What to do when Children are in the middle of infidelity in a marriage
We often forget about the impact of infidelity on children. It’s easy for those in the throes of infidelity to emotionally disengage from their children, or to involve them in unhealthy ways. Learn how to deal with children as a couple faces infidelity.
Infidelity: What about the Children?
It happened again last week.
I had a man contact me for coaching. His wife of some 15 years was having an affair (probably #1: “My Marriage Made Me Do It” with an underlying #6: “I Need to Prove my Desirability”) with her boss.
What I mean by “again” is the fact that their oldest child is a 13 year old daughter. Here’s a 13 year old girl, on the threshold of launching into the frenzy of psychosexual development, and her mother is having an affair (problems with her own psychosexual development.)
This is so common – the parent of the same sex having an affair when the oldest child of the same sex enters early adolescence – that I mention it in my E-book, Break Free From the Affair.
Come to find out, the mother’s father died when she was 12. Her mother soon remarried an abusive step-father. Doesn’t it make sense that she is having an affair with her boss – 15 years older than she?
But, enough about her. What about the daughter? What about the other children?
They know. They know more than most of us think they know. They FEEL it. They sense it. The pain, the tension, the anxiety becomes part of them.
You don’t need to protect them. All of us experience pain, tension and underlying anxiety through he formative years. It’s part of life.
But, you can be aware.
I’m presenting an article from one of my online colleagues about the children.
After Infidelity Has Been Discovered, Deciding What’s Best for the Kids
By Susie and Otto Collins, Relationship Coaches
If there’s been infidelity and you are considering ending your marriage–and children are involved, there can be many concerns. One of the most common and central is the question: “What’s best for our children?”
This question deserves serious attention.
From years of experience as relationship coaches, we’ve been privileged to hear the stories of many couples— just like you—who are contemplating whether or not to get a divorce after an affair has been discovered. All of these people just wanted to make the best decision for themselves and their families.
It is common for people in this situation to “protect” the children by doing whatever they can to prevent them from knowing that their parents’ marriage is in trouble and why it’s in trouble. Unfortunately, it can be a big shock to the kids when they do realize the real state of their parent’s marriage, let alone the circumstances.
We’ve found out that most of the time the kids DO have a sense of how bad a marriage has become although they may not know the details. They might suspect that something just isn’t right in their home or they overtly hear or see signs that betray the truth the parents are trying to shield them from.
There are many possible feelings that motivate people when trying to decide whether to continue or end their marriage. Guilt might be central for some people. Others make the decision based totally on blind faith. Yet others allow concerns about “appearances” to guide them in making the divorce decision.
As we mentioned above, we’ve discovered that children are more intuitive than most people think. We’ve also found that children are more resilient than they are expected to be. If you have children and are struggling with this situation, one important question to ask yourselves is this…”Which will better show them an ongoing example of love in action—staying together or ending the marriage?”
Can you get past the affair, forgive each other and make a new start in your relationship or is your marriage past the “saving” point?
The answer to this question must come from your heart and not your head. Let go of past programming of how you “should” be and allow the answer to come from deep within yourself.
There are no guarantees that love will be better the second (or third…) time around. It all depends on you choosing the best partner for you as well as you and your new partner’s willingness to work through the challenges that may arise. These are just a couple of factors that contribute to how possible it will be for you to create a love relationship or marriage that is happy and harmonious.
Let’s face it, raising children can be quite a challenge in and of itself! Whether you decide to stay in or leave your marriage, make the commitment to show your children the best example of love in action that is possible for you to do.
Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of “Should You Stay or Should You Go?” and “No More Jealousy” are experts at helping people get more of the love they really want. Learn how you can make the best possible choice of whether to stay or go in your situation by visiting http://www.StayorGo.com.