Burden of Responsibility: Is a mother to blame for her son’s infidelity?

I received an email from a reader of the blog today.  She is devastated because she just learned that her son has been unfaithful in his relationship, and she feels that she has failed as a mother.  As a betrayed spouse, she had a horrible experience, and wanted only the best for her children.  She shared the infidelity openly with them, in the hopes that they would see the pain their father had caused, and know the impact and devastation that an affair can bring.

She emailed me today to ask if I thought that she was a failure as a mother as a result of her son having strayed.

I picked up the email as I was stepping into the car to pick up my children from school, so I didn’t have the chance to send a detailed reply.  Since I was going to reply further, and since I know she reads the blog, I thought that others could also benefit from the post, and also chime in with their thoughts and support for her.

In my opinion, she is no more responsible for her son’s adulterous ways than she was for the affairs her husband had.  These are grown men, with free will, who should know better, and who chose to commit infidelity in their relationships…JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER MAN/WOMAN WHO DOES IT.  I told her in my reply that she is not responsible, and then I wanted to go into more detail and couldn’t.  What I would have added was:

My Mother in Law (MIL) was repeatedly cheated on by my FIL.  He took several mistresses, including my son’s nanny, and my MIL’s best friend.  Repeated infidelity over a long period of time, and infidelity that she came to know about.  Surely, she sought no help, and received no support.  I know this not only because this wouldn’t have been as commonplace (the support, not affairs), but also because she is not one who would know how to solve the issue, how to communicate effectively around it, how to seek support, and  is someone who would instead internalize it, thinking herself the cause, shifting the blame onto herself.  After many years, and a divorce, he abandoned her when she started to show signs of mental illness.  She was increasingly afraid to go out on her own, paranoid from time to time, and just not her old self.  She was damaged, and he moved on…married the best friend that he had once cheated with (needless to say that relationship didn’t last either).   She was, and still is, a broken woman.  She lives with her elderly mother, a woman who puts her down, makes her feel incapable and has essentially infantalized her into being completely dependent on her.

My husband had an affair knowing FULL WELL what the consequences of affairs can be.   He watched his mother disintegrate into a shell of a woman.  Is his mother to blame for not having “raised him right?”.  Absolutely not.  Should I blame her for not being proactive enough and educating him on how to prevent an affair?  No.  I can’t blame her anymore than I can blame myself for his affair.

So, dear reader, unless your son consulted with you, and asked you whether he should seek an affair and you helped him to have one, you have no responsibility for his actions.

Last night on the news, I sat transfixed on the story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who were kidnapped and help captive for ten years, repeatedly raped and beaten by Ariel Castro.  I watched as they interviewed his mother, sitting in the front seat of her car, overwhelmed with grief and shame for her son’s actions.  She wept, speaking in Spanish, telling the news crew how she is so sorry for what he has done, and how she feels so badly for those girls.

I think we would all agree that this mother can’t be blamed for her son’s wicked actions, and we can all be fairly assured that she did her best in raising him, and cannot be held responsible for his decisions, many years after she has completed “raising him”.

Ted Bundy’s mother, Paul Bernardo’s mother…pick any sociopathic individual who has commited the most heinous of crimes, and we can still say with certainty that their mothers didn’t influence their actions, or play a role.

Dear reader, I know it is hard to learn that someone you love has been so hurtful to someone else, especially when you feel he should have known better, seeing what you had gone through.  It is hard to look at him, and not be triggered once more, feeling like the devil is too close.  It is hard to see him as your son, and not as a man who is capable of such deceit and causing such anguish.  Remember, that if he is remorseful, and truly wants to learn from this and grow, that he will need your support.  You are in a great position to be a support to his partner, and to help her through this.  You will help bridge the gap between them, and offer them hope and solutions.  You are, however, in no way responsible for what he has chosen to do, any more than you would be responsible if he woke up tomorrow and robbed a bank.

Stay strong.




  1. Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of HIMSELF to God.

    Free will choice is one of the reasons for us to consider the truth that we will give an accounting for OUR choices.

    If we were not free to make choices and to seek out wisdom and what the standards are that support moral law and the function of a healthy conscience then accountability would be ‘unrighteous’

    Despite the coming of the Redeemer …His offer applies to those who believe and follow HIM….

    Our sins have been ‘paid for’ in terms of the judgment God MUST apply to sin …those who reject His provision in Jesus Christ must face this judgment themselves …Because GOD loves his creation MAN >..he provided this salvation for whomsoever will ….seek and receive and then submit to HIS lordship….laying down the ‘right ‘ to do our own thing to take upon us the privilege of knowing and obeying what is protective and true.

