DR. MAX PEMBERTON: I’ve seen the real impact infidelity has on children, and it breaks my heart

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 behavior, there’s a chance it won’t be quite the happy family you might imagine.

Annie discovered in December – while pregnant – that Kyle had fathered a second child with Instagram influencer Lauryn Goodman. Kyle has been living in a rental home outside the family home since January, although he and Annie have continued to co-parent.

With the new arrival (another boy) there are now a total of six children involved.

While I have great sympathy for Annie, who sounds like she is handling the situation admirably and doing her best to keep things together for her children, I have limited patience for love deception.

In this self-centered era of the “me generation,” situations are likely to arise where people must put aside their own carnal desires and apparent emotional needs in favor of ensuring the emotional stability of their children at home. I really hope Annie and Kyle work things out together and make progress 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

Instagram influencer Lauryn Goodman on a day out with her daughter

Instagram influencer Lauryn Goodman on a day out with her daughter

Research shows that any instability a child experiences in a troubled home, whether due to infidelity or otherwise, triples the risk of developing emotional problems. It’s not so much about breaking marriage vows that I don’t agree with – that’s something people have on their conscience – but about the gamble parents take with the well-being of their children. Do whatever you want, have sex with whoever you want. If you choose to cheat, that’s your choice and when things fall apart, you have to deal with it. But when children are involved, I’m much less liberal-minded.

There is no easy way to top this pill: with every infidelity, your own libido takes precedence over what is best for your children. Over the past two decades of treating mental health in emergency rooms and working in child psychiatry, I have seen many children and teens with emotional and behavioral problems, unexplained physical illnesses, eating disorders, and self-harm that are expressions of emotional distress. These children bear the brunt of the emotional fallout from affairs, failed marriages, messy divorces, and warring parents.

Those are the worst cases and not every child who experiences separation between their parents will necessarily be hurt in this way. But speak to any teacher and they will tell you about the insidious damage often wrought by warring parents that never reaches the doctor’s waiting room.

As a psychiatrist, I’m tired of hearing parents tell me, “I would do anything for my children” after they’ve had an affair and caused their marriage to fall apart. Yes, “everything” except keep your underwear on, which was actually one of the things your kids made you do.

It makes my blood boil that couples who care so much about their children that they buy them the latest gadgets and sneakers, feed them only the best organic vegetables and send them for extra education do not understand that none of this matters if their family life is not stable.

Research has repeatedly shown that the only thing a child needs to thrive is stability. No matter how the family is composed or what their material possessions are, children have an amazing ability to cope, provided the adults in their lives remain constant and consistent.

It is that easy, yet people often seem so difficult to understand.

The belief that everyone has the right to do whatever they want in the pursuit of their own happiness is so ingrained in society that no one dares tell parents to get a grip on themselves and stop being so selfish; to think before jumping into bed with someone else. But for anyone considering infidelity, accept it – having an affair is reckless, selfish and cruel.

You are playing Russian roulette with the well-being of your children.

Maybe you can get away with it. Maybe you won’t get caught.

If you do, you may be forgiven and all forgotten.

And even if it ends messily, maybe your kids will somehow get through it unscathed.

Maybe. But isn’t that a ridiculous gamble? Is a little extramarital sex really that important?

Do not use medication for patients with dementia!

1713750946 905 DR MAX PEMBERTON Ive seen the real impact infidelity has

Giving dementia patients powerful antipsychotic drugs may be more dangerous than previously thought, according to a major study. Taking the drugs for three months increased the risk of heart attack or heart failure by more than a quarter and doubled the risk of pneumonia.

This medication helps control more disruptive symptoms of the condition. But often it is used to alleviate the hassle (and expense) of caring for patients. Geriatric psychiatric beds, specialized nurses and well-trained caregivers are expensive. Doctors don’t prescribe antipsychotic medications because they want to; they do it because they have to. The alternative is too expensive and therefore not immediately available.

Yes, it’s terrible, but what do they do when there isn’t properly trained staff to sit with a disturbed, angry or scared patient?

Celebrity chef Gregg Wallace explained our unhealthy lifestyle last week: ‘Sitting on the couch and eating really unhealthy snacks almost seems like an addiction, a British pastime that needs to be addressed.’

I agree with that. How many of us sit in front of the television at the end of the day and grab the cookies? That’s why I’m a fan of mindful eating. It makes us think about what we eat.

When I worked in an eating disorder service, we suggested this to patients with problems with overeating. Many said that after consciously thinking about what they put in their mouths and taking the time to enjoy it, they no longer needed to eat. A useful antidote to mindless chewing.

Cash is dying out. Electronic payments are everywhere. But research shows that cash can help you budget, because paying it causes 20 percent more “psychological pain.” Keeping money in your wallet is easier than using your banking app.

Dr. Max prescribes… Bank up to 5k

1713750948 858 DR MAX PEMBERTON Ive seen the real impact infidelity has

If you’re inspired by the London Marathon this weekend but aren’t sure where to start, try the NHS Couch To 5k app. People often make the mistake of overdoing it when they first start running, risking injury. But this program is intended for the novice runner and will help you build up to 5 kilometers in nine weeks. Why don’t you give it a try?