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Telling my 18 yr old....

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FogHater posted 4/23/2013 11:08 AM

I am going to call my lawyer and tell her im ready but i need to tell my son first. How did u tell yours?
I really dread this conversation.
I really could use some advice....
He knows something is wrong I just don't know how much and what he knows about his dads infedility

Nature_Girl posted 4/23/2013 11:11 AM

I told my kid that Dad broke promises to me that husbands should never break. Those broken promises meant we couldn't be married any longer. I bet if you opened with that, your 18-year old would immediately know what's happened.

Undefinabl3 posted 4/23/2013 11:42 AM

I am willing to bet that your 18 year old know's more then you think.

I also agree with Nature and open up with what she said. Its going to be hard, but if you were my parent and you actually talked to me like a young adult, i would have tons of respect for you.

hurting2much posted 4/23/2013 11:51 AM

We came right out and said that we were divorcing. At first, DD18 said she thought this was coming and didn't really say much else.

After thinking about it for a couple of days, she called me and asked if we were getting a D because of dad having more affairs. I said yes. She attempted to confirm this statement with her dad, and he told her "we just grew apart." I felt like I betrayed my XWH by telling DD18 the truth, but my friends set me straight. One of them came from divorced parents and she told me that the only thing she wanted from her parents was the truth, and was mad at her mom for awhile because her mom covered for her dad.

My DD18 is upset with her dad because he is lying to her. I have now taken the stand that I will NOT ruin my relationship with DD18 by lying to her to "cover" for XWH. I have told her that I will answer any question she has as honestly as I can but I will not initiate the conversation.

My DD18 is hurt enough by the divorce and all that has happened this past year, that she does not need to be lied to, by either one of us, and hurt all over again.

I would recommend to be honest (don't have to go into all the details), and let him know that he can always come to you.

Good luck! This is so horrible for everyone involved.

jackie89 posted 4/23/2013 12:04 PM

I didn't have to tell him about his dad's infidelity - as in the beginning, when I only had my suspicions, I yelled out one time "that effing Bitch" and he knew who and what I was referring to.

He never asked for details, and I never volunteered any. When I did file for D, I did tell him that I was going to do it and my wonderful boy just said.
"you did everything possible mom first,you are doing the right thing"

Then I go on with "but I'm breaking up my family" and he said - no he did that - we are your family" Love him!

It was the hardest day ever! But at the same time, It was the first time that I felt like my future was in my hands, not his.

Good luck!

confused615 posted 4/23/2013 12:09 PM

I think your son knows an awful lot. he has lived with the two of you for the last few years..he has heard your WH talk down to you...he has heard the fights.

Tell him the truth. Dad did this..and I can not,will not,be disrespected and treated like garbage anymore.

I have a feeling your DS is going to be relieved.

KeepOnMovin posted 4/23/2013 13:08 PM

Three boys. They were 17, 15, and 10 when we told them. The counselor advised us to not burden the kids with 'adult' issues. (Basically, don't tell them that mom cheated on dad, because they are 1/2 her and will be emotionally harmed by this knowledge.)

So we agreed to only tell them that we tried very hard to make things work, but it wasn't meant to be. We reinforced that that we both love them and will always be there for them, just not together.

At first, DS15 was really mad at STBXWW and blamed her for the breakup of the family, and refused to talk to her or spend any time with her. I worked very hard helping them to reestablish their relationship. i told him how much his mother loves him and how it's no one's fault. I basically forced him to spend time with her.

Well, DS15 knew about STBX's A's. I honestly think he lost some respect for me for basically 'lying' to him, and not respecting his wishes to refuse to see her. he has become very P/A toward me and i've had to take a hard line with him on what i will and will not tolerate. STBX has become 'Disney Mom' and goes overboard with trying to make him happy. Buys him whatever he wants, and has become friends with DS15's GF. this is all an attempt to win him back, IMO.

DS17 hasn't said much about it, but i'm pretty sure he also knows about the A's. He loves his mom, but i can tell he really respects me with how i've handled things. DS10 (DS11 now) doesn't know anything and is trying to makes sense of it all; wondering if mom left because of the dog, etc.

this is not meant as a t/j.

Just wanting to give an idea of how skirting the issue may not be the most healthy thing for you or the kids. I still think taking the high road is the right thing to do. My attempts to help DS15 and STBX have a solid relationship, has cost me somewhat, but hopefully he will understand some day.

Eventually, they will figure it out.

So, my advice would be to 'let them be kids' and not to burden them with adult issues; however, you need to treat them with respect and truthfully answer their questions.

best of luck to you. k

gahurts posted 4/23/2013 13:37 PM

I told the older kids - mine and hers - exactly what happened, directly. That their mother/step-mother cheated on me. The one I was the most concerned about was the then 16 year old. He appreciated me being upfront and honest with him. Your DS is an adult now. You can tell him the truth without bashing your STBXWH. Let him know that the relationship he has with his father is between the two of them and that you support him staying close to his father but that you and STBX just cannot stay together anymore. I suspect that he will understand.

