So my kids hate me because i won't let their dad come to the house anymore

(64 Posts)
Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 17:03:55

We split in Jan after I found out he was having an affair. Kids are 9 & 11 and don't know anything about the affair. We tried to be "amicable" for a while - I used to let him visit with them in the house after he finished work. In addition he has them to his place at the weekends. But over the months he's become more and more nasty and bullying towards me to the point that I told him he simply is not welcome in the house anymore. I've said he can see the kids whenever he likes, just not here. If he wants to see them on a weekday evening I"ve suggested he can take them back to his for dinner and drop them home again later or take them out for tea or meet them at his mums...whatever.

But now the kids are furious at ME. They say I'm unfair, they say their dad says I'm being unfair too. Of course in their eyes he is a saint and I'm the one who is unreasonable. Adn just now when I had my DD(11) screaming about how I only ever think about myself I made the mistake of telling her how awful he is to me. I guess I wanted her to understand where I was coming from but I also know that was the wrong thing to do.

I don't know what to do now. I can't make them understand, they aren't going to forgive me and I won't change my mind. So now they just hate me. sad

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 17:11:29

They don't hate you. They just don't understand yet and their father is winding them up as well.

All you can do is tell them it's not practical for him to come to the house (which is perfectly reasonable by the way). Remind them that you are not preventing him from seeing them, just from spending time at your house. They'll calm down and everyone will settle into the new arrangement in time.

I speak from experience smile

Screaming at you is not acceptable though so don't allow it. They may be upset but they still need boundaries. 9 and 11 is old enough to treat you with respect.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 30-Oct-12 17:12:30

Keep plugging on, love

You are doing the right thing

Your kids will get over it if you are consistent

Have a word with your ex and tell him to STFU badmouthing you to your kids, that is way out of order

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 17:16:09

Oh Mutt, my 11 year old thinks she's bloody 17 and knows better anyway - I'm sure it didn't take a lot for him to convince her this is all my fault. This started weeks ago and I tried to calmly explain that I was absolutley not stopping them from seeing him, they just coudn't visit with him here. I thought they understood and would get used to it but he's clearly been working on them at the weekends "Oh poor me, I never get to see you. I have no time to bring you to my house for dinner, if only mum would just let me in the house for half an hour but she has decided she doesn't want that, I hope you two children aren't too mad at her'"

How about "Oh poor me, I don't get to see you every day anymore because my tiny dick accidently fell into another woman's vagina over and over again and forced me to lie to your mother's face for months and now it's perfectly understandable that she wouldn't want to see my stupid ugly face anymore so I guess I'll have to live with the consequences of my mistake."

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 17:17:48

Happy - I can not have a word with my ex. Every conversation with him gets twisted beyond recognition. If i try, it will only end in "I have no idea what you are so upset about, you clearly are over reacting, got the wrong idea, I just coudln't help being upset because I love my children so much and now you're mad at me? That's so unfair"

I wish my Mum had told me a lot more about the shitty things my Dad did when I was younger. I behaved awfully to her, and still have a great deal of guilt over it. FWIW, my Dad didn't have any hesitation in bad-mouthing my Mum. From the age of 8 until around 15 (when I finally started to twig what an abusive twunt he was) I had it drummed into me that my Mum was an emotionless frigid bitch who liked to spoil everyone's fun. I'm not saying that you should give your 11yo all the gory details or slate your XH, but letting her know that there are proper and valid reasons for what's going on might help? (I do accept I have massive issues about things like this though!)

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 17:29:54

It's a very recent split so bound to be raw.

You are not being unreasonable here, he is.

Don't forget it and don't back down.

I agree it's pointless getting into conversation with him about it - don't give him the power of seeing how upset you are and what an effect he is having. If he's anything like my ex, it wouldn't help anyway.

