayal. It is a shattering of your reality. Everything that has been real to you in your life and relationship becomes in question.”
What won’t be called into question if infidelity leads to the dissolution of the marriage is how the cheater’s assets will be divided. “Arizona is a no fault divorce state,” Milner says. “A court will not take into consideration infidelity in dividing community debts and assets. As long as the court can make a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation, the court will apply the state’s communit property laws in awarding each spouse their fair and equitable share of property.”
There can be exceptions, though, particularly if the cheater’s sugar baby was treated to a little too much sugar.
“If a spouse has committed marital misconduct by expending large amounts of money on his or her paramour,” Milner says, “the court may consider an unequal distribution of property and assets.”
But don’t take the chance that the court will rule your way, experts say.
“By filing and serving the suspected unfaithful spouse with a petition for dissolution of marriage, document joint marital liability ends for any debt that is incurred after the date of service,” says David Berens, a financial strategist at The Winfield Group. “Secondly, limiting access to accounts and credit cards may prevent the unfaithful spouse from running up large bills or debts.”
“Don’t do it,” Milner says. “Think long and hard before you compromise your integrity. Instead, share with your spouse that you are struggling with your promise of monogamy and you want to stand by your word. In the spirit of that promise, ask him or her to work with you to strengthen your relationship and get back on track. Prevention is always better than cure … Having the conversation with your spouse first, before you act out, may be difficult, but the honorable thing to do. If you have children, it will save you time and money to leave first, close that chapter, and play later.” If you truly believe you are likely to succumb to an affair at some point in your marriage, Milner says you need to reconsider your readiness for marriage or at least enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding.
“A prenuptial agreement can outline the financial responsibilities of each spouse in the event of a divorce, as well as the consequences in the event either spouse cheats,” she says. Experts say a well-crafted prenuptial agreement can guide the financial aspects of ending a marriage, but it will never heal the emotional wreckage.
“The impact of infidelity-induced trauma is difficult and often a long road to recovery,” Chavez says. “The first step is to find a therapist that can guide a partner through emotional and spiritual healing that focuses on the trauma along with gaining the support and coping skills to handle daily life. If the partner chooses to work toward mending the relationship, it will be a long road of rebuilding trust, healing from the trauma, and getting down to the complexity of why the infidelity occurred. It takes effort, accountability, and intensive work to help the couple heal and move on from any type of affair.”