Erica Manfred on the harm of adultery, even when the kids are grown


She's the author of "He's History, You're Not: Surviving Divorce After Forty". She writes about the harm to women and children that happens even in post age-40 divorces:

A year ago, Cynthia Shackelford, a 62-year-old North Carolina wife won an "alienation of affection" case against her husband's mistress. The case is ironic on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start. The facts: Shackelford charged that the other woman, Anne Lundquist, 49, broke up her marriage of 33 years by setting out to deliberately seduce her husband in 2004.

... The suffering of grown children is ignored [after divorce]. Young adult children like Shackelford's may be traumatized to the extent of suffering severe depression, or being unable to form committed relationships of their own. At the least they lose one of their parents when they take sides.

... Most states once had "at-fault" divorce laws, where you couldn't get a divorce without proving the other side had committed adultery. These laws were thrown out in the 1970s and replaced by no-fault divorce, which means basically a spouse can say, "I divorce thee," and be out of there. The irony is that feminists once supported the switch to no-fault divorce, although it's turned out that women and children are the ones who suffer. Unless the couple is wealthy, there's never enough cash to support both the ex wife and new mistress in the style to which both have been accustomed. The mistress usually wins and the cast off old wife and her children get shafted.