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)]