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You may also wish to read about “Children of Affairs”.

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An anxiety with no name sets in, this anxiety can follow children throughout their entire life time and leave them with not being able to feel safe in their most intimate relationships.

After Disclosure Catherine Ford Sori has delineated children’s reactions to affairs according to age.

These younger children cannot put this into words very easily, but instead usually develop regressive problems such as physical illness, clinging, bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, fire setting, temper tantrums or night terrors – in fact, anything that seems an appropriate response to the fear that the family is about to be wiped out.

Conversely, the child may start trying to be perfect, completely hiding the intense anxiety that is eating away at them on the inside; if the parents are preoccupied with the fallout from disclosure the child can feel abandoned and no longer loved.

Children are tuned into the nuances of their parent’s relationships in ways that might be surprising to adults.

I have heard more than once about a 2 or 3 year old becoming alarmed when mommy and daddy aren’t talking and actually trying to physically pull them together, while urgently pleading “daddy talk mommy.” Many betrayed partners, when looking back, can recount exactly when the affair started, even though there wasn’t “disclosure” until much later.

In this post I will address how children are effected by their parent’s affairs.

In subsequent posts I will discuss the effects on adult children of affairs and offer suggestions for parents involved in affairs on how to best support their children through this difficult time.

When thinking about young children It is important to keep in mind that the younger a child is, the more the family is experienced as if it is the whole world.

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