“For the kids!”

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. -Hebrews 13:4, NIV

2014-07-25 14.09.51

Adulterous spouses have no shame. On one hand, they will willfully and maliciously disregard how their selfish sinful choices impact their children, and then they will invoke their names in trying to manipulate the faithful spouse to do their bidding when they do not want to face a divorce and the consequences that come with that.

It is disgusting.

And angering!

Plus, it is an example of a major cheater disconnect.

They do not see how they are hurting their own children by choosing to soul rape their spouse. Cheaters forget their children are half of their spouse. When they treat him or her with contempt, they are saying they hate their children (half of them anyways) as well. This is the main reason I encourage faithful spouses to never badmouth their cheating exes in front of the kids keeping it to naming the actions and not invective.

Besides that disconnect, adulterous spouses are directly causing instability for the kids. They are making it harder for the faithful partner to be available to parent as he or she has to deal with the extreme trauma the adulterous spouse has just inflicted upon them. And that is not even touching on all the financial instability the cheating may cause as well.

Yeah, that sounds like cheaters really care about the kids.

And I have a problem with Christian leaders using this excuse to rug-sweep the adultery without actually addressing it. They are all too willing to accept less than full repentance in order to serve their god–keeping marriages “intact.” It’s “for the kids!” Really, I think it is for vanity meaning the pastor wants to talk about the marriages he or she “saved.” Savior Complex anyone? Wave the shiny prospect of keeping the marriage together in front of them, and they are more than happy to put the screws on the faithful spouse to take back an adulterous spouse despite Scripture (e.g. Mt 5:32) and even when red flags concerning the adulterous spouse’s lack of repentance exist.

Do not get me wrong:

I am all for miracles and the miraculous restoration of marriages ravaged by adultery. 

But it needs to be an actual miracle, not a false-miracle. Real and total repentance needs to happen. If not, then the children get to live in a home still ravaged by the ongoing sins of adultery and deceit. They are taught that adultery is tolerated, and divorce is a worse sin than unrepentant adultery. Those are very damaging and unbiblical lessons to teach.

Besides, back in the Old Testament times, I am sure children were involved in similar situations with a parent who committed adultery. God did not view keeping the marriage intact “for the kids” as reason enough to allow the marriage to continue back then. He commanded the Israelites to kill the adulterous spouses (e.g. Deut. 22:22) and thereby definitively ending the marriage.

So, let us not use the kids as a smokescreen for the real issues when adultery has taken place. The focus needs to be on full repentance by the adulterous spouse. If the faithful spouse chooses not to exercise his/her God-given permission to divorce (see Jer. 3:8, Mt. 5:32, 19:9, etc.) and the adulterous spouse is granted the miracle of character transformation through actual repentance, then we can rejoice that God has done a miracle remaking a marriage killed by adultery.

And remember: Actions tell us the truth.

If the adulterous spouse really cared about the kids, then he or she should have thought about that before committing adultery and not when they are faced with the consequences of their poor choices.


5 thoughts on ““For the kids!””

  1. When the adultery/deceit (serial, not one time) was revealed, my spouse ended the current affair (within 5 minutes) and proclaimed “he chose” to stay (umm…I have no say in this?) When I told him to move out a few days later, he was angry and called me selfish because I didn’t consider the kids. I could see clearly that he just seeking damage-control from the kids finding out about his hidden life. As usual, it was all about him. No real remorse, no accountability, empathy for me or the kids…just anger that he didn’t get his way . He moved out and to this day, almost 2 years later, he has not given any explanation nor talked to the kids. Now he is angry at them seeing them as ungrateful, like they owe him something. Although I never had read about narcissistic personality disorder, I do think now that he is a classic case. You are right, DM: Actions Tell Us The Truth. My kids see that now for themselves.

  2. My STBX said “I just abandoned you, not the kids.” Uh, ask if your kids agree with that. They don’t care about the kids when they betray us. They may say they do and put on a good show for a bit but they don’t do the things that really matter. They don’t keep the family together, they don’t treat the mother/father of their children right, and they choose not to be there for every precious moment of their children’s lives. When parents mess with their children’s lives in this way, I believe it is one of the ultimate evils.

  3. On top of that, these callous spouses are all too filled with an urgency to bring the “new” partner (whether married to them or not, and usually it’s NOT – my ex is currently co-habiting) into their children’s lives. I think it’s their way to get approbation for what they’ve done. If the kids can accept it, well it’s all good, isn;t it? We’re all “moving on” and accepting their choices. Ex finally backed down on this when my 17 and 14 year-old sons said they weren’t interested in “his new life.” They won’t go to his new place with her there. Ex has to content himself with meals eaten out and functioning as a chauffeur at this juncture (which is more than he did when he actually lived with us).

  4. I stayed in a marriage for 30 years with a cheater for “the kids”. Now my kids 29, 28, 25 are all on their own, two are married, I decided after learning that my stbxh had given up affairs 15 years ago but replaced it with porn, lust, reading porn, etc, that I don’t need to stay anymore in this sick, loveless world he created. After I filed for divorce and revealed to my kids who their dad really was, they were shocked, but glad for me that I do NOT need him for them anymore. Either way, the kids are hurt. The cheaters never think of anyone but themselves EVER!

    I carried his load of guilt and shame for a long time, but NO MORE! He is super angry and says Im unforgiving, angry, and WANT to live in the past, and Im the ONE tearing apart our family. Its comical to listen to him blame shift . For years all the pastors and christian counselors sided with him and preached at me to “forgive”, and finally I found DM and realized I could be free from their bad advice too.

    He likes to say to me “I stayed didn’t I” like he was doing me a favor. This man was very active in church, his parents were ministers, we ran a Christian youth camp, he was in law enforcement for 25 years, always preaching to people that Family was FIRST! Yup, everyone but me ate it up. Now he is exposed, since he never truly repented (my opinion based on his continued sin) and I have filed for divorce. Its hard going through the process but I know I will be better off not living a lie. He did hurt his kids and me and that will ALWAYS be true!

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