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Just overshared with dd about xwh. Now I feel terrible.

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josie11 posted 8/15/2014 01:18 AM

I had a conversation with DD17 today that I'm really regretting. I feel guilty for saying too much about the truth.

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: "No comment."

DD: "Oh."

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)]

healingroad posted 8/15/2014 01:30 AM

Don't feel too guilty about this. Your XWH doesn't deserve any protection. It probably was careless to make the initial "lot of cheaters" comment but you're not perfect and mistakes can happen.

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.

josie11 posted 8/15/2014 01:40 AM

Thank you for understanding.

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.

healingroad posted 8/15/2014 01:56 AM

I can see you'd want to protect her. But she's 17, should be OK. Might be something she's suspected? Could explain that mental leap...

wannabenormal posted 8/15/2014 02:02 AM

Do not feel bad. I think it is smart to keep it on the DL when the kids are younger.

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)]

neverbeokay posted 8/15/2014 06:39 AM

Don't feel terrible. I'm sure it wasn't the way you would have planned to tell her, but she asked you a direct question, you didn't lie and you didn't make any editorial comment on your ex's behavior, just the facts.

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.

newlysingle posted 8/15/2014 09:10 AM

Don't feel bad, at 17 she needs to know the truth. I told my 6 year old the truth. Of course, I used language geared towards smaller kids " dad broke a promise". I think it's important for kids to know the truth. Dd was very confused about why I was suddenly so angry towards her dad. She understands that he did something to cause that now.

She would have found out sooner or later and it's better that it came from you.

meleanoro posted 8/15/2014 09:22 AM

Agree with everyone above.

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 :)

sparkysable posted 8/15/2014 11:01 AM

Why do you feel bad? She's a teenager. She has a right to know. In fact, if I were her, I would be resentful that the truth was hidden from me.

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)]

determinata posted 8/15/2014 11:17 AM

This was not an overshare. But you should check in with her to make sure she is okay and doesn't want to discuss it further. If she almost never sees her dad, I'm sure the far larger issue is his abandonment of her, not the reason for the divorce. She will be an adult in a year or less and she has the right to know what has happened in her own family. I understand your guilt but this really isn't one to sweat, IMO.

bionicgal posted 8/15/2014 11:18 AM

I agree that is was ok to tell her, but it was kind of in a flip way. I'd sit down and have a real conversation about it. Don't just drop it on her, and make her figure out how to deal with it. She's a kid -- so, go back and talk with her about it the way you wish you would have.

Jls0320 posted 8/15/2014 11:26 AM

I think she's old enough to know, plus it wasn't like you trashed him or just out right told her. I'm a big believer in not lying to your children as age appropriate. I told my 5 yr old daddy isn't nice to mommy and that why he no longer lives w us, I can't be friends with someone not nice to me. It made it easier for him to understand

kiki1 posted 8/15/2014 11:33 AM


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,,,,,,,,,,,

josie11 posted 8/15/2014 13:45 PM

Thanks, everyone. I will approach DD quietly to see if she would like to talk about it (the divorce) a bit more.

That is great advice. It would be wrong of me to leave the revelation hanging like that, with no follow-up.

Phoenix1 posted 8/15/2014 14:55 PM

You did nothing wrong, and have no reason to feel bad. She probably knows (or at least suspected) more than you realize. Kids are smart, and they figure things out. My DD17 knows the truth, and I have always told her I would answer her questions honestly. She has asked a lot of questions, and I have answered every one of them fully. I do not slam her father, but the truth of his actions speaks for itself. More importantly, she has told me repeatedly how much she appreciates me being honest with her and not keeping her in the dark, and she said so many things make much more sense to her now. I will not lie to her or evade the truth. If she asks, I answer. Quite honestly, having the open discussions with her has removed a very heavy burden from my back because I protected the kids for so many years.

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