Madame On the Street: Is Cheating Grounds for Immediate Divorce?

October 19, 2011  |  

In most marriage vows couples pledge to be together until death. But situations and circumstances can change all of that. First on the list of obstsacles is infidelity. If you found out your spouse had cheated would that be the end of your union, no discussion? Or would you try to work it out? We asked this question to a few people on the streets of New York. See what they had to say.


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  • FromUR2UB

    Most of the people on this video who said, absolutely yes, or absolutely no, appear to be very young.  When I was young, I would have left the marriage in a minute.  I know this, because I did.  As I’ve gotten older and learned a little more about life, I’ve come to believe that decision has to be made on a case by case basis.  Some people are habitual cheaters and will never be satisfied with one person unless they become physically unable to cheat.  If someone has a history of cheating, then yeah, it’s probably best to let them go.  But if a marriage has been generally satisfying, the person who cheated…a real helpmate in the relationship and had been faithful previously, then it would be worth it to try to work things out, as painful as that might be.

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  • FromUR2UB

    Infidelity is biblical grounds for immediate divorce, but the quality of the marriage should be evaluated by the couples involved, on a case by case basis.  For example, if a wife or husband found out that their spouse of sixteen years cheated…someone who had always been faithful, loving and a benefit to the marriage and household, then they may want to try to determine why it happened now, and work through it.   Of course, that will only work if the person who cheated permanently ends the extramarital affair, and makes the effort to rebuild trust.  But if the cheater has done so habitually throughout the marriage, or hasn’t really brought much to the marriage table and then cheats, it would be understandable if the betrayed spouse chose to move on without them.  

  • Sandra Ullah

    verse please.

  • Jenny

    I couldn't stay. I feel once a cheater always a cheater. Love conquers all and you shouldn't have had a thought of cheating let alone doing it. I will leave my fiance' first, before I cheat. I would always want to through it up in his face every time I saw him.

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  • ray man

    i thought till death due you part and people have the nerve to swear before God on these vows that they really don't won't to keep when it gets ruff and this is why people don't marry to much to put on the line and so easy to lose it all

  • Two words: Hell yeah! Love cannot exist without trust. Even if I wanted to stay I've learned that just looking at him after what he'd done would just make my heart and my eyes bleed.

    the Super Sistah

  • instant gratification is a sign of immaturity, and relationships take work, simple as that. if people were to have to wear a scarlet letter, instantly lose their finances and their children, they would probably go limp before they could ever cheat, nowadays mistresses have no qualms about what they do, so yes, totally grounds for divorce.

  • Mila

    My grandparents live to be in their mid-nintes and my grandmother would stil fuss and cus at my grandfather about him cheating on her 70 years ago. So you will never forget. But she loved him and he changed and got his stuff together while they were still young.

  • Guest01

    My spouse cheated after 14 years of marriage, three kids and two mortgages, ups and downs, job losses, job gains, family deaths and family births. We went to counseling but it didn't help. I couldn't trust and he didn't try hard enough to make it work. He didn't do a few things I requested to help get past the hurt and I couldn't/wouldn't let myself get into a position of being volunerable again. I left two years later, 2 days before our 16th wedding anniversary….. You must make the decision for yourself, Live, Love, Laugh

  • MrsRivera

    I don't believe cheating is grounds for divorce unless it's serial cheating throughout years and it's severly effecting the other spouse. That blatant disregard is abusive in a sense I've seen this before. But I believe almost anything can be worked out. It says til death right?

  • Rosanna

    I believe almost anything can be worked out, or that the couple should at least try and put some serious effort into trying. BUT…. I do NOT believe that a person should stay with anyone who puts their life at risk. Cheating (and physical abuse) can cost you your life. The rate of married women contracting HIV from unfaithful husbands (cheating with both women AND the DL men cheating with other men) is steadily increasing. No matter how much you love him, once he puts your life at risk… I believe it's time to go.

  • I’m Just Sayin

    Whether or not someone should leave once their significant other has cheated on them is a conscience matter for that person. As for me, this is an instant deal breaker. An unfaithful spouse is the ultimate betrayal, and I don’t believe I would ever trust him with my heart, feelings, or anything for that matter ever again. And if you want to bring the Bible into it, it does mention adultery as being a grounds for divorce. The Bible also mentions to not let your marriage bed be full of defilement. I would rather my spouse tell me that he’s not happy and leave me instead of sneaking around and cheating on me.

    • boom bam

      the bible also mentions that jesus said you should forgive your brother 70 times 7

    • Sandra Ullah

      When you bring the bible into it don’t forget that scripture about what a man can do if his wife will not fulfill her “wifely duties” and yes, I believe the same is true for the female.  When the “thrill is gone” or one uses sex to punish or otherwise deprive their spouse (and people do that) then the situation is set up for cheating.  When that happens then if cheating occurs both are responsible but the person withholding sex is more responsible for setting things in motion. THAT also is scriptural.

