Staying together for the kids?

Jenni - posted on 08/17/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

5,928

34

393

So here's the hypothetical scenerio.... You catch your partner cheating. He/she isn't a repeat offender as far as you know. Do you try to work through it to save your marriage and family life?Or is the offence too much to bear and you choose to split?
Do you believe in staying together no matter what. Till death do you part?
What things might you stay with your partner to work through that you would(have) throw(n) in the towel for if you didn't have children together.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tara - posted on 08/18/2010

2,567

14

114

well... I was married for 10 years to a man who I thought was my "soulmate". After year 7 I knew I knew if we didn't get some counselling we would be done. He wasn't cheating, he was turning into an asshole before my eyes. Everything about him had changed. He was verbally abusive, controlling and angry all the time. I used to say he loved being angry more than he loved me.
I chose to try to stay together for the kids sake (5 of them) we tried to be civil with each other, we tried not to argue in front of the kids. We tried but it didn't work that way. The kids felt it, they saw it in my eyes, they heard it in the way he talked to me. I went to marriage counselling, he wouldn't go. He figured people only go to marriage counselling to end their marriage. I kept trying to keep it together for the kids. We even decided to co-habitate, To live in the same house in separate bedrooms for the sake of having a two parent house hold. But he just got worse. My girls were supposed to be sleeping one night, he was being an ass to me, ridiculing me about my mental health issues (I was sexually abused as a child and was having a rough time) he was being such an ass, and I was crying so much. Well the next thing I know my 8 year old daughter was standing in the doorway asking my ex why he made me cry so much. He told her I was acting like a baby. Then he told my oldest son I was crazy and needed medication. I had enough. It was affecting my kids and how they saw relationships. I didn't want my daughters to grow up thinking it was ok to be treated that way, I didn't want my sons to grow up thinking that is how you treat a woman. So I left. 10 years of marriage down the drain. Found out after the fact that he was cheating for part of our last 3 years together. Which would explain why he was so indifferent to me, why he had no empathy etc.
Good Riddance, he's a great dad now, spends every weekend with the kids. But I don't believe people should stay together for the kids sake, kids are smart, kids feel the tension, they learn the behaviours of avoidance, of confrontation etc.
Better to have two happy parents who live apart than two depressed parents living together.

Cassie - posted on 08/17/2010

0

0

182

I equate cheating as a type of abuse in a relationship as it can be both mentally and emotionally abusive. I have always said that in an abusive relationship, people need to ask themselves one important question.

"Would I want my daughter/son to stay in a relationship like this?"

We are our children's best model of a relationship and one in which they will look to and model their future relationships after. Even if the abuse is a cheating spouse, the effects of that are toxic and will likely leak into other aspects of the relationship even if you try to work it out. Your children will see that and will think that's how relationships are/should be.

I know that there are many factors that go into making the decision of whether or not to work it out but I think that what our children see of our relationship and how it will affect their future relationships should play a major role.

Tammy - posted on 09/22/2010

44

104

0

my mum stayed with my Dad for the sake of me and my brother and for years I kept telling her to leave him coz we were all miserable. he had major mental issues and would regularly lose his temper and lash out at all of us. he hit our mum occasionally infront of us and constantly insulted her and put her down infront of us. I had to watch my mum in tears on a daily basis and seeing how unhappy he made her put me off men for life! I believed as a young girl that all men hit their women and mentally abused them. I didnt realize untill I met my wonderful husband just how loving and beautiful real love with mutual respect cn be. I would never recommend staying in a marraige for the sake of the kids because in the long run u can end up messing with your kids minds and giving them an unhappy childhood.

Isobel - posted on 09/21/2010

9,849

0

286

I think it's your responsibility to try EVERYTHING in your power to save your marriage...yes, for the sake of the children.

