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Newest Member: GotLynched

Divorce/Separation :
The final chapter- telling adult kids

Topic is Sleeping.
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 kiwilee (original poster member #10426) posted at 3:47 AM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

So much progress and yet the hardest part is yet to come, telling adult kids. Attorney is drafting up petition to file this week. We discussed telling the kids this weekend. However, we talked this am about what to say to the kids and let's just say it did not go well. I told him I would be telling the kids the truth of his actions. I would be okay with telling them together with some general stuff about how we are closing this chapter of our lives and moving on in different directions, etc. And I would have private conversations with each of them to ask me questions. I figured each one would want to know a different amount of info and it would be best to let them be in control of how much they want to know.

He was so mad that I would tell them the truth of what has happened in the last 3 years. Tons of lies about his whereabouts, regular bar outings during the day, sleeping with bartenders. And this is a repeat of the first DDay 17 years ago! He refuses to move out and I have been sleeping in the other room for a year now. The 2 kids that live here have seen this and know things have been f'ed up for a year now. I think they deserve to know the truth. He disagrees with me and accuses me of putting them in the middle of our situation. He also says be careful of what you say because there are 2 sides to every story and I will defend myself (which is him saying he will tell them I emotionally abused him), more lies.

My world is so dark right now. I 100% want to get out of this hellish dead marriage. And yet as the finality of the final nail in the coffin draws very near, the pain is so intense. I know what needs to be done and am pushing forward. I have been dealing with this for a long time (3 years of bad, and one year of really bad). I waited to get the kids to a better spot and timing with one moving out in fall.

I know I am all over the place in this post. This is my brain this week- anxiety ridden and heart aches with pain for what this will do to kids, fear of the unknown. I feel like an implosion is coming and I have no idea how one handles this. This past year I have been doing okay for what I have been dealing with. This week is a huge buildup of emotions and apprehension of what is to come.

So would love to hear thoughts of what to say to young adult kids and experience of dealing with this apprehension of what is to come very very soon.

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8790996
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:19 AM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

My oldest was 30 and said he couldn't believe I stayed married to XWH for so long.

I think your kids have probably figured out some of what is going on. Feel free to share what you want. Your STBXWH will want to control the outcome. Let him control it, if it makes him feel better. Let your kids know they can always talk to you.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3467   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8791000
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 1:08 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Your husband is not going to cooperate with you with telling the kids so I would tell them on your own. I don’t think you should give them a brutal play-by-play of the all the gory details (unless they ask) but a simple overview ("he cheated for 3 years and wouldn’t stop; I had no choice to but to end the marriage").

You can forewarn them that their father will likely have his own wildly divergent version of events, but other than that, you don’t need to defend yourself nor do you need to bash him. I’m sure your kids know his personality and what he’s like, especially the ones still in the home. They know he wasn’t at home every night playing scrabble.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1972   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8791034
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Crazytrain101 ( member #48200) posted at 3:02 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Kiwilee,
My DD and DS are 14 and 15 so I basically gave it to them in pure semantics,Dad is a serial cheater, I stayed after filing in 2015 just to find out again 8 months ago he was a cheater. In my case and possible yours my kids were blaming me, at fist I let it slide as I knew they were dispacing some anger. After awhile though I let them know I stayed an extra 8 years after D-day #1 for THEM.

I did explain as you can the pain and self-esteem killing we experienced BUT how we cared more about others then ourselves to stay and try for THEM.

That in itself really helped my DD,

Good luck with the convos, stay strong. Thinking of you CT101

8 years ago-found out he was a serial cheater-Reconciled-2015 Back again September 2022 as WH is a cheater again Heading to Divorce

posts: 1848   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Ohio
id 8791063
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 6:07 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

The hardest thing for me was to realize there is no "we" anymore. You are free to tell them the truth any time you want. My children’s counselor said it’s extremely important that I stay in reality and convey reality at all times to my children. Of course my xh tried to get counseling stopped bc he said it was damaging our children. rolleyes

Your WS thinks like a cheater, is a cheater. Forge your own path and keep him at arms length and in the rear-view mirror. Tell your adult children alone, if you want.

Be straightforward and bold with your adult children. A simple sentence like Blue suggested. Of course he might throw stuff out there about, but don’t argue. He’ll want to take the focus off of who he really is.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 6:08 PM, Tuesday, May 16th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5503   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8791083
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 11:06 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

After awhile though I let them know I stayed an extra 8 years after D-day #1 for THEM.

Yikes. shocked

Many DDays. Me (BW) 49 Him (WH) 52 Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 335   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8791141
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:20 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

IMHO focus on results and the end-goal.
The end-goal is to complete the divorce, to get him out and to start your separate life where you both have to create a new relationship of sorts with the kids.
If getting him out and the papers signed require that you tell the kids he’s leaving because he’s joining a monastery or whatever… do it. Play along. Get him out. That is the result to get your end-goal.

Grown kids? They can add 1 + 1 and get 2…
Once out, papers signed and lock changed, you can sit them down and tell them what happened. Why you needed to take this decision. It’s going to surprise you how much they already knew and how understanding they will be.
Only… don’t expect them to take sides and demand they show their dad the respect he deserves as their father.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12442   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8791155
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hardyfool ( member #83133) posted at 1:32 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

After awhile though I let them know I stayed an extra 8 years after D-day #1 for THEM.

