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Scubachick posted 10/23/2013 02:20 AM

My 16 year old son and husband got into an argument tonight. I wasn't home but my husband was texting me updates. It was actually a misunderstanding on my husband's part but it could have been avoided if my son would have charged his phone. During the argument my son says " I saw your little whore at the gas station today". I still can't believe he said it. He's never taken sides through out all of this. And It's so unlike him to be disrespectful. My husband said it hurt really bad to hear his son say that and he had to walk away because he started to cry. He devastated that his son see's him in that light.
My son was completely out of line and I took away his truck and phone for it. I had a long talk with him and he said he lost control and would apologize.
I feel bad for my husband because I can see how much it hurt him. I tried to tell him that our son was just angry and acting out. I also feel bad for my son. It sucks that this has affected the way he looks at his dad. They had a strained relationship anyway because my husband is a workaholic and doesn't get the time or attention he deserves from his dad. Although my husband has made some changes and is now making an effort to spend more time with him.
I'm also worried that maybe all of this bothers my son more than he was admitting to. Any suggestions on how to handle this?

catlover50 posted 10/23/2013 04:50 AM

That's a tough one. But it seems to me that this is another one of the consequences of your H's behavior. It's right that your son should be disappointed in him. He should still behave respectfully, but I would likely not be too harsh with him. He's hurting too.

I offered both of our kids IC after they (accidentally) found out about my H's CSA. I know it has affected them (they think their dad had an EA only). They said no, but have had a long talk with their dad.

I would suggest that your son and H sit down and talk together. It could mean a lot if your H could own his poor choices and your son may learn some valuable life lessons.

Best of luck.

crossroads2010 posted 10/23/2013 05:01 AM

My youngest was 17 and oldest in 20's when we were going through the A and dday....they never found out least not is hard to believe they don't know anything. So I can't speak from personal experience, but I have raised teenagers and I work with them. I think kids his age are really devastated when this happens especially if their view of your marriage and mom and dad is a good one. The message that he has gotten throughout his life is that thiskind of betrayal is wrong and he knows it hurt you and he probably held tese feeling inside. He may need counseling to help deal with feelings he is suppressing...I understand he needs to be taught to respect grown-ups...parents included, but he may need to get his feelings out as well.

cantaccept posted 10/23/2013 05:08 AM

I have been remembering finding out about my father cheating on my mother. I found a birthday card in his car. I was 16.

It hurt me. I felt deceived, belittled. It is a bit fuzzy because I never spoke about it then. That is just my memory of how I felt.

I would say get him some help to deal with this if he is willing. At the least talk openly about it. I remember that I knew a lot more about what was going on than my parents ever knew.

ItsaClimb posted 10/23/2013 05:20 AM

My daughters both know about my fWH's A. My eldest daughter hasn't been affected too much as she is married and lives in another city, but my younger daughter (18yo) has been around and seen rather a lot of emotion unfortunately.

We have both tried to be upfront with her and have discussed that it will take me 2 - 5 years to heal from this, talked to her about the roller-coaster etc, explained that her Dad acknowledges the severity of what he did, that he is working on his issues, she knows about our IC and MC and we will often share with her things we have learnt etc.

I think that keeping her in the loop, explaining to her, answering questions etc has helped her feel more secure. She knows that she really knows what is going on.

That being said, her opinion of her father has definitely been affected by all of this. A little while ago she said something cheeky to me and her Dad said something along the lines of "Hey, I don't like the way you spoke to your mother, that was disrespectful" Well, she swung around and said "How can you tell me I'm being disrespectful to mom after the way you disrespected her?!" Wow, I saw my fWH crumble right before my eyes.

The thing is, it is a natural consequence of what he did. He DID disrespect me and frankly it is a bit hypocritical of him to tell her not to disrespect me. I see where she is coming from... BUT it doesn't make her tone of voice and attitude right. I spoke to her and said that while I fully understand why she felt the way she did and acknowledge that there is some truth in what she said, she could have worded it better and perhaps rather raised it when she wasn't angry. I also pointed out that her Dad had seen the error of his ways and was working very hard not to be that disrespectful adulterer ever again and we have to respect that.

It's such a difficult situation! My only advice really is to be completely honest (after infidelity, IMHO there is no room for dishonesty and lying by omission in my family EVER again about ANYTHING! We are all 100% honest AT ALL TIMES from here on out!! I feel so, so strongly about that) to be understanding, to communicate to invite questions, to talk about it all...

