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LA44 posted 7/12/2013 17:37 PM

Hey everyone. I am in need this week. Very anxious being "home" where the A took place right under my nose and where some family members know and some don't.

As some of you know, me, H and our kids are staying with our parents. My sister (4o's) lives here as well (too long to write) and raised her daughter here. My niece whom I will call, N is 17.5. She found out about the A via eavesdropping but I am certain my sister told her.

My sister has left for her bf's cottage. My N refuses to speak to my H. This man whom she idolized hurt me and her. She also feels betrayed. I get that. At this point I am told through my sister that N is "totally fine" with her decision to cut him out of her life and is no longer bothered by what he is done. In my sister's words, "she is not carrying shit on her shoulders about this." ???

Okay. She arrives tomorrow for 24 hours. She wants to see our two young boys but I got a note from my sister saying that, N will NOT be talking to Mr. LA nor does she want me to speak to her about anything related to this.

I am not sure what the hell we are supposed to do tomorrow in order to deal with her visit. Keep in mind that my parents do NOT know. But when they see that N is not speaking to Mr. LA, they will of course ask what is up. My sister said, "if they ask me why N is not speaking to Mr. LA, I will tell them to talk to you!" Passive-aggressive much?

Do we all leave on a day outing? Do we stick around and my H makes himself invisible? I mean...what the hell?

He would like nothing more then to speak with her as would I but again, my sister has asked not too bc it is too "stressful" for N to talk about this right before she goes back up to her summer camp job.

Please don't wallop me with, "this is really hard on all family members and your H needs to know that!" We get that. No one moreso than I. I am not asking my N to change her mind or forgive my H. I just want to have a few moments with her.

My sister responds with, "well, there is not a lot I can do!"

SisterMilkshake posted 7/12/2013 17:49 PM

On the one hand, I totally understand where N is coming from. I actually kind of respect her for taking a tough stand. Throw in being 17.5 and, of course, they know everything. (t/j I just told my DS17 that he should move out right now because he knows everything and thinks he has the world by its tail. There really is no other age that I have found that is so sure that they know it all!)

However, she is making everything very awkward. She is 17.5, she doesn't get to make the rules for you. Personally, I would leave for the day. You are a family (meaning you, your H, and children) and you need to act as one. She is causing a division between your unit and that is not right. Yes, we all know this is a consequence of your H's actions, but there comes a time when your family unit is more important than a "consequence". If N doesn't want to speak to your H, she needs to understand that she maybe losing all of you. What she doesn't understand is how hurtful this is to you and how much more pain this could and would cause you.

eta: She should be supportive of you and your choices. Doesn't mean she has to be all over your H, but she should be able to be polite to him.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 5:57 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

sri624 posted 7/12/2013 17:58 PM

these things can be tricky cant they? i see where you are coming from...i do.

you know what i would do? i would look at it like this....this is none of your 17 year old neices business...period. this is between you and your h. and since you have decided to take him back...then everyone else needs to get in line...and you support your h. this is your family...and that boundary needs to be clear.

i wouldnt even spend any time talking to a 17 year old about my marital matter what she heard. you have already addressed that with her. your husband should not have to discuss anything with a 17 year old kid. and if she has an attitude and wants to be immature by ignoring your h..then that is on her...not you or your husband. her mother needs to check her on her behavior.

i would keep it as simple as that...and all of you go on the family outing. this is none of your nieces business, and i wouldnt say a word about it to her.

if your parents find out about it because word gets out because of the niece, then so be it. you cant control everything, you know?

let it go...and enjoy the time with your h and family.

this is grown folks business between you and your remorseful h who you took back, and has nothing to do with your 17 year old niece.

be nice to her...and have your husband be polite to her, but that is it.

just my opinion.

if one of my 17 yo familly members who know about my sitch wanted to talk to me about my business like that...i would tell them to go sit down someplace....and they better speak to my h if he speaks to them.

[This message edited by sri624 at 5:59 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

mysticpenguin posted 7/12/2013 18:51 PM

Can you take the 17.5 Y/O niece, yourself, your H, and your little ones on an outing away from your parents? Knowing what I know of 17 year old girls, I think that's probably your only safe bet in terms of getting out of this trip without news reaching your parents.

Of course word could and may get out anyway and you can't control that. You can only control yourself. (Maybe that should be your mantra tomorrow!)

Duffy1958 posted 7/12/2013 18:54 PM

I think all have to accept her response & answer. No question. The end. No comunicado. No one should try to influence her either.

She evidently has deep feelings about the betrayal. Betrayal is all about "no boundaries". She has ask for boundaries & nothing outside of respecting her boundaries is

Obviously I am of the minority. I don't think it is letting teenager run show.