    God must justly deal with sin . Those who have gone through judgment by way of JESUS CHRIST have Him as our mediator , advocate and GUIDE to keep us from going headlong into sin.

    There is sometimes a lax attitude among those who are ‘raised’ in godly homes…which causes less than obedient effort to keep on ‘continuing in His word’ which Jesus Christ told us to do.

    We are lured into a sense of complacency or having ‘no time” and thus the world , the flesh and the devil ‘ wear away the saints .

    Believers feel the weight of their poor choices and so are prone to seek the cleansing of sin as they suffer that conscience trained to be more and more sensitive to the ways deception from within our own hearts yet not fully surrendered to the LORDship of the Lord…this may happen as we encounter some of the things even found amid church where we find some doctrines that seem to permit us to ‘relax’ because ‘Jesus DID it all’

    This type of erroneous teaching is easy to be received and so less and less effort to find the truth in areas that we already have allowed or justified to ourselves is ‘forgiven’ …such is our endeavor to ‘cast down vain imaginations and every high thing that holds itself up AGAINST the knowledge of GOD and then to TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO the obedience of Christ Jesus …” Thus the ‘lordship’ is in place in our daily THINKING effect to cause us to turn FROM all kinds of lures and tempting offerings….

    This prodigal son has the same options as we all have …as a believer the accountability to walk in what we know and the command to continue in study of the scriptures to become approved of GOD in our obedient and daily ‘eating of the bread that came down from heaven’ is our ‘assignment ‘ throughout our earthly walk

    This is not easy ….but yet it is promising and sustains our love for His sacrificial provision and our desire for MORE and MORE of what the WORD provides in us as we DO it .

    The command to ‘submit to GOD , resist the Devil and he will flee from you ‘ is also reiterated in the command to ‘flee fornication’ …in obeying the command to flee this temptation as with all venues of sin we are EQUIPPED to ‘resist’ and to ‘flee’ by way of SUBMITTING to the truth of GOD .

    Keeping it FRESH in our minds is part of what equips us not to fall for our own ‘rationalizations’ that arise from our deceitful hearts…and also to reject the various deceptive ways that the world offers us ‘reasons’ to go ahead …’just this once’

    Having understood from scripture more and more what OUR responsibility and stewardship of our lives and our own bodies which HE bought and paid for helps us to gain a better perspective of what a privilege our life is which is the opposite of the entitlement that the carnal man has of his life and world .

    The Lord provided for us the comfort and assurance of our responsibilities and also separates our JURISDICTION so that we may know what IS OUR responsibility and what is that of others.

    The rise of humanism has gone forth to blur the lines and to break down godly boundaries which are at once protective and pro-visionary. We are EACH responsible for the govenance of our own lives and choices

    Having been parenting by way of learning and training a child from the scriptures as we have studied …we have given them a foundation which as they come to their adult lives should provide them with the resources of the Word in their own minds.

    The world seeks to break that down ,.Roman’s tells us that if we are going to walk rightly we MUST not take upon us the attitude that we need not the Word of GOD

    The reprobate mind of Romans’ 1 is the outcome of ‘not retaining GOD in all their thoughts’ so then we must personally be taking upon us the task of ‘ being ‘renewed in the spirit of your mind’ just as anyone of the first century …including Jesus who ALWAYS did the will of His Father including having submitted to growing in knowledge and wisdom as a child,

    The encouragement to walk rightly is found in not only our loving GOD enough to continue but in following sound wisdom to keep godly company among those who care about this aspect of living life unto HIM .

    Failing to heed wise counsel to avoid ‘ungodly companions whose influence works corruption on even those things we have been ‘solidly planted in’ at one time we see the exhortation to keep on going …to plant, water and stay with the branch …in order not to wither and weaken over a lengthy time of neglecting our relationship with GOD

    Is that not the same thing as has caused many to find fault with their marriages ..they failed to keep it fed and watered with connecting !

    Staying in the Word keeps the connections strong to Him and the care and concern for godly choices going .

    We are told not to put ourselves in venues where we will be tempted which is also to tempt GOD by way of thinking we can disobey or ignore wisdom and not sin!

    That is a snare many fall into …myself included but we ware to LEARN …by way of study and applying the WORD as He has given it.

    Ezk 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

    21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

    Through Jesus Christ and a person turning to HIM and then FOLLOWING Him we find that no matter what has happened before we may be forgiven and cleansed and that the parent has their jurisdiction and responsibility to carry out .

    The response and further walking out of what FAITH involves is the responsibility of each person.

    The mom here is NOT responsible for the choices of her son …She is responsible to have done her best to obey GOD in all things that are HER jurisdiction …which has included what GOD commands to parents and mother’s in particularly .

