My Spouse Had An Affair And Now I Don’t Want My Kids To Have Anything To Do With Him Or His Family

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from people who are beyond angry about their spouse’s affair.  Often, they want very harsh revenge.  And one common way to get this revenge is to take away what they know is the most precious thing to the cheating spouse – his children.

Common comments in regard to this are something like: “my husband had an affair with our nanny.  Frankly, I was very close to her and considered her a friend and confidant.  This has destroyed my ability to trust people.  To say that I am hurt by this is an understatement.   I feel like this is ruining my life.  And it completely changes the way that I view my husband and his family because his sister knew about the cheating and did not tell me.  She has apologized repeatedly saying that she was torn. She has asked for my forgiveness but I am ignoring her.   I am also ignoring my husband.  I don’t want anything to do with him right now and I don’t want for my children to have anything to do with him either.   My kids don’t understand this, of course and I am trying to shield them from it as much as I can.  We regularly go to my in laws’ house, but I don’t want my kids there right now.  I don’t want for them to hear anything about this.  In fact, I’m not sure if I want my children to be involved with this family.  I don’t want my kids anywhere near any of them right now.  At first, my husband begged me to reconsider.  He told me that he missed the kids and that he would not take them to his parents and that he wouldn’t mention the affair.  When I resisted this, he told me that I didn’t have this right.  I believe that I do.  Who is right here?  How to I keep my kids away from this deceiving family?”

This is a very difficult situation.  Obviously, it’s very easy to understand the wife’s anger.  She had every right to feel angry and betrayed by her husband and by his sister for not immediately telling her the truth.   With that said, while I completely agreed with her anger, I didn’t completely agree with her regarding her stance on the children.  I will tell you why below.

It’s All About The Well Being Of The Children:  I believe that this wife was absolutely right to be concerned about the well being of her kids.  Yes, she was reacting somewhat out of anger.  But she had real concerns about her children associating with people who she saw as lacking in integrity.  With that said, she admitted that her husband was a good father who would never hurt his children either emotionally or physically.

It’s my opinion that keeping the kids from their father is potentially harmful to them.  The wife was adamant that she didn’t want the children to know what was going on with their parents’ marriage. But suddenly snatching them away from their father was going to bring about questions.  And they would potentially be able to sense that something was very wrong as the result of this.

Try To Separate The Issue Of The Children And The Issue Of The Marriage:  It’s so very easy to intertwine the two.  To the wife, the fact that the husband betrayed her put his parenting into question.  I completely understood why she felt this way.  I have been there myself.  But in all honesty, these are two separate issues.  It took me a long time to understand this, but it is absolutely true.  It’s never a good idea to use your children as a weapon and to pull them into the center of the battle.

If there have been parenting issues in the past, then that’s another story.  But if your spouse is a good parent but not a good husband right now, then those are two separate things.

See If A Compromise Might Work:  Please know that I’m not an attorney or mental health professional.  Obviously, any legal questions should go to someone qualified to answer them.  But until this becomes a legal issue, it might make sense to try to compromise.  I understand not wanting for the children to hear about the affair from someone else.  It would be reasonable to ask that the husband hold off on that type of interaction for a little while, but certainly not forever.

It’s also reasonable to ask that for right now, your husband and you interact with the kids together.  But in order for that to happen successfully, you’re going to need to be willing to put on a united front for the sake of the kids.  You don’t want to show them the conflict and the anger. Some couples find this impossible to carry out so, until a resolution is reached, they interact with the kids separately without going into a long explanation as to why this is happening. In the end, you have to do what is both possible and best for your kids.

The bottom line is that the children’s well being has to come first.  If your spouse is a good parent, then you have to understand that he is likely going to be the same parent now.  And, this husband was more than willing to make whatever concessions were necessary in order to work with the wife where the kids were concerned.  This is only my opinion, but I believe that this was the best course of action.

The wife had said that she wasn’t sure if she wanted her children to be involved with the husband or his family.  The truth was, the husband WAS the children’s family.  And although he’d shown himself to be a questionable husband, he had also shown himself to be a good father.  And although I understood the wife wanting to control what the children heard right now, I also didn’t think it was a good idea to keep the kids away from their father due to something that wasn’t their fault.

I absolutely understand how you feel.   I didn’t want my husband around after his affair and he did leave the house for a while.  It didn’t concern me that he was no longer under the same roof as his kids at that time.  I felt he deserved it.  But it soon became clear that his absence was negatively affecting my children.  I now believe that kids need both of their parents, even if those parents aren’t getting along, although I do believe in concessions also.  If it helps, you can read about my recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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