Cheating Spouses And How This Affects The Children
When a spouse/partner cheats the other partner is left feeling a sense of insecurity, disappointment and even despair as their trust is broken. In most relationships including marriage, the relationship takes a turn for the worse and divorce seems like the only solution.
Forgiveness is never the first thing on the mind when one cheats. Anger and resentment are usually at the forefront of the victim’s mind.
Because cheating implies infidelity in a marriage or intimate relationship we often focus on just the adults involved and forget that the children make up a huge part of the family unit.
When a partner cheats it affects the entire family as the unit is sometimes split apart. Breakups, separations and divorce are not the only things that affect the children. It goes deeper than that.
Here are some example situations:
- A child who heard a quarrel between two parents and finds out one has cheated. The child starts to feel that the offending parent does not love the other parent anymore. They expect a split at any moment and their behavior changes; sometimes they start to act out or they will play peacemaker between parents.
- Children also tend to feel guilty when this happens as they feel that they did something wrong why one parent is cheating with someone else. They feel like they are losing that parent as well.
- If a child sees you cheating there is another big issue to deal with. This child will harbor resentment about the cheating parent and sometimes blame the innocent one. They sometimes think that the other parent did something to make the other one cheat. Not only that but sometimes they will try to protect the other parent by keeping what they know a secret; at the same time being angry at them
- They get insecure just like the adult, maybe even more so. They will lose faith and trust in you and your love for them.
- Children go through the same, maybe even more intense emotions as the adults do.
If you have children in your relationship you should consider how your actions may affect them. Remember that divorce is not the only negative factor that can affect them but circumstances such as your infidelity as well.
Here are some tips in dealing with your child if they find out you or the other parent has cheated.
- If your child overhears you talking, sit them down and explain as best you can the situation now and what’s going to happen next.
- Explain to your child that they are not the reason for you or your spouse’s behavior.
- Reassure them that no matter what, no one will or can take their place and that your love for them cannot be replaced.
- Make them feel secure.
- Earn their trust again as they will stop trusting you.
The family unit is the strongest bond in the world. Cheating causes that bond to weaken as trust is broken. The children are vulnerable to broken trusts and we must, as adults, do everything we possibly can to ensure our family is secured.
If you made a mistake of cheating, fix it. If you have fallen in love with someone outside of your family fix that too. Ensure your child’s emotional security before you ensure yours. That is not to say you should stay in a loveless relationship, it means you should communicate with your child and ensure that they understand what’s happening.
Give them most of love and attentions. Make them feel safe even if you decide to split.