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Telling children in the future

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Ambergray posted 3/20/2014 10:38 AM

Our kids are still young and not an age to tell about the A. But we have talked about telling them at some point when they are adults. What is everyone's take on this - tell or not?

On one hand, I don't want them to have bad feelings towards their father, especially since it will be so long in the past and we will have worked through it as we are now.

On the other hand, I don't want them to go through marriage and have struggles and think they can't come to us because they think we have a perfect marriage and can't relate.

Wodnships posted 3/20/2014 10:42 AM

The affair is between you and your husband and has nothing to do with your children. Ask yourself this what good can come from telling them?

I'm pretty sure if the look hard enough you will realize none. That you are talking about telling them because you have this feeling that they had a right to know. The truth is they don't.

jjsr posted 3/20/2014 11:07 AM

If my kids were little when this happened and we worked it out, I wouldn't tell them. My kids were and are adults, and knew something was up so we ended up telling them.

deena04 posted 3/20/2014 12:17 PM

For me, if they ever ask then I will tell them. If they don't, I won't. I don't want to throw it out there, but won't lie about it.

LA44 posted 3/20/2014 12:29 PM

Hmmmm. We have spoken only briefly of this so far as our kids are under the age of 10.

Infidelity seems to run in my H's family. His grandfather and his dad had A's. In fact, his dad had many but the last one ended the M and he has been with the OW for over 20 years now.

That said, there is something to this for me, this being, "in the family". We are looking at our weaknesses - my H especially. Right now, we decided that we want to raise our boys to speak up when they are not happy, share their feelings and be respectful of their loved ones.

If, in the future they ask, we won't lie. And who knows, maybe they will be told but right now its more about living the right way, passing that on and God-willing, breaking this ugly cycle.

olwen posted 3/20/2014 12:45 PM

We have had many discussions on this. Sadly H decided he was going to leave rather than confess to me. I got the ilybinilwy speech. He didn't, he came back 5 mins later and confessed, but he had already sat DS down and told him he was leaving.

I am so mad he did this but he really wasn't thinking straight.

When he came back 5 mins later he had to explain to DS in as little detail as possible but so he would have an idea what was going on. He settled on telling him in age appropriate terms that he had got too close to another lady and mummy is upset but we were going to be ok and work things out.

Things were very unsettled for a while but are ok now. We keep a close eye on DS for any signs he is worried or unhappy.

As he knows something bad happened we expect it to come up again when he is older. We have decided that whether it does or not H will bring it up when he is starting to get serious about girls when he is much older.

We don't want it to be a dirty little secret. H wants to share what he has learned in the hope DS won't make the same mistakes. He wants to teach him to respect commitment and how important it is not to cross boundaries etc.

I am not sure how I feel about this but H feels strongly. He feels if his parents had been open with him about their struggles he would have been more aware of the early signs he was getting drawn into an affair and perhaps it may never have happened. He lied to himself, as most do, that they were just friends until it spiralled.

He had no friends or family members to talk to so he turned further into the affair.

He strongly believes people should be more open about infidelity and the disastrous impact it has then more people would be more aware of the way it can happen so easily.

It feels right to me now but we will play it by ear. I am talking many years down the line. Certainly not as a child or a younger teen. I don't think he needs the gory details and neither does H but he does want to have a talk about it and let DS know he can come to us with anything.

What really annoys me is DS is 9. He is very popular and has many female friends. He also flirts with young women right left and centre and is a proper cutie so women call him a ladies man. I HATE that. Especially when MIL says, oh you're such a ladies man, just like your daddy. You're both terrible flirts. I hate the message that sends. Luckily she hasn't mentioned the 'just like daddy' bit since the A.

[This message edited by olwen at 12:53 PM, March 20th (Thursday)]

karmahappens posted 3/20/2014 15:51 PM

The affair is between you and your husband and has nothing to do with your children. Ask yourself this what good can come from telling them?

I used to believe this.

But unless you and your H are the only people that know (and that isn't the case) your kids may find out from someone other than you or your H.

In our case I didn't even consider my kids needed to know, it was a maritial issue.

But the OW's daughter told my daughter and someone else told my son (he will not say who told him, but I think it was my sister in law)

So we had to do damage control later.

If I had it to do again I would explain things in age-appropriate terms.

A lie in a family has the ability to grow and fester.

Our kids are adults now and have the ability to come to us with any questions about our family or family history.

The work my husband and I have done to recreate a healthy, loving marriage is evident to my kids. They know we are human, we make mistakes and everyone has issues to resolve throughout their lives.

They have learned to deal with issues, be honest and kind to others, live their truth and never be ashamed to ask for help.(well this is what we taught them, our daughter is comfortable discussing things...our son has much work left to do )

Honesty in a family, IMO is always the best way to go. I had to learn the hard way....a lesson I wish I never needed.

[This message edited by karmahappens at 4:04 PM, March 20th (Thursday)]

IDeserveMore posted 3/20/2014 15:58 PM

I've wondered so often about this. When the last DD happened, they were 3 and 5yo. Now they are 13 and 15.

Sometimes I think my 15yo (DD) could ask. She has a few friend who's parents divorced because of infidelity.

I know I wouldn't want to answer it on the spot and certainly not alone. But I think saying "you should ask your dad" would be a dead give away.

I'm going to ask the MC her opinion about it. And I'll report it back here.

But just another thing, it's one thing to decide to tell them. But if it's outright asked, I wouldn't feel right about lying.

Alexisk17 posted 3/20/2014 19:55 PM

When WS and I separated last year my Dad told me that my mom had an affair when my sister and I were little. He didn't go into great detail but shared this info as a way of saying that he knew the pain I was experiencing.

When we decided to R it was inspiring to see my parents, 25 years after my mom's A and not a trace of it detectable in their relationship. They are happy and so glad they worked to recover from the devastation A inflicted upon them.

I could see sharing with my kids under these circumstances. Otherwise I have no plans on ever telling them.

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