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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Do you ever tell the kids about the infidelities?
Phoenix9572
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Member # 39987
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have 2 boys 14 & 12 and they are asking me so many questions about why I want a divorce from Dad. My oldest even came out and asked if it was about infidelity? I just kept repeating my standard line about I can't discuss the problems with me and Dad. They are between me and Dad.
My IC has sternly cautioned me from telling them what a POS their father is/ has been. She said it would make them mad at me and very hurt and confused about their Dad.
So, did your kids find out or were they told?
I guess I'm struggling because STBxH is a SA - even though he won't admit it. He has some very messed up views of women, relationships, sex, etc. I wondered if the boys knew what their Dad had done then maybe they won't take as much influence from him in these areas. I hate that I am no longer going to know what he's filling their head with so I know what to reprogram. Help!


Me - 40
WH - 42
Married 18 years
kids - 14, 12
DD - May 13, 2013
DD2 - Aug 4, 2013
DD3 - Aug 27, 2013
Status - Legally separated; really wanted R but don't think that is possible anymore

Posts: 103 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Southern Indiana
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 1:37 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Kids need honesty in an age-appropriate way. If you aren't honest, if you are evasive, they are left with NO understanding of their world. That's cruel. How are they supposed to make sense of their world if they aren't given the necessary information?

I'm also dealing with a SA husband. I'm not going to leave it up to chance to see if my kids turn out alright, considering what they had modeled for them (addict & codep). No way. Sometimes the truth hurts. Mom & Dad aren't perfect.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8785 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Newlease
♀ Member
Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well I think they should be told that he wasn't faithful to his marriage vows. He should probably be there when this happens. He needs to own that part of it. But to give them all the gruesome details, I don't think that is needed.

It's a fine line between telling them the truth and alienating them from their father. The thing is, that no matter how bad you feel about him, he is their father and so a part of him is in them. If you make him look too bad to them, they will feel bad about themselves.

They can learn the "truth" about their father in their own way and time.

As far as them turning out like him, you just have to teach them respect for themselves and for women.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7557 | Registered: Aug 2005
sodamnlost
♀ Member
Member # 37190
Default  Posted: 1:59 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have always believed kids should know age appropriate reality. Heck we didn't even play Santa or Easter Bunny with ours (NOT for religious reasons either). I have held in 4 big lies and it eats at me daily. My A I had on their Dad, the A and SA issues their Dad has, their stepdad's (my current WH) A and my WH's past criminal record. I keep saying I need to change that. Just have to find the guts.


If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it's not a fluffy pink unicorn squirting liquid rainbows, complete with pots of gold out of it's ass.

Posts: 739 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Nowhere pretty
Kajem
♀ Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids therapist told me to answer truthfully IF THEY asked.

My kids know the truth about why we divorced. They did not learn the gory details from me, they have put them together on their own with a little sleuthing that they have done.

If their not getting the truth from you - they may seek it elsewhere. That elsewhere might not be the most healthy place for them to place their trust.

It is a very fine line to walk. Are your kids in counseling? If not they may need a safe place to deal with this.

Hugs,

K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4031 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
devistatedmom
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Member # 24961
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is a difference between telling the kids what their other parent did, and answering their questions honestly.

Should you stand there and rant about everything that your X did? No. THAT can backfire on you and have them mad at you.

Your son asks you a direct question? Refusing to answer is going to get them mad at you that you hid it from them. Then you are the one lying to them.

When my X first walked, I couldn't hide it from my kids, because they woke up in the morning and he was gone. At that point, all I told them was that when you get married you take vows, and you can't break those vows. Daddy broke some of them, and we will be getting divorced.

Last year, my son asked me point blank why we broke up. I asked him, you do know why, don't you? He said, dad had an affair and fooled around on you. I answered yes. I didn't go into details, but I answered him honestly.

I think you should always answer their questions as honestly as possible. You need to be the parent that they know they can count on.


