Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Chuck8464 My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/10/11 09:05 PM
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?
My hunch would be to just give him the details as a timeline:

5/10/2009- had sex with OW at the Sleeze-o-Rama hotel
5/12/2009- had dinner with OW at...

When you mention "fine details" I'd say just write down "sex" or "intercourse" or some other clinical definition and leave it at that.
By the way, do you still work with the other woman?
Why does your son want this? Versus your general confession of an affair?

And have you ended your affair? Is all contact ended?
I have found it unproductive to yield to threats, dude, and I would urge you to reply as follows:

Quote:
Son, my marital issues are over. Your mother and I have been working to repair our union and do not need interference from any not-fully-mature smart-a$$. Whether or not I ever see you again is, of course, within your purview, as is, I would remind you, the option of paying your college tuition within mine. If I ever again hear from you on this subject, in any way except to ask what assistance you might provide to help us heal, my decision in the matter I mentioned will be made not to your likely satisfaction.

So, will you be joining us for a peaceful, pleasant Thanksgiving, or actively looking for alternative college funding?

Love, Dad
He has not said, He was very specific - even asking to make sure it was typed and not hand written. (?) I did not ask why. Like a lot of men I carry a lot of guilt and sadness but will not divulge things that in the end will be more hurtful or that are just not his business. The affair is over. Yes, she still works with me - shes in another state with contact only through email till I find another job.
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464
He has not said, He was very specific - even asking to make sure it was typed and not hand written. (?) I did not ask why. Like a lot of men I carry a lot of guilt and sadness but will not divulge things that in the end will be more hurtful or that are just not his business. The affair is over. Yes, she still works with me - shes in another state with contact only through email till I find another job.


So actually the affair is still active. This would be like an alcoholic changing the names of his drinks to "business drinks" and pretending like he isn't drinking.

How is your wife handling your continued contact? Is the OW married and if so, does her husband know what you have done to him?
I wonder if the reason he wants to know is because he understands the affair is still active? Is he trying to protect his mother?
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464
He has not said, He was very specific - even asking to make sure it was typed and not hand written. (?) I did not ask why. Like a lot of men I carry a lot of guilt and sadness but will not divulge things that in the end will be more hurtful or that are just not his business. The affair is over. Yes, she still works with me - shes in another state with contact only through email till I find another job.
Have you discussed his request with your wife? What does she say? She might have some info about his request that will help explain why he wants such a specific recounting of the affair. If she has no insight, I would certainly ask him why he wants this recounting in such a specific form. Don't deny his request. Just ask for more clarification on what he needs to know, so you can respond properly to him. Your question might open a door for discussion with him that will help him. Have you talked to him about the affair?

Pure speculation, but: he may want it to be typed so he doesn't have to read it seeing your handwriting - that may be too close to home for him, too personal. He might want to see the information but in a form that isn't so personal. If that makes any sense. smile

Honestly, it sounds to me like he is very hurt, as he should be. You upset his world. He's has to rebuild now, too.

You're probably going to be hearing this again, but I'll say it now: you need to quit that job. You are in contact with OW, and as long as that continues you will not be able to rebuild your marriage. That may be affecting your son as well as your wife.

How is your wife doing? Would she be willing to come here and talk with us?
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464
The affair is over. Yes, she still works with me - shes in another state with contact only through email till I find another job.


Is she married?
Quote:
Is she married?
Good question - can you give us a little more background about the affair? That might give us a better idea of what your son is dealing with, as well as giving us info that will help us help YOU and your wife.
Your son wants the truth of his life.

He wants to understand if what he lived was "real" or not.


That time - when you and he did such-and-such - was that while you were with the OW, or was it a real family time? What did it mean to you? Did you love him then? Did your cheating on Mom mean you cheated on him?

That's what your son is asking you.

He also wants to protect his mother. He wants to hear you confess because he is a MAN now, not a "smart guy" trying to stand up to you. He wants to hold you accountable because he feels that someone needs to stand up in the family - and when the father of the family falls down, the SON stands up. It is what men do - what sons do - what YOU taught him to do......isn't it? YOU taught him to protect the family, to stand up for his mother and sister.

He is doing that.

What he is asking for now is to hear the truth. From you. Man to man.


If you want to earn your honor back, respond with respect and dignity, IMHO.

