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Warning: adultery seriously harms you and others around you

There are no "adultery packages" on which to print the kinds
of warnings you find on cigarette packets – but there's
reported evidence this week that playing around can
seriously affect your health.
According to an Italian neurologist, having an affair can
not only cost you your marriage – it can be fatal. The
strain of living a double life leads to stress and tension
for the cheating spouse, which can cause a potentially fatal
aneurysm, or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain.
These findings were presented at an international conference
in Turin by Professor Lorenzo Pinessi, president of the
Italian Migraine Association, whose team studied hundreds of
patients in Italy who reported migraines. Some of the worst
affected were having affairs.
"What we found is that it was mostly men who suffered worst
from this phenomenon, which is all to do with stress and
hypertension," Prof Pinessi was quoted as saying. "It would
appear that men have a more severe feeling of guilt when
cheating, which leads to increased stress and tension."
This won't, of course, stop many partners from embarking on
extra-marital dalliances, but when added to the already
lengthy catalogue of disadvantages of adultery might make
some people think twice before giving into sexual
temptation.
Adultery, as I've described previously in this blog, is the
biggest single cause of divorce, because it is so difficult
to forgive and forget. Adultery, like no other marital
misdemeanour, is viewed by the "wronged" spouse as the
ultimate betrayal.
Although many partners who stray struggle with feelings of
guilt, even that feeling adds to the potent mixture of
emotions that make adulterous behaviour often seem more
important than it really is. Yet too few people sit back and
think whether a few snatched hours of illicit excitement are
worth the risk of losing their marriage, their family life,
their home and a substantial slice of their financial
assets.
Of course, some people look elsewhere for love because their
marriages are fundamentally unhappy, but many more – men
especially – fall into the adultery trap because casual sex
is offered on a plate. They're bored or flattered, or both
and they don't stop to consider the possible ramifications.
Suffering a potentially fatal aneurysm may be unlikely, but
what is far more likely is that a cheating spouse will be
rumbled (however carefully they try to cover their steps)
and their lives as they know it can collapse like a pack of
cards.
In today's economic climate, it is more judicious than ever
to stay married: if you split up, you'll be hard pressed to
sell the marital home, your investments will offer less
return than this time last year and two households will be
more costly to run.
So if you are having an affair, or thinking of embarking on
one, my advice is that you think very carefully about the
long-term consequences. Having "a bit on the side" might
seem like harmless fun, but a few weeks or months down the
road that fun may turn into your worst nightmare.

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