Man Divorces Wife of 77 Years Upon Learning of Her Affair: Is There A Statute of Limitations on Cheating?

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This week a 99-year-old man named Antonio discovered his 96-year-old wife Rosa, whom he’s been happily married to for 77 years, had an affair back in the 1940s.  He uncovered secret letters she wrote to an old lover and lost it. His reaction? He immediately filed for divorce. A decision so shocking, apparently, that it made news headlines in Italy, where the couple reside.  When the news broke, and included details about how his wife “desperately tried to convince him otherwise”, it took merely a day for the story to go viral, and people all over, myself included, began weighing in.

Many sided with Antonio: “He spent most of his life believing she loved only him, and to have that realization hit you that she was lying to you the entire time (in more ways than one) can be pretty devastating,” wrote one commenter. “The fact that she kept the letter would make me think it wasn’t just a fling that meant nothing,” replied another.

Others, well, they felt his reaction was just plain absurd. “Just because he has the ‘right’ doesn’t mean I can’t think his reaction is idiotic,” wrote one woman. “This is something that happened 50-some years ago. Being hurt and angry is understandable. Making it more important than everything else in the 77 year marriage is ridiculous.” She has a point there. Posed another woman: “Honestly, at a certain point, is it really worth it? Good question!

Sadly, many just found it funny, posting jokes like, “It’s that 77 year itch again” and “Maybe they tried to wait till the kids were dead…” None of which I found to be very funny.

Marriage is certainly not a joke (celebs are you listening?) and this situation is way more depressing than amusing. Seriously, what a dilemma? My initial reaction was that perhaps he was putting one mistake over 77 years of progress, but then I thought, how must it feel to realize someone you trusted for nearly seven decades was keeping such a secret? People, this is quite a tough situation – and the solution, as always, will I’m sure, vary from marriage to marriage and couple to couple.  When you’re good days far outweigh the bad ones, is there a statute of limitations on cheating? Is a lie still a lie? Hell, I’m really sitting on the fence on this one.

Wives, what was your instinctual reaction after reading this story? Did your opinions change once it settled in? Was he better off never knowing? Should she have just fessed up back then? Had she, do you think they would have stayed together. We could debate so many sides on this one. Where do we start?

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76 Responses to Man Divorces Wife of 77 Years Upon Learning of Her Affair: Is There A Statute of Limitations on Cheating?

  1. Mrs TDJ says:

    So many ways to go with this. IMO, I don't think divorce was/is the way to go. However ,I'm from the school of thought that cheating is automatically one way ticket to divorce court, regardless of how long ago it happened. Every couple needs to work that out for themselves. I can imagine being hurt and shocked by it, however, I'd have to look at the sum total of our lives together. I'd hope that after 77 yrs together, I'd realize that our marriage was a lot more than simply what we shared in the sheets.

  2. @BKGurl208 says:

    This is hard to say what I'd do, but I understand his reaction. Trust is very important in a marriage and even after 77 years, this lie destroyed his trust in her. If he couldn't find a way to restore it and be happy again then he had no choice but to end the marriage. Very sad! I few moments of passion couldn't have been worth it.

  3. myloverswife says:

    What a conundrum! Given the fact the he found out about an affair that occurred so long ago and after 77 years of marriage I would think that divorce is pointless. I doubt at 96 years old the wife is at risk of cheating again. Had it been earlier in the marriage I would totally see how divorce could be an option.

  4. Life As Wife says:

    Are his emotions and feelings justifiable? Absolutely! Could the marriage have been salvaged? I think so!

    I don’t blame the man for how he felt. I think learning your spouse cheated on you after all that time may be harder than finding out immediately or when you hardly know them. I would question every happy moment and wonder if she (or my hubby if it were the case) was thinking of the other person throughout those years. It’s hard not to feel betrayed and like you lived a lie.

  5. Wow. This is deep and like you said, Wife, it will leave you riding that fence…

    "Being hurt and angry is understandable. Making it more important than everything else in the 77 year marriage is ridiculous.” I strongly agree with that statement…obviously they've loved each other long enough to make it 77 years so there has to be some hope that they can last longer, even with the infidelity that happened so long ago…however, no one should be surprised that he is highly upset. She probably knew back then that he would react that way, which is why she didn't tell him. On the other hand, it leaves to speculation whether she was honest after that affair for the rest of the marriage.

    Gosh, this is one hard situation to accurately determine how to handle. It makes you think though. Good post!
    My recent post The Facts behind My Faith: Truth about the Bible

  6. Jewel says:

    As long as the marriage had been happy in all other ways, I think he should have disregarded it, as it was so long ago. At the ages they are now, there would not be much chance of a repeat offence.
    My recent post Completed Tree of Life – and start of Tenby Harbour

  7. Susie says:

    If there was happiness for all those years…..does being alone and angry make it right?…hell no….and maybe she kept that letter for all those years to remind her of the wonderful man she has and NOT to ever be so silly again!

  8. Dana says:

    I think that is a bit much. He must not of thought all the years that they had together. Yes, my feelings would hurt, but after 77 years, there has to be some forgiveness. I agree with Suzie, maybe she kept those letters to reminder of how wonderful her life is and thinking about all she would be missing without her husband.

  9. Wow, I am all sort of confused on this one. Thinking of my own marriage, in 70 years if I found out he had been swooning another lady. I would probably react the same way. Hell, I don't know…

    xoxo – Elizabeth

  10. lianemarkus says:

    It really hurts when you know that your wife or husband is cheating on you. Thus, it is more painful when you have kids. You need to sacrifice everything just to save your relationship and to happy a complete and happy life. Cheating really is the problem when you are married that is why you have to take care of your partner.
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  12. Dave says:

    Maybe her infidelity caused him to question her honesty in every other facet of their relationship and he came to the conclusion that he'd lived a lie. That might drive anyone over the edge.

  13. Michael says:

    As usual, people like to presume to know how someone else should react to a certain situation, for which they don't have the entire context. They think that because the guy is close to 100 years old, he should somehow be restricted to a set of decisions they deemed more adequate. They think that his age justifies their rationalization of what he should do about the rest of HIS life. People please, live and let live.

    This man obviously felt that he just couldn't be with that woman anymore, it doesn't matter how long they've been together. What matter is that he's hurt to the point he feels he just can't take it. We don't know what was the basis of his decision, nor why he feels so strongly about it. I can only imagine so many reasons: maybe he knew and despised the man, maybe his wife was aware of it and did it to hurt him for something she thought he did and for which he was in fact innocent, maybe he's just now connecting some dots when looking back over those 77 years, maybe he now feels like the butt of a long running joke.

    The point is, no matter how old he is, no matter how long he has left to live, no matter how long they've been together, at the time T he took the decision, he felt that his life was just better without her around.

  14. What a conundrum! Given the fact the he found out about an affair that occurred so long ago and after 77 years of marriage I would think that divorce is pointless. I doubt at 96 years old the wife is at risk of cheating again. Had it been earlier in the marriage I would totally see how divorce could be an option.

  15. In my past marriage my wife was verbally and physically harsh. A man is relied upon to simply take it. In the event that he reacts physically, then he is a tank top. It required a long investment to figure out how to manage her, yet throughout the years she showed signs of improvement.

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    He should react the same way as if it just happens. It's his life and he can choose what type of women he wants to lay next to every night.Maybe her vitrousness was the reason why he loved her.

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