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Would you stay with a cheating spouse -- for cash?

Could any amount of money erase the pain caused by infidelity?

By Karen Datko Dec 3, 2009 7:31PM

Woman’s Day recently polled readers on a touchy issue: “Would you stay if your husband cheated?” Answers last time we checked: yes, 35%; no, 65%. “Maybe” or “It depends” were not options.


The ladies have taken a stand. But what if someone sweetened the pot? What if you were offered money -- millions of dollars, let’s say -- to stay with a cheater?


Would that influence your decision?


This video about Tiger Woods' prenup negotiations prompted us to wonder about this question.

The Daily Beast reported the following developments regarding the “transgressions” of Woods and the status of negotiations with his wife, Elin Nordegren, mother of his two children.

A lawyer familiar with the hastily conducted negotiations of the past 72 hours said that as of Wednesday evening Elin has been offered a $5 million payment immediately if she agrees to stay -- and her prenuptial agreement is being revised to give her up to an additional $55 million.

The Daily Beast adds:

The lawyer familiar with the couple’s negotiations told The Daily Beast that Tiger also has agreed to shorten the original prenup to seven years from the date of marriage, meaning it will vest in another two. And the revised agreement provides for a staggered schedule of payments spread out over five years that could be worth upward of $75 million.

(For an intelligent look at all aspects of the Tiger story, read Howard Kurtz’s Media Notes in The Washington Post.)


We can all point to lots of very public examples of infidelity -- and of spouses who stayed in the marriage despite their hurt, humiliation and disgust. But how important are finances in that decision?

Or more specifically, would the chance of a big payoff keep you in a marriage with an unfaithful spouse?


Do a search on “marry for money” and you’ll find tons of results. “Would you stay married for money?” doesn’t provide nearly as many. And we’re clearly not talking about couples who stay married because getting a divorce is more than they can afford.


A discussion at BabyCenter, of all places, of the Woods prenup reports produced some thought-provoking comments. The most common opinion seemed to be that if a husband is a multiple offender, no amount of money could keep a marriage intact. Better to leave and take the offender to the cleaners.


“I could probably forgive infidelity under a certain number of circumstances but I can promise you that money would not be one of those,” “kymama0220” wrote.


My thoughts: I don’t think any amount of money could repair the damage caused by a multiple offender. If I stayed married to a spouse who strayed repeatedly, I’d have to re-examine my self-worth.


Your turn. Weigh in. 


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