DR MAX PEMBERTON: I've seen the real impact infidelity has on children, and it ... trends now

DR MAX PEMBERTON: I've seen the real impact infidelity has on children, and it ... trends now
DR MAX PEMBERTON: I've seen the real impact infidelity has on children, and it ... trends now

DR MAX PEMBERTON: I've seen the real impact infidelity has on children, and it ... trends now

Annie Kilner has just had a baby with her husband, Manchester City's Kyle Walker. They have three other children Roman, 11, Riaan, seven, and Reign, five. But thanks to Kyle's behaviour, there's a chance it might not be quite the happy family you might imagine.

Annie discovered in December — while she was pregnant — that Kyle had fathered a second child with Instagram influencer Lauryn Goodman. Kyle has been living in a rented house away from the family home since January, although he and Annie have continued to co-parent.

So, with the new arrival (another boy) a total of six children are now caught up in this.

While I have great sympathy for Annie, who sounds like she's dealing with the situation admirably and trying her best to keep things together for her children, I have limited patience with love-cheats.

At risk of sounding old-fashioned in this self-centred era of the 'me generation', there are situations when people should put their own carnal desires and apparent emotional needs to one side in favour of ensuring their children have emotional stability at home. I really hope Annie and Kyle work things out and move forward for their children.

Footballer Kyle Walker and his wife Annie Kilner recently welcomed their fourth child together. But Kyle fathered another child last year with Lauryn Goodman, his on-and-off girlfriend

Footballer Kyle Walker and his wife Annie Kilner recently welcomed their fourth child together. But Kyle fathered another child last year with Lauryn Goodman, his on-and-off girlfriend

Instagram influencer Lauryn Goodman on a day out with her baby daughter

Instagram influencer Lauryn Goodman on a day out with her baby daughter 

Research shows any instability a child experiences in an unsettled home, whether as a result of infidelity or otherwise, triples their risk of developing emotional problems. It is not so much breaking the marriage vows I take issue with — this is on people's own conscience — but the gamble parents take with their children's well-being. Do what you want, have sex with whoever you choose. If you choose to cheat, that's your choice and when things come crumbling down, you have to deal with it. But when children are involved, I'm far less liberal minded.

There's no easy way to sugar this pill: any infidelity places your own libido above what's best for your children. Over the past 20 years covering mental health in A&E and working in child psychiatry, I've seen many children and teenagers with emotional and behavioural problems, with unexplained physical illnesses, eating disorders and self-harm injuries that are manifestations of emotional distress. These children take the brunt of the emotional fallout from affairs, failed marriages, messy divorces and warring parents.

Those are the very worst cases and not every child who experiences parental break-up will necessarily be hurt in this way. But speak to any teacher and they will tell you of the low-level, insidious damage often done by warring parents that never makes it to the doctor's waiting room.

As a psychiatrist, I'm sick of hearing parents tell me: 'I'd do anything for my children' after they've had an affair and caused their marriage to break down down. Yes, 'anything' except keep your

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