The sad clown grills my 5.5 and 3 year olds about everything. So much so my big girl has taken to making things up. When I ask her why she says because it makes him happy.
This is the hard part BB. The shards of glass in this shit sandwich. It is one of the things I still feel anger around.
Your kids will pick up on any bristling you do about XW or OM. Kids also have an amazing talent for blaming themselves for our negative feelings.
If XW is telling them to keep secrets there isn't a lot you can do except re-parent them when they are with you.
I wouldn't confront them. If your decree states he isn't to spend time with them then I'd be pursuing this legally.
I'd tell them your kids that you love them and will always be there for them. They have a rough road to navigate ahead.
I'd show them by being loving and supportive when they do inevitably start mentioning his his name.
If they are in IC the IC can really help with this - they can help you and them navigate this new territory.
I wish there was more I could *do*. For now, I'm just taking them to counseling, loving and supporting then, and trying not to feel like they betrayed me too..
I don't want DD around strangers, or "those people" , but her father is choosing to exercise his ...rights...about this.
And earing anything about OW/A is a massive trigger for me and I don't know where middle ground is here.
I just give her a small smile right now and offer her a cookie or put the tv on to distract her.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
[This message edited by coldshot at 9:26 PM, October 21st (Monday)]
During dinner, DS and I have a couple of permanent topics. The first is the best and worst part of his day. The second is what he hopes happens tomorrow. I also answer the questions about my days. My hope is that we are setting a pattern of setting aside time to share about our days and that DS learns that he is safe to share with me.
The last thing is that we read a lot of feeling word books. I want to be sure DS has a wide vocabulary can fully express how he is feeling, so if he is uncomfortable he can tell me. Appropriate touching is also an ongoing conversation.
Ok, here is what I told my children: they do not ever have to worry about what they do with Dad and OW because they are children! I told them they are not responsible for what dad does/does not do, and I genuinely want them to have fun with their Daddy. I told them, when OW is around, when they do things with Dad and OW, that they have no control over this, it's on Dad. I told my children THEY are not to feel guilty about their time with dad.
My counselor said I need to show them 2 distinct ways of living -- here, reality, kindness, honor, integrity, happiness, no drama, serenity, etc. The kids will see another way to live at the other house, and hopefully they will "model" me when they grow up.
She also said that I can talk to them when they are getting married about "don't ever do this this this in your marriage"..but, really the lifestyle I live will "show" them, I believe.
I do have friends that say spending time as a child with the both parents helped them to see who they did NOT want to be when they grew up. This was a big consulation to me.
Make sure they know they can tell you anything.
It hurts as you can't protect your babies when they aren't with you. You have to let go of this and realise that you can only do what you can do. It's on them (ex & AP) for the damage they do to our kids you can only love them.
Best thing I gained in my divorce - my freedom.
I don't ask questions but I did tell my daughter that I realize her dad has another life now and that it involves the OW. I explained that I knew all along that this would eventually happen and while it is painful I certainly don't expect her to feel any blame or obligation to keep secrets.
Honestly, she was keeping secrets and it was driving a wedge between us. I think she felt like she was making friends with the enemy and she began feeling awkward around me. I never said a word to her about it. I think she just felt it in her heart because she understands how cheating hurts. But to have a relationship with her dad she needs to accept this woman. It's very hard on kids.
I think you should talk to them in an age appropriate way about this. I believe honesty is ALWAYS the best policy!!!
I do leave the door open for my kids to talk about things. Sometimes I do admit I probe a bit to see what their weekends have been like. But for the most part I don't ask and they don't tell much. It was not always this way. A year ago in the beginning as I was trying to just recover from the intitial blow of the A I had a number of occassions I said things to the kids that probably would of been best not said. I would tell them her boyfriend is this or that. I was angry and the kids knew it and saw it. Not proud of it. But I know the type of guy he is and like many of us it is very difficult to know he is around my kids. All I can say is do your best to control your emotions. If your kids want to talk, let them talk. Certainly make sure they know that if something not right is going on, they should definitely be able to talk to you about it. Otherwise we are stuck just letting things run there course, whatever that is going to be. All we can do is concentrate on us and the time we do get with our kids. Good luck brother.
[This message edited by Dadtryingtocope at 6:58 AM, November 1st (Friday)]