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Tell the kids or not? If yes, then when?

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Justsomeguy posted 5/12/2019 18:15 PM

I have to agree with 1Wvgirl here. It sounds to me like you are making a choice for your daughter rather than letting her choose how she will view her "real" dad. It's much like the choice he made for you when he decided to have an affair. I'm not certain she would rather live a fictional life over an authentic one. I know I wouldn't. I will tell my kids after the actual divorce which should be soon. Once I am fully set up in my own place, I will give them a soft place to land.hopefully they will not blame me for the affair and understand why I could not live with my betrayal even for their sake. I stopped loving her on DD and could never find it again.

[This message edited by Justsomeguy at 6:34 AM, May 13th (Monday)]

Butforthegrace posted 5/12/2019 19:22 PM

Her dad is a good man who did a bad thing. It was a very bad thing, But it does not define him. I refuse to let it become her definition of him. He is wonderful father.

I understand the sentiment completely. At the same time, one of the things parents do, sometimes unwittingly, is model for their children what a healthy relationship looks like. It would be useful for your daughter to know her father's warts along with his good points, among other things so that, as she is vetting a potential mate, she can possibly avoid one who will cheat.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 7:38 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]

KaleidoscopePic posted 5/12/2019 23:50 PM

This is a tough one. It can be so tempting to badmouth the WS, but do whatever you can not to do so, because from bitter experience, I can tell you that if you say anything against their mom, they could feel the need to defend her, and it could come back to bite you.

14 and 16 are old enough to know the truth. Chances are they already know a lot more than you think they do. But be careful how you do it. They are going to know there are two sides to the story, and if it comes out like it's badmouthing her, they could turn against you.

Last summer we were really struggling. I did not know if I was going to be able to pay the next month's rent, and xh wanted me to drive the kids to the airport so he did not have to come get them. He was over a year behind on support, which I'd kept from the kids. When he expected me to help him out, I was so angry. So he set to work on the oldest claiming to him that I was preventing him from seeing them by not agreeing to take them to the airport. The oldest applied pressure until I reached my breaking point and I spilled to him that his father was over a year in arrears on child support, I didn't know how I was going to pay the next month's rent, etc. I should never,ever have done that. The boys went to their dad's for the summer, and in July, my oldest told me he was not coming back. He was turning 16 in September and had the choice who he wanted to live with. I tell that story, of which I am ashamed, as a warning: do whatever it takes not to badmouth your wife, because when one parent attacks the other in the child's eyes. the child feels he/she has to defend the parent who was badmouthed, and be careful about badmouthing the other offender (the affair). In my case xh married the woman he had the affair with. so she is my kids' stepmom. They love her. If telling your kids, own your part. Share that both parents have made mistakes (you do not need to go into depth or details) but that no matter what happens, you and their mom are committed to loving them.

1Wvgirl posted 5/13/2019 09:50 AM

I understand the sentiment completely. At the same time, one of the things parents do, sometimes unwittingly, is model for their children what a healthy relationship looks like. It would be useful for your daughter to know her father's warts along with his good points, among other things so that, as she is vetting a potential mate, she can possibly avoid one who will cheat.

I can teacher her without destroying her relationship with her father. On the outside, we had a very healthy relationship. No one would guess this was going on. I made the best decision for my family. I stand by the decision and don't regret it. In my situation, it was the right thing to do.

Each situation is different.

Girl123 posted 5/13/2019 10:20 AM

I think your kids are old enough to tell the basics, no details at all and no badmouthing.

My mom told me about my dad's cheating when we moved out, I was 7. She gave to many details and badmouthing him a lot. It traumatized me and the effect went the other way around. I ended up defending my dad's a lot and I didn't have the best relationship with her for years. We are good now and I feel sorry for what happened to her. But it was inappropriate, I was her daughter and not her confident.

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