Please help me out here guysMonday I'm filing for divorce from this man that is refered to as a huband but please help me w/our children.Our DD is10.5 yrs old and EXTREMELY Sensitive our son is 6 and very reactive to my daughter.I know that councelling will help them & me but please I need support on this matter.
First of all, have you talked about telling the kids with your husband? What does HE think you should do about telling them? (not that he has any right to tell you what to do...I am just curious how he wants this presented to them)
Personally, my daughter had just turned 14, and my son was getting ready to turn 9. My son was very sick that day, vomiting and in bed most of the day. My H told both of them, since I made him, and he was the one choosing to leave. He gave them some crap story about moving out for a while to get his head straight b/c he wasn't happy, and that "Nothing was going to change for them."
Well, we went from being very well off financially, to having every single thing cut off in our home. I the mean time, he didn't show up at baseball practices where he used to be the coach, and when I called him sobbing saying we were starving and had no power, he dropped of a case of ramen noodles on the front door step. I KID YOU NOT, PEOPLE!!!! This whole time, I said nothing about the affair to the kids, and they would lie in bed with me, stroking my hair while I cried.
Lots of people got involved at this point. My mom, his parents, his brother and sister inlaw, phone calls non-stop trying to convince us to work things out. I even wanted to at this point. Then, one day, the B**** called me and hung up. I traced her #, did a search, and even had an airial photo of her apartment in anohter state my H traveled to lots. I NOW KNEW FOR SURE, and sickness and anger kicked into overdrive.
I told his parents, whom he was lying to. I told everyone I knew...HEY!! This wasn't my fault...it was his, the cheating jerk off!! I stopped crying, sat my daughter down, and told her.......
" When 2 people get married there are certain vows, certain unbreakable promises, no matter WHAT. Your dad chose to break those vows, and he has been having an affair with another woman in another state. I dont know for how long. He has risked my life, he has ended our family as we knew it. I am divorcing him. I have an appt this week with a lawyer to start. It will be hard, and I will have some bad days ahead. It will be hard financially, but grandma is going to help us. God won't let us down, either---he sinned, I didn't and God will make sure we are going to be alright. I will never , ever leave this family, nor would I ever want to, so don't ever worry about that."
Then, she had some questions, which I answered honestly. She said, "If you ever, ever take him back, I will hate you forever. We will be fine , Mom. Don't worry."
We cried, we hugged, and things were ok, except for the fact she didn't want to talk to him ever again. She is fiercly protective of me, and truth is, she hated him for what he did to me. Like I said, not the greatest of emotions for a 14 yr old to go thru...but it was her truth. Our truth. I just didn't see the point in lying to avoid that emotion. It was true, it was real, it was part of all our lives now, adn we just had to deal. I didn't choose to take her father away. HE DID THAT when he whipped it out with another woman and decided our family didn't matter.
Our son took it differently. Very quietly. Didn't say much. Not sure if he fully understood. I didn't sit him down and tell him of the affair, thought he was too young. (hadn't even really explained sex yet, so it was difficult to explain an affair to him) He, LIKE ALL KIDS is very perceptive. He heard bits and peices of conversations, and ended up asking me if dad had a gf while he was married, adn if that's why he left. I SAID YES, that is why. He said his dad told him, "It's b/c mommy was so mean to me." OMG!!!!!!!!
So, sat him down and told him about love and faithfulness, working on a relationship, and promises. We talked about what he wuold do if he were mad at a friend, his sister, ME, etc. What we would do if we were unhappy with eachother. Would he want to leave, adn find a new mommy?? Of course he said no, no matter how mad or unhappy he was with me, NO!!! Well, that's kind of what your father chose to do. And it hurts bad, b/c we promised each other we would never do that, no matter how bad it ever got. He chose to break our marriage promises and try to replace me. I'm choosing to tell you the truth. I think you are smart enuf to handle it, and mommy won't lie to you. I told him I didn't want him to hate his dad. That sometimes these things happen, and we would be alright. We talked aboout kids in his class who had divorced parents. I set him up in a support group that met once a week at school, with other kids going thru the same thing. That helped a lot to know he was not alone. Every other kid had a dad with a "gf!!!" SEE----mothers tell their kids all the time, people!! They were all angry with their dads, and sided with their moms for a time, but all eventually worked thru it, adn had fun with their dads on the weekends, during visitations, etc...
Then, your kids get to watch you become you agian. They get to watch you heal. You all get to help each other. You get to make up some NEW household rules. (like we wouldn't eat at the kitchen table for months--didn't wanna see the empty chair, so we picniced in the family room!!) You tell your kids, this is what I want to do....what I need to do to feel better. What do YOU need to do, and I'll help you. We'll all help each other. This is unfortunatley a common thing, and we will all be ok.
