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Reconciliation :
How did the affair affect your kids?

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 DaddyDom (original poster member #56960) posted at 4:41 PM on Monday, August 15th, 2022

I'm curious how infidelity in your marriage ultimately affected your children? We talk about our kids often on SI but I don't think I've ever seen a thread that talks about them exclusively, or long term. Sometimes I wish there was a support group or forum for kids who have survived infidelity in their parent's marriage.

For example, how did learning about the affair affect their relationship with you, and your spouse?
Have they suffered from depression or behavioral issues after learning about the betrayal?
Do they express or show any concerns about issues of trust, both as a family, and in general with friends and others outside of the core family?
Have they abandoned one parent or the other?
How do they feel about marriage and/or having kids now?
Have they taken up dangerous responses such as cutting themselves, drug use, or becoming promiscuous?
If your children do not know about the affair(s), do you still see/feel a change in them because of tensions at home between you and your spouse?
Do you feel that anything positive came out of it for them?
How have you explained or dealt with the affair to your kids?
How have you controlled exposure to the details of the affair?
What therapy or medications or other treatment have been a result of their learning about the infidelity?
What "rules" have you setup regarding the infidelity and the kids? (e.g. "I won't bad mouth their mother/father, but if they ask, I won't lie")
Have the kids become weapons in the marriage?

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1309   路   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8750539
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Breachoftrust ( member #66252) posted at 5:37 PM on Monday, August 15th, 2022

Our boys seem to be ok, they were 10. Our daughter on the other hand was 13. She was a daddy's girl. She refused to allow him to parent, began using drugs, dropped extracurricular activities, changed friends, grades dropped. Then she picked an argument with her father, accused him of child abuse, told everyone who would listen. Family had required counseling because of this. She eventually got pregnant and dropped out of high school. She left our state and it has been months since I have seen her or our grandchild. She will be 18 soon. Not even an adult yet. But hey, the boys seem fine so far...馃槓

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 67   路   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8750543
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:53 PM on Monday, August 15th, 2022

Have they suffered from depression or behavioral issues after learning about the betrayal?

Youngest daughter has an extreme anxiety disorder, and depression. Youngest son has anger issues. None of which were present before dday.

Do they express or show any concerns about issues of trust, both as a family, and in general with friends and others outside of the core family?

Outside of the family, no. They don't trust their father anymore.

Have they abandoned one parent or the other?

Neither have anything to do with their father,if it can be helped.

How do they feel about marriage and/or having kids now?

Son still wants a family some day. He's in college now. Daughter is gay. Someday she wants a life partner, but doesn't want kids.

Have they taken up dangerous responses such as cutting themselves, drug use, or becoming promiscuous?

Both have experimented with pot.

Do you feel that anything positive came out of it for them?

Nothing.

How have you explained or dealt with the affair to your kids?

I have. WH has not. I had no choice. His stalker OW contacted my daughter on social media, and gave her gory details. I've answered their questions honestly. Age appropriate. Without bashing their dad.

What therapy or medications or other treatment have been a result of their learning about the infidelity?

Daughter has been in therapy for 3 years. She takes meds for anxiety and depression. She continues to have the occasional panic attack.

Have the kids become weapons in the marriage?

Never.

My children have no relationship with their dad. That's his fault. Not mine. His OW made herself known to my child,who first talked to her brother,then they came to me. Hysterical. Heartbroken. I didn't bash him. I can't say the same about the OW. I answered their questions honestly. He refuses to talk to them about it. It has caused them not to trust him. Or respect him. They want nothing to do with him. That's all on him. Not me. Not them. I have never told them they had to forgive him. Imagine if someone told me that? Uh..no. They are young adults. They deserve to have their own thoughts and feelings. It breaks my entire heart.

Would my children be this way had there been no affair? We will never know.

On the flip side,they are mostly healthy,happy,kind, smart, beautiful young people. Meds have helped my daughter tremendously.

Do I blame him? Yes.

Edited to add: They were 5 and 7 on dday. They didn't find out until they were 14 and 16. OW has been steadily stalking me since dday. It's been over a decade. When attacking my child didn't get her the response she was looking for(not even sure what that could be), she tricked a mutual friend into telling her my username on here. Poor muffin showed up here as a WS,who tried to provoke me into a confrontation. She has been banned.

