My husband left home to live with a girlfriend. I want to know how to teach my children (14, 12 and 8 years old) that that is a sin. I wonder if they will be all confused because their father is taking them to restaurants with his girlfriend and eventually wants to take them to sleepover to his new home. What should I say to them??? Jesus does not want us to judge, but since I should guide and teach my children…what should I teach without falling in other sins myself??? Thankyou very much. Volga
Oh, My! I’m SO sorry. I can only hope that you two can reconcile some way. I’m no marriage counsellor. Are you divorced?
Welcome! I am so sorry your first post is on something so painful. While I haven’t experienced your particular circumstance, I know some things apply no matter what. I will tell you how I was taught.
My dad always said, “There are two things: wrong actions and the state of sin. One we MUST judge. The other, we CANNOT.” What he was saying is that there are behaviors that are wrong. Period. What we, as humans, cannot judge is whether a particular person is in a state of sin.
What you have here is the opportunity to teach your children the difference between ‘objective’ perspective verses ‘subjective’ perspective. Objectively, every single thing your husband is doing is sinful. Subjectively, I don’t know and neither do you. Only God knows his heart.
A way for young children to understand objective/subjective is by explaining exams at school. Certain types of tests are objective–true/false right/wrong. Other types of tests, commonly called “essays,” are much more subjective. Your children can learn that there are things in life that are wrong, objectively, but it is up to God to decide, subjectively, the personal responsibility of each individual.
I hope that helps. Again, welcome! I hope your stay here is happy.
First, prayers that your marriage can be saved.
If your husband refuses, you can protect your children from sleepovers through the courts. It can be ordered that the children cannot stay the night if he has an unmarried unrelated person of the opposite sex sleeping in the house.
Prayers for you.
I would be very careful not to discuss your husband’s sins or the state of his soul with your children. You need to let them be children, let him be their dad, and not drag them into your personal pain. In a divorce situation it is really, really important that neither parent tries to get the children to tak sides with them and that they not tear down the other parent to the children. Children need the confidence and assurance of having the love of both of their parents. Even if your husband is not willing to go to counseling to try to save the marriage, please be certain to get some counseling for yourself and your children as this is a really difficult thing for you to be going through.
My sister was in a dating situation where the man left his wife, and they just had a baby. Thankfully, my sister ended this horrible relationship, and has moved forward–realizing it was a sinful relationship. That being said–the children in that situation who were younger than yours, lost respect for their dad, all on their own. Kids are wiser and more perceptive than we give them credit for…I don’t believe in bad mouthing a parent to another parent, in these cases–but, trust me–at their ages, they probably have lost respect for their dad, and perhaps on their own–choose to not sleep over. This is a bed he has made with his kids. People think that adultery only impacts the spouse, but it impacts the kids…and when he loses a positive role model relationship with his kids, that will be the price he paid for his behavior. I don’t think you should allow your kids to sleep over…NO WAY!:mad: If he wants to shack up with a woman then he does that of his own accord…not taking the kids into the immoral behavior, as well…introducing them to a lifestyle of sin. Because he’s their dad, does not make it that he can do whatever he chooses with his kids. I would definitely continue praying for reconciliation, but I would start exploring lawyers out there, who can better assist you in this situation. Your husband will play the ‘dad’ card, and the ‘I pay for them so I can see them’ card, but no, I would fight that…sorry charlie but you can’t take the kids into your sinful lifestyle. See you in court over it.
I just think that at some point, you need to stand up for yourself, otherwise your ‘husband’ will walk all over you…no sleep overs…and that’s that. I will keep you and him in my prayers…hopefully, your marriage will reconcile, but you need to give this a time limit in your mind. A true marriage is not one spouse living alone, while the other lives with ‘a girlfriend/boyfriend.’ No, that’s not a marriage…and I am soooo sorry for your pain. I was separated from my husband for a time, years ago, and I know what it does to kids–and our situation was different than this one…but, just know that things will get better, just keep praying for God’s guidance.
(and start talking to some decent lawyers, just in case you need to hire one at short notice)
Excellent considerations, WG.
Volga, many have had success with Retrouvaille. You might want to consider it.
