Tuesday Go Ponder: The Effects Cheating Has On Children and The Myth of Resiliency


Anyone who’s watched or discovered their parent is having an affair (even years later) knows the excruciating pain. and intense loss of trust. The manipulation of someone who continues these behaviors for years is still astonishing to me, who blame others, who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions, who stalk and blame and whore themselves out in their own desperation for attention rather than get help and take the path towards recovery and rebuilding.

The Effects Cheating Has On Children on Marala Scott’s blog puts the truth out there. For those married folks who have skanked it up and fucked around on their families, cut it out, get your shit together, and show a little damn respect for your children and spouse who you made vows to. Stop screwing around and go home. Ask anyone who’s been devastated by this and maybe you’ll have an ounce of empathy for how your choices are ultimately stabbing your family in the heart. I don’t care what your damn excuses are, I don’t care if you say you’re in a loveless marriage, it doesn’t fucking matter.  You don’t cheat on your family, and if you still think it’s okay to commit adultery and dishonor your spouse and children, then you need some serious psychiatric help.

My fiance and I were talking about the utter bullshit that is the overused phrase, “kids are resilient”. In The Myth of Resilient Children, Jessica Grogan, PhD, states, “We sometimes say it with the intention of being reassuring, but at the risk of dismissing very serious concerns about a child’s development…The problem with thinking that we’re utterly resilient, that this positive inclination cannot be damaged or destroyed, is that it ignores the possibility of negative events affecting the kind of people we become. Negative events might include missing out on meaningful relationships in our early years, not getting the kind of nurturing we need through a major life transition, or, at the extreme, experiencing abuse or neglect.” People who cheat on their families are ignoring those who depend on them, who need them, who love them, and their selfishness is incredibly toxic.

So with that, here is the Marala Scott’s blog post…

“We’re all human and our life will be riddled with mistakes regardless of how big or small they are. The problem is when you’re making choices that can have negative consequences for your children. Infidelity is one of those choices. Most people cheat because they feel neglected in the relationship. Others simply want revenge. Some cheat because the ability to do so is available, providing a thrill. It’s your life and a decision you have to live with, but when you have children involved, think before you indulge in a deceptive game that can devastate them along with the person you’re no longer considerate of. When you intentionally hurt someone your behavior is self-destructive as well, because your morals and values are compromised. You’ve crossed boundaries that should never be crossed that way.

Cheating is a selfish and cowardly act of not considering anyone or anything except your own greed, need, and sexual desires. It’s an immoral way to accomplish something. Consider it stealing or taking something that doesn’t belong to you. Perhaps you’ve been hurt and you want to pay the other person back, or the relationship is no longer what you want. The lack of compassion or respect for the other person is bad enough, but the affects that will carry over to your children, whether you see them or not, is another, which can cause the most damage.

It’s easier and selfish to think that your children will forget about the disruption and sometimes devastation to their life or that it won’t affect them if they don’t know. The fact of the matter is, they will remember and if they didn’t know at the onset, sooner or later they will find out. It may come out in forms you may never care to associate with your actions. You may never realize the destruction to their life or if you do it may be when it’s too late. Parents repeat the same loving words, they would do anything for their children, and then they cheat without considering any of the ramifications. When you destroy a relationship, take more than a fleeting moment to consider everyone in that relationship. If you aren’t happy, get out of the relationship with your dignity intact and move on respectfully. Consider the emotional aftermath your children will suffer although they may not say a single word to you about it. Look at the statistics of young adults in therapy because a parent cheated. Now, consider those that aren’t in therapy and have to emotionally find their own way around your actions. That selfish act can damage your children for life. Is it worth taking that risk? The damage may follow them into their adulthood in many identifiable forms you may not care to take responsibility for. Your children begin to learn their value by what you show them. Teach them that they matter to you by doing things the right way. Cheating is an easy way to succumb to self-pity and self-indulgence, but if you have any ounce of love for your children, consider the affect it will have on them first. That emotional damage can lead to other emotional problems and issues that can have permanent or long-term effects. Teach them how to love instead of how to betray someone. Let them see you hold your head up with courage and respect and talk about the problems before it gets out of hand. It doesn’t mean you can’t end the relationship, it means you can’t be selfish enough to worry about your own needs instead of those of your children. I love you is easy to say but I love myself more is what you’re telling your children when you cheat.

Don’t let your children become an uncalculated casualty of your desire to put yourself first. There is more to the action of infidelity than the act itself. If the other person is aware that he or she is breaking up a relationship and doesn’t care, they can’t possibly love you the way you deserve because they are forgetting about your children. There are other ways to get what you want that won’t take causalities or strip you of your self-esteem and morals. Consider others when they are part of the package.