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Accidentally outed SD’s mum

(145 Posts)
CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:21:00

I’ve NC for this.
I work part time and have Thurs/Fri off work. The weather was beautiful yesterday so my friend came over, we went for a walk with my dog and stayed for lunch. We sat in the garden chatting and having a nice catch up.
Her husband had an affair which she found out about just after Christmas and she was talking about everything that’s gone on and how she thinks she’ll never be able to trust anyone again, and all the normal hurt feelings someone feels in this situation.

Trying to offer her some comfort I used my DP as an example. His ExW has an affair which he found out about at their youngest DC’s first birthday party as ex’s phone went off with a message and DP picked it up thinking it may be a guest running late. The whole thing blew up and even questions regarding the youngest’s paternity were raised (she’s definitely his, she’s his double).
Anyway I was saying how it took him a long time to move on and 6 years later he met me. I was saying my friend won’t feel so hurt forever and she will have it in her heart to love again.

Unbeknownst to me eldest SD had felt unwell at school, rang her mum who was at work and was told to come over to our house as she knew I would likely be at home. I had no idea she was in the house as I’d been out walking when she must have let herself in and gone to bed.
SD’s bedroom is at the back of the house and her bedroom window is directly above our patio where my friend and I was sitting.
She heard everything.
I didn’t say anything negative about her mum but I did talk about her affair very anecdotally with my friend.

The first I knew she was in the house was when she came flying through the French doors crying and shouting and calling me a liar. I feel awful, she didn’t know any of this before (why would she, she’s a child).

I cuddled her and apologised that she’d heard that and she calmed down (or so I thought). DP came home earlier than usual and talked to her. Luckily he’s not cross with me because it was a genuine accident but SD quizzed him for hours. He told her the truth. She’s since refused to go back to her mum’s, won’t answer her mum’s phone calls or texts and is saying she hates her.

I feel sick. I caused this, I really didn’t mean to but she heard it.
What do we do now? How can I make this right again?

Ivegotfamilyandidrinkcupsoftea Fri 20-Apr-18 12:23:44

How old is she

Have you explained to her mum

Mannix Fri 20-Apr-18 12:25:16

Oh goodness OP. You didn't do anything wrong but that is very unfortunate. Have you done a massive grovelling apology to DP's ex?

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:27:04

She’s 14. No I haven’t spoken to her mum, I don’t ever really talk to her unless it’s a quick text if I’m picking up or dropping off.
DP has spoken to her and initially she was very angry, but DP pointed out that it is true and I didn’t say anything to be malicious. She is still pissed off but not as much because she did in fact have an affair. It’s not like I’ve made it up. I think she’s more annoyed that the truth has come out to her DD.

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:28:49

@Mannix I’m not going to grovel to his Ex because nothing I said was said in a mean way or untrue. I did send a text afterwards to say I’m sorry SD overheard it and I’m sorry SD is so upset.

DearMrDilkington Fri 20-Apr-18 12:29:37

Oh god, how awful.

DearMrDilkington Fri 20-Apr-18 12:30:26

Don't feel guilty though. You didn't deliberately tell her, these things usually end up coming out at some point.

GreenEyedGoose Fri 20-Apr-18 12:30:43

I too don't think you should grovel. Her actions (affair) have consequences and in time the dd should have known but yes definitely not from OP but it sounds like a geniune accident.

I don't think you can do anymore other than apologise to all which you've done.

MagicalMerlot Fri 20-Apr-18 12:33:29

I believe that children should know the truth, it's just unfortunate how it all played out.

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:34:30

SD isn’t angry with me but is being very vitriolic about her mum. This morning DP asked if she was going back to mum’s after school and she said “I’m don’t want to speak to that b*tch”.
DP really told her off and said she isn’t to use that language and she needs to be respectful of her mum.
She replied “well she wasn’t respecting our family when she cheated on you was she!”

It was over 8 years ago. Her mum doesn’t deserve this now. I’m hoping SD will calm down and it’ll blow over

Mannix Fri 20-Apr-18 12:36:14

Maybe grovel is the wrong word. I do think you should apologise unreservedly though. I fully accept it wasn't deliberate, but you have inadvertently done something that could have a significant impact on her relationship with her DD. An apology is the least you can do!

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:39:13

Magicalmerlot I’m surprised that eye hasn’t found out sooner to be honest. They never talk about when mum and dad were together and SD was 6 when they split so must remember.
She asked me once why me and my DC’s dad are no longer together and I said that we just didn’t get along anymore and we didn’t want to argue so we decided it was best to move on.
SD then said “yeah that’s what happened with my mum and dad too”. I looked at DP and sort of shrugged his shoulders and I felt proud of him that he didn’t drag their mum through the mud to their DDs. But now I’ve done it for him sad

DiamondsBestFriend Fri 20-Apr-18 12:39:19

‘/are the ex and DP on decent terms now? Would they be able to sit down with DSD and have a discussion about how these things do happen and how life moves forward with regards to people and relationships etc?