    God did not leave to make our own way in terms of parenting

    It is instructive to learn what are the differences in RESPONSIBILITY and jurisdiction between a man who marries and has children and those of the woman who marries and becomes a mother.

    They are distinct and before anyone starts to try to figure out whose ‘fault’ some aspect of the jurisdiction of life, marriage and family are it is wise to consult these distinct instructions laid out in the word.

    Feminism and gender ‘rebranding ‘ as a result of the humanist, atheists, and evolutionist social agenda the corrosion of the attitude toward ALL scripture due to hyper dispensationalism has left the realm of marriage and family in a shambles due to the neglect of the word or false teachings accepted due to the same neglect of personal study and equipping by a daily searching out of such things.

    Life comes at us fast ..if we have not grown up in a family where the seeking out each of the areas the world has taken upon itself to assert as “TRUTH” we tend to miss a lot of what would help us get various responsibilities in correct order as GOD gave and thus we are vulnerable to being deceived by false information which becomes accepted as “truth’

    Once again we are reminded ” my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….” and so we need to be sure to check with ‘Dad’ to get what we need to correct this deadly tactic of the world , the flesh and the Devil …’ they are no match for the truth of our Lord ..Jesus Christ.

  2. My partner’s father had an affair early in his marriage, but my partner never knew about it until after he confessed to his own indiscretions. I just say this so that the woman who wrote the letter knows that even if she kept the affair a secret from her children, her son’s affair would probably still have happened. Exposing him to the idea of affairs as a child didn’t make him any more or less likely to commit one himself.

    Research does suggest that for some people there is a genetic pre-disposition to infidelity. It doesn’t excuse her son for his actions, but it may be comforting to know that it may have been his father’s genes that compelled her son to have an affair, and not necessarily her son’s knowledge of his father’s affair. Whatever the case, it doesn’t sound like this mother is at all to blame.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Amen Sister!!

  4. We all tend to feel responsibility for any wrong doing of our children. But you are correct. The choices were made by him and him alone and the mother is not to blame. Well written post

  5. bombladoze says:

    She didnt make him do anything anymore than his wife did!

    This makes me wonder, because my partners mother cheated when he was a child. I dont hold her responsible for his cheating, To repeat, she didnt MAKE him do anything anymore than I did either. I do somewhat think it gave him an internal issue he needed to work through, just because of some things he said early in our relationship. such as expressing fear that i would run away with some other guy. I was only around 20 at the time. I had never experienced cheating in my life or in my family, so I wasnt really aware of what he might have really been saying. But at the same time, hes a grown ass man, supposedly. He has to own his own choices. He also has other stuff. Its not all about having a parent who cheated.

    I must remember this. I have two sons. I do worry about it a little. Ive enlisted my stepdad, to one day talk to them about it. i dont think their dad will. Im willing to, but I think it should come from a man.

  6. A mother isn’t to blame unless she assisted in the planning, committing or concealing of the affair. The son made the decisions and he bears the full blame. End of story.
    I find this ironic since I am beating myself up tonight trying to figure out how to help a stubborn teen to make better decisions, especially about respect. I am not helping my child make mistakes and am trying to help him learn to make better decisions in the future.

  7. Jennifer D says:

    Dear Rescuing My Marriage,

    It’s almost a year and a half since my heart was mangled by the revelation that my darling husband was a cheating bastard. Our marriage seemed perfect and the shock was like being hit by a bus.

    We have stayed together, because we love one another, but also because I had to decide what was best for me. I’m in my 50s and only working part-time, so I couldn’t get a loan to either buy a house again or to buy him out of this house. And I love our house. Why should I lose it all and have to struggle because of his behaviour? So here we are, making it work. It has to. And as he so desperately doesn’t want to lose me, he has vowed to spend the rest of our lives making it up to me. So far he’s doing well and I really appreciate it. I wish I could feel the same level of love towards him as he shows to me. There are icy patches on my once-warm heart these days, but I don’t show it.

    I want to thank you for your blog. I found it at just the right time. So many things you’ve said about your feelings, particularly in the early days after you found out, and the contributions other readers have made, have reflected my feelings. Your voice has been my voice, your emotions, my emotions. I’ve experienced every dark emotion there is to feel.

    However, it’s time for me to say farewell to you. This blog was a big part of my dwelling & searching period. I now relate it to those early dark days of anguish. I need to move on. I’ll never get over what has happened, but I must try not to dwell.

    I wish you and your readers their own brand of happiness. It may never be the carefree happiness they once knew, but it can be there in one form or another. We are strong people.

