How Does A Parent’s Infidelity Affect Their Child’s Mindset

Last Update on September 24, 2021 : Published on September 24, 2021
How does infidelity impact children's mind set

Nobody knows that they or their partner may cheat in the future. Infidelity in a relationship can be disastrous for both the partners. Firstly, it’s hard to digest that your partner is cheating on you. Secondly, infidelity affects more people than just the two partners.

When a pair goes through cheating in the marriage there are going to be some mental health effects. Because there are emotions involved. And things go haywire when you find out about your partner’s infidel acts.


What happens when children are involved? What happens when cheating happens after you’ve had your kids? Ever thought of what happens to their tender minds? Children are the worst affected people when their parents cheat.

Also read: Dealing With Infidelity In A Relationship

Children are smart enough to pick up the vibe in the house. Even when the cheating is hidden from them they can see their parents arguing. They can sense the tension in the house and eventually they end up figuring out the whole thing.

Let’s see how a parent’s infidel act affects their children’s mental health….

7 Ways Infidelity Affects Children Psychologically

1. Feeling of Abandonment

Surprisingly, a child may develop a sense of abandonment even when the parents decide to stay put. They feel abandoned by the emotional connection both the parents had. They need your emotional presence as much as the physical one.

When the cheating parent decides to leave the house your child begins to feel abandoned. Children are used to their parents taking care of them and being around them. When one of them leaves they find themselves hanging in the middle of nothing.

2. Your Child Might Internalize The Parental Conflict

Your child might internalize the parental conflict

Children are smart and it is very easy for them to identify any differences in their parent’s relationship. Children often put their parents on a pedestal and the relationship has to be perfect for them.

When there are conflicts in the marriage they think it’s their duty to patch the parents up. They begin to internalize what’s happening at home.

They think it’s their responsibility to make the sad parent happy. It’s not right for the child to bear the weight of this pseudo responsibility.

3. Children Begin To Question Everything

In a child’s world things are either black or white. And when things don’t seem clear to them it infuriates them. They begin to question everything. Their home is their safe haven where they get a sense of stability.

When they see their safe haven being destroyed they lose trust in everything. It is very important for both the parents to give all attention, stability and love to their children.

Also read: The 10+ Biggest Relationship Deal Breakers & Red-Flags You Should Never Ignore!

4. Children Might Adapt To Their Parent’s Behavior

Children might adapt to their parent’s behavior

There have been various studies that suggest that the children of infidel parents have chosen to cheat in their relationships. Children learn from their parents. I am not saying that every child is certain to cheat in the future.

But there is a high chance because they have been through pain and they believe that they don’t deserve to be in pain anymore. They have seen infidelity as an option in their childhood and they can pick that up!

5. Children Lose Trust in Their Parents

Parents are a child’s shield and when children find out about a cheating parent it may seem like their shield has broken. They love their parents equally and it’s not right to put them on a spot.

They find it very difficult to navigate their feelings. Whom should they go to? Who is right? Whom should they trust? They want answers but sadly they don’t ask because the trust and loyalty is gone.

6. They Might Topple Down The Depression Road

They might topple down the depression road

Imagine your life being uprooted suddenly. Children are pure and they believe that their parents are too. Knowing that some of them cheated can make them rethink everything about their life.

They might start to feel depressed. Whatever they believed has suddenly become untrue. They lose confidence, trust, motivation and what not. Infidelity can have long term psychological effects on children.

7. Children Might Find It Difficult To Trust Others

Children who have been up close to infidelity know how hard it hits. They develop a fear that it might happen to them as well. They will not believe in anything others say to them because when a parent cheats, their children feel betrayed too.

Your child might never trust anyone. The fear of being cheated on can really mess with their relationships in general. Everyone needs someone they can trust. It aches my heart to see children of infidel parents because they don’t deserve feeling like this.


Nobody chooses to destroy their marriage purposely. It’s okay if you fall out of love. And when you do so talk to your partner. Infidelity will just ruin things. You can try to end your relationship on a bittersweet note rather than lying and cheating.

Your actions can have long lasting effects on your child’s mental health.

I hope this blog helps you understand the effects of infidelity on your child’s mind set. They don’t deserve to be in pain spatially when they are not at fault.

You can visit our website for more such information on parent-child relationships.

Thanks for reading!

Take care and be safe!

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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