Personal Blog of Janette Johnston Family & Child Solicitor A City Law Firm.
As an experienced family & child solicitor I was not shocked, but very surprised to see adults bear all to the nation regarding their sexual needs on this programme which is for couples who want to “deepen their relationships”.
I am open to free speech and people of course have the right to do as they wish if it’s not breaking in the law. However, this program goes beyond the needs and expression of the people appearing.
The show introduces couples who are married, have children, both of them having affairs to end up on TV telling the nation that they thought by having group sex that this would “deepen their relationship”. My initial thoughts as a family lawyer and mum turned to the children of their family, surely this married couple were putting their own needs before the welfare of their children.
I don’t speak for everyone, of course, but I personally thought it might be humiliating for a child to be taunted by other children that their parents have been on TV exposing their personal needs above them. What impact does that have on the children?
It is clear that infidelity, separation and ultimately divorce impacts children, whilst younger children are too young and won’t be aware, they are very good at picking up feelings of anger that their parents have against one another. Living in an environment where there is an air of mistrust is not good for any child (no words are needed). Older children especially teenagers can pick up on hurt feelings and betrayal. In my opinion and experience handling divorces and child arrangements there is also the real “no no” of parents oversharing their shortcomings, or those of their spouses, with their children – it should ideally be avoided at all costs as it will backfire in the long run.
There is unsettling research to show that childhood trauma can increase the likelihood of infidelity this is played out by poor attachments with their partners and their own infidelity and having a real lack of trust in others (history repeating itself) [The American Journal of Family Therapy 36:149-161, 2008]. Unsurprisingly the YouGov.co.uk website currently records that 1 in 5 British adults admit they have had an affair.
I personally found these needs very shallow compared to what a trusting relationship could bring them, but I am assuming is unlikely they would want someone trusting as they may find this too boring, and they seemed to enjoy the void of there is someone more exciting out there.
In my experience children and families need commitment, loyalty and trust to thrive and ‘deepening or open relationships’ can hurt many people involved especially children and how do you explain that to the children’s Grandparents and all those Aunts and Uncles. Programs like this send out messages to our youth, couples, and single people that I do not believe helps us secure a warm, secure and safe family environment, but these views and opinions are my own only.