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Surviving An Affair

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 Felix12306 (original poster Member #78827) posted at 10:44 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

I've started reading this book called surviving an affair. It kind of baffles me though because it says you should tell any children over the age of seven about the affair. It also says you should tell all friends and family members which I find to be a little bit odd. Especially telling children. What are your guys's thoughts?

BS Together for 15 years, married for 10. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but just found that out on 6/18/21.

posts: 102   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8675591
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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 10:48 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

My older kid knows (over seven).

As for the rest of the family, I can't cut them out of my life, so I don't tell them.

Cheating of any kind is a complete dealbreaker to many people, they can lose respect for both you and your wife, and you end up having to justify your decisions to them. I'm not interested in that discussion and it doesn't impact them.

I told MANY friends who I thought were likely to support me regardless of my decision. If I ever ended up fighting them about it, I could just stop being friends with them. Just not an option with family.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1326   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8675594
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 Felix12306 (original poster Member #78827) posted at 11:30 PM on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

What was your reason for telling your kids? I just don't feel it's necessary.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 10. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but just found that out on 6/18/21.

posts: 102   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8675615
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Bonetired ( Member #78518) posted at 12:51 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I struggle with this myself. My XWH left me while I was pregnant for his AP. They are currently married and it's a bit of a sticky situation. She is 14 . Due to how fragile my daughter is I feel like this would not be a good idea. Maybe much later or never. Shoot. It was such a big part of my life and this is such an F bomb if you know what I mean.

posts: 340   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Grand Rapids
id 8675637
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 1:05 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

So just speaking for myself, my at the time 8 year old (now 9) and I had a conversation about it (age appropriate conversation because he was asking a lot questions). Recently it came up again, and he either didn’t remember the conversation, or never really fully understood it. So I would say above 7 is a stretch in terms of them truly comprehending it.

That said, I’m also not a fan of lying about it at all. I’m not going to force understanding on him because at this point, divorce is not on the table, and there’s no reason to have to explain further. If we were to divorce, I would absolutely tell him again and also the older kids.

I was older when my parents divorced and knew it was for the best. My youngest sister was only 18, and was left wondering if she had done something wrong. My step/bonus kids went through the same thing. I don’t think it’s ok to leave kids wondering that. It’s obviously a choice every parent needs to make for themselves. It’s not my choice.

In my family, I only told my sister simply because I’m not close enough to anybody else to share. He told only his sister.

I did tell a bunch of my friends though. It wasn’t about hurting him, it was about needing support. No regrets.

[This message edited by landclark at 7:07 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8675647
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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 1:15 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

What was your reason for telling your kids? I just don't feel it's necessary.

He obviously knew something was up, and that I was very upset with her. It was possible that I wouldn't go on the trip we had scheduled.

He asked what was so wrong.

I told him something like, "Mom lied about who she was with and why, and she wasn't supposed to be with him. She was doing something she is only supposed to do with me."

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1326   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8675651
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Bonetired ( Member #78518) posted at 1:17 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I struggle with this myself. My XWH left me while I was pregnant for his AP. They are currently married and it's a bit of a sticky situation. My daughter is 14 . Due to how fragile my daughter is I feel like this would not be a good idea. Maybe much later or never. Shoot. It was such a big part of my life and this is such an F bomb if you know what I mean.

[This message edited by Bonetired at 7:17 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]

posts: 340   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Grand Rapids
id 8675653
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fournlau ( Member #71803) posted at 2:12 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

What was your reason for telling your kids? I just don't feel it's necessary.

It was causing me stress to act like there was nothing wrong and everything was just 'fine'. So much so that I had my very first anxiety attack in my entire life. While I was driving. I didn't want to go home, I didn't want to see my kids, because I just couldn't keep his secret anymore! It was killing me!

Although, I would say that my youngest was 14 at the time, big difference when they are under 10.

I also did not tell my parents right away. Mostly because I thought my mom would have blamed me as well, since that's kind of what she did the first time it happened about 4 years into my M (see my bio for my story if your curious). However, after 2 years I did tell my mother because I needed the support. I'm glad I did because my father cheated on her as well, almost to the same year of M as my WH cheated on me in our M. I was able to ask questions about how she survived and how they made it through.

