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Posted By: nkymckenzie My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 05/19/08 08:47 PM
My oldest daughter, who is 13, now knows about my H's pornography addiction and affair.

She has suspected since I first found the e-mails, and went into a depression. She finally came to me and asked me directly if my H had an affair. My H and I decided not to lie to her, but to tell her the truth--not details of course, and not who with, but enough for her to understand that he has this addiction, and it progressed into the behavior that it did (affair).

What can I do to re-assure my daughter? I am angry that she is even having to deal with this at all!!!

Please advise.............
You both need to extra pay attention to your child. Don't think about it so much as loving her. SHe can recover just fine if she sees mom and dad in good shape.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 06/01/08 05:12 PM
nyk, my concern from reading your post is that you presented his adultery as a syndrome instead of what it really is: SIN. Kids need to be told the truth, including the name of the adultery partner, and to be CLEARLY told that adultery is a SIN and WHY is it wrong. As parents, it is our job to teach them right from wrong.

Whitewashing this will cause moral confusion and will enable her to grow up and justify her own SIN with cute little labels, etc. If y'all can do this with adultery, she can dang sure do it with drug use when she is 16. You don't want to teach her to do that. There is no justification for adultery and she needs to be told that in PLAIN LANGUAGE.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 06/01/08 05:23 PM
Some more food for thought:
Posted By: nkymckenzie Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 06/11/08 01:54 PM

Please don't misunderstand the way this was presented. We have stressed that this is a SIN, not just an addiction. She understands this completely. We are also trying to show by example what the consequences of sin are, how forgiveness works, and what unconditional love means. Please do not think I have lessened anything.......for we have not. They only reason that my daughter does not know the name of the other party involved is because it is a deacon's wife in our church, and the mother of two of her closest church friends. They are unaware of their mother's sin....and I would not want my daughter to tell them of it.....that should be left to their mother and father--if they so choose.........I also do not want my daughter faced with that knowledge each and every time she looks at this woman.
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 07/01/08 10:47 PM

nky, I think presenting it as an addiction only causes confusion, because this is a behavioral problem. A CHOICE. Kids need accurate and truthful information.

Secondly, your family should NEVER EVER be around this family again, do you know that? Just as an alcoholic can only recover with abstinence, an adulterer can only recover if he never ever sees his affair partner again. I don't think your DD will much appreciate being exposed to your H's affair partner either. Your DD very much needs to know this woman is a threat to her family and be protected from her. This is a woman, after all, who caused great harm to your daughter's family. Why would you protect this woman? That is not in anyones best interest; not the OW and not her children. Does the church know so they can watch her?

Dr. Harley recommends moving to ANOTHER STATE if necessary in order to avoid contact. So you should not be going to the same church if you expect to recover your marriage. As long as your H continues to see the OW, he will be perpetually triggered and will eventually give into it.

Lastly, "unconditional" forgiveness is not a Christian term nor is it healthy for your marriage. Dr. Harley believes in JUST COMPENSATION:

To make matters worse, whenever a wayward spouse sees me for counseling there is rarely regret and rarely a willingness to compensate the offended spouse. They usually ask to be forgiven, but that doesn't mean he or she is deeply remorseful. It usually means that he or she doesn't want us to bring up the subject anymore, or require a change in behavior. In other words, the wayward spouse wants the pain suffered by the offended spouse to be ignored or forgotten. Like a $10,000 debt, they want it forgiven, and then they want to borrow another $10,000.

I'm in favor of forgiveness in many situations, but this isn't one of them. In the case of infidelity, compensation not only helps the offended spouse overcome the resentment he or she harbors, but the right kind of compensation helps restore the relationship and prevents the painful act from being repeated.

In most cases, an offended spouse would be stupid to forgive the wayward spouse without just compensation.
It's like forgiving a friend of the $10,000 he owes you, when it's actually in the friend's best interest to pay you in full because it would teach him how to be more responsible with money.

entire article
Posted By: MelodyLane Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 07/01/08 10:49 PM
Dr. Harley in Coping with Infidelity: Part 2
How Should Affairs End?

Never see or communicate with a former lover

Once an affair is first revealed, whether it's discovered or admitted, the victimized spouse is usually in a state of shock. The first reaction is usually panic, but it's quickly followed by anger. Divorce and sometimes even murder are contemplated. But after some time passes (usually about three weeks), most couples decide that they will try to pull together and save their marriage.

The one having an affair is in no position to bargain, but he or she usually tries anyway. The bargaining effort usually boils down to somehow keeping the lover in the loop. You'd think that the unfaithful spouse would be so aware of his or her weaknesses, and so aware of the pain inflicted, that every effort would be made to avoid further contact with the lover as an act of thoughtfulness to the stunned spouse. But instead, the unfaithful spouse argues that the relationship was "only sexual" or was "emotional but not sexual" or some other peculiar description to prove that continued contact with the lover would be okay.

