Partner Paul Read appeared on BBC Tees this morning. He was invited on to the Mike Parr programme discuss the effect of infidelity on a relationship and children.
Paul told guest presenter Scott Makin that infidelity was pretty common, with roughly a third of marriages coming to an end for this reason. However not all cases of infidelity lead to a breakup. He explained that while the numbers haven’t changed much in the last ten years or so, historically infidelity was something that was “shoved under the carpet”.
He was asked if marriages which end because of infidelity make for more bitter divorce cases. Paul said not only was that true, those instances call also make for “the most appalling environment for children”.
Parents need to be conscious of this if they are going through the process of separation, Paul advised. They need to make sure they are acting in “the best interests of the children”. While this may be a wide concept, parents must think “put the children first” even if they are hurt by a partner’s unfaithfulness.
He said it was very reassuring that most parents are able to maintain a working relationship with their former partner. However, there are some people, quite understandably, simply cannot deal with the betrayal and the ensuing situation they find themselves in. In those situations, Paul explained that he does not hesitate to refer people to a counsellor. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help, he insisted. This can help not only with dealing with the children but also when it comes to “sorting things out sensibly” in a divorce.
Infidelity, even if one spouse admits to it, does not make a difference to how the money will be distributed following a divorce nor will it have any effect on what arrangements are made regarding the children. It is possible to divorce on the grounds of adultery, Paul continued, but then you have to either prove it has taken place or the offending spouse must admit it. Most people are not quite prepared to make such a confession so it is generally easier to use “unreasonable behaviour” as a way to get divorced.
The most important aspect of these situations: “People have got to talk to each other … Communication is key here”.
Makin asked who cheated more, men or women, but Paul explained that in his experience it was a pretty even split.