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Keep A secret?

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EEguy1412 posted 7/2/2019 07:57 AM

This is a follow-up to something I asked several months ago: Should I keep the A secret from my kids or not? Right now, we have told the kids that we are going to D. WW frantically keeps the A secret from the kids. My lawyer advised me also not to mention it because it could be interpreted by the other side as me not having the kids' best interest at heart. The advice I got on SI, however, was to tell the truth in an age appropriate, non-disparaging manner. I haven't done that yet because of my lawyer's advice.

It is burning me up inside, though, that my kids go through this pain and that I have to pretend that "we grew apart" nonsense. Also, I could swear that at least my teen has figured things out (they all know the OM well), and I am effectively gaslighting them. Still, I don't want to hand the other side ammo against me.

What can I do?

Queen posted 7/2/2019 08:10 AM

How old are your kids?

How long until your divorce is final?

ff4152 posted 7/2/2019 08:12 AM

FWIW, if it gives you a better divorce settlement, wait until everything is final before telling the kids.

EEguy1412 posted 7/2/2019 08:13 AM

4 kids, 8 - 15.
D realistic for end of year the earliest.

Queen posted 7/2/2019 08:18 AM

Perhaps you can just say to the kids that legally you can't really talk much about the marriage/divorce/reasons and refer them back to their mother for information? She'll probably lie to them but eventually, you'll be able to tell them the truth...just not yet because you don't want to make the divorce messier.

sisoon posted 7/2/2019 08:41 AM

If one asks, I think you have 2 not-so-good choices:

1) say it's private between you and their mom, but both of you love the kids and will take care of them until they leave the nest, or

2) age-appropriately reveal the A.

Kids deserve age-appropriate truth, IMO, and healthy kids will do more for you than a few extras in the settlement, also IMO.

cocoplus5nuts posted 7/2/2019 09:09 AM

Follow your lawyer's advice for now.

I like Queen's idea. Tell your kids that you can't talk about it right now for legal reasons, but as soon as you can, you will answer any questions they have.

dancin-gal posted 7/2/2019 09:58 AM

Listen to your lawyer right now .. you did grow apart .. not your fault .. tell children you love them and be there for them .. most important.. your kids will know the truth soon .. the fact you didnít tell them now is in your favor ..

Justsomeguy posted 7/2/2019 10:11 AM

I am in the same situation exactly. At first, we agreed not to tell the kids. Then I decided they should know and contacted my STBXWW to talk to her as well as my lawyer. Same legal advice, so I told my ex it was up to her but I wanted to tell them. That way, when i do i can place the responsibility directly on her where it belongs. I also told her that her secret was no longer my burden and i will not keep it for her. She is rather stupid and does not understand what that means. I may not be able to tell the kids, but I wont lie to other people. All question get redirected her way. I didn't cause this why should i take responsibility for it?

EEguy1412 posted 7/2/2019 10:28 AM

Thanks everyone. Makes sense. These things have a way of coming out eventually, so no need for me to tell now, and aggravate the D.

I won't deny this if I am asked, though, I suppose. They were affectionate in front of the kids up to a point (this is really the worst, worst part, I mean who does that??? I still cannot get over that) and I'd bet they'll figure it out.

Tigersrule77 posted 7/2/2019 10:43 AM

If one of your children is 15 and saw your STBXWW being affectionate with another man, they will very likely be suspicious, or already assume. Kids are smarter than we think.

I have to agree with the others to wait until the D is final. Also, when you have the discussion with any of your children, make sure you're not doing it to attack your X. When you are calm and ready to let them know why you chose D, do so. Your STBXWW will probably assume you were trying to make her look bad regardless. As long as you know what your motivations are, that is all that matters.

LifeLostLongAgo posted 7/3/2019 13:03 PM

The lawyer is nuts.

He's making you look bad.

She's frantic to keep it a secret?

