Last year, you may recall the data breach of the Ashley Madison database – a website which provided and billed for extramarital affairs. The hackers (labeling themselves the “Impact Team”) threatened to publicly release the personal information of all the users on the site. These users were presumably cheating on their spouses and if the website refused to shut itself down, all the information was going to be released. The Ashley Madison hack brought to the forefront, stories and fears of cheating spouses nationwide.
If you are suspicious about your spouse’s behavior or have recently discovered that they are cheating, here are a few tips to handle this emotional and trying time.
Know the Facts
First and foremost, you need to know the facts! Don’t act hastily and assume that because your spouse is constantly on their smartphone, staying at the office late or scheduling many business dinners that they are cheating.
However, if it is confirmed that your spouse is cheating, then speak to a qualified family law attorney right away. Your attorney can advise you on your legal rights and how to best handle the situation. While not all instances of infidelity lead to divorce, many do. In fact, in Virginia, cheating (adultery) is one of the fault-based reasons for obtaining a divorce. Once you understand your legal rights, you will be able to make informed decisions on how to move forward with your life and your relationship.
Get Professional Advice
Aside from consulting with a family law attorney, you should consider seeking advice from other professionals such as psychologists and financial advisors. These professionals will help you deal with a multitude of different scenarios and can help you cope. The end goal is to approach the situation (whether it be divorce or attempting to work it out) with a level head and a better understanding of your future goals.
Do Some Soul Searching
While no one will likely say that infidelity is a good thing, everyone’s situation is different. Particularly after speaking to one of the named professionals above, take some time on your own, to consider what you really want. While you probably feel betrayed and wonder if you can trust your spouse again, not all instances of cheating result in separation or divorce. This may be a wake-up call that you and your spouse need to communicate better or seek marital counseling. Whatever the case may be, do not act hastily or believe that divorce is the only option, if you find out your spouse has been unfaithful. Do some soul searching and decide what’s best for you.
You’re Not Alone
Unfortunately, as the Ashley Madison hack brought to light, you are not alone if you discover your spouse has cheated. While this does not make the betrayal you are experiencing any less painful, you should reach out to trusted family members and friends who can empathize with your situation. Also, consider joining online forums and support groups, like SurvivingInfidelity.com, where you can share your story and feelings with others.
If you have recently discovered that your spouse has cheated and don’t know what to do or are considering divorce, be sure to consult with a caring and experienced family law attorney. The DiPietro Family Law Group has teams of experienced family lawyers in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (888) 530-4374.