When people choose to get married they are making a commitment to be together for better or for worth for richer or for poorer and until death do them part. However, that is not always the case; some persons break up or get a divorce for many reasons. According to (Mao & Raguram, 2009, p.302) infidelity could be defined as a violation of the marital agreement, a betrayal of one’s trust, and a threat to the marital bond”. When the commitment is not being honored it can cause an eruption of uncertainty as well as it can stir up a myriad of feelings for both individuals which include guilt, betrayal, shame, and disappointment.
The act of infidelity can have some very serious psychological implications on a family where children are involved. Children whose parents have been adulterous will be affected however, some more than the other. A child tends to react with intense feelings of anger and ambivalence toward the cheating parent and exhibit a lack of trust.
Firstly, after a child has been exposed to their parent’s infidelity, the fight that might occur between parents may cause a dilemma because Instead of confronting the anger, confusion and sad feelings directly, some children may have changed in their behavior. This would then lead to the children showing animosity towards others. They can start to misbehave in classes and become insubordinate to those in authority, which may result in their grades dropping. Frequently youngsters experience issues figuring out how to adapt to their feelings as they often have countless different emotions.
Sentiments of misery may take over for some children since they have no control or contribution to what is happening in their lives.
Therefore might try to cover their emotions by engaging themselves in wrongful doing such, joining gangs, developing smoking and drinking habits, sexual acting out during adolescence, and intimacy problems or sexual addiction during adult years. Secondly, when a child encounters a situation where one or both of their parents are being disloyal it can also cause a child to develop trust issues. Learning that the ones they trust the most have been lying to them, their ability to trust will be affected. Seeing the breakdown of trust in their own family can cause an impulsive response if the child experiences any similar situations in the future. There’s a great possibility that they will find it very difficult to trust that someone they love will not hurt them with lies. Often times they learn not to put faith in love as they believe that they are not good enough to have someone loving them. Furthermore, if the affair persists and parents while parent stays bonded to each other the child becomes confused not knowing the true meaning of love and marriage. Consequently, because of the lack of trust, it makes it difficult to form a strong connection with their partner as they may have similar problems of their own such as affair’s hampering their ability to form a lasting relationship.
Thirdly, some children develop anger and hatred towards the parent that’s committing the adulterous act. They often feel that the cheating parent is responsible for the negative changes in themselves and for putting them on an emotional rollercoaster. This causes the child to isolate the erring parent even harboring resentment toward their parent for disrupting the family structure. The erring parent may feel the loyalty of the child has shifted but in reality, their actions have not only affected the innocent spouse but their child as well. Some children have even used the guilt of the erring parent as a way to gain material possessions from that one. Others have placed the blame squarely on the innocent parent trying to convince that one that because of some shortcomings they were the cause for the unfaithful mate’s actions.
Neither route benefits anyone involved. In conclusion, I am able to deduce that problems in marriage can be hard on children. They often experience a negative change in their behavior demonstrating aggression towards others and developing insecurities and loss of trust. The change in behavior does not only occur in a child’s early stages of life but it also affects the different areas throughout the rest of their lives. Every future relationship that a child has can be hampered by the indiscretions of one selfish parent. Therefore everyone in the family should take special care not to allow the satisfaction of their own personal feelings to damage this construct that is so important to a child’s development.
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