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Should we tell our teens about the affair?


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Old 6th March 2018, 12:27 AM   #1
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Should we tell our teens about the affair?

Recently my husband of twenty years had an affair. Iím absolutely devastated by the news, and have been depressed. In his attempt to make things better, he wants to tell our two older sons that he had an affair and wants to have an open discussion about it.

We have three boys ages 17, 14, and 10. Our boys are all very smart, successful, talented kids. And I know that the two older boys would understand but I think that this is too adult for them.

For the following reasons, I donít want them to know: itís an adult situation, I donít want their feelings for their dad to change, I donít want their feelings for me to change, Iím embarrassed, and Iím struggling to accept it. I donít know what benefits there would be in telling them and my husband is pushing it.

What would be the best thing to do?
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Old 6th March 2018, 12:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Devistated. View Post
Recently my husband of twenty years had an affair. Iím absolutely devastated by the news, and have been depressed. In his attempt to make things better, he wants to tell our two older sons that he had an affair and wants to have an open discussion about it.

We have three boys ages 17, 14, and 10. Our boys are all very smart, successful, talented kids. And I know that the two older boys would understand but I think that this is too adult for them.

For the following reasons, I donít want them to know: itís an adult situation, I donít want their feelings for their dad to change, I donít want their feelings for me to change, Iím embarrassed, and Iím struggling to accept it. I donít know what benefits there would be in telling them and my husband is pushing it.

What would be the best thing to do?
Yes, definitely tell them. They are old enough to handle it and will feel respected to know.

My kids are teens (15 and 17) and know pretty much everything their dad did. HE told him, and put the blame ALL on him (the second time around, after our failed reconciliation).

There are WAY more benefits to telling them than keeping them in the dark and having them wonder what is going on and forming theories in their head that will only stress them out even more.

Your husband must be the one to tell them, preferably with you there, and admit his fault, ask for THEIR forgiveness in treating THEIR mother that way, and vow to become a better man and role model for them.
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Old 6th March 2018, 2:36 AM   #3
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If the two of you are going to divorce, then yes, he can be honest.

But if you're working to recover the marriage, then no, don't tell them. It will only cause them a world of unnecessary hurt. For the life of me, I cannot fathom what good will come out of them knowing.
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Old 6th March 2018, 4:45 AM   #4
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i see both sides....good and bad.....for both decisions.....i tend to lean more to agreeing with basils response though because you wrote my husband had an affair meaning its past tense...cautious also has solid views..

my advice is leave it in the past and you guys work on reconciliation without dragging your sons into the fray and confusion.....if it were to be a current affair that was not ending that's different...


i see more benefit from your husband and yourself working on your relationship alone.....with a professional marriage counsellor being the mediator not your family.....it could as a result of informing them ...split your family up into mums side and dads side...and divide you two even more....and add to a failed reconciliation attempt..and a divided family...


i wish you well on whatever you decide as a couple is best for yourselves and in the long run your family remaining united...........deb
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Old 6th March 2018, 7:40 AM   #5
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If the two of you are going to divorce, then yes, he can be honest.

But if you're working to recover the marriage, then no, don't tell them. It will only cause them a world of unnecessary hurt. For the life of me, I cannot fathom what good will come out of them knowing.

I think you should not tell them regardless of whether you're divorcing or reconciling. They don't need to be burdened, and it will affect their relationships with their father (and you), and their paradigm of marriage and family. All they need to know is that the marriage is broken and that you're either working on it or separating. Even the eldest is way too young to remain unaffected.

Parent's behavior establishes a pattern for children's beliefs systems. I can't see what good could possibly come of it either, but I sure can envision the potential damage. I think it's a nothing to gain, everything to lose situation. You always have the option to disclose it when they're much older (like 40), but once it's said it can't be unsaid. Even if you only told one (the eldest), it will affect the others. In family systems, everything affects everyone.

What is your husband's rationale for wanting to disclose it? I don't get it.

