An affair will break up a couple. More often, an affair definitely affects the children of marriage when the spouses decide to go on separate ways. The problem is that a big percentage of children in America coming from a broken home tend to have a failed marriage when they grow up. That is just the least part. Some kids of divorced parents due to infidelity grow up to be notorious and juvenile – a problematic citizen. This is mainly because these children were not prepared by their parents on how to approach life having a broken home.
This is a very tough question most parents ask – how to tell the kids if your partner had an affair? Some parents ignore the “talk” and hope that the kids will just “fit” into the new life. That is so wrong. If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce because of infidelity, before anything else, you both need to talk to your children.
From the Betrayed Spouse’s Side
Your wife or your husband cheated on you and you both decided that things will be better if you part ways. But you have children and they are very fragile. They need to be reassured by you.
Even if you were betrayed, do not ever bad mouth your partner to your children. Never. The simplest thing you can say is this: Your mom/dad and I have decided that it is better for us to live separately. Our relationship is not working out as we hoped it to be but we tried. We had you and this was the best part in our life. But in order for us to be better people, in order for us to be better parents to you, we have to be on our own. We love you very, very, very much and we deeply care for you. This decision is ours and is not your fault. Not one bit. We just want different things and we can do those things on our own.
This will be a very heart-breaking moment with your children but you have to tell them without sugar coating things or saying the exact opposite – all the bad things your wayward spouse has inflicted on you. Regardless, your kids are the focus at this moment and you have to let them understand that they are the priority even if you are no longer a couple.
From the Wayward Spouse’s Side
Your spouse might have pushed the divorce button on you and you may have agreed. You may have suggested the divorce because you love the other person more than your spouse. Both way, your children are going to be affected in this separation and you need to help them in this difficult transition more because let’s face it, you crossed the line. But remember; do not say bad things about your partner even if you are angry.
Do not tell your children that there is another person in your life other than their mom or dad. This is not the right time. Even if they bring up the topic, you will neither confirm nor deny. But, as the one who strayed, you need to let your children know a few things and this is what you have to say, more or less: I have loved your mom/dad that is why we had you. But now, we both felt that we needed to grow more and that means we cannot be together as a couple. You may feel that this is an unfair decision and that we decided without asking for your opinion. For that, we are very sorry. But you are our children, you are our number 1. To be the best parents, we need to be good people. And we can do that on our own. We love you very much, nonetheless.
These things will have to be said. Your children may be too young or may be old enough to understand what divorce is but you have to say it. This will bring closure to your kids and will help them cope with your divorce and become better people when they grow up. It is helpful that they know what is true, coming from you, their parents so you can have an open communication with them and lend a supporting hand if they need it.