Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Kids suffer more than adults realize.

Adultery is a serious offense. The Bible speaks about the sacred bond of marriage and the importance of faithfulness to your spouse. However, in modern times we have lost much of this morality to corrosive influences and the apparently widespread acceptance that infidelity is both common and almost normal. However, new studies have shown that adultery is exceptionally and surprisingly devastating, especially to children.

Infidelity impacts children worse than most realize.

Infidelity impacts children worse than most realize.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/25/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Marriage, infidelity, affair, impact, children


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Adultery affects children, even adult children, to a degree hitherto unimagined. According to a series of articles and a book by Kate Figes, adultery is devastating  to children and can have lasting, lifelong effects.

Breaking down the impact by age, Figes revealed the conclusions of years of research. No matter the age of your children, from infancy to adults, adultery, and the commonly resulting divorce, bring lasting harm to children.

In many cases, the parents will not notice or recognize the harm, but it is there.

Among the surprising conclusions Figes draws is that infant children as well as adult children suffer harm.

Infidelity in a relationship isn't what many assume it to be. In many cases, people assume that the cheating spouse is seeking sexual gratification without regard to the impact it will have on others. The truth, as Figes reveals, is far from that.

While sex is often a feature of new relationships, (although it shouldn't be!) the real motivation for the cheating spouse is to escape a problem. Cheaters complain about feeling unloved and unwanted, or disrespected. The monotony and security of married life can become a grind and many embark on affairs for the thrill.

Infidelity is common, especially following the birth of a child, unemployment, or other times of emotional stress. Most affairs are not serious attempts to break up a marriage or to form a new one. Rather, they are attempts to escape unhappiness.

Surprisingly, an affair rarely means a marriage is fatally flawed. Figes discovered that affairs often occur when both spouses are contributing to the marital problems, saying that it's often a 50/50 scenario. This does not fit conventional wisdom, but it is the conclusion of her work.

The solution then, is for both individuals to recognize and acknowledge their shortcomings and to work diligently on their problems. When both husband and wife works to improve themselves, the marriage often improves as well.

Many marriages can be saved, except society expects the offended partner to kick the other out which only exacerbates the problem and condemns what could otherwise be a salvageable marriage. However, given the cost of infidelity for children, spouses contemplating a split would do well to reconsider this knee-jerk reaction.

How does infidelity impact children? The conclusion is that it's hard for children, and even worse if the parents split. Even if the parents remain together, infidelity does harm.

Parents with infants and toddlers might assume that their children will be too young to remember, which is generally correct. However, a parent struggling with the emotional stress of an affair and the grief that comes with the discovery means the parents have much less energy to spend on their children. This results in neglect, which causes more tears. Babies require an incredible amount of love and attention and an affair robs them of this.

Lacking the devoted affection they need, children become needy and cry more. As they develop and grow, they are more insecure and this can affect them for life. Children whose parents split when they were babies also have an increased incidence of marital problems of their own.

Young children also suffer unimaginably from their parent's affairs. According to Figes, children between the ages of five to ten normally exhibit emotional disturbances, particularly in school. Performance drops and they fall behind their classmates. Their behavior may regress and they could resume thumb sucking or bed-wetting. This can impact them for the rest of their lives as they later struggle to regain ground lost in some of their most formative years.

Older kids, particularly teenagers can take affairs quite badly. Teens tend to be idealistic about relationships and a straying parent can be explosively condemned. Teens are also very adept at discovering signs of infidelity because of their savvy with modern technology. Secret text messages and Facebook dalliances can be discovered by teens who then feel they possess dangerous information and have little idea what to do with it. Eventually, it tends to come out.

This impacts teens as they forge their own identities. Teens who witness parental infidelity tend to become less trusting and very skeptical. They become critical of others, especially their parents. It doesn't help when parents then use their children as sounding boards for their individual struggles. This lays a burden at the feet of a child, which they can never carry.

Teens often react to this by turning to promiscuity, drugs, and alcohol. They may develop eating disorders and trouble in school is common. As an added danger, if it's the mother who has the affair, children end up traumatized because their mother is equated with Jezebel by others.

Older children, even those who have left home have problems too. Although they may be away at college, they can be devastated too. It can torpedo their education. In addition to the exams, peer pressure, and intensity of college life, they must now navigate a crisis not of their choosing. Like teenagers, most older kids are woefully equipped to deal with such a crisis.

