Casualties of the Infidelity War…

I guess because of Mother’s day, I’ve been reflecting on my personal journey as a mother, from the birth of my first child in 1997, to present day where my youngest has just recently turned one. I’ve been thinking about what kind of mother I was when I began, and who I am now…how my own mother was and how I am similar and yet different…the things I am proud of, and the ways that I feel I have greatly failed.

I think one of the worst consequences of my husband’s affair have been how my sons have been directly and indirectly affected. I never told any of them anything, although the oldest 2 are aware that my husband was unfaithful because of overhearing conversations ( and fights…and me screaming and yelling…). They don’t know any particular details though. The younger boys are just too young to understand, but I’m sure they are aware that there have been problems and issues between their father and I. At times the tension in this house has been so thick that one could cut it with a knife. In any case, each one has been affected by this. I am ashamed to say that one of the main ways is through me. I have never been a pillar of patience. I’m not known for being easy going and laid back. But ever since the time around my husband’s affair, I have found it 100 times more difficult to not get angry over the stupidest things. I yell at the slightest provocation. I get easily annoyed and I snap at them. Sometimes, I just want to run away because I feel like I can’t take anymore. I’m not the mother I’m supposed to be, the mother that my sons need…many days, I feel like I am a contender for Worst Mother In The World.

I wonder…what am I teaching my sons? Am I showing them what it means to be a forgiving spouse? Are they learning that when they marry, their wives may hurt them, in big and small ways, but they can survive through their struggles and build a stronger marriage…or am I teaching them that it’s ok to be unfaithful because their wives will ( or should ) forgive them and move on? Will they abuse their wives’ trust? Will they treat them like doormats? Will they be faithful because they have experienced the pain that infidelity has brought into their lives? Or will they cheat because they think this is what men do?

I struggle with my feelings, every single day. I want to be the mom my boys deserve. I want them to see marriage as a blessing, and I want them to see my husband and I as an example of a strong, happy marriage. Is it already too late for that? Will they ever see past what has happened? I don’t know. And how can I expect them to? Because I’m still unsure of the outcome. As much as I believe my husband has changed, as much as I believe that he regrets the affair and has no intention of cheating again, I can’t say that I trust him. I can’t say that I believe in him, that I think he will always make good decisions from here on out. When I look at our future, whereas before I could envision us growing old together, sitting in rocking chairs on our front porch, watching our grandkids play…well, now the future is like a big, blank canvas. I would like to think that what we’ll end up with is a life as beautiful as a painting by Van Gogh, but I’m fearful it will instead be like a caricature by an unknown, untalented artist… a joke, a waste of energy and a waste of time.

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4 Responses to Casualties of the Infidelity War…

  1. Flaca says:

    Its difficult to deal with parenting in a positive fashion when you spouse, also the parent, is doing terrible things to you and to the marriage. I know I struggled and still do, keeping it together in front of the kids. It’s very hard – boys and girls – to see how parents deal with conflict and especially betrayal. The hard part is knowing that one day it will come out and one day it will have to be dealt with. I try my hardest to accept that my ideal marriage and family is gone. I can only try to rebuild with what I have and make it the best I can – moving forward. That may not include their father. So far it does. I joined a parenting class as part of my anger management sessions. They are very helpful. Perhaps there are some available in your community?

  2. aloneagain3 says:

    My children are all grown up and it has still affected them in profound ways.
    And the running away part I get 100%.
    It puts us in a state where we can barely take care of ourselves let alone children or pets for that matter.
    As for your sons. I feel that it is up to your husband to show them how to treat and respect their wives. He made the biggest mistake a husband can make. It is his responsibility to be preventative with his sons in that matter.
    As a mother of daughters I have I fear been more of an example of how to be a doormat And they are both grown.
    Yes the casualties of infidelity are widespread. And range from forms of death to minor abrasions. But no one remains unscathed.
    Hold you head high and just keep moving forward no matter how slow that forward motion is.

  3. Wow. Thank you so much for the honesty. You’re not the only couple to fight so badly in front of the kids. I stand ashamed. As to your fears, I wrote today that human resolve is not dependable. How we need to lean hard on GRACE! May you fall more and more in love with your Groom. All the best, all my heart. I don’t know if any of this will speak to you:

    http://aholisticjourney.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/faith-and-suffering/

  4. bombladoze says:

    My boys are 12 and 4… having 6 is wow! one thing ive been really grateful for is that they have each other. Im also grateful for my dad and my stepdad, being good men who are willing to step up for these boys and teach them. unfortunately in place of their father… but its just so nice to know theyre there.

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