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brokeback posted 4/21/2014 10:09 AM

My son was 3 years old when I moved out of our house. We shared custody and he spent every Friday night at my new apartment. I was only out of the house for 3 months before I decided to end my affair and to "try" to make my marriage work.

I have been home for 5 months now. Everyone one in our lives (family, friends and coworkers) knows what happened. They witnessed our struggle, my infidelity and my leaving my family. My son will still at times mention my apartment, which is hard to hear.

I have faced our friends, family and coworkers and have owned my wrong doing. Most people have chosen to forgive me. Some struggle, but I don't push the issue. Honestly, I tell myself the only forgiveness I really need is mine and my wife's....but...

I worry someday my son will know or remember this time in my life. My wife thinks he will forget it. He may. I worry, though, he will hear all about it someday from someone. I know it's years down the road. I know I can use my shortcomings as a teaching moment for him and intend to should I have to face it with him.

Has anyone out there experienced this with your children? If so, how did you handle it?

Thank you.

bionicgal posted 4/21/2014 11:25 AM

He's three? He's already forgotten!

brokeback posted 4/21/2014 11:29 AM

Thanks for the laugh.

I wish he did forget. Kid's memory is like a sponge.
Keeps talking about momma's house...

Oh, well, I did it to myself. I'll deal with it if and when I need to.

Just wondering how others have coped with kids knowing.

[This message edited by brokeback at 11:30 AM, April 21st (Monday)]

islesguy posted 4/21/2014 11:41 AM

Only my oldest daughter knows what happened and she is 9. It is too soon for my others girls to know as it is not age appropriate yet but I plan to tell them when they are old enough. I don't want to try to hide anything from anyone anymore, that was a major character flaw in me from before and the secrets and lies are what hurt my wife just as much as the cheating. I think you should tell your son when appropriate and explain to him how much regret you have and how much you have changed because of this. It may help him make better decisions in his life years from now.

Alyssamd24 posted 4/21/2014 15:28 PM

My DD was the same age as your son during my A and when my BH and I seperated. From January 2013 until August 2013 I lived with my parents, and took my DD with me. We also split custody, she was with me most of the week and saw my BH twice a week. We didnt tell her the truth....just that Mommy and Daddy had to live in seperate houses for a while.

We have been back home for 8 months now, and though she doesn't talk about it often I know she still remembers it....every once in a great while she will say something about when she and Mommy lived with Grandma and Grandpa.....I think kids know more than we think....we dont always give them the credit they deserve.

Actionsoverwords posted 4/21/2014 19:57 PM

This topic hits so close to home for me.

I am a WS and this is my second separation in six years from my BW. Our son was born last Winter and I have been out of the house for nearly a month now. Although I see my son almost every day and I feel more and more depressed the longer that I don't work on this mess that I have created.

On the one hand, I miss his so damn much. I have literally been at work having my lunch and one thought about DS and my eyes are filled with tears. It's gotten pretty bad lately as when I see him, I can feel all of my painful emotions just barely contained. On the other hand, the times that I do manage to spend with him, I don't cherish it all and I don't do everything a parent should. That makes me even further depressed.

My marriage is heading towards D right now if things don't improve, but even if things do get better, I worry about how my actions are going to affect him when he gets older. Since I have been out of the house, he seems more insecure and he hasn't been able to sleep through the night like he had. It kills me slowly and I am so sorry and embarrassed.

Speaking from experience as someone who found out the identity of my biological father last summer and in addition, discovering that he was a serial cheater and womanizer, and now deceased, I have so many questions and feel in some way I was destined to follow in his footsteps? I, like you, wonder how I would handle it if/when my son finds out about the hell I put his mother through.

brokeback posted 4/22/2014 08:50 AM

Hi Actions,

I'm so sorry for your hurt.