  • n&h

    if you cheat I'm up i cant look you in the eye and trust you ever again. its not worth it and that goes for 10 years in, 15 years in,30 years in. doesn't matter if i have kids because they will see the tension and the strained relationship that the marriage has turned into it and they will be the worse for it. and counseling should have happened before the cheating whether you feel in your gut that something is wrong or he has an inkling that he is seriously thinking about straying then that's when counseling needs to start not after. if he wants his cake and to eat it too he can gonhead.

  • I haven't even read this article yet, but I think it's a) effed up or b) freaking hilarious, that this picture is of a dude cheating with a white chick.

    • Duh

      Uhh…she's a light-skinned sistah.

      • ZoraNeale

        In this one she is, but in one of the smaller thumbnails that links to this article there's one with a Black dude and White woman.

        • Sandra Ullah

          and that woman was on her knees while he is sitting, guess what is up?

  • Confessional

    I have been cheating with my ex BF for the last 3 yrs. My husband has cheated on me before and our marriage has NEVER been the same since then. We have kids and felt I was unable to leave at the time (even though I did want to leave) . I know for a fact my husband cheated more than once given the manner in which he was caught. But that is something he will take to his grave. And this is something I will take to mine. Once me and the ex came in contact again, the chemistry was too strong to deny. Unfortunately he is also married. As wrong as I know it is, I am unable to stop this. Does this make me a REALLY bad person?

    • Does this make you a bad person? No, not really…. Are you making choices that are pretty jacked up regardless of the consequence absolutely. Am I glad I'm not involved in this mess? Yup. Ish is gonna go down.

      I was involved in a similar (sans the nuptials) situation and it ripped me apart. I have never come so close to homicide as I did when I found out.

    • n&h

      yes it does, especially since you know what it is to be cheated on, you know the emotional mess his wife will be once she finds out, (because she will find out), and you will be partly responsible for the failure of yet another marriage but hey as long as you are getting yours i guess its alll good right?

    • No disrespect

      It makes you a coward. Instead of facing your problems, you are doing something that you know is wrong because you are not strong enough to do what you know is right. Honestly, it's kind of sad. It's either you try to honestly work it out or you decide to end it. Instead, because you were hurt by your husband, you are allowing yourself to be apart of hurting someone else (your ex's wife) and you are only acting out of revenge. Is this the kind of woman you want to be? Would you teach your children to act in this way? Honestly, not only are you a coward, but you are also selfish. What impact is this having on your children? Please believe that, no matter how young your children are, when something isn't right, they sense it and it isn't fair to them for you and your husband to be playing these childish games. One of you needs to be the grown-up. [stepping down from the soapbox now]

      • Confessional

        I really appreciate the honesty from everyone. I wish I could explain this situation in detail. Not to justify my actions but to let you know ME. I am not a bad person. Im not doing this to intentionally hurt anyone (her, him or us). Does anyone believe that some things are were meant to be? We just find ourselves in situations that make the inevitable difficult right now. I dont mean to sound niave, cuase im not. I am however, in a situation that I have ALWAYS said "will never be me" All comments will be taken into consideration. Much appreciated.

        • ohio_lovejones

          You admit to cheating with your ex bf for the last 3 years,so what kind of person does this make you? does this make you a good person? I would like to know. when do you do something over and over,it whats you choose to do. your children and this woman are the victims here,not you. do you and your husband still live in the same house? im not claiming to be hollier than though because no person walking this planet can claim such. No one is forcing you todo what you do.

        • Mila

          Get a divorce. The kids are already hurting no matter how much you think you are hiding it fromt hem and being carfeul they know the status of your relationship with their dad. Get a divorce it will be the best thing you have done in the past 3 years

        • Honest Brotha

          Nothing amazes me more than folks who say things were meant to be. It is without a doubt the biggest lie a person can tell to themselves in this situation. As a married man I can’t say whether or not my wife has cheated on me or tempted to do so. What I do know is I have plenty of options to cheat and the biggest reason I choose not to do so is the REALITY that the ONLY REASON this other woman seems appealing is because she doesn’t have to share the the problems my wife and I face. Simply put, she’s special because she’s not there for the BAD times. At fhis very moment I have requests from former girlfriends on facebook trying to hook up. Why? Because all they remember are the good times. Meanwhile you think your ex is so great….try living with him, cleaning up after him, sharing his money, etc. and see how “special” he really is……..

    • Fallon

      I don't think you are a bad person but matching hurts for hurts is never the way to go. All you are doing is making yourself grow accustomed to dysfunction and hurt. Both are easy to get into but a b- to get out of (trust me I've been there!). I think you should take your dignity and show your husband and most importantly yourself that you are above any hurts that he has caused you. Take control of your life and either move on or focus on your marriage and try to rebuild.

    • ohio_lovejones

      Of course it makes you a really bad person. Do you think that makes you a good person? Its bad enough your husband cheated,but you are doing the same thing.So,if you are cheating with a married man,why are you mad at your husband?Thats like 2 weedheads getting mad at each other for smoking too much weed lol. I dont know you,but im absolutely not buying the "im able to stop this" you've been doing this for 3 years,you dont want to stop it. Please stop trying to rationalize things,be an adult and call things what they really are. your kids should be ashamed of you both of you. Dont feel that im judging or coming down on you,the truth is what you need to hear.