[This message edited by HellFire at 7:50 PM, Monday, August 15th]

posts: 4655   路   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   路   location: The Midwest
id 8750547
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:41 PM on Monday, August 15th, 2022

Kids are 7 and 10 now.

For example, how did learning about the affair affect their relationship with you, and your spouse?

They know fWW went on dates with a man other than dad, that she shouldn't have, and that it hurt me badly.

Have they suffered from depression or behavioral issues after learning about the betrayal?

Not that I'm aware of. They both have behavioral issues, but I think they are more "run of the mill" neuro-diverse issues than parental trauma induced.

Do they express or show any concerns about issues of trust, both as a family, and in general with friends and others outside of the core family?

Not so far.

Have they abandoned one parent or the other?

No.

How do they feel about marriage and/or having kids now?

TBD. If they ask me for advice as they get older I'll give it to them straight. Certainly, my feelings on marriage have changed.

Have they taken up dangerous responses such as cutting themselves, drug use, or becoming promiscuous?

Also feels TBD for my kid's age.

If your children do not know about the affair(s), do you still see/feel a change in them because of tensions at home between you and your spouse?

They are more sensitive to when there is any tension between fWW and myself. Since there were two instances of them thinking we were getting divorced (it felt like the path we were on definitively, but we were wrong), they ask that sometimes.

Do you feel that anything positive came out of it for them?

Yes. They will get to learn much more about how affairs and infidelity happen and what the fallout is like. They won't grow up with the idea that infidelity is a symptom of the relationship instead of the cheater.

How have you explained or dealt with the affair to your kids?

I see this the same as the first question.

How have you controlled exposure to the details of the affair?

Yes. They don't know the details (even though it is an EA in the first place).

What therapy or medications or other treatment have been a result of their learning about the infidelity?

None.

What "rules" have you setup regarding the infidelity and the kids? (e.g. "I won't bad mouth their mother/father, but if they ask, I won't lie")

Basically this. I'm not going to call fWW names, or otherwise villainize her (she is to blame and is accountable for her actions, but it wasn't intentionally malicious).

Have the kids become weapons in the marriage?

If there is one thing that fWW and I have always been on the same page about, it's that the kids come first. That even if we D, the kids come first and we will be good co-parents.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

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id 8750562
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 11:48 PM on Monday, August 15th, 2022

My sons were teenagers during my wife鈥檚 affair. Her affair partner was my best friend, their godfather and "Uncle X." When the affair ended, he disappeared suddenly and they haven鈥檛 seen him since. I didn鈥檛 learn of the affair until years later. They do not know.

What they do remember is that my wife and I fought a lot during those years. So much so that they did not want to go on family vacations.

I鈥檝e kept her secret from them because it would severely damage her relationship with them.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 12:01 AM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

The relationship I now have with my kids is by far the biggest heartbreak of this whole ordeal. While they are grown adults, they are still my kids. They didn鈥檛 know about the affair, but they knew our relationship suffered a big u turn. Where we were once a really happy family, things turned tense after the affair. I no longer wanted to spend much time with my EX, and they saw how I treated her. Not badly, but the word cordial is probably the best description. I no longer hugged her or really even touched her. I skipped our 25th anniversary for a made up work function. After when it all came out, they told me they speculated that an affair took place. The only thing is they thought it was me as they never in a million years though my EX could do it (me either until d day).

While they were very disappointed in their mother, I became the bad guy as I was the one in their mind who walked away from the family. It happened five years earlier and they couldn鈥檛 understand why I couldn鈥檛 forgive her "mistake". It didn鈥檛 help that she was a basket case. I was the dad who always fixed things, and they didn鈥檛 understand why I wouldn鈥檛 fix this. They viewed what she did as some kind of psychotic break, which in a way it was and was not the real her. They viewed me as a cold calculating prick who was making a thought out and to them devastating decision. They circled the wagons around her. In reality it was probably a good thing as she needed the support more than I did. I

Things were tense for a few years. It鈥檚 better now, but my relationship with them is still not the same. I am now with a new woman after dating (if you can call it that) a lot of women. Most not age appropriate. They didn鈥檛 like it, but knew these women were not a threat to their Parent Trap dream of us getting back together. They view my new girlfriend as a threat and are not so nice to her which really sucks. It doesn鈥檛 help that their mother gained weight, lost most of her friends, and drinks too much. I really hope she gets her act together, but at this point I don鈥檛 hold much hope. It would make my situation better.

