Adultery in the Marital Bed

I would never have thought this was such a hot topic. But this week I was interviewed by the New York Times (click here for a link to the interview in the New York Times) and by the Today Show on NBC. Spouses cheating in the marital bedroom apparently is a topic of much interest. And it makes sense. While adultery is usually hurtful, adultery in the bed where spouses share not only intimate romantic moments, but where they also share their hopes and dreams, not only for themselves, but the hopes and dreams they have for their children, is often much more offesnive and painful.

Perhaps it is the sheer disregard for the other spouse’s feelings (wouldn’t an affair anywhere be enough), or maybe that it may seem to be a more deliberate attempt to harm a spouse, but either way, cheating in the marital bedroom is always going to generate more emotional reaction than an affair outside the home.

Does it matter legally? I know of no law that states that an affair in the marital bed, or even the marital home should be treated any differently than an affair in a hotel room. But when the trier of fact has to decide how to divide property, the fact that one spouse cheated, in the marital bed, may be more harmful to that spouse. Especially in Georgia where a jury can be used to decide such cases. We need to remember that people (judges or jurors) who decide cases make value judgments. And an affair in the marital bed is at best inconsiderate, and at worst highly offensive. But then, people who have affairs in the marital bed are probably not thinking long term (as in what might a judge think), and that, like many actions during a marriage is the biggest problem (not thinking ahead).