Cheating ruins families. Everyone involved gets hurt, including any children produced in the marriage. In my case, one of the hardest parts of my husband’s affair was what it did to my two small kids, who are now four and one-and-a-half years old. After moving out, we take turns watching them. We switch every day and every other weekend. I know that might seem extreme to some of you, but that is what works for us right now. It’s important to me that my kids see their father as much as possible. If my daughter does not see her dad for a couple of days, she starts to cry for him, thinking that he is gone forever.
The arrangement is working out okay. When I have the kids by myself there are some days when I think, “OMG, I am so stressed!” My son wakes up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night and is up by 6:30 a.m. My daughter sometimes misbehaves too, and I don’t have anyone to come and give me relief.
On the other hand, then there are days where I feel great that I am able to not be that mom who is filled with anger all the time, which is how I was when I still lived with my husband after the affair. I am glad that my daughter doesn’t have to ask us to stop talking to each other in a mean voice. I am glad that my kids can see mommy dancing in the living room to her favorite song. I am glad that I can show my kids through example that you don’t have to live with someone if you are miserable with them or if they disrespect you. I can show them you can be confident and smart, even when you are by yourself.
So there are ups and downs, just like there are with anything else. Before I moved out, I wasn’t quite sure it would work out so well. I was nervous about the impact moving would have on my kids. Fortunately, a friend told me that my kids are smarter than I think, and that sometimes when children are presented with two different living arrangements at an early age, they get to experience what they like and don’t like about living with others earlier than most.
I have learned that kids feed off your energy. If you’re sad, they’ll know it, and if you’re happy, they’ll know it. One of the best things about my current living situation is that I am happier, which helps them to be happy as well. After reading some books on kids and divorce, one of the most important things I learned about moving out of a family home with kids is that they know you are still there for them, that you love them, and that it’s not their fault you have a different house now (very common for kids to blame themselves for divorce). I know I am not perfect, but I hope that I show them through my actions every day that I love them and that the decision to move had nothing to do with them.