The affair did so much damage. Destroyed what was a great family who had so much to look forward too. She has to live with the fact that she caused it.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

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id 8750608
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 12:41 AM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Yes it affected the kids. Both started to get bad grades in school, my daughter still has not launched or gotten her driver's license and she's 19. She's starting college late even though she got accepted to the CSU and now she wants to go to community college. She does not date and does not want to get married.

Son also has bad grades, he is dating and not sure how he feels about marriage.

My ex and I are extremely no contact due to his harassment of me since leaving and he blames me for "breaking up the family" even though it was him living the double life throughout the M.

Seems the ex tries to alienate kids when he has them. They deprogram when I have them.

Kids do not remember us as a loving couple only fighting. They were 9 and 6 at D-Day 2. Both kids know of the A's but ex tries to paint me as the bad guy for ending the M and not keeping the family together.

Daughter voices all the time that she can't wait to get away from the both of us. My ex has created such a chaotic situation.

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(19) DS(16)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

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id 8750613
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CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 5:21 AM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Hod did it affect our kids? An EXCELLENT question, my friend. And one for which I have just a few datapoints. 馃榿

Our youngest "set" were 3 and 6 at the time. They don't really seem to show any long-term effects directly related to Mrs. Cap's A. Nor does the younger of the middle two, who was 9 at the time.

However, I am certain that the 16, 19 & 22 year old (who were 11, 14 & 17 when the A was in full force) bear scars.

The 11, 14 & 17 year old all heard me go off during my hulk-out moment. The 11 year old didn't give the appearance of understanding at the time, but we have had to work through a number of things with her since (and not just related to her mother's A; she has lost a couple of friends to suicide over the past 5 years as well).

The 19 year old has a fairly close relationship with Mrs. Cap, but does hide things or skirts the edge of truth about certain things with her. They do not have a fully open and honest relationship.

My oldest started his teen years with a great deal of friction towards his mom and has continued to be disrespectful at times, especially since her A. While he is typically away at college, he has been home this summer. Even now, that friction build over into disrespect at times.

They have seen a counselor together a few times. I'm not sure if that has helped at all because neither one like to talk about it outside of the sessions.

Overall, I'd say that it has affected the relationship in some fashion with the older three, but the younger three really have no idea that anything happened.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

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id 8750637
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 12:57 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

At the time of DDay1 the children were:
Oldest 鈥 27 (and had been on her own a few years)
Youngest 鈥 14 (she was the one who discovered the LTA)

Both know nothing of subsequent DDays or the cyberstalking that lead to last year鈥檚 Cease and Desist

For example, how did learning about the affair affect their relationship with you, and your spouse?

They were shattered. The youngest at 14 still living at home and about to enter high school was a train wreck. She became explosive. She was the one who had to tell me and send me dozens of photos [many pornographic] of them together, together nude, nudes they sent each other, screenshots of sextings, etc.

Have they suffered from depression or behavioral issues after learning about the betrayal?

The oldest I wouldn鈥檛 know as she lives on her own. She鈥檚 been very distant since DDay1. The youngest has been in regular IC ever since (she was on the books with an IC shortly prior due to that being a condition of Accutane treatment with her dermatologist)

Do they express or show any concerns about issues of trust, both as a family, and in general with friends and others outside of the core family?

The youngest yes 鈥 she has serious trust issues with just about everything and everyone. She鈥檚 lost a few friendships over it since DDay1.

Have they abandoned one parent or the other?

The oldest abandoned us both to an extent. I don鈥檛 think she鈥檚 ever forgiven me for staying and has mentioned to me she鈥檇 never forgive him for the LTA. We see her now only on holidays and weddings and such. She鈥檚 polite. The youngest to an outsider looking in has no issues. But you can still feel the tension at times. Shortly after DDay and for about 6 months prior she wouldn鈥檛 even be in the same room with WH. One time she walked home 5 miles from a volunteer type job so she wouldn鈥檛 have to call WH for a ride.

