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Telling the children

Pages: 1 · 2

HeHadADoubleLife posted 3/27/2021 15:10 PM

I haven't read the entire thread, but just want to emphasize this:

I don't think it's a great idea to try and not reveal the A because both of them are old enough to have accidentally witnessed something about it already.
My DDs (step, but they're my daughters to me), were 17 and 19 on DDay. They had already witnessed a LOT that was confusing to them. They were also, unfortunately, witness to DDay, since XH decided it was a good idea to bring another woman into our bed while they were in the house.

However, even if it hadn't blown up in that specific way that they had to see, I do firmly believe that telling them the truth was the right thing to do.

They had SO many questions. About his incredibly confusing behavior. About his lies. There had been a really strange feeling around the house for months that nobody could quite put their finger on, but the girls and I were all in a perpetual state of vigilance and confusion (the effects of gaslighting as we now know). And once the A was blown open in front of their face, it was like they finally felt comfortable to let their guard down and ask all of the questions they had been bottling up inside. It was truly like the flood gates had opened, and I was made aware of far, far worse issues than the A based on what they divulged once they finally felt comfortable to do so.

It is more than likely that your WGF has said or done things in order to "cover" for the A, that have left your kids feeling uneasy or questioning whether their mother is lying to them.

It was incredibly difficult to hear these things, to see how deeply they were affected by all of it. They both had numerous breakdowns shaking in tears as they pieced together the lies he had been perpetuating. I had to keep a straight face and comfort them when everything inside of me wanted to go strangle him on their behalf.

But I cannot imagine how difficult it had been for them to keep all of that in. That is a trauma they absolutely didn't deserve. And while I'm not happy DDay happened in the way that it did, I am happy that the end result gave my daughters the freedom to speak their truth and to ask any and all questions that helped them make sense of their lives. And for the opportunity to reassure them that none of the horrific behavior he had directed at them was their fault.

Karmafan posted 3/28/2021 03:27 AM

However I am also deeply concerned about my kids. I don't want to burden them with information that is not age appropriate. And I don't want to further escalate a conflict that could invite alienation.

I tend to agree with ^^^^^^^

I think Ďtheí conversation should be about the children, not the adults. It should be about managing their expectations on what life will be like when mom and dad are no longer together. Filling them with details or discussing the affair is confusing, upsetting and it effectively takes the focus away from them. To come to terms with the breakdown is hard enough for them to also have to process wrongdoings or be expected to pick sides.

Thereís a lifetime to answer their questions, when they are ready to hear it.

Marz posted 3/28/2021 17:24 PM

I am at least 50% responsible for our failed R. I wonít call it false R because I donít believe either of us was insincere in our desire for R to work and there is no ongoing A, unless you take the hardline SI approach that without NC the A is still ongoing.

Not hardline. More of a common sense approach.

Why do I take responsibility for the failed R, well essentially I have been unable to commit to it. I think fundamentally it goes against my core beliefs (ie this is, was and has always been a dealbreaker)

Nope. She cheated she has to take what comes with that. There is never a guaranteed second chance.

So Iíve been searching, reading, researching, trying to find a way to retrain my brain to accept this happened, that sheís sorry, and that we could be good in the future.

All while this has been happening WGF cannot stop the blameshifting and minimising because the alternative to that is just far too painful for her to take. She wants to R desperately but just cannot do the fundamental work required to make that possible. She wants to take only the potential good and not suffer any of the consequences of her choices. Which I have surmised / concluded leaves those for me to live with.

It takes 2. Sheís not R material. She wants a rugsweep which means you could easily get a repeat of her previous cheating.

Why would you want to go through this again?

[This message edited by Marz at 5:25 PM, March 28th (Sunday)]

TwoDozen posted 3/30/2021 08:57 AM

She will look at this as a slight against her instead of reflecting on why you may feel that way and that will lead to her harming the relationship in ways. Possibly another A to get that validation or possibly detaching from you

Nailed it. In fact I am seeing this detachment already

Somehow her mind is saying if TD wants to separate then he must be okay with that and not love me. So she tries more lovebombing and fishing for compliments. When that doesnít work she tries making me jealous

What she isnít doing is saying, TD must be devastated in what Iíve done to him. I need to show him some sympathy for what I have forced him to do.

No itís all about how she feels and how this is going to hurt her

Iím not quite doing the whole 180 but Iíve detached enough that sheís now thinking to herself that she was right in the first place that TD didnít love her.

DanielJK posted 3/30/2021 12:12 PM

Iím not quite doing the whole 180 but Iíve detached enough that sheís now thinking to herself that she was right in the first place that TD didnít love her.

The mental gymnastics that must go on in the heads of waywards.

Same here..., DJK is such an angry person, I must have been right to cheat all along...(because I am angry that she cheated).

crazyblindsided posted 3/30/2021 13:11 PM

No itís all about how she feels and how this is going to hurt her

This is exactly what it's been since I left. He is the victim and I broke up the family and devastated him. No recognition of the damage he's caused me or the M. Pure selfishness. It honestly helps me in knowing I made the right decision.

Adira posted 4/1/2021 00:41 AM

Somehow her mind is saying if TD wants to separate then he must be okay with that and not love me. So she tries more lovebombing and fishing for compliments. When that doesnít work she tries making me jealous

What she isnít doing is saying, TD must be devastated in what Iíve done to him. I need to show him some sympathy for what I have forced him to do.

No itís all about how she feels and how this is going to hurt her

Iím not quite doing the whole 180 but Iíve detached enough that sheís now thinking to herself that she was right in the first place that TD didnít love her.

This 100%. Fully self serving WS behaviour. My WH continually bleats about how hard S is on him.

We told our kids individually that we were S.
With the eldest we said-
-that we loved them very much
-none of it was their fault
-we would always have their best interests
-nothing major was changing in the next month
Later in private I reiterated that whilst I can't speak for or control WH-
-they are my top priority
-I would not hide any changes, lie to them or abandon them
-to ask any questions they need to
-as a young adult, they're free to make their own choices at the end of the day & neither WH or I can say otherwise.

As for youngest (complex special needs) we simply said mum is sleeping in the spare room. As things change, I'll be making sure they understand they're loved & will be taken care of no matter the circumstance. Youngest is no stranger to the 'fuckening factor' so is more adaptive to change than the eldest.

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