A fellow blogger Hemmingplay commented on one of my posts, https://rougedmount.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/is-an-affair-worth-it/ and my reply ended up being quite lengthy, so I decided to enter it as a separate post.
When the primary relationship is devoid of loyalty, openness and trust, there can be no impact on something that does not exist. When little ones are involved, when children are involved ‘period’ I believe their interests and needs come first, even at the personal sacrifice of parental needs, as long as any resulting negativity can be mitigated so they do not see any impact of the adult decision to remain married in a loveless or sexless marriage of what amounts to convenience. Children do not need to be aware of everything that does ‘not’ occur in the parent’s bedroom.
I am not talking about an affair that is the result of pheromones and a rush of impulses that end up with carnal unions of people who have no ability to express self control. I do tend to be judgmental of people who are intrinsically selfish and place their needs for sexual validation above their children’s needs for stability. I believe it to be the height of hypocrisy that you try and teach values and morals to young children while not living by them. I have spent 27 years living in sacrifice, so people who fail to even place marginal effort into repairing a marriage when kids are involved, tend to trigger me into instant judgement of their situations.
If you have married and value frequent sexual expression as the single thing you can not give up under any circumstance, then you have no business being married at all if you can not be faithful, in spite of any reasons why your sex life may dissipate or disappear entirely. If you value being married more than you value a monogamous marriage, then you have to decide what you do when faced with infidelity. If you remain married to a serial cheater who is an opportunist or who may have had a moment of weakness and who has them frequently, then you are choosing martyrdom over marriage.
Being faithful for 23 years without effort was looking inward at my marriage and trying to solve its problems. Once I accepted the issues and problems with the marriage were not mine, it gave me the freedom for the first time to take responsibility for my own sexual health and needs, back from someone who did not value the gift he had been given. Looking outwards from my marriage, finally gave me the perspective to see it for what it truly was. It took another man, not the one I was married to, to show me that my perception of what I believed to be true, actually was. I had gained a clarity that was not possible before and it did not involve creating any issue for my children, friends or family by my filing for divorce, to do it.
You can be as open as you want with someone, yet if they do not believe what you say, to them it’s never been spoken or is a lie. It does not take away the fact that your reality is your personal truth. Broken trust can not be claimed by someone who gave you no trust in the first place. I do believe the vows say “love, honour and cherish” as opposed to “forsake, abandon and ignore”. The longer the latter is practiced, the easier it is to turn towards someone offering you a fraction of the first. I have spent the last few years speaking a truth that is not heard by my husband. Everyone else now knows and understands to a very small extent, but he is willfully ignoring me, the same as he always has.
My belief is that you protect your children and their future first and then turn to healing yourself. What was a negative is now a positive. I am fortunate in that I can do this all while staying married to someone simply because he does not see me or hear me at all. An affair may be the only source of comfort and support you have had in 25 years. If you have taken the time to dissemble your entire relationship and work at repairing the un-repairable, then this small respite towards the natural end of a marriage that should have ended years ago, had it not been for the children, is sometimes the saving Grace to a life given in service to your family.
I have been able to work at healing myself so that when the time does come for me to divorce, all of the hard work will be behind me and i can truly look to my future as being part of a couple where honesty, communication and sexual expression is wanted, practiced and sought out.