How do they feel about marriage and/or having kids now?

The oldest doesn鈥檛 mention it. The youngest wants marriage and children. But isn鈥檛 even ready yet.

Have they taken up dangerous responses such as cutting themselves, drug use, or becoming promiscuous?

The oldest I wouldn鈥檛 know as she鈥檚 been on her own. The youngest did it all. Cutting, drinking, smoking, drugs. She became sexually active at the time. She engaged in various reckless behaviors. She lost all her "good" friends and started with the "wrong" crowd. She鈥檇 stay out all hours of the night 鈥 I鈥檇 be driving streets of our small town at 1, 2, 3am looking for her. She was horrific 鈥 argumentative, belligerent, explosively violent. Her one bedroom wall had no more drywall due to her various punching/kicking tantrums. At times keeping her safe overshadowed any attempt at healing myself. She鈥檚 19 now and that behavior is in the past. But it was a very rough 3 years.

If your children do not know about the affair(s), do you still see/feel a change in them because of tensions at home between you and your spouse?

N/A 鈥 they not only know but were the ones who discovered it and had to tell me.

Do you feel that anything positive came out of it for them?

Hell no. Their lives were shattered 鈥 especially the teen.

How have you explained or dealt with the affair to your kids?

The oldest 鈥 I explained my decision of why I stayed. She鈥檚 never forgiven me and has lost all respect. The youngest and I talk about it from time to time. Less frequently now. I still maintain staying was the right thing at the time. My teen would have been worse had I not. At the time I sacrificed myself for her. While it was the hardest thing for me 鈥 I believe it was in her best interest. I resent that I had to do that.

How have you controlled exposure to the details of the affair?

Impossible 鈥 my children had all the evidence. All the horrific, damaging and pornographic evidence and had to be the ones to give it to me. I hope they have deleted it from their devices. I hope they no longer look at it.

What therapy or medications or other treatment have been a result of their learning about the infidelity?

I can only speak for the youngest here. She鈥檚 been in IC ever since and on various medications.
What "rules" have you setup regarding the infidelity and the kids? (e.g. "I won't bad mouth their mother/father, but if they ask, I won't lie") I discussed things age appropriately with them. I was open and honest. I didn鈥檛 use the oldest as my therapist nor did I whine to the youngest. I hid my tears as I didn鈥檛 want her to have the guilt for having to tell me. Now we discuss things generically about trust and relationships.

Have the kids become weapons in the marriage?

NO. Never.

My baby lost her innocence over this. And while WH and I are in a good place, had it not been for that child needing all the stability she could get 鈥 I鈥檇 have walked.

I resent like Hell what they did to my baby. They killed her innocence. They put that child through Hell.

Right or wrong 鈥 when I finally did tell OBS and sent him every freaking thing that I had 鈥 I made sure he knew my then 14 year old daughter not only found it but had to be the one to tell me/send it. She is forever scarred.

In a recent conversation of the LTA with WH I mentioned that it is convenient for me to "blame" LTAP more than him. Because of what was done to our teen. It isn鈥檛 convenient for me to be venomous towards him. It convenient for me to never forgive LTAP. There is not enough retribution in the world for what was done to my children.

Interesting questions. I tried to temper my answers. I can鈥檛 stress enough how this destroyed my children - particularly the youngest. I won鈥檛 go on a quest for the pound of flesh they are owed. But the dark fantasy of it occasionally allows me to keep going.

The destruction of me pales in comparison to the destruction of them. I am strong enough to rebuild myself. They are collateral damage in someone else鈥檚 sick game. They were never a thought. My then sweet 14 year old 鈥 she鈥檚 a changed person. I can鈥檛 stress this enough.

They hurt my teen far more than they hurt me. Simply because I was strong. They were innocents. And all I had left in me [which wasn鈥檛 anything] I used to care for my teen. They used their power to destroy her. I used what was left of mine to hold her while she had nothing left. I resent that now. I resent that I had to do that.

