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How many bs...told your children the truth?

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mj052 posted 5/11/2013 13:19 PM

Today is one year out for me. If only I knew then what I know now! If only- I knew that it would take him nine months to get rid of his three-timed married ap- trickle truths and outright lies. Not to mention on-line dating sites and continued inappropriate relationships with other women!! And the complete lack of respect for me. But- like a fool I believed in him!!! I've finally realized how sick he really is!!!!

Anyways last night we had an argument after I discovered a phone call he made on his cell. The number was listed under a company name but I recognized it as another woman's number who has been pursuing my wayward. He had a strict no contact- for this woman as well. Obviously- I was livid. I tried to talk to him and he was on the defensive!!! Yeah- whatever!!

We have two teenage boys- 19 and 15. Well I had absolutely no intention of ever telling our kids!! Eventhough- obviously they knew that something was very wrong!!! I was acting like a zombie and my dramatic weight loss. And also me and their father were at each others throats!! I began to search on-line regarding psychologist's opinions on whether or not to tell older children. It seemed to be the overall consensus was about 50/50. And then I read something that stated if your children are older they probably have a very good idea of what's going on!! I've always been completely honest with my children and they were very worried about me.

Again- six months since d-day and repeatedly broken nc- a secret cell phone and a hotel meeting and all his lies. He was acting strangely one night- and I asked to see his cell phone. He promised me that I could check his phone at any time and that he had nothing to hide!! But- when I asked he said "no- I don't like your tone!" I told him that what he was doing was hurting his entire family and he promised me that I could see his phone whenever I wanted! He laughed at me. I told him that I thought that it was time for our boys to know the truth. And he told me to do whatever! I don't think he honestly thought I would.

So here's the deal. Last night when he was angry he said "so- you told our kids to get even with me?" I told him the following:

I told our kids because they already knew that something was really wrong and I had to be honest with them!! I told them very gently with my wayward in attendance. I told them because I thought it would yank my wayward out of the fog and back to reality!! And I thought that they had every right to know that their mom tried everything in her power to keep their family together!!! The absolute truth has always been extremely important to me!!!!!!!!

Sorry this is so long! My husband also said last night that he can't wait to see the look on the mc face when he tells her that I told our kids! From my prospective- I did nothing wrong in being honest with our children!!! I need opinions please has anyone brought this up in mc???

Here's the really sick part. My husband has told me that he had met his other woman's teenage daughter who obviously knew her mother was cheating and her new boyfriend was married. But- somehow that wasn't inappropriate???

mj052 posted 5/11/2013 13:33 PM

Just to eleaborate. I told our children the bare minimum. That their father had a girlfriend and he wasn't willing tongive her up but I would always be there for them!!

Phoenix1 posted 5/11/2013 14:15 PM

I found out about A#1 four years ago, and I chose to put on the happy face and keep it from the kids. On 3-28-13 I confronted POS about A#3. I thought again about whether to tell the kids, who are now 16, 20, and 21. I wasn't concerned about the older two, but I took a deep look at DD16. I decided she was old enough, smart enough, and mature enough to handle the truth. I was simply tired of the lies. I told POS I was going to tell them as they had a right to know what has been going on. I sat DD16 down and had a long talk. She took it very well, but was extremely angry at POS. Some of her comments were: "You are a better person than me because I would have kicked him to the curb years ago." "I knew something was going on because his behavior has been really suspicious." And my favorite, "I am so glad you told me the truth and treated me like I have a brain; so many things make much more sense now."

In other words, she would have been resentful had I kept it from her. You just have to know your own kids' emotional maturity level to know if it is right. They already know more than you realize. POS now has to deal with the fallout of his actions and explain himself as I no longer have to cover for him/us and it was a huge weight off my back.

People feel differently about whether to tell or not, but I believe I made the right choice where my kids are concerned.

persevere posted 5/11/2013 14:45 PM

Ahhhh, the skewed thought processes of a wayward never cease to amaze me.

He thinks that your MC is going to fault you for being honest with your children when he continues in breaking NC with his AP while he continues to tell you he is in R? AYFKM? What an idiot.

