How to explain affairs to a 5 yr old

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2008
How to explain affairs to a 5 yr old
Tue, 10-14-2008 - 9:17am

I'm 31 and have been married to an incredibly attentive and devoted man and father for the last 7 years. We have a 5 yr old son together whom we both adore and desperately want to do right by.

As a stay-at-home mom I eventually got sick of spending all my time shopping, redecorating and working out at the gym when my husband would go on business trips for 2-3 weeks at a time every 2 to 3 months and started an affair with this gorgeous guy I met at the gym 3 months ago.

We got caught last week when my husband got home from a trip early in our own bed and have since been staying at a hotel. We're currently undecided on where we stand thought our son lives with his dad for now.

He's willing to try to work it out but I'm not sure if we can after everything. He can’t seem to get the image out his head that he got when we got caught or stop imagining everything that might have happened while he was away in the last 3 months. I'm worried about what to tell my son. How do I explain to a 5 yr old why mommy doesn't live at home anymore?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 10-14-2008 - 12:15pm

In my opinion a child doesn't need to know the details of why their parents are not together any more, especially not a 5 yo. Full confession can wait till they are an adult, but even then I'd be careful about how much I shared.

What has he been told so far? Why does he think you are gone?

I'm trying to remember what the experts say to tell little kids, but am doing a bad job of it. I know you need to reassure him that both his mom and his dad love him and that will never change.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2008
Mon, 10-20-2008 - 12:39pm
Hello. (popping in from Debt Support Group) I think you should first sit down with your DH and figure out where you two stand. Once that is done perhaps you can go and talk to your son together. As another poster said - I dont' believe your son needs to be told of what happened. Just that mommy and daddy are living two different places now but that doesn't change their love for him.