I resent that while WH and LTAP took that LTA underground I was dealing with an out of control teen. By the Grace of God she made it through. She graduated high school and now has a good job having completed a trade program through the local community college workforce development program. Only in the past 18 months have I seen glimmers of the girl that used to be. I still at times weep for that loss of innocence.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello鈥揗y name is Chaos鈥揧ou f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

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Emptyglass ( new member #80295) posted at 2:10 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

From the moment my children were born I put them first. I loved them with everything I had in me. I protected them. I taught them right from wrong. Gave them consequences. Preached about morals, honesty, values, kindness, respect. I look at the men they have become and am extremely proud of who they are. I was not alone in their upbringing. My husband also stood for those things. Or at least that鈥檚 what he portrayed鈥

They were devastated when they learned of his affair. They both distanced themselves from him and was about three months before they started letting him back in. Their moral compass was destroyed. The foundation of how they were raised had a huge crack in it. Everything they were taught was questionable鈥 I believe the only reason they let him back in was because I stayed. They both encouraged me to leave him. They have forgiven him but I know they will never think of him the same. He is not the man they thought he was. Our family dynamics have forever changed. I hope as the weeks, months and years pass that this doesn鈥檛 rear it鈥檚 ugly head in some other form.

People say to me 鈥榳ell at least your kids are grown or older鈥 鈥 I think it鈥檚 worse. They mentally can process it for what it is. There is no sugar coating it.

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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 2:51 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

My parents divorced following an affair. I was the youngest child, 10 when the affair by my Dad happened, 15 when they divorced. It was a terrible 5 years at home so I stayed out as much as I could. It was the free range parenting era, but with us it was more upper middle class neglect. Mum became an unstable alcoholic. Dad married the affair partner. He then kind of shook us loose as gently as he could.

It still hurts several times every day 38 years later.

My brother, sister and I are all pretty great people but we are not close. Too much pain, not enough good times. We never acted out because my dysfunctional parents stole all the oxygen. We supported each other, us vs them, secret war counsel鈥檚, the real grown ups in the house, but we then wandered off after the war was over in our late teens to tend to our own wounds.

We were blessed with two very nice widowed grandmothers, who loved us. That made all the difference. They were my real parents.

My Dad taught me how to act like a professional so I slid easily into a legal career. I am successful by most standards but feel I have underperformed.

My brother and I independently came to the conclusion that our main mission was to not pass the damage and poison on to the next generation. I think we鈥檝e done that.

The affair, and dealing with an alcoholic mother for years, and her periodic rages which we had to manage without support, makes it easy to tolerate adversity but hard to open up or try 100% at much.

When my wife gets sketchy or pulls away for her own reasons, I am too ashamed to say, but I feel like:

鈥榗an鈥檛 you see how hard it has been for me to keep going, to have some hope, to make a go of something, to support us all, can鈥檛 you see, don鈥檛 take that away, this isn鈥檛 a game鈥.

It doesn鈥檛 work so well because I don鈥檛 actually say it.

So me and my siblings are success stories of sorts. My brother likes to say he is surprised at least one of didn鈥檛 end up a drug addict. I think he means me.

It was all such a waste. We were a pretty good family until I was 10. I think my kids will be okay. But the generation between has been like London after the Blitz.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 4:39 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

If your children do not know about the affair(s), do you still see/feel a change in them because of tensions at home between you and your spouse?

We have never told anyone in our family or friends about my H's A. Our children were grown and on their own when my H had his A. They knew immediately that something wasn't right with ME...and started asking questions. I had just had two surgeries right before my H came home from overseas...where he had his A. I was able to use that as a reason for me being "off". It didn't work rolleyes . So I told them that it involved SEX...and if they REALLY wanted to know...I would tell them. Thankfully they decided to quit asking questions laugh .

Our children have definitely seen a change in their Dad since Dday...for the BETTER smile . They often talk about how much patience he has now. They have been able to come to him now with issues that they wouldn't have done before. He LISTENS to them now and his relationship with them has gotten closer because of the way he treats them. They LOVE the man he has become now...and so do I smile .

My H wanted to let our children know about his A. He felt they could be a support system for me since I had no one else to turn to except HIM. I REFUSED. I told him that I didn't want them to have to deal with HIS bad choices. After I found this WONDERFUL site...I was able to get support from people who KNEW what I was dealing with.

