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How/When to tell My Kids

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hopefulfourus posted 4/23/2014 07:46 AM

I really need to sit down with my kids and open up the discussion about what is about to happen with our family, but I am struggling when and how to tell them.

We have a family event this Sunday, so I am wondering if I should wait until after that. I am also struggling if I should tell them together or separately.

POS is basically living away from home. He "drops" in to shower, gather some clothes , and then he is off again. He does all this while I am away from the house. Sometimes he does this when the kids are home or not. He is fixing up an apartment above the business that he owns, and that is where he is staying. He was staying there sporadically, however for about the last 3 weeks, it is pretty much every night. I am waiting for the D papers to be served, in fact, I am waiting for the L's office to open to find out exactly when this will all happen.

Any advice how/when to tell my kids?? Should I tell them myself (which is what I would like to do since POS gives a rat's a** about his kids); I am sick to my stomach thinking about how they are going to react.

Any guidance would so be appreciated.

GreatRoleModel posted 4/23/2014 08:12 AM

That was about the age of my kids and we told them together and then they separated so I had time with each, he tried to talk with them too but they didn't listen much to him. I waited for them to ask about cheating because I knew they would due to their ages and was honest but not details. I was honest with my feelings and how this was not the path I wanted for our family but how we will move forward together and reminded them of what will not change in their lives. (ie school, friends,etc). I also made him to go to a friends house for a few days after so I had time alone with them. He stayed in the house for a month until his house was ready so hopefully that won't be an issue for you. Do you have an agreed upon plan for visitation for the near future?
Hold your kids tight and showing them honesty and respect will go a long way with them.

lilacs40 posted 4/23/2014 09:17 AM

My kids are younger (12 & 6) and we told them at the same time. We also had to be a bit more careful of what we said as they are younger. DS6 was ok but I think it's more abstract for him right now and DD12 was not in the least bit surprised as we fight often.

I think I would tell them at the same time and since he never seems to be home I wouldn't wait for him. That's just my opinion. If POS hasn't been there much anyway it probably won't come as a shock. Maybe it would be best to tell them after the papers are served?

Just make sure they know you will answer any questions they may have. I've tried to be honest with DD as much as I can. They need to know that at least of their parents is there for them and will help them out if they need.

Good luck. You'll do great!!

Gemini71 posted 4/23/2014 09:29 AM

There is no "Good Time" for this kind of discussion. Sooner is better than later. Older kids tend to resent being kept in the dark. You'll probably also find that they already know more than you think. Good luck.

deena posted 4/23/2014 10:42 AM

I am very fresh from telling my kids, just over a week ago.
My kids are DD28, DD26, DS22 & DD17.

I alone told them all separately and told them wh cheated. If they asked questions I was honest without too much detail. Just facts. I told them their father loves them and that I don't want them to hate their father....that it was me he hurt. I told them I tried to stay together as a family, but I just couldn't.
I decided to tell my kids separately, but in the same 24 hour period, for different reasons and without WH, part so they would be comfortable to ask questions if they wanted, and part because of the circumstances. But the one thing that I regret is that maybe the last one felt bad for being the last.
If I had to do it again I would have told the last two together and maybe even the 17 year old with them for support. I don't know about that one....I knew she would get emotional and then want to be left alone (which is what happened) and this would disrupt the conversation. My other DD26 lives out of town.

First I told DD26 over the phone, she lives out of town. She wasn't surprised by the separation and only a little surprised by the cheating.

Then I told DS22 ..he was not surprised about the separation and knew about the cheating. He saw when WH would have late nights and maybe even the no shows. He also heard some of the original "discussions" between WH and I after DDay. I guess he wasn't asleep and he has good ears.

DD17 did get emotional and wanted to be left alone. My oldest daughter was her age when WH left one time before. DD28 said it is a shock to hear that parents aren't perfect and to give her space and she would come around. She ended up cleaning her room that I have been after her to do for months , but she is still sometimes sad.

DD28 was not surprised about the separation and a little surprised by the cheating. I brought DS22 along to tell her, she does not live at home either. She was last because of an exam she had to write and I feel bad she was last. She did mention that she was last to which DS said it was because I wanted to wait until after her exam.

ALL of the older ones asked questions over days and where so supportive of me and yet still managed to not shut out WH. WH knows I told them and I said he should talk to them, but he hasn't, like I thought he wouldn't. Too much of a rugsweeper.

Good Luck and (((((((hopefulforus)))))))

You might be surprised by what they know or that they had ideas but wasn't sure exactly what was going on.
They appreciated me telling them the truth and they also said it would have been uncomfortable with the telling with WH present. Maybe that is just because of how my WH is tho?

I was very surprised by how much they already guessed or knew and also pleasantly surprised by HOW much support they all gave me in my decision to separate. And by their wonderment of how I could have been so patient, and calm with WH. They don't hate their father but I think they have lost respect for him.

PS You can PM me anytime if you have more questions

[This message edited by deena at 10:43 AM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]

7yrsflushed posted 4/23/2014 13:17 PM

I agree with sooner than later. At that age they likely already know something is wrong. Just sit down and have an honest discussion with them. Let them know you love them and that they did nothing wrong then tell them age appropriate truth. Let them know they can ask you any questions they want and you will always answer them honestly. Go ahead and tell them, you and your children will be fine.

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