But everyone is different and each choice is a personal one.

posts: 282   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8675676
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 2:24 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

What was your reason for telling your kids? I just don't feel it's necessary.

Because kids are very intuitive and know when something is off with their parents and if they don't have an age-appropriate version of truth they will invent reasons why it's happening. And for kids, the reason their little minds invent is usually that they did something wrong or are somehow responsible for it.

Also telling them so you don't have to act fake - cus kids can spot that too. Speaking from my own experience dealing with a 'fake' parent (my dad), it made him inherently untrustworthy to me. I couldn't have put it into so many words as a child, but I knew that his emotions weren't matching his words and that dissonance is a huge part of the reason why I no longer have a relationship with him as an adult.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3138   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8675764
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Ladybugmaam ( Member #69881) posted at 3:36 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

My kid knows. He suspected when I started suspecting. Though, he was 14 at the time. He knew ow, and her family.

We felt like we needed to be honest with him.

None of my family knows, but I don’t have that kind of relationship with them. FWH’s sister knows. Helped to keep him honest. His parents don’t. They’re both medically fragile.

All of our friends know. Some of them have survived an affair and we’re really helpful. All of them were supportive.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son

posts: 168   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8675776
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stubbornft ( Member #49614) posted at 3:44 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I think the #1 thing is never ever lean on your kids. I see why people do and do not tell their kids. My mother cheated on my father and my sister and I knew from day 1. Both parents leaned on us and my dad moreso on me (oldest). It has caused me great problems in my life.

I don't think they should have hid it from me, though. I was around 12 years old when we all found out (it was a 5 year EA PA). Mom left with AP and then ended up coming back. Parents are still together, have been married 40+ years.

I think that seeing the absolute devastation made me someone who would never, ever cheat. Sadly it didn't keep me from finding a cheater of my own!

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 801   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8675779
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nothisfriend ( Member #53171) posted at 8:19 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

My DS was 18; I told him. He realized it instantly explained his father's behavior. I told my friends, my co-workers, my hairdresser. I needed and took all the support I could get and it made me very strong. I felt like I spent nearly 30 years covering for him and to make him appear better in public and I got fired from that job.

I think kids should know in an age-appropriate fashion. "Daddy has a girlfriend and that's not right when Daddy and Mommy are married."

Me: BS 50 (at the time)
Him: WH 53 (at the time)
D-Day: 10/25/15
Married: 5/14/1988
One son, age 18 (at the time)
D final 9/13/16

posts: 1257   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2016   ·   location: Illinois
id 8675854
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 10:29 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Is telling your over-7 kids, friend, and family part of an 'expose the A on general principles because that stops it' recommendation?

I, too, find that puzzling. If I want to R - and I did - using exposure to pressure my W to end the A seems counter-productive. I really want my W to choose to end the A with as little pressure as possible. I would not want her to feel forced to come back to the M.

IDK ... I gues one could argue that the WS can't make a free choice about the M while still in the A, and that sounds very reasonable. That is, it may be that a WS will make a freer choice when the A is over.

But I think it's more likely that a WS thinks in terms of 'either the BS or the ap' rather than, 'Gee, now I should make a choice between D and the BS.'

If exposure forces the WS back into the M, I want none of it, as I said. A WS forced to give up the A just seems too likely to betray again....

Or does the author recommending outing the A to achieve another purpose?

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 25999   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8675884
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wantnomore ( New Member #71871) posted at 1:16 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

My first instinct is that if I decide to end the marriage, I'm telling my kids why their family is breaking apart. Age plays a role for sure (14, 19, & 20), but they deserve to know and are old enough to understand.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2019
id 8675947
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 Felix12306 (original poster Member #78827) posted at 4:02 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

It's mentioned for both purpose's, getting them to end the affair and for accountability. I agree with you on that. Had he not went NC the day I found out I definitely wouldn't want R.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 10. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but just found that out on 6/18/21.

posts: 102   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8675979
Topic is Sleeping.
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