Should you divorce your partner because they have committed a crime? #MaxClifford

“For better or for worse” are the vows many of us take when we get married. So when the going gets tough should we file for divorce or is there more to it than that?

We go into marriage with our rose tinted glasses well and truly on. We hope that even though divorce rates in the UK are the highest in Europe at 42%, it won’t be us getting divorced. That happens to “other” people, not us. And surely this is the way it should be? We would never walk down the aisle if we didn’t think it had a chance of going the distance and lasting a lifetime. “Aim for the stars” as I was once told.

For a marriage to be successful it does require work by both partners. Many of us work hard to achieve a good career and spend hours each week planning and focusing on how we can do better. However few of us spend any time at all on working out how to do better in our relationships. We take them as a given and just expect it to work. When it hits a rough patch then that becomes a time we look for help and advice. However what relationship problems are surmountable and which ones justify you throwing in the towel and walking away?

Each one of us has a different moral code. Standards that would be acceptable to one will be viewed as totally unacceptable by another. So it can be difficult to find a hard and fast rule here. You have to go on your gut feeling and your instinct.

Decide what your boundaries are and define them clearly. What would be a marriage/relationship breaker for you? Examples might be:

  1. Different values in life
  2. Poor sex life
  3. Selfishness
  4. Bad parenting
  5. Arguing most days
  6. Violence
  7. Drug/alcohol abuse
  8. Lying
  9. Cheating
  10. Criminal conviction

You may have one, or maybe a few, of the above where it would be an absolute no brainer and if your partner did that it would mean the end of your relationship or #divorce. It is fascinating to see the diversity between how much and how little different people will tolerate. It varies widely depending on your background, your personality, your moral code, your emotional strength, your values and even your financial situation. This is where a Divorce Coach can help to support you to get clarity about your situation and how to move forward either with or without your partner.

I have seen relationships decimated by one partner having an affair and others blossom afterwards as lessons were learnt and stronger bonds rebuilt. I had a situation in my personal life where I discovered some untruths had been told and, whilst I was devastated, I decided we could work through it on the understanding that clear defined rules were put in place for the future. It took a lot of careful thinking, heart ache and hard work to bring things back on track and was not an easy decision to take.

#JoClifford is reported to be seeking advice from Ray Tooth, a high profile family lawyer in London. If these rumours are true then we are to suppose that she is seeking to divorce her husband #MaxClifford due to his conviction for sex offences this week. She has not been at his side during the court case and is said to harbour her own suspicions about him being guilty. So is she right to divorce him now in his hour of need when he is facing a jail sentence? What about the wedding vows “for better or for worse”?

My thoughts are with her at such a turbulent time in her life. I hope she has a good support team around her who will guide her wisely through the emotional and legal minefield. It is my opinion that of course she is right to #divorce a man who has been convicted of committing such awful crimes. For me that would be a clear cut decision to walk away.

However just because it may be a clear cut decision, does not mean it is an easy decision to make. Divorce and relationship #breakups are never the easy option and come with a rollercoaster of emotions to cope with. Just because someone has violated your moral code does not mean that you fall out of love with them instantly – although it is possible. You can be left coping with the heart ache of walking away from someone you still love deeply because of their actions.

There are many of us to prove that it is possible to move on to happier times again. For advice and tips on how to cope in the early days of divorce see my blogs on