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August 22, 2016 9:47 am  #31

Re: How do I survive this?

Thanks so much John and grace.  

Again, I appreciate so much all of the advice and kind words from others who have gone through nearly the exact situation that I'm dealing with.  

I'm still struggling to accept the advice though. 
I really don't want to get angry.  I want to stay amicable and friendly.  Someday I want her and others to look back and admire me for how I dealt with this.  I want my kids to remember that I dealt with this situation with grace and compassion because I wanted the best for them.  I want to be able face my God and say that I treated her in a way that is pleasing to Him.  I also owe it to my kids to do what's in their best interest, so I won't be walked over either.  If she doesn't agree to 50/50 custody I will have to get an attorney for sure. 


Last edited by lostdad (August 22, 2016 9:52 am)

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 


August 22, 2016 12:09 pm  #32

Re: How do I survive this?

We are going to see a councilor again tonight.  The topic of discussion is mainly going to be about how to tell the kids about this.  We have to do this soon because she was careless at a friends house and the friend's son overheard the conversation.  We can't risk having the other kid tell my son at school.  They have to hear it from us.  I wanted to wait until after the holidays when the divorce was nearly complete.  But that is no longer a possibility. 

I think I've asked this before, but I have to ask again.  I need advice. 

What do I say to my boys?

She wants me to be very general and "we've decided that we need to get a divorce".   I want to say "your mother has changed and she wants to divorce me and find a woman to marry".   

I just can't lie to the boys.  I can't say that this is something I want or something that I'm ok with.  

At the same time, I don't want to make her the villain and have them hate her.  They need both parents in their lives.  

What do I say to them?  How do I protect my integrity so that they know I never lied to them and yet watch out for their best interest so that they have the security of having two, good and loving parents.  I don't want them to be hurt.  It's inevitable to a point, but I want what's best for them.   What do I say?

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

     Thread Starter

August 22, 2016 12:23 pm  #33

Re: How do I survive this?

I'll chime in as a newly divorced dad...

If my kids asks me I will tell them..  But as of now they just know mom and dad divorced and don't get along.
They are dealing with it the best they can... I give them a lot of credit.    I do tell them when they complain of the schedule that this is what your mother wanted to her.

Its not like they will see me with a girlfriend in my life..  I am totally alone in the world now..all I have is them.

If they see their mom with her girlfriend a lot they may ask.. but I think with the shared parenting we have she simply hangs out with the girlfriend when I have the kids.. life is grand for her.

I can look at my kids and cry if I think about it..   as of now I'm still just being as stable and stoic as I can.


"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

August 22, 2016 12:45 pm  #34

Re: How do I survive this?

Lostdad, I think it is honorable to be honest. Wouldn't you have preferred that from your wife? Children deserve the same respect, not minimized because they are yonger. They WILL find out the truth eventually, especially given how "sloppy" she is being. I do believe she secretly wants to be outted & honest as well. If you approach this in an honest, gracious, non-judgmental & matter-of-fact communication with your children, you would be honouring ALL of you, as a family. What she has done to you personally is a whole other ball game, but the children should NOT be affected by their mother's decision no more than if she was divorcing you to join with a hetero or no one. If you are both honest with the boys, they will not have any reason to be suspicious, resentful, shamed, worried, lost. I think it sets the path moving forward for a loving relationship, no matter if their mom & dad were under the same house. What SHE does with that relationship moving forward is then up to her as to how honest & gracious she is. It will be no fault to you, as you ahve set the tone for respect & full disclosure.  I would suggest a really good sit down. First with yourself & your thoughts. Pray if you need to for grace & kindness in your delivery, then a calm meet up with your wife to discuss what needs to be said so everyone is on the same page, then meet with the boys. Then have a gentle evening just you & the boys to discuss their feelings, concerns, fears & wishes. they will so appreciate & be reassured by your strength and they need you as their soft landing spot for what will be a very confusing time for them for a little while. Hopefully for the boys, their mother comes to the same point of view of love, forgiveness & grace as you.

Your boys are blessed to have you (& likewise), remember to be as kind to yourself as you are to the world

Last edited by whatasham24 (August 22, 2016 12:48 pm)


August 22, 2016 12:54 pm  #35

Re: How do I survive this?


When in doubt, tell the truth -- without embellishment or anger.  Handing your kids truths gives them facts they need to accurately process what's happening and come to their own conclusions.

Upon splitting of the only family he’d known, my 23 yo son took me for a long walk and demanded explanation. I simply said: 1. His mother was a long term, serial bisexual philander. 2. She'd had over 10,000 mornings to look in the mirror and discover character and integrity had broken out on her face. 3. I wasn't going to waste more time on her.  He replied simply, I can't blame you a bit."

His only question since: "Why did you put up with it so long?" My reply: "Because you were worth it." 

Have a great day.  You're well embarked on finding both yourself and a wonderful, authentic future.

- John 


August 22, 2016 1:08 pm  #36

Re: How do I survive this?

