After An Affair – Watching the Kids

Raising kids after an affair can be tough especially during the first few months. Just finding out about infidelity in marriage is emotionally draining; to raise kids at the same time is difficult. One of the hardest parts for me personally was crying all day, finally calming down enough to go to sleep, only to be woke up in the middle of the night to feed my son. Or being very low and sad, and then smacking that smile on my face to play with my innocent little daughter. It’s tough, very tough. So if you have experienced this feeling, you are not alone.

I do admit, I was fortunate because I asked my husband to help me out because I felt so weak (as most women do after an affair) and he did help. And when talking with other women dealing with infidelity, some husbands don’t help, or don’t give you a break during this time.

YOU DESERVE A BREAK FROM THE KIDS AFTER AN AFFAIR IN THE MARRIAGE!!! Even if your husband doesn’t help, try to find someone that can help so that you can take a break, even for a day or week. You’ll certainly be amazed with what that can do. IN ORDER TO RECOVER, you need to have enough time to process. If your husband is willing to help, use that time to get away from the house and process your thoughts. Take a walk, go to the bookstore, do anything that is calming to you. Do not deprive yourself of this. I did for a while, feeling in some strange way that I should be at home with the kids all the time. I have grown since then, and realize that you will literally lose yourself with that mentality.

The best thing you can do for your kids is show them how to put themselves first even after an affair, and the only way to do that is to show them by your example.


11 thoughts on “After An Affair – Watching the Kids”

  1. I just found out that my husband of 12 years has been having an ongoing virtual affair with an old girlfriend. They have been texting sexual comments and nube pics to each other for 4 months!! I am so distraught and lost. I trusted my husband completely and would never have thought this was possible. We have 4 beautiful children and we built this life together and in one swoop he took it all away. Worst of all I had to find out at work when the girl’s boyfriend sent me an email to my work address. This guy had know for a month and had been threatening my husband with physical harm, calling our house in the middle of the night, and telling him he needed to tell me. Still a month went by with all of this going on and my husband never said a word. I feel like I don’t know the man I am married to. We live in a small town and he is such a devoted husband and father. I know everyone is going to be shocked and I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. More than anything though, I am heartbroken for my children. They are 10, 8, 4, and 1. I wanted to give them the family life I never had and I thought he wanted the same. Now he has thrown it all away on a few minutes of excitement and we are left to pick up the pieces. I don’t know what to tell the kids or how to help them. I don’t even know how to help myself. I really can’t tell you how much I never thought this would happen to me and now it has. I don’t know what to do from here.

    1. Momof4,
      My heart goes out to you, it really does. Certain parts of your story hit home with me. I saw 3 months of text messages with sexual comments etc. and that was literally traumatizing, I don’t care what anyone says, too see your husband text, write and act in a way that you have never seen before, it traumatizing. So your feelings and pain are real. I just kept going over those darn texts in my mind and I just couldn’t believe it, I was literally in shock. My husband is an upstanding citizen in his town as well, everyone says he is a great father, good person, etc. I was torn apart by this, mentally there were times where I felt like I couldn’t handle the pressure, it was overwhelming for me. And my two small kids (a newborn and a 3 year old)? I never wanted to be a single mom. That wasn’t part of the plan so it hurt me to my core when I had to make the choice to leave. I say all of this to tell you I am in a different space now. I am happy and full of life. I am wiser now, I understand myself better as well as his actions in having an affair. I don’t harbor any hate towards him, sometimes I get sad thinking about what could of been, but I am at a place now where I realize everything happens for a reason, and there is a better life for both of us. You are no different. The embarrassment thing was huge for me, as it is with you (read my latest post on embarrassment on the main page).

