Unfaithful son-in-law or daughter-in-law: how to (properly) react as parents?

Unfaithful son-in-law or daughter-in-law: how to (properly) react as parents?

It is often difficult to know how to react when one of your children reveals to you that he or she has been cheated on. What is the right distance to adopt? What words to use? Response from Amélie Boukhobza, clinical psychologist.

Did your daughter recently call you in tears because her husband cheated on her? If the first instinct is to insult the offender and welcome your child with open arms, this attitude may not be the best. Amélie Boukhobza, clinical psychologist, enlightens us on the correct behavior to adopt.

Many questions

Faced with the complexity of the situation – and the pain caused by this betrayal – emotions mix. Sadness gives way to anger or vice versa. It is then common to react badly or react impulsively.

When, as parents, we discover this betrayal, we may be tempted to react a little quickly. That is to say overreacting! For the simple reason that it can raise a multitude of questions and awaken complex feelings. Should we intervene? Or stay out? Call your son-in-law or daughter-in-law to talk about it with him/her? How then can you manage your relationship with him/her afterwards? Go to your child to tell them? Position yourself in their relationship?…. And many other questions”, underlines Amélie Boukhobza.

So many questions that can lead to saying unwelcome words or words. Indeed, understanding and sympathizing without aggravating an already tense situation is often complex.

On how to react precisely, Amélie Boukhobza is nuanced.

Is there a way to properly react to the situation? I don’t know. I would say that above all, the priority is to protect the person who is most dear to us, namely our child. How ? Maybe by simply telling him, why not! But it is above all important to welcome his emotions, to listen to him, to support him without any judgment on his choices. Without taking too much of a side. As far as possible…“, she assures.

The other advice from the expert? Offer your child the opportunity to return for a time if they wish, if they feel the need, to the parental home.

And why not invite him to talk about it to a neutral third party?

Inviting them to talk to a neutral third party can allow the injured person to feel freer to say what he/she has to say. Because, should we remember it? “The situation may be much more complex than we imagine.“, underlines the expert.

On the other hand, I would invite parents to stay out of the relationship and not even talk to their son-in-law or daughter-in-law. What he/she does is ultimately up to him/her! Except that it is obvious that your bond of trust with him/her will be impacted. At least for a while. And if there are children, we refrain from making negative comments about the parent concerned. concludes Amélie Boukhobza.

In summary, every situation is unique and there is no universal answer on how best to react. The main thing is to be there for your child, to listen to them and to help them through this difficult ordeal.