Last edited by salparadise; 6th March 2018 at 7:42 AM..
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Old 6th March 2018, 8:59 AM   #6
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Just tell your husband to f^ck off already!! He really got the nerve. He was the one to drop the affair bomb on you, and now heís pushing you to do this and that. Tell him itís entirely your decision what to do and when to do it. If he wants to fight you, heís free to leave. You have enough to handle already, you donít need him to keep bugging you. You need to regconize that your husband is no prize: You are too good for him, and heís the one whoís inadequate.
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Old 6th March 2018, 9:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by basil67 View Post
If the two of you are going to divorce, then yes, he can be honest.

But if you're working to recover the marriage, then no, don't tell them. It will only cause them a world of unnecessary hurt. For the life of me, I cannot fathom what good will come out of them knowing.
I agree with this. If you have decided to stay together, there are many things that happen in a marriage that are not appropriate for the children to know. This will forever change how they look at their father. I wouldn't tell them.
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Old 6th March 2018, 10:09 AM   #8
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Just tell your husband to f^ck off already!! He really got the nerve. He was the one to drop the affair bomb on you, and now heís pushing you to do this and that. Tell him itís entirely your decision what to do and when to do it. If he wants to fight you, heís free to leave. You have enough to handle already, you donít need him to keep bugging you. You need to regconize that your husband is no prize: You are too good for him, and heís the one whoís inadequate.
In another thread, the OP has described herself as being totally shocked by her husbandís affair bomb, and as having suicidal thoughts. Sheís yet to digest the news herself, let alone sharing it with her kids. Her immediate concern is to see a crisis therapist. Unfortunately, she doesnít seem to have anyone she trusts to confide in.
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Old 6th March 2018, 10:14 AM   #9
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In another thread, the OP has described herself as being totally shocked by her husbandís affair bomb, and as having suicidal thoughts. Sheís yet to digest the news herself, let alone sharing it with her kids. Her immediate concern is to see a crisis therapist. Unfortunately, she doesnít seem to have anyone she trusts to confide in.
Absolutely. You are not ready to tell your children, if this is the case. Get some counselling, if you have not already. And, don't let your husband drive this bus...
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Old 6th March 2018, 10:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Devistated. View Post
For the following reasons, I donít want them to know: itís an adult situation, I donít want their feelings for their dad to change, I donít want their feelings for me to change, Iím embarrassed, and Iím struggling to accept it. I donít know what benefits there would be in telling them and my husband is pushing it.
The best thing to do in your specific situation is this ^^, for exactly the reasons you have underlined. You are not ready for them to know, regardless of what they would make of it or how your husband feels. What you'll do in a few months or a few years' time may be different but for now, you need to be a little selfish for the greater good - put your own feelings first; the rest can wait.
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Old 6th March 2018, 10:31 AM   #11
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I am never a fan of this. I think itís a horrible thing to do. NO.
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Old 6th March 2018, 10:34 AM   #12
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I am never a fan of this. I think it’s a horrible thing to do. NO.
Sometimes kids find out or figure out by themselves; in that case, you don't have a choice but to be honest. I also think it's not a great thing to do, unless parents think full disclosure helps everyone heal in their specific circumstances, and even then only if it comes from the spouse who was unfaithful.

Last edited by littleblackheart; 6th March 2018 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 6th March 2018, 1:00 PM   #13
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I'm still on board with telling them. OP has made enough comments about how her sons know something is up. This is a marriage issues, yes, but it is also an entire family issue at this point.
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Old 6th March 2018, 5:13 PM   #14
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I never make my kids deal with adult problems.
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Old 6th March 2018, 5:32 PM   #15
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Kids are very perceptive and will see through lies easily. Also, they have an immature response to deal with crisis, and put the blame on themselves easily enough. If they haven't noticed already that their little family is on eggshells and behavior and patterns are off....

I see not telling them adult "style" but maybe treating it with care and finesse.
And as for OP. I hope she now has some support system to help her heal and deal with upcoming setbacks...She and her kids are equally yoked in this debacle.
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