      Now, it appears that you just found out, which is when the pain is very hard, especially with 4 kids, you still have to be mom through all of this. Make sure your husband gives you some time for you. You are going to need time to rest, time to think, and if you are with the kids all the time, you are not going to have time to process. As far as the kids, not sure I would tell them at this point, you are too emotional, and I think it would cause more confusion. Once you and your husband talk about next steps (marriage counseling/separation, etc.) and what that would look like, and you are certain on the outcome, then I think the kids should be brought in (just my opinion). If they see you very sad or down, that is ok, just say mommy is not feeling well, and she might need some rest to get better. If you feel like you can’t hold it together in front of them, it’s ok. If you need to get someone to help you for a couple of days, reach out for help. If you don’t want to tell the person asking for help the entire situation, don’t. Just say you need a mental break and ask if they can give you a hand. I know it’s tough right now, but you are so much stronger than you know. Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going, you will get through this.

  2. Chiming in about KIDS and an affair…. While both of our girls are grown (23 & almost 21) with their own toddlers, they too have been affected by my husband’s affair….and also continue to affect OUR rebuilding and relationship as well.
    Both are aware of his infidelity with a girl barely older than they are…but they don’t know all the sordid details. I have kept all that from them to protect their relationship with their father (I know, why?). However, they have both questioned their own “rocky” relationships guys (1 is married, 1 is living with a guy for 4 years now) due to the fact they watched mom and dad argue for years (about basic marital issues unrelated to infidelity); they watched mom leave several years ago only to return after dad begged, pleaded, changed, etc. to get mom to come home; then to have dad CHEAT on mom just a few years later after the reconciliation. Both girls are of the opinion now that why should someone work so hard on a marriage, try to make things better by separating and returning to work on things….only to be cheated on after 25 years any way. (My husband’s affair was a ‘mid-life’ crisis type thing, he is not a serial cheater).
    So now, I have been living in our RV for about 1-1/2 months. Husband is doing all the right things…finally!…after 7-8 months of nonchalance and no remorse about the affair; I was doing most of the work for rebuilding, and decided it was time for a separation. So a couple weeks ago the oldest daughter and her 3-year old need to move back home….she’s had enough of her ‘stale and disrespectful’ relationship. She’s about to start night school….and my husband and I would be doing most of the babysitting. So I make the statement that I would probably move back to the house at the end of the month to be more readily available to help out with the grand-daughter, and to just “be there”.
    Now — she has moved back in with her boyfriend/baby-daddy….and I’m left with the fact that I’m not sure I’m ready to move back home to work on ‘just the marriage’. I made that statement more as “Mom”…than “Wife”. And while he has been doing all the right things….6-8 weeks of good behavior just does not erase the months of pain and deception!
    But I know it will probably bring him down to know that now that she and the granddaughter are not at the house….I’m not really ready to be either. Guess I need to find the strength and remember how much he ‘brought me down’ when I kept finding evidence that he was still seeing her until 6 weeks AFTER I found out….and still going by the strip clubs once or twice a week for several months after their break-up…WHY?…to find someone new?? Of course he says no — and as far as I know he has finally stopped. But why did he take me leaving for him to FINALLY straighten up?
    Oh boy — this has been such a rollercoaster ride!! I am soooo nauseous and ready to get off! (And I usually love rollercoasters!!!!!! LOL!)

  3. I found out 2 weeks ago (right before our 10th anniversary) that my husband had been carrying on an emotional affair at work. Nobody else was there on the night shift – they were free to ignore their duties and make out at work. They ended it and went back to their spouses. But not before believing they were in love and it just “wasn’t meant to be right now”. I figured out what was going on when I discovered he was discussing our marital problems with his “good friend”. So sick and disturbing. He told me he was in love with her and depressed for 2 weeks when it ended. I learned the reason he wasn’t paying attention to our son at the park and he fell off a play structure was that he was texting his girlfriend at the time. Now he is in counseling and learning that he was never committed and that he told me white lies our entire relationship. This was the 3rd time he cheated on me. The first 2 were in the very beginning and I forgave him. I am doing okay – but struggling with housework, illness and 2 kids with ADHD. I need to get out, but I feel like crap (I have an immune disorder). I guess I just need to put on my big girl panties and go. I just worry about what happens when I’m not there.
    My husband is immature and selfish (he’s working on that), the problem is he doesn’t see safety issues w/ the kids like I do (ADHD 2 and 5). I don’t have anyone else – the worst part of the affair was that we moved 500 miles 6 months ago and this is what I got for it. I just don’t have anyone here. Any suggestions?