BS(me) 46, kids DS 17, DD 14.
He is no longer my best friend. Repeat until it sticks.

WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.


Posts: 5225 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Canada
tryingagain74
♀ Member
Member # 33698
Default  Posted: 3:23 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The IC counseled me to answer all direct questions in an age-appropriate way. So, while my kids know that their dad started dating their stepmother while still married to me, and thus, broke the promises he made in marriage to me, they don't know the really ugly details-- when DS #1 asked where they met, I simply said, "Online." That worked for him. I didn't say, "Ashley Madison, a website where people who want to cheat on their spouses go to find a hookup."

Frankly, the nebulous comment that I had been using repeatedly, "grown-up problems," was only creating anxiety in my kids. They seemed relieved when I told them what had really happened. Now, it made sense. Otherwise, it was just some awful, unknown thing that I couldn't talk about. I'm sure the kids also wondered if we were lying to them about it not being their fault-- this way, they knew for sure that it had nothing to do with them.

I am also glad to finally be dealing with the truth. I didn't like keeping that from them, and honestly, I also didn't like being forced to maintain XWH's image with our kids. He should have copped to his bad behavior right from the start; our IC said that it's better to talk about these issues right now and work on them rather than let them fester until the kids are teenagers or adults. She said that if my XWH doesn't open up a line of communication with the kids and let them talk about the anger and hurt that they feel toward him, he's going to alienate them from him as they get older. That's also why I wanted to tell the truth-- my kids know that they can talk to me, vent their hurt and anger to me, and trust me to be honest with them.


BS (Me) 39
Happily liberated!
Two DS and One DD
It matters not how strait the gate,/How charged with punishments the scroll./I am the master of my fate:/I am the captain of my soul.--"Invictus," William Ernest Henley

Posts: 3403 | Registered: Oct 2011
Phoenix1
♀ Member
Member # 38928
Default  Posted: 4:09 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Answer their questions honestly.

When my POS ran away, I told my DD16 why, that I caught him at another woman's house. From there she started asking questions and I answered. I felt she had the maturity level needed to handle it and I was sick of all the lies. She shared her thoughts with me and she had suspected things before I told her. The info she got from me filled in a lot of the gaps in her mind. She has told me on several occasions how much she appreciated my honesty and willingness to not treat her like she is 5 (she thinks her dad always treats her like she is a little kid with the same mental capacity). She has also said a lot of things make much more sense to her now. I have also made sure all my kids know that just because they know how crappy their dad treated me, I did not expect them to have to choose sides because of it. They are old enough to determine what kind of relationship they have with their father, and I support whatever decision they make. If they are alienated from him it is a consequence of his actions and it is up to him to repair that damage, not me. It feels good not having to cover for him anymore after years of doing just that. My DD still asks occasional questions and I answer honestly.

If you don't tell them, they will come to their own conclusions, which may be wrong, and they will resent you for hiding things from them. However, only you can determine how much details are needed based on their maturity level, but answer any question they have honestly. You will likely find they already know more than you realize...


BS - Me
XPOS - too many OW/OCs, started 1994? - never stopped
Kids - 22, 20, 17
M Dissolved 2013!!!

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


Posts: 828 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Rising out of Hell's ashes!
sleepless34
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Member # 40274
Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am going through this now!

I have been counseled, in our situation anyway, when one parent wants the D/or caused the D and the kids kind of know anyway that you should be honest, as others have said.

They said it is okay to say "when you are married, you have vows, and Daddy broke those vows and he gave his time and attention to someone else besides Mommy. Because of that, now there are going to be some changes to the family."

As others have said, you aren't supposed to blame, get hysterical, angry, etc- you are still supposed to show them you are a united front and that you "like" eachother.

I wish I was ready to do that. Was going to try and do it Monday, but honestly, I don't think I am yet capable. I want to do it right, as apparently HOW you do it, how you act is way more important than what you say....


