My Ex had an Affair – Can I Tell my Children?

When a marriage ends, especially if your spouse was the cause of the divorce or is causing problems still, it can be very tempting to try to ruin your children’s image of their other parent.  When you are hurt and angry, it’s easy to want other to feel the same, but bringing your children into the mess you and your ex made is never a good idea.

Even if your children are adults, they still love both of you.  They may realize what happened to end the marriage, but they definitely do not need a play by play of the details.  It is always best to be respectful of your ex around your children, even if this is harder than actually going through the divorce.  You need to teach your children about respect, even when someone has hurt you.

Your grace will go a long way in showing them how to be the type of adult you want them to be.  When you resort to trying to ruin their image of your ex, you are lowering yourself to that level of the person who had the affair.  As difficult as it will be, rise above your anger.  When you need to vent, find a friend that you can trust not to share details and vent to that person.  Leave your children out of it.

When children are little, they may not understand what an affair is and it can be confusing to them.  Are you prepared for the questions they may have about what an affair is?  Or even what sex is?  Children are pushed to grow up so quickly in our society – do you really want to bring up such an adult topic with them?

You may hate your ex for what has happened, but you have to always keep thoughts of your children’s best interest in the front of your mind.  They had nothing to do with the affair or the divorce and love both of you.  Telling them how much you hate their other parent will hurt them and may have a lasting effect on how they view both of you as they grow up.  If you share too many details, you may even set them up to be distrustful in their own love lives when they are adults.

It is always best to keep the private life you had with your ex private.  Vent to friends and family or even a counselor if you need to, but leave your children out of it.

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