Research suggests that teens and older kids who witness infidelity in their parents become more likely to end relationships that could be saved, making them more prone to divorce. Some kids never marry following such trauma.

Many people who have affairs believe they cannot get caught. However, affairs are usually detected. The cheating spouse cannot help but change in some way. Perhaps they become uncharacteristically happier, or they become increasingly secretive. In some cases, cheating spouses have even allowed themselves to be caught as a means of hurting their partner.

In their effort to escape the drudgery of marriage, however, they destroy lives, including those of their children.

Take advice from the scriptures. Adultery isn't worth it.

Read more from Figes here.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Catholic teacher sues diocese after she was fired for... Watch

Image of In vitro fertilization requires the conception of several children in a test-tube to maximize the outcome of success, but then the unwanted children are destroyed before being implanted into their mother's womb.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Roman Catholic schoolteacher who says she was fired for trying to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) will have her case heard in court following a favorable ruling by a U.S. District Court judge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former Roman ... continue reading


REPORT: One in 10 girls worldwide sexually abused Watch

Image of The study revealed that about six out of 10 children aged between two and 14 were subjected to physical punishment from their parents or guardians on a regular basis.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world has a long way to go in regards to respecting its female inhabitants, according to a new United Nations reports. The grim statistics compiled by officials have found that 120 million girls, or slightly more than one in 10 are raped or sexually abused ... continue reading


STUDY: For children, there is NO 'amicable divorce' Watch

Image of Parents who remain amicable during a divorce do their children no favors, according to a new study.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Amicable divorce," which usually refers to the dissolution of a marriage without bad feelings or upheavals on the part of the parents still do the children no favors. That's the findings of a major study conducted across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


LARGELY FATHERLESS: 36 percent of those turning 21 this year grew up without dads Watch

Image of It must be noted that there are a lot of individuals, through courage, perseverance and hard work, overcome the disadvantage of being born into a single-parent household.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately 36 percent of the American generation, more than a third, born from 1993 through 2012, due to turn 21 this year, were born to unmarried mothers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 40 percent of the babies born in each of the ... continue reading


Remember the Alamo - Texas' abortion law now challenged in court Watch

Image of Abortion rights activists protest on August 4, 2014, outside a U.S. federal court in Austin, Texas, where a hearing started for a case by the Center for Reproductive Rights against a new set of restrictions on abortion clinics in the state that go into effect in September

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Abortion rights groups challenged Texas' sweeping anti-abortion law in federal court on Monday, as a federal judge in Alabama ruled that the state's similar restrictions on abortion were unconstitutional. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In its second challenge ... continue reading


Indian toddler with severe water on the brain survives surgery Watch

Image of Surgeons carried out a series of operations to reduce the size of Roona's head. Sent home after surgery, her parents were warned she had little chance of survival.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With a freakish head 37 inches in circumference, a three-year-old Indian girl has underwent surgery to reduce her deformity. Arduous hours of surgery later, she's smiling for the first time with a more normal-sized head. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


European Court of Human Rights: Europe CAN NOT be forced to recognize same-sex 'marriages'

Image of Marriage IS between a Man and a Woman ONLY.

By Adelaide Mena

Is the disordered homosexual lifestyle destroying our great American culture? Strasbourg, France, (CNA/EWTN News) - The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the refusal to recognize same-sex "marriages" does not violate the European Convention on Human ... continue reading


Are You a Ready or an Unready Catholic?

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

There are many Catholics who are "unready" Catholics, that is, operating under ill advice or bad counsel.  They have adopted the counsel of sophists, satanists, or doubt-sowers, and have departed as a result from the teachings of the Church.  Their ... continue reading


Andrew M. Greenwell on Same-Sex 'Marriage': Framing the Issue Right Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

The first step for a Catholic to recognize his obligation to oppose same-sex "marriage," if he does not see it or comprehend it, is to rid himself of the flawed moral heuristic (a moral rule of thumb or short cut) some ideologue has chosen and which may be blinding him ... continue reading


Pacing a New Online Relationship

Image of Pacing an online relationship is different for each couple.

By Catholic Match

Every couple that meets on CatholicMatch moves at their own pace. For some, it's important to move from online connection to a face-to-face date as soon as realistically possible. For others, it's important to let things grow gradually. Matt and Katie fell into the ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter