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thecaves posted 10/21/2013 11:07 AM

I find myself wanting to tell my children about the horrible pain that I brought to my BW. I feel like I need to give every possible life lesson I can to my kids and even to my son-in-law, including the truth about how infidelity can destroy your life and family. Of course my boys are too young for this right now so I know it's not appropriate for them but for my newlywed daughter and son-in-law I want to give them all the tools possible to succeed in their relationship together. Has anyone here told their adult children as a way of giving marriage advice? Am I even qualified to give such advice? It would be like advice on how to use a saw from the guy who cut off his own fingers.

SandAway posted 10/21/2013 12:38 PM

Maybe give them a copy of 'Not Just Friends' with a note saying how important it is to understand boundaries in a relationship. Or write nothing and say you heard its a great book for all couples. Which is true

Williesmom posted 10/21/2013 12:54 PM

I wouldn't bother, if I were you.

My Wxh saw what my father's infidelity did to me, and he did it anyway, because our situation was so much different - you know, they were soulmates and all that bullshit.

Your fatal flaw is that you're assuming that the people contemplating the affair are thinking rationally.

Let's flip this over. If, 20 years ago, your FIL had told you what happened with his infidelity, you'd have thought "the old man is off his rocker".

My advice to you: live it - be an example that they want to emulate.

OldCow18 posted 10/21/2013 14:15 PM

Your fatal flaw is that you're assuming that the people contemplating the affair are thinking rationally.

This. The thing is, it's no secret that affairs destroy lives, but people keep choosing to have them anyway. Nothing else matters to the W at the time they make that choice, otherwise they wouldn't do it, right?

I think your intentions are good, but I don't think it will do anything to affair proof your daughter's marriage.

TrulySad posted 10/21/2013 14:23 PM

No matter what, we are always our children's parents first. I'm mom to five children. Three of them are adults. I've essentially been a single parent to them for seven years now, and as a BW, and now BGF, I feel strongly that they can learn from what I've gone through.

My older three are ages 24, 21, and almost 18. When it comes to this generation, most have a warped view of what's right in a relationship. I discovered this when I entered into a LTR with a much younger man. He made some serious mistakes in the beginning, but looking at his friends, and talking with my adult children, his actions and views were common amongst this younger generation. Age isn't an excuse, but when they aren't being taught different by us parents, and their friends all treat commitments as something that's only when you're by your partners side, how will they learn any different.

So with knowing this, I think without a doubt, you should talk with them. I'd talk with your W first, and maybe take your daughter and SIL out to dinner as a team. At some point bring up how much you want them to be happy, and succeed. Maybe give them the book "Not Just Friends" as a gift. Tell them how you've made mistakes (without intimate details), show emotion, let them know that your spouse is number 1 ALWAYS. And talk with them about what it means to be friends of the marriage.

I know kids will roll their eyes, maybe even think we are crazy... but somewhere in their head, they will hear you. Who knows, maybe they will love you even more for it.

Three things may come of it:

You may end up giving them enough insight to prevent something harmful.

You did your job as a parent. You will never have to sit back and knock yourself for not discussing it.

And you opened up the door, in case they ever enter down this horrid road, to be a person they can confide and come to for help.

Thank you for being a parent who wants to stomp this before it continues.

cantaccept posted 10/21/2013 14:43 PM

I have spoken in depth with my middle son, age 28, about this.

Unfortunately, because back in March of this year he heard, "I love but I'm not in love with you" from his f.

She left him abruptly and he was devastated. It has been like listening to myself talk.

It seems that I am much better at giving advice than taking it from myself. We laugh about this. Who would have thought bonding through infidelity.

The one positive is that I really could understand every thing he was feeling and say to him the things that helped me. I could really understand in such a real way that if I were not going through similar pain I would not have had a clue.

In some ways it is harder to really know the pain he is suffering. I wish I could take it away, after all, he is still my baby.

It has opened communication in such a deep way between us. We talk about everything and I am continually surprise about the ability for us to talk about so many uncomfortable subjects. He often says to me now, "I can't believe I'm telling this to my mother!".

I ache for him but I do see such growth from this. I guess pain is a great motivator. He is very much like me in his desire to please and I see him making discoveries about himself at this point that I sure wish I had at that age.

I don't think he would have heard me thought until he experienced this himself.

My other two sons, 23 and 30 have a very narrow view of events and want to avoid conversations about anything painful at all costs.

You can try. I don't think it hurts to speak honestly of your life experience. It just doesn't mean anyone will listen.

thecaves posted 10/21/2013 15:38 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. It looks like opinions are mixed and I simply need for completely form my own (of course, along with my BW).

I think one thing I am trying to do better in general is to truly lead by example. It's simply the way I should be living my life anyway but taking the extra time to explain why I do the things I do now I'm hoping will have a lasting effect on my children.

As for my adult daughter and her husband, I'm not sure giving them Not Just Friends is any different than simply telling them directly about infidelity and why I act differently now compared to a year ago. I do think they need some good reading material about life long relationships. Hopefully what TrulySad said about the Y generation and their attitudes towards relationships can be changed. That "what they don't know won't hurt them" is simply a destructive way to have a relationship no matter how you look at it.

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