Emotional relationship with opposite sex versus adultery


I recently learned that my husband has been carrying on an emotional relationship with a former coworker of his for a long time, perhaps years. I don’t know whether he has actually committed adultery in the strict sense of the word, but this is betrayal nevertheless.

My question is - how I can use this emotional relationship with the third party in my divorce?

Granted, I can’t prove adultery. She has moved to another state and they no longer work for the same company. Nevertheless, these factors haven’t stopped her from talking with my husband in 20 minute increments on his cell several times a week as late as 9:30 at night! I won’t know about other forms of communication like texts and e-mail until I subpoena the electronic information once the divorce action is filed.

In the meantime, I am upset by the betrayal and want to know whether I will be able to use the situation in my divorce. I don’t want to file any actions against her like alienation of affections or criminal conversation because in my view, even though she is in the wrong, it is my husband who has made and broken vows to me and I want the blame to stay with him.



You cannot use emotional adultery in a divorce.

1.) North Carolina is technically a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. So, it wouldn’t affect abilities to get or not get a divorce

2.) If he had had a physical relationship and was a supporting spouse (i.e. made more money than you do by a decent margin), then he must pay alimony. (But probably would have to anyhow if he was the supporting spouse.)

I’m really sorry that you are going through this right now, but other than AA, there’s not much you can do.


“Emotional Adultery” can be used in some parts of a divorce case, especially with regard to alimony. The statutes are as follows:

The statute lists the following 16 factors that the court shall consider (if relevant to the specific case):
(1) The marital misconduct of either of the spouses. Nothing herein shall prevent a court from considering incidents of post date-of-separation marital misconduct as corroborating evidence supporting other evidence that marital misconduct occurred during the marriage and prior to date of separation;
(2) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;
(3) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;
(4) The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security, or others;
(5) The duration of the marriage;
(6) The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child;
(8) The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;
(9) The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs;
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support;
(11) The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
(13) The relative needs of the spouses;
(14) The federal, State, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;
(15) Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.
(16) The fact that income received by either party was previously considered by the court in determining the value of a marital or divisible asset in an equitable distribution of the parties” marital or divisible property.
Marital misconduct includes “indignities rendering the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome.

Above all that, the adultery or emotional adultery can be used as leverage in reaching a resolution to your case.