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Did you/would you tell your kids?

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Knowing posted 5/25/2013 08:13 AM

Early post DDay we would close our bedroom door at night once we knew our DDs were asleep and had our conversations/arguments about the A. This happened on a daily basis up until about 3 months post DDay.

We found out around XMas that our fighting often woke them up in the middle of the night. Our DDs are 8 & 10.

A few times, arguments about the A have started up in front of our DDs but we guarded to not mention any specifics and quelled them as soon as possible.

At this point our 2 young DDs have heard us have some of the same arguments about his A, specifically one that comes up almost every time we use his passport. At least twice now they have overheard me talk about his passport being a trigger. Every time I see his passport I think of his A and the fact that I don't recognize him in the picture. He doesn't look like himself, he looks angry and tense... I know passport pictures are almost always far from flattering but I hate that picture.

Specifically on Thursday, when it was time to pull out our passports I started up again. In retrospect, I understand him wanting to downplay the significance I attach to his passport in front of our DDs (he got it during his A, didn't tell me he was getting a passport, and was going to use it to travel the world with her, etc...)

But this time he made the mistake of flat out denying that the passport had anything to do with the A, and I kinda lost it. In front of our DDs. This is where I know they have heard me say similar, if not the same things about his passport and her.

I am considering finding a neutral way of telling our DDs about my fWH's A since they have heard so much. I hate to thinkthat they may be confused or afraid about what they've overheard.

What do you think of saying something like: "Daddy was confused last summer. He thought he had met someone he liked better than Mommy. After getting to know the other lady better he realized he didn't like her more and didn't want to stop being with Mommy. Mommy is still jealous and hurt and we are learning to deal with those feelings. There's a lot of them so it's taking a while. We are working very hard to stay together and be happy together."

Would you/did you tell your DDs at that age? If so, what would you add or remove, if anything?

jo2love posted 5/25/2013 13:32 PM

I would stress that you both love them very much. Also, talking to an IC that specializes in helping children would be a good start. You can ask the IC's opinion and your children will have a neutral outlet to express how they feel.

Flatlined123 posted 5/25/2013 20:54 PM

I didn't want to tell the kids (then 15, 17 and 11). This is the one time I felt blessed because the two youngest, twins, have autism and didn't know that was going on.

The older two girls pretty much figured it out. They saw a strong woman crumble before their eyes and it scared the hell out of them.

W sat down and told them we were having some problems and were trying to work them out. All M take work.

I didn't want to diminish their view of their dad. Well, some well meaning kid in school just had to share what their parents were talking about, you guessed

So I sat with our girls and laid it out. What I will say is that from what they saw, I hope I was a good role model for them. 98% of the time I took the high road.

jellybean22 posted 5/25/2013 21:22 PM

We haven't said anything specific and thought we were careful with our fights and hushed conversations.

But our 7 year old was being teased by his brother (5) about having a girlfriend and he ended up saying that "Daddy has a girlfriend." My WH almost choked and asked who. And my son said, "Mommy... And that girl you work with."

OMG. Heartbreaking. I just found this out tonight. I don't know what to say or not say to him about it.

Ladyogilvy posted 5/25/2013 21:30 PM

I completely fell apart and there was no way to hide it from the boys. I really do think honesty is the best policy. Imagination can be worse than the truth. Besides, I have no talent for lying and keeping secrets.

broken17 posted 5/25/2013 21:50 PM

My boys are youngish (4 & 9). We didn't tell them details, but we did feel that it was important that the boys hear from WH that he had done something very very hurtful to me. We told them that WH had broken a very important promise to me, and that I was feeling very hurt and angry with him. WH told the boys that it was completely appropriate for me to be angry, and that he needed and wanted to hear about my anger and my hurt. To know that if they saw me being angry with him, that he was OK with that.

He also told them that he needed to hear about their feelings as well, and that it was OK with him if they were angry with him too, or sad, or anything else at all. He's been out of the house since orginal Dday (2 months now), when I kicked him out. Even though He's been asking to come home for over a month now, he still takes complete responsibility for being gone - to both me and the boys.

We felt like it was most important that the boys knew that he had done something extremely hurtful, and that any of my reactions were acceptable and DESIRED by him. Part of him taking responsibility for his actions.

mamak posted 5/25/2013 23:48 PM

The older two girls pretty much figured it out. They saw a strong woman crumble before their eyes and it scared the hell out of them.

This was me.....I had shut down the first few days after, couldn't eat or oldest ended up making soup for me and sitting there, like a parent, and made me eat. He figured it out own his own and the other two shortly after.

My oldest is now in counseling because of all of this and my youngest is constantly worried about dad not coming back (youngest is also in therapy)...I wish I had been strong enough to not break down in front of them.....

Flatlined123 posted 5/26/2013 08:27 AM

Our oldest spent two years in counseling.

How sad H only thought of himself and not anyone else.

heforgotme posted 5/26/2013 08:48 AM

My oldest two (18, 16) figured it out. I wish they hadn't. I can divorce him if I decide I can't handle this, but he will forever be their father. So, I wish they didn't know this about him.

Our little guy doesn't know and I hope he never does.

However, once they have pretty much figured it out, it is probably better to get it out there and talk about it.

NeverAgain2013 posted 5/26/2013 09:22 AM

No, I had no desire to share my intimately adult and very personal marital issues with my son. It wasn't his business and it wasn't MY business to visit that heavy stuff on him.

So no, I didn't share with him.

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