Based on this situation is there even any point to continuing MC? Sounds like it's time to move toward NC. I'm so sorry - and although it hurts like hell, you did not do this - HE did - both to you and to your children. ((Hugs))

Griefstricken25 posted 5/11/2013 14:48 PM

I think what you told your children is perfect. They don't need nitty-gritty details, but that your marriage broke up because of an affair is a simple honest truth that teenagers can handle. And probably appreciate, in a way. Teenagers don't like to be kept in the dark about stuff.

mainlyinpain posted 5/11/2013 14:58 PM wasn't your responsibility to cover up what your WS was doing. I know it is hard to give a false face to your children while going thru this...immensely hard. There is no right answer but you seem to have handled it in a good manner. They may need counseling themselves as they process this into their lives. Truth is never bad.

ruinedandbroken posted 5/11/2013 16:13 PM

My DS's IC advised that I do not lie to them. Mine are much younger so I didn't tell them about the affairs because they wouldn't understand but I told them that Daddy broke promises and didn't treat mommy like she deserved. When they are older, if they ask again, I will tell them the truth.

newlysingle posted 5/11/2013 17:00 PM

If my kids were teens or older, I would definitely tell them. I have also been honest with my dd that something is wrong. I told her that daddy really hurt my feelings and because of that I can't be married to him any longer. I then reassured her that we both still loved her and would always be there for her.

Sad in AZ posted 5/11/2013 17:41 PM

My DS was 20 when it all started, but I didn't want to tell him because if we managed to R, I didn't want him to think badly of his father. Well, things went on for a long time, getting worse & worse, and DS was very stressed about it. He finally went to his aunt (X's sister). She called and told me about it, so I took DS aside and told him what was going on. I wish I hadn't waited.

roughroadahead posted 5/11/2013 19:15 PM

My kids are young so I said that "daddy made some bad choices". They are too young to know anything about affairs, but if they have questions as they grow older, I have no intention of lying to them.

Waffle's parent divorced 25+ years ago. He is 37 now and had no idea until a month ago that wayward FIL was a factor. He had thought that his dad "still loved" his mom, but she went ahead and filed.

capri posted 5/11/2013 19:25 PM

I, too, have found the advice on telling to be split. I have an older friend who told his kids years later, when they were adults, that he divorced over cheating. They were glad to finally know the truth.

My kids range from adult to elementary school. I'm sure the older ones heard the fights. In fact, I know they did. Only one of them has ever asked directly. I asked him did he really want to know what his father did. He thought two seconds and decided no.

ExposedNiblet posted 5/11/2013 20:08 PM

You did nothing wrong.

I believe children need to know the truth, and the older they are, the more they need to know.

Yes, I told my kids the truth from the start. To this day, I believe we are closer and stronger because of that.

Hang in there.


MyTurnATL posted 5/11/2013 20:31 PM

I told my children (17 & 19) on the advice of my IC. In my case, the A ended 2 years prior and that time was spent rug sweeping. When wh's suspect behavior started again and my gut started screaming, I called it quits without looking for any proof. The kids (and their friends) were confused. I told them their father had an affair (they were like, duh mom) and was never totally honest with me and I couldn't trust him any more and I didn't want to spend the rest of my life like that. I also let them know if they had any questions down the line, I would try to answer them.

I don't know if it was the right thing to do, but I feel good about being honest.

Grace and Flowers posted 5/11/2013 21:23 PM

My boys were 18 on D Day. Both home on Xmas break from college. Both knew something had been wrong for a did I, I just didn't know what. So, they heard the talking, the crying, the arguing. And when they asked, I told them. Dad had a girlfriend. Both were disgusted when didn't throw WH right out of the house. I told them we had a 30 year relationship that was worth trying to save. Both were pretty cynical about that. And they were right to be. WH never had any intention to try R.

When he left, both boys were angry, but relieved. They both thought I would be much happier without him. They were right.

I think older kids SHOULD know...if they ask. And not the gory details, just the bare facts. But they deserve to know the truth.

Dreamboat posted 5/11/2013 22:25 PM

I am a big believer in being honest with kids. When they know something and ask you about it, then you damn well better tell them the truth or they will not trust you later.

Saying that…

mj, based on this post, it sounds like you told the kids in retribution or punishment of your stbx. Maybe I am reading it wrong, maybe you did not describe the events clearly enough for me. Based upon this one post, this is how I interpret the series of events:

WH cheats

You discover

He continue to cheat and lie and disrespect

You (or maybe you and he) decide to D

You start posting in the D/S forum. (I am unclear if you or he have filed) I assume that you have decided to D rather than R at this point.

