I see the hurt and pain in your eyes. I’ve been there. You want to hurt your soon-to-be ex spouse as much as you are hurting. Perhaps you want revenge. You’ve been betrayed. You’re so angry at the loss of your family, your home and your identity. Identity…that’s the big one isn’t it? For years you’ve been someone’s spouse, someone’s parent, have lived in this house, had these friends, have gone to this job and now this. Now you start over.
It feels as if your life is going down the toilet.
That being said, you should NOT tell your children about the affair. You do not get to talk about it in front of them. They do not overhear you speaking about this to your friends. You are the adult. Telling them about the betrayal will embarrass and mortify your spouse. Telling your children about the betrayal will also kill a little piece of their hearts every single day until they become adults. Telling them robs them of their other parent.
Do not tell them.
You’ve lost so much but your child? Your child gets to keep their parents. Being a parent requires unconditional love so dig deep. It will be hard, very hard to rise above the pain, but I hope that the love you have for your children will see you through. Like I said, I’ve been there. Eventually my child became an adult and started to ask the tough questions. He came to his own conclusions but it was too late. He loved both parents with his entire heart and there was no changing that. He understands that life is messy and complicated and that his parents’ divorce was not his fault or his cross to bear.
Divorce doesn’t hurt a child. Fighting and putting down each other hurts the child. When you criticize or put down the other parent the child interprets it as a put-down of part of them. This is how you give your child the gift of unworthiness and low self esteem. It is truly up to you on how much this process impacts your child.
The other day, amongst friends your child said that he/she knows whose fault the divorce is.
It’s not too late. You may not be able to save your marriage but you can save your child.