I DID NOT ASK FOR THIS SHIT STORM!!!


Me BW- 40ish, awesome
Cheating scusband 40ish
2 kids, elementary school age
Bomb dropped Aug 4 out of nowhere...

Posts: 406 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Hell
inconnu
♀ Member
Member # 24518
Default  Posted: 7:48 PM, August 30th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids were 17 and 14 when their dad left. The older one already knew about his dad cheating. The younger one did not.

After ex walked out on us, and left me to tell the kids, I decided to tell them the truth. Not the gory details, but I told them that their dad didn't want to be married to me any more, that he had met someone else. And, since their dad moved in with OW shortly after he left, the kids would have figured it out, anyway.

With my younger one especially, there was anger towards me. Not for telling him about his dad, but because he was mad, and sad, and felt like his life was out of control. Whether he realized it at the time or not, I was the parent he felt safe enough with to be angry.

And I let him. For 2 long years. He wasn't allowed to be rude or disrepectful, but he was allowed to feel what he felt, and that I would love him no matter what.

Personally, I'm an advocate for telling kids the truth, as long as it's age appropriate. For my kids, there have been enough secrets and lies from their dad. I try very hard to be truthful with my kids.


Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out...honestly
I wanna see you be brave

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect


Posts: 11989 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: TX
Kajem
♀ Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 6:15 AM, August 31st (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He should have copped to his bad behavior right from the start; our IC said that it's better to talk about these issues right now and work on them rather than let them fester until the kids are teenagers or adults. She said that if my XWH doesn't open up a line of communication with the kids and let them talk about the anger and hurt that they feel toward him, he's going to alienate them from him as they get older. That's also why I wanted to tell the truth-- my kids know that they can talk to me, vent their hurt and anger to me, and trust me to be honest with them.

Because of going thru this and dealing with it honestly and openly, my kids know that I can be trusted. I can tell you they don't feel the same way about their father . I get the real kid, he gets the version they think he wants to see.

He has spent years using smoke and mirrors in his quest to build a truth from lies. Now he is getting the same from the kids.

We always hear the words " you teach people how to treat you." Never more apparent in our relationships with our kids.

Hugs
K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4031 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
LadyQ
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Member # 32847
Default  Posted: 7:51 AM, August 31st (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids were 16, 14 and 5. I gave them the "your dad made some choices I couldn't live with" speech. Since then, my now 18 yo hasn't broached the subject, my 16 yo came to me about 6 months ago and asked why her dad cheated ( she's too smart, she knew I wouldn't divorce just because x left his socks laying around!) and I still give my 7 year old the "choices" speech.

I am very careful with the middle child. She had her father on a very high pedestal, and he basically kicked it out from under himself. She is devastated by his behavior. He has lied to her and been caught. She is going through much the same emotions I did when I first found out. Her dad is a shit, but I have scar tissue on my tongue from not speaking THAT particular truth. I spent a lot of time after the divorce wishing my kids could see what an ass he was. I was sick to death of hearing how great dad was, how fun dad was. But when I have to hold my sobbing daughter as she discovers more truth about her father, it is absolutely breaking my heart.

I always said I'd tell my kids the truth, and I do. How I explain it depends on the emotionally maturity of the child involved.


Tune out the noise of what others tell you about who you are and work it out for yourself...

Posts: 1650 | Registered: Jul 2011
Eranda
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Member # 6010
Default  Posted: 8:31 AM, August 31st (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My divorce happened when my kids were small- kindergarten and 1st grade. I just told them that when people get married they make certain promises to each other, and if one of them breaks those promises, it's very hard to stay married.

I never told them the exact reason, but a couple years later they figured it out. My son told me he knew why we got divorced, and when I asked what he thought, he said "because Twinkie was dad's girlfriend while you were still married". I about drove off the road.

At that point I didn't lie. I told him that yes, that was true- but I didn't really elaborate except to answer their questions.