Call him, and tell him that you would much rather do this face to face, man to man. than in a letter. You want to take a day, to answer his questions, so that you can be sure he knows that your responses are truthful - that too much is lost when things are written, and that so much more can be said and conveyed in person. And that when the two of you meet, he can record it if he wants, and you two can talk anytime, and you will always be available to answer questions about this, because of all the things you meant to teach the family - having an affair was NOT one of them.

That's what I would do.


SB
Quote:
Call him, and tell him that you would much rather do this face to face, man to man. than in a letter.
I don't think he gets to dictate this.
Originally Posted By: schoolbus


He also wants to protect his mother. He wants to hear you confess because he is a MAN now, not a "smart guy" trying to stand up to you. He wants to hold you accountable because he feels that someone needs to stand up in the family - and when the father of the family falls down, the SON stands up. It is what men do - what sons do - what YOU taught him to do......isn't it? YOU taught him to protect the family, to stand up for his mother and sister.


This is the sense I am getting. Since his dad is harming his mother, he has decided to step up to the plate and protect her himself. When my XH left me for his skankho, my 2 teenage sons suddenly became BARRACUDAS when it came to protecting me. I was astonished! And whenever any men asked me out, my sons were HOSTILE AND AGGRESSIVE towards that male. Since Chuck has all but abandoned his wife, it makes me wonder if the boy has not stepped in to fill that gap and is the only acting man in the family right now?

Could that be why he wants this information, Chuck? Maybe he is helping her get legal protection from you?
Posted By: Gamma Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 01:39 AM
Chuck,

Did you involve your son directly or indirectly in the affair? For example did you go to some activity with your Son and OW, or use him to unwittingly conceal the affair from his Mother?

He may feel guilty about enabling you, he also may have seen things he never informed your W about, because he believed in your integrity.

Think about what you are getting in the deal, your sons respect and love restored, and all you have to do is STOP LYING and MAKE AMENDS!

You remind me of my biological father who after destroying my original family and sending them on a path to hell, refused to reveal anything about my family origins to me, fearing for his own reputation.

God Bless
Gamma
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464
He has not said, He was very specific - even asking to make sure it was typed and not hand written. (?) I did not ask why. Like a lot of men I carry a lot of guilt and sadness but will not divulge things that in the end will be more hurtful or that are just not his business. The affair is over. Yes, she still works with me - shes in another state with contact only through email till I find another job.
Uh, Chuck, we've got a bigger problem here than your son.

That problem is the fact of your remaining in contact in any way/shape/form with the other woman.

As a man who had an affair & who has saved his marriage, I am here to tell you, NFW is that gonna work.

The reason your son wants this info is probably that he doesn't have a clue what to believe; and what he knows for a fact, doesn't add up. But this isn't really about you & your son. It's about your marriage & the girl whose ring you took.

Can you answer me: What is it that makes you think you can save your marriage as long as you remain in contact with her? Do you, sir, not understand & get how profoundly disrespectful & hurtful it is to your wife for you to remain in any sort of contact with the other woman?

That's not merely a rhetorical question. Do you not realize it? What's your answer, Chuck?

You may be able to fool your wife. I've been in your shoes; you cannot fool me. I can be your best friend here, but you've gotta tell me, what's your answer?
NG, I don't agree with your letter.

Chuck, come clean and eliminate any and all contact with OW. The affair is still on so long as there is even a smudge of contact.

You must end it completely and in every form.
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 04:59 PM
NG, I thought your letter was hysterical.

But I can't agree with it.

Especially since this affair is not over.

Chuck, please read and implement what Dr. Harley says about recovery from an affair. Recovery is a very narrow path. You are not on the path. How can we help you? Your son and your wife are obviously hurting.

As far as talking to your son,

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

Isn't it?

Tell your son the truth.

Tell your wife the truth.

Tell your pastor, priest, or other spiritual leader the truth.

Tell your employer the truth.

Tell the other woman you won't ever see or speak to her again, and then make it happen with walls twelve feet high.
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 05:06 PM
Oh, and tell OWH the truth. Or OWBF.
Originally Posted By: markos
NG, I thought your letter was hysterical.

But I can't agree with it.

Especially since this affair is not over.

Chuck, please read and implement what Dr. Harley says about recovery from an affair. Recovery is a very narrow path. You are not on the path. How can we help you? Your son and your wife are obviously hurting.

As far as talking to your son,

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

Isn't it?

Tell your son the truth.

Tell your wife the truth.

Tell your pastor, priest, or other spiritual leader the truth.

Tell your employer the truth.

