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Just told the adult kids the whole story

learningtofeel posted 2/1/2021 19:04 PM

Our divorce was final back in August, and at that time the X asked again for my help in smoothing things with two of our three adult kids who were still barely talking to him. I said I thought the best way for him to rebuild with them was to be honest, and tell them the whole story of how many affairs he had had.

Backstory: when we decided to reconcile after D-Day 1 we agreed to only tell the family about the A I had just discovered, not all the previous ones he also admitted. Because we figured it would be harder to reconcile if everyone knew - that people would discourage me from staying (RIGHT?!). So we kept that secret (READ: protected HIM).

So in August he said, "no thanks" to my suggestion. I said, Okay, but I'm not going to lie anymore. And I told all my friends and my own extended family. Just not the kids. My plan was if it came up naturally in conversation, I would not lie, but I wasn't going to just call them up and tell them he had all those other affairs.

In September it came up with one of the kids, and I told that one. Last weekend it came up with another one, and I told that one. They and I agreed that it was not okay for the third one to be the only one who didn't know, so just now I called him up and told him. They all expressed that they wished they had known the whole story back in 2013 and were glad they know now.

I just can't believe how relieved I feel. I had not realized at all that I had been carrying this secret for eight years - through the entire divorce process. He was a serial cheater and no one knew. It should not be a surprise that I feel relieved, and it's a sign of how much I was duped by the whole thing that I am surprised.

And the other frighteningly disturbing thing is that I also noticed I was feeling afraid of what his reaction will be when he finds out I've told the kids. If past experience serves, he will be angry, accusing me of sabotaging him, demanding to know why I did it, and acting like it's my fault the kids are upset because I told them.

BUT - I am ready. I owe him NOTHING. Not even an explanation. I told the kids because I wasn't going to lie anymore. Period.

This whole second year - the first year after the divorce - it's hard. I'm finally able to go through some grief, pain and mourning that I couldn't do while I was actively getting divorced. I'm discovering trauma I didn't know was there. And of course, like all of us, on top of COVID and other national upheavals.

And no more lies.

Thanks all of you SI compatriots, for once again being a place to share this process.

barcher144 posted 2/1/2021 19:14 PM

I am ready. I owe him NOTHING. Not even an explanation. I told the kids because I wasn't going to lie anymore. Period.

One of the best things that I have read on here in a long time.

Awesome.

Just awesome.

Congratulations!

fareast posted 2/1/2021 19:26 PM

“And the truth shall set you free”. I am sorry for the burden you have carried for so long. I am glad your children now know the truth. As a child of a serial cheating father, all of us kids knew, but we needed to hear it from our Mom. It never changed our opinion of him. He was an alcoholic and an abusive father and husband. You reap what you sow.

You are divorced and your children are adults. Don’t sweat his reactions. Isn’t he proud of his deliberate deeds? Doesn’t he believe his children deserve the truth about there father? Pathetic hypocrite. Good luck going forward. I hope your path gets easier.

BearlyBreathing posted 2/1/2021 20:10 PM

(((Hugs))) proud of you— that was not easy but you did it. And now you can leave that burden behind you.

Not your monkey, right?

Phoenix1 posted 2/2/2021 00:38 AM

Well done!

I told Xhole at the time of divorce I would not lie to our kids and cover for him any longer. Getting the truth out in the open was very liberating. So I understand that feeling.

learningtofeel posted 2/2/2021 09:46 AM

Thanks everyone!

It really does make me think about how codependent I was, the fact that I didn't just up and tell everyone (especially the kids) on my own terms whenever I wanted. How much growth I have yet to do to move through and away from the aftermath of this long, complicated and unhealthy marriage.

I told my mom last night about this, and she commented that she was proud of how "honorable" I had been. It made me think, yeah, but at whose expense? Honor is a two-way street in a committed relationship, and we only had a one-way honor system happening! So it was not particularly honorable to ME that I put up with all that crap for so long.

I held that secret for almost eight years. And I slept really well last night on my relief! On my way to a whole me, free of his influence forevermore.

phmh posted 2/2/2021 21:08 PM

Reading this made my day! I am so happy that you have this weight lifted off of your shoulders. Weight of living inauthentically that was never yours to bear. I'm also happy that your kids know - I believe it will help them in relationships in the future. Great job!

Marz posted 2/3/2021 18:07 PM

Good job!

It’s not your job to lie to your kid to protect a cheater who destroyed the family.

I shake my head whenever I see lying to kids to protect them? All you’re doing is setting them up.

A friend of mine stood up with his cheating wife and lied to the kids. She introduced them to her OM two days later. He’s still kicking himself for being so passive and stupid.

[This message edited by Marz at 2:40 AM, February 4th (Thursday)]

Katz13 posted 2/4/2021 01:26 AM

Good for you! I too told our kid the truth. My X still hasn't admitted to an A to anyone but allows his friend to posts pictures to Facebook of the new couple. I dropped the truth to everyone we knew this time. I protected the truth of his first affair and still kick myself for doing so.

learningtofeel posted 2/4/2021 09:16 AM

Katz,
My therapist says one of the hardest parts of all of this is forgiving ourselves (instead of kicking ourselves).

The1stWife posted 2/4/2021 09:30 AM

Good for you. It is a a big how many cheaters expect the betrayed to “keep their secret”. Biggest mistake I made during his affair.

After dday2 I told his whole family. All the details too. He was probably glossing over it like “ oh I sorta cheated on my wife”.

Hell no you sorta planned to D me to be with the OW if you have forgotten the truth - as is typical with those trying to save face.

Chrysalis123 posted 2/4/2021 18:21 PM

Honor is a two-way street in a committed relationship, and we only had a one-way honor system happening! So it was not particularly honorable to ME that I put up with all that crap for so long.

Has anyone told you lately how amazing you are?

All your inner work is paying off. Well done!

Katz13 posted 2/4/2021 20:28 PM

This is the best thing I've read in months and cheaper than therapy. Reading this made me stand taller and sleep better. Love all of you!

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