Your DC will accept the new arrangements because they have to I'm afraid. And if he tells them you're preventing them from spending time with him, just tell them "That isn't true". Don't get into an argument about it with your DD. Stay calm.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 30-Oct-12 17:35:36

Yoga, I didn't really mean a "nice" word, I meant a "hard" word IYKWIM

You could always play him at his own game, and threaten to tell his children exactly what he has done (but not really do it)

Although having said that, in your place if he didn't stop badmouthing me and attempting to sour my relationship with my own dc, I actually would give them a child-appropriate version of exactly why your family has been ripped apart, tbh

Why should you be the bad guy

Get tough and tell him you won't stand for it

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 17:56:09

A "nice" word, a "hard" word, it doesn't make one blind bit of difference. Here are some converstaions we have had over the last couple of months

Me - I'm having a few financial problems
Him - I"m really concerned about you
Me - Oh, ok. well if you have any suggestions..?
Him - If only you had trusted me in the first place instead of listening to your stupid friends and gone to that shark of a laywer you wouldn't be having financial problems now would you
Me - Oh, I see, that's your version of concern. Well that was helpful. (NOT)

Me - I really want tot talk to you about an important issue with DD
Him - there's nothing to talk about I've taken care of it. I will not discuss it.
Me - So you now think it's ok to make important decisions about the DDs without any discussion?
Him - that's just a lie, you clearly have anger issues and are just trying to pick a fight

hmm[anger]

I told them a tiny bit tonight. Never meant to but I'm so bloody sick of all this being my fault. I never said anything about an affair or another woman. But after the tenth time DD told him how unfair this was I told her the whole situation, the entire last year was indeed unfair and if her dad had acted differently none of it would have happened. I also told them he's been pretty mean to me and that's why I don't want him in the house. I now feel bad about saying these things as I promised myself I wouldn't badmouth him to them.

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 18:03:46

Don't waste your energy feeling guilty - you're not made of stone and if that's the worst you do or say in a moment of weakness, then we forgive you smile

It's not the worst that can happen if they begin to realise he isn't the perfect person he paints himself. They'll work it out for themselves soon enough. Maybe they are starting to already anyway (particularly DD who sounds very angry) and they're taking it out on you because they know they can.

Don't be so hard on yourself. You're doing your best in the hardest of circumstances.

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 18:39:26

Fuck, just typed a whole post and it disappeared.

Previous post should have read "after the tenth time DD told me how unfair this was".

MrsD sorry I didn't mean to ignore your post before I was typing in a bit of a fury and trying not to burn dinner. That's interesting what you say about wishing you had known more of the truth. But how much and at what age? Do you really tell an 11 year old who is hormonal and idolises her father that he had an affair, lied to me, bullied me, treated me like total shit...? She's probably just end up even more angry at me for telling her than at him for doing it.

Mutt But I do feel guilty and I do worry that he is so much better at pretending to be perfect than I am. He is sooooo good at acting a part, saying all the right things. Whereas I just....can't. My relationship with my kids has grown so much in the last 10 months, I talk to them more, spend more time with them, they know just how much i love and adore them. But....when I get angry or upset, they see that too. The see me lose my temper and shout or cry or say how much I don't like him. And they end up mad at me for that too.

sad

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 18:48:21

Oh sweetheart sad

That's ok. Kids are resiliant and as long as they know you love them, they will cope in their own way (even if that involves screaming at you).

Children aren't stupid and in time they will realise, whether you tell them or not, not only that he left for a reason but also that you were there for them all the way through this terrible time; despite all the hurt and anger and pain you were feeling, you were there soaking up all their pain and still managing to burn cook their dinners and keep things running day-to-day.

Personally I wouldn't recommend giving them all the details of why he left now. But if sometimes the hurt spills over and you blurt something out that you'd rather, if you were a bit more perfect, you hadn't, then you mustn't beat yourself up over it. You're only human.

Hassled Tue 30-Oct-12 18:48:46

I split with my first H after his affair, and like you didn't tell the kids anything about it. And they hated me - in their eyes, I broke a perfectly good family set up for no reason (Ex by this stage had decided the affair was a giant mistake and I was his one true love etc).

Anyway, eventually (after a couple of years) I flipped - the injustice of their endless niggling annoyance at me just got too much. I told them the truth. And they were too young to hear it and I regretted it instantly, and I can't say it didn't impact their relationship with their father (he was, and still is, a great father) BUT it did give them the explanation they needed. It did help - there was some closure to all the doubt and the "but whys?" in their heads, and we all moved on from there. And Ex and I moved on from there - we're both remarried, but we're still good friends. I think the friendship was possible because I stopped covering for him, and stopped resenting him.

What I'm trying to say is that a bit of truth-telling in this scenario is no bad thing. Children need reasons - and once they have the reason, they can move on and accept the change. Talk to your DD again - make sure she knows how much you both love her, but don't shoulder blame where there is none.

plutocrap Tue 30-Oct-12 18:59:39

Is the OW still on the scene? Meeting her can have a serious de-bullshitting laxative! effect on children's ideas.

