That is the argument of Catherine Hakim, a sociologist and author of “The New Rules: Internet Dating, Playfairs and Erotic Power”.
In an article for The Telegraph she claims that we Brits retain an Anglo-Saxon attitude to adultery which has resulted in our divorce rates being amongst the highest in the world. A more philosophical attitude towards affairs, she states, can ensure that marriages last longer.
Whether or not you agree with Ms Hakim, the fact remains that the divorce process in the UK is fault based: unless you have been separated for over two years, your spouse’s adultery or “unreasonable behaviour” must be cited as the reason for your divorce. As a result, we as family law solicitors have to know the reasons for our clients’ marriage breakdowns. Divorce statistics will not provide the full story: for example, someone who continues to live with their adulterous spouse for 6 months after their affair cannot use that adultery as the reason for their divorce. However, our experience tells us that adultery is as often a symptom of an unhappy relationship as it is the cause, and although adultery can be forgiven it is less easily forgotten.
We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts