Hello, I'm new here and I'm looking for advice. Apologies for the ramble, but here's the background:
A lifelong friend of mine was divorced a little over a year ago. I helped him wtih the paperwork (I have a legal background) and I know the whole deal. In a nutshell, he married a women he really didn't love. Their courtship was brief, he was young, he jumped into marriage for the wrong reasons, they produced twins (a boy and a girl) thier 6now) and he hung for a long time for childrens sake before he couldn;t take her any longer. She was nasty to him all the time and it was hard to be around them. All of us (his friends and family) were glad that he finally decided to bail; it was a healthy decision for him because he was plain miserable and he didn't want his children to live with misery. Their divorce was ugly. His ex is a compulsive liar and cried to neighbours and family about having no money, that he was having an affiar, etc. While they were separated (for a year and half), this guy paid all the bills, house payments, food shopping, everything for his kids wellbeing, and she was crying poverty to anyone who would listen. She lied about a lot of other things too. My friend didn't even care what she said, he was glad to be done with her.
A while after they were separated he met a woman and I swear Ive never seen this guy so happy. They just got engaged and they make an awesome couple. I enjoy being around them (I personally couldn't stand his ex, it was difficult to hang with him and her).
Here's the thing. I ran into his ex at a bar recently and was cornered by this woman. She went on and on about how she knew that my friend was having an affair for years during their marriage(huh?) with his fiance and that she told their children that this is why they got a divorce. THat it was all his fault and his fiance's and that she was an innocent victim. She went on to slam the fiance (which annoyed the hell out of me because his fiance is such a good person). At first I was laughing cuz this guys like a brother to me. Believe me he is no cheater (i know alot of players and he has never been one). BUt then I thought, I can't believe she told this to their young children!
My question: do I tell him that this is what she told their kids?
It's hard because altough I think it will hurt him, doesnt he deserve to know the truth about what bs she feeds them? She made up this story of him being unfaithfull so that she doesn't have to take any responsibility in the marriage ending. Why is she lying to hurt the relationship he and his bride to be have with his children? Shouldn't the kids be put above the squabbling and conflict the woman has with her former husband? Or should I just let it lie and mind my own business?
Whew. Thanks for reading. Any thoughts are appreciated.
I think it's really important that you tell him what you know is being said to the kids. If these lies are fed long enough he's not going to get the relationship he deserves with them. Knowing she seems to have a knack for lying, there's a chance she hasn't actually told them this and is trying to manipulate the entire situation.
However, if he could address this by being forward about when he and his fiance met, and just make it clear without even discussing "cheating" or any possibility of that, that he is a loyal father and husband...
I don't know. He'll need to decide how he discusses this possible 'truth' that was told to his children, but I definitely think he deserves to know so he can do damage control.
Hello and welcome to the board. It is my hope that you will find encouragement and honesty here. I'm very sorry about your friend and the difficulties he's having. And about you being cornered in the bar. That was something. I really hate it when selfish people begin to tell lies/truth even to children who aren't even old enough to comprehend the situtation. They really didn't have to know details at this age. BUT there is coming a time in the future when they'll be asking what went wrong and will need to be told. But I believe that it needs to be age appropriate. Only told what their ages can handle. As the years go by you will have to keep adding the truth till the whole truth is told.
I believe I would let him know what the ex had to say to you that night at the bar. And you can tell him about what she said she told the children. It is doubtful that she really told them though. WHY would a MOTHER want to try and deliberately tell HER children this type stuff. To make the husband/daddy look bad. Well my friend that kinda stuff just backfires on people. She better watch out cause there is a day coming when they will be big enough to decifer the truth and lies themselves.
She may very well have lied to me about what she said to them, who knows with her? I don't have kids myself (yet!) so I'm not 100% sure what types of info are age appropriate. I'm pretty sure that 6 year olds don't need to hear lies/truths/details about their parents failed marriages, they should just know that mommy and daddy love them unconditionally even though they can't be together anymore. But at what age is it appropriate to tell them? To tell them the truth, that is?
We're all meeting up with friends later, but I think I'll wait til tomorrow to talk to him--don't want to kill the buzz! I will just let him know what she said she said to the kids. I'm not a vindicative person and I don't want his ex to look bad in the eyes of their children. But I agree, Shorty, why would a mother purposefully try to damage their relationship with thier father by telling lies? They mean so much to him, it's sad that she could possibly be so ugly. Maybe its jealousy rearing its head, that he's moved on and she hasn't? No excuses.
I'd have to say you just have to go along with their maturity level. Some kids mature faster than others. Example: My daughter is 21 and when she was 13 she was going on 30. I don't believe I'd get in to detail before age 8 or 9. And by that age they most likely will be asking some questions of their own. Inwhich, you have to be perfectly honest with them. And don't ever make excuses for the ex's. If we make excuses for them then later in life when the children see exactly what she/he did, they are apt to be upset with the parent that was making the excuses for the other one and not being honest. It set the children up for disappointments when they learn exactly what happen or about that parent and they will end up getting mad at you, because you took up for the other parent. Girls mature quicker than boys and he may have to tell her sooner than a boy. It really can be devastating when the children are caught in the middle. Both parents need to take responsibility for they have done. Let us hear from you again and best of luck.