    • ready to go

      Wow!! I am in the EXACT same situation…husband cheated several times and I wanted to leave but fels stuck because of kids, money, etc. Now I want to leave and feel a little more empowered to do so, but I don't want to leave for my ex, whom I am cheating with…I have concerns because he is cheating on his current girl…but the chemistry and desire is so strong. Sometime I don't know what to do.

      • Mila

        Get a divorce. The kids know whats going on you are not fooling anyone. If anything the kids just want you to be happy and be a good example for them by saying to them when they become adults. I cheated on your dad but to be fair I left and now…… Move on.

      • Confessional

        Even though it's not an appropriate situation, I'm really relieved to know it's not just me. I'm not planning on leaving my marriage for the ex and dont expect the ex to leave his wife. The chemistry we have is so undeniable and that's what makes it so hard to stop. There is only one person in the world who can understand my situation and now there's you (Ready to go) I'm wishing you the best of luck with whatever you do, trust me I can understand.

    • solaris

      That makes you the same kind of homewrecker your husband is cheting with. You deserve each other.

    • boom bam

      seem like to me you are makeing excuses for your own sexual endeavors,and now your to far gone,just realize this
      that in the end,you are going to be all alone without love trust,loyalty,commitment.your are alone now,its just your body
      is there with those men.stop being a dog like them,and show your kids some decency

  • Guest

    People can change so I think it would be up to the couple.

  • Fallon

    Knowing the person I am I wouldn't be able to stay. I'd bring that ish up every 5 minutes like a damn egg timer! Also I'm ashamed to admit that I WAS once the OW in an affair so I know how men are when they out catting around and usually these men do what they do because they do not care about their wives or anyone for that matter, so why would I invest in that? Just think about it, To share YOUR BODY with someone else while your married is the ultimate in disrespect.
    When I first started dating my now deceased fiance/love of my life, he cleaned his entire life up just to be with me because he felt I was worth it. THAT is the type of man you invest in. One with honesty and integrity.

    • GIgi

      That comment about bringing it up every 5 minutes like a egg timer literal did make me lol. I been on both sides of this equation and I stayed when I was on that side. Big mistake—I stopped bringing it up, but I have turned into the FBI–where you going, who you texting, what time you leaving……..etc. No thanks can't take no more. It's broken. But seriously–I really appreciated your answer.

      • No disrespect

        Agreed. I think people cheat because they don't care about their partner anymore and they are selfish. If you truly care about someone, you wouldn't cheat on he/she because you would think about how your cheating would affect him/her. Why would you want to put in the work to "try and work it out" with someone who chose to easily dismiss your feelings? Honestly, if a person cheats, it just means it wasn't meant to be. Period. If it's meant to be, my body would be all you need and you would be able to communicate with me so that I have an opportunity to provide what you feel you are missing. If I can't provide it, then, again, it obviously wasn't meant to be.

  • Mila

    I think that when they say I cheated with only one person. Would you trust that? I think the only reason they say one person because that's who you found out about. An affair I would not be able to stay. I am a child from a father who was married when he was with my mom and his wife loved him. But I think she accepted it because after her daughter died whom my dad adopted she made him promise that they would not have any more children. I don't think that was realistic. He was 8 years younger than her when they met and he did not have any kids of his own. Plus I'm not the only child he had outside of their marriage. I know that the other child was a one night stand and the relationship he had with my mom has been a lifetime. His wife died when I was 11 and I am now 32 and he has been with my mom for 36 years. So what do you do?

    • Monica

      wow… ur dad is F@#$ed up. i hope u dont think that u shud settle for a man who does the samething just b/cuz he's now with ur mom. ur mom deserves better

      • Mila

        You know my dad was always good to me and that's what I focus on. But I have always had problems being in relationships because when I want more men try to put me in the bag like my dad did my mom and then I move on. I just fear having the relationship she had without a real commitment.

      • that's nasty

        her mom is just as messed up…

        • solaris

          Wow, sorry to say it but both your mom and dad were homewreckers. Getting knocked up by a married man is low.

  • NEWHAIR5000

    it depends.say you've been married for 10 yrs. or longer,you have kids and you or your spouse has cheated.but it was only once and with one person,i think with counseling,it can be saved.but if it happens more then once,and nothing changes,then yeah,it's time to kick that person to the curb and move on.

  • Nene

    Not for me but I’m probably a rare breed.

  • Msgonzo10

    Coming up on my 10th year of marriage, which has included ups and downs but thankfully not infidelity, I confess that I don't know whether I would leave or not. My husband is as much my family as my blood relatives and while I am certain that betrayal would be painful beyond measure, I can't honestly say that I would leave because I just don't know what my reaction would be (past the pain). I can understand why a person chooses to leave but can also understand why a person chooses to stay.