Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted Monday that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff more than a decade ago. What impact might this shocking revelation have on the Schwarzenegger children?
Dr. Annie Thiel Ph.D clinical psychologist, says, “The Schwarzenegger children may experience anger at both of their parents.” Based on Dr. Thiel’s clinical experiences, children in these situations may blame their mother for a lack of awareness and a perceived inability to hold the father in a faithful relationship. “It’s like Arnold shot a torpedo into the whole family system,” Dr. Thiel says. “Everything that he’s said over the past decade may come into question for his children.” He’s a crumbling role model. After an experience this shocking, children may experience a complete lack of trust in their parents and the world around them. “To have been children of a public leader who has been completely dishonored, they could carry a stigma of being the children of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who carried on a relationship with an employee (sexual harassment) and who fathered a child out of wedlock, who is now a half sibling.”
Dr. Thiel states that every child’s reaction to infidelity is different depending on their gender, personality, age and other numerous factors. She strongly recommends counseling for any child in a home where an infidelity has occurred. She notes, “The bitterness around a situation like this may create generational chaos with subsequent generations acting out in dishonest, cheating and chaotic ways. It’s important that they get the help and support that they need.”
It looks like they might be on the long path toward recovery.
Schwarzenegger’s daughter, Katherine Eunice, 21, tweeted yesterday, “This is definitely not easy but I appreciate your love and support as I begin to heal and move forward in my life. I will always love my family!”
Dr. Annie Thiel, Ph.D Clinical Psychologist, has a private practice in Malibu, California and can be contacted at (310)457-7606