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D day for kids?

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MandMs posted 12/23/2013 07:37 AM

My daughters ages 14 and 17 found out last night that my husband cheated with our sister-in-law. They came across my journal, which is usually kept in a lock box because of my fear of this very thing happening.
I was careless and stupid and in the rush to leave the house I accidentally left it sitting out and my 14 year old read it. I usually tear out the pages and destroy them but there were two pages still in there when she came across it. I guess I should be grateful that there were only the few pages because if she knew everything (there were many other women, strippers, prositiutes, coworkers) things would be so much worse.
My husband and I have been working hard to get through this for the past 3 years. He is in AA and SAA and has been an amazing husband and father, better that I ever thought possible. I have been working my own program in Alanon and things have been just getting better and better.
Now this….
He is devastated, the girls are devastated, they don't want to face each other… and here I am in the middle. I have no clue where to go from here. I am so scared.

nekorb posted 12/23/2013 07:48 AM

(((Hugs)))

I wish I had some advice, but we haven't told our teenagers anything yet, so I don't have any.

I'm so sorry they found out that way. How did they react?

LivinginLimbo posted 12/23/2013 08:10 AM

Our children don't know but I realize that there is always the possibility.

I can imagine that, same as you, your girls need some time to sort through this. I was a teenager when I found out about my Mom's cheating. Of the many memories from that terrible time, one sticks out - being told "this has nothing to do with you. It's between me and your father." This is very much about the family.

You don't sound like the kind of person who will minimize your girls feelings. Gently reassure them that from day one protecting your family has been the priority. They will see from the steps you've both taken that they are loved.

MandMs posted 12/23/2013 08:13 AM

They were extremely upset, crying, they just don't understand how he could do something like this. I get it because I went through the same exact emotions when I found out. They are scared that things will never be the same between them and their dad. I guess we're all scared of that.
He left for work before they were awake this morning...

MandMs posted 12/23/2013 08:17 AM

Oh shit! I said that to them last night, that it had nothing to do with them. But you're right Limbo, it is a family issue now.
I remember him saying that to me when I found out, that it had nothing to do with me, and being really confused with that concept. How could it not have anything to do with me? This is my marriage too.
I think I need to validate those feelings for them because for them right now it is very much about them….
Thank you...

silverhopes posted 12/23/2013 08:21 AM

Keep talking to them. Spend lots of time with them when you all are home, and let them know they can call you anytime during the day if they need to.

It might take them a while to sort out their feelings toward their father, so be gentle with them and listen to them as they sort it out. They might not know right now whether they want to talk to their father or whether they need space from him. They might need some time to process the initial shock before they know.

If they do want to talk to their father, could you suggest a family meeting, so all four of you sit down together, if that would make them comfortable? Unless one-on-one seems more appropriate? But it might help to have you present. You don't have to say anything or speak for your husband, but just knowing that one safe parent is there might really help, at least for the first talk.

My experiences (as a child with an unfaithful parent) were somewhat different. The way I found out was coming home to find out that stepmom had moved out and mom was standing in the kitchen with OW. OW and mom told me together. It would have hurt far less if mom and stepmom had told me together, because then at least one safe parent would have been present. Plus, in that case, the affair won.

(((hugs to you and your daughters)))

Marathonwaseasy posted 12/23/2013 08:50 AM

One of my closest friends' husband was a teenager when his father had an A and an OC and moved out for a while although his parents are together now. He looks back on that time mainly by wishing he had known WTF happened and for years blamed himself for the atmosphere at home and his mother's unhappiness.

We told our two older kids (15 and 12) because they knew I was struggling with something and they saw their father at his illest. I do not regret it. They have no idea how it feels for me and the 12 year old is at that pre-teen "everything is about me" stage but that's ok. There are no lies or secrets in my family any more.

MandMs posted 12/23/2013 09:40 AM

Thank you to everyone who has posted so far.
My husband refuses to come home until they are in bed so weather or not they are ready to see him and talk is a non issue at this point.
I'm pretty pissed at him for leaving me alone to deal with this right now… I understand he is upset and scared but it's his fault and I wish he had the balls to face this with me…
Maybe it's best if he doesn't come home. I am in open dialogue with the girls and am encouraging them to talk about it and that we will continue to talk for along as they need to and hopefully these talks will include dad at some point.
My 14 year old is in the other room playing chess with the youngest and they are laughing and singing… literally music to my ears.

Marathonwaseasy posted 12/23/2013 09:46 AM

My fwh told the kids
I would see refusing to face this with the children as a deal breaker
Consequences suck but that's what happens when you cheat

hugs to you
the kids will be fine

tushnurse posted 12/23/2013 09:48 AM

Um - You need to get your H home, and have him take on some responsibility for this afterall, he was the cause of this shitstorm.

In the meantime continue to be open and honest with your kids. They need to know that you both love them very much, and his choices are just that his choices. He didn't do this because they weren't perfect children and you weren't the perfect wife. This is very important for you help them understand. Then you also need to help them understand that your decisions to stay and attempt to work through it, and forgive him were your choices, and that it had nothing to do with them.

They also need to understand that a wife deserves love and respect, and your H needs to be showing that even more now than ever. If he continues to hide from this it is definitely sending the wrong message to them.

I would lastly consider some family counseling for them and you. If he is an addict there are a lot of skewed family dynamics that accompany that, and it will be helpful for them to understand that. Also make them aware of the characteristics that go with it all, so they can avoid becoming addicted themselves, or becomeing involved with someone who has addictive qualities.

(((and strength))))

MandMs posted 12/27/2013 10:24 AM

Hello!
I just wanted to give a quick update.
A few hours after I posted, and after a text from me saying " I feel alone, I need you here. You need to face this head on if you ever want it to be ok" my husband came to his senses and made an "appointment" with me and our two oldest daughter to sit down and talk.
He did a wonderful job taking responsibility for what he did, didn't give any excuses, and answered all their questions and concerns. I couldn't have asked for more. He also explained to them that we have been working on our marriage and told them about all the work he's done (and continues to do) in recovery.
I think it was a great start to helping our girls to come to terms with what must be a very scary upsetting and awkward situation.
Thank you all who replied! It really really helped me through a bad time.

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