I have been there witnessing my son's pain from the separation; his anxiety, sleepless nights, crying, nightmares etc. He literally would wake up in the middle of the night screaming for his parents. He worried all the time about both his mommies. It's was gut wrenching. It was watching his pain that propelled me to end the affair.

My mother left me as a young child and there I was repeating her mistakes on my own son. I loathed myself for hurting him and my wife.

I did an about face. I broke it off w my AP and vowed to change myself and to be a better mother and spouse.

You don't have to be your father. I don't have to be my mother. We can both learn from what we've done and teach our sons differently.

Be kind to yourself. Big hug to you.


Actionsoverwords posted 4/23/2014 22:31 PM

My mother had an addiction to gambling, drinking, and I never felt like she could protect me. When I was growing up, I told myself I would never be like her if I ever had the opportunity to be a parent.

I love my son dearly, but I am my mother and father's child and although I don't have to be my father since I know very little about him, there is a large part of me that has been doing what my mother did --- sticking her head in the sand and pretending like nothing is wrong all the while engaging in my addict behaviors. You know what's strange? You would think that being a child of someone who made serious mistakes, one would be sensitive to NOT repeating the same mistakes, but I feel like unless we are right with ourselves, it seems like it is almost a given that the cycle continues.

authenticnow posted 4/24/2014 06:14 AM

I am here because I became a WS in 2007, but many years ago my H was the WS. He moved out of our apartment when the kids were 2 and 5 years old. They spent some time with him, we were separated getting ready to divorce. He moved back in after about 3 months. The kids went with the flow, and it barely came up. If they asked a question we answered it as simply as possible, without TMI, on the level of their young ages.

Years later it came up once or twice, but more like, 'So, when you and daddy were separated...' and then things like, 'I remember going to his apartment', or 'I remember sleeping there and then daddy took me to the park'.

Interestingly, after our d-day from my cheating in 2007 our DS started asking about that time when we were separated. I think the feeling of tension at home must have reminded him of that time. He was about 18 and he asked me, 'When daddy moved out when we were little it was because he cheated, right?' I answered him honestly and he processed it and let it go. Our kids don't know about my cheating. H doesn't want them to (I don't either but I let it be his decision) because he doesn't want my relationship with them to change.

So...yes, life is very complicated and can be very difficult. But your son is so young and they are so adaptable at that age. I'm sure he will be okay.

brokeback posted 4/24/2014 08:13 AM


I was that person who "thought" I was aware of cycles and I had been working to break them for my own son. How messed up is that? My Dad is a drunk, so I stayed away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Neither of my parents earned a degree, I have. My family has a long history of blue collar jobs, I don't. My parents never owned their own home, I do. They never had a healthy relationship or long marriage, I did (and luckily still do). I worked and worked not to be them, until I became them - minus the alcohol, but addictions take different forms.

I think working on our childhood issues is a constant battle throughout our lifetime - they are something we have to always be on watch for. We cannot get complacent or too comfortable, because for me - they always return.

Thank you, Alyssamd24 and Authenticnow for your support.

I asked my wife about her thoughts on this topic. My fear is someday he will hear about it from the wrong person. If he finds out, I want him to hear it from us together.

My wife's response was perfect - she said, she thinks this is an opportunity for our son to see that we are "real" people and not perfect parents and this can be something that he can learn from. She said, her father had addiction problems and overcame them before she was born, but his honesty about his drug use helped her see he was human and that also helped their relationship be more real and trusting.

My big fear, of course, is when he finds out, he'll be angry for betraying and hurting his mother and that he'll think less of me as a person. I know that I judged my own parents for their shortcomings, the truth is they never addressed their issues or tried to change anything about themselves. My father still drinks and I still have no relationship with my mother.

All I can do is be the best parent and spouse I can be now and hope that's enough for him to see that I love him and his mother very much. And when the time comes to talk about it with him, I'll have to be as open and honest and real as he needs me to be.

[This message edited by brokeback at 8:13 AM, April 24th (Thursday)]

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