I'm having second thoughts now. When I tell my friends, especially my close ones, I feel like I'm lying to them.
I am not out for vengeance. I have been in significant pain, but I do not wish to inflict pain on WW or DD. But, I would like the people I trust to know more of the truth.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this topic?
Fwiw, my middle daughter figured it out all on her own. I only ever gave the "bad choices" response to questions, but kids can be very perceptive!
IMO, if you don't go public with it that will be one less thing you have to worry about. Any support you get will be fleeting. The consequences will be permanent.
Having said that, I don't think you owe your STBX a damn thing either. You were not part of the conspiracy and your wedding vows did not include keeping her infidelities confidential.
Just make it easy on yourself and your DD.
[This message edited by Later at 11:56 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
I try to gauge whether people really want to know because they care or if they just want to know because they like to gossip.
I refuse to outright lie but thankfully most people don't ask why.
Burn everything love then burn the ashes.
When it came time to tell our daughter, it was very hard, yes. Her friends also missed him, as he used to be very hands on, and enjoyed the attention of the little kids.
I told her that "daddy has some problems that he can't work on at home and that mommy can't help with." I told her she could ask me but I didn't know much about them or anything, but would help her when I could.
I als made sure to tell the adults she would be around the most what I told her, so there would be less chance of mix-up. For my own self- esteem, it was boosted by several counselors, who told me this was okay and my lawyer gave a shoulder-pat. It opened the door to her, also, but in general terms and made no one the bad guy".
Last thing I did, was tell nearly Exh what I told her, this recommended from a counselor and he was actually appreciative because he got to think he "saved face"...what I was trying to accomplish was saving our child from too much knowledge.
It's not easy.
The times, they are'a changin'! -Bob Dylan
Friends, family, my boss? You betcha I would tell. Random loose acquaintances, nah.
My position is that the A did happen, it did cause the marriage to implode and it is not your shame to wear. I wouldn't allow anyone I cared about think that we just "drifted apart" like two ships in the night. Especially the children, I think allowing kids to think that "mommy and daddy just fell out of love" can be scary for them. They will draw all sorts of harmful conclusions from that.
You can do it in a non-vengeful way, just the simple fact without any emotional editorials like "my exW is a big slut who went around fucking other men", more like "she had an A, we tried to R for awhile but it didn't work out".
Furthermore, my kids know the truth and are in counseling, so there really isn't anything that I'm protecting them from other than the more salacious details (which I generally don't share with people I'm not close to because it would be TMI, I think).
You do what's best for you and your DD. Don't worry about protecting your STBX. If she had really cared about her reputation, then she wouldn't have cheated on you.
But when you do make it public it then opens you up to questions, speculation, and gossip. For me, it was best to tell people what happened. Back then anyway. Now I do not talk about it unless asked a direct question or on SI (dday was 8 years ago). I got really sick of feeling like I was on the Jerry Springer show...
Another difference was that DD already knew because she was in the house on dday when I caught them together (what the fuck where they thinking??!! Oh yeah, they were not...)
Do what feels right for you and the situation. If you feel the need to get support from a friend or family member then do. If you don't want to lie to someone, then don't. You no longer have to protect your WW from the judgement of others -- she fired you from that job. Her actions have consequences and it is not your job to mitigate those consequences for her. But it is your job to mitigate those consequences from your DD and yourself so it is a fine line you sometimes have to walk.
All my close friends know because I turned to them for help. As I go through my Divorce, if others ask what happened I will tell them that he was unfaithful and that it was a dealbreaker. I refuse to be blamed for the destruction of my marriage.
I'm telling my family this weekend. They know something is up, but they don't know the details and that I filed yesterday.
But take it on a case by case basis...it is true that some people just really don't care.
I feel that too many BSs act as though they did something wrong, which perpetuates this silence and secrecy around it, preventing betrayed people from getting the support they need.
I did nothing wrong. I was a fabulous wife who married a broken man.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
[This message edited by kernel at 9:22 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
Primarily because ex wanted it that way. He had a "reputation" to consider after all! He works in a high profile position within the community, in a conservative organization. He did not want our children to know what he had done, and...well...frankly, he was embarrassed. I was embarrassed too... not only had be been unfaithful for many years, but that he was gay.
But, I realized I was still protecting him, the role I played for far too long. I decided to stop lying and let the chips fall where they may. Lying is what brought us to the position we were in.
Not everyone knows the "whole" truth. If I am close to them, they know. If they are casual acquaintances, then it is a version of the truth. It simply depends on the circumstances...but I am in control to let people know what I think is appropriate. Since he is now in an openly gay relationship, there is little need for me to hide anything.
The children know the truth in age appropriate terms. "When you get married, you promise each other not to date anyone else. Daddy broke his promise. Mommy's heart was broken and it cannot be fixed." As they have become older, then more of the truth is out. What is appropriate, obviously. I would not go through life with my children thinking we "grew apart". I don't bash their father and I encourage their relationship. We talk openly and honestly.
For me, "The truth shall set you free" saying certainly was true. It was freeing for me to "let go" the urge to protect him. I no longer cared if he was going to be contentious or agreeable...his actions and choices are his own. It is what it is.
I think that lasted about 12 hours.
The first DDay convo was an all-nighter. He went to work. I tried to get some sleep. I woke up and realized I couldn't handle this on my own. And I also realized I couldn't be like him and live a double life.
I picked up the phone and started calling/telling everyone.
I think that ultimately hurt our chances for R because WS is a conflict avoider. I think it made the mountain seem that much bigger.
DDay#2, he refused R. I then had to quit a job in his office (OW was a coworker). He tried to muscle me into not telling his boss what he did ("you know, she and I could get married and it wouldn't even matter! No one will care! It's not against the rules!"). I ended up tapping a senior colleague for help and he crafted a resignation letter for me that didn't say that he cheated-- but challenged his version that our break up was "amicable" and made it clear that I didn't have a choice, given his actions. I ran it by a few other senior colleagues who called it "masterful." I didn't let him see it because I wanted to let him sweat on whether I was going to out him or not.
Since then when someone asks me what happened, I tell them. He cheated, tried to hide it, I found out and he just wasn't up for doing the work it was going to take to fix it. Very few people have been uncomfortable with that. 99% of people are extremely kind and compassionate.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 9:55 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
[This message edited by Sad in AZ at 10:44 PM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
My thinking now is that just like there are repercussions for my H and his shitty decisions, there are also repercussions for decisions I make in the wake of it. I don't see anything good coming from spouting it all over town and in fact it may end up hurting those I'm only trying to help - my kids. So, for me, I've decided I won't lie. But I also don't feel obligated to tell anyone.
If it feels like it's right, I'll tell. If not, I won't. Let's face it, a lot of people who pretend to care, just want gossip they can spread to make themselves feel important. So, my advice would be to be honest but not to feel obligated to anyone. Be true to yourself and your children. That's all that matters. ~L