Phoenix1 posted 4/23/2013 14:53 PM

Unfortunately, my oldest DD already knew about the infidelity because one was with her best friend's mother, and she was the one that initially caught him in the current A and told me about it. After years of covering for it, I finally told my DD16 because she is mature enough to handle it. I was honest with her and she responded by telling me thank you for being honest as she knew something was up and her dad's behavior was making her very suspicious. Had I lied, or skirted the truth, she would have known right away and felt that I was not willing to trust her as a young adult. I felt I did the right thing and she knows she can ask me anything about it, which she has, and I will be honest. My DS doesn't know anything as of yet as he is on deployment, but will be home in a few months and told then. Being in the military, he is all about honor and integrity, and I have a feeling he is not going to be happy with his dad's hypocracy.

Be honest. Your son probably knows more than you realize, or at least suspects it, and he will appreciate you treating him like an adult.

FogHater posted 4/23/2013 15:20 PM

All good advice
Thank u has helped me a lot...
Confused u r right he will be relieved.
Maybe he is upset with me for not doing something.
I hope he knows I have done everything I can
I can't keep doing this almost 3 yrs is waaaay to long.
I just wish WH would realize he is pushing his greatest gift away...
His family
As U say here
When they show u who they really r
believe them.
Will need support from my SI family
I will keep u posted.

[This message edited by FogHater at 3:22 PM, April 23rd (Tuesday)]

GreatRoleModel posted 4/23/2013 15:24 PM

You absolutely need to be honest with him. He doesn't need details but honesty. You are not responsible for his father's actions. I talked with my IC and numerous child psychologists that I work with and they said if they are teens/young adults they need the truth. You do not want him to internalize that he did something wrong or should have been a better son. This is not his burden to bare. Lying will come back to bite you just like KOM said. Your STBX is responsible for his relationship now with his son, the good, the bad,and the ugly. Your STBX lost that buffer when he decided to cheat and leave the marriage. Though you do need to make sure you don't bash the H and take the high road and reinforce that your son's relationship with his dad is between the two of them and that you are good with him and that is your concern. Also that you can take of yourself moving forward.

I wish you the best, it was the hardest conversation I ever had with my kids (13 and 15 at the time).

Sad in AZ posted 4/23/2013 20:07 PM

I will bet he either knows or suspects. My DS was 20 when the shit started, and he had a good idea what was happening.

h0peless posted 4/23/2013 20:23 PM

I was 13 when my mom started her affair (plain as day, the only person who didn't know was my dad) and 16 when my dad started his. (came right out and told us.) Your kid is old enough to probably know something is up and definitely old enough to know why your marriage is ending. In fact, I think you would be doing him a disservice if you didn't tell him. I knew that my parents were dirty, rotten cheaters (as much as I still love them) and it really influenced my view of infidelity. I was absolutely determined to not replicate their history. I suspect that infidelity played a role in my XWW's parents' divorce but she never knew about it. Her takeaway was that marriage is cheap and frivolous divorce is OK.

Be honest with your son.

AppleBlossom posted 4/23/2013 22:06 PM

I told my much younger kids that my partner had found another girlfriend, and I was not prepared to stay with him when he did this.

As he had been at our house the night before, as he always was, eating a meal and staying the night, they worked it out in about two seconds flat.

dmari posted 4/23/2013 22:44 PM

I think he may more than you realize. My DS14 (13 at the time) and DD17 figured it out on their own. DD17 was upset at me for not telling her the truth ~ in her eyes, withholding information = dishonesty. From that point on, I decided I was going to be honest with their questions. I was not going to "protect" stbx any longer.

TrustGone posted 4/24/2013 13:14 PM

Yes. Do tell him and be truthful without a lot of details. My DS was only 8 when I filed for D from XWH#1. I did not tell him why and my ex told him a bunch of lies. My DD18 knew why, but the court said we could not discuss the A with my son, so I didn't. I just told him that we could not get along and had tried for years and it wasn't making either of us happy.That we both loved him and it was not his fault. My son of course blamed me for the D because I am the one that filed. I should have never listened to the court. I am sure XWH#1 told him all kinds of lies. He is now 19, and our relationship has been rocky for years. He hated my WH#2 and went to live with his Dad and grandparents at age 14. Just found out that my son's ad litem (lawyer) is a murderer. Do not trust the courts, they don't always have the best interest of the children at heart. I now want to tell my son what really happened, but I don't think he would believe me now. OW threw XWH#1 to the curb after I filed for D and I really have no written proof of anything. Tell him now and good luck to you. (((HUGS)))

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