  4. Also, I wanted to add – my self esteem took a big hit. The “OW” is 21 years old!
    She is pretty and athletic, that was her “in” with my husband. They had some things in common in terms of Martial Arts, working out and other exercise things.
    He wanted to meet his “friend” at the park to exercise and I questioned it months ago…”Wait -it’s a girl? Does her fiance’ have a problems with this”?
    “No, it’s not an issue – shouldn’t be an issue with you either – don’t be jealous”.
    I feel so old, fat, wrinkly and unattractive. He keeps telling me I am pretty and he finds me “hot”, but how can I recover from that?
    My best friend told me to exercise, buy new clothes – do what I can to feel better.
    I keep asking myself “will that make me feel better? What’s wrong with the current me”? There is a part of me that wants to be “Well, I’ll show you how hot I can look – take that”! The other part of me says “Screw him, I already lost 50 lbs since we got married”!

  5. It’s sad when a woman feesl she needs to compete with her husband’s ‘girlfriend’ it’s just so hurtful and wrong. Even after the affair is over, there is still that insecurity that was never there before. I guess that is why so many women have ‘revenge’ affairs.

  6. Adding insult to injury…Had some tests done for some health issues and to make sure that I didn’t get any diseases from my husband (he swore they didn’t have sex), I was being pro-active. I had a pap done also – because it had been awhile. Found out yesterday that I have cervical cancer. My life has definitely gone in a whole new direction. I now have everyone in my house seeing a Dr. regularly.
    I have to get well and be there for my kids. My husband is in shock and is trying as always to be the eternal optimist. I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I’m scared but dangit! I didn’t just survive this affair crap to be beaten down again!
    I have to make it through this, your thoughts and prayers are very welcome.

    1. Hello Marie,

      I just read your story, and I surely will be thinking about you in this difficult time. I hope you going to get tested is a blessing in that they found it very early. You are going to need strength and one of the ways to do that is make Marie a priority. I know you have your husband and kids, but I want you to focus on Marie getting better and the kids (having your husband help out when you feel comfortable). Making how you feel of utmost importance is really critical right now. If you want to spend some time alone, do it. You don’t have to be a full time mom, wife, housekeeper, all the time. The way I see it is that the universe is telling you to slow down and make healing and resting a top priority. Concerning the marriage, tell your husband to drive that. If he wants to stay married, tell him he has to drive it because you have to focus on healing and the kids, so essentially you are telling him to step up. But don’t force the outcome. Meaning if he does nothing, don’t spend time talking to him about it over and over because it will zap your energy. If he chooses not to put in the work, then that is his decision, you focus on healing and the kids. Please keep us posted. Take Care.

  7. Marie — sending prayers and hugs your way! As I am closing in on 50…and had a very good friend recently diagnosed with cancer…I have had that fear! I haven’t fought this hard to save my marriage, to have some unwanted health issue arise! (Not to mention if we split up — there goes my insurance!)
    Hopefully they caught your cancer early and your prognosis is good!
    Stay strong, dear! We are all here for you!!

  8. Jewels,

    I thank you for your words. I have learned so much from this website. I have forwarded several articles to my husband to gain a better understanding of what I’m going through. I think it has helped a bit. I have moments where I’m glad he’s now attempting to be a good husband (going to therapy, doing chores) and moments where I hate him for what he did to me. So at the present, because my diagnosis was not great – I am trying very hard to get healthy. I changed my diet and I am trying to eliminate stress as much as possible. This means I need space from my husband – I recognize that. Sometimes I look at him and all I see is him kissing this other lying cheater at work and I get mad all over again. I need to distance myself. He says he knows it will take a long time for me to heal and trust him again. He claims he’s prepared for everything (yeah, right). I know he is quite slow when it comes to emotional stuff. So I will focus on me right now.
    I appreciate your help more than you can imagine.

    Thank you,


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