    My very best wishes


  8. Jennifer…I read your post and find that I am happy for your ongoing growth and healing . May it continue as well.

    Perhaps some see the rest who are pursuing some understanding of their own tragedy as ‘dwelling’ and feeling that is THE obstacle to their own ‘moving on’

    I personally wish I could do so . For me I have spent 6 years since D Day trying to learn more and more about this plague that seems to have overtaken so many of this time. Having spent some 42 years seeking in the Word and sharing whatever I found with whomsoever I look at not just the events of the past and the infidelity as a personal situation but as long as I am dealing with it I search in the word to find more and more not just HOW to deal with it as the Lord would advise but to learn whatever else may be useful to learn. Thus becoming more equipped for sharing and living beyond it .

    My own husband ‘s infidelity which brought about two children he and she PLANNED ….is something that seems to keep bringing the issue to the present DAILY but I support the idea of continued support and even his having a relationship with them.

    This puts a bit of a ‘twist’ upon whatever is the way that I have to deal with it.

    One of the things that I find interesting is that in going back over the way both of us grew up I find that ‘not dwelling ‘ upon those things which NEEDED to be faced head on and worked out is just what brought my husband to do what he did .

    In our marriage I continued to try to confront myself and whatever was not working right in our marriage and he simply refused to face any kind of reality. Life for him kept offering him ‘options’ to the work of marriage and working through issues.

    He has admitted this to me and has had to confess that I DID try to communicate in thoughtful and respectful ways with him and he just did NOT want to be in any kind of relationship but sought out superficial ones that did not cause him to look at his own issues.

    Funny , he majored in Psych at University.

    Anyway, as I work through the past I hope to understand the way he has given himself permission to do all that he did …to lie, cheat and steal from us and to have deceived EVERYONE he has known …friends , business associates …all who hold him in high regard.

    I have learned a LOT . This has not so much soothed the pain of what he has done…and does continue to do in terms of NOT adultery but in that he REFUSES to stand up to his own attitudes and selfish , self centered ways to learn what to do to develop a better character and life.

    No one matters enough for him to do this ..not me, not our children ,,,,not even the young children he likes to think he cares so much about. I look upon his investing time to build a relationship with THEM which is the only one he is pursuing at present as an OPPORTUNITY for him to change his ways of thinking in order to teach THEM not to grow up unarmed against the various assaults upon morality and life itself . So far the foundation they have has been the influence of the OW whose worldview is completely antithesis to morality and any kind of wisdom.

    HE refuses to see his role as ‘father’ to them as one where he deliberately conveys the lessons he should have learned from having lived the life he has. I see that much of this is simply cowardice. He has knowledge that could help them avoid making the mistakes that he has made but he has chosen to be their fair-weather BUDDY rather than be the father whose influence might cross their comfort zone …but THAT is what a father is supposed to do guide his children and equip them for life.

    Also for me as I have been studying and attending to learn what IS correct and useful to know about marriage and parenting throughout home schooling and just living through this …I have noted that once a person refuses the ORDER of PRIORITIES set by God for all of HIS various jurisdictions ….one’s own life …then marriage or relationships with others…they fall apart and random chaos results ..

    If one puts GOD first …as the first commandment tells us to do ..then from there on our lives begin to become orderly. Following after learning what GOD tells us about all aspects of governing ourSELVES properly then we see HOW to ‘love others’ as when GOD and His word become our foundation for making choices and decisions then we will find we are not only ‘loving our selves’ as He would have us learn to do properly ..that is not to ‘love ourselves’ in terms of SELF CENTEREDNESS….but to learn what ‘love’ is by God’s definition found throughout the records of His word which demonstrate how His love functions ..

    We will THEN begin to see the difference between what the world around us has laid upon our understanding which is a lustful and selfish love ….and then as we learn from God’s WORD what love really is and we obey His commands …which is summed up in the ten …but involves many more ….commands of GOD are protective ..and provide structure and order as to HOW to live and love as HE intended for us to do …which heals and provides for us to live within it’s embrace…no harm to ourselves or others….

    This I feel works better than to deny or try to ‘move on’ with only our hope based upon a theory or an idea that we might have .

    Working THROUGH our painful wounds is what I feel is the way God actually will take us through as we are willing to be shown and taught FROM HIM

    We are to ask HIM to help us learn the wisdom of HIS view of how to manage whatever we endure or enjoy in our lives . As this seems to be the way Joseph viewed what his brother’s did to him …and how he managed to continue to live his life toward the Lord through many and various attempts to squelch his love for GOD and deter his faithfulness toward the Lord.