Most victimized spouses intuitively understand that all contact with a lover must end for life. Permanent separation not only helps prevent a renewal of the affair, but it is also a crucial gesture of consideration to someone who has been through he11. What victimized spouse would ever want to know that his or her spouse is seeing or communicating with a former lover at work or in some other activity?

In spite of career sacrifices, friendships, and issues relating to children's schooling, I am adamant in recommending that there be no contact with a former lover for life. For many, that means a move to another state. But to do otherwise fails to recognize the nature of addiction and its cure.


We don't know if R.J. still sees his lover, but he says he has broken off all contact. In many cases where a person is still in town, that's hard to prove. But one thing's for sure, if he ever does see his lover, it will put him in a state of perpetual withdrawal from his addiction, and make the resolution of his marriage essentially impossible. In fact, one of the reasons he is not recovering after three months of separation may be that he is not being truthful about the separation.

Entire article at:

How to Survive an Affair chapter in HIS NEEDS, HER NEEDS
p. 177

...I have seen husbands build new and wonderful relationships with their wives but then go back to their lovers after five or six years of what appeared to be marital bliss. When I ask them why, they inevitably tell me they miss the woman terribly and still love her. At the same time they stoutly affirm they love their wives dearly and would not think of leaving them.

I believe a man like this has told the truth. He is hopelessly entangled and needs all the help possible to be kept away from his lover and stay faithful to his wife. I often recommend that a man once involved in an affair come in to see me every three to six months on an indefinite basis, just to talk about how things are going and to let me know how successfully he has stayed away from his lover. He must resign himself to a lifetime without her. HE MUST CERTAINLY NOT WORK WITH HIS FORMER LOVER AND SHOULD PROBABLY LIVE IN SOME OTHER CITY OR STATE. Even with those restrictions the desire for her company persists...

Lifechoice post on THE AFFAIR ADDICTION


I can certainly attest to this. My situation is a prime example of what not to do. I kept myself stuck in withdrawal for over 2 years because I continued to work with my FOM. In these 2 years I had no desire to get back into the A, I just couldn't break free of my addiction.

After I ended the A I learned about the addiction part of it and agreed it was a huge part of it. The scary part of the addiction is during the 2 years FOM and I worked together I didn't even realize how much I was still addicted to him. We did our best to remain professional, but the addiction was still there and kept me very stuck. I couldn't get over certain aspects of the A, but couldn't figure out why. (duh). I thought I had a good handle on it, but in all reality I didn't. It wasn't until after FOM left our employer and moved out of town that I finally could get through withdrawal. I should also add it was this bad for me and I only worked about 6 days a month. I can only imagine it would be much worse for someone who works with the AP on a full-time basis.

Now every time I read where AP's are still working together I just cringe. I wasted 2 years of my time in withdrawal and at the same time for one of the years trying to rebuild my marriage. Talk about a lot of mental anguish and conflict.

My advice to everyone from a BTDT POV, a WS needs to get as far away from the AP as they can.

Posted By: bigkahuna Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 07/01/08 11:03 PM
Completely concur.

Your marriage cannot survive ongoing contact.

Either the "deacon" and his wife leave the church or you do! And sadly, your daughter should have NC with the family either. Does the Deacon know his wife was screwing your husband?

I actually suggest you move away.

I know how hard this is from personal experience. We did move away from our home to get away from OM. My youngest son and his youngest son were like blood brothers and we separated tham - caused a lot of pain. My middle son and their eldest - inseparable - now separated.

You must take these measures if you want your marriage to survive, recover and thrive.
Posted By: onlyUcan Re: My Oldest knows-now what do I do? - 07/01/08 11:27 PM
We are also trying to show by example what the consequences of sin are, how forgiveness works, and what unconditional love means.

What are his consequences for his sins?

What is your plan for Recovery?

You are fooling yourself if you think that you can jump right to forgiveness and unconditional love.

Speaking from experience.

The best thing you can do for your DD is show her how a W stands up for herself and does not let a man take advantage of her and lie to her and abuse the sanctity of her M. Don't put a bandaid on it.

I do hope your answer to the previous post will be that yes, the Deacon knows about his W. I truly hope that you are not concealing this information in the hopes that you won't be "hurting" someone.

This may sound harsh, but I'm telling you (again from experience), get a backbone because I do believe that porn can be an addiction. However, I believe that addictions are choices and you can choose to be in a recovery program.

Is your H in a program?

How long has this been going on? If it escalated into a PA, chances are you are just uncovering the thin layers at the top.

So sorry that you are in this situation, but please take the suggestions and direction that you are getting seriously because these are (including me) people who have been in your shoes and have walked the path of fire.

You know what it's like when your kids won't listen to something that you tell them will hurt them, but you know because you have been there??

That's what you will suffer if you choose to skip over all the steps necessary before getting to "forgiveness" and "unconditional love".

Mercy cannot rob Justice.

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