Tell the other woman you won't ever see or speak to her again, and then make it happen with walls twelve feet high.


I agree with honesty. Where is the line though? How much details of our sins do our children need to know? I really want to know how others decide that. I personally am VERY honest with my ds11, but I will not be telling him those kinds of details.
Markos,
We need that samurai sword I once referenced to "separate the variables" here!

AFFAIR
Yes, must be ended, and NC (including employment changes) implemented.

EXPOSURE
OWH and ancillary folks (including children) are to be informed as well.

DETAILS
Sorry, but how, what when, where, how often, and how well, are NOT, IMHO, currency to be doled out to "secondary" spectators. The arrogance and superiority of "junior's" demand is improper. I can't imagine anyone being summarily required to supply that to parents, much less to progeny.

A WS does not stop being a parent upon straying. One could make the case that the value of that parental responsibility has been damaged, but the relationship still holds. One of the things that BSs here are often upset about is that an estrranged WS (usually a WW) will make easily known to minor children in her care the actions being committed by the APs.

WH here owes sonny-boy acknowledgemnt of the affair, but not the details.
I've got to agree with this. I am committed to historical honesty with my husband. Any detail he'd like to know about my life is his for the asking. I do not extend the same courtesy to my children.

I still think there is something we've not been told by this poster that might explain 'junior's' request for all the details.
In typical circumstances I would agree that a kid is not entitled to the nitty gritty details, but this kid is asking for dates and times. I wonder if his motivation is to use it to seek legal protection for his mother? Snce this father is now the fox in the hen house, instead of the protector, the boy has stepped into the protector role. Does a WH who is actively harming his wife and children deserve the same respect and courtesy as a WH who has stopped his affair?

Could that be why he wants this? Since the guy is still in an active affair, I don't give a rip about his right to privacy about his stinking affair. As far as I am concerned, the kid has every right to act in defense of his mother and ask for it.
...the kid has every right to...ask for it.

And Daddy has every right to put the presumptuous little brat in his place! Hence: my original contribution.

Sorry, Mel, we're going to have to disagree on this. IMHO marital issues (good and bad) are not intended to be treated as 3D-high-definition spectator sports for the entertainment and diversion of children.
Nooo

WH has obviously had his infidelity exposed to his family. Being expected to specify to one's children as to whether POSOW preferred Greek or French, or what flavor lubricant, approaches the voyeuristic and perverse.

Again, this is a red-herring issue that detracts from encouraging Chuck8464 to attend to the real crisis in his life. How about it, pal? Have you taken action to act more like a responsible married adult, instead of a slimeball wayward?
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 07:32 PM
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
Markos,
We need that samurai sword I once referenced to "separate the variables" here!

AFFAIR
Yes, must be ended, and NC (including employment changes) implemented.

EXPOSURE
OWH and ancillary folks (including children) are to be informed as well.

DETAILS
Sorry, but how, what when, where, how often, and how well, are NOT, IMHO, currency to be doled out to "secondary" spectators. The arrogance and superiority of "junior's" demand is improper. I can't imagine anyone being summarily required to supply that to parents, much less to progeny.

A WS does not stop being a parent upon straying. One could make the case that the value of that parental responsibility has been damaged, but the relationship still holds. One of the things that BSs here are often upset about is that an estrranged WS (usually a WW) will make easily known to minor children in her care the actions being committed by the APs.

WH here owes sonny-boy acknowledgemnt of the affair, but not the details.


I think only the victims can decide what details they need.

The son is a victim of the affair.

The best way to end the affair is to expose it. If we were all being watched, if we knew that everything we did was going to be told to people who care, we would all be a lot more careful about how we are going to live.

It's time to be transparent.
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 07:34 PM
Originally Posted By: Northwood8900
My hunch would be to just give him the details as a timeline:

5/10/2009- had sex with OW at the Sleeze-o-Rama hotel
5/12/2009- had dinner with OW at...

When you mention "fine details" I'd say just write down "sex" or "intercourse" or some other clinical definition and leave it at that.





This is the level of details that I am advocating. I don't think it needs to be "nitty-gritty." Clinical, factual, and probably embarrassing, but that's part of facing the consequences of our actions.

But then again, I am not the victim.
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 07:35 PM
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
Sorry, Mel, we're going to have to disagree on this. IMHO marital issues (good and bad) are not intended to be treated as 3D-high-definition spectator sports for the entertainment and diversion of children.
Nooo


I see ... you are claiming to be able to read the son's mind and see his motivations.