BUT...if all that fails, children would rather be from a broken home than in one.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

29 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

I don't know. I married a man that has never been faithful to anyone and I knew this before I said "I do". He has a very short leash because he has already done some stupid shit and I packed my thing and 3 of our 4 kids were packed too. The jackass responded by email to some chick on craigslist, nothing ever came of it but I have asked myself WHAT IF quite often. The only thing that kept me here at that point was my stepdaughter who is 5 and has already lost her mother once. I can't say I'll stick around if it happens again though.
Abuse is a deal breaker for me.

[deleted account]

No I'd never stay with my husband "for the sake of the kids". My dad had an affair and him and my mam tried to work out and in the end he ended up leaving my mam, my sister and I for that woman. Staying together with someone that you can't forgive isn't going to help and signs will start to show which the children will pick up on.

Becky - posted on 09/21/2010

2,892

44

93

I honestly don't know. I've always said the 2 deal breakers for me in marriage are infidelity and abuse, of me or the kids. If he was having an affair, then no, I don't think I could stay and work it out. But if it was a one time slip, I don't know. Maybe, if he agreed to counselling and some other terms. I do believe that usually people cheat because they are not getting their needs met in the marriage. (not always, some people are just assholes!) So, if he did cheat once, I would have to take a good look at what was going wrong in our marriage and what responsibility I had for it, and whether it was something we could work through. I do take my vows very seriously, but it would be soooo hard to trust him again!
Fortunately though, he thinks men who cheat are scum, so hopefully I'm nver going to have to make that decision!!

[deleted account]

When you have children whether or not your married..you try everything in your power to see if things can be worked out..if you still both love each other.I see it like isn't children one of the most important things to try and keep your relationship/marriage going for.Whats more important than that.You always try, you can always say even if it doesnt work out, we at least tried for us all..

The only time i would leave is if we were in a home were violence,emotional abuse etc was happen.I would go no questions asked.A home should be a safe, loving &caring place to raise children and if your home isn't like that then a relationship or marriage isn't worth staying together for the children because there the ones who will suffer most , the can do without that and breaking up would help them more than staying together will ever do.

Liz - posted on 09/21/2010

17

25

1

I would stay unless he was abusive to me. We have five children and there have been times that the kids are all that held us together. Deciding to become a parent should remind people the committed to each other and their marriage. Things get tough for sure but it's worth fighting for even in hard time. People can say horrible things and get lost in life but to have your family atleast you know there is someone there for you. Of course unless they were abusive.

Stifler's - posted on 08/19/2010

15,141

154

604

You'd stand by him unless he did something to betray your trust or hurt you or disadvantage you. I get that. I wouldn't get divorced over cheating unless he was in love with someone else and wanted to break up or was going to continue cheating. If it was one time and he was really drunk and it was a mistake I'd forgive that as long as he was willing to make it up to me.

Tara - posted on 08/19/2010

2,567

14

114

@Morgan "Any drugs and the money and risk my son is put at would be too much. Anything else that he does, I really could care less. He can steal, lie, kill, blah blah blah and I honestly wouldn't care. I would prefer to know prior, but don't really care."
I'm confused you say you could care less, did you mean you *couldn't* care less or that you could care less than you already do?
And just out of curiosity do you really honestly feel you would rather your hubby kill someone (even if he did tell you prior) than him smoke drugs?
When you said he could do whatever kill, steal blah blah blah, it sounds like you don't care what kind of person he is, as long as he doesn't cheat without telling you first or kill without telling you first etc. not sure if you're being real or not.
Could you possibly clarify for us all what you meant exactly.

Thejordan_family - posted on 08/19/2010

24

28

4

Cheating is a no go!!! If he cheats then I am outta there. Same vice versa for him. Emotional and physical abuse is another BIG NO.
I completly disagree with staying together for the children. How many times do we see the cirlce happen?? I stay with hubby and he cheats/hit/yells at me.... my little girl or boy will grow up thinking that is a normal relationship and continue the cycle with their partners. Bad choices by parents sometimes means bad choices for your kids. Granted there are a few kids (now adults) that have seen the error of their parents ways but would you really want to raise your child in a bad environment?
If you or your husband are not happy is DIRECTLY effects your children no matter how good you think you are at hiding the issues from your kids.

