I am back again in an effort to present a divorce topic from a woman’s point of view. I am requested to discuss women’s perspectives on adultery. I will endeavor to share some research and observations on the subject.
I previously authored an article wherein I confessed no ability whatsoever to discuss things from a woman’s point of view. Instead, I attempted a playful article called “The Smartest Guy In the Room.” I may as well have called it “I crack myself up.” Enough said:)
According to the Administrative Office of The Courts, adultery is the second most common grounds for divorce in Maryland. The most common grounds for divorce in Maryland being a one year separation. In my estimation, that is not really the whole story.
I contend that, more precisely, one year separation is the most common legal grounds upon which Maryland courts grant the final divorce. I believe however, that adultery is the most common reason for the divorce. Yet, it is often a “chicken or the egg” sort of thing. The answer may be a phenomenon defined by one researcher as: Limbo.
Some people, more particularly women, have come across this article researching adultery and infidelity on Google. Those women are doubtlessly familiar with the feeling of “Limbo” if not the exact term. Kind of like when we thought kids were being brats only to be explained that it is “oppositional defiant disorder.”
A researcher and author named Michelle Langley interviewed hundreds of women for thousands of hours over ten years and she had this to say:
“Limbo is one of the most painful experiences we can go through in our relationships. I’ve interviewed several hundred people in this situation and I’ve also been there myself. When I was going through it I felt like I had an ailment a condition of some sort. At that time I just knew I had something and whatever it was it wasn’t normal.”
I have seen this phenomenon, time and time again, in women and in men. Private investigators have made a fortune on this phenomenon. For whatever reason, the idea of a spouse committing adultery is something we choose not to believe. People demand to “know for sure…” they WANT to believe him when he said he is “working alot of overtime...”
These women KNOW that he is not working late, even before they steam open his paycheck to see 40 hours. Before they open the credit card statement that shows he was dining out at TGIFridays and ordering from Victoria’s Secret. BUT THEY HAD TO LOOK ANYWAY!!!
The real phenomenon is that some will have to check the next credit card statement and the next paycheck before they can be REALLY sure. Then the next one….and the next one…..etc. That folks, is “Limbo.”
There was a humorous movie in 1972 which starred Alan Arkin called “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.” In the movie Arkin plays an inept average Joe who is determined to be a Casanova of sorts. In one scene his wife walks in while he is naked and in bed with another woman.
He says “this isn’t what it looks like.” Without embarrassment, he keeps repeating that phrase as he and the girl get dressed, they make the bed, and she leaves. Eventually, the wife is left with him fully dressed, sitting on the corner of the made up bed still saying that he is not having an affair. She finally laments ”well maybe you are not having an affair?” While funny, it points out the disbelief so common in women whose husbands are engaging in adultery.
People can be transfixed by the situation. Even confronted with the evidence, they simply do not know what to do. It seems that when women get married they usually do not consider an “exit strategy.” I have seen this over and over again.
I had been a divorce lawyer in Frederick, Maryland for about 5 years by the time I had identified patterns of behavior which were clear red flags for adultery. At that time, a young woman came to my office for a consultation on separation. While I had clearly identified the pattern of her husbands activity which were sure indicators of adultery, I had not yet identified the Limbo phenomenon.
I casually pointed out to the young woman that her husband’s behaviors were sure signs of an adultery. At that point, she jumped up and stormed out of my office convinced that I was “painting him in the worst possible light.”
So there she was, in a divorce lawyer’s office, clearly because she thought something was wrong. Yet, the very idea that I suspected her husband was having an affair made her irate?? That’s Limbo.
Yet, there is another growing phenomenon which relates to women and adultery. Dr. Peggy Drexler is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. In her article “The Scarlet Manifesto” she cites a study by The Kinsey Institute which made findings that women cheat with the same frequency as men, they just conceal it better.
Dr Drexler indicates that over the past 20 years there has been a “trickle up effect” resulting from teaching boys to be more sensitive than the preceding generation and teaching girls to be more independent than the preceding generation.
She contemplates that a culture wide shift has occurred with “men wanting marriage babies and stability but women wanting personal space and regular nights out with friends.” I think that theory is even more sexist than what was presumably being preached to the preceding generation. Nevertheless, I find absolutely no evidence that men commit adultery more frequently than women.
I do see evidence that supports the Kinsey theory that women are better at keeping their extramarital activities more private. There is a recurring theme in family law, divorce and custody work whereby women are simply better organized litigants in any given case. So maybe that theory is true? I am a man, so I may never know.
The Divorce Place – Aggressive Divorce Attorneys in Frederick Maryland
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