In marriage, we'd call that a disrespectful judgment, wouldn't we?
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 07:39 PM
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
WH has obviously had his infidelity exposed to his family. Being expected to specify to one's children as to whether POSOW preferred Greek or French, or what flavor lubricant, approaches the voyeuristic and perverse.


Perhaps I've misunderstood, but I don't think the son has asked for that, and I don't think anyone is advocating it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Regardless, a little class shown toward the victim here would go a long way toward facilitating recovery. I do not think we should be encouraging this man to view his son as a brat. That's a sure beam vs. mote issue, if I've ever heard one.
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 07:43 PM
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 don't see any nitty-gritty details asked for here. Dates and times. Nothing about lubricants and other drek. So can we stop the over-the-top hyperbole and judgment of the son, a victim of this affair, and start suggesting that Chuck make positive changes in his life, like attempting to make things up to his victims and act respectably?
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/11/11 07:44 PM
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
I have found it unproductive to yield to threats, dude,


What's the difference between a threat and a boundary, in this case? Does the son not deserve boundaries?
No. She is dating someone else. However that does not negate me leaving the job. That is in the works and a requirement of my reconciliation with my wife.
Thank you very much for your input. That is very helpful.
Thank you Gamma. I don't intend to withhold anything and will not. The question is what is and is not appropriate - is everything his business. Yes, I informed my wife of his request -sent her his letter request and have shown her the draft I wrote and asked for her input. I have done tremendous damage. Claiming and taking responsibility for that is job one. I also don't want to create pictures in his mind that harder to heal. his been through enough.
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464
No. She is dating someone else. However that does not negate me leaving the job. That is in the works and a requirement of my reconciliation with my wife.


If you could, would you mind hitting the "quote" button when replying?

That way, we'll know what question you are responding to.
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?

Chuck seems to be long gone from these shores, but still... (edit: I see you are back, Chuck! Good!)

His original post said that the request was for a letter "detailing dates and times I was with the other woman". That's all Chuck told us.

Chuck himself said that he did not feel that "fine details" are appropriate. I don't know what Chuck meant by "fine details" - fine details for the dates and times? - but it doesn't seem to me that his son was asking about the flavour of lubricants. I don't know how it's possible to read that into what the son apparently wrote. Neither do I think it is correct to characterise this young man as "arrogant", "superior" or a "presumptuous little brat".

I suspect that the young man wants to know whether his father ever used him as cover for his affair. Was he visiting his OW when he paid him a flying visit several months ago? Did he tell his wife, the boy's mother, that he was visiting their son for days, when really he stayed for an afternoon and spent the rest of the time with OW?

I suspect that he wants to know whether he was used, and I don't see anything arrogant, superior, presumptuous or bratty about that.


I suspect that the young man wants to know whether his father ever used him as cover for his affair. Was he visiting his OW when he paid him a flying visit several months ago? Did he tell his wife, the boy's mother, that he was visiting their son for days, when really he stayed for an afternoon and spent the rest of the time with OW?

I suspect that he wants to know whether he was used, and I don't see anything arrogant, superior, presumptuous or bratty about that. [/quote]

I'm still learning how to use this and get the box on top. I don't think my son is being arrogant or superior.... He wants the truth. IMO he is showing me his manhood and demanding his Dad honestly clarify what he chose to do and what disturbed our family so much. I just want to give him what he wants without being disrespectful to my wife and giving him "mental pictures" that are difficult to deal with on top of what I've cause him to endure already.
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464

I'm still learning how to use this and get the box on top.


You left off the [quote=Chuck8464] at the beginning.

Good job on getting the info to your son, by the way.
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464


I'm still learning how to use this and get the box on top.

Do you see the boxes at the bottom of every post?

Reply Quote Quick Reply Quick Quote Notify Email Post

Click on the one marked "quote".

The whole post is now quoted and identified.

Delete any text you don't want to quote, but leave the beginning and end markers untouched.

Try it now.
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464

I don't think my son is being arrogant or superior.... He wants the truth. IMO he is showing me his manhood and demanding his Dad honestly clarify what he chose to do and what disturbed our family so much. I just want to give him what he wants without being disrespectful to my wife and giving him "mental pictures" that are difficult to deal with on top of what I've cause him to endure already.

Why do you think that giving him the dates that he asks for would create "mental pictures"?

