Question: My husband had an affair after 15 years of marriage. He has since left and is living with his adulteress. We have 3 boys together, ages ranging from 8 to 12. We told them we are getting a divorce. But I am wondering if I should tell my children about their dad.
Since then, the boys keep questioning me. Of course, they want someone to blame. My oldest is wise beyond his years, and asked me if daddy kissed another girl and that’s why he left. He also said I should go on the show, Cheaters. He unfortunately saw the show while Grandpa was working in the garage. I have a very strong relationship with Christ and I don’t want to lie to my boys. However, I’m torn…naturally my husband doesn’t want to tell them …yet.
I don’t know if he can’t handle the results, or if he’s hoping things will fizzle out with her. Then the boys never need to know. Right now, he has the boys every other weekend and stays at his parent’s house with them. So, they don’t know where daddy stays normally. We can’t afford to get divorced yet, so the kids are holding out hope that we’ll work things out. Part of me wants them to know, and yet, that would open up the opportunity for them to meet her and stay at her apartment with them. I can’t handle that possibility right now. I will cross that bridge if it’s the best thing for my boys. They are my main priority!!! I want to make sure I follow God’s will and that my boys are taken care of in every way. I have them in counseling as well as myself. What do I do???
Answer to Should I Tell My Children?:
Hi Confused ~ I was in that same situation once. The only difference is that my children were quite young at the time (ages 4ish, almost 2 and 5 weeks old) when we separated and started going through the divorce process. Since then it has been over 10 years. They don’t know the complete truth behind our separation and divorce, nor really why their father left (why I officially divorced him). The only thing that I did tell my oldest daughter was that daddy and I couldn’t live together or be together anymore because we didn’t get along, etc. She seemed fine and content with that explanation back then. The oldest will be 15 in May.
Like you, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and God. And I feel that lying and covering up the truth is wrong no matter what. Your situation is a little different than mine. But if I were currently in your situation, and because they already suspect what’s happened, it’s perfectly fine and acceptable to tell them the truth and to answer any of their questions as open and honestly as you can without going into details. For example, if they ask if their father cheated, tell them, yes.
Then proceed to tread very carefully on the details. You can say, yes, he cheated, and explain the definition of cheating to them. You may also want to say that their father may try to deny it and not want to talk about it because he’s not ready to do so just yet. Leave that to him to explain to them why he did this. You can tell them that sometimes adults make some poor choices and bad decisions in life.
One day he will be held accountable for what he’s done and he’ll have to explain to the boys why he did what he did, and that will be on him.
When/If you do tell them the truth, then whatever you do, don’t degrade their father in front of them. This will show them that you have respect for their father still. That’s very important to young boys when they are growing up. They’ll soon realize (as your oldest one already does right now) what kind of a person their father really is. Again it’s unfortunate, but by you remaining neutral and not talking bad about their father, it shows that you are the bigger person here, and that all of this isn’t going to bring you down and affect the Christian role model that you set for your sons as their mother.
You just have to deal with whatever life throws your way at the moment, and keep your faith strong in God. You will get through this whole mess. Besides all you can do is live life one day at a time and get through it with the help of the Lord. Eventually this too shall pass. It’s just a matter of time. I know that it can be extremely hard, challenging, etc when you’re in a situation such as this. I’m sure you’re doing your absolute best. Things will get better. It will just take time.
Keep the faith. Keep praying hard and don’t give up. Focus on those precious boys. Life and everything else around it will somehow fall into place. Be patient and you’ll see, God will provide for you and the children. I hope I have answered your question.
This article is written by S. Kessler. It was posted on a web site that is no longer being featured on the Internet. “After more than 19 years, and over two million questions answered, AllExperts.com is now closed.” Thankfully, we had this copy of one of their articles, which we had previously linked to. We believe S. Kessler’s advice is worthy of prayerful consideration.