My divorce was final more than three years ago. Today DD and I were listening to country music and heard some old cheating classic. Possibly George Jones. At any rate, she observed, "Why are so many country songs about cheating?"
I had a careless moment and answered, "Because there are a lot of cheaters around. A lot."
DD made the mental leap and quickly said, "But Dad wasn't with you anymore when he started with someone new."
Me: "No comment."
DD: "That's right, isn't it Mom?
Me, realizing what I'd done: "Now you know."
In the moment, I felt as if I couldn't answer her direct question with a lie. Afterward, I tried to rationalize it to myself by saying, he's the one who lied and cheated. I just told the truth about it, after all this time. Now I feel terrible about it.
Should I have said, Ask your father? She almost never sees him anymore.
[This message edited by josie11 at 1:19 AM, August 15th (Friday)]
After that, what could you do? Lie? I told my STBXWW that I will never lie to my children, ever. That doesn't mean I plan to tell them or contrive for them to find out about her A, but I'm not going to lie to protect her reputation.
So once DD17 asked the question there was nothing you could do. You handled it the best you could. "Ask your father" would have been the same result.
I just wish I could take it back. I didn't want to protect him. But I wanted to protect her. It's done, though; I can't take back what I said.
I console myself by realizing that she would have found out the truth eventually. Her brother put two and two together not long after their father left. He was 13 and she was 11, so he was a bit more clued in to what was really happening with the grown-ups. She was just a little kid.
I think at 17, she probably knows. So I think if they ask, it's more important to be honest than protective?
I don't mean tell the whole story & share your exact feelings, but when my DD14 brought it up recently, I was honest. I didn't give details but I allowed DD to talk and responded accordingly.
[This message edited by wannabenormal at 2:09 AM, August 15th (Friday)]
If I were you I would start thinking about how I would answer other questions she might ask you after she has had some time to process the info.
She would have found out sooner or later and it's better that it came from you.
My mom still tries (and I respect her for this) to talk respectfully of my dad, her EXWH.
But there is something to be said for hearing the truth. You didn't push this on your daughter: it evolved organically in a conversation that she may have intuitively pushed for herself.
Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. My dad's affair was far less a surprise to me than it was to my mom. Your daughter may have been sniffing you out.
Urging you to not feel terrible but rather understand you are a woman of integrity, and you shared what you did with your daughter in an honorable way :)
I think you were fine. It wasn't like you got into gory details.
[This message edited by sparkysable at 11:02 AM, August 15th (Friday)]
6 years of TT, hidden STD & false R
Separated 5 mos+; he will not commit
Someday I will be okay
Dont feel badly, you did nothing wrong. It would have been far unkinder to not give her the truth. She'd found it out on her own eventually and may have been resentful of you not telling her.
At 17, she's old enough to know now. I dont believe its a good idea to keep children in the dark regarding their own family issues.
I agree with the other posters in that you may want to reapproach her and ask if she'd like to talk further of the matter. I'm sure she probably has more questions. Only give her what she asks for.
It will be ok Josie,,hugs,,,,,,,,,,,
That is great advice. It would be wrong of me to leave the revelation hanging like that, with no follow-up.
This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man ~ Shakespeare, Hamlet