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June 2, 2022 4:09 pm  #1

Telling the kids

Three years ago my husband came out and told me he is Bi. I didn't see it coming. I was devastated and wouldn't belief it at first. I kept his secret to myself with the hope that we could save our marriage. It was (is) a very lonely time for me. He left the church we were in, moved out of our room (told the kids because if his health he gets up too much during the nights) and he comes and goes pretty much as he wants. I grew more and more dissatisfied and depressed. I am the one wanting the divorce.

He doesn't want the real reason to be revealed since we live in a small town and the community is quite conservative. He thinks the children (17 y.o. boy, 14 y.o. boy, 12 y.o.girl) will have a hard time. And furthermore his attitude is that his sexual orientation is not the business of anybody else. 

I do not want my children to think we are divorcing for some lame reason. Because there are no fights etc. I think it will come as a shock for them. My heart is aching for them. I am asking myself why can't I just get myself together and be happy with what I have. My husband is still loving towards us and a really good father. I feel so selfish for making a decision that will bring heartbreak upon our children, parents and family. At the same time I know this is so unfair that I am feeling like the guilty party...

Anyway, I do not have the energy to keep up the facade. It is as simple as that. I want to be free of secrets and want to have my family to know and support me. Question is: How do we tell the kids? What to tell? Please tell me, is it best to tell them the basic truth (daddy is bi).( I feel we can spare them the details of him being unfaithful.)  Is it better for them to not know their dad is bi if  he doesn't want to come out to completely? Are there parents in this community that didn't tell the real reason and how did it play out? How do we prepare for breaking the news?

Thanks in advance for everyone sharing their story. 


June 2, 2022 4:35 pm  #2

Re: Telling the kids

Stop_and_breath wrote:

How do we prepare for breaking the news?...... 

Start with the 17 year old. But begin the conversation carefully. Children often know the tensions in a family but don't verbalise their thoughts because they don't want to upset their parents

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June 2, 2022 10:23 pm  #3

Re: Telling the kids

The decision was taken out of my hands.  My husband told the kids he was gay the morning after he told me when I was still asleep (I had to drug myself).  We were honest with them in why we split rooms in that Dad needed his own space and it was better for Mom's Mental Health.  Here is where they stand.  

14 YO:  She came out to us 2 years ago herself feeling that she was lesbian but is now more bi or non binary.  We have accepted her with nothing but love and support as she figures out who she is.  She understands most that we are on a road that will lead to separate households.  She is very concerned about me but is doing her best to be extra helpful.  She seemed to have picked up in my not asking him for help and stopped going to him to check her school work.  I am being mindful that he's tried to put her in the middle of things when we disagree by asking her opinion, I did it once too and have made point to never do ti again.  Because that wasn't fair to her.  He tells her that her coming out, seeing how I easily accepted her, was what gave him the courage to come out as well.  So again a minefield I am keeping my eye on.  

12 YO:  He's super quiet but very observant.  He took to avoiding dad and knows what is going to happen as well.

10 YO:  I don't think he understands what is going to happen quite yet.  He's always been my mommy's boy and like the others is just avoiding dad.  

My husband has been very grumpy since he came out.  A combination of the fantasy of his coming out not meeting reality and his prep for a body building competition had left him hangry all the time.  Stupid things set him off.  So we all were giving him a wide berth from that alone.  

Another thing I am having to run interference with is that my In Laws have not taken the news well.  We are LDS, we were married in the temple, FIL was a bishop, so on many levels the husband coming out is freaking them out (we were asked not to make it public) and I was advised to "Stay and do my job" (LOL Nope, my job is me and my kids).  My husband is wanting to withhold access to the kids in punishment to them for not immediately accepting him, his lies, and his choices.  Something I will not do to them or the kids.  

Due to my personal mental health issues we are very diligent with the kids in checking in with them to see if they need or want someone else to talk too.  They all know that that door is open and they can talk to either of us or ask for a counselor at any time.  So far, none of them have done so.  

Please remember you did absolutely nothing wrong.  He is the one who lied to you, has different goals in mind, and made the choices he has.  There is nothing wrong with putting you and the kids first.  They gave up our loyalty and support as their wives when they made those choices.  It it not our duty to keep their secrets.  We deserve to have any and all support that our family, friends, church, and community can offer us during a difficult time.  I'm not saying blow it all up on facebook (though I know that temptation) but don't force that burden on yourself.  You are so strong for keeping it from the kids for this long.  Despite him doing it without me, we had agreed to tell the kids right away, I just thought he'd wait til I could be there too. I've been a mess there is no way I could have hidden it from them.

We are here anytime and welcome.


June 3, 2022 2:37 am  #4

Re: Telling the kids

Dear Ellexoh_nz, thanks for the welcoming words and your advice.
Dear Agl03, thanks for sharing your situation and your encouraging words. Telling the parents will be another tough thing to do for us as well, but for now, I will take it a small step at a time. 

We agreed to get advice from a counselor. I will keep you updated. 

     Thread Starter

June 3, 2022 5:48 am  #5

Re: Telling the kids

Excellent that you are getting counselor advice. 


June 3, 2022 6:48 pm  #6

Re: Telling the kids

Dear [b wrote:

Agl03, [/b]thanks for sharing your situation and your encouraging words. Telling the parents will be another tough thing to do for us as well, but for now, I will take it a small step at a time. 

We agreed to get advice from a counselor. I will keep you updated. 

