My Spouse Doesn’t Want My Affair Partner Around Our Children

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who are a little put off that their spouse wants to dictate their relationship with the other person during an affair. Often, the person having the affair knows that the relationship is wrong, but they can’t seem to stop it. And although they know that it is wrong, they can’t help wanting to give the relationship time to develop in order to see what might happen. Of course, their spouse will often do everything in their power to ensure that this doesn’t happen, especially when there are children involved.

To demonstrate, I might hear a wife say: “I am not proud of the fact that I am having an affair. I know that this isn’t great behavior on my part. But I have fallen in love with the other man. I wish this didn’t hurt my husband. But I can’t deny my feelings. My family knows the other man. I have worked with him for years. So it is not unusual for me to spend time with him or to have him in our home. The problem is that my husband now refuses to allow him into our home. He says that he does not want this man around our children since this man is trying to destroy our family. My kids don’t know about the relationship and I have no intention of telling them. We don’t act inappropriately around my children. My kids actually like the other man and enjoy spending time with him. I don’t see the problem, but my husband says bringing the other man into our home is insensitive and inappropriate. I suppose it would be these things if the other man and I were kissing in front of the kids, but we aren’t. Who is right here? Do I have to keep the kids way from the other man?”

I’m not an attorney or a marriage counselor. So I can’t give you a legal or psychological answer. I can give you my opinion of what is a correct moral answer, although I suspect you won’t like what I have to say. I don’t mean to be harsh or insensitive. I concede that people feel that they have developed true and real feelings that are hard to turn off and on when they are having an affair. But, to me, you should not invest or demonstrate these feelings until you decide what you want to do about your marriage. If your marriage is over and you are divorced, then there is nothing wrong with pursuing a new relationship. But, until that time, it is wrong to do so.

And pursuing a new relationship in front of your children is very confusing for them at a time in their lives when they may well sense that something serious is going on with their parents. I know that no one was kissing in front of the kids, but kids are more perceptive than you may be giving them credit for. You may not be overtly kissing in front of them, but they still make be picking up the vibe in the room. This can make them confused and uncomfortable. And you may not realize this, but you may be trying to encourage a relationship between your children and the other man because you want a future with him. That would be manipulative and premature at this point because you are still married to these children’s father.

I do not know the legal ramifications of this, but as I said, common sense and wanting the well being of children whose parents’ marriage is in peril should be your first priority. I can’t imagine that forging a relationship with a new adult would be more beneficial to them than stability right now. Let’s face it. You are not having the other man around the children for their sake. You are doing it for your sake. You have to ask yourself if you are motivated by the children or motivated by yourself.

I am not saying that you won’t ultimately end up with the other man. That is up to you. Only you can decide that. But right now, you are still married. And until you resolve what is going to happen with that marriage, then you shouldn’t pursue other relationships. It is just too early for that. You shouldn’t take on something new when you haven’t yet resolved something old.  And frankly, even with a divorce, you should be very careful with introducing new relationships to your children.  Many experts suggest that you don’t force the new relationship on your children and you give this plenty of time to digest the divorce before you even consider adding new relationships to their lives.

Again, this is only my opinion. But because of my articles, I hear from a lot of folks in this situation. Very few of them recount good things coming out of pushing a new person on children who are already struggling with what will become of their parents’ marriage. Give this situation more time. Don’t rush anything. Focus on the outcome of your marriage first. Allow your children the time to heal and to spend time with only you before you attempt to push someone new onto them. This is likely a harder time for your children than you realize. They need you and your support. Not someone else along side of you.

Much of my opinion on this comes because I am a child of divorce.  My mother remarried within three months of her divorce from my father being final.  I can not tell you how painful it was to have a virtual stranger move into my home when the divorce was so fresh.  If it helps, you’re welcome to read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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