ItsaClimb posted 10/23/2013 05:25 AM

Just wanted to add, that in some ways I think it is really good for my daughter to understand all of this stuff. She has been in a steady relationship with her boy-friend for 2.5 years. They came to me the other day and said that they were putting into practice in their relationship something they picked up from one of fWH and my MC sessions. (I had told my daughter about it and she had discussed it with her bf ) They had a long chat with me about it and said they were so glad they now knew to watch out for that in their relationship. Wow! I was so delighted that some positive could come out of this horrible situation.

painfulpast posted 10/23/2013 06:13 AM

Scubachick, gently, I don't see it as your responsibility to defend your husband and his A to your son. If your husband feels badly that your son said that, then he should discuss it with your son. Your H is the one that brought these feelings about, and he should face them head on, not hide and let you do the heavy lifting.

Your son may see this as you sticking by your H regardless of what he did. Was your son wrong to be disrespectful? Yes. Is it your responsibility to fix it? No. Your son is hurt by the actions of his father. Walking away because it upset him and then letting you deal with it is him not being responsible for his actions, and he needs to be. He should understand and deal with all that he hurt with his actions, not just you.

I"m sorry your son is hurting, and I'm sure that all of this brings up painful memories for you. I hope things get better soon.

Kelany posted 10/23/2013 06:23 AM

I Dk not think you should punish your son for this. He is hurting, deeply.

Has your husband ever apologized to your son fir betraying him??? His affair affected the whole family, obviously. He needs to sit down and begin to repair his relationship with his son too.

redrock posted 10/23/2013 06:38 AM

My husband said it hurt really bad to hear his son say that and he had to walk away because he started to cry. He devastated that his son see's him in that light

They had a strained relationship anyway because my husband is a workaholic and doesn't get the time or attention he deserves from his dad.

None of this is easy.
Teenagers, really any kid, are not above hitting below the belt in arguments. Yet another thing we have to teach/model for them.

Has your H ever had a conversation about the A with your son? If he took time away from your son(and it doesn't sound like son gets much time in the first place) and gave it to the OW that is a wound and one that he probably thinks about/feels.

I get that your WHs first reaction would be hurt and shame. But what now? He has had time to think about it. You son has every reason to feel disappointment and anger. Not just the A, but the lack of a fathers involvement in his life.

IMO punishment for the disrespect should be tempered with some understanding and empathy for his son who was a secondary victim of his affair. And if that was never addressed in the past it should be now. And if it has, it might be time to do it again.

I am sorry that you are stuck in the middle. Such a lousy place to be. I hope that they find a way to have a conversation about it.

sisoon posted 10/23/2013 11:23 AM

I think this is a great learning opportunity for your H and your son. They need to talk about this. If/since they can't do it on their own, do you have an MC or IC? Can s/he supervise the discussion? If no C, how about a pastoral counselor?

A few good discussions now could be absolutely great for your son (says a person who needed some discussions with his parents when he was 16, but never had them).

blakesteele posted 10/23/2013 11:52 AM


My heart hurts for you. Our daughters are 6 & 9....don't know about my wife's affair, we live in a small town, her fAP has 5 kids and is on to another woman, and I did approach him on his front porch late one night and his two oldest kids were on the inside near the picture window so I feel the odds are good that our daughters will find this out from sources outside of my wife and I. Selfishly I wish her fAP would calm the fuck down! He has boys, I fear he will have one too many AP's and it will cross a threshold of tolerance and one of them will lash out...either at my wife while with our girls or directly at my girls calling their mom the name your son chose. But, I have no control over that and try not to worry on that.....but I don't want to add insult to injury either.

Our daughters do see the struggle her A has brought into our M. We have engaged them "generically" with "mom and dad are working on tough problems, but we love each other and love them." We then ask if they have questions.

We both feel that this will be shared with them mor as they age.

Our counselor is on board with this approach.

Getting to your post.....actions have consequences. It hurts to hear your son use the term whore to describe his AP but, gently, this is not much of a departure of the definition. I do see your point that children should respect their parents....but parents have a role in that too.

I am concerned that the interaction you described could leave him feeling uncared for, feel self doubt, and have the added risk of spawning coping mechanisms that will affect him for life. This is where I believe WS's completely miss the mark.....when they admittedly say "yes, I cheated on you....but I would never cheat or hurt my kids!".

My dads A hurt me, my wife's A hurt our girls, your husbands A is hurting your son.

Now....what do we do with this pain that our spouses A has inflicted on our kids? I submit we do exactly what others have suggested....we help those immature minds grow and mature. A part of this is not minimizing a child's pain when they express it. If we do that we stand no chance of helping them process through "hidden pain", the pain they are hiding from us....the pain they learn to ignore out of necessity via FOO issues.

Try talking with your husband.....let him lead with his thoughts. Your son is in tremendous amounts of pain and confusion. What I wouldn't have given for an adult to step in when I was 12 and did with me what I am GUESSING are some things that COULD help. I was just so I'll equipped to handle this as a boy that when no adult recognized my pain I falsely assumed there was nothing to work through. The fact that your son has has this angry outburst tells me he knows there is something wrong but can't deal with it on his he is getting the attention of adults in his life.

It tears at my heart to imagine myself in your position...having to witness the pain I feel appear and be expressed from a young child.

I am praying a specific prayer for all of you.

God be with you all.

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 12:00 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]

Scubachick posted 10/23/2013 12:05 PM

I gave my son his keys and phone back this morning. I also told him he had every right to be angry at his dad. I only ask that he try to express it differently next time because it's easy for the message to get overshadowed by the delivery and his feelings are important and need to be heard.

My counselor agreed with most of you that he should not be punished. That he needed to get it out. That it should push my husband to change. If it bothers my husband that our son see's him like that then it should encourage my husband to communicate with him about it. Thank you all for the support and great advice!

blakesteele posted 10/23/2013 12:38 PM

Wonderful follow up post this respect of him while incorporating he do the same in return in a constructive manner.

ItsaClimb posted 10/24/2013 02:21 AM

So glad you are dealing with this in such a positive way Scubachick.

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/24/2013 02:47 AM

Well done
I have a 15 year old son. I don't think he knows about the A but he might have heard something. Either way the A and the years of disconnect before and the fallout after have had such an impact on him
This is tough - you're doing great

Marathonwaseasy posted 10/24/2013 02:47 AM

Well done
I have a 15 year old son. I don't think he knows about the A but he might have heard something. Either way the A and the years of disconnect before and the fallout after have had such an impact on him
This is tough - you're doing great

sosorry5454rl posted 10/24/2013 17:50 PM

I definitely agree that he should have an open discussion with your son about this.

toughernow posted 10/24/2013 20:41 PM


You have been given so much wise advice here, I am almost reluctant to add my two cents.

When our 16 year old son found out about his fathers A he was hurt. He mostly avoided him ( no talking to him, or spending time with him, or engaging him at all).
My fWH was standing in the middle of the storm he had created. At one point our son wrote him a letter telling him exactly what he thought and felt about the situation. It was HARSH! But, it allowed him to get a weight off of his chest. WH had always been the "Father Knows Best" type of parent. He exercised a great deal of control over all of us. He held himself up as an example of what a man should be, and he revelled in the admiration that naturally came his way. After years of criticism from his father, combined with the reality that for at least a period of time in his life his father was not who he pretended to be, our son just lost it. It has been over a year since I invited him back home to try to reconcile, and our son is just now starting to "come around" to considering
resuming his relationship with his dad.

Bottom line! He was hurt too. His illusions about his father were shattered. The one person who was supposed to guide him toward manhood, and help him to develop the very best traits that are associated with manhood was revealed as a fraud.
fWH is trying really hard to win back our sons respect but it is not coming easy.
I feel for you because as a BS we are dealing with so many emotions of our own as we navigate our way through this, and to see two people we care about so disconnected it can be hard.

Maybe your sons comment was a "one off". Perhaps it is out of his system, or if it is just the tip of the iceberg and he has more to say (vent) either way it could not hurt for fWH to try to come clean and just talk with your son.

[This message edited by toughernow at 8:55 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]

jjsr posted 10/24/2013 20:52 PM

I agree. He is 16 and knows what has happened. He is entitled to his feelings on this. I wouldn't punish him. He does need to be respectful to his dad because he is his dad, but if I were you I would encourage your husband and son to have a conversation, where your son gets to voice his opinion on this to your husband. I think the kid has a right. It affects his life too.

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