Post # 1
I was just reading another question about what would you do if you were pregnant and your partner cheated? I was surprised by the responses of keeping the father away, terminating his rights, etc. I find cheating reprehensible, but I also think that people can be shitty romantic partners but good parents. I once was involved with a guy who cheated on his GF with me (I know, bad call on my part) but he was an excellent father to their daughter. And my brother’s ex wasn’t a great wife to him (no cheating, she just critized him constantly) and she’s always been a great mother to my nephew.
On the other hand, you could argue that if someone cheats, knowing that the consequences might be the breakup of their marriage and turmoil in their family, they are showing blantant disregard for their child(ren).
What do you think? Should a parent who cheats on their partner lose rights to their children? And if so, does it matter the gender (ie a father who cheats should lose rights but not a mother?)
Post # 3
Voted “Other” because I say yes to your question in the subject line but no to your actual poll question. I think it does to some extent make them a bad parent… I have friends whose parents cheated, and it totally ruined the parent’s relationship with his/her kid because the kid completely lost respect for the parent. Being a good parent is also being a good role model. However, I’m not sure I agree that it’s bad enough to deserve losing rights to your children completely. If I were in that position, I think I would let my kids decide if they wanted to continue to have a relationship with their other parent.
Post # 4
I agree with you that cheating on a spouse and being a bad parent are totally different. For one thing, there are so many variables in a relationship that could lead someone to cheat, so I don’t think it’s accurate to lump everyone who has cheated into the same group. Personally, I’m not even comfortable labeling every who cheats as a bad person, let alone a bad parent. Incidentally, most family courts agree with this and refuse to consider marital fault when deciding things like custody and visitation.
Post # 5
Yes. It makes them a terrible example.
I don’t know how many people I’ve met who were messed up even as adults because of their cheating father or whatever. It’s horrible. You want to help them but you don’t know how. I have friends who seem to have no ability to enter into a heathy relationship at all, even in their 30s now. In every case, a parent who betrayed the family, right in their face, as a kid.
So it’s pretty freaking bad, if you ask me.
Post # 6
Not answering your poll, because I don’t think you should lose rights to your kid, but yes I do see a cheater as a bad parent. They are a bad example and not being part of a supportive family. I could see it influencing who gets primary custody in a divorce, but to completely block access to their children is ridiculous.
Post # 7
@worldtraveler: I took the other question in the other thread differently. I didn’t think it was a question of if the guy will be a good dad, but if I would want to have a man’s baby who I was going to be divorcing?
But to answer your question, I don’t think cheating makes you a bad parent.
Post # 8
I think that’s a big leap. Many cheaters are bad people and bad examples, yes. But many others describe their cheating experience as the worst mistake of their lives and an incredibly painful life lesson they learned the hard way. I think lumping everyone into one category (such as “cheater” here) and making a sweeping judgement about them is pretty much always a bad idea. We’re all only human, and nobody is perfect. There are people who have never cheated and instead have done much worse things to their children. Let’s worry about them first and foremost.
Post # 9
@worldtraveler: Funny, I was just thinking about this very topic today. If either of my parents cheated on the other, I know that I would stop talking to the cheater. I feel like they would not just be stepping out of their marriage, but of our family too. Legitimate or not, I would also feel a sense of betrayal towards our family unit. Does that make them a bad parent? Well, that’s a loaded question. I think morals play a part in the type of person we are, so it certainly wouldn’t be helping their cause in my opinion. Then again, people can make mistakes in one situation and still be great people in another. It’s hard to say whether I would judge someone’s entire character based on one decision because emotions make you do strange things.
I guess my answer is the always popular – it depends 😛
Post # 10
I don’t think that cheating warrants the removal of your parental rights, but yes I do think it makes you a bad parent… bad being used fairly broadly here. It’s a selfish choice and it teaches children that they shouldn’t expect fidelity and trust in a relationship.
Post # 11
As a child of a father who cheated on my mom from when I was 13 to 18 years old, I think it absolutely makes you a bad parent. My parents split up, got back together, and finally divorced when I was 18, and I’ve had a very strained relationship with my dad since high school. I feel like he was choosing to break up our family. Even though I was older, his actions caused me horrible amounts of emotional pain. I still barely talk to my dad, and it’s been almost 7 years since the divorce.
However, I don’t think you should lose your parental rights for this. Though, in this situation, I think some of the kids should have a choice who to live with. I would not go near my dad when my parents split the first time (I was 13.)
Post # 12
@zebendyone: +10000000 my thoughts exactly.
Post # 13
Yes to your title question, no to your poll question.
Post # 15
@worldtraveler: I believe parents are responsible for modeling good behavior for their children. Studies show that parents are still the number one influence on their kids, even after kids become teens. Besides that, a parent should care that having an affair might ruin their family, or at least ruin their relationship with their kids. I know a girl whose father cheated on her mother, and now, not only is that marriage ruined, but this girl now has no relationship with her father because she no longer trusts or respects him. My parents are divorced, too, and even though it wasn’t due to infidelity, and even though it happened when I was an adult, it has seriously affected my life and my emotions. Sometimes I even catch myself thinking, “If my mom can’t even love my dad, whom she once committed her life to, how could she love me?” Or, “If my mom would give up on my dad, whom she’s been married to for over 30 years, why wouldn’t she give up on me?” I wouldn’t wish those feelings on my worst enemy.
Post # 16
Cheaters are bad examples and that kind of betrayal is terrible for a family and can cause major emotional damage to the children, so yes, in a sense, it does make them a bad parent.
Does that mean they shouldn’t be allowed near their child? Idk, depends on the case. If the child still wants something to do with them, I certainly wouldn’t deprive them of their parent.