Monday, June 2, 2008


Every so often I hear women complain about a double standard with cheating. Guys are more likely to get away with it. This is probably true, marriages are more likely to end because of the wife cheating than the husband. This is a double standard. What I have rarely heard is someone mention the obvious and say why this is the case. Why is a husband less likely to forgive his wife than the other way around?

If I was giving advice to a guy who was being cheated on while married it would be different from what I would give a girl. As a guy you stand to lose a great deal more. This might sound strange, but it is fairly certain to be true. This becomes pretty obvious when you consider the possible results. Lets say the wife gets pregnant. Under the current law in all but (last I checked) two states the husband is legally the father. Who is the genetic father is meaningless. Therefore the guy pretty much has two choices, pay child support for the next 18 years on a kid that isn't his, or stay with her and pretend the kid is his.

There is a huge legal movement around to try to change things, I suspect the law will catch up to genetic tests sooner or later...

In the reverse situation the wife faces nowhere near as bad a situation. If she makes more than her husband, and they stay married, some of her income might be legally forced to go to the kid, and clearly some of her husbands money will be siphoned away so it clearly is a situation she would want to avoid. However if they get divorced she has no legal obligation whatsoever.

Therefore if the husband cheats the wife may as well wait around a bit and see what happens. Perhaps things will get better, and the worst case scenario isn't as bad for her. If the wife cheats however the husband has every reason to get out of the marriage as fast as he can and not risk her getting pregnant.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

So part of the reason for the above is that the state doesn't want to "bastardize" the child. Of course, if the woman is the property of the man, then the child is his no matter who the father is :-)

I just learned that, at least in NY state, if you marry someone with a kid from a previous relationship , you become legally responsible for the kid- child support or custody and everything. But that only happens if the state becomes involved (i.e. the mother and father aren't doing their job or paying their child support).