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Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
There are several instances on this very board where poor handling of parental adultery has damaged even adult children.

Agreed! And obfuscating proper parental/child lines of authority/responsibility is usually a huge contributing factor.


I am confused. What authority does a father have over a grown 19 year old?


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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
There are several instances on this very board where poor handling of parental adultery has damaged even adult children.

Agreed! And obfuscating proper parental/child lines of authority/responsibility is usually a huge contributing factor.


I am confused. What authority does a father have over a grown 19 year old?


I think this is a very good point. This is a young man. He should be treated as a young man. It is what we raise our kids (hopefully) to be.

This should be a man to man talk.


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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
There are several instances on this very board where poor handling of parental adultery has damaged even adult children.

Agreed! And obfuscating proper parental/child lines of authority/responsibility is usually a huge contributing factor.


I am confused. What authority does a father have over a grown 19 year old?



I would argue for the authority of male role-model, which has just been obliterated by marital infidelity. Though, that is a tenuous authority maintained with responsibility and ethical behavior.

Thus, acknowledging and addressing the parental transgression is paramount to recovering this relationship as well.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Chuck, I believe that what your son is looking for is help in reconstructing the timeline of his life. What he thought was true and real about his life has been shattered, and he needs your help in putting the pieces back together again.

My guess is that he wants to understand what was happening with your affair on dates like May 16 and June 24 in order to compare the facts against his own memories of his interactions with you during those times.

Your children have been deceived and betrayed. Not just your wife.

So if you list, as you should, that you met with the other woman the evening of July 3, for example, your son wants to be able to piece together how you could deceive your family so well and pretend like everything was ok on Independence Day. Dad out back grilling, laughing, playing horseshoes, holding mom's hand ... whatever. How could you act so "normal" while you were knowingly ripping your family apart behind their backs by banging OW the night before?

Or he may recall that you acted odd, not quite yourself during certain events, and he also wants to be able to put those memories into perspective.

He wants to figure out how he could be so blindsided. He needs points of reference to put it all together. He needs those dates to understand, and he needs your truthful help with that.

I suggest that when you give him the timeline, you also include a copy of the stages of affairs. (Can someone share that with Chuck? I don't recall the name of the document, but it's a list of how affairs begin and progress, just like clockwork.)

And also tell your son that the way you behaved was just like every other ordinary, selfish, cruel schmuck who has an affair. Your son likely held you in high esteem and put you on a pedestal before. It's tough to take when someone we think the world of deeply hurts and betrays us and shatters our world view.



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I'm thinking you are referring to Pep's "anatomy of an affair," which I believe is included in her notable post thread.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Originally Posted By: Chuck8464
My son (19 years old and in college) has sent me an e-mail letter stating that if I wish to see him again I will write him a letter detailing dates and times that I was with the other woman (it was a co-worker and the affair is over). I love him very much but struggling with how much and what to divulge and not include. He heard some general things from his sisters who got them from my wife and he wants me to "come clean" I have no problem being honest with my poor decisions and the pain and turmoil I inflicted on him and wife and daughters. I just don't think "fine details" are appropriate. Any advice from someone having to do something similar or someone who has a hunch?


Write the letter with what he wants-- dates and times.

Have you asked WHY he wants this from you in writing?


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He prob doesnt want the 'fine details' either.

But of course he is due the facts. dates and what happened and such.

He will have a natural desire to protect his mother, and wants to see how trustworthy and honest you are now.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Markos has made the point that the son has the right not to continue a relationship with his father.

Absolutely true.

From where I sit, I'm not so sure that is what the son really wants, though. I think the email from the son was sent and worded the way it was for a couple of reasons.

It "feels" like an ultimatum, and comes off as a "threat". I believe that the son has set the terms up in the way he has because he expects a backlash from his father for making this request in the first place.

So, he worded the email in extremely strong terms. He set up the most extreme boundary possible, and made the wording as final and non-negotiable as possible. This sets the table with the father, so there is no question regarding the son's position.

It has nothing to do with the son being a brat.
It has nothing to do with the son "wanting" or "not wanting" to continue a relationship with his father.

Actually, the son likely DOES want to continue a relationship with his father. The situation and position the son is in right now, however, is such that the son finds he does not know all of the facts about what has happened. He does not have enough data to make an informed decision, and he doesn't completely know what it is he wants to do. Additionally, he knows that he should stand on his mother's side, and he needs to not rely upon the sparse and likely unreliable information he has received from the sister.

He also knows he cannot present a weak front to the father - and further - he does not want to. He knows that he is now the person in the family who must stand for the right thing, and he has obviously taken this responsibility very seriously. So he has put the wall up, given some thought to what the next move should be, and that move includes a forced distance, a demand for clear information, and the issuance of boundaries for the relationship and "possible next consequences" if the demand for information is not met.


I personally do not see why anyone would not provide this young man with the truth of his life. He is standing up for what he feels is right, just, and also trying to make informed decisions based on FACTS and not EMOTIONS, and not on GOSSIP.

He is trying not to overreact. He wants CLARITY before he decides.

He is trying to control his own life. What else would any ADULT be expected to do?


I would hope that my children would enforce their boundaries this clearly, this strongly, and this logically in the face of this kind of devastation in their lives.


This kid should run for office. IMHO.


SB


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Originally Posted By: schoolbus
I personally do not see why anyone would not provide this young man with the truth of his life. He is standing up for what he feels is right, just, and also trying to make informed decisions based on FACTS and not EMOTIONS, and not on GOSSIP.

This kid should run for office. IMHO.


SB


Ditto, he sounds like a bit of a star in my book.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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