Now that I am healed...we have discussed letting our children know...and showing them how we have processed the trauma. After reading some of the posts on here from this and other threads...I am torn as to whether we should do that or not. I will be following this thread closely. Thanks for starting it smile .

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 5:47 PM on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Sometimes I wish there was a support group or forum for kids who have survived infidelity in their parent's marriage.

Child of a cheater here. Sometimes I wish there was a specific forum for us too.

My dad left my mom for OW when I was just starting my second year of university (I lived far from home). He did it in basically the worst way he could have done so. He met my mom in town one day after work but before heading home for dinner and informed her that "life was too short" and he "deserved to be happy" and he would not be coming home tonight and was leaving her. He immediately called my sister, who was still in high school and living at home at the time, before my mom could get home and told her the same. Of all the days in the year, it was her birthday (I can only assume he forgot - surprise surprise, a self-absorbed wayward). She called me at university and was hysterically crying on the phone to me before my mom walked in the door. I called my dad to figure out what was going on while my mom tried to calm down my sister.

I have no idea how much my mom knew about the OW at the time (she ALWAYS tried to "protect us") but I later learned it was not his first A so I imagine suspected as much at the very least. We were told that he was living alone in an apartment he'd rented. That bubble was burst when my sister saw his car parked in the driveway of another house a couple of months later. She staked it out for a while and determined he wasn't living where he had said he was (or if he was, he certainly wasn't staying there most nights). I can't say I was all that surprised.

He lied and minimized things throughout. He always avoided difficult conversations where he would have to admit any sort of wrongdoing or would jump to playing the victim "I guess I'm just a villain and I don't deserve to be happy...". I remember deciding (as a 19 year old) that although his story didn't check out, I would let some of the lies go in order to maintain a relationship. It felt like if I was too hard on him, there was a good chance he would just abandon me too. My sister stopped talking to him entirely for a while and I felt responsible for maintaining some relationship. My logic was that I would rather have had SOME relationship with him than none at all so in a lot of ways, I let him rugsweep it with me. He tried his best to smooth things over with her by buying her a car and overdoing it with presents at Christmas etc. but the damage was definitely done.

In some ways, I felt lucky at the time because I wasn't at home and didn't have to deal with it every day. I threw myself further into school and extra-circulars. I never received any counselling and probably would have turned my nose up at it at the time - though I wish I had had some now. I remember being more concerned with how my mom was doing. She seemed to be so stoic about it all. There was a time when I felt like she would pepper me with questions anytime I saw him and I had to ask her to stop because it was too stressful - after that I think we almost never spoke about him. I remember feeling frustrated that finances seemed to be her most salient concern (I understand that better now) and resolved never to ever be in a position where I was financially reliant on my spouse in any way.

I remember resenting my sister at times for making it "all about her" (she brought up the fact that he had forever ruined her birthday for probably a decade). Sometimes I think I would have had more space to get properly upset with him had she not been so dramatic about it herself.

He eventually "went public" with the OW and they bought a house together. I remember learning that he was living with her and her daughter who was younger than my sister and I. For some reason that hurt the most - it felt like we had been replaced/abandoned. We never really discussed things or cleared the air between us. Every once in a while something will come up and he will lament that we should all be able to move past things as its' been years and we all need to move on. I don't really see how you can resolve anything if you don't discuss it though.

Its hard to point to how it SPECIFICALLY effected me but it obviously did. I may have "flown the coop" so to speak, but that is such a formative time. My dad and I had always been close growing up - and I had always thought so highly of him. I had had grown up being compared to him, which had previously been a source of pride for me. Afterwards, I remember questioning everything about myself and examining my own personality traits, the ones that I "got from him", and wondering whether other people saw me negatively - like so many people on my mom's side of the family now thought of him. I think that overall I coped okay. I'm a pretty resilient personality type - not prone to anxiety or depression.

I'm sure it has affected my personal relationships. I'm not a particularly romantic person and am much more concerned with practicalities. I put off getting married for YEARS because I was over-cautious about making such a commitment. I also knew a wedding would be the first time my mom would need to be in a room where the OW was present and I couldn't stomach the politics surrounding it all. The irony/gutpunch of my husband beginning his A shortly after our wedding ran deep. The internal shame I had to overcome in order to be willing to try R was significant.

