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Secrets and kids

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kg201 posted 5/4/2014 07:41 AM

My X asked me to take her weekend with the kids this week. I of course agreed, to be with my kiddos. I had an interesting interaction with my 16 yo yesterday. He and I were talking about when I might move things into the new house. I told him that maybe today, but that I hadn't heard back from X about taking the kids's beds yet, so I probably would have to hold off until next week.

He asked when I had sent the email, and when I told him Friday morning he responded by saying that X might not have internet where she is. So I asked where she had gone. He got a look on his face and said thAt he didn't think he could tell me. So I got quiet and he asked why I cared. I told him that I didn't care where she went, but I was concerned about the fact that he had a burden of keeping secrets. He nodded.

He asked whether I would have wanted him to tell X about my vacation the other week. I told him that my expectation of him is that he is allowed to say anything or talk about anything he wants about me with X. If there is anything that I don't want him to know, then he won't know about it.

He said that it was helpful to him to know that.

What a learning curve this whole post-affair thing is.

GreatRoleModel posted 5/4/2014 07:51 AM

Way to go Dad! That was great parenting advice.

tesla posted 5/4/2014 08:08 AM

kg, I think you handled that perfectly.
Your kids are lucky to have such a great dad.

SBB posted 5/4/2014 08:14 AM

I told him that my expectation of him is that he is allowed to say anything or talk about anything he wants about me with X. If there is anything that I don't want him to know, then he won't know about it.

That's a great way to put it. My girls are only 6 and 3.5 but already feel at odds about what they're 'allowed' to tell each of us. I've told them if it's true they can talk about whatever they like if they want to. I don't ask them to not tell their dad stuff and I don't grill them about him. They mention things and I try to focus on the 'them' in the story.

My 6 y/o calls her dad a sticky beak because he grills them about everything. We don't talk about what he said or what she said, we talk about how it makes her feel. She already notices these differences - how I wish she had nothing to notice but it does reinforce that I've chosen the right path here.

I'm actually not interested in what he's goes on but there are things they say of their own volition that concern me as a mum. I made a decision early on to stop trying to deal with this stuff with him - there is nothing I can do. I can only help them navigate it as best as is possible.

I think that's what you've done for your son here.

It certainly is a learning curve. Not one I wished for myself or my girls but it is what it is. I'm up to the task.

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