Should You Tell Your Kids That Your Spouse Cheated?
Should you tell your children that your spouse cheated? In a word, no. Reason number one is the obvious. It is simply not good for the children. In fact, whatever the circumstances that lead to divorce, it is not in the children's best interest to know which parent is "at fault".
Isoina Ricci explains in Mom's House, Dad's House (1980, page 180):
"...do not give all the gory details of the fights you've had or how you feel betrayed by the other parent. Your children do not want to know--and they should not know--how you hurt each other. They need to be able to respect both of you, now more than ever. And most of all they need to know that it is all right for them to love the other parent even though you don't."
Reason number two is that infidelity is NOT the unforgiveable sin our society treats it as. Some marriages do in fact recover from infidelity, and some ex's eventually forgive each other at some point after the marriage dissolves. The hurt and anger experienced when one partner learns that the other has cheated does diminish with time. Chances are that you will regret sharing the charged emotions of the early rollercoaster.
Then What Do You Tell the Kids?
Again from Ricci, "Try to have a short, true explanation and, if possible, one that is phrased in a positive way: 'Your mom (dad) and I decided it is best for us to live apart' conveys a more reassuring message than 'We simply can't stand to stay together any longer' or 'We don't love each other enough to live together anymore.'"
Ricci emphasizes throughout her book the importance of chosing your words carefully when talking to your children about your breakup. Learning a positive language is just as important for your own healing as it is for your children. We create our own realities with the words we say. Forgiving a spouse who has cheated is incredibly difficult, but doing so releases you from the victim mentality and allows you to move forward to more enriching relationships.
Copyright Dineane Whitaker 2008 - Please do not copy and paste this article, but feel free to post a link using this url: http://hubpages.com/_ndwcopyright/hub/Should-You-Tell-Your-Kids-That-Your-Spouse-Cheated
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