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How much information do I reveal to my boys?

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mj052 posted 1/25/2014 11:07 AM

As I work on getting my ducks in a row- the one thing that I struggle with the most is how much information do I actually share with my 16 yr old and 20 yr old sons- about their serial cheat and lying snake of a father!?!

D-day for me was over 20 months ago- I thought my wh and I were on the same page about saving our 24 yr marriage but he's played me all along so he can uphold his image as a "family man!" A year ago- my 16 yr old son demanded to know what was wrong with me- my 25lb weight loss and I was acting like a zombie- honesty has always been extremely important to both of us- so I told him and my other son gently that their father had a gf and he wasn't willing to let her "go" and I didn't know how much longer I could put up with it!!! Their father explained to them that "he made a mistake- he loved their mother and he wasn't going to have any more contact with ow (he lied to us all!) My kids begged me to give their father a second chance and I did!!

My boys have no idea what I've discovered since then- two secret cell phones- repeated broken nc and secret meetings- continued sharing of our personal family info with ow (hidden var- is how I've discovered). He's not in love with ow- only himself b/c I've also discovered dating sites!! He met a woman on one of these sites- she sent him naked pictures and they were texting five or more times a day and talking on his drive home from work almost every night for 30 min at a time until I found out!! Since then 3 more inappropriate relationships and a week ago- again var- a conversation with a woman who he worked with over 4 years ago that ended with a "love you too!" What a pos!!!!!

How much information would you share? Personally- I feel that I should tell them "I did everything in my power to keep our family together but I can no longer be married to someone who disrespects me and who I will never trust!!" But what if they beg me? Do I reveal that their father is really one sick sob?

[This message edited by mj052 at 11:23 AM, January 25th (Saturday)]

careerlady posted 1/25/2014 11:24 AM

I would tell him that their father lied and has had several more gf and you can't take it anymore. If they beg you they are old enough to hear a little more detail or to understand that you can't be subjected to STDs and disrespect and no marriage should look like this.

Take2 posted 1/25/2014 12:15 PM

I agree with career lady.

One of the hardest things for me to cope with was reconstructing the real story of my life, once I knew the truth of it. Had I known the truth I'd have made different choices, but I didn't know the truth. I may have formed different values, limits, and expectations as to boundaries, different parameters for relationships...

Your boys are of an age where they are framing their values, morals, beliefs. They are forming the narratives of their lives, and they already know the beginning of this story. Sooner or later, somehow, they will likely learn the truth. There will be less to reconstruct if part of that truth is the knowledge that their mom won't lie to them...

homewrecked2011 posted 1/25/2014 12:23 PM

My childrens counselor told me to say this,, and we did during a counseling session:

1) I was not honest in our family finances to Dad and he could not live with this. When he found out he left.

2) Dad has not been honest with me and is having an affair with xyz person. It is unacceptable to me and I have filed for divorce with your Dad.

From then on out,my counselor said they need to be kids. (16 and 13 now). I don't need to tell them that the OW's first husband murdered her then boyfriend and himself, that I currently know she has another boyfriend, that they had sex in my house,, etc etc etc.

She said to work really hard at being classy and providing a good, solid home and thought processes for my children.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 12:23 PM, January 25th (Saturday)]

caregiver9000 posted 1/25/2014 12:28 PM

One of the things parents teach children is that there are consequences for behaviors. I would be very clear that you have done everything YOU could to save the marriage, but that you will not save the marriage at the continued cost of your self respect.

I don't think your boys need details, but a firm "inappropriate behavior for a married man continues" and that you are DONE.

My boys are considerably younger, but I do have conversations with them about doing the right thing, and the wide reaching consequences and pain for others when you don't.

You can validate your boys' disappointment and fear and anger without allowing their feelings to dictate your actions.

Don't let them "beg" (which is just like bully in my mind if it works) you. Put them in the "sons who protect mom mode" and get them to show concern and support for you and your decision!!

Good luck and I am sorry your WH has provided you with continued disrespect and hurt.

Phoenix1 posted 1/25/2014 13:23 PM

I believe in age/mental appropriate honesty. After I kicked their dad out, they started asking questions. They were all old enough and mature enough to handle it so I told them the truth about everything they asked, which pretty much covered the 20 years of betrayal. I told them I would always be honest with them, unlike their pathological lying father, and they have all expressed their appreciation for that. They know I did everything I could to save the marriage and told me I stuck it out much longer than any of them would have. With everything out in the open, there is no more a problem for me of having to remember what I have/have not filtered out of our discussions. They trust me to be their source of truth, and they have no respect for their father or believe anything he says.

Nature_Girl posted 1/25/2014 14:23 PM

I think your sons are old enough for the truth, especially since they already know their dad is a cheater. You don't need to share with them all the gory details. It would benefit them to know, though, that you found out about this, this and this, and you will not continue to try and make a marriage work in these circumstances.

mj052 posted 1/26/2014 10:15 AM

Thank you to all- for your advice!!

brokenfyrman posted 1/26/2014 10:48 AM

I told my 17 and 19 year olds what happened, no details of course, they know she had two affairs 15 years apart and they know what all was done to try and fix it. They understood better after our talk why arguments had been so bad. I used the time during this discussion to make sure they knew it wasn't their fault and how they should never do this to someone they claim to love and how they should never allow a woman (or any other person for that matter) to ever treat them the way I had been treated. Good luck

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