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3 kinds of marital infidelity that can lead to divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Divorce |

Infidelity remains one of the top reasons that individuals decide that they no longer want to remain romantically and legally linked to their spouse. Discovering that spouse has repeatedly lied about their personal circumstances, possibly for the duration of the marriage, can destroy the trust between spouses that is so crucial for a functional and intimate relationship.

Although the term infidelity tends to conjure thoughts of a very specific type of behavior, there are multiple forms of infidelity that may ultimately undermine the relationship that spouses have with each other. The following are the three primary types of infidelity that may strain a marital relationship.

Sexual infidelity

Oftentimes, when people talk about marital misconduct and infidelity leading to divorce, they mean physical or sexual infidelity. Learning that a spouse has conducted an extramarital affair can leave someone feeling betrayed and vulnerable. They may no longer trust their spouse with their physical and emotional health. Sexual infidelity can lead to pregnancy outside of the marital relationship and can also result in the transmission of communicable illnesses. When one spouse discovers that the other has been sexually unfaithful, that will frequently lead to a divorce filing.

Emotional infidelity

A surprising number of people who start an affair with someone other than their spouse will try to defend their actions by claiming that things never became physical until they separated from their spouse. However, they may have spent months giving attention, support and quality time to someone other than their spouse, which ultimately undermines the marital relationship. Emotional infidelity often culminates in sexual infidelity. Even when it does not, it can damage the trust and faith that one spouse has in the other.

Financial infidelity

There are cases in which one’s spouse will use marital resources to cover the costs involved in maintaining an extramarital relationship such scenarios ad insult to injury by using marital assets for a purpose that directly undermines the marital relationship. However, someone does not need to have engaged in an extramarital affair to engage in financial infidelity. Serious financial infidelity involves misrepresenting one’s economic circumstances to a partner. Lying about debt, hiding assets and under-reporting income are common forms of financial infidelity. Not only may financial infidelity lead to a divorce, but it can influence what the courts decide is appropriate when dividing assets and debts.

Learning more about the marital issues that often lead to divorce may help those facing challenging times plot a more informed path forward.


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