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Lexxxy #2505875 05/05/11 04:20 PM
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Why haven't you told the boys you are divorced? Great post but a little confused why you haven't mentioned this one HUGE piece of information to them yet??

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Originally Posted By: SapphireReturns
Why haven't you told the boys you are divorced? Great post but a little confused why you haven't mentioned this one HUGE piece of information to them yet??


I agree that this has been a HUGE mistake. Too late now, but you could have easily told them, 'boys our divorced was legally finalized today. Mom will continue to live in the house with us for another month or so while she arranges to get her own house.'

Now not sure how this will play out....MY son would want to know the EXACT date.

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Oh, SOL, I started crying reading this. Sometimes people don't realize how deeply their actions affect their kids!!


"If you will stop feeding your feelings, then they will stop controlling you" -Joyce Meyer
Lexxxy #2506153 05/06/11 10:38 AM
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Excellent ideas Lexxxy! Thank you. I will save that one for next time he brings it up.


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Originally Posted By: SmilingWoman
Originally Posted By: SapphireReturns
Why haven't you told the boys you are divorced? Great post but a little confused why you haven't mentioned this one HUGE piece of information to them yet??


I agree that this has been a HUGE mistake. Too late now, but you could have easily told them, 'boys our divorced was legally finalized today. Mom will continue to live in the house with us for another month or so while she arranges to get her own house.'

Now not sure how this will play out....MY son would want to know the EXACT date.


Yes, you guys are right, but hind sight is 20/20. We did tell them last night by the way.

Back in March when she came home and we got legally divorced, we talked about when to tell them. I did feel we should tell them right away, however Pinky suggested that it may have caused them more stress. Since we knew it would be at least a month from that time until she left, we figured there was not going to be a difference either way, and then we could tell them before she moved out and say, "see, we've been divorced for a month and you can see things weren't different". Thought that it may have helped them ease their fears about how much things would change. I did talk to their counselor and DS11 psychiatrist about that 'plan' and both said it sounded good.

So as it turns out, it really didn't matter anyway. Told them last night and DS11 said, "yeah, I know. You guys got divorced a couple weeks ago." And then DS8 said, "No (DS11), they got divorced back in January when mom went to go see POSOM." Wow, kids still surprise me with how much they really know and pick up on. They were fine last night. We reminded them about how the schedule will work and how they can come back to the other parents house if during the week if they want, but they can't do it just because one of us is making them do something they don't like. I gave an example of me getting on them about picking up thier rooms and then them saying "We want to go to mom's" just to get out of it. We both said that the rules and schedules will pretty much be the same at both places too. I asked them if they had any questions or anything and they said nope, and that they were fine.

I also explained that we started the divorce in March when Pinky came home, but that we just finnished everything this past Monday. I just felt the need to let them know that just to avoid them feeling bad or angry that I kept the facts from them.

Looking back, I agree that we should have just told them right away, but it also seems that there wasn't any harm done either.

On another note, it looks like I may have been a little too optimistic about Pinky coming around to being a better mom. I have a two week training thing in June and she will have them. Well she already asked her parents if they wanted to take the boys for those two weeks. I don't have an issue with this, as I would actually like her parents to have the boys, but she lied about it and told her mom that it was written in our divorce decree that her parents have the boys when I'm on my two week training thing. Crazy.

I suspect she just told MIL that so she didn't appear selfish about simply not wanting to spend time with her own kids. So very sad. What Pinky didn't know was that I had sent her parents and my own folks our written parenting agreement a few weeks ago. I just gave it to them both so that they would know who would have the boys on each holiday and stuff so they could make plans.

Well, Pinky hired her movers and she moves a week from today. I really can't wait!


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I only have a couple of things to advise you on with your last post, SOL.

One thing that Dr. Harley advocates and that I (nor a vast majority of the profession)DO NOT agree with is exposure to young children. I have never told them the reason for our split. It is damaging to young children for one of the parents to made out as the bad guy and they thrive best when both parents are supportive and agreeable after the split. I was advised by more than one counselor NOT to tell them about WW's affair or place any blame on any one spouse for the split.

I also hesitated in telling my boys about the divorce until it was time for WW to move out, again at the advice of multiple counselors. It was explained to me that uncertainty about the future is what causes the most anxiety in the children, and if you can keep a fairly normal homelife until the split it is best to hold off telling them.

In other words, telling you children early in the process leaves a lot of uncertainty, who will they stay with and where? Will they change schools? Have to move out of the neighborhood? By waiting until the end, you can answer all these questions up front and with certainty.

My DS10 had a similar reaction when we finally told him. He kind of blurted out "I knew it!" in a triumphant manner like he had solved a puzzle. There were no tears and very little adjustment period for them doing it this way (And I thank God everyday).