If I understand you correctly, your son hasn't asked you to talk about the physical details of the affair, so why do you find it difficult to simply give him the details he asked for - no more and no less?
Originally Posted By: Chuck8464



I'm still learning how to use this and get the box on top. I don't think my son is being arrogant or superior.... He wants the truth. IMO he is showing me his manhood and demanding his Dad honestly clarify what he chose to do and what disturbed our family so much. I just want to give him what he wants without being disrespectful to my wife and giving him "mental pictures" that are difficult to deal with on top of what I've cause him to endure already.


With all due respect, you are the last person qualified to discern what is in the best interest of your son and your wife. Since they both were victims of your affair, I would suggest giving him what he wants. He won't have troubling "mental pictures" as a result. Like you said, he just wants to understand what happened to his family. His life will be forever changed by your affair, so there is no reason he shouldn't have this information too.
Chuck, kudos to you for keeping a respectful outlook upon your son.

Question; would you wish for him to suffer from either end of your sin?

I would guess NOT.

This, sir, is an opportunity for you to model manhood to your son; that a man acknowledges and rakes responsibility for his faults, the perils of seeking approval from women who are not your wife, how a man atones for his transgressions.

You have damaged your son's vision of the most important male role model in his life.

Time to show him how a broken man makes ammends.
My son...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

So, with the exception of MB and NG, everyone else apparently feels that issuing ultimatums TO ONE'S PARENT, or caving in to threats FROM HIS CHILD is the correct way for Chuck8464 to demonstrate how mature men face difficult times? banghead

Wow!
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
My son...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

So, with the exception of MB and NG, everyone else apparently feels that issuing ultimatums TO ONE'S PARENT, or caving in to threats FROM HIS CHILD is the correct way for Chuck8464 to demonstrate how mature men face difficult times? banghead

Wow!




Personally, I wouldn't give the threat/ultimatum power. Honesty with the victims of your actions should be given without request. Dismissing the damage to your entire family unit, the damage to your children - because they are "just children" - is short sighted.

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

So, with the exception of MB and NG, everyone else apparently feels that issuing ultimatums TO ONE'S PARENT, or caving in to threats FROM HIS CHILD is the correct way for Chuck8464 to demonstrate how mature men face difficult times? banghead

Wow!
Yes. I guess we're in the minority, NG. I would never allow my H to deliver the 'particulars' of the affair to our kids. There is NO WAY I would want my children to have those particulars. NEVER.
Clarify "particulars."
Quote:
Clarify "particulars
The particulars are the specifics: the minutaie. It wasn't just coffee - afterwards it was a clutch in the car...then I pulled down her jeans...STOP. THOSE ARE THE PARTICULARS.

I'm surprised you're asking me about that, HHH.
Well, I guess Chuck has a decision to make. His son has told him if he wants to see him again, he needs to pony up the "dates and times" of his affair. An affair, I might add, that affected this young man directly.

Chuck has more to lose if he doesn't. What does the young man have to lose? A corrupt, unrepentant father? No great loss there.

I, frankly, don't see what the problem is. If Chuck is truly remorseful for what he did to his wife and children, what would be so wrong with demonstrating that remorse by giving him the information he needs?

I think showing some true remorse for his wrongdoing is the correct, mature way to behave. As it is now, Chuck is corrupt and has lost the respect of his boy. This could be one way to earn it back.
Quote:
[My son...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



He is asking for dates and times, not sexual positions. I don't understand the big deal?
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.

But.....let's get back to getting Chuck8464 more clearly aligned with the program.
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Quote:
[My son...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



He is asking for dates and times, not sexual positions. I don't understand the big deal?
I agree. Get on it, Chuck.
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
[bAgreed! And obfuscating proper parental/child lines of authority/responsibility is usually a huge contributing factor.


Proper parental/child lines? With a corrupt parent? Oh no. There is no such thing. The parent obliviates those lines with his corrupt behavior.
I will add that, as a former corrupt parent, that if my child asked me to do such a thing, I would pony up. It would be the least I could do.

I would not pretend like I should be accorded the normal respect of a parent. I was undeserving of that respect.
Originally Posted By: maritalbliss
The particulars are the specifics: the minutaie. It wasn't just coffee - afterwards it was a clutch in the car...then I pulled down her jeans...STOP. THOSE ARE THE PARTICULARS.


I agree with you, MB. I don't know that I would share that with my child. But dates and times? I don't see why he would have an issue with that..
Originally Posted By: maritalbliss
Quote:
Clarify "particulars
The particulars are the specifics: the minutaie. It wasn't just coffee - afterwards it was a clutch in the car...then I pulled down her jeans...STOP. THOSE ARE THE PARTICULARS.