Why place this burden upon them? I am still to this day of the opinion that children need not know everything.

posts: 139   ·   registered: Mar. 27th, 2023
id 8791157
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Crazytrain101 ( member #48200) posted at 1:20 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Hardyfool & Trapped74,
My situation is a littele different, my STBXH is a sociopath and a dangerous one at that and had done so many bad things other then cheating to me. Just as my D is proceeding now STBXH has done so many awful things, kidnapped my DS (14) and has had DCS called on him and is in contempt over our temp custody plan during the divorce.

My kids are 14 and 15 so I knew I had to do as many more years after my post-nuptial was signed as possible for them. Ideally I would wait until they were out the door, it just didn't work out that way.

My kids know STBXH is a wreck and incapable of parenting them so getting them to an age where they could choose was important to them as well.

Both of my kids also say their Dad being called out on social media themselves as a serial cheater by a bunch of women so little I could do except be honest with them crying

8 years ago-found out he was a serial cheater-Reconciled-2015 Back again September 2022 as WH is a cheater again Heading to Divorce

posts: 1848   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Ohio
id 8791200
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:33 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

I figured each one would want to know a different amount of info and it would be best to let them be in control of how much they want to know.

THIS. I would not go into detail during that initial conversation, they need time to process on their own. Let them control how much information they want, not you. We told the children we were divorcing and let them direct what information they did (or did not want to know). I am a decade out from D and the children still do not want to know details.

Your children probably already know anyway. Even so, hearing it outloud takes some time for them to work through. As others have experienced, they may be relieved.

I know they are adults but you both are still their parents (regardless of issues). Do not overload them with a dump of who did what to the other.

Personally, my parents D when I was young. I knew they were not good for each other even though I was still a minor and I was glad.

[This message edited by EvenKeel at 2:41 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]

posts: 6898   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8791226
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 kiwilee (original poster member #10426) posted at 4:43 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Thank you for responses. I think I will have the initial conversation general and talk to them each one on one over the next week based on what they want to know.

I do think they will be firing questions at us though during the big announcement. They will not accept our 26 year marriage is ending because we no longer love each other just because. So that will be challenging to maneuver.

I feel like I am in the twilight zone that this is my life.

And I want him out of this house more than anything in the world. I want to start my new life and not have this creep taking away all my peace. I don't know how much longer I can stand it!!!

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8791346
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EyesOpened50 ( member #54610) posted at 4:02 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

This is your leverage, to get the resolve you require!!

'And I want him out of this house more than anything in the world. I want to start my new life and not have this creep taking away all my peace. I don't know how much longer I can stand it!!! '

Get all the paperwork done and tell him you'll leave it as you've drifted apart or whatever suits but he must move out next week so you can heal. I'd use things like 'I'm in a complete mess, not doing my parenting duties to the full extent due to the current housing situation, or what ever suits. There's no way of winning every battle but you can win the war!!

In time to come, once everything is settled and completed, you can decide if any further information is required or not! A lot will depend on his behaviour and no doubt he'll make mistakes so you will not feel guilty about revealing whatever you feel is relevant, at the time!! Likewise, it may serve no purpose to reveal anything as your siblings may not need to know, take a view on it as you keep moving forward,

You've got this, step back a touch and think of your best game plan!!

posts: 82   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8791401
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 6:35 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Assuming that you have a something approaching a "normal" soon-to-be-ex-husband, I would do everything that I could do to keep them out of your marital issues. Tell them that you have decided to get divorced but refuse to say anything negative about your STBXH. Even adult children will be hurt/upset if they are put into the middle of something like this.

The fact is that a lot (most? all?) of wayward spouses can come up with a list of excuses for their infidelity that many people will think is acceptable. You simply want to avoid putting your children in the middle of your "I left him because he cheated" perspective and his "I cheated on her because she did blah blah blah" perspective.

That is, take the high road. Tell your kids that you are upset/distraught and that you need their support but the reasons for the divorce don't matter nearly as much as the fact that you are ending your marriage.

In contrast, if you are dealing with someone with strong traits akin to a borderline or narcissistic personality disorder, then you need to think more carefully about this. These people will try to ruin you because they are so insecure (borderline) or they legitimately think they are the center of the universe (narcissistic). Based on what you wrote, I am guessing this is your actual problem.

Essentially, I would recommend that you set various boundaries with your STBXH (not the type of boundaries that you tell him about). Basically, people tend to go a little nutty during divorces. If he plays fair... then you keep your information to yourself.

But if he does not play fair during your divorce and he tries to get your children involved, then you should privately tell each of your children as individuals. Explicitly ask them for their emotional support going forward. But, do it in a way that you are not asking them to pick sides (for example, you can let them know that you also expect them to emotionally support their father). Simply put, in this case, you should let them know why the marriage is ending but yet do everything that you can possibly do to keep the conflict from escalating and from involving them.


After that, just focus on getting out of your marriage. I agree with Bigger.

Me: Crap, I'm 50 years old. D-Day: August 30, 2016. Two years of false reconciliation. Divorce final: Feb 1, 2021. Re-married: December 3, 2022.

posts: 5419   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8791423
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Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 8:49 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

I myself was told by my parents when I was a teenager... I would not go into much detail tbh, simply telling them that you are ending your relationship because he had 'an affair' should be enough. There are some bits of information I wish I hadn't been told, so if you can keep it minimal I really think that's best for them, even if they think they want to know all the details, it's not really appropriate bearing in mind he is still their dad xx

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8791739
Topic is Sleeping.
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