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General :
Do cheaters not care about their kids?

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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 5:03 AM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I hope this is the appropriate forum for this question. I find myself thinking about this a lot. It's been 2 years since the last Dday for me, and my heart is still so deeply hurt for our kids. Did he not care about them? Do cheaters not think about or care how their actions will affect their kids? They don't care if their actions lead to only seeing their kids every other weekend, not being there anymore for the little day-to-day stuff, what their kids will think of them going forward, etc?

I can't imagine it. I've not been a perfect parent, but I actively try my best. Over the years I've sought out information and resources to help me learn to communicate better, be a better parent, and so forth. I think about what kind of legacy I'm leaving them, what memories they'll have to look back on, and how they'll feel about their relationship with me and how I treated them. I really try to be a good mom for them.

There is no way I'd ever risk my relationship with them for sleazy sex with some trashy homewrecker. I hurt so badly for them knowing their dad chose that over them. Knowing he looked at us all, and walked out the door knowing exactly what he was going to do and what the consequences would be if/when he got caught.

I can accept that he obviously didn't care about me, but my mind can't accept that he didn't care about our kids. But I can't see it any other way.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8765526
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 12:44 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Sending ((virtual hugs))

I am sure more people will be along soon to weigh in.

I believe caring and love are action words and I don't believe cheating is a caring or loving act.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1163   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8765550
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Triples ( member #72068) posted at 1:23 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I think they think they do, but not in the same way non-cheaters do (I think this is in the DNA of a WS). There are times I feel a wave of grief (I'm 3 years out from DDay), but not for the marriage necessarily, but for what my kids have been handed...a shit sandwich. I will say that my kids have responded in a way that amazes me, but I still get triggered out of the blue sometimes about the lack of forethought my XWW had while in her LTA.

posts: 91   ·   registered: Nov. 13th, 2019   ·   location: OHIO
id 8765556
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pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 1:26 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I don't think their m8nds and hearts are in that place. Someone running a game for their benefit isn't think8ng of others. They let themselves get swept up in it for selfish reasons. There's a disconnect too that they won't get caught as the adrenaline rush fuels the excitement. Excessive gambling or what about people who run ponzi schemes....it's all on a fantasy that is paying out rewards. Reality has been put in the closet. To face reality is to wreck the party.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2534   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8765557
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 1:59 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

This question is part of why I still kind of entertain that my WW partly "lost her mind". She isn’t going to be able to really plead insanity, but it’s so out of character for her AND she is a devoted mother. 16 years of care and love and she goes out and throws a grenade into their impressionable lives for her own selfish immoral gratification. I still can hardly wrap my head around it. It speaks to the total and complete delusion and selfishness they must be in.

posts: 195   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
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LegsWideShut ( member #80302) posted at 2:19 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

As my exww started hers before we had a son, thats a whole other ball game, but after, she clearly didnt give a damn about him. Saw him as a weapon to use against me. Every....chance....she...got. Now she's trying to develop more of a relationship with him, but he doesnt give her much to work with. They speak now and again but thats about it so far.
Dont have any idea if she would have given a damn about him if she hadn't gone all round heeled or not.

posts: 134   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2022   ·   location: New England
id 8765567
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PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 4:28 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I'm not sure if they're just not thinking about them? I think most cheaters have serious compartmentalization going on.

In my case? yeah, I feel my xWH doesn't really give a damn about our son, and sadly son also feels that way. But y'know, moving to another country and seeing your kid maybe for a week total per year, then not at all for 4 years, and phone calls maybe every few months? I mean that doesn't say much about how much he cares. Our IC specifically told me not to affirm "Daddy loves you" when kiddo asked because then he gets a twisted sense of what love is. I was always supposed to redirect the questions back to xWH and say you need to talk to your dad about that.

Last year, xWH even had the balls to say to kiddo that he knows he hasn't been the best father. Gee. No surprises there. I could have had some respect for him if he'd followed it up with trying to improve that. Nope; it was just an acknowledgement and he continued on being not much more than a sperm donor.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 5 years) & DBF (dating 4 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 893   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8765584
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:58 PM on Thursday, November 17th, 2022

I think that a huge portion of cheaters, certainly the compartmentalizers, truly do not consider the ramifications and consequences of what they are doing and what would happen if they are caught. They don't truly think of what it would do to their spouse and they don't truly consider what would happen to their kids.

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1188   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8765635
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 9:26 AM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

I think that a huge portion of cheaters, certainly the compartmentalizers, truly do not consider the ramifications and consequences of what they are doing and what would happen if they are caught. They don't truly think of what it would do to their spouse and they don't truly consider what would happen to their kids.

This!