Rosie - posted on 08/18/2010

8,657

30

321

it would depend on the situation. iif it was one time thing, not a relationship i would be more willing to try. i would try either way i think because i vowed for better or worse, but i'm pretty sure that i wouldn't be able to trust him again. without trust you can't have a healthy relationship, and that would definitely trickle into your kids lives somehow. i wouldn't want that at all.

Jenny - posted on 08/18/2010

4,426

16

129

Cheating itself is not a dealbreaker for me but it depends on the circumstances. If we'd been fighting alot, drifting apart and he went out one night and slept with someone I'd react differently than it if is a woman he was seeing repeatedly and involved with emotionally as well. I believe most cheating occurs because of a breakdown in the relationship which is both partner's responsibilty to maintain not that that excuses the behaviour itself.

There is not one thing that I would overlook to stay with him "for the kids" though. I see our relationship together as seperate from our relationship as a family. If we want to be together we will and if we don't than we won't. It's always for us though, not the kids. We will always be Mommy and Daddy to the kids regardless of if we remain in a relationship as partners/spousal equivalent.

Meghan - posted on 08/18/2010

3,169

33

202

Peace out homeboy!
As a parent you have to model acceptable behaviour to your children and you need to teach them what is an acceptable way to be treated/treat someone. Cheating is a huge deal breaker. I don't believe in "oh I made a mistake and I love you and it will never happen again"...no thanks. If you really loved me, it wouldn't have happened. Period.

Tara - posted on 08/18/2010

2,567

14

114

To add to my earlier post, the things that I would have to throw the towel in with my current partner would be any form of abuse, be it verbal, emotional, physical, psychological etc. on more than one occasion.
Also respect, sort of the same thing, but if my husband was disrespectful of me, thought I was inferior etc. than I would try counselling but in the end, usually someone like that won't change their attitude.

September - posted on 08/18/2010

5,233

15

695

If my husband choose to completely disregard his wife and his child and decided to go out and cheat I would have no choice but to split. I trust my husband completely so I'm pretty sure he would never risk not having is son and wife in his life on a consistence basis. Cheating is the ultimate betrayal and I think would be the only thing besides physical or mental abuse that would cause me to throw in the towel. Everything else can be worked through because we love each other.

Krista - posted on 08/18/2010

12,562

16

847

Man, it really depends on the situation. Was it a one-time screwup? Is he remorseful and keen on going to counseling to try to put us on a path to patching things up? Does he accept full responsibility for his actions?

Or was it a long-term affair? Is he making excuses and implying that I should "get over it"? Is he trying to shift responsibility onto others?

If he's generally a good, honest guy who screwed up ONCE, and is doing everything in his power to fix what he broke, then I could see giving him another chance. Otherwise, if he's being at all a weasel about it, then I might as well cut my losses, because it'll obviously happen again.

Sarah - posted on 08/18/2010

5,465

31

344

Before I had kids myself, I would have said without a shadow of a doubt that you should never stay together because of the kids. My parents divorced (twice! lol) and them staying apart after the 2nd divorce was the best thing to have happened for sure.

Now though, I see it kind of differently. While I do think if the relationship is abusive or you're truly miserable every day, then you shouldn't stay together. I do think that having kids should give you more of a reason to stay and try and work things out. I highly doubt that if me and my husband didn't have kids, that we would still be together. We would have broken up years ago. However, because we had the kids to think about, we've worked harder at staying together than I think we would have had we not had the kids.

As for the infidelity thing, I'm really not sure how I would react. It would depend on the circumstances. I'd like to think that I could move past it if it was a one off thing. As there has been cheating in my relationship before me and my husband got married though, I don't think we would survive another instance of cheating.

Stifler's - posted on 08/17/2010

15,141

154

604

I'd go to marriage counselling before making rash decisions. Especially if there are kids involved.

