The One-Two Punch of Sexual and Financial Betrayal

Destructive experiences stemming from sexual and financial betrayal are never too far from example. In a recently published article in The New York Times, “Divorce Funding Firms Help Spouses Expecting Big Payouts,” the details of a wife’s financial ruin brought on by her spouse’s chronic infidelity, addiction to pornography and gambling are detailed. This confluence, yet again, of sexual and financial betrayal are explored.  However,the demise of the marriage is made all the more egregious when the wife learns that the funds she thought were accessible to her in a divorce were in fact unavailable or nonexistent. http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-heart-broken-money-illustration-huge-gold-dollar-sign-image35813607

That’s where a growing and contentious field of divorce law comes in. The destruction of a committed marriage and life that was built on hope and promise is traumatizing enough.  But when financial nest eggs are depleted, pilfered or misrepresented, a grieving, traumatized spouse may be rendered penniless if the coffers are opened and reveal empty assets. Further, the joint assets that were freely shared by both partners during their marriage may be rendered inaccessible pending separation or divorce if legal action is pending or imminent.  The already betrayed partners may not have access to financial resources sorely needed to proceed with divorce or their life.

A wife walked away from her 6,000-square-foot custom-built house and marriage of 29-years. It was a few months earlier, she recalled, that her husband, with whom she had built an engineering firm they had sold for several million dollars, revealed to her about his chronic infidelity, addiction to pornography and gambling. Disclosures such as this, in the arena of sex addiction, are not unusual nor, sadly, uncommon. Also described in the article was the fact that they were a religious couple with two children, and she had been helping her husband through his problems with the support of the church and friends. But other previously undisclosed issues surfaced that forced her to leave abruptly. Only then did she learn the truth about what had been previously unknown to her about their financial state of affairs. Susie was quoted as saying, “I tried to get a loan against the house or our cabins.  But we own the properties jointly, so how was I going to get his signature on a loan?”

Grief is the rope burns left behind when what we have held to most dearly is pulled out of reach, beyond our grasp. – Steven Levine

Some spouses find, either immediately before or shortly after the dissolution of the marriage, that their spouses were engaging in illegal business activities. At times a forced (unexpected or unplanned) disclosure regarding sexual infidelity or sexual addiction becomes the launch point for marital or relational demise. Just as the spouse (in most cases the spouse is a woman but increasingly women are contributing to the rising occurrences of sexual betrayal and addiction in a committed relationship or marriage.) is becoming aware of sexual betrayal she also learns about financial exploitation or betrayal and is hit with a one-two emotional and financial punch in the gut. Therapists who are trained to work with sexual addiction often hear that partners of those who are sexually compulsive or addicted may have had an inclination that something wasn’t quite right with their spouse.  The wife or betrayed partner may have had a “felt sense” that her husband was depressed or stressed; that he was more distracted than usual and prone to physical or emotional absence.  But what most spouses don’t usually know or reveal is that they had any inkling as to the eroding financial foundations that are due to stolen, squandered and spent funds by their sex addicted partner on sexual encounters with prostitutes, strip clubs, massage parlors or payments for financial support of an affair.
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-bank-statement-image9701815

Therapists who are trained to work with sexual addiction often hear that the client may have had an inclination that something wasn’t quite right with their husband.  The wife or betrayed partner may have had a “felt sense” that her husband was depressed or stressed; that he was more distracted than usual and prone to physical or emotional absence.  But what most spouses don’t usually know or reveal is that they had any inkling as to the eroding financial foundations that are due to stolen, squandered and spent funds by their sex addicted partner on sexual encounters with prostitutes, strip clubs, massage parlors or payments for financial support of an affair.

It bears stating that monies spent on affairs and addictions are not necessarily on flagrant par with embezzled or stolen funds that prompt the need for legal action and adjudication.  However, in all cases, covertly using funds that are co-mingled in the relationship and meant for the purposes of building and supporting the family is wrong and needs to be addressed accordingly.  Money and wealth is relative whether the squandered funds number in the hundreds, thousands, or millions. One family’s financial ruin is no less painful because the coffers were more or less filled.  In fact, in cases where less financial resources must go further, the financial destruction might be more egregious. Regardless of the level of deceit a price-tag can never be put on pain, grief and loss.  The loss of dreams, visions and marriage are painful for all involved, while felt differently or to varying degrees by those affected.

In the words of  Stephen Levine, “Grief is the rope burns left behind when what we have held to most dearly is pulled out of reach, beyond our grasp.”

Comments are closed.

Top