    In doing so he continually kept keeping himself loyal toward the Lord and grew in his understanding many times AFTER the fact in all of what had happened to him

    I do not believe Joseph or any other of those whose lives have been recorded in the Word ‘forgot’ what they did ….but dealt with them

    My husband’s way of ‘dealing ‘ with his sin has been to ADMIT it but that is not the same things as a CONFESSION and a RENUNCIATION of it …he does abhor it but has not cared about those he has wounded enough to extent himself beyond words….to show an interest ,…no a zeal to learn what he did in terms of learning all the ways of what he did as to how GOD sees sin and what to do about his life going forward.

    He stopped the acts of adultery but has not made effort to learn how to work through the various ways his mind directs him

    He has removed himself from any real interaction with me . This again is a wounding and it is sin in marriage to place any others before concerning oneself with the spouse.

    Even to place the children of a marriage before working through life’s challenges with the spouse violates and damages all ….But he has continually placed OTHERS before GOD and me ….and expected to succeed as he once did throughout all the years where he got away with it before.

    I find that the delay in consequences is NOT a good thing …it may seem so to people who enjoy sin and find ways to avoid dealing with the various consequences that ARE there ….those with the money, power or ability to not have to deal with the damage they do ….go on to destruction.

    Those who come to realize the depth of the harm they do and really DO care about those they have hurt and also see how harmful it has been to themselves …have an ongoing desire to experience what the truth of all they did is and they also LOATHE to repeat it …

    ADDITIONALLY they SEEK ardently to learn all they can as to what they should be doing to not just ‘remain married’ in form but to participate and become fully engaged in the healing of their spouse.

    Marriage in a state of denial is just another lie. The continuing damage to the heart of the wounded spouse and whatever children is left for THEM to deal with …Seeing the ongoing behavior of the adulterer continuing as if they have ‘done all they can’ but they do not indicate this by way of ANY further and ongoing effort to learn is not useful and actually seems MORE unkind to those hurt.

    Many who commit adultery , especially long time or serial adulterers seem to have what is known as a’ hardened heart’ and a ‘seared conscience’ ….so invested in protecting SELF that they fail to see how just ‘stopping’ the adultery is not sufficient.

    My husband has not SOUGHT to repent and refuses to go to any more effort to learn any of the things OTHERS MIGHT have to suggest for him to make amends. He is very proud . He went to ONE seminar on a weekend…He went to two different therapists for a length of a couple of months .

    He failed to read any books offered, Refused to follow through with any of the suggestions I made for him to demonstrate to me actions that would demonstrate that he did in truth love me as he said he did.

    IN short , His continued contact not with the OW but with the KIDS of their adultery indicates his desire to grow some kind of relationship with THEM but still only based upon a superficial effort . Many of the things I ask him to share with me about his time with them indicate he is not GIVING anything more to them than the most brief encounter.

    I think he has deliberately made effort to put many roadblocks between himself and making any kind of intimate connection with anyone . His choice to remain married even as he did not really want to be IN a marriage state…’confined’ to one woman and open towards me …while making an ARRANGEMENT with a woman who agreed to be in a long term ‘relationship ‘ with a man who told her up front he would never leave his wife …never marry her….Indicates that he used marriage as a shield against any deeper relationship with his Adulteress while creating a false relationship at home. He used his career as the shield from intimate sharing with me as he always had to ‘go to work ‘ as he orchestrated that he was ‘building ‘ as life for us for the ‘future’

    I had counseled him to think of how entering into a period of learning how to deal with his adultery and way of dealing with his life would benefit not just ME but our children and the children of the OW but he has rejected this idea.

    He is the consummate proud man. He will not further ‘subject himself’ to the rigors of what it takes to learn about HIMSELF or what he needs to do to change. This is also as I have gone back over the past experiences I have had observing and in relationship with his family of origin the ‘way’ of the men of his family .

    This is not unlike what MANY men growing up in the past 60 or so years have learned to live as ‘protection from ‘ anyone knowing the real man ….John Wayne and all of the icons of ‘manhood’ on down. Self sufficient. self oriented, self protective and self centeredness has been a learned ‘way of dealing’ with life rather than to examine oneself and allow the Lord to show us what our needs are and how HE will supply us with a strong moral character through this process of laying down our lives unto THE LORD and then ordering all other ‘offerings’ of our time and attention by way of the priorities GOD has set forth .

    To husbands …after the God who made him …a man is to make his WIFE number one among human relationships Genesis records “Man is to leave his mother and father’ …this is the change of priority in terms of his every resource…Love , energy , focus , concern and certainly loyalty ..from the most intimate before marriage which are his parents …to any and all who would solicite his time , attention and resources.