I know that most of the "vets" on here will vehemently disagree with the way we've gone about it with the children, but it's one deviation from MB's that I will never, ever regret. They love their mom, she is a good mother to them, and I don't see how any good would come of diminishing her in their eyes.

Dr. Harley has developed a great program for saving marriages, but I hate the attitude on these boards that he is 100% right about everything and that the same formula can be applied in every situation. Human relationships don't work that way.

I think you have done your best with the hand dealt you.

Last edited by schtoop; 05/06/11 11:37 AM.
schtoop #2506194 05/06/11 11:40 AM
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When your parents get a divorce, arguing about the best way to find out is like arguing about what color to paint the walls while the home is burning down.

I remember the day my parents told me they were getting a divorce. The thing I hated about it most, the thing I still hated the most, was how it was presented as a joint decision. I knew who wanted the divorce and who did not. I'm glad I knew the truth and saw through the lie.

I felt that way decades before I heard about Dr. Harley, for what that's worth.


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Lexxxy #2506218 05/06/11 12:37 PM
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You handled it beautifully. You taught him he can always come to you, that he is still your child and hers, to try and focus on the positive. I hope he understands that it's okay to feel grief and loss over the family unit as well as the positives (relief from the stress/tension in the home).


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
_SOL #2506368 05/06/11 07:54 PM
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Quote:
On another note, it looks like I may have been a little too optimistic about Pinky coming around to being a better mom. I have a two week training thing in June and she will have them. Well she already asked her parents if they wanted to take the boys for those two weeks. I don't have an issue with this, as I would actually like her parents to have the boys, but she lied about it and told her mom that it was written in our divorce decree that her parents have the boys when I'm on my two week training thing. Crazy.

I suspect she just told MIL that so she didn't appear selfish about simply not wanting to spend time with her own kids. So very sad.


It is sad. I don't know if this is a wayward trait, or just another area where Pink and my wExw are cut from the same cloth. Fortunately, with the clarity of divorce, and not living with her anymore I have been able to see the extent to which she would almost constantly shade the truth. It's like they (waywards) live in a world of almost-lies/white lies/half-truths. That most certainly has not changed just because my wexw took off her wedding ring, or 10 months after the D for that matter. Here's the story (from this week):

I call wexw to tell her D9 has a UTI (I'm in the medical field, I know the symptoms). I need her to know that I'm giving her lots of fluids and will take her to the clinic tomorrow (and inquire if she saw anything since it was my first night with D9 for the weekend). I tell her D9 is scared and if she could talk to her she might feel better. Wexw tells her she's had them before and it's no big deal, nothing to be scared about. Next day: wexw calls me for an update, D9 standing next to me. Wexw then informs me that she has actually never had a UTI and that she was only saying that to calm D9 down. Maybe I'm crazy but to ME that's lying. To ME, if you're not ACCUSTOM to telling lies, that thought would have never occurred to her to make up a story about her medical history. There should be no reason to lie about that unless it's simply the only thing that comes to your mind, or if it's simply easier to do it (and let's face it- isn't lying usually the "easy" way out?).

So anyway, I have every reason to believe that wexw continues to use dishonesty when it serves her purposes, even to her own kids. You know what that means. It's up to me to provide the ultimate respect for the truth. The kids will ultimately decide who's example they want to follow.

I hope you find this relevant, Limb. If not hopefully someone else reading will.

opt

schtoop #2506402 05/06/11 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: Schtoop
My DS10 had a similar reaction when we finally told him. He kind of blurted out "I knew it!" in a triumphant manner like he had solved a puzzle.

Sooooo, doesn't that mean that, for the prior days/weeks, he had been feeling the same sort of anxiety/uncertainty you were trying to avoid?


Originally Posted By: Schtoop
They love their mom, she is a good mother to them, and I don't see how any good would come of diminishing her in their eyes.


Don't mean to pick on you schtoop, and I know you are comfortable with your path. But I've been thinking about this since I read it earlier in the day. My kids love their mom too, and she is basically a good mom to them. I don't, however feel that I "diminished" or degraded her when I told my kids the TRUTH about what she had done - as you remember I did it in an age-appropriate way. I said I was being highly disrespected and I could no longer stay in a relationship where I was being abused. I told them I tried everything I could but their mother insisted on having inappropriate relationships with other men while she was married and I could not tolerate that anymore, nor could I continue to allow that to be an example of acceptable behavior. I told them their mother was not willing to respect my wishes and show respect to her marriage partner, that her "friendships" were more important to her than her marriage. That's the truth and I don't see how it was degrading to her. I believe compromising my own principles and glossing over the truth would have been degrading to THEM. It also teaches them that people don't have to be accountable for their actions - that the right thing to do is simply "not talk" about people's misdeeds. "I can steal this candy bar, and as long as I can convince my brother not to say anything, I can eat in peace"

Originally Posted By: sh2p
One thing that Dr. Harley advocates and that I (nor a vast majority of the profession)DO NOT agree with is exposure to young children. ... It is damaging to young children for one of the parents to made out as the bad guy and they thrive best when both parents are supportive and agreeable after the split. I was advised by more than one counselor NOT to tell them about WW's affair or place any blame on any one spouse for the split.

