Appearing on GB News’ Alastair Stewart & Friends this Sunday, Ayesha Vardag discussed whether cheating in marriage should be considered a deal-breaker. You can listen to the full segment on the GB News app, available to download free here. Ayesha’s segment on the Sunday 4 July show begins at 2:43:00. Some of Ayesha’s comments (non-verbatim) are included below.
Responding to Stewart’s prompt that Ayesha is promoting perhaps a rewriting of the British morale code to something fundamentally French, Ayesha affirmed:
Marriages shouldn’t be thrown away lightly - we put so much into it. We invest ourselves and build lives, families and even business structures into them. They form economic, social and familial partnerships. In the context of this, infidelity is relatively unimportant. Infidelity shouldn’t have to change your love, relationship or desire to be with a person you have decided to make your life with. We should not be so judgemental about it.
The problem is the whole of society tends to weigh in on the cheating person and treat the person who has been cheated on as some kind of victim. It doesn’t have to be such a big deal. In other countries, i.e. France, infidelity is simply seen as part of a life-long marriage. This is sometimes the reality of being with someone over a decade - you both change.
Responding to Stewart’s query that this appears to insult the traditional institution of marriage (and that if you wish for an open relationship, you should avoid marriage), Ayesha said:
People should be able to dictate their own marital structures. When one promises to cleave themselves to another person, they do not promise that there will be no imperfections. We already accept that marriage can be finite. Otherwise, marriage would entail a form of slavery, which we no longer tolerate as a society. Marriage vows have therefore already been reinterpreted to this extent.
We shouldn’t to break up every time something goes a bit wrong. This is not to say fidelity doesn’t mean anything anymore - it is simply saying that people should be able to work things out themselves without the external judgement of others. They van choose to view their marriage as something much more than the infidelity that took place.
In response to Stewart’s note on ‘BUPA-style private hearings’ and their capacity to make divorce too ‘easy’, Ayesha said:
Making divorce difficult doesn’t keep people together. It didn’t keep people together when the laws were difficult - nor does it continue to keep people together despite causing people to lose the equivalent of 50% tax on their entire net worth. Nothing keeps people together if they want to break up.
The only thing we can do is find ways to make the process less painful (as we have done with No Fault Divorce) or to not let everything be a dealbreaker. Broadly, we just need to be less judgemental as a society.
In conclusion, Stewart summarised: marriage is a noble estate and should be retained, protected and respected - but maybe the contract of engagement needs to modernise itself a bit? To this, Ayesha stated:
Yes - or maybe we need to be less critical. We actually already accept that marriage isn’t something permanent. We now just need some leeway about the fidelity part as well.
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