Infidelity Decisions: What’s Best for the Kids?

It’s always a difficult decision to make, choosing between staying in a marriage and leaving it, when infidelity has been discovered or revealed. And it becomes an even more difficult when it’s not just you that you have to think about, but what’s best for you children as well.

The majority of couples who are going through this situation, much like yourself, have only one thing on their minds while thinking of what it is that they should do, which is to make a decision that will be best for everyone in the family as well as themselves.

Most of the time, parents hide their issues and troubles from their kids because they want to protect them from their marital problems, and they don’t want their kids to worry. And although this is done with the best of intentions, there is a possibility that it could backfire and leave your kids shocked upon hearing the truth about your relationship and the things that are happening in it.

In a lot of cases, though, kids prove to be very intuitive when it comes to their parents’ relationships. Even when parents hide their fights or troubles from their kids, the children still can sense when there is something wrong or that there is some tension between you and your partner. Although they may not have the details of what is wrong in your marriage, they can still feel that something is off and will avoid discussing it until you bring it up yourself.

How we make decisions in our lives differs from person to person, and when we’re stuck choosing between staying in and leaving a marriage, this holds even more true. What pushes one person to a decision is different from another and everyone has different motivations in doing so. In this particular situation, couples may decide to stay together out of guilt or a sense of loyalty, some may decide to leave the marriage because they are consumed by pain and betrayal.

In deciding whether or not to stay in the marriage after infidelity, the most important thing that you have to consider is still your children. Think about how it will make them fell, what they will learn from your decision and how it will affect them. Children are stronger than most people think, and how they will cope with what is happening in your marital relationship will depend on how you guide and help them get through it.

Staying in or leaving your marriage depends only on you and whether or not you will be able to forgive your partner’s infidelity and work on creating a stronger marriage. Yes, there are factors and people to consider in making this decision, but the final decision should be only yours to make.

When it comes to relationships, there are no guarantees that what you have is a sure thing. You can only find someone who will best complement who you are and work hard with that person to make things work even when the challenges are hard. Good and happy relationships don’t come easy. It takes a lot of work and effort that you and your partner must be able to handle. Show your children what it is like to love and what it takes to make it work because your children will look up to you and learn from your actions. Whatever decision you end up making, whether you stay in your marriage or not, make sure that you do it in a way that will show your kids the best example of love in action that you can.


  1. My wife of 21yrs, with whom I have 4 kids…. around 4 months ago began a long-distance relationship with someone she met on a trip with work friends to a night club about 3 hours away. She met a man, supposedly going through a divorce, they kissed, and began a phone and texting relationship, and met one other time, a couple of months ago, and spent some time together there. She swears that they did not sleep together, and I want to believe that.

    We have our issues, and have gone through a great deal of family and financial stress in the last few years, her saying she feels worn down, etc., wondering if we’re good for each other – but until I discovered this relationship she never made a serious effort to talk about any of these issues – she kept them to herself.

    Well, the relationship with the guy is over- due to my research and trying to learn about him – he called it off – and while I know this may not be a final “it’s over” for them – I’ve been working on myself, focused on being here for my kids – 18, 16, 13, 11 – and focused on work as much as I can. I’m trying to reach that “neutral” state you talk about in your videos (I really need to buy your book…!).

    We went to counseling together once, individually once… and I’ve been back twice – she refuses to go anymore, to him, or individually to any other counselor. I’ve been trying to play it cool, not pressuring her, somewhat succeeding – but a few days ago she said she didn’t want to even try to work things out between us, and suggested that I leave.

    I told her that I wasn’t leaving, and I wouldn’t lie to the kids to tell them we’re working on things when she clearly doesn’t want to. I’ve told her, I’ll give her as much time as she needs (within reason) to work things out over the “grief” of that relationship ending, but I want to try and work things out with her.

    I think she wants to tell the kids that we have grown apart, but that we love them, but I feel this would be a lie. Right now – she wants to end it – and I feel like telling the kids that we BOTH want to separate/divorce would be a lie. Am I being vindictive, or just plain angry at the situation – that I feel that when/if we approach them, she should say that she wants the divorce – as I clearly do not.

    I’ve told her I’m in it for the long haul, and I’m here, ready to talk – but she refuses to even try.

    I do not want to lie to my kids, and I don’t want to let her lie to them – by implying that this is some kind of mutual decision we’ve arrived at….

    Your thoughts?


  1. […] happen from here, lets them know that they can be open about their concerns to you. Especially with children, opening up to them lets them know that they can tell you what they are going through as well. […]

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