He continues to cheat and lie and disrespect you.

YESTERDAY, he gets a call and lies to you again.

YESTERDAY, after discovering your STBX lied again (shocker!), you sit the kids down and tell them that their father cheated.

To me, if these series of events are accurate, that sounds like you used the kids to punish your stbx. If that is the case, then shame on you!! There is a BIG difference between honesty with kids and telling kids things to “punish” your X. It would be different if your kids asked out “Did Dad cheat?” or even “Why are you so mad at Dad?”. But if they were not asking questions and you “decided” they should know what a scum ball their father was because you were angry, then you should not have said anything.


ButterflyGirl posted 5/11/2013 22:34 PM

One month after D-Day, I found out WH had involved the kids, playdates, movies, parks, etc., and had been having the kids lie to me about it. So we sat the kids down and told them he had been "kissing" this woman, that daddy made a mistake, and that he was sorry for having them lie to me.

Since my children are so young, I was initially dead set on not letting them know, but he involved the kids with OW (and continues to to this day), so I felt it was best they knew the truth. Had he not involved the kids and wasn't involving them now, I think things would have went a little differently..

I've also been told to be careful telling the children, "daddy broke promises" or "daddy hurt mommy" because you don't want the children thinking they can make the same mistakes (break a promise or hurt mommy) and you will leave them. I think it's best if they know it's something they are not capable of ever doing to you, so you will never "break up" with them..

I think you did perfect with your children. Your spouse has his head pretty far up his ass when it comes to dealing with children..

My husband has told me that he had met his other woman's teenage daughter who obviously knew her mother was cheating and her new boyfriend was married.


ButterflyGirl posted 5/11/2013 22:49 PM

I read Dreamboat's comment shortly after I posted, and I have to say I might agree with her.

I told them because I thought it would yank my wayward out of the fog and back to reality!!

I think it's better if you are telling them because they are asking questions or because things will be changing (one of you leaving the home, etc.), not for personal gain and to build an army against him.. I can see where you might think it will help for him to see the damage he is doing to the children too, but you don't want to use them like that..

But you say they knew something was wrong, you told them the minimum, and I do agree they are at an age where it's appropriate to be honest.. I would just be much more careful what you continue to tell them and show them. They are learning about marriage and relationships right now by both of your actions, and they know a lot more now, so what you guys say and do will have a pretty big impact on them and how they handle their future relationships..

Good luck..

Kajem posted 5/11/2013 23:07 PM

Kids therapist advised me that what they were thinking was far worse than an affair. if they asked..tell them the truth. They asked - I told. A couple of them suspected. One had met OW and was sworn to secrecy. it was a surprise to 1 kid out of 4.

Nature_Girl posted 5/11/2013 23:53 PM

I've also been told to be careful telling the children, "daddy broke promises" or "daddy hurt mommy" because you don't want the children thinking they can make the same mistakes (break a promise or hurt mommy) and you will leave them. I think it's best if they know it's something they are not capable of ever doing to you, so you will never "break up" with them..

This is a pretty important distinction. I made it clear to my kids that Daddy broke promises to me that HUSBANDS should never break to their wives. That there are promises husbands & wives make on their wedding day to each other and God, and THOSE are the promises that were broken. That it was not possible to stay married any longer because of the lies and broken promises. I told them that it was NOT the same as parents and children, this was husband & wife stuff. So no, I would not be divorcing them if they lied or broke promises.

It's a damn good thing I told them this from the get-go, because you can be sure that STBX has repeatedly told them that we're divorcing because I got mad at him one day, making it sound like I could very well one day get mad at the kids & toss them out the door like I did him.

persevere posted 5/11/2013 23:53 PM

I agree with dreamboat about being careful about the motivation behind the information, but I also believe that, in this landscape, that is incredibly difficult to navigate.

So, you do the best you can, and sometimes that means you are put in the difficult position of releasing information to your kids in emotionally difficult circumstances. You may not handle it perfectly, but considering the position you've been placed in, that is a risk. I don't think how you handled it changes much, it is what it is, sadly. And you are doing the best you can. ((Hugs))

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