This week Judge Jules (not a real judge) deals with cheating.
Have you ever cheated? Yes, you reading this column. It’s ok I am not expecting you to comment below, just reflect as you read on.
All relationships have a shelf life of about seven years. Ever heard of the ‘seven year itch’? Any relationship that extends beyond seven years has a strong chance that it may develop into a life long relationship.
When my grandparents were young, marriage was in general for life. Inevitably there would be difficulties in relationships but there was a persistence and the British stiff upper lip to maintain to the outside world. Whilst it is an admirable quality to work at a problem, many would suffer ill treatment to avoid the stigma and shame of divorce. Put up and shut up.
Lifestyle and culture has changed, but the balance has tipped the other way. We now have a more throwaway attitude. If it’s broken we will replace it, as it’s easier than fixing. Nowadays the first sign of issues and boredom in a relationship many stray and if they are not happy they crack on elsewhere. People are less inclined to persevere and work at a relationship. I look at a lot of my friends and see most are divorced or have failed long term relationships (as in my case). In fact some of my friends are on their second marriages (whilst I have yet to even get up the aisle once). Whilst I am not saying the reasons for the closure of these relationships is wrong it is overwhelming. On estimate 75% of my netball team have failed relationships.
As a practicing solicitor I have had many a failed relationship through my door. According to a poll in 2017 46% of married men had been unfaithful whilst 22% of women had (are men more truthful than women perhaps?).
I am always intrigued when there has been infidelity. I have seen it all from the sheepish person who has been caught out to the arrogant, cocky person who is quite indignant and justified in their actions. The reasons behind an affair are immaterial. Some people will always be that way inclined and others are just unhappy. The habitual cheater versus the unhappy cheater. Whichever camp I have always told clients not to berate themselves. Whatever the reason the relationship is at an end. There will be regrets and repercussions and as a solicitor I am there as part of the fixing process and not to judge. And anyway who are any of us to judge?
My mother once told me ‘what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,’ words with a true sentiment and which have echoed through my head throughout life, but then someone else also once told me ‘there are three sides to every story, his side, her side and the truth.’ Spiders and lies aside the truth will always out, but then does it really matter? Everything happens for a reason.
Juliet Phillips-James of Gomer Williams Solicitors writes for Llanelli Online.