A man in NC recently made headlines, he sued his wife’s affair partner for “alienation of affection” and won 750,000.00. In another headline, a BW sued her husbands AP for the return of items purchased for her during the affair, and some 4000.00 for repairs the WH made to the AP’s car during the time they were together. Petty? Some may say so but I got to wondering….
Alienation of Affection is a law that for the most part became obsolete in the late 60’s and 70’s but still lives on in some states in the US. The law states that:
- the marriage entailed love between the spouses in some degree
- the spousal love was alienated
- the defendants malicious conduct contributed or caused loss of affection
This law does not have to show that the defendant set out to destroy the marriage, but only that he or she intentionally engaged in acts which would foreseeably impact the marriage. Clearly this does not cover a planned “exit” affair, or those where the AP was duped by a cheating spouse but pretty much covers most others. I know the further down the cheating rabbit hole my husband went, the less he saw me as a human being or his loving partner. The more he spent time with the others, the more he found fault with me, the harsher his treatment became. If you have read my other posts, you know he pursued and was also pursued by these lonely idiots and they all knew there was a wife sitting at home, thinking her husband was working late. Instead of working at our issues, the draw of an easy lay was too tempting, and perfectly said, his affection..in fact was alienated for a period of time.
Does the law have any place in our relationships? The law is there to protect us when we start our marriage, when we divorce, so why not during as well? Do affair partners deserve to be sued? Aside from possible emotional repercussions what if any kind of payback do most AP’s suffer? Would this kind of law, make those prone to messing in someones marriage think twice?
In the hours, days, months and years after DD, I ruminated on the fact that these women just got away with causing me probably one of the worst periods in my life. Yes my WH was just as much to blame but they were 100% culpable as well. He has had to make amends since DD to keep us together, but those women..just drifted off not caring what they had done. I wanted so badly to confront, to harm in some way, just to let them know how much they had damaged me. It took a long time to move past that, and some moments it still irks me that they essentially got away with it. If I had confronted them, I would have been labeled the “crazy wife”. Would they have even cared if they got a call or email from me or would they just chuckle and move on? We often wrongfully assume these AP’s can be made to feel guilty or have remorse but in many cases its doubtful, they are already operating from a low moral ground. If I had been given a legal avenue to get back, would I have pursued it? I am not a litigious person by nature….but as messy as it could have been, maybe I would have.
Is this law really antiquated given the state of marriage in society? We have a culture of rampant cheating and quick exits. We have allowed marriage to become disposable. The cheating spouse and betrayed spouse both pay a heavy emotional and often financial toll. If cheating was an illegal act, bearing financial penalty, would these AP’s recklessly and selfishly invade the sanctity of marriage? Especially the ones that do it for sport? I honestly think many (not all) would not. Those that had something to lose, would think twice. The temptation to cheat would persist but the debt would not be commensurate with the thrill, better to go get laid by an available partner.
While I never like the idea of legal interference in our bedrooms, I do think there should be some recourse for those of us who have legitimately been blindsided by betrayal. When you hit someone with your car, you are judged guilty and often have a financial punishment. If you physically assault someone, there is a punishment via the law. Why not when you assault someones state of living (marriage), and cause their lives to hit the rails, often permanently? Maybe just maybe, being able to strike back at an AP in a legit way would level the playing field and help the healing just a bit. Food for thought…and in the meantime…way to go NC!