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:19:29

pluto I honestly don't know to what extent OW is still on the scene. I never ask. After I kicked him out he told me it was over with her anyway but I know she hasn't disappeared completely. A few weeks back he engineered an "accidental" meeting with his "friend" when he took them out for lunch one day so they have met her but I doubt very much they have any idea who she is.

They've gone out now to see him. DD texted him to say she wanted to see him cause she was so upset. He wrote back that he would try and "arrange something as he wasn't allowed to come here". Eventually he picked them up and took them to his mum's house, which I'm meant to believe is a great inconvenience to everyone. FFS he only lives 10 minutes away so he could just as easily take them to his but again, he just wants them to think that I am making life unnecessarily difficult.

I don't think you tell an 11yo old everything but I think, as Hassled said, you don't shoulder the blame. I think telling them some of it as you did tonight was probably a good move even if it is painful initially.

plutocrap Tue 30-Oct-12 20:07:28

engineered an "accidental" meeting with his "friend" when he took them out for lunch one day so they have met her but I doubt very much they have any idea who she is.

I wouldn't be so sure.... and your DD is ripe for fury against him when she realises she's been made a fool of. sad

Mayisout Tue 30-Oct-12 20:08:18

I'm not clear on why you can't tell them.

OK, in a 'gentle' way like Daddy found a new girlfriend and fell in love so doesn't want to be married to mummy now.

We had a dysfunctional homelife when I was wee. Nothing was ever discussed or explained, believe me that is not good for the kids. Because things weren't happy we kids 'didn't want to make things worse' and were always 'fine' but, of course, had someone asked us we would probably have had a complete meltdown after years of repressed emotion and worry (because if you don't know or understand what is causing the underlying tension you worry and fear). And would have gone on to much healthier emotional adult lives than we have had.

Viviennemary Tue 30-Oct-12 20:13:41

It is infuriating for you. Perhaps it is better they know about the affair. Why should you be made out to be the unreasonable one.

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 20:45:53

Mavis - the trouble with telling them their beloved daddy is a lying, cheating, bastard who wrecked their family (and however nicely you dress it up, that is what you're saying) is that then puts them in the middle of two parents who both blame the other, justified or not. That can be damaging to their self-esteem and also makes it hard for them to confide in either parent without them feeling like they are taking sides.

Even if you are completely blameless, to tell young children the painful truth is unnecessary and often counter-productive. Better that they join the dots themselves as they grow up than have it spelt out to them when they are too young to shoulder the burdon of that information.

IMO.

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 20:50:29

Sigh, I don't know....for a long time i wasn't "allowed" to tell his mother either (who I used to have a good relationship with) but eventually I got fucked off with that and made sure she knew. I'm so done trying to protect him but with the kids I worry that damaging their relationship with their father would hurt them further rather than help at this stage....?

Mutt Tue 30-Oct-12 20:55:02

His mother's old enough to look after herself - no way should you have been expected to cover for him with her.

But your children are a different matter. I do think you should listen to your instincts smile

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 20:59:52

"His mother's old enough to look after herself"

Oh no, she's fragile, she's been through enough, it would destroy her, it would destroy XH's relationship with his mum and he has no one else left (boo fucking hoo)...there's always a way to make me out as the bad guy. His affair was my fault too, don't you know?

Sorry, I'm not normally this wound up and sarcastic and yes, I DO know his affair was NOT my fault, just trying to illustrate what I have to put up with.

I would explain to them but not in a nasty way - say he has hurt you so greatly and ignored your love and commitment that him being in your house upsets you so much. I think it is damaging to sheild children to all the facts and you can always put them in a way that isn't sleazy.

This is his bloody fault and you shouldn't be the one bearing the brunt of the kids anger at their family being destroyed.

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:51:31

Thanks Madame (thanks everyone really). I think I've said enough for now - that even though he loves them very much and he's a great dad that he's treated me badly and it's too upsetting for me to have him in the house. I tried to explain that I know things are hard for them but that I have feelings too. Things seem to have settled down again, when they came back in tonight they were both desperate to give me loads of cuddles. Sigh...this is just really hard sometimes.

ivykaty44 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:55:46

They say I'm unfair, they say their dad says I'm being unfair too.

sounds like there dad has set them up to this.

Stick to your guns they are welcome to see him at his house.

Things not going to well with the OW I guess, otherwise why is he causing trouble?