Michelle - posted on 08/17/2010

936

32

134

Cheating would be a deal breaker for me! I would rather be happy and living apart with my daughter then feel stuck with someone I didn't want to be with. Kids can sense things and unless you can really get past what happened then it's best to go seperate ways and still be there for your child.

Ashley - posted on 08/17/2010

364

40

39

As a child that grew up in a divorced home I strongly think that you do not stay together for the kids. I think you try harder for the kids. But like Dr Phil says (lol I know what your all thinking, "Oh god hear we go with the Dr phil") a child would rather grow up in a broken home then live in a broke home. Cheating in my books is just asking to get out of a relationship and if one person is not happy enough to be faithful then the hole family is not happy.

Sharon - posted on 08/17/2010

11,585

12

1315

Physical/emotional/mental abuse - deal breaker. If I didn't kill him first.

cheating - I'm not sure. Mostly I think I'd walk out and divorce him but I can imagine staying for the sake of the kids. My SIL in law did. Her husband was cheating on her, addicted to porn and had turned into an asshole. She held it together and begged him to hold it together until their boys graduated from highschool. 2 yrs for both to graduate. Both boys did graduate highschool but their fathers betrayal devastated them and both refused to apply for college. For about 2 - 3 years they meandered about doing futureless jobs. Then with their mother and grandparents pushing them they both went to college and now work for big corporations with decent/solid futures in front of them And they HATE their father.

My point is that I think their firm solid younger years are what helped them recouperate so quickly from their fathers' mental deterioration and abandonment.

ME - posted on 08/17/2010

2,978

18

193

I've been cheated on and lied to (extensively) in two prior relationships...neither of these behaviors are acceptable to me. Physical abuse/emotional abuse are also relationship enders for me! He'd wish he'd never been born!

Tana - posted on 08/17/2010

53

43

6

I think you would have to look deep down and do what you feel would be best. Nobody could really tell a person what they should do because there are too many answers. If there was any trust left than I personally would try to make it work.. but thats saying IF you could trust him again. I personally dont think I could, thats just me. I think my mind would be racing all the time about where he was, who he was talking too, what he was doing, every time he wasnt around me. I would not trust him as far as I could throw him, and that would NOT make for a healthy relationship at all.

I dont think you should stay in any relationship that doesnt make you happy just for the kids. I think the kiddies would be much better off seeing both of their parents happy even if that means they arent together.

Tanya - posted on 08/17/2010

1,073

23

54

No I told Justin that if I ever caught him I would kill them both, drop the baby off at my parents, and then turn myself in.

Ok so I wouldn't really do that. We would have to go to counseling and I would have to be allowed full access to his phone, e-mail, and facebook. If I ever suspected it again I would leave. I am not sure that I could stay with him in the first place, but if I did he would have to agree to all of those things.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/17/2010

4,455

6

402

Well years ago when I was 16 I fell in love with my first love he was 18.
Any way we had a baby boy at 18 and then all hell broke lose. He did cheat on me multiple times and I tried so hard to please him and make it work….
I stayed with him until I was 19 and in that time he abused me mentally, and broke my spirit, and my confidence was…..well it did not exist.
But one day he hymned me up against the wall because I was 30-35min late getting home from work (I had been getting food for the house)
That was the last straw and I left.
So had that not happed I think I would have stayed longer, weather we had a child or not because I was very blind (With what I thought was love) and wanted to have a family and give my son both parents. Also I did not want to be another statistic…. young teen single mother….
Now I would give a person one chance…. that would be all you get IF you even get that…..

Caitlin - posted on 08/17/2010

1,915

5

172

I told my husband right off the bat that's one of my "game over" scenarios. My trust is too fragile, I would never be able to trust him again. I do believe in "till death do us part" so one of us wouldn't survive that encounter.... (kidding) but seriously, I don't want my kids growing up in a toxic environment, and that's exactly what it would be if he cheated..

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms