The child of a cheating parent doesn’t let their parent’s actions define them. However, the child of a cheating parent will inevitably be affected, and the infidelity will shape the way they love and approach relationships.
Trust issues. Suspicion, out of nowhere. Cynicism. Forgiveness. Building walls.
These are all too familiar with them and will be forever because one of the people they are supposed to trust the most in life broke that trust. It’s inevitable that children of cheating parents love differently.
It’s not easy.
For them, or for the parent. And it’s not going to be. Yes, they’ve moved on. All is forgiven. But that doesn’t make anything any easier. It’s always going to be hard for them to love, and to be loved.
They’re not quick to trust.
You have to earn their trust. You have to earn them.
They always have one eye open.
Even if they trust you, there will always be a part of them that doesn’t trust you completely. And it’s not you. It’s them. They don’t trust anyone completely.
They might ask to go through your phone, or see your Facebook messages. But it’s not your fault. It’s because they need reminders that they can trust you.
They’re not letting you in easily.
Get a (metaphorical) hammer, because you’ll have to break down all of their walls. They’re well-built and made to last to ward off damage from any terrible storm, harsh winds, or heartbreak.
They must see how committed you are.
If they say they don’t want flowers, send them flowers anyway. Show up at their place without warning, just to say hi. Tell them that you miss them five minutes after you left. Give them help when they don’t ask for it—when they don’t even need it. Love is show and tell.
Words are not enough.
“I love you” means something a lot to them, but not on its own.
They recognize effort.
When you show them how committed you are, they’ll trust you more. They’ll know the spark isn’t fizzling. They might think it is sometimes, but give them a reason to forget about their second thoughts.
They expect effort.
And expect the effort you put in to be reciprocated.
They will always have second thoughts. But that’s just their past, haunting them.
But they don’t always admit how scared they are.
They don’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you they aren’t confident. Just understand it’s a part of who they are.
Their past doesn’t mean they love you any less. In fact, they probably love you even more, every day for sticking around — since they’re aware of how difficult they are.
They don’t hate their parents for cheating. Love is love. Family is family. Yes, they’ve had hard times, but they’ve moved on because they had to.
If you’re honest with them, they’ll forgive you too. You might not know that due to their trust issues, but when they love, they love unconditionally.
They’re not cynical.
It’s just more reasonable for them to be selective about optimism.