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:02:38

ivykaty - of course he put them up to it - but he is so good at it they will never realise. He is the master of subtle manipulation followed by feigned innocence and righteous outrage. And he is causing trouble because he's fuming that I made one decision he can't bully his way out of (ie not letting him in the house anymore).

ivykaty44 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:17:04

no he is upset as he can't control, he can't come in your house (and snoop and carry on as things used to be) Only things have moved on and guess he doesn't like change.

You didn't explain to your dc that of course mum doesn't go to daddy's house, so its best we keep out lives apart as we are sadly apart now. Cause I am guessing you don't pop round to his place to see the children when he has them?

I would detach a lot, keep him at more than arms lenth

Has he asked to come back yet?

Yogagirl17 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:26:57

no, i don't go into his place, I just drop them outside and go. He used to try and invite me in for coffee but I think he's finally getting the message that I simply don't want to see him unless it's absolutely necessary. Difference is the kids and I still live in the family home, so of course he says to them "i wish I could visit with you in our home"

StarsGhostTail Tue 30-Oct-12 22:39:28

Truth Daddy had an affair and lied to Mummy.
Daddy isn't nice to Mummy.

Daddy loves you.

But he and I aren't friends any more.

No point in soft soaping 11y, they are very very far from stupid.

Daddelion Wed 31-Oct-12 09:58:22

Can he say.

'Daddy had an affair because our sex life was poor'

I think it's dodgy ground.

We just said, mum and dad don't love each other anymore, but we love you.

mummytime Wed 31-Oct-12 10:24:19

I would tell them that Daddy had an affair to be honest, and as Daddy doesn't love Mummy obviously he doesn't live here. I would also offer to drop them off at his whenever they want if thats fine with Daddy.

You could try and talk about it in terms they understand; how would they feel if they had an argument with their best friends but you still invited them for play dates?

That home is somewhere people need to feel safe, but they are lucky as they have two homes now.

11 is a tricky age, and her hormones are probably raging. Mums usually get the worst of it with girls, but it does get better. She is also probably feeling insecure, and pushing you to see if you will leave/kick her out too.

Good luck!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 31-Oct-12 10:31:07

OP do you think that maybe you are getting the brunt of the anger because they know you will absorb it and still love them? Perhaps despite appearances they are not so sure of their father.

It must be bloody horrible for you though sad Hopefully it will pass with time.

izzywizzyisbizzy Wed 31-Oct-12 10:37:06

I think DD needs to know he has had an affair as well - couched in age appropriate terms - we see a therapist weekly, for a far note serious issue and have been told to stick to a version of the truth with them (they are only 2 and 4 so it's very watered down).

You aren't doing your relationship with then any favours by trying to protect his.

And if he engineered an "accidental" meeting there will be full on ones soon enough.

paneer Wed 31-Oct-12 10:41:31

YOu should plan on formalising access, or at least having an informal fixed arrangement (subject to change as the childrens needs change)? If everyone knows that that on certain days they are with him and in his care in his home then it makes things a lot more manageable.

And ideally if you can drop the DC somewhere like football/school or whatever and XH collects them you don't even have to see his nasty face!

paneer Wed 31-Oct-12 10:44:42

Telling them in terminology that is age appropriate, whilst reaffirming that daddy loves you very much and mummy loves you very much and you are really special.

Yogagirl17 Wed 31-Oct-12 13:10:26

Alibaba - love your name!

paneer we have a formal arrangement in place for the weekends and a more informal agreement for during the week. Up until recently he would just 'pop in' after work, spend some time in the house with them and then leave or take them to whatever activities they have one. I made it clear when I told him he wasn't welcome in the house anymore that he was still welcome to see them during the week, he just needs to do it somehwere (anywhere) other than the house.

mummytime hormones are well and truly raging!!! And I've always born the brunt of her mood swings even from when she was really young so not all that surprising that I"m getting it now. I've always tried to reassure her that no matter how mad she gets at me (or me at her) that I will always, always love her and take care of her. But I hadn't considered that she might be feeling insecure/pushing me to see if I would make her leave too. You might be right, I'll need to be more sensitive about that.

And based on what everyone on here has said I may well decide to tell them. Do I tell them both or just the 11yo? It's hard judge DS (9) reactions. He'll sit quietly and take everything in then suddenly just burst out with one comment and then clam up again. He's much 'easier' than DD and seemingly less angry but also younger...?

As they have already met this woman would that be a suitable way to bring it up? Ask them if they remember meeting "OW" and then explain that she was daddy's girlfriend last year when he and I were still together and that's why we aren't together anymore?

