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The price the kids pay

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Flatlined123 posted 6/24/2013 05:28 AM

Our middle daughter, now 20, had to write a self assessment for one of her classes. I had the chance to read it recently. I was in tears by the time I was done.

She was a sophomore in high school when H had the affair. In the assessment she talked about how dealing with her brothers autism shaped her life. I was so proud of her to see she looked at it in a positive light.

Then the next thing she talked about was H affair

She knew things I never knew she did. She talked about how she felt betrayed by H. How she didn't feel loved by him, wondered why we weren't enough for him. She talked about not trusting him and said she has a distrust of men in general now. She's very cautious. I never realized how her self esteem took such a hit from the affair.

She talked about how she saw me crumble before her eyes. How she hated H for doing that to me. She saw the long road we've traveled. She saw me pull myself up and she sees I'm different now. The resentment is still there for him hurting all of us. She talked about her extreme hatred of OW. How she tried to find out anything she could about OW. How she wanted to confront her and rage at her for helping destroy our family. She now knows she's better than that, better than OW and it's not worth the time or energy.

She's been to therapy because of the A. She was acting out. I'm seeing her dealing with this a lot better now.

I brought it to H to read. His face told the whole story as he read it. He went to her and apologized again. Telling her there was no excuse, he was so sorry, he's worked hard at it and he's a better man now....a better dad now.

I hate that he did this not only to me, but all of us. Both girls have seen therapists and dealt with the fallout in different ways.

I wish every person who even thinks about an affair would be able to read about it through my child's eyes.

LA44 posted 6/24/2013 06:15 AM

((Flatlined)) There is a good section at the back of Emily Brown's book, Affairs: The Repercussions of Infidelity, that talks about how to speak to your kids (and other family members) depending on their age and whether you stay together or not.

It must have been very cathartic for your DD to write that out. I recall writing about my dad's alcoholism at that very same age.

That last comment you made - so true. Sadly, the WS is not thinking at all of his family - or he/she is but its not enough to stop it. And the other w/m could care less.

Bluebird26 posted 6/24/2013 06:20 AM

You must be incredibly proud of your daughter and all your family has been through that she can now verbalize her feelings and thoughts about this challenge in her life and how it continues to be a challenge for her.

We all know the past can't be undone, but I am pleased her dad gets it and tries hard to be a better father to his children.

UKlady posted 6/24/2013 06:22 AM

(((Flatlined123))) - I sadly have no words of wisdom or comfort here but want you to know how this post moved me.

[This message edited by UKlady at 6:22 AM, June 24th (Monday)]

LadyYoga posted 6/24/2013 06:33 AM

Flatlined, this breaks my heart. My kids do not know and we are trying to keep it that way. My dd is my oldest and she is 14 now. 11 when the A happened. Do you agree with not letting the kids know? Did you think it would have been better if your daughter didn't know?

TrustGone posted 6/24/2013 07:01 AM

I know the kids suffer greatly also. It is such a shame that some waywards think that what they do does not affect their children, their spouses,friends,parents,siblings, etc. It puts a major break in the marriage that is almost impossible to ever get over. Really???? For what..a dirty little secret that is usually not worth the effort in the first place and someone they probably would have never dated IRL. It's just so sad that someone can lower themselves that much and hurt the ones they are supposed to love.

LA44 posted 6/24/2013 07:21 AM

I would never dream of telling my boys. They are 8 and 6 and would have not a sweet clue as to how to navigate their way through this very grown up matter no matter how much explaining went into it.

Of course, if we parted, then they would find out later, why we parted. But initially no. I would not tell them. I would do everything in my power to make them feel loved and safe. That's what kids want and need at any age.


cancuncrushed posted 6/24/2013 08:35 AM

This weighs heavy on me. I personally started therapy for my children. They too saw me crumble. My daughter was 20. I thought she could handle it, but it really really upset her. ANd my son was in highschool and still home, so he saw and heard alot. I thought a boy would be different. He still says today, we destroyed his happy family life. The truth was it wasnt so happy. We were having problems in our marriage due to excessive work travel and alcohol (his dad) and I just tried to hide it from them. For along time. Then it exploded. My son had a terrible break up with a long term girl this weekend. And my daughters marriage is not one I could tolerate. I worry what we may have taught them. I feel I did all I could, but it effects us all. Instead of being the one to act out and cause the trouble, both my kids tend to accept things and try to fix relationships. So,,,I feel guilty.

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 8:37 AM, June 24th (Monday)]

Tred posted 6/24/2013 08:41 AM

I wish every person who even thinks about an affair would be able to read about it through my child's eyes.

So true...but the sad part is they all think their affair is "different" or "special". No one will ever find out, or they deserve it because it makes them feel so good. They just don't consider the damage.

sudra posted 6/24/2013 08:48 AM

This is so true. My father's infidelity cost me in ways I still don't recognize sometimes. For sure, my inability to trust is rooted in it.

So sorry for you kids. My husband's affair has cost our son, I know, even though he won't talk about it. That in itself says something.

solus sto posted 6/24/2013 08:50 AM

((((Flatlined))) The cost to kids is astronomical.

twodoves posted 6/24/2013 09:26 AM

WH's parents never told him and his sister, yet he still ended up a cheater and she married a cheater.

WH's dad cheated when WH was the same age as our daughter.

You may think you are hiding it from your children, but they will know something is wrong, or different.

It's better to be open and honest with your children when they are old enough to understand.

WH's parents deeply regret not being honest with WH. They thought they were protecting him. Now they wonder if they told him the truth, and spoke with him honestly about the consequences for both of them, if that would have prevented him from cheating.