Agreed Whatasham and John, Your boys deserve honesty now more than ever, who knows what they have already seen and heard from her. They are watching and listening far more than you think they are, and I know the thought of this is tearing your heart out of your chest. But with your honesty and presence, you will get through this together. For what it's worth, I doubt this was an "accident."


August 23, 2016 8:03 am  #37

Re: How do I survive this?

So our session last night with the councilor was pretty good.  The main point of conversation was "how and what to tell the boys".  I think we agreed on some important things. 

I agreed not to say anything inflammatory or derogatory toward my wife.  I don't want the boys to see her as a bad person.  They need to have two loving and good parents. 
I made my case that I would not lie to them and say that this is something I want to happen.  I haven't exactly landed on the right words but I think I will say "this is something that makes me very sad".  That is a very true statement, I think it implies that I don't want it to happen, but it doesn't place the blame on her directly.  If anyone has any wording suggestions, I'd be grateful!
The councilor asked my wife directly what she would say when they ask why.  I guess I hadn't thought that far ahead yet, but it seems like that is a pretty natural question for them to ask; Especially since we don't fight with each other, so they never see us angry with each other or unhappy.   My wife actually said she might explain it all at one time and get it over with.  I'm not sure if they are old enough to really understand, but I think they deserve her honesty.  Her doing that would at least make me feel more comfortable because she would be taking responsibility for the breakup of the marriage.  I wouldn't be stuck in a situation where I would be lying to protect her. 

So it seems like we have to tell the boys this Friday or Sat. morning.   I'm so sad about this.  I feel so much pain for them.  I cried and prayed over them in their room after they went to sleep last night.  It's just a huge train-wreck and I can see it coming and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  I feel so horrible for them. 

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

     Thread Starter

August 23, 2016 9:14 am  #38

Re: How do I survive this?

My sons are 11 and 8

-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

     Thread Starter

August 23, 2016 2:36 pm  #39

Re: How do I survive this?

Regarding the need for getting angry ... absolutely no need to feel angry so long as you are looking out for the interests of yourself and your kids.  If you can do that amicably, then great!  I personally had to get angry enough to quit allowing my STBX to keep abusing me.  He lied and cheated on me for 30 years and I basically knew about it for 20 years and yet I stayed and stayed.  It is not until helped me really see him for who he really was that I was able to stand up and say ENOUGH.  I learned about TGT after I had already told him I wanted a divorce and that new piece of information accelerated the process substantially.

Regarding your kids ... they are young and they are boys.  They need honesty yes but also few details because they would not understand much and it would therefore scare and confuse them.  Kids their age will be worried about the most basic things ... will I still see you both?  where will I live? will I still go to the same school?  will I still get to play with my best friend Jimmy?  will the dog get to live with me?  Address those type of issues with gentle reassurance.  As for explaining the reason, give an explanation suitable for a younger child and then if they are ready to know more, they will ask.  That way you err on the side of caution.

"Your mom has let me know that I cannot provide her with the kind of love she wants and needs to be happy.  She has found that love with someone else and this makes me feel really sad.  But mommies and daddies are not supposed to have other girl friends and boy friends, so we have decided that we need to end this marriage so that she can be with only one person.  We both really love you both and want you to know that you will both always be the most important people in our lives no matter what else changes.  You will have the chance to spend lots of time with each of us.  You won't have to move out of this house and you can keep your same bedrooms, toys, and pets.  You will be able to keep your friends and go to the same school.  We will be a different type of family, but we will still love and look after each other.  You can ask either one of us questions any time you need answers about anything."

This leaves the discussion of same sex completely up to your wife ... she can disclose that part of it (now or later) if she wishes.  When they are older, if she has not chosen to do so, you can provide that information.  It is hard to imagine they will not know pretty soon just from observation.  But for today, I would let your wife decide.

Just my two cents.  The main thing you can do is to be straight forward, composed, and comforting.  If you fall apart as part of this discussion, you signal all kinds of fear to them.  The news is scary and unsettling enough as it is ... do your best to be that steadfast dependable unflappable super-dad guy for them no matter what you feel inside.  Good luck.  This is truly the hardest part, and yet, kids often don't respond as you would expect and will recover and adjust very quickly.  Faster than you, strangely enough. 

Last edited by Dixie (August 23, 2016 2:41 pm)


August 23, 2016 6:53 pm  #40

Re: How do I survive this?

I like Dixie's example for an explanation. Just beware that your wife could change things up and make it appear that you did not love her enough. Then you need to let your kids know about her SSA and that it was something she had prior to marrying you - you did not cause it!

You said, "I want to be able face my God and say that I treated her in a way that is pleasing to Him." Telling the truth about your break-up is still okay. That is not mistreating her. Many of us stayed to give our best to our spouses, but sadly enough, it only enabled them further to be devious and to take advantage of our kindness. I have lots of questions for God and how I could have loved someone who used and abused my love so much. I will never understand it. I loved with my whole heart until I discovered his fraud and unfaithfulness. Now he just spreads lies about me as my reward from him when I sincerely gave him a huge chunk of my life for all the right reasons. Just be careful of trying to be Mr Nice Guy, even for your heavenly rewards. We are taught to be careful of deceivers.


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