Not quite the same but I know someone who went through similar. She had an affair which ended what was tbh quite a turbulent marriage. Both she and her ex moved on, entered into new relationships and the ex even has children with his new partner. In their case it was the partner who screamed the information at the children during a row about money and was definitely meant maliciously. But after they had calmed down their mum sat them down and explained that the affair wasn’t something she was proud of, that it was in fact a very regrettable part of her life and that the marriage had been unhappy and she should have made better decisions when ending it.

In time the children did take what she had said on board, and they also had their father’s support in doing so because he is in a new relationship now with more children who would not have been there otherwise.

When someone has an affair it is often inevitable that it will come out, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of relationships between them and the children if it is handled sensitively.

The mum hadn’t pursued a relationship with OM after she and her ex split which I do think helped with regards to the kids’ view on things.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Fri 20-Apr-18 12:41:38

It must have been 13 years ago or so not 8 since your DSD was 1? Unless I musunderstood.

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:42:05

Mannix I did say sorry, sorry that I’ve upset SD and she found out the way she did. But at the end of the day it was the truth and affairs do have consequences. In reality her mum is extremely lucky that she has to this point come out unscathed.

I would never want to upset or hurt SD. I’m hoping to death that she doesn’t tell her little sister

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:43:18

Drink no the youngest SD was 1, she’s now 9. I accidentally informed the eldest SD who is 14

pigmcpigface Fri 20-Apr-18 12:46:48

I think this is a huge moment for your SD - finding out that a parent is less than perfect can be very shocking. I think it's important to explain to her that people make mistakes, and that affairs, while wrong, are sometimes a sign that a relationship has already run its course for one party.

RoseyOldCrow Fri 20-Apr-18 12:48:19

What a conversation for SD to overhear, especially so young, poor lass. And sympathy to you too, what an awful coincidence that she was off school.
I think that at the moment she needs to feel secure, loved & valued - she may feel that her whole being is in question & that she is somehow to blame for the pain & trauma, as it was her party where it happened.
She needs to vent about her DM: she is entitled to be angry at the deceit & subsequent pain. Your responsibility is to give her a safe environment in which to do that.
Could her school's pastoral lead help here? Sometimes a 3rd party can be useful in family traumas particularly as they have no side to take (it is deep emotional trauma at the moment, it affected such a fundamental relationship during her youngest years)
Re her relationship with DM. Time will heal; SD will take time to forgive & if, at the moment, she doesn't want to visit, then please tell her that's ok - SD's feelings are valid & she needs to know that.
I think that mother & daughter will have to have some tricky conversations in the future, but perhaps not yet, not until some of the anger gas dissipated.
Unfortunately, DP is going to have to find a way to tell his ex that SD knows what happened & how she feels about it. I think that transparency is the only way to go forwards.
Perhaps the ex could write a letter (not an email) to SD? Something that could be re-read & may help SD to understand that it wasn't an deceit against her, that she is still loved. (Much as it pains me to say this, as a SM myself & with no love lost between myself & the ExW)

Please don't feel at all guilty about being heard, it was just one of those things that sometimes happen. Perverse tho it may seem, this could strengthen your relationship with SD, she is very lucky to have such a caring & loving SM as you.

HoneyBadger32 Fri 20-Apr-18 12:50:26

I don't see why there is any need for drama, it's really none of the 14 year olds business which is what both her mum and dad should tell her. She's upset because of what exactly. It was her parents relationship, and the fact it ended is something she already knows about. bizarre reactions all round.

Juells Fri 20-Apr-18 12:52:12

Blimey, I can't believe she's never been told why her parents split up. I must be an awful loudmouth 😳

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:52:15

pig yes we’ve done that. Her and DP talked for hours last night and he was brilliant. He said she had to respect her mum and was saying how she’s a wonderful mum to them both. She’s so upset though.
When they split she took it very badly. She suffered hair loss from stress, bit her finger nails until they bled and ended up having counselling for a long time afterwards.
So I think now she’s blaming her mum as she’s remembering this and is angry about it.

DP has said they weren’t happy or it wouldn’t have happened anyway so she can’t just blame mum for the family split. He’s so lovely, I know this isn’t true from his perspective.

pigmcpigface Fri 20-Apr-18 12:55:45

Your DH sounds wonderful!

I think this is a kind of grief for your SD. She will probably run through the seven stages of it - hopefully fairly quickly. It sounds like she's already gone from denial to anger. All very understandable. But it's important to keep stressing that adult relationships are complicated and messy and that people make mistakes, and that understanding and love and compassion are a better response than condemnation.

CheesusChrist Fri 20-Apr-18 12:57:43

Honey are you for real? She’s 14 and has just found out her mum cheated on her dad which caused the split of their family. Your parents splitting up is soul destroying as a kid! And up until now no blame in her mind could be attributed, but now she’s blaming her mum. That’s why there’s drama and it is her business because she was directly affected by it.

I feel sick thinking of her pain sad

Idontdowindows Fri 20-Apr-18 12:59:51

I'm with Pig. Your daughter is dealing with the grief of losing who she thought her mother was.

dinosaurkisses Fri 20-Apr-18 13:00:43

Ah OP, you're not to blame- it's just unfortunate.

This is the thing when secrets are kept within a family- it is inevitably found out in a much more distressing way than if an open and honest conversation (age appropriate if necessary) had been held in the first place.

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