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Aubrey Hammack

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How Infidelity Affects the Child
By Aubrey Hammack   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, January 10, 2015
Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005

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How infidelity affects our children.

                           By  Aubrey Hammack


The infidels rarely take time to think how affairs might effect their children or someone else’s. After all when you are in an affair, one is so caught up in such euphoria that there is just not time to have such thoughts. For this moment picture a married woman in her 30s with two children, 14, 12 and a married man in his 40s with children in their upper teens to early 20s. This man and woman are involved in an affair that was ignited quickly after they had an accidental meeting. The affair causes were for many reasons, the least of which was two people coming together by accident and ripe for something new.

As I am writing this article the song, How Do I Live Without You is playing on the radio. It sort of epitomizes affairs in general. How do I ever survive – How do I live without you. It seems that all is just so wonderful and while you are in the middle of the affair----it is.

Well, usually for a while the wraps are kept on the relationship. But gradually the partners become more and more careless. They might even kid each other about getting caught. But the day the affair has blown its cover, both of them are in a state of shock and I believe in  very much stress.

As all hell breaks lose in both households, the children are made aware of what is going on. When this happens, the children are bewildered, frightened, scared,  and sometimes angry. One case saw a 12- year -old become afraid when his dad first left the mother. This boy saw a strong feeling of fear. You see this boy was made to feel safe and secure with his father. He even felt at night the house was somehow safer because dad was there.

This little boy started immediately having problems in school. In fact, he moved out with his mother and started another school. His grades briefly improved but emotionally the boy felt the toll. Then when his mom and dad did re-unite for a brief time, his grades hit bottom. You would have thought the grades would have improved but actually the delayed effect was for them to worsen. These were to become the turbulent years of his young life.

Now back to the couple in the affair, their children I am positive had some of these same feelings. The male children even though they know it is wrong, often model after their dads. The son of the cheating father often grows up swearing not to be like dad as he gradually becomes more and more like him.

We are told adolescent children have possibly the worse time handling this because they are already very much excited by their budding sexuality and at the same time frightened about what all of these changes mean. If a parent can’t control their own sexuality, how do you think that makes an adolescent feel that is in the midst of his or her coming of age sexually.

An interesting statistic that I ran across recently pointed out that fathers of adolescent sons divorce their wives less often than fathers of adolescent girls. This article stated that one of the reasons for this was a father without sons need someone to play with so they choose a female. After all playing with someone sexually is much more desirable.

Now the father has chosen to have the affair. His adolescent daughter sees this and realizes immediately that her dad is attracted sexually to someone besides her mother.  She herself is exploding sexually and she senses males  are attracted to this. So we have a daughter who basically is being told at least sublimably by her father that sex is wonderful. Sadly many times she does exactly what her dad does.

The boys usually model their dad. Boys after seeing their dad’s behavior believe this is what dad’s do. It is amazing what a high % it is of boys that  follow in their father’s footsteps.

So the children are programmed so to speak to become adulterers. We realize that children that grow up in lying cheating, deceitful, dishonest families become many times like their parents.

Sometimes for unknown reasons some of these children turn out just the opposite, however. Sometimes it might be that a lifeline is tossed to them by friends, other relatives, ministers or some other significant other.

Sometimes children seem to on their own become overweight, and unattractive. They become cold and indifferent and fail to take care of their person hygiene. It is almost like they take this problem on themselves. Perhaps it a defense mechanism to save themselves.

The smarter these kids are sometimes makes a difference. These smart kids perhaps have some sort of God given insight into what happened to their parents and desire not to be that way.

Infidelity is not a good dish to serve up to the children. The purpose of this article is to explore this issue and help clarify what happens to those most precious to us.


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Reviewed by Rachel Naval (Reader) 4/15/2011
I am overwhelmed by the reality of your observation/insight on such matter.I am in the same situation now.My ex-husband told my kids 12,7 and 5 years old to forgive him for he found someone in Facebook and he is deeply in-love with her.He told me to just move on,but, we will still stay in the same house for the sake of the kids.I wanted to shout profanity towards him for his cruelty.Deep inside, I know staying in the same house yet not talking to each other caused so much havoc in my kid's emotional growth than he can ever imagine.
Reviewed by Tracy Joy 12/5/2010
I like that you included that children model their parents...but I disagree that it is just boys that follow their fathers it's not as prevalent that girls follow the cheater... I do a kind of therapy called Family Constellations that was originally started by Virginia Satir and then later further developed by Bert Hellinger and then further still by Carl Buchheit. This therapy looks at generational problems - one of them being lost or forbidden loves and another being infidelity. Any problem seems to influence about 7 generation or about 30 people... and not everyone (male or female) identifies as a perpetrator. Some identify as a victim, which may be why we find some females are not cheating but get hooked up with cheaters) finding others in relationship that will cheat on them. If you experienced infidelity in any of your familial relationships I suggest trying to find a family constellation facilitator and getting a constellation done to help release the pain caused by these relationships.

Feel free to contact me to find out more about this work. Maybe I can help,
Reviewed by Rhonda Baumgardner 12/24/2006
I can tell from experience what affairs do to the kids!! IT is heart breaking to watch my own [both girls, 15 & 16] suffer. After 16 yrs of being married to an abuser and cheater, we have all greatly suffered. I am at the moment putting together an aticle about domestic violence. My girls have suffered more than anyone else because of the women's and their fathers selfishness. They are both in counceling now and it will take yrs for them to hopefully be ok. I don't know..I had to grow up in the same situations and it affected every decision I ever made since, and most of them were bad. Great choice of topic for and article!!
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/20/2005
well done, powerful read
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 3/18/2005
infidelity is not good for anyone involved, but it's always the kids who suffer the most, as in many other situations! informative and readable article; very well done, aubrey!

(((HUGS))) and love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :(

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