Some things should not be shared
So what’s the big deal? Come on! Everybody is doing it, right? It’s like breathing or eating or playing Mafia Wars. How sad are we? This is what today’s children think about infidelity. This is what we are teaching our kids every time they walk through the room and you’re watching the Insider or the evening news mentions the celeb who’s stepping out on their woman.
Lee says: I am not a fan of infidelity. If anything, you could call me the anti-fan or perhaps the crazed sniper in the bell tower to infidelity. Sadly, through my extensive research, I have learned there is no such title. So imagine what an amazing therapist I was to work with couples who had issues due to infidelity and still remain impartial and understanding. Yes, I could control the flames and lasers that shoot out my eyes.
My problems with infidelity come from growing up in a home where infidelity was a family issue. First, my father was a philanderer and both my parents considered this topic a family discussion and, showing no consciousness of a possible violation of boundaries, would vie for favor among the kids by either trying to guilt us or anger us against the other parent. Oh, the family fun!
Now, I am aware that a few weeks back we discussed privacy. I am also aware that we are not ‘secrets’ kind of people. However, in the case of infidelity, we would like to go on record and suggest to the couple to zip it. Shut up. Don’t discuss it at home. Don’t tell your kids. It’s none of their business and I can assure you that both of you, the cheater and cheated on, will look like assholes. There will be no winner if you involve your kids and the only concession is that the child will feel that both parents are immature.
Besides destroying their faith in a world where people can actually commit or keep promises, the child will grow up with a warped understanding of relationship. The pendulum swings and on one side they could regard relationships as sacred and breaking said bond would be tantamount to killing a puppy on Christmas morning. Or they can swing to the other extreme and regard coupling as just an obstacle to making a notch on their already whittled bedposts, wondering what that rash was. There is rarely any moderate reaction.
This is not to say that a couple cannot survive infidelity but the addition of children into the mix puts extra pressure on the couple to maintain boundaries. This becomes difficult if there is any emoting. The problem also arises when the one cheated on is committed to be the victim in the infidelity drama. Thus, pining and sighing is also considered a violation of boundaries. Anytime your kids have to ask you ‘Hey Mom/Dad, what’s wrong?’ you are running the dangerously fine line between including kids in your drama or just raising sensitive children. Your kids are not there to take care of you.
I know, I get a little passionate about this. I know it has much to do with my upbringing but it probably has more to do with the fact that, as a married woman, I have not experienced infidelity in my marriage. Thus, I have proof that commitment is a reality and cheating is a choice. I choose to be faithful. Paul chooses to be alive and keep his limbs. A match made in heaven.
Paul says: Yes, we believe in honest communication with the kids but some things need to be age appropriate. Questions that your child might ask that would be a sign that you are sending an unhealthy message may include:
Asking what they should call your mistress.
Your ten-year-old daughter asking mom for techniques on giving head.
Your eight-year-old son asking your daughter the same question from above.
Asking what mommy and daddy’s favorite position is.
Referring to affection as ‘putting it to her good’.
Referring to a six-year-old classmate as ‘fine’, ‘sexy’ or ‘fuckable’.
Yes, if any of these things are happening in your household, call the nearest mental health professional then keep them on speed dial.