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I have seen this come up, time and time again.

Infidelity strikes, there are children involved and I see many people support sharing some level of truth with the children, even younger children.

I have a totally different perspective if the children aren't adults (or close to it). Keep it to yourselves. While children are smart and do pick up on things I see no good in telling your children that their parent is a cheating piece of crap.

In the end, when they are old enough, the truth should be shared but not when such information can literally ruin their childhood.

Your thoughts?
 

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I would never tell my children of my ex's affair. If she wants to disclose it to them that's up to her. As far as my kids are concerned my breakup with their mother has nothing to do with them...it's something between their mother and I. The only thing they need to know is we both love them and will always love them.

Yes it's possible she's telling them I'm the bad guy...that's her prerogative. I won't stoop to her level. My kids will figure out what kind of man I am by the example they see me set...same as they'll figure out what kind of woman she is by the example she sets.
 

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I think it depends on what the wandering spouse tells the kids. I've seen several cases in real life, in fact I have a friend right now who is at the end of 11 years of child support for a daughter who hasn't talked to him in years because cheating mom spun the story and made him look like the bad guy who abandoned his kid. When the truth is that she cheated and resisted every attempt at visitation but still has the gall to take him back to court every year for increases. His daughter just graduated college so the child support is finally over, but she has refused to talk to him since she was about 14. All because the truth couldn't be told. He's heard through the grapevine that his daughter doesn't know he's paid support all these years.
 

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Our kids are probably old enough to deal with it. But honestly it's none of thier business. We just told them we are dealing with some personal issues that are between a husband and wife. They know we are going to counselling and individual therapy.

We don't fight in front of them, but i'm sure they have overheard some stuff from the other room. If they have questions, they can ask. Sometimes the answer is that I'm not going to answer that for them. Just reassure them that no matter what happens you love them and always will. I think if they are secure in that, the lifelong trama can be avoided.
 

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I think it depends on what the wandering spouse tells the kids. I've seen several cases in real life, in fact I have a friend right now who is at the end of 11 years of child support for a daughter who hasn't talked to him in years because cheating mom spun the story and made him look like the bad guy who abandoned his kid. When the truth is that she cheated and resisted every attempt at visitation but still has the gall to take him back to court every year for increases. His daughter just graduated college so the child support is finally over, but she has refused to talk to him since she was about 14. All because the truth couldn't be told. He's heard through the grapevine that his daughter doesn't know he's paid support all these years.
I've read a lot of stories like that and I'm grateful I didn't have to go through that. I have shared custody so my kids spend half their time with me a half their time with their mother. I can't say how I would have handled that scenario.

Anyone who puts their kids in the middle of a divorce (as the woman in your example did) doesn't love their kids enough.
 

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I totally agree. I have a 13 yrd old and suspects she know that something is up, but I would never tell her. Her relationship with her father is to important.

My FWH and I have agreed that the children will never know, unless they were to face a similar situation later in life and needed advice.
 

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I think, like any family, it depends on your relationship and also depends on lots of other factors.

Our children know, although one guessed in any case. Once one has guessed, damage limitation means - in my opinion - you are better telling a limited truth.

We haven't needed to make it clear that what has happened does not affect the relationship they have with us individually - whatever the consequences to our marriage.

I can honestly say that neither our 15 year old nor 10 year old have changed their attitude towards my wife one iota since they were told.

Even ignoring the 15 year old guessing (bear in mind the kids thought my WW was having an affair before I was told about it), I would really worry about the effect it would have on them if they found out in later life in terms of reassessing everything that had happened.
 

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Yes, the age is important. My son was 22 so to me telling him although it was hard and I was not sure it was the right thing to do...I came to realize that telling him was truly what got H out of his EA fog. Knowing how angry his son was at him, is what woke him up.

I did not tell him on DD#1 I only let him know when DD#2 occurred because I thought sorry buddy you blew it..time to pull out the big guns.
 

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My kids know because they suspected dad was cheating and went to get evidence. Even though they are disappointed in their dad, they still love him very much and they know that he loves them. Knowing didn't change their relationship. It's how the dad is acting AFTER is what affecting their relationship.
 

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Our kids are probably old enough to deal with it. But honestly it's none of thier business. We just told them we are dealing with some personal issues that are between a husband and wife. They know we are going to counselling and individual therapy.

We don't fight in front of them, but i'm sure they have overheard some stuff from the other room. If they have questions, they can ask. Sometimes the answer is that I'm not going to answer that for them. Just reassure them that no matter what happens you love them and always will. I think if they are secure in that, the lifelong trama can be avoided.
But honestly it's none of thier business.
What? None of their business, as in they aren't part of the family? I think it is very much part of their business.

I contend that the cheater not only cheats on their spouse, they also cheat on their children.
 

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Well here's a thread I made a few weeks back on my own situation about exactly this question

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/56118-burning-far-reaching-question.html

(brief 15 yrs, 11 married, serial infidelity for at least last 7 years, two kids both nearly 9/10 - me househusband since they were pre nursery age (18 months old) 7/8 years - now seperated I have them live with me 4 days a week)

As it turns out three main factors have lead me toward telling the kids

1/ Somehow in it all keeping the 'secret' from them just validates stbew's whole ideology about cheating - its okay to lie and keep information withhold it all. I simply do not want my children feeling comfortable with that which my wife is.

