Ask Dr Louise: Can I sue her for affair with my man?

Woman contemplating getting a divorce. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Woman contemplating getting a divorce. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

Nomonde, email

Can I sue the woman who’s having an affair with my husband? The fact that he’s being unfaithful to me with her is causing me a lot of stress, and my two children are having to go for psychological counselling.

Dr Louise’s advice

A few years ago it was still possible to sue the third party in an extramarital affair and have a good chance at a successful outcome. These days it’s much more difficult because it’s recognised that the spouse who’s unfaithful is equally guilty.

It’s not possible for the third party to have an affair on their own,  so they can’t solely be to blame. Rather than go that particular legal route, you need to work this issue out with your husband. If he’s simply going to continue with the affair in spite of the distress it’s causing you, do you want to stay married to him?

Perhaps you need to consider divorce. If the affair is having an emotional effect on your children, it’s important that both of you refrain from talking about it in front of them. You should certainly never allow them to witness heated arguments between the two  of you about it. Simply explain to them that you’re sad and upset because your relationship isn’t good right now and say that you are trying to sort things out between you and their dad.

Kids don’t have the maturity to deal with the sordid details of an affair. You and your husband need to sit down and have a serious discussion about the path forward. Is he willing  to end it and work on your marriage?  If not, it’s decision time for you. In the meantime, see your doctor and ask for medication to help you deal with the stress – just as a temporary measure.


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