chapter  10
15 Pages

Affairs and Children

ByJean Duncombe, Dennis Marsden

This chapter discusses why parents fail to consider children in relation to their affairs. It introduces evidence that children may become involved in parental affairs to a greater extent than adults realize. It explores the extent to which research on the impact of divorce has tended to mask how the roots of continuing family disharmony may frequently lie in the influence of a parental affair. The chapter describes from some of its own research how children's symptoms of distress from an affair may persist, or may only emerge, after they reach adulthood. Indeed children who are adults when one of their parents has an affair, or adults who learn of earlier parental affairs, may continue to suffer deeply. It also introduces evidence from its own research to show that the impacts of family disharmony may continue beyond formal "childhood" into the lives of young adults.