The Hell We Put Our Kids Through with Infidelity

Unfaithfulness has a cost. It’s never free. Pay attention.

This is the hell we put our kids through. My 28 year old mentally challenged daughter had watched behind a door as I screamed at my husband, just the day before. She continues to bring this up every now and then, nearly a full year later. If I could go back and do it differently, I sure would. I hate that she has seen that.

As I arrived back home, my 19 year old daughter saw that I was in a panic. She knew we were looking for her dad, who is MIA. She could see by my demeanor that was full of fear. I blurted it all to her — and we scoured the house for his guns. Oh dear God, I wish I would have handled it differently.

My daughter held out to me an empty gun case, crying and shouting, “Why is this empty!”, over and over. I didn’t know why it was empty. I thought it was empty because he took the gun with him. Really, the gun was in a difference case, but I wasn’t going to learn that for quite some time. I called the police officer and let her know that a handgun was missing. She took the information, instructed me to stay home, and ended the call.

This is the hell we put our kids through. My 19 year old daughter knows she was the last person to see him before he left, found the empty handgun case, and waited with her frantic mother, holding hands. I wish he would have done this differently. I often find myself angry thinking about those moments.

The police called back a short time later to let us know that he was in the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. He had turned himself in, and was suicidal. I asked the officer about the handgun, and the officer said it was secured. So that’s it. It was a relief to know he had not hurt himself. I was a huge relief. It was confusing because we had called the VA hospital to see if he was there earlier, and they had no information. I called the ward he was in and asked if I could speak with him. The ward said he was refusing all calls and visitors. Then I understood. His instructions were to inform zero people he was there if they inquired.

And it makes me very angry.

This is the hell we put our kids through. My 19 year old baby, my youngest, would crawl into bed with me and become my roommate for the next five weeks. My initial support system. She’d sit on the floor with me many times as I’d collapse in fitful sobs, smoothing my hair, holding my hand, and saying, “I know mama. I know. You’re not a bad person.” It was wrong of me to lean on her. I should have handled this differently. And I do now.

And this is just some of the hell we put our kids through. We who are selfish and choose awful behaviors. We who are selfish and lean too hard on those who should be leaning on us. We who give our kids front row seats to our shit show. We, who don’t know how to handle the suffering, we who cause suffering, and we suffer.


We put our kids through hell. A hellish bell that can’t be un-rung. Damn it all.

Our story continues…

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