How infidelity affects your kids

Obviously, infidelity has an adverse effect on kids, so learn if you should even let them know about it.

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It’s a fact — divorces are on the rise in Singapore. The latest government figures in 2016 showed that 7,614 couples called it quits on their marriages, up from 7,522 divorces in the previous year.

As to why marriages fail, Larry Lai, a principal psychotherapist and counsellor with Focus on the Family notes that 1.6 per cent of divorce cases in 2016 were a result of adultery. However, this was the reason for 21 per cent of divorces under Muslim law in the same year.

REACH Community Services’ head of counselling services, Jessie Koh, points out about 60 per cent of their clients seek counselling because of marital issues caused by spousal infidelity.

Needless to say, a cheating spouse can inflict irreparable damage on a marriage ― the impact is far worse when kids are part of the equation. Koh lists several devastating results of infidelity on your child, including:

1) Feeling embarrassed When acquaintances — like neighbours or even your kiddo’s classmates — learn about a spouse’s infidelity, this can become a source of immense embarrassment for junior. Koh notes, “It is possible for the kid to feel embarrassed, especially if one hears negative things being said about their parents.”

“It is something difficult for child to accept because all children want to believe and see parents as their role models or their hero and heroine.”


2) Loss of respect and trust for the cheating spouse When one parent’s actions hurts the other, Koh cautions that it is only natural that your child will begin to disrespect and lose trust. “It is something difficult for child to accept because all children want to believe and see parents as their role models or their hero and heroine.

Lai adds that when integrity has been compromised, junior will likely lose respect for the cheating spouse.

3) Feelings of anger and insecurity Anger is a spontaneous reaction if person’s way of life is disrupted or if there’s anything that leads to a negative consequence, Koh explains. A stable family is also the foundation of your child’s sense of self, adds Lai. As a result, the act of adultery can cause them to feel insecure.

4) Start keeping secrets Your child may stop confiding in you both if any issues trouble them as they are reluctant, lest it strains their parents’ relationship further.