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Newest Member: JustCrushed

Divorce/Separation :
How to tell our child…

Topic is Sleeping.
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 doublerainbow (original poster member #82239) posted at 8:30 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

We have a four year old who has been asking whether WS "Daddy is a bad guy" and why I threw out my bridal bouquet (which used to be in our bathroom). I provide parenting time, video call him for her whenever she asks, and haven’t breathed a word of his affair to her. I truly believe children are super perceptive and somehow she knows he did something wrong to hurt me and basically destroy our family.

I want to be truthful and upfront to teach her the values of honesty but also don’t want her to take on the burden of my anger and resentment, and I want to try to encourage a good relationship between them. Also kids in school talk about family etc. and I want her to be prepared and know her story. Our families know, her teacher knows, my friends know (some cross over into her play date friends), and AP posted a social media profile about how big of a lying pos her father is, and I’d rather she find out from us parents than any of these other parties.

WS agrees with having us both sit her down to have a conversation, although he also seems terrified of the idea. We were supposed to talk to her last weekend but he brushed it off.

Any tips on how to tell her?

Me: BS (38) Him: WS (45) D-Day (Jan 2022), going through D. 1 DD age 4. Just want to know there’s light at the end of this mess.

posts: 67   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2022   ·   location: West Coast
id 8762264
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:22 PM on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

Age appropriate truth is the advise around here. "Daddy broke a very important promise to Mommy and hurt her very much" may be enough at that age, but as she grows up and asks more questions, then your response will change too,

You mention how astute your child is— so you can’t lie. She’ll feel it and know it in her bones. She needs to be able to trust you.

You might ask a child therapist the best way to approach this, but others will be by with their experience.

I with WS would think of this before they cheat.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5820   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8762395
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ChewedMeUp ( member #8008) posted at 8:27 PM on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

Mine were much older, but definitely age-appropriate truth, especially since it sounds like yours will smell a lie or a dodge a mile away. I had a friend who told her kiddo near that age that "daddy broke a married person promise" to emphasize that marriage promises are different, and so they could explain that the parent-kid relationship would never be broken by the same type of broken promises.

However, I would not make promises on your WS' behalf, simply because if he ever flakes out, you're going to hear, "but you said!"

BS - over 40
DivorcED, finally.
2 Kids

posts: 654   ·   registered: Aug. 26th, 2005   ·   location: Baltimore, MD
id 8762429
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 doublerainbow (original poster member #82239) posted at 1:28 AM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

So on top of DD being able to smell a lie a mile away, I also happen to have the OCD perfectionist kid. The one who at 9 months old lost her sh-t when she saw the corner of a shirt poking out of a drawer that wasn’t closed properly. Needless to say she is a perfectionist.

I am terrified of making her ashamed for life for having a lying cheating pos for a father. I’ve read up on all the best ways to tell her and am fully prepared to put her in therapy if needed - I guess I am just dreading telling her the truth because I know that will be the beginning of the end of her relationship with her father. Am I being ridiculous for caring about that relationship at all given he’s the one whose choices destroyed it?

Feel like I’m searching for a unicorn.

Me: BS (38) Him: WS (45) D-Day (Jan 2022), going through D. 1 DD age 4. Just want to know there’s light at the end of this mess.

posts: 67   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2022   ·   location: West Coast
id 8762471
Topic is Sleeping.
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