I’d go even further, I think some cheaters believe they are good parents. My WH, who had no plans to divorce/leave, was a good parent by all appearances even during the affair. He has always been an involved parent, we truly have been a shared responsibility household. His affair was work hours mostly which meant that he appeared to be as involved (although he was always distracted and on his work phone or laptop stating he’s busy with work in fact talking to his AP). From his perspective HE was the good parent, I was the one reinforcing all the rules which led to conflict with the kids and he justified it to himself and even discussed it with AP implying I was the bad parent. By all means he told himself this story where I didn’t allow him to be involved and he felt like an outsider. Needless to say he only felt that way once in the affair and detached from us. And I was allowing him to detach as I believed his job was really demanding as he was claiming.

He never planned to be caught cheating therefore there wouldn’t be any consequences for the kids, in fact he never ever consider it (he told me this), never thought about it because… he was never going to be caught. 🙄

Dday - 27th September 2017

posts: 1640   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Europe
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 3:39 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

I believe most cheaters care about their children and love them, but they have a different definition of what good parenting is than I do. This is based on conversations with my WH and reading from WS here and in other places.

I believe the goal of parenting is to raise your children to being healthy functioning adults. There are many pieces to that.

Physically, it's hard to understand how a parent could risk a life-threatening STD that could cause a child to be raised without one or both parents. Most WSs seem to downplay or excuse away that physical risks and others.

I personally reconcile that by acknowledging that I have not eliminated all physically risky behavior in my own life.

Emotionally, well I just don't think many WSs think deeply about any emotional harm they cause. That is both in the actual way they are causing harm during the affair by taking time and other resources from the family and setting a terrible example of marriage and parenting, and by ignoring the potential emotional harm upon discovery. Many people still feel an affair is "parent personal business" that has nothing to do with the children or family.

My own WH immediately after d-day largely felt there wasn't any risk of divorce during the affair, but also reasoned that divorce isn't so bad and plenty of children come from divorced families. I've heard WWs here express similar views. They consider themselves great mothers and will say things like, " I bake cookies for the PTA."

Many BHs will say their WWs were excellent mothers until the affair. There's one here who is divorced and has a strained relationship with his adult daughters because they feel he should have forgiven their mother and stayed married. I think the entitlement in the view came from their mother, and she probably passed on other selfish and entitled views.

I am not taking a high moral ground. My WH is a much better father and husband with therapy. But what kind of parent am I that I chose him as their father to even begin with? And when I realized after the affair, what example of marriage and parenting did I set for them by staying?

These topics are hard. It's been over 6 years for me, and I still think about them.

posts: 609   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8765767
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mommabear1010 ( member #79915) posted at 4:26 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

This question has plagued me as well. How WH could spend ALL DAY the day after Xmas last year with AP in a roadside motel and not home with our daughter playing with Xmas toys has always spoken volumes to me.

I think it’s going to be a little different answer spending on your WS, but especially if they happen to be a narc like mine…he cares about the IMAGE having a child/family gave him. It’s why he likes to post photos on social, but behind closed doors did nothing to care for her, was fine to spend weekend days in hotels with AP and lie to me he was at a friends house etc.

He cares for our child but in a superficial way, only as far as it benefits him to care but not in the real emphatic love/care one needs to have for their child.

Dday- 1/19/22
Trickle truth
Dday2- 2/8/22
Dday3- 3/10/22
Divorcing

posts: 123   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2022
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doublerainbow ( member #82239) posted at 2:04 AM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

I could have written this post.

I don’t think I will ever understand how WH could do this to DD, especially since he witnessed his own mom getting cheated on by his dad and firsthand experienced how it destroyed his own childhood and family.

I have what seems to be a unicorn situation in that WH denied he had a child to AP. She didn’t know he was married either. And yet even to this day months after D-Day all of his actions and words and interactions with DD scream responsible and affectionate father.

As long as you conveniently forget he actively lied about even having a daughter and cheated on her mom, not to mention setting an awful example of what to expect in men when she’s older. Also that he only bothers to see her if fits his schedule.

As you can see, I just booked a child therapist for her. As for him, I could give less than a fucking flying rat’s ass if he got hit by a car or whether he’s sought IC for the deep selfish narcissistic issues he has.

Me: BS (38) Him: WS (45)D-Day (Jan 2022), going through D. 1 DD age 4. Just want to know there’s light at the end of this mess.

posts: 52   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2022   ·   location: West Coast
id 8766117
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 5:48 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

This is a fascinating thought. I think that my WW didn't really see the level of her destruction and devastation until I made it clear that she was gonna be out on her ass with limited custody. She was very much wrapped up in her AP and the whole situation and I told her that she can pack a bag and go, I told her she didn't need to grab two bags, our son's home was here, his school was just down the street and his life didn't need anymore upheaval than he was going to get with her leaving. I remember pointing out to her that there was the weekend rendezvous that she spent with him over in Tampa where she deprived her husband and her son of her full being so she could spend time with her AP. She was a bad mother that weekend and throughout her affair at times allowed the affair to make her a bad mother. It isn't that she is a bad mother all the time, because she is everything but that, however, there were certainly times that she robbed her son of opportunities and us having family time so she could chase her AP. I think that has been the hardest thing for her to deal with in IC the last couple years.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985
Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 337   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8766171
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hcsv ( member #51813) posted at 7:27 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

My ex dissed his adult children with his AP and let her dis them as well. He was so proud of his kids prior to this. He shared everything with AP, nothing was sacred, not the marriage, my life or my kids. We completely lost privacy of any kind.

