Parenting, Abington Style: Having an affair affects children, too

Parenting, Abington Style - Adriane Heine | October 13th, 2015 8:15 pm

I get it. It’s mid-life crisis time, but I am so tired of watching spouses cheat, partners turn away from each other and marriages fail.

All in the name of “me,” “I” and “my.”

I’m not the least bit religious, but even I remember swearing to God, or making some oath, to be committed to this person.

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about affairs between 40-somethings. Facebook and other social media are often tools — password-protected routes to seek out the forbidden.

Guess what, friends, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Do you really think you can keep the home, kids, household budget and paycheck as is if you choose to bail? It’s costly to separate and support two homes that were once one.

But those aren’t the real reasons to second-guess yourself. You could manage all of that and be OK.

It’s the kids. Is this worth the respect of your children? Because you will lose their respect.

Not only will your children cry themselves to sleep when you do this, they will blame you and rightfully so. Is there anything more important in this world to you than the respect of your children? If there is, I do not want to know you.

I’m not saying marriages shouldn’t end. If you feel at odds with your spouse and are unable to fix it, get a divorce.

But try counseling first. Make a real “go” of it. Maybe the first counselor isn’t right. Try another. Research ways to reconnect. Put in the time and effort. You may be surprised. And if all else fails, separate. But not because of an affair.

Save that for later. There will be plenty of time to date when your kids are off with their other parent.

Certain things my father said still stick with me decades later.

“You can’t know how difficult it was… Leading two separate lives is exhausting.”

“Our divorce was the hardest thing I ever went through.”

“You can’t understand the passion. I was so in love!”

And today it’s my contemporaries saying these things. I’ve spouted these musings before. It’s not easy to confront people about their own bad behavior, but I speak from personal experience, from the point of view of their children. I always hope they’ll listen.

Parenting, Abington Style

Adriane Heine

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at