Both a lawyer and a counselor, as well as your priest, would be good resources in knowing what you should or should not discuss with your kids. Whatevergirl is right though, kids do have a way of figuring this all out on their own.
What is considered the gold standard in these situations, and is recommended by counselors and court mediators everywhere is this book:
It might be nice to get a copy for yourself and one for your husband. Perhaps you could check into taking some co-parenting classes so that you can both be on the same page for doing what is in the best interest of the children.
I believe there are two facets to this:
Firstly the act is sinful! The children should know this.
Secondly they should love their father and you should do your best to ensure that.
In a nutshell: Love the sinner, hate the sin.
I am very sad for you and shall keep you in my prayers
Hmmm…if I recall rightly about that parable, Jesus didn’t tell that adulterous woman to go back and be adulterous some more, but rather to sin no more, meaning quit her adulterous ways. Adultery is a sin, especially if repentance is not present. Do your kids know what adultery means? If so, and if they ask, I don’t know why you would lie and not tell them their dad is in an adulterous relationship.
My ex was adulterous, but he kept that hidden from our children. I haven’t told them because they still don’t know about that side of him. If they did, then I would have to say something. Adultery is mentioned in the 10 commandments, so how can it not be a sin?
As soon as you can, speak to a holy priest…and for yourself, pray to Saint Rita…
Volga I am so sorry that this is happening to you. I know exactly what you are going through now because I have been there already.
First of all with time things do get better and the hurting stops. I was married for 12 years and have two kids a boy 10 and girl 7. I was 32 went I found out that my husband was cheating on me with a 19year old and top of that got her pregnant. They have been living together since 2006. Only now 4 months ago he started taking the kids for weekends at his place. It hurt so much but what hurt the most is that for the past year or so he had not kept in contact with them or bothered to come and see then and it hurt them to think that their father did not care.
I could not stop him from taking the kids there. They wanted to go and no court or nobody was going to stop them from seing their father. No matter what I say and do they love him and want to see him. So I just had to give him. But I think it was more jealous then anything else that did not want me to let the kids go there.
Yes, living together is sin and I have explained things to them. But they are still so young they do not understand. All they know is that they are spending time with their father.
You need to pray about this but hand in there. The time that the kids are away is a time for you to spend time on your own. Reading, watching movies, praying, going out for coffee with friends etc. He is their father at the end of the day and there is nothing that anybody is going to do to change that. But just hang in there and know that you are not alone. I might live the other end of the world but I feel your pay.
Just pray to God to guide you and help you in the right direction. Let him be your pillar of strength and show you the way. No matter what God never forsakens you and he will always be there no matter what.
Prayers and my heart go out to you. I’m in a similar situation although my children are younger.
Even if you could get some sort of “morality clause” in your papers (that the children wouldn’t spend an overnight with a non-spouse present), my understanding is that it might be very hard to PROVE it happens and expensive to deal with the legal fallout. Honestly, most judges probably don’t care who is around unless they are abusing your kids. You could probably request a background check on the girlfriend but that’s about it…at least that’s my case.
The kids need to know that sin exists in the world, and that we ALL have need to repent and turn away from sin, and we need to practice Christ-like true charity towards our neighbor (or daddy and girlfriend).
Your kids might be confused, but there is nothing wrong with explaining the simple truth spoken with great charity, taking care to not badmouth your husband. He will always be their dad, they may end up liking (dare I say “loving”) the other woman. At least be thankful if she isn’t harming your children and acts decently towards them.
Give your kids the open door to ask you questions. Try to answer simply, honestly, charitably. Sin exists. Your husband is putting this in their lives. You do have a responsibility, in my opinion, to allow the father/child relationships to continue (if he isn’t abusing them and is generally decent to them), and you also can’t let the kids grow up thinking it’s okay to leave your wife for another woman. Who would want that for their own son or daughter in their subsequent marriages?
Keep in mind, you may get “blasted” by husband if/when he finds out if you have spoken to the kids about this. I did, no matter that I tried to be as simple and charitable as I could when I answered my daughter’s questions. But you can teach your children to be Christ-like and LOVE (truly love) their father…and love you too…no matter the faults.