When adult son told his dad that AP was a whore, ex told AP. Then gave her his son's email and she emailed him, slamming him, saying terrible things. Ex allowed it. I have never read that email but son sent it to my lawyer. AP was 4 years into her third marriage at 42 and already cheating. If the shoe fits?????

Ex had a rabid dog barking ring tone for his oldest daughter. I'm sure ex and AP just laughed and laughed when she called her father.

I have not told the kids any of this, I hope they never find out how truly awful their dad was. They havent had a relationship since 2017 except for the youngest. She just recently called her dad. She said she didnt want to be 40 and in therapy dealing with this. She's not sure if the communication will lead to a relationship or closure.

Ex still does not see that the relationships he has with his kids are the consequences to his actions and choices. He is still "poor me", the victim.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 750   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8766177
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 7:51 PM on Monday, November 21st, 2022

My ex dissed his adult children with his AP and let her dis them as well. He was so proud of his kids prior to this. He shared everything with AP, nothing was sacred, not the marriage, my life or my kids. We completely lost privacy of any kind.

hcsv - This made me furious. Like I'm seething mad on your behalf. What a jerk.

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1188   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8766181
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 11:03 PM on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

but also reasoned that divorce isn't so bad and plenty of children come from divorced families.

This is what my husband thought as well. He said he thought through the consequences as far as that he knew I would divorce him if I found out, but he had no idea the depth of the pain and trauma it would cause. He thought, well, everyone gets divorced and it's ok. The kids will be ok. And this is despite the fact that he HATED his parents being divorced! He knew how badly it affected him, and how terrible it was dealing with split households and stepparents. But somehow he thought it was ok for our kids.

I am not taking a high moral ground. My WH is a much better father and husband with therapy. But what kind of parent am I that I chose him as their father to even begin with? And when I realized after the affair, what example of marriage and parenting did I set for them by staying?

These topics are hard. It's been over 6 years for me, and I still think about them.

I can relate to being burdened by those thoughts. And it's so unfair because it just didn't need to be this way. Hugs.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8767267
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 11:15 PM on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

I don’t think I will ever understand how WH could do this to DD, especially since he witnessed his own mom getting cheated on by his dad and firsthand experienced how it destroyed his own childhood and family.

I can't understand it either. It's so heartbreaking. And I even know the psychology around it but I just cannot relate. I very much wanted to do better for my kids than what I experienced in my own family, and so I acted in ways to make that happen. I can't imagine seeing my family be destroyed by infidelity and then go on to cause the same destruction. And now we worry for our kids.

I have what seems to be a unicorn situation in that WH denied he had a child to AP. She didn’t know he was married either. And yet even to this day months after D-Day all of his actions and words and interactions with DD scream responsible and affectionate father.

As long as you conveniently forget he actively lied about even having a daughter and cheated on her mom, not to mention setting an awful example of what to expect in men when she’s older. Also that he only bothers to see her if fits his schedule.

Right. It's pretty disturbing how they're able to do that. But also, denying his daughter's existence to AP, only seeing her if it fits his schedule, living a double life and destroying the family through infidelity very much makes him not a good or responsible parent. Even if he's also affectionate sometimes. I'm sorry you and your daughter have to deal with that. My husband makes little to no effort to see our kids (we're separated), and rarely even calls to connect with them. It's awful.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8767268
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 11:18 PM on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

My ex dissed his adult children with his AP and let her dis them as well. He was so proud of his kids prior to this. He shared everything with AP, nothing was sacred, not the marriage, my life or my kids. We completely lost privacy of any kind.

This is disgusting, I'm so sorry. What an awful excuse for a human being.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
id 8767269
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 antbee (original poster new member #80981) posted at 11:26 PM on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

I think some cheaters believe they are good parents.

Yes, my husband thinks he was a good parent as well. He does see now that he was severely lacking, but he still thinks he did a pretty good job. In reality, he mostly neglected us and tried to get out of spending time with us as much as possible. He rarely changed a diaper, never cooked, would sit playing video games or watching sports while I cooked and cleaned and took care of our two kids (I am so pissed at my former self for letting this happen!).

I begged him to please let me sleep in on the weekends because I got no sleep taking care of and nursing two babies all night long, but he refused. He told me he had to get up so early for work during the week, he needed time to stay up late and sleep in on the weekends. I never got relief, I never got help, I never got a weekend, he did not care. It seriously blows my mind how they live in such a state of delusion to think that is being a "good parent."

posts: 9   ·   registered: Sep. 19th, 2022
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dontlookbackinanger ( new member #82406) posted at 12:43 AM on Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

Nope. They clearly don’t.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8767277
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