NOT EASY....but SO do-able!! You'll probably cry lots, but you'll get thru it. Just start talking, ask for their complete attention, their patience, their understanding, and let them know how hard this is for you to say. That you never, ever wanted to say what you're about to say, adn that you didn't choose it, and you're in lots of pain, too. Kids are great that way, and THEY LOVE YOU!!!!!! They are going to be alright. You are going to be alright. I PROMISE.....
i feel that if you were to ask any children of divorce how this should be handled, they would say that they would not want to know about the specifics of the situation. in other words, your kids don't need to know about the affair aspect. he is still their father despite everything. it's hard enough to go through this without dealing with the added information that the only father they have is capable of this kind of behavior.
i know it must feel next to impossible to keep it together all the time in front of them, but it could be very very damaging for them to see you losing control. even if it means sending them to your relatives' so you can have some time to grieve, so be it. they just need to see that this isn't the end of the world, and the person to show them that is you.
Divorce counceling for yourself and the kids helps a lot. I put my two girls in counceling for over a year after my divorce. I also read some books about how to deal with the kids, and the questions that arise with divorce. It was hard because my ex cheated and my older daughter ( she was 7 at the time)kept asking about it. I felt that it was something between me and him, and I didn't want it to be a concern for her. The last thing I wanted her to do was take sides, or bad-talk my ex. When she was older, I finally admitted to her that her dad cheated. By that time, she had already figured out what kind of person he was all on her own.
It's going to be tough for you and the kids, but you will all be stronger in the long run. Be happy that you are no longer living a lie, and you have a new life ahead for yourself.
P.S. I took a bath whenever I felt super stressed during my divorce. I had no money, so it was a way to pamper myself for free. Some days I was taking three baths a day, lol, but for some reason, I would always feel better afterward.
Just wanted to add that I AM a child of divorce, and my parents lied to me about my mom having an affair. When I found out, (and believe me, a perceptive child finds out QUICK) I was furious for not being told the truth. I felt betrayed and like I couldn't be trusted with the truth. To this day, I have major issues w/ people lying to me. So not all children of divorce would want this kept form them. Depends on your kids, their age, adn how you think they, individually would handle it.
I guess I should clarify, my daughter kept asking why we were divorcing. Believe me, I wanted to shout out that my ex was lying, two-timing, drug addict, scumbag. But, I also knew that this is a person she loves, and his cheating had nothing to do with her.I never once lied to my daughter about the cheating, but her being only seven at the time, I just told her it was a grown up issue, and that our divorcing had nothing to do with her, and that we both loved her.
Later, around when my daughter was 15, she asked me, " Dad cheated didn't he?" I said, " Yep, that and many reasons more is why I left him."
I wouldnt tell my child the details of the divorce. My situation is very similar to yours .. and I already have my speach ready for when she does ask (we broke up when my daughter was just a year old) ...
"Mommy and Daddy both love you very very much but we couldn't live together anymore .. so we decided that you come live with Mommy and see Daddy every chance you get."
Thats all I am getting into with her .. NOT that he cheated .. lied .. destroyed me .. dragged me though HELL for a year with court and having my mental state evaluated .. I am not going to have her know ANY of that .. WHY .. because that is her DADDY .. She gets no choice in that matter ..and I am not going to trouble her mind with what he did to me ... it is not importiant ... how he is with HER is importiant .. and as long as he is arround .. heck even if he isnt around .. thats my storty .. we just couldnt live together and we thought it best if you live with mommy ..
Mother is the word for God on the lips and hearts of children - The Crow
Do NOT and I repeat DO NOT get into the details. A 10 & 6 yr old do not understand extra marrital affaris. Do not bad mouth their daddy either. Just tell them that mommy & daddy love them very much, but that mommy and daddy can't live together anymore. Leave it at that.
I'm with you on this one. When a parent withholds the truth, it's the greatest betrayal of all. If you can't trust your parent for honesty, who can you trust? For me, the answer to that is "no one".
I'm not saying nasty details, for sure!! I'm also agreeing w/ the other poster that had a one yr old...I wouldn't tell then either...what I'm saying is...when your kids are older, and more mature--and hate you for it being a mutual decision--you certainly can tell them (age appropriate) that it wasn't mutual..and the decision as made FOR you. Every situation is different.
i hope that you are able to find a minute to do a little internet research about what to tell kids when there is an affair involved. at the very least you can find out the long-term results of telling or not telling that an affair was had. perhaps the bottom line is that your children see you strong from the beginning, so that they don't adopt any kind of victim mentality that could carry on into their later relationships. your relationship with your husband from here on out, including how you speak of him in front of them, will also be teaching them a lot of lessons about letting go of pain and forgiveness even in the face of very bad behavior. hope everything has gone well so far.
My reasoning might be shadowed by strong emotions. I apologize for that. I like what Bulletproof said. Bottom line, it's the parent's attitude and behavior. You'll handle it in the way that seems most appropriate for your situation and family. I wish you and your children the very best.