Okay- how "young"?

Schtoop. You know I hate counsellors. But I think they make their recommendations based on the premise that most people are idiots. They advise people not to talk about adultery to their kids because they envision the betrayed spouse running out and inappropriately drag their ex through the mud - "your mom's a cheating sl&t!, and my counsellor said it was okay to say that." Clearly Harley/MB doesn't advocate anything like that.
I agree that it is damaging to have one parent be made out to be the bad guy. But the truth can be revealed without vilifying a spouse. I also think two parents can be supportive and agreeable even in the context of the children knowing what caused the split. I never say anything bad about my ex and she doesn't about me. I've tried to teach my kids that it's best to move on and get over it when you are betrayed, not to dwell on the past. I've also taken responsibility for my role in making my exww feel the desire to look outside the marriage for comfort.

Counsellors have been saying the same thing for a lot of years, and the divorce rate continues to be the same or worse. Clearly kids in our generation learned nothing when their betrayed parents covered for their wayward parents (because their counselor advised them to). Of course kids in our generation didn't benefit from the other extreme, but Harley advocates neither of these approaches. It's my understanding that he simply advocates showing respect for children by telling them the truth (something they most certainly know anyway because the see more than we think). I believe he feels it's more damaging for children to know the truth and then be sold a different version of reality by adults.

opt

optimism #2506481 05/07/11 02:55 PM
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schtoop - one day, your children will know the truth and will wonder why you lied to them about their own lives. What will you say to them then?

They will grow up blind to the signs of a cheating spouse because they were not told the truth about it when it happened right in their own homes. They will grow up believing that neglectful, independent behaviour is normal and should be tolerated, and divorce happens for "other reasons" - reasons which remain a total mystery.

Truth doesn't harm children, schtoop, but lies and secrets harm them very much. And I'm sorry, but no cheating spouse is a good parent - ever. The two are mutually exclusive and the kids know this even if you do not.


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WH cheated in corporate workplace for many years. He moved out and filed in summer 2008.
Mulan #2506493 05/07/11 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mulan
schtoop - one day, your children will know the truth and will wonder why you lied to them about their own lives. What will you say to them then?

They will grow up blind to the signs of a cheating spouse because they were not told the truth about it when it happened right in their own homes. They will grow up believing that neglectful, independent behaviour is normal and should be tolerated, and divorce happens for "other reasons" - reasons which remain a total mystery.

Truth doesn't harm children, schtoop, but lies and secrets harm them very much. And I'm sorry, but no cheating spouse is a good parent - ever. The two are mutually exclusive and the kids know this even if you do not.


I agree. I told my ds (who was barely 9 on DD)_ that his dad had become involved with another woman which is against God's law and that it was so hurtful to me (spouse/wife) that God allowed a provision to end the marriage in these situations. As the days past, he asked questions until he had it NAILED down that his dad had had SEX with another woman.

He needed to 'get' that. He needed to know I wasn't divorcing his dad because 'we fought all the time.' (that was my XH's suggestion). I did tell him that the marriage was over to much damage had been done to my heart, but that his dad could stop doing wrong things. I told him (choking, due to my own anger at the time) that his dad isn't 'bad', but was doing a bad thing and he could stop at any time.

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I agree and think that telling my boys the truth in an age appropriate way was the right way to go for us. It was a very difficult discussion but I think I've done as well as I could have under the circumstances. I think it was back in December of 2009. I never slammed WXW to them. Simply stated somewhat matter of factly what was going on and why it was wrong. They then witnessed my working towards being a better husband and my unsuccessful attempts to meet her needs. They also witnessed her own poor choices and ultimately see things they way they really are/were.

I'm pretty sure Pinky was telling them lies about her affair and was slamming me to a certain degree. I now know that they saw through that on their own, primarily because they knew the truth from me initially. As time went on and they were having issues with understanding 'why' we were divorcing, I may have protected her a little bit by telling them of my role in the degradation of our marriage. I did ensure to tell them that there was no excuse for what Pinky has done. I also said something about hating the behavior, but not the person.