MamaDragon posted 7/3/2019 13:06 PM

Follow your attorney's guidance. Wait until the divorce is final, then give them the truth.

Be prepared for them to be upset with you for not telling sooner BUT that will pass.

crazyblindsided posted 7/3/2019 13:15 PM

You have a teen? Yeah it's definitely age appropriate to tell them. I don't help cover lies for my WS even to the kids.

EEguy1412 posted 7/3/2019 23:31 PM

Great advice. I know, I need to think of what's best for my kids first, about the D process second, and all other motivations are less relevant. I am human, though, and my motivations are not always pure. Part of me wants to see my WW take some responsibility, and, yes, this may be wrong think but I also eventually want my kids to know how this all happened.

In addition, my WW on the one hand is frantic that my kids shouldn't know, on the other hand she has told practically everyone in her family and her friends. I was utterly surprised by that, given that she is a Jesus Cheater. I thought it would embarrass her, the seedy hotels etc. To the contrary, she has been going on the offensive, telling friends and family that the marriage has been dead for years blablabla and that I practically drove her into the arms of our friend, and that god has sent her happiness.

That part I totally do not understand. One of her enabling girl friends, for example, has a kid at school with one of my kids. Kids overhear things. FiL holds "private conversations" at 110dB because he his hard of hearing. This is bound to come out with so many people involved. It's like a DC conspiracy - impossible to keep secret now.

I am afraid that when it comes out, I will be blamed somehow. I had toyed with the idea of enlisting my own army, like my sisters, to put the truth out there but I realize that's not healthy.

josiep posted 7/4/2019 00:17 AM

The sad truth is, whoever gets their story out there first controls the narrative. If you let this continue, you will forever have to live with the truth as she presents it. In some ways, that won't be so bad because a lot of people believe what they want to believe and you'll find out real quick who are your true friends because the others will scatter like cockroaches.

But really, when you break this down and use logic and not emotion, the truth is, your attorney is essentially telling you to lie to your children and I can't think of any good reason to go along with that unless you are getting something really meaningful in return. I think you need to have a long talk with said attorney and find out his/her experience with this type of situation and how it has worked out for the other clients who followed that advice.

At the very least, I do think the "I can't talk about it until it's over" is good advice and at least offers you some future chance to let the truth be known and not have your entire life rewritten by a liar and cheat.

Notmine posted 7/4/2019 07:54 AM

Kids need to know that things like this have nothing to do with them or they blame themselves. I would tell them that divorce sometimes happens, that both of you love them, that no matter what happens they will be taken care of and that it is not their fault. Tell them that the reasons are between you and their mother. That's it. I understand what the attorney his saying, but they deserve to have this addressed so that they are not suffering in silence.....never good for kids.

cancuncrushed posted 7/4/2019 08:02 AM

I would follow the attorneys advice...they do so many divorces...they know what pops up...they know what and how it can be used...I started out thinking, as I always do, this is not us...this is not how we would do would be surprised what comes out of angry people in a D...

EVen if you tell them age appropriately, even if you wait until the D is final....they talk to each other, they eaves drop....what will the mother tell them....? Other family members tell them? friends tell them?

I would wait until the D is seems forever now, but in healing for infidelity, a few months isn't much time.

They adjust to new lives too....maybe by the time the D is final, they wont be as interested...

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 8:03 AM, July 4th (Thursday)]

J707 posted 7/4/2019 10:16 AM

Wait... They were affectionate in front of your kids? Kids are not stupid. They see and hear a lot. Sometimes they need help to process things as there minds aren't fully developed. D can take a long time depending on how things go down. If it were me I'd have a chat with them but I'm not a lawyer. Your kids probably already know.

EEguy1412 posted 7/4/2019 10:28 AM

J707: Yes, they hugged each other a lot when they were "just friends", he gave her a bouquet of flowers and embraced WW somewhat too long in front of my kids when they left after a visit. Stuff like that. Nothing explicit but clearly noticeable enough.

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