The teen shouldn't be involved but it's too late.

I don't want to argue but I disagree with the majority.

[This message edited by Duffy1958 at 7:55 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

standingonmarble posted 7/12/2013 19:38 PM

Wow, really supportive sister and niece you have. (said sarcastically)

If you sister thinks that her daughter is old enough to know about YOUR A,(not yours but your marriage drama) then she is old enough to sit down with and have explained to her that this is your choice to work things out with your husband, that you hope she can support you and him while you put things back together, that you appreciate her support but it really is NONE of her business. She can go back to worrying about teen things. She also needs to know that you won't tolerate any out right disrespect towards your husband but understand that she won't be chummy with him for the time being. Any interference from her that would undermine the work you are trying to do will force you to rethink the time you spend with her.

Do not let this teenager tell you how you are going to behave. That is just plain ridiculous. R is all about putting new boundaries in place that protect the marriage. If you need to rethink the boundaries with extended family, so be it. It is all a part of the process. If your sister doesn't like, tough, she should have kept her mouth shut when N was around.

[This message edited by standingonmarble at 7:40 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

Knowing posted 7/12/2013 19:56 PM

I think the biggest problem here is that your parents don't know. Keeping your WH's infidelity a secret is what's causing this problem. If they were in the loop, all the adults could deal with the 17yo-with-attitude together, but since that isn't the case, and you are in damage control mode, the only other solution is for the 4 of you to leave for the day and leave your 17 yo to visit with your parents.

She's trying to pull a power trip on you and finding you not there will clearly set a boundary around you and your intact family. She needs to be taught she cannot drive a wedge between other people no matter how strong her opinions. It's a shame all 4 adults can't deal with her head-on, but since 2 of you are completely in the dark that wont happen until that changes.

[This message edited by Knowing at 9:08 PM, July 12th, 2013 (Friday)]

blakesteele posted 7/12/2013 20:47 PM


Secrets and avoidance are troublesome to me. I say this as I wrestle with an apparent truth within me that I am not wanting to face just yet...our counselor is pressing me to lean into the pain harder...I suspect I have a lie within myself I need to face...I am working on that.

Now...back to your post.

KNOWING speaks some good truth here. Just like our spouses A lost its power when the light (other people knowing) was put onto too will this issue lose its power once your parents know.

And just like the affairs we are dealing with...exposing it did not make it disappear..but it did put it the correct context. They are no longer the magical romance our spouses thought they were...they are also no longer the huge demon we thought they were. (don't beat me up on that last statement...just trying to say that the truth was less traumatic then the lies hiding the same truths).

It seems that you all are in close quarters...any chance you can find a place of your own?

We live in a small town...for the 9 months after DD my wifes A with a prominent businessman stayed is now floating around town lightly...not everywhere, but no longer hidden. It has us considering sharing in age appropriate ways with our two elementary aged daughters...trying to figure out how to show them that in our family there are no secrets and that it is safe to share tough things...have not figured out exactly what that looks like...but I am leaning towards making this move. God be with me when we do....

Point is...unless you can move out soon I think your best option is to intelligently and gently invite your parents into your reality. I don't know your parents...but the fact that they are allowing you to live in their home tells me they are very supportive folks. Trust them to be there for all of you.

NOTE: The way my wife and I operated within our marriage pre-A was not always healthy. We let small things, small needs, small annoyances go for the sake of love. We thought that was the right thing to do. Now I realize this was the opposite thing to do. Had we voiced in polite, non-demanding ways what our radically honest feeling were it would expose problems when they are small. By exposing them it gives the other spouse the opportunity to help in the solution finding that takes place after the problem is stated....this fact alone would BUILD true intimacy...and if the other actually finds the solution to your problem and is a willing partner to implement this solution...intimacy will explode! What better feeling then to admit to a weakness to a loved one and having them love you enough to find a way to support you in the area that you feel weak in....choosing to be supportive and NOT condemning and judgemental! know me by now. I talk a lot! Especially when I feel anxious...I feel anxious for you. You are a good person...I believe your husband is a good person. If I see it...surely your parents will too.
You got this. Hang in there. You are being specifically prayed for tonight.

My God be with and guide you and your family through this tough trial.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:57 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

GabyBaby posted 7/12/2013 20:54 PM

i wouldnt even spend any time talking to a 17 year old about my marital business

If you're worried about how everyone will react when they see how N is behaving around your WH, don't. Most likely it'll be chalked up to teenage angst. If not, the A may come out to your parents...and if that happens, at least that's one less stressor/burden to carry in relation to the A.

SisterMilkshake posted 7/12/2013 21:13 PM

LA44 I don't agree with telling your parents if you don't want to. I know it would forever change how my parents felt about my FWH and they are quite elderly and fragile and don't need this pain in their lives.