    Thus IF a man will DO this …he will be too busy and too satisfied as he becomes more and more invested in appreciating what he has and working through all other issues that every life brings during seasons that arise from maturing .

    Failing to do this ..he remains unchanged by GOD and will slide into easier and less satisfying ways of dealing with his desires…Outside of this process that occurs throughout life …dealing with situations …he will ‘deal’ poorly with a limited view …thinking his own ways are ‘good enough’ . The way life actually is is unknown to him and frustration causes him to seek outside of what he has and to blame anyone or anything for what he chooses….Adam blamed GOD for giving him EVE ….And so we have a long line of those who also found ways to NOT take responsibility for their own choices.

    Christ took upon himself the wrath that must fall upon sin …He did NOT take upon Himself the responsibility which WE all have to learn to live making choices that line up with what is true , wise and loving .

    We are held accountable for what we choose to do …People often blame GOD for what they have chosen to do saying ‘Why didn’t GOD stop me if He is all powerful?” They fail to realize that if they want the freedom to CHOOSE GOD who created all things has given them the jurisdiction to make choices and HE will not interfere with our freedom to choose. HE will however help us and counsel us to know what to do that is right and then if we will work WITH HIM and ask for His help in obeying HE will grant us wisdom and strength to follow through with what HE has told us ….This brings about UNDERSTANDING

    Sin also has way to function to bring about understanding ..after the fact but only in those willing to be shown and taught …A person STILL has an open offer as long as they live to SEEK the TRUTH …The TRUTH WHO is Jesus Christ who will then become their ‘guide ‘ into all truth which is recorded in His word.

    Continuing to learn we may not obstruct the usefulness of examining the sin that we or others have brought across our path to consider what the Lord would use in that to instruct us further and thus confirm that truths about such things from within His testimony

    Thus what the devil meant for evil ..GOD WILL cause to be for good in those who trust in Him and are willing to be taught by Him .

    • betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

      Pepe, I’ve read several of your posts and, as a (now deceased) Christian church pastor’s daughter, what you write resonates with me, b/c I know it’s the truth. I’m a Christian but I’m not Christ, and I make many mistakes and have my moments of weakness. It’s refreshing to read your writings b/c you don’t “beat people up” for not being perfect, and you always acknowledge your own imperfections in your posts. Your honesty & openness encourage & inspire me, Pepe, and I pray that our Good Lord will work on your husband’s heart so that your marriage and home can be completely healed!


      • Thank you “1981” for your generous and encouraging ‘hug’ of a post…Thanks I NEEDED that ! I pray your own healing will be continuing as time goes forward. It really causes the enemy of God all kinds of difficulty …JUST when he thought he had snagged another one of God’s kids!

        I have to continue in the standing position for our marriage despite the way things look dark …each time my husband ‘asserts’ his ‘rights’ to do whatever he wants without wanting to be accountable to honesty with himself …or anyone else …we all suffer a bit …

        His lack of thoughtful consideration for how his random ideas and decisions effect us all especially when we expect him to rise to the standard he has agreed to in this area is very difficult because it demonstrates how little he really seems to care about what he does.

        When apologizing to our daughters for a recent choice he made that hurt them he told them he was sorry that what he did hurt them and it was not his intention …but it WAS something that he KNEW would hurt them so it was really a lame sort of ‘apology’ …sort of like …I am sorry what I wanted to do was hurtful and that you are feeling hurt …as if the wounds HE inflicts by his behavior is not his responsibility and it is our response that is wrong!

        This is the same way his ongoing way of living his life without concern for the ways it affects others …mostly those of his marriage and family ….are any concern to him! Yet he is VERY concerned with how others view him. I guess lying is a way of life for him for so long he has trouble facing reality . It is not like he does not have the information or knowledge …he does ..but he CHOOSES to act in ways that he KNOWS violate those of his own jurisdiction….

        I am sorry for the passing of your father ….but the foundations he laid in your heart is evident. Your compassion and empathy is a healing balm

        Hugs back at you!

  9. betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

    As you know, RMM, I’m the mother addressed in this post & I’m grateful to you. I’ll respond here in detail Mon 5/13.