The end result today is that my boys have a very strong relationship with me and know they can count on me and come to me with any problems or issues. They feel safe with me and know that I love them dearly. The same cannot be said of their relationship with Pinky. I know they question her love for them and they are angry with her and don't trust her. None of that is due to what I have told them. They feel that way directly in response to how she has treated them the past two years. I really do hope she will improve and rebuild her relationship with them, but I can't control that and am not responsible for it. All I can do is continue to provide and love them the best that I can so they know they can count on their dad to be there for them.

Since this is the dating and relationships forum I have a little update there. Things are slowly starting to pick up for me. It really seems as if everything is starting to come together as it is supposed to. Finalized my divorce on Monday. Should refinance my house by Wednesday this week. Pinky moves out this Friday. Met a girl I've been talking to IRL today and had a great time. Just went for lunch and went for a walk at a park. Taking it very slow and very honestly. She is nice and I enjoy her company, but I'm not feeling the tingling of sparks or anything. I did have a nice time with her though. Will see her again sometime soon though as it was nice and light.

I also received a message a few days ago from someone online. I did start an account but haven't done anything other than read others' profiles. If somebody contacts me, I do reply but I have kept it very short and not really open to starting a dialogue. I finally got around to replying to this one last night and sent her a nice reply and checked out her profile. She sure seems interesting and has a great profile. When I got home today she had replied again, so it looks like I may have something developing there. I will take things very slow and remain completely honest with her.

By the way, I have told the girl I was with today that I am not intending to get into any kind of exclusive relationship right now, and that I was intending to go out with other women too. Told her I have no intention of becoming a 'player', but just want to meet different people and increase my social circle. She seems to have no issues with that so far.

Everything seems to be coming together nicely and with Pinky moving out in a week or so, the timing is pretty good too. I will remain extremely vigilant about keeping my own dating away from my boys and not let it interfere in any way with my time with them. I guess I'm ready to start communicating with women now, so that when I have some time to myself I may be able to meet them or go out on dates if it feels right at the time. I feel somewhat 'lazy' about it. I'm not in any rush and would be fine spending my first few weeks without the boys alone, doing something I enjoy, or going out with friends. I don't feel like I 'need' to fill this time with dating, so I still don't plan on actively pursuing dates. If it happens, great. If not, that's fine too.


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SW- I also liked what you said about pointing out God's view on divorce too. I'm not the most knowledgeable guy and found my way to church and God only about 6 years ago. But I do know that it is my responsibility as their father to try to bring them up in Christ and to teach them what I do know about these things as best I can. I make sure they go to church with me whenever we can and intend to continue their involvement and spiritual development.

This is why I specifically mentioned to my son the other night the fact that adultery is one of the reasons that God allows for divorce. Both boys know that I am not without fault, but they also know the main reason for the divorce.


-SOL
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threadjack/

I just wanted to share something personal with you.
Our 25 year old son is in his last week of Boot Camp, Ft Benning GA.
Then, he's off to TexASS to complete combat medic training.

Say a prayer for our boy.

HooRa!

/threadjack

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Pep, that is awesome! I hope he 'enjoys' Iron Mike's home for Boys! Lol. That's where I started my military career about the time he was born! Last time I was at Benning was back in 97 for some training. It hadn't changed much and suspect it never will, but that isn't a bad thing. I wish him luck and I'm sure he will do just fine. Tell him to stay away from Victory Drive, although I doubt he will have much time to "sight see" lol.

If you ever worry about him, remember that God loves medics. Actually he will always be looked after once he gets to his unit. We always take good care of our docs. Does he know what unit he will be assigned to yet?


-SOL
_SOL #2507023 05/09/11 06:10 PM
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We don't know his unit yet.
Thanks SOL.
I do worry.
It's my job.

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Yes it is, wink.

And that reminds me......

A happy belated Mother's Day to you and all the other great moms on here too.

clap

Hope you are doing well Pep.


-SOL
_SOL #2508783 05/13/11 06:40 AM
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Limb, good luck with the move today.
opt

optimism #2508941 05/13/11 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: optimism
Limb, good luck with the move today.
opt


Thanks Opt. Very happy and excited. She actually started moving yesterday and took a couple carloads of stuff over. This morning as I was heading off to work the moving truck pulled up.

I will see visible signs of change when I get home today and I can't wait. It will still be about a week before she moves out herself, but it's coming. She has purchased new furniture for her place to include her bed and it hasn't been delivered yet. Should be soon and I suspect once her bed comes in, she will be out permanently. I keep her current bed, (Craigslist??) along with most of our other furniture.

Things are going well.


-SOL
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