Yogagirl17 Wed 31-Oct-12 13:12:24

Oh, and I tried the best friend analogy but they didn't seem to get it. Their response to that was that I don't have to stay in the room with them when he's here and it's their house too. They kind of have a point. And yet....no. Not happening.

mummytime Wed 31-Oct-12 13:34:29

Does your DD have anyone else's he cantalk to? Is there any kind of counsellor at school? Does she see much offer friends?
This can all help.

But parenting teens (and just before) is tricky.

Yogagirl17 Wed 31-Oct-12 13:59:12

"But parenting teens (and just before) is tricky."

Ha ha tell me about it! But yes, she does have people she talks to - in fact two of her best friends have parents who are divorced. Just found out today she told one of these friends that she met a "friend" of daddy's he said she was just his "friend"...but obviously if DD is talking about it there are already questions in her own mind, right?

mummytime Wed 31-Oct-12 14:06:46

Yes sounds as if she is thinking about it. If you are honest then that is a good starting place.

Also make sure you have people and places to let off steam.

Yogagirl17 Wed 31-Oct-12 15:40:32

So now I'm just wondring whether to do it before the weekend or after? They are supposed to be with him the whole weekend...? Might just wait til next week.

Mutt Wed 31-Oct-12 15:54:28

Are you sure that the "friend" he engineered a meeting with is the same woman he was having an affair with in January?

Yogagirl17 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:10:43

Yes, absolutely. He heard one of the kids say to me on the phone they had met a friend of his at lunch so he then emailed me to say 'by the way, just happened to bump into OW at restaurant today and she joined us for lunch.'

Mutt Wed 31-Oct-12 16:16:47

Right smile

It sounds like you've decided to tell them YG. Personally I worry that it could backfire and/or may not necessarily be the kindest thing to do for them, but you know your children better than anyone.

Hope all goes well.

ivykaty44 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:22:15

I would sit then down together

Tell them you have not tools them befor as you didn't want to cliff their thoughts but there dads friend was the reason you and hon. fell out, but you are over that note and it is time to move on

You want your life a privecy do no more dad here

ivykaty44 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:23:00

Pooh and this would be before weekend

daytoday Thu 01-Nov-12 19:51:06

I'm going to post something that may be controversial.

My dad had affairs and my parents eventually split up when I was a teen, but brothers younger.

My mum didn't go into the gory details but did tell us my dad had met someone else and I'm bloody glad she told us.

She never bad mouthed my dad but in our childish minds we totally understood why they couldn't be together.

Im in my forties now and I adore my mum and time has revealed my dad as a sad man. I have never allowed myself to accept bad treatment from a man, even as a teen. Knowing the facts of my parents separation has allowed me to stay close to my mum but to also have worthwhile conversations with her about good relationships, love not always being forever. I guess what I'm saying is truth is really important.

Yogagirl17 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:41:48

Thanks day, it's so interesting to hear how people feel about their own childhood experiences.

I've been given a lot to think about. I think on balance it seems the long term benefits of telling her outweigh keeping it secret. I'm going to wait until after the weekend though as she's been pushing my buttons the last few days and I don't want to do it when I'm feeling wound up and stressed out.

AnyFucker Thu 01-Nov-12 22:59:31

Good luck x

I agree that the benefits of telling her (child friendly version) outweigh any potential downsides

Yogagirl17 Thu 01-Nov-12 23:18:41

Thanks - will obviously not go into gory details (most of which i wish I didn't know myself and unfortunately do!) but will explain some version of the fact that this woman was daddy's girlfriend while we were still together and that when I found out he told me he loved her and I was very, very hurt - and of course that he still loves DD very much and is a good dad to her but I just can't be around him anymore. I think she will like the fact that I think she is grown up enough to know the truth and that I don't want to keep any secrets from her.

AnyFucker Thu 01-Nov-12 23:19:43

Good call.

Daddelion Fri 02-Nov-12 09:04:25

Well, I can't see it suddenly making her happier.

She'll either be more angry with your ex, or if he gives his side of the story
(and the way you have described him he will) she'll be more angry with you.

Don't you think there's a danger of getting in a tit-for-tat situation?

Yogagirl17 Fri 02-Nov-12 09:50:02

Daddelion are you speaking from any personal experience with this type of situation, either from when you were a child, or as a parent?