    • betrayalsurvivor1981 says:

      I’m grateful to you, RMM, for taking the time to write this post a/b me. I’m also thankful to Bubsy for the post she wrote responding to my comments below ( ). I communicate in cyberspace b/c I feel safe doing so. I can offer support, as well as receive support, from all of you good people “who’ve been there.” I’m NOT a “sympathy junkie,” however, & I’m enormously grateful to you RMM, to Bubsy, and to all of my cyberfriends for NOT offering me sympathy. I believe that we all SUPPORT each other—not feel sorry for each other! The following “horror” is what *I* continue to “beat myself up” about:

      Tuesday, 7/3/12, I rec’d a call from my oldest son’s W, who was crying so hard I could barely understand her. When I was able to make out the words, “D had an affair!” my first reaction was stunned silence. My stomach knotted up. I couldn’t believe it! This wasn’t happening, not with THAT PARTICULAR son. THIS COULD NOT BE HAPPENING! My second son—the rebel—who married as a teen, messed up during the very early days of his marriage (which is now in its 15th year!). He was 18 going on 8, and his future W was 17 going on 27 when they met in 1998. He’s now a responsible & loving husband and father, largely because of his amazing, emotionally strong W. (I’ve been blessed w/two of the most magnificent daughters-in-law alive! I adore them both, and they’ve told me they can talk to me a/b things neither of them feels comfortable talking a/b to their own mothers.) But, my oldest son? Only one year older than his brother, D had ALWAYS been the responsible one—no rebellion whatsoever, with one exception of a “meltdown” when he was 13, and that was MY fault—(my 2/22 comments @ post). D had been a “good boy,” as his father had been when his father was growing up. My mind COULDN’T absorb the horror I’d just been told by D’s W! My DIL was crushed beyond words, as her entire world had crashed down upon her.

      Although my H knew I was upset, there’s no way he could’ve grasped the full extent of it, b/c I was loaded for bear!!! Married to me since 1999 (his & my children from previous marriages were adults) my H, a 70-year-old widower, is 16 yrs my senior, retired, & even more private than I am. My H is very understanding & supportive of me in my depressive episodes, as well as my manic periods (I have “bipolar II,” formerly known as “manic-depressive” illness). H knows I blog, & that since last summer I’ve been obsessed w/affair blogs, but he’s given me his blessing b/c of the heartbreaking reason behind it—my WSon’s affair.

      When I got off the phone w/D’s W, I told my H that I was going to their home (in an adjoining state) immediately! We packed quickly, and I cussed & cried all the way there! When we arrived, I couldn’t even look at my son b/c I was too enraged & my heart felt as if it had exploded. My consciousness was not ready to absorb the truth that Mr Straight Arrow himself, the “Never Gave Me A Moment’s Trouble” kid, Mr Dependable, my Golden Boy, the child of my three who was closest to my heart—had engaged in an affair! However, I COULDN’T fall apart at that time b/c my DIL needed me. All three of my children grew up knowing that if ANYTHING had a solution their mother was damned well going to find it; and my two DILs feel the same way.

      I had to be strong for D’s W b/c she was total wreck! D had engaged in a brief summer fling w/an old girlfriend from high school, having not seen each other for over 16 years! I told my DIL that healing was going to take years, and she & D would be REBUILDING their marriage from the ground up. They wouldn’t be REPAIRING it b/c a shattered glass vase, for example, cannot be repaired; it ends up being a glued-together mess w/smaller glass shards forever missing. Shattered is exactly what D’s affair had done to their marriage. I wracked my brain to recall the Affair Recovery therapy I’d rec’d in 1981 following the departure of my xH (my children’s father) & my subsequent suicide attempt and recovery—(my 2/14 comments @ post). I researched online, called therapists offices & asked some pointed questions, and hoped I’d secured the best counselors/therapists I could. By the time my H & I left (after staying a week) I’d set up D & his W w/both IC & MC appointments w/Infidelity Specialists. (D wanted to do this himself, but he knew better than to cross me when I was so angry; therefore, he didn’t “step on my toes.” I was there AT THAT TIME for my DIL, NOT my WSon. (My attitude toward my WSon has changed in a positive way since then, as he & I have been repairing our relationship, b/c my DIL has told me that D is moving heaven & earth—and doing the necessary work—to rebuild his & his W’s marriage.)

      As H & I were preparing to leave, D approached me & said something that’s haunted me ever since: “You know, Mama, it’s really lonely up on a pedestal. I wish I’d been on the same level in your heart as [his siblings].” Then he walked away w/tears streaming down his face. LET ME MAKE SOMETHING CRYSTAL CLEAR: My son was NOT blaming me—or his wife—for his affair! He’s taken full responsibility for his actions, as he’s always done. However, I had to admit (to myself) that he was right a/b my having placed him on a “pedestal.