As far as kids go- when they're ready to hear the answer, they'll ask. And keep this in mind- only answer the questions they ask- more than that is too much for them.

[This message edited by Eranda at 8:32 AM, August 31st (Saturday)]


My Blog: http://allofthewaystohell.com/

Posts: 4207 | Registered: Dec 2004 | From: eastern PA
dmari
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Member # 37215
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, August 31st (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Of course you wouldn't tell your kids what a POS their father is/has been. If your oldest is asking though, I would give him an honest answer. How sad and confusing it would be for him to not trust both parents. Not details but answer his question.

Good luck! Find a solution that you are comfortable with and that would be in the best interest of your children.


Me (BS): 42 Children: DD 18, DS 15
I FINALLY GOT A COURT DATE: 5/29/14!!

Posts: 1832 | Registered: Oct 2012
Griefstricken25
♀ Member
Member # 29183
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, September 1st (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids are young and don't understand all the terminology, but they do understand and have been told that Daddy chose to leave, and that he had a girlfriend while married to Mummy and how that is never okay. And lately, if it comes up, and they see that everyone (including me) is happy now, 4 years later, and Daddy is still with OW, I emphasize that it STILL isn't okay to make choices like that.


Me!
3 amazing kidlets
To WXH "Now you're just somebody that I used to know." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M
D-day and separation - June, 2009
Divorced - December, 2011

Posts: 2498 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: A better place
Phoenix9572
♀ Member
Member # 39987
Default  Posted: 7:45 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel as bad as WS these last few days with TT. My boys have picked up on bits of things here and there and the questions keep coming. At one point after they realized the infidelity they asked me how I busted him. I kinda laid it all out there and let them know that I had been working on moving past all this since I first found out in May but I caught him doing something else again last week. I told them that I could not let their Dad disrespect me or our marriage any longer. They seemed to understand this.
Our youngest really idolizes his dad so I made sure to tell them that despite what he did they are still to respect him. They should also focus on his good qualities like that he loves them, wants the best for them, he's a hard worker, smart, etc.
i hope I have handled this well. I know there are more questions to come but I will let them process things in their own time.


Me - 40
WH - 42
Married 18 years
kids - 14, 12
DD - May 13, 2013
DD2 - Aug 4, 2013
DD3 - Aug 27, 2013
Status - Legally separated; really wanted R but don't think that is possible anymore

Posts: 103 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Southern Indiana
homewrecked2011
♀ Member
Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 10:55 PM, September 4th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My sons were 15 and 11 at the time. The counselor said they needed to know basics. So we told them that their Dad left because I had not been truthful with him concerning our money issues. Then we told them that I filed for D because I found out their dad had not been faithful to me, that he was with Miss xxx - a family friend. And that it was unacceptable to me to be disrespected in that manner. I told them I still loved their dad, he was welcome to come to counseling to see IF our marriage/family could be saved.

Honestly, they were so much better mentally and emotionally after I told them than when all the secrets were swirling around.


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 1714 | Registered: Jan 2012
Thefly559
♂ Member
Member # 40268
Default  Posted: 7:03 AM, September 5th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids are 7 and 9 , they have asked me numerous times why this is happening. They screamed and cried and said they do not want divorce daddy! My stbxw has a degree in child psychology and had an affair and called cops on me in front of my kids! When they ask why I tell them mommy did something against our marraige vows . I was always the one who my kids could come to for honesty my stbxw was a master at manipulation especially with them . They are smart they will realize one day right and wrong but I feel not lying is still better than making up some bullcrap! My kids will respect me more trust me more and learn the difference between good and bad people and actions. No details of course , they are way too young. When I ask them what mommy says when they ask her. They say she doesn't tell them anything. She can do and say what she pleases but she no longer controls me ! Or my kids on my time!


"what does not kill you , makes you stronger"

Posts: 580 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: nyc
Topic Posts: 18

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