Daddelion Fri 02-Nov-12 10:16:14

My parents told us too much about the reasons for their divorce and I didn't want to know.

I separated from my ex and all we've told the children is that we don't love each other anymore but we love them.

But my ex isn't an arse (but we could have easily had an horrendouse split)

You know your children (and ex) best, so it's really your call

Yogagirl17 Fri 02-Nov-12 10:24:46

What was 'too much'? And was there someone else involved in your split?

The thing is, at the beginning I really hoped for an amicable split and did a lot of 'protecting' him, not just from the kids but from friends and family as well. But he has proved over and over that he IS an arse and has made life unimaginably difficult for me over the last ten months. This recent argument over him not coming to the house is just the latest example. At first he emailed me to say he would "fully support & respect" my decision. So when the kids turned to him and said 'dad, it's so unfair that mum won't let you in the house anymore', his response should have been 'we have to respect your mum's decision, don't worry about it, we'll just make other arrangements'. Instead he totally feeds their views that I am the one being unfair.

Is it so wrong to just want to level the playing field a little?

daytoday Fri 02-Nov-12 12:27:55

I don't think telling your daughter is tit for tat. I reckon you know your kids and what they need to know.

Protect them from arguments etc. But not the truth. I think if my mum hadn't told me my dad had met someone else our relationship (my mum and mine) would have been damaged quite badly.

Once we knew the truth we accepted it. We were hurt of course, but maybe not as angry with her - at a time when she was vulnerable too.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Fri 02-Nov-12 12:45:00

I think she needs to know. She's old enough and needs to understand why he can't come in the house. If he hadn't made a issue out of it, you wouldn't have to tell her.

ivykaty44 Fri 02-Nov-12 13:06:21

Thing is eventually your dc will find out the truth about the affair - then they will wonder why you were such a walk over and never said anything.

I would be very much matter of fact, dad had an affair and I couldn't live with him any further. So now we live apart and I was hoping we can both move on with our own lives and that includes your dad not coming in the house as if he was a friend.

ledkr Fri 02-Nov-12 13:14:19

Never sure if I was right to do it but I told ds3 who was 14 at the time, that hid dad had left me for ow. I had kept it secret for a yr and then when there was a sniff of me dating again he went mad and I said his dad was upset hmm I decided as the main carer and constant parent that my relationship with him was crucial that I would tell him. He was fine but shocked and now in his twenties says I was right.
Op you are a human being too and do not have to feel uncomfortable in your own home.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 02-Nov-12 13:18:23

I think they are old enough to know why you split, rather than it coming out when they are older.

I was told about my mothers affair when i was about 8, really changed my attitude towards my dad. I had spent a long time thinking he had made my mother leave rather than her walking out. I don't think he actually used the term "affair" and it was said during a proper conversation rather than just blurted out. He said she didn't love him anymore but of course she still loved me. But because he still loved her it was hard for him to have her around when she loved someone else. Didn't really change my relationship with my mum, custody was 50/50. We are still close now and my parents developed quite a good co-parent relationship.

I guess every situation is different as is every child. But if you do tell, do try to do it in the proper way, as a conversation not when she is shouting and saying she hates you.

mummytime Fri 02-Nov-12 13:34:14

There are couples who use their kids as a weapon, or tell them too much. You don't sound like one of those. If he is still going to be seeing OW or have a string of girlfriends, at 11 your DD is going to work out the bare facts pretty quickly. If you tell her then she will know at least you were honest about this, and hopefully will trust you a little more in future.
My parents split when I was 2, my mother told me very little then, little bits came out over the years, but I still don't know all the gory detail, and don't want to. But I knew enough to accept it.
Of course you want to pick your time, so it isn't in the middle of an argument, or just a "blurt out".
Good luck!

Yogagirl17 Fri 02-Nov-12 13:59:57

Will have to wait til next monday or tuesday I think as they are going to be with him all weekend and I'd rather they had some time to process and talk to me if they want before they see him again. It would seem a little unfair to tell them tonight then send them off to spend the whole weekend with him feeling confused/angry/whatever they may be feeling. Think I will have to tell DS(9) too as I hate the idea of telling one but not the other, then I'm just encouraging more keeping of secrets.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 02-Nov-12 15:25:46

That sounds very sensible Yoga and i would agree that you would have to tell both. Tell them in a very simplistic way, no nasty details and then answer any questions they have. Secrets always come out in the end and it would be far better having it in the open than coming out when they are older and it being a huge issue.

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