I want my girls to know the truth because i don't want them to fall into the same trap.

LA44 posted 6/24/2013 16:24 PM

My H's dad told him the truth when he was approx. 23. He found his dad's behavior repulsive/promised it wouldn't be our story.

Guess what? It's not the SAME story.... but he did cheat.

We are determined to break the cycle for our boys. "When you know better, you do better" (Maya Angelou?). If that means telling them when they are older, it could helpBut even now we drill home how CRITICAL it is to talk about what is troubling them.

That is why I think it is so great your daughter wrote that paper FL123. She's talking about what hurts.

[This message edited by LA44 at 4:25 PM, June 24th (Monday)]

confused615 posted 6/24/2013 16:30 PM

I think what you tell your children is a very personal decision, and what works for one family,may be totally wrong for another.

My two youngest kids don't know WH cheated. But they know something happened. I am not the same mommy I was before. What WH did has changed me. And they have seen me sad,not outright crying,but they know their mom and they know Im sad. We told them daddy broke a promise to mommy and it has made me sad and angry,and daddy is very sorry and was wrong. That's really all they needed to be told,at this point. But kids aren't stupid. They sense when parents are sad or things just aren't "right." I felt it was important to tell them something,rather than pretend everything was ok. They would know that was a lie,and I won't lie to my kids.

DD19 knows. It has changed how she feels about WH. When he is home,she tries not to be. He is sorry,but he can't change what he did,and she is so disappointed in him.

crazyblindsided posted 6/24/2013 16:48 PM

I wish my kids didn't know. I was not able to control my emotions on DDay or the additional DDays. They heard most of what was said. My DD had intercepted texts between them when WH would let her play on his phone.

They know daddy cheated and that daddy had a girlfriend. They also know mommy has been in the hospital 2 times and have seen me a sobbing mess more times than I can count. I have failed at shielding this from them, but hope that I can become stronger and help them through it.

My DS is having potty accidents once again since our latest fight over MOW contacting me.

My kids never deserved any of this.

LA44 posted 6/24/2013 20:10 PM


I told my boys - who saw that I was sad - that someone hurt mommy's feelings very much but that I was going to be okay.

You would think this would have changed me for the worse. But it hasn't. I am determined to learn something from this. I also hope it makes me a better mom.

I do admit to being short of patience with them and me and H already talked that I will need some "time" this summer when I hit overdrive. We will try to even prevent that from happening, actually.

Good luck to all of you.

Wonderingwhy11 posted 6/24/2013 20:45 PM

We didn't tell our kids but I suspect they have heard us talk. They haven't said anything and we try not to talk about the A when they are home but sometimes my anger was not so good.

I think our kids suffered in other ways. Their father detached from them as well. He missed school and family events because of the A. When I ask WH how he could do this to them and he gets upset. He knows he abandoned them as well.

He has been better with them. Goes to their events. Takes them to practice and starting to do things with them. He is being a better father.

I just wish it didn't take having the A and me finding out about it for him to realize the damage he was doing to our family.

RidingHealingRd posted 6/24/2013 22:06 PM

Knowing the pain my WH A caused my older children, especially my 21 yr old son, can easily bring me to tears.

My WH works daily to repair the damage and I have seen a huge improvement over the past 2+ years. Sadly, my son commented that although his Dad has been working to become a better person he is "still an asshole"

I do not believe my children will ever get to a point where they adore their Dad...those days are gone forever.

It kills my WH ~ He should have thought about this before betraying them.

sunshine226 posted 6/24/2013 22:35 PM

WH has destroyed his relationship with our kids. DS is an adult and doesnt live at home, has seen his dad once since DD (1-1-12) They have no contact with each other. DS is a new dad now too and WH was here that night and I told him to text DS and congratulate him but he didnt

DD was daddy's girl and still lives at home, she suspected months before I did, and saw the fallout when I found out and kicked WH out. He spent the next 14 months going back and forth between me and OW, saying all the right things to keep me hanging on. But 3 months ago I had enough

It was taking its tole on my relationship with dd, she didnt want him here and i didnt want him here either, not if he didnt plan on staying and every time he was here, OW would call the house. It just got to be too much to deal with

And WH has let DD down so many times during this whole nightmare, she finally told him off 2 weeks ago and then 2 nights after that she told OW off and told her exactly what she thought of her

None of us deserved what WH has done. OW has a 10 yr old son who if WH actually does what he tells me he is going to do will also be devestated by all of this. All because of the actions of 2 very selfish adults

Ostrich80 posted 6/25/2013 02:18 AM

My kids have paid a very high price. Both my girls have been to therapy. They watched their father who used to drive us to church, chaperone camp, and help them learn their bible versus, turn into satan himself. He was vile and mean to their mother and short tempered with them. He developed a horrible potty mouth and

and contradicted everything they had been taught.
Because my youngest had him as her coach, she had a bird's eye view to the onset of the A. Ow had daughters that were in the same league. DD got screamed at for telling me ow made dad a birthday cake and was told to sit in the car and wait while he chatted it up with ow. It took her about 3yrs to piece together what she witnessed. She now has a tremendous amount of anger towards him. He was mean as hell and chewed on my ass daily for the smallest of things. 3 of my kids have had anxiety and depression at some time in the past 7 yrs.

It broke my heart when DD was asked to write a bio of her life. She said mom I'm trying to think of happy times but I can't think of any. I realized since she is the youngest, she has little recollection of her father pre A. I carry a lot of guilt for what my kids have been through.

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