Marriage-Divorce Coaching


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Due to health reasons, the Divorce Support Plus website was closed several years ago, but Sharon Shenker is returning to her passion of helping others through family reconstruction, or even better, saving families by reconstructing the relationship(s).

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How would you punish an adulterer?

I just read an online article about an Iranian woman who has been sentenced to such extreme punishment for committing adultery (when her husband was already dead!) and I just had to share it with you. 
Did you notice the sentence that said he had died the year before?!?

After all my years of working with couples going through relationship difficulties and divorces, many of which were because of adultery, I am so glad we live in a country that does not stone the cheaters. Oh, don't get me wrong, I am sure as heck not saying cheating is okay. In fact, if any man I was in a relationship with cheated on me instead of working on any problematic issues we had that made him feel like looking elsewhere I would have no second thoughts about ending that relationship. That is partly because honesty and trust are really big issues to me, but mostly because I would have seen to it from get-go of dating me that I would never accept that behavior. No one ever cheated on me, if that's what you thought. It's that I know I would never feel that I could trust him again. I grew up in a family with a lot of lies and secrets, and my ex-husband lied a lot. I insist upon only being with people that I believe to honest and therefore trustworthy people.

I have worked with couples in which partners were totally oblivious to all the signs of a cheating partner, a few that did not care because they were also getting some outside, and plenty that were being so fooled it made me angry. I remember one couple that I actually had to tell the wife that if she wanted to continue working with me she had two weeks to inform her husband that she was cheating. I told her she did not have to tell him that her lover was her husband's best friend who was over at their home almost daily, but I will not  work or live against my values.

People who are lying to their partners and cheating on them are not going to be my clients because I have personal ethics that flow into my career. I work with couples to repair their relationship disconnect and rebuild their friendship and romantic bond... but, I do not think the cheaters should be stoned to death. I don't even think they all need to be divorced. Many couples I have worked with were able to heal and create a better relationship than they ever had - because they each worked through their own issues that they entered the marriage or relationship with.

All couples lives with issues; ever human being has issues. There are things about everyone's partner that annoys them or even drives them crazy. And none of us is a saint. We all do things that can drive our partner crazy - thank goodness most couples will learn how to accept each other, quirks and all. The idea of trying to improve a union is one of the best ideas most couples can make. I have never really believed that you just go to the justice of the peace, or your rabbi or priest and voila, you are happily married. I believe that you become married, truly married, over time, by going through all the big and small issues that you never really expected would come up and you didn't plan for... but you either found that your communicating and problem-solving skills (that you learned from your family of origin) were good enough to see you through the tough times, or you learned they did not suffice.... and hopefully sought some help before one of you got to that strange point of 'falling' out of love with the other.

Monogamy, to me, is one of the most basic concepts of marriage. A promise to forsake all others. A promise. Many of us have attachment issues from our childhood that can contaminate our relationships, but if we are old enough to marry, I think we should be wise enough to know when we need to seek some help for ourselves and/or for our relationships.

But, back to the article mentioned for just a moment, I do not believe in stoning someone for cheating on their dead or living husband or wife!

If you are in a long-term relationship that seems to need a kick in the love pants, and you need something to start you with, try this exercise with your partner:

Complete this sentence with as many responses as you can: "I feel loved and cared about when you..."
If one or both of you have trouble coming up with answers, sit quietly with your eyes closed, thinking back to the romantic stage of your relationship, and answer this question: "I used to feel loved and cared about when you..."

One of the most important truths for people to understand, in my professional opinion, is that marriages are not actually the means to wish fulfillment. Getting a mate does not mean the end to loneliness or discontent with oneself. Marriage means having someone to go through life with... and hopefully, falling in love with over and over - but it must be with the same person!

And if your partner does commit adultery, please do not 'bobbit it' or stone him or her to death. If seeking outside help does not bring your relationship to a better place for each of you, and life in your household has become a living hell for your kids, then divorce might be the answer... but, even then, you will need to learn how to communicate and make decisions together, for the sake of your children, and so that you both get to be at their weddings!

About the Author:
Sharon Shenker, Family Life Coach
After many years of working with children and their families, Sharon founded Divorce Support Plus to help couples prevent family breakdowns by reconnecting lovingly ( to assist them through and beyond a separation or divorce ( For further information, phone: 514.804.3585 or email her directly at
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