      When I returned home, I’d NEVER blogged before on ANY subject, had never even READ a blog on ANY subject, & knew nothing a/b blogging. I began scouring the internet to research as much as I could a/b affair recovery, as so much had changed since I’d rec’d AR counseling in the early ’80s. During one of those relentless searches, I happened upon the “Rescuing My Marriage” blog. I was instantly intrigued & read the entire blog to that point, not going to bed at all (I was in manic phase). H learned a long time ago not to bother me when I’m manic. He keeps an eye open, however, b/c he knows it’ll only be a matter of time when I can’t get out of bed, having sunk into the abyss of depression overnight, and suicidal thoughts will soon take hold. I have a tendency to blame myself for others’ failures. In 1988, when I took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), following a nearly-successful suicide attempt & hospitalization (NOT the 1981 attempt), it was determined that I take the blame for my children’s failures, but I do NOT take the credit for their accomplishments. Therefore, I question myself constantly, wondering “WHERE DID I GO WRONG?”

      I learned a/b my WSon’s affair on 7/3/12. Started blogging in Fall 2012. Why, then, did I not blog a/b the affair until 4/4/13 (my 4/4 & 4/6 comments @ blog)? Why was it easiER (NOT easy) to talk a/b the abuse/abandonment I was subjected to by my xH that occurred more than 30 yrs ago, but nearly impossible to talk about a horrific crime against marriage that happened less than a year ago? The reason is b/c it’s one thing to share w/cyberfriends decades-old actions that have been known throughout the years by all members of both my and my xH’s family & friends. But it’s another thing, entirely, to reveal something absolutely devastating & shameful a/b MY OWN CHILD! His affair is known by only a few people. In fact, my DIL STILL hasn’t told her parents yet, & *I* was the FIRST person she called on DDay! (I HAVEN’T asked my DIL to withhold this info from her family! In fact, I advised her that she’s depriving herself of crucial support by excluding her folks from knowledge of the affair, but my DIL has insisted she’s not ready for them to know.) Even my two other children–my son’s brother & sister–don’t know yet! I still feel sadness (& even anger) a/b the trauma w/my WSon’s father (my xH), b/c he’s NEVER—either back then OR now—expressed remorse for ANY of his actions. Also, my daughter is still angry w/me b/c of my suicide attempt following their father’s departure (b/c I was pregnant w/her at the time).

      The MAJOR problem, however, is I’ve had more & more suicidal ideations in the past few months, getting dangerously close in early March to an actual attempt. My therapist told me at that time that my increasing feelings of suicide are due to my shame, disappointment, rage & self-blame b/c of my WSon’s affair. My therapist said that the shattering of my idealization of my son has disillusioned me, & he advised me that I needed to talk a/b this secret that had been tearing me up inside. Knowing that I’m nowhere near ready to reveal something this horrible to people I actually know, my therapist–who’s aware that I blog–suggested I share this shameful secret w/my anonymous cyberfriends.

      With strong encouragement from my very patient H, I decided to act on my therapist’s advice, but revealing this family scandal hasn’t been easy for me to do! *MY* being angry at my son, and his W being angry w/him, is one thing. ANYONE ELSE being angry & disgusted w/my child is another thing entirely! It’s similar to a BW who’s incensed at her WH. *SHE* can “hate his guts,” but she sure as hell DOESN’T want anyone else badmouthing her man! How does anyone think a MOTHER feels about her own son or daughter?

  10. A mother is not responsible BUT if she lets the couple hang out at her house together and knows about the affair and knows the wife has no idea anything is going on she is somewhat cuplable.

  11. Our childhood is who we are today. Do your in-laws own some culpability…yes. Failure to teach right from wrong and always reminded of the Commandments given to us as a gift, a knowledge, to prevent us from hurting another. We were given the greatest gift of all from heaven above: our children. He entrusted us to instill His tenets upon His children, our children. Failure to teach such core values is not taught at a street corner, but in our home. My siblings, six of us, remain steadfast in our love for our parents and their wisdom. They taught us so well and I am so happy their words made us who we are today. Faithful to Him, faithful to our spouses.

  12. gundu a reddy says:

    Every situation is different. The mother did indeed fail to provide her son with moral guidance and to some extent enabled her husbands’s affairs. However my parents told be that homosexuals had an illness and I never believed them, and refused to discriminate by thinking of them aso different from us. At some point we are all responsible for our own actions. There are children who identify with the agressor and others who vow never to be like their parents. I have known mother in laws who encourage their sons to cheat, because that causes conflict in the marrage, degrades the wife, and places them as the number one woman in the sons life. They enjoy the chaos and the power that it causes. This is another extreme , but once again it is the sons responsibility to put his marriage before all else, and understand the mother has bad intentions. In other cases it is the mother in law who cheats on the father in law. The son grows up believing that everyone cheats and noone can be truated. Once again if he cannot recognise the relationship between his upbringing and distorted thought processes he is a lost cause.Blaming the mother in law will not your marriage any better. At some point it is your responsibility to take control of your life and find a husband who places his marriage first.

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