'As a child of an affair, this much I know: It's Barnaby's kids who will suffer the most.'


Being the child of an affair, I can say with experience, the ones who will suffer the most from the choices of Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion will be his children, the ones already born, and the one yet to be.

My past has been shaped by the choices of my mother and father, who had an affair, and I know that it is a factor that impacts every morsel of your being. There is a conflict of emotions and endless questions but there are never simple answers or resolutions.

After reading the various articles from individuals who wish to comment on those involved in affairs and speculate as to why they have them, I can say that this won’t help the situation. It won’t help those who are hurting from it.

LISTEN: Can we agree with Kate Langbroek’s stance on affairs and still be a good feminist? The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss (post continues after audio…)

Kate Langbroek simply grouping all these women as the same “bad people” is far from an accurate description of the millions of women who have been in Vikki Campion’s shoes. The fact is, it’s complicated, it is personal, it changes from circumstance to circumstance.

One social commentator, Kerri Sackville, stated affairs come from one four letter word- lust. This is honestly one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Like Langbroek’s comments it is an overly simplified explanation for something that in the majority of situations has no simple answer.


I speak from my own experience. I wonder if either of these women who seem to be so knowledgeable on the topic, have ever been closely impacted by an affair?

I bet if they had, they wouldn’t say these things.

Barnaby and Natalie Joyce's family. Image via Instagram.

My mum had an affair with my married father for seven years. It wasn’t a lust fuelled one night of passion. They were friends, they had a romantic relationship, they stayed in contact for 16 years after it ended. I am sorry but lust is not the explanation. There isn’t one.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with affairs. They hurt so many people.

Again, my experience is evidence of that, others I know who've had a similar experience are also testament to that. The way in which you question everything, the way in which it impacts your trust and how you deal with relationships, the way it makes you question your own identity. It is relentless and overwhelming.

But the answer isn’t blaming, labelling and commenting on those involved; this doesn’t help. It doesn’t help Natalie Joyce; it doesn’t help her daughters. The answers come from the people who are in the situation.

The adults who made the decisions and also, albeit unfairly, the ones who have been affected by it. Although it is obviously going to be incredibly hard, the most important thing you can do is support, communicate and seek professional help to navigate this situation.

No one can change what has happened but they do have the ability and power to try to change the outcome, to make it as positive as it can be. My father chose not to provide me these for me, neither did some other adults involved in the situation. Some others did.

I hope this can provide some productive help for those involved and a bit of insight into why sometimes comments are best left to those actually involved.