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The kids know.

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tryingagain74 posted 7/23/2013 18:02 PM

We started talking about the divorce at dinner tonight, and one thing led to another... long story short, I refused to lie to the kids, and I told them that their father started "dating" their stepmother while we were married, and I didn't know.

DD (age 4 1/2) doesn't get it. DS #2 (age 6 1/2) seemed to understand, but he takes in big news calmly, thinks about it for a while, and then starts talking more about it later on. He isn't upset for now. DS #1 (age 9) was very sad, so he and I talked about it at length. I feel sad that they are now burdened with the knowledge of what their father did, but I felt like I would either have to lie to them or keep speaking in nebulous statements ("grown-up problems"), which really seemed to bother them. I think that it makes sense to them now, and they don't have to worry that it was somehow their fault (even though I've said repeatedly that they had nothing to do with it).

I'm sure I'll be posting another condescending email from XWH if the kids mention it to him, and I'm sure that he's going to be furious. I refuse to keep his secret any longer. He should have told them in an age-appropriate way when we first broke the news of the D to the kids, but he felt that damage control to his image was far more important than being honest and forthright with our children.

It is my hope that when the kids talk to him about this, he'll admit to what he did and tell the kids how sorry he is, but I'm sure that he'll instead become enraged with the kids and tell them that it was not my place to say anything (or maybe he'll even lie to them about what really happened).

Thanks for painting me into this corner, XWH. It's been really fun trying to paint you as the "good daddy" and then manage your ugly secret as best as I could for the past 21 months.

[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 6:03 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]

Phoenix1 posted 7/23/2013 18:22 PM

maybe he'll even lie to them about what really happened.

I'm willing to place a wager that this will be the outcome!

I say that because that is what my POS did to my DS, even though DS is an adult. DS's response? Does dad think I am a child and can't figure out that he is lying?

Kids figure out things much faster than we often give them credit for. Doesn't make the reality any easier for them to process though.

Like you, I had enough of covering for his lies and wasn't going to do it anymore. Your kids are still very young, and the youngest probably really don't understand the ramification of "dating," but they will in time and their little "a-ha" moments will come with that knowledge.

Telling my kids was one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had, but it was also a big relief when it was over.

Nature_Girl posted 7/23/2013 18:31 PM

Oh, man, I'm so sorry. What a painful discussion. FWIW, my money is on your XWH lying.

tryingagain74 posted 7/23/2013 18:50 PM

Yeah, it was awful. I was trying so hard to find the right words and making sure that I wasn't oversharing. I also worry about what the stepsiblings know/don't know. What they know really isn't up to me to decide, so I had to tell the kids that they needed to be careful about what they said. I hate that-- it's like I'm asking them to keep a secret, but what I fear is the fallout not only with the stepsiblings but also with my kids. I can see XWH being enraged with my kids if they revealed the truth behind the divorce to their stepsiblings.

I guess it's better that my kids know now rather than later... but it just sucks to be in this position no matter what.

Housefulloflove posted 7/23/2013 19:43 PM


That is an incredibly hard conversation. He probably will be angry and lie. I bet that comes a lot more naturally for him than the truth.

tesla posted 7/23/2013 21:15 PM

Ugh. I feel for's so hard to know how much information to give them. But the oldest probably does need the honesty from you.

So, we should be expecting the condescending email in about what, a week or so?

LadyQ posted 7/23/2013 21:19 PM

My middle child (16 yo) figured out why we divorced. I was fully prepared to tell my kids the truth if they ever asked. The oldest hasn't said anything, but my girl came to me and said she knew. She's very perceptive and I'm not at all surprised she figured it out first. My youngest is 7 so still pretty clueless. I can still tell her that her daddy made bad decisions I couldn't live with.

I doubt my middle dd will confront her dad, she still thinks he hung the moon. Although, she's finding more and more reasons to stay home on custody weekends.

I know it's a hard thing to discuss, but at least your kids know that you won't lie to them and they can rely on you.

tryingagain74 posted 7/23/2013 21:19 PM

Well, they have visitation with him tomorrow, so it could be sooner, tesla. I have never told my kids to keep anything from him, and I have always encouraged them to talk to him, but after he told our oldest that there weren't any "grown-up problems," I don't think that they have many heart-to-heart discussions with him anymore. As far as he's concerned, they need to be over the divorce and embracing their blended family. I'll never forget when XWH rolled his eyes at me after DDay when I brought up the A-- that's his attitude about the whole thing: what's done is done, and everyone needs to suck it up and stop bringing it up. Otherwise, we're raining on his parade.

Thank heavens I have the kids in counseling!

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