After my husband's A, a lot of the feelings I had about my father's A (which had never been effectively processed) came to surface. I saw my mother (and how she reacted) a lot differently than I had at the time. Sometimes I feel guilt for not having more empathy than I did previously. I see my father and all his many faults and frailties more clearly. I see how his failure to atone for his behaviour THEN has continued to now. Totally unprompted, he told my husband recently that he wishes he had stuck it out with my mom and that he sees how what he was feeling at the time was just temporary unhappiness with his life and not permanent discontent in the relationship. My husband encouraged him to talk to me about it but he never did. I see my father in so many descriptions of unreformed waywards that I read here, but somehow it still breaks my heart to know he's not happy.

My sister and I go and visit sometimes - he rarely comes to us. I know that he would like to be more involved in our lives. We are courteous and cordial with OW but we do not have any independent relationship with her. I suppose I'm glad my dad has someone - I know he's not happy about how it all ended up. Our relationship with him is strained.

[This message edited by emergent8 at 8:15 PM, Tuesday, August 16th]

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   路   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8750690
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 12:55 AM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

Same as HellFire. sad

Have they suffered from depression or behavioral issues after learning about the betrayal?

I have three sons.


Youngest SON has an extreme anxiety disorder, and depression and has has anger issues. None of which were present before dday. He was age 12 when D-Day happened. He is now 30 still dealing and on medications for depression and anxiety. crying As much as we tried to keep our arguments from the kids, the youngest heard enough to where it affected him.

Oldest was away at college and middle son was clueless.

posts: 11608   路   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   路   location: Northeast
id 8750747
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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 1:08 AM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

I am emotionally wrecked right now because of two completely unrelated things. So I can鈥檛 answer the individual questions.

But I was going through an old dresser full of papers over the weekend and found something our younger son did in school. He was 11 or 12. It had his picture and 鈥淚 am Son鈥檚name鈥 at the top. Followed by a bunch of statements. One of those statements was 鈥淚 worry about my mom.鈥 Another was 鈥淚 cry every day.鈥

Y鈥檃ll, that just broke me again for a minute.

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4776   路   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   路   location: South Carolina
id 8750750
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 1:50 AM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

HFSCC- 鈾ワ笍

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   路   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8750755
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Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 6:15 PM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

HFSSC (((HUGS))).

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6233   路   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   路   location: Southeastern United States
id 8750834
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:59 PM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

There have been a lot of brutally painful threads posted on this site. This one is the most heartbreaking.

So many ws try to pretend they didn't betray their children. They bristle at the very whisper that their children were horribly affected. They claim to have always been a great parent,who always put the kids first.

The mental gymnastics are astounding.

posts: 4655   路   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   路   location: The Midwest
id 8750867
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JasonCh ( new member #80102) posted at 9:26 PM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

The children always know.

BH here. For background i am a child of a father and mother whose father had an affair that caused the end of my parent's marriage. I have never met my father. In my marriage we have two adult children that know of my WW affair.

An alright book if you want is 'Parents Who Cheat' -- Ana Nogales -- ISBN 978-0-7573-0652-5. Like the waywards playbook there are a few common paths that children follow. This book does a fairly good job of outlining a few discreet subjects. I got it to read about my own children and how my WW's affair might impact them. But in reading it i can see myself in the pages.

posts: 11   路   registered: Mar. 18th, 2022
id 8750872
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Dkt3 ( member #75072) posted at 9:31 PM on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

Our son, now in his early 20s, has a serious mistrust of women, all women. Oddly enough he has been with the same girl since sophomore year in high school. Extremely toxic relationship, she is an absolute vampire. I talked with him about her not so long ago and he responded with "Dad, she is too needy to ever cheat" 馃槼

His relationship with his mother is not great but improving.

When the infidelity went down he was 6-7. We never had a conversation with him. He is a smart kid and pieced together a narrative that was loosely based on facts. When he was a teenager and really began to understand all the things he was picking up back then he he got really angry. He is getting better, but its really impacted him. My wife is really struggling with the impact of her affair to this day, far more then I am. When I divorced her it kinda reset me. She and my son have had no such luck.

Our daughter is unaffected being she was so young and didn't understand what happened nor does she care now.

posts: 110   路   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8750875
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