Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, January 14, 2011

Misbehaving Spouses

From LiveScience:

Everyone from relationship gurus to religious authorities tout the benefits of forgiveness. But new research suggests that in some cases, it may be better to emulate Elizabeth Edwards — who left her cheating husband John Edwards out of her will — than Hillary Clinton, who forgave Bill Clinton for his dalliances with a White House intern.

Hearing "it's okay, honey," may be just the fuel the transgressing spouse needs for more lapses of judgment, according to the new study of newlyweds.

Newlyweds who forgave their partner's bad behavior were more likely to face additional bad behavior the next day compared with those who stayed mad, the study showed. The benefits of forgiveness may need to be weighed against the risks, said study author James McNulty, a psychologist at the University of Tennessee.

Read more here.


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In the cases of my clients, it depends entirely on the personality type of the misbehaving spouse.

For example, if a newly wed individual misbehaves, but the misbehavior was an honest mistake, call it a lapse in judgment, then the non-misbehaving spouse can and should grant forgiveness and move forward.

On the other hand, if the newly wed misbehaving spouse is one of those disrespectful types, who, because of the nature of his personality he prides himself on taking a mile whenever given an inch, then the non-misbehaving spouse must draw the line in the sand so that the misbehaving spouse knows where the boundaries are.

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Lawyer | Jan 16, 2011 6:12:22 PM

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