I'm surprised you're asking me about that, HHH.


Nah. Better to be on the same page with our terms than to continue yet another derisive discussion involving misunderstandings and character assassinations, KWIM?

Certainly the kid doesn't need to know, as sug eloquently stated, "the flavor of the lube." However, a fog-free anatomy and timeline would be a good fatherly service to a son. I wish I had got that from either of my parents at any given time.

It is an opportunity to model marriage to a child in an honest, if very painful, way.
Originally Posted By: HoldHerHand
Certainly the kid doesn't need to know, as sug eloquently stated, "the flavor of the lube."

Thank you for describing my writing as "eloquent", HHH, but in fact I did not suggest the "lube" issue. It was brought up by another poster:

Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
Sorry, Mel, we're going to have to disagree on this. IMHO marital issues (good and bad) are not intended to be treated as 3D-high-definition spectator sports for the entertainment and diversion of children.
Nooo

WH has obviously had his infidelity exposed to his family. Being expected to specify to one's children as to whether POSOW preferred Greek or French, or what flavor lubricant, approaches the voyeuristic and perverse.

My post was merely wondering how a son's request for a timeline had somehow become seen as a request for "voyeuristic and perverse" details - like "what flavour lubricant".
Thanks for the clarification SC.
Sounds to me like this kid could teach a few things to a lot of the BHs on here about what a boundary is and how far you should be willing to go to defend it.
I think Chuck's son has clearly set some boundaries in his own life.

He won't deal with his father unless certain conditions are met.
He will deal with whatever consequences his father chooses as a result of setting those consequences, and has decided that includes not ever dealing with his father again.

I think that is pretty brave for a 19 year old.

Where I disagree with the young man is that he wants all of this in writing. I think he and his father need to talk in person. I think the relationship between parent and child deserves that kind of intimate opportunity, particularly with this quite devastating event that has occurred.

Chuck, what I might suggest is for you to go to a family counselor, explain what has happened, and ask for an appointment where you and your son can sit down in a controlled situation with the counselor where you all can talk through what your son needs to say for at least one or two initial times. It might help your son feel safer, and set the forum for a more productive time together for repairing your family. You might call your son and ask him if this would be something he would be interested in doing, because he may buy into it if he feels part of the decision to do it in the first place. ASK him if he thinks it would be a better idea to talk "just you two", or if he thinks it would be more productive if you went to counseling first and then he were to join you to go over his questions at a session or two in "a more structured environment".

See what he thinks. Follow his choice. He is struggling, and it is important to respect that he wants to repair it - and is looking for a way to do this with strength (hence the ultimatum) and still protect mom, and keep you....somehow....
BTW - I think it is okay to put some things in writing. My first sentence would probably be

"There isn't enough paper and ink in the world to write an apology long enough or deep enough to make up for what I have done.

I apologize to you, and to the family, for my affair, and all the hurt, anger, pain, and devastation it has brought.

You asked for details of the affair I had, in writing. I offer as much as I can here. I want you to know that once you have read this, you will likely still have questions, and you can come to me and talk with me about what happened. Your mother and I are working on our relationship, and I have given her details, and answered her questions. I want to repair our marriage, and our family. I hope that we can one day have the family and marriage we all desire, and I am working on changes I believe will make that possible. For now, I begin with telling the truth."

Then, list the dates and timeline of the affair for him.
Close with the offer of the counselor or meeting face to face.

And whatever you do, make sure you don't lie to this young man. Also, make sure that you tell him if you have gaps, why those gaps are there - and if you are purposely leaving anything out, tell him exactly the truth as to why (for example, if your wife has asked you to leave something out, then you tell him that truth).

SB
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/12/11 04:56 AM
Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
My son...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

So, with the exception of MB and NG, everyone else apparently feels that issuing ultimatums TO ONE'S PARENT, or caving in to threats FROM HIS CHILD is the correct way for Chuck8464 to demonstrate how mature men face difficult times? banghead

Wow!


I ask again why this son's boundary is being disrespected and characterized as a "threat" or "ultimatum."

The son has the absolute RIGHT not to continue a relationship with his father.
Posted By: markos Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/12/11 04:58 AM
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?
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.
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.
Posted By: Delta_ Re: My son wants a letter detailing my affair - 11/12/11 12:50 PM
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.

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