MEETING OPTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen understands your concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, and now offers different meeting options to our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings, including initial consultations, can be handled either through the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or in person.

7 Ways Marital Infidelity Harms Children

Infidelity is a serious issue that can have a profound impact on a family. Marital infidelity is one of the more common underlying reasons for New Jersey divorces. Marital infidelity can create a ripple effect of hurt and pain that extends far beyond the immediate couple. It can have devastating effects on children in the marriage who may feel like they have been betrayed by the people they trust the most. In this article, we explore seven of the most significant ways in which infidelity affects children:

  • Emotional distress
  • Trust issues
  • Low self esteem
  • Withdrawal
  • Relationship problems
  • Academic problems
  • Physical issues
Emotional Distress

One of the most common ways in which infidelity can harm children is through emotional distress. Children may feel confused, anxious, angry, or sad when they find out about a parent's infidelity. They may feel as though their world has been turned upside down and that they no longer have a sense of stability. They may be caught in the middle of their parents' arguments and may feel as though they have to choose sides. This can cause a great deal of distress for children, who may feel overwhelmed and helpless. Truly, marital infidelity can turn a child’s emotional life upside down.

Trust Issues

Infidelity can also create trust issues for children. When a parent cheats on their spouse, it can be difficult for children to trust that parent or other adults in their lives. They may become suspicious of others and may have difficulty forming healthy relationships in the future. They may believe that if a parent can cheat on their spouse, then anyone can cheat on them. This can lead to trust issues that can impact their relationships in the future.

Low Self Esteem

Children may also blame themselves for their parent's infidelity, leading to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. They may wonder if they weren't good enough or if they did something wrong, causing their parent to stray. These feelings can have a lasting impact on their self-esteem and self-worth. Children may struggle with feelings of guilt and shame, which can negatively impact their mental health.


As a result of their emotional distress, children may act out or become withdrawn. They may become angry or resentful towards their parents or act out in school or with friends. Alternatively, they may become withdrawn and isolate themselves from others. This can make it difficult for children to form healthy relationships and can lead to further emotional distress.

Relationship Problems

Marital infidelity can also create relational problems for children. They may struggle to form healthy relationships in the future due to their experiences with infidelity. They may have difficulty trusting others, which can lead to problems in forming healthy relationships. Additionally, they may have difficulty with intimacy or may avoid relationships altogether. Studies suggest that many individuals who cheat on their spouses had parents who did the same when they were children.

Academic Problems

In some cases, children may also experience academic problems due to emotional distress caused by their parents' infidelity. They may have difficulty concentrating in school or may experience a decline in academic performance. They may be distracted by the turmoil at home or may feel too overwhelmed to focus on their studies.

Physical Issues

Finally, infidelity can also have an impact on children's physical health. Children may experience physical health problems such as headaches, stomachaches, or sleep disturbances due to the stress of their parents' infidelity. The emotional distress caused by their parents' infidelity can have a significant impact on their physical health.

It is important for parents to understand the impact that their actions can have on their children. While infidelity can be a difficult situation to navigate, it is important to prioritize the well-being of the children involved. Seeking counseling or therapy can be a helpful way for families to work through the emotional aftermath of infidelity and support their children through the process.

In conclusion, infidelity can have devastating effects on children in a marriage. Therefore, it's important for parents to handle this issue with care and sensitivity to minimize the negative impact on their children. Parents should prioritize their children's well-being and seek professional help if necessary to work through the emotional aftermath of infidelity. If you have any questions regarding a New Jersey divorce, call (201) 845-7400 for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances