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Newest Member: JackJimJose (60742)

User Topic: What to tell kids about "Why"?
♀ 40115
Member # 40115
Default  Posted: 10:41 PM, November 6th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DS8 is the king of inappropriate questions. It is only a matter of time before he asks me 'why are you and daddy divorcing?' So much of the answer to that question is inappropriate for an 8 year old. I also have a DS11 and DD16 who will want to know as well. (my story in on my profile)

At this point DD16 knows that STBXH was 'unfaithful and inappropriate with other people'. This is because I had to ask her if STBXH was ever 'inappropriate' with her. A conversation no mother should ever have to have with a daughter. DSs only know that 'mom and dad are having problems'.

I do NOT want to lie, but I have to be vague enough to not scar them or cause 'parental alienation'. I will be discussing this with IC, but sometimes the advise of people who have BTDT is better. This is one conversation I don't want to be caught off guard for.

One day
I'm gonna forget your name,
And one sweet day,
you're gonna drown in my lost pain. - "Sweet Sacrifice" by Evanescence

Double Betrayal D-Day 7/26/2013
Divorced 11/18/2014

Posts: 3390 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Illinois, USA
♀ 27148
Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 11:42 PM, November 6th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What about:

When people marry they make sacred promises to each other. Daddy did not keep the promises he made.

If they ask more say:

When you are 18 I will tell you the entire story.

Then change the topic.

Someone I once loved gave me/ a box full of darkness/ It took me years to understand/ That this, too, was a gift. - Mary Oliver

Posts: 4527 | Registered: Jan 2010
♀ 32554
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 2:10 AM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I told my kids that Daddy broke the promises that husbands make to their wives on their wedding day. Because he broke those promises that meant we can't be married anymore and we can't live in the same house.

Because they don't actually know what promises are made in wedding vows, they still don't know what promises were broken. At least I don't think they do. They have asked for more details, but so far I haven't provided more details. I've told them that these are adult/grown-up problems and that I absolutely would not discuss them while they are still so young.

I will never go along with the "we grew apart" or "we both share the blame" lies that some people shoulder. EX has told the kids that the divorce is solidly my fault because I'm the one who filed and I'm the one that wanted it. He conveniently left out the part regarding my motivation. Our family counselor & I jointly addressed this with the kids, telling them that just because I was the one who filed doesn't mean this was my fault, it just means that I had to make a very hard, adult decision based on information that I had at the time.

I've never let my kids watch movies or shows with overt cheating in them. As far as I know, my kids don't know what infidelity is. I know the day is fast & soon coming that they'll learn about cheating, and then I'm sure the direct questions will come. When they do I intend to be age-appropriately honest and pray fervently that God stops me before I say too much.

Me = BS
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - DIVORCED!

Posts: 10722 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
♀ 3703
Member # 3703
Default  Posted: 5:34 AM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I say tell the truth, but leave out the gory details. If they ask direct questions, answer in an age appropriate way.

BW - 40
DD - 7 years old
D-day OW#1 2/2004;D-day OW#2 5/2010
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.

Posts: 5416 | Registered: Mar 2004 | From: NY
♀ 36456
Member # 36456
Default  Posted: 12:08 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When we separated, my oldest - 12yr at the time - asked what Daddy did to hurt me. I initially told him to ask his dad. He said that Dad refused to answer - just said "grown up issues". My son was very frustrated and kept asking me "What did he do?" My youngest (9yr then) finally chimed in with "It's so obvious. He cheated on her!"

At that point, I promised them that I would never lie to them. I had the option to withhold the gory details but still be honest with them. Yes, my kids lost some respect for their dad. But let's face it, he walked out on all of us, not just me. The respect was going to be lost no matter what I said. (They have been able to repair their relationship with him over time - because he's made the effort.)

My point to you - Kids today are a lot more savvy about the ways of the world than we were at their age. They hear things at school, on TV and on the web that we never thought of at their age.

IMO, you should tell them the truth. It's ok to tell them facts without the gory details. "Dad chose to break our marriage promises." If they ask how - "He chose to date someone else. People promise not to date anyone else but their spouse when they get married." And let them lead the conversation from there.

One other thing - in my situation, Mom and Dad were not having problems. We never fought. We always held hands, kissed, hugged in front of the kids. I thought we were happy. My H never acted differently towards me and I was completely caught off guard. I haven't had a chance to read your story, but if you were caught off guard too, I think it causes more confusion for the kids to say that you were both having problems. You didn't have a problem - He did!

Me (46) WH (42),2 boys 15 & 11
M 18yrs T 22yrs
Separated 10 months (4/12 to 2/13)
Final Total - #1/#2 ONS and #3/#4 EA/PA - left me for #4, didn't know about #2 and 3 until he moved back home
We are solidly in R now

Posts: 792 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Dallas, TX
♂ 35901
Member # 35901
Default  Posted: 12:19 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I tink I will tell the kids the truth when they ask. They haven't yet, and are really too young to understand much of it.

My 7 year old has had a hard time. The most I volunteered to him was that this wasn't my choice, and I didn't like it any more than he does. Felt I had to say something, I was the one in the new home, and my kids missed their home too- I felt like they thought I was taking them away from their home and momma.

Posts: 311 | Registered: Jun 2012
♀ 40115
Member # 40115
Default  Posted: 12:21 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the input. My gut has been telling me that the truth is best, I just wanted to make sure. Our marriage was also 'wonderful' up until D-Day, so the change has been drastic and abrupt.

Just another case of STBXH's bad choices putting me into an awkward situation.

One day
I'm gonna forget your name,
And one sweet day,
you're gonna drown in my lost pain. - "Sweet Sacrifice" by Evanescence

Double Betrayal D-Day 7/26/2013
Divorced 11/18/2014

Posts: 3390 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Illinois, USA
♀ 30346
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 5:29 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I went the truth route, but it took a little while since ex refused. Mine were 7.5 and 5 at the time.

I started with "Daddy hurt Mommy's heart and it can't be fixed". "Daddy broke promises and it can't be fixed." Then as they became older, I told them that "Daddy dated other people while we were married, and that is wrong". Then last year I'd say the entire thing came out since he started openly dating a man.

So, now when they ask (10.5 and 8), I answer truthfully with no gory details. My dd asked me one time, "Are you ok since Daddy dumped you?" I set the record straight. I deserved to be treated better, etc.

Ex did not want the truth out (what a surprise…)

me...BS, 46 years old.

Posts: 4738 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
♂ 40268
Member # 40268
Default  Posted: 5:37 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids are 7 and 9 and I told them the truth. Daddy did not want this, daddy is sorry , daddy and mommy love you, this had nothing to do with you guys, and mommy did something she promised never to do and daddy is not allowing it. I also told them when they are older they will understand. My DD 9 gets mad and says to tell her now. But I just give her a hug and tell her I love her. It is really hard! The kids suffer the most. Sorry

"respect? you don't deserve it, you won't get any from me unless you earn it"

Posts: 1028 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: nyc
Topic Posts: 9

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