Sometimes children find out, and it has to be dealt with. Sometimes BS' tell all their family, friends and their WS's family, too. If that is what they need to do, fine, but that is not what every BS needs or wants to do. That is nothing to be ashamed of and no you are not "protecting" your WS or cleaning up their mess. It isn't always so black and white and BS's have a right to make what they feel is the right choice for them and be supported in their choice.

I don't feel like LA44 needs to be made to feel guilty because she wants to keep her H's infidelity and their personal marital issues private, not secret.

blakesteele posted 7/12/2013 21:25 PM

Well stated sistermilkshake. LA44...making you feel guilty or pressured was sincerely not my intention.

Part of my issue is that my wife was making decisions as to what I could and could not handle and what I did and did not need to know.

I suspect that internal trigger inside me bled through on my post to you. I am sorry for that...was a bit selfish of me (to not try and remove my personal struggles from my attempt at supporting you).

I am still praying for at least that part of my post will help you.

Thanks again sistermilkshake. (((LA44)))

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:26 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 7/12/2013 21:32 PM

You are an amazing man, blakesteele. You have wonderful insight and your caring attitude comes through in every single one of your posts. I think you had great stuff in your post.

eta: also, this may make a difference. LA44 is just on vacation and staying with her family for a few weeks, they don't actually live with them. I feel it would be probably close to impossible to keep the infidelity a secret from your parents if you lived with them and probably best to tell up front in that situation!

ItsaClimb posted 7/13/2013 01:33 AM

It's a difficult situation. I lean towards what Knowing and Blakesteele originally said.... IMHO it would help if your parents knew the truth. In my experience keeping secrets always leads to complication, stress, distrust, hurt feelings etc etc. I firmly believe in that old adage: "the truth will set you free"

As I said, that's MY opinion - you know your circumstances and what works in your situation may be different from what works in mine.

blakesteele posted 7/13/2013 06:24 AM

Just a visit on vacation does change the situation in my mind.

My parents are divorced. My Mom knows about my wifes Dad does not.

So within my situation...individual relationship interactions have dictated who the A is revealed to and who it isn't.

Just wanted to clarify.

The truth does have unbelievable freeing power.

This is a great site...I appreciate all the interactions.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:25 AM, July 13th (Saturday)]

standingonmarble posted 7/13/2013 09:36 AM

My parents and inlaws don't know and we don't want them to know. It would cause too much drama and its just not worth it. This is our problem and we have been able to get past it without it hanging over our heads, especially when we get together for family events. LA44, we are all adults, and if you want to keep your marriage private, you do that. IF you think you might be exposed by a disgruntled teen then you need to set her straight, if you are still worried after the talk, then tell your parents the basics and tell them you have it under control.

We are 5 years out from A, almost 3 from DDay. We have been able to do this because we kept the family out of it and came back together without pressure from anyone.

LA44 posted 7/13/2013 15:47 PM

Once again you have come through for me during this stressful time and I really appreciate it. I must say an extra thanks to BlakeSteele and SMS tho. Blake, the cyber hug was much needed and when you wrote about me being in your prayers it brought a lump to my throat. Thank you! You are a good man. SMS, even though I did not feel any push or sense of guilt when Blake suggested telling my parents, you had my back and I appreciated that. Thank you, woman!

Ok. So on to biz. We need to stick together as a family and if that means leaving the house tomorrow for a Sunday park visit, so be it. Me and H are going out tonight for a much needed, dinner/movie so N can visit with our boys.

And while I do agree with Blake and Knowing that the A will lose its power once my parents know, telling them to coincide with my N’s visit is not the right time.

I have spoken about this with my C and she said, “even the most level-headed 17 year old is still 17. They see things in black and white and are just not capable of making an adult decision at this time.” Neither my N or her mom have taken any time to ask either one of us any questions about how my H is repairing the damage, what this has been like for me and how this additional stress has made things so much worse. I don’t respect that but moreso from my sister bc she is a 44 year old woman. If she could take the time to speak with my H and he has offered many times, she could then talk to our N and help with the healing. Their behavior is really another wound.

Perhaps in the future this will happen. But for now, we will lay low (not hide!) But she has to know sooner then later that this decision will impact her in the long run in terms of her relationship with me and our boys and that I WILL NOT be held responsible for that. I am not saying that I will cut her out of our lives – that would be terrible - but I will not have my boys watch their dad be disrespected, or worse – find out about the A bc she refuses to deal with this.

We have already been told that if we come home for Christmas, she will leave to stay at a friend's house.

I will give an update once she returns to camp.

Have a good night.

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