Affair healing Blog
One of our Community members, flipperfive, posted this questions:
...I have opted, although slightly apprehensively, on an open door policy that he can visit whenever he likes so the children can see him as much as possible. I say apprehensively as while both I and the children enjoy seeing him I can not help but think there must be consequences from me as a result of his actions and one consequence may be the inability to just 'pop in' whenever it is convenient for him.
When a spouse is openly involved in another relationship, I do believe that boundaries need to be in place, but each person will differ in regard to what those boundaries are. If the betrayed spouse still loves their partner and hopes for their return to the marriage, they should be careful with how much they invest in their relationship with the unfaithful spouse. A spouse who has left the marriage, even if they remain uncertain about the permanence of that choice, should not be allowed to maintain a close connection with their spouse while they are involved in the affair.
In my opinion, interactions with a wayward spouse should be limited to "business of life" issues (caring for the children, paying bills, family decisions, etc.). Avoid interactions, including conversations, that are only appropriate for two people investing in a relationship together. Think of the unfaithful spouse as a business partner; you can still be gracious, kind, etc. while avoiding more personal interactions.
When it comes to the children, it is in their best interest to have easy access to the parent who has left. A parent's access to he/her children should never become a bargaining chip or a consequence of their affair choices. Each parent should remain committed to fostering a healthy relationship between their children and their spouse no matter how damaged the marriage has become.
For this reason, some betrayed spouse still allow the unfaithful spouse to have access to the home so they can be with the children in an environment that is familiar and comfortable. I believe that is a good choice IF the betrayed spouse is able to maintain boundaries, even if that means leaving or going into another area of the house while the other parent is visiting. But if boundaries cannot be maintained (or are not respected), then both parents should cooperate to come up with another plan that allows children to be with each parent as much as possible.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources. Twitter: @TimTedder