2/ At a later date I absolutely feel I would get accused BY THEM of lying to them for years when they were perpetually asking me the reason why their mummy hurt their daddy which they have been doing persistently for nigh on 5 months since dday

3/Their mother has upped the ante recently in re writing our marriage history and I just felt getting this out of the way now would put a stop to that in the most important matter of all - her infidelity

There is a fourth element which I will admit too

4/ I've grown so tired of actually lying to them myself every time they ask this question and basically it seems we all deflect it for her benefit and that in all honestly does rankle a bit

So I told them last week. They really are sharp and actually I can see here and there they were not totally surprised. My daughter actually related to it in the 'bully' analogy - she had a friend at school who was her best friend but kept being nasty to her and she kept forgiving her and it upset her more and more and after a few months the friendship dropped away because she knew **** was hurting her !!

I explained that to all intents and purposes mummy hurting daddy was very similar to that.

I did express in simplistic terms how a marriage works vows are given to not have 'romantic moments' (kissing touching cuddling) (as my daughter calls them!) with men and women outside of our married 'at home' lives. No sex was mentioned and no sexual connotation was in any way found but they definitely understood the concept of two people being closely together and should one 'love' someone else then the other one will be incredibly upset and hurt by that.

I said that was the reason for daddy's hurt.

I explained mummy had done that and they asked who the men were.!? They knew them from the past all of them. Their memories are bloody ridiculous

I also emphasized that this would in no way affect how much they loved mum and should'nt do so and also it would not make any difference to her loving them too

They also asked if I had hurt her in any way that would make her do what she had done? - Interesting question!!? that then lead me to tell them nobody was perfect not daddy either and I told them mummy thought some bad things of daddy that he "had not earned enough money" "had not provided a secure future for us" stuff to be frank I dont agree with but I toldthem that was some of the stuff she thinks (although its largely a smoke screen to justify her serial infidelities)

I said she would also be talking to them about this

They were very at ease with it and I feel it will at least help them understand where I am with it and they now know their mother and I can never be friends after such betrayals and will finally help them put aside this one burning question they kept having to fight off

In terms of how they deal with their mother I dont know - I dont really think it adversely affect that relationship but I do hope it will put a stop to any invention and 'amendments'
my wife may want to make about the history of it.

I was extremely anxious about this and do not feel totally vindicated as yet but its early days. I think it was the right thing to do rather than just leave it and let it fester and allow stbxw to chip away and turn it into something as far from the truth as it would get and as she is so talented at doing
 

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I agree that the children should let the parents figure it out without becoming invoved... If they are adults, or close to being adults, lying about it won't help, and maybe they should be told. If they figure it out, or they must be told, the parents should leave it as "here are the facts", and keep their own feelings out of it. (Such as, your dad is an @-hole, or your mom is a tramp, etc).

However, I also truly believe that it is important not to ask children to take sides. No matter how angry you are at WS for breaking up the family, or for betraying you, it is still the child's parent and they will have to figure out their own relationship, whether the family stays intact or in fact, separates.

The kids are definitely affected by the cheating, no doubt. But it shouldn't be their burden to carry. No matter how old they are.
 

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What? None of their business, as in they aren't part of the family? I think it is very much part of their business.

I contend that the cheater not only cheats on their spouse, they also cheat on their children.
:iagree::iagree: I think I agreed with you on another thread somewhere but it's very true. A cheater DOES cheat on their children too. The children get cheated out of spending time with their cheating parent because the cheater spends their extra time with their SO (ie working overtime, going out of town for business). They also get cheated out of their parent from going to school functions or sports because the 'cheating parent' is too busy. I can't count how many times my kids asked their dad if he would go with them somewhere and he couldn't do it because he was called in to 'work' or how many times they asked for extra money to pay for a football camp and he didn't have the money. I found statements that he was using all the money for hotel rooms and dinners with his OW. So, yes, the children DOES get cheated on.
 

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I agree that the children should let the parents figure it out without becoming invoved... If they are adults, or close to being adults, lying about it won't help, and maybe they should be told. If they figure it out, or they must be told, the parents should leave it as "here are the facts", and keep their own feelings out of it. (Such as, your dad is an @-hole, or your mom is a tramp, etc).

Yes! That is very important in my opinion to leave your feelings out of it.

However, I also truly believe that it is important not to ask children to take sides. No matter how angry you are at WS for breaking up the family, or for betraying you, it is still the child's parent and they will have to figure out their own relationship, whether the family stays intact or in fact, separates.

I totally agree!



The kids are definitely affected by the cheating, no doubt. But it shouldn't be their burden to carry. No matter how old they are.
Very well said.
 

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Good on you, Headspin! By lying to them, you were validating her decision to cheat on you and also cheat on them. Outing was necessary, I think.
Yes now after the event it's easier to see

Aside from the valid reasons for telling them there is also this crazy aspect that after knowing your WS has spent most of their married life lying, cheating on you (and the kids) you paradoxically find yourself lying to them deceiving them which protects her from how they may feel about what she 's done!!

The hypocrisy of it it just bizarre :scratchhead:
 
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