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What to tell the children

Tinnat posted 8/30/2020 10:44 AM

I’d appreciate help with the following scenario: H decided that he will move to an apartment, “for the time being with the AP, until she gets over her nervous breakdown.” He says he is still emotionally confused and will be seeking professional help, but I have decided I have had enough, and I am going to divorce. H will come home tomorrow and we will tell D13 and D15 about our separation/divorce. I’m not sure at all that H believes that I have finally snapped, and hence the dilemma.

I suspect that tomorrow he will want to tell the girls simply that he is confused and needs to live alone for a while. If he wants to say this, how do I react?

On the other hand we told them in March 2019 that we “no longer loved each other as a couple”, and I only discovered AP’s existence 6 months later although the affair started in 2017. So he may want to tell them that since March 2019 he fell in love with another woman. If this is what he wants to say, how do I react?

Am I missing any scenario he may suggest? To bear in mind also that this woman will be living with him. So he may want them to meet her soon. My intention is that we share custody, meaning they would stay at his place 50% of the time, meaning they would meet her. I’m divided between wanting him to not escape from his duties of fatherhood and on the other hand not wanting them to meet AP (who is very likely not to be around in 6 months) so soon.

Justsomeguy posted 8/30/2020 11:31 AM

Tell them the truth. It will come out one day and they may be very angry that their father abandoned them and mother lied about it. Better to have necparent who they can actuslly trust. Just like you, they deserve to live authentic lives.

99problems posted 8/30/2020 11:47 AM

Agreed that truth is the only way to go. Kids deserve truth in their lives.

Dragonfly123 posted 8/31/2020 00:03 AM

You always tell children the truth. Your girls are old enough to understand. Problems arise for children when they are lied to under the guise of trying to ‘protect’ them.

Age appropriate honesty EVERY time.

Tinnat, I know you have had other posters say that you should be insisting the OW has NO contact with your children due to her mental health/breakdowns/suicidal tendencies. They are right. What are your thoughts about this?

Btw you’re doing really well!

The1stWife posted 8/31/2020 08:20 AM

You two need to rehearse together what you are telling g your children. Together! Not him alone so he can influence the scenario that he’s nit been cheating.

You tell them you both tried but Dad has met someone else and he’s decided he doesn’t want to be married anymore. And that he plans to live with his OW and that you both decided the marriage is not able to survive.

If they ask if he cheated you can simply say “he has been seeing her while we have been married”.

Carissima posted 8/31/2020 10:18 AM

What makes you think the AP is not going to be around in 6 months?
Everything you've written indicates she knows how to manipulate your WH exactly how and where she wants him? What do you see changing?
It's good to see you enforcing your boundaries. I agree with everyone else, your girls are old enough to hear the truth. You don't need the elaborate details but the truth, definitely.

squid posted 8/31/2020 10:22 AM

Echoing exactly what The1stWife said.

Be as factual yet as non-disparaging as possible regarding your WH. He is their father after all. They can form their own conclusions about him. It is also his responsibility to foster a relationship with them.

He is going to try and minimize what he did. He is probably going to want to omit his affair and just say something like "mommy and daddy don't love each other anymore". Yeah, you seem to have left something out there.

I’m divided between wanting him to not escape from his duties of fatherhood and on the other hand not wanting them to meet AP (who is very likely not to be around in 6 months) so soon.

Unfortunately, these are circumstances that you just cannot control. Focus on being the stable parent your kids really need.

Lifeexploded posted 8/31/2020 20:14 PM

Honesty, but without blame. Judges don't like blame. "Daddy is moving out and we are going to get divorced. We both love you very much and are here any time you need to talk or have any questions."

Buster123 posted 8/31/2020 21:32 PM

Your father is "confused" because he's been having an affair with POSOW (make sure you name her), I don't want to be part of this farce of a M anymore and have decided to file for D, we will always love you and be there for you no matter what.

Tinnat posted 9/1/2020 09:13 AM

So yesterday we told the kids about the divorce and about the other woman. I think it's not clear to them that this woman was there before the marriage broke down (even less that, at least in my eyes, H's fall down the rabbit hole began when he met her and allowed the infidelity to take place.

Today they're all excited because their father has said lovely things to them about her and because he has spent the morning buttering them up about life in general and happiness and bla bla bla. It's unbearable to see at least one of them so happy and oblivious to what has been happening. She keeps on feeling sorry for me and asking me if it's ok that she tells me things about her father's new apartment and when they're meeting her and how she thinks they will like her because of what their father said. Yet given the rough night I had with her to show her that all will be fine and that I AM fine, I don't have it in me to paint the real picture - that would serve nothing except my ego.

[This message edited by Tinnat at 9:29 AM, September 1st (Tuesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 9/1/2020 16:05 PM

I don't understand why you didn't take your WH aside and tell him that you don't want your children around this unhinged person. Isn't THAT why he told you he was going back to her, because she was unbalanced and had tried to off herself???? Why would you allow him to LIE to your children? You are their MOTHER. His value as a father (such as it is) is NOT greater than yours. You do understand, don't you, that people who are a danger to themselves are sometimes a danger to others??? Their thought process regarding life and death is distorted.

Tell your kids the truth. File for D and get a MORALITY CLAUSE to keep your kids away from his crazy OW. You don't have to do what this guy tells you to do. That's the beauty of divorce. He doesn't get to run your life anymore.

Cooley2here posted 9/1/2020 19:44 PM

I have testified in front of a lot of judges. None of them are alike. Some go strictly by the letter of the law. Some are religious when they should not be. Some have common sense and some are nuts. Your atty will know whether you need to ask for court intervention concerning the OW.

Document, document, document. Nothing petty but include pertinent info that you know about her. Once your children begin visiting they will tell you things as long as you remain neutral. Kids are very protective of their parents and if they see you upset over things they tell you then they shut down. IF they tell you issues that put them in harms way be sure and let your atty know ASAP. Your first priority is the safety of your children.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 7:44 PM, September 1st (Tuesday)]

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