Just want to flag the telling his and your parents.  My mom is mad and has not cornered him and torn him a new one upon my request.  She wants to have words with him because when he asked for permission to marry me he promised to love and care for me forever....and this is not that.  But at the same time I know my mom and its only a matter of time and I don't care anymore.  I want him to answer to her.

His parents took it so very badly.  I held him as he cried while they yelled at him.  But since them I have started emotionally decoupling.  It is not my job to referee their relationship.   If he wants to blow up his relationship with them its on him.  It made me so angry because I would give anything for one more day with my dad and he is on the verge of tossing away his parents.  They have only reached out to me right after he told them, I was encourage to stay and do my job, and not a peep since.  I am letting them come to me and am giving them nothing but honesty when they do.  


June 6, 2022 5:42 pm  #7

Re: Telling the kids

Stop and breathe-welcome. There’s another thread on this topic with 20 posts. You can find it under “Discussion” tab.


June 11, 2022 4:38 pm  #8

Re: Telling the kids

Toward the Light, thanks for the Tip. I found the discussion. Not sure why I didn't find it before starting my own thread... I am so glad for you that you could share the news with your children after such a long time. Thanks for sharing. It helped me.

The update on my situation: We had a talk with a counselor my husband has organized. My husband really managed to scare me during the session with statements like if we tell them his truth:
- This may trigger our teenage boys to question their own sexuality and I am sure this is not what my wife wants
- This might cause the 3 kids to become really rebellious and then she has to handle this all on her own
I'm sure there were more, but I do not recall the other 'threads'. I can just remember I felt so alone and scared and heartbroken... And it felt as if the counsellor was on my husband's side.... He said a family is a chain and if one link suffers, the other links will suffer as well. If my husband is put in a bad light, it will not be good for the rest of us. During the session we agreed that we will only tell the truth, but only that amount of truth that we both can accept which was: 'Mom and Dad do not have the same values and principles anymore than when we got married. We have grown away from each other and although we still love each other we do not have a romantic love any more. That is why we are separating'.
During the session I was so overwhelmed, I am so frustrated with myself that I did not fight for myself, but this will get better. So here are my thoughts afterwards and what I wish I told them in the session...
- That chain we are talking about... I was the link suffering the past 3 years, believing I had to keep my pain a secret. It didn't seem to me that the rest of the chain suffered that much. We are adults - he can also protect the children from his suffering. And by the way... we are separating... this WILL inflict trauma on the kids. There will be pain. My goal is not to avoid pain, my goal is to minimize the damage.
- My next point: I need the children to know that one doesn't just give up on a marriage. That little amount of truth we agreed on, will just not do it. I want them to know there was nothing I could do to save our marriage. 
- Till now we both had a beautiful relationship with all 3 our kids, I'd rather take the risk and tell them the truth than taking the risk to let them find out the truth from some one else. ( And fear is not a good advisor)

Anyhow, a few days later I told my husband that I am not ok with what we are planning to tell the kids. I must say, he is really cooperative and I think he is just also scared as hell. He suggested that we then just say that dad was unfaithful. He agreed that we can also have a talk with a counselor of my choice. 
To be continued...

     Thread Starter

June 11, 2022 7:00 pm  #9

Re: Telling the kids

I call bullshit on your husband and his counselor.  My now-ex, after flirting with coming out, decided he wanted to remain closeted, and got very aggressive with me when I said I wanted an honest relationship with our son (then in his late 20s) and wanted him to know the truth about why we were divorcing. My now-ex also pulled that "being told the truth will derail him" card.  It was nothing but a smokescreen, and I knew it, because at the time he was hell-bent on "coming out and lviing his truth," he didn't care a whit for how our son might react.  In fact, I kept asking him, "What about [our son]?" and he wouldn't even address the question.

You are being double teamed by your husband and his therapist, who are leaning very hard on you to protect your husband's secret.  Yet isn't it true that your husband wasn't so concerned for your kids when he hid his sexuality for years and cheated on you with a man?  

Keeping your husband's secret has caused you enough pain.  If you agree to keep his sexuality from your kids and just say he cheated, you will continue to be confined to his closet and even if your kids don't find out some other way--which is a real possiblity--continuing to keep his secret will eat at you. I know this because I made a similar deal with my now-ex.  But I also told my son, "People don't get divorced after 35 years just because they are 'happier apart' (the reason my now-ex browbeat me into agreeing to).  We are divorcing because of a reason to do with your father.  You can ask him about it, but I know that he won't tell you the truth because he has already told me that he won't.  If you want to know, you can ask me, and I will tell you."  My son said he didn't want to know.  And I have respected his decision.  HOWEVER, I wish I had never agreed to do anything except tell the unadulterated truth.  In not being honest with my son from the beginning, I established a set of circumstances that in hindsight I see enables my ex's false and dishonest relationship with our son, keeps me confined to my ex's closet, enabling his secret life and bearing the burden of his closet.

It sounds to me like you know what you want, and that is to tell the truth.  So tell it. 


Last edited by OutofHisCloset (June 11, 2022 7:07 pm)


June 11, 2022 11:40 pm  #10

Re: Telling the kids

Also calling BS with the therapist.  You get your own.  I have not regrets that our couples counselor is my personal counselor as well.  Your priority right now is you and your kids.  You have dealt with the pain he has caused you long enough. 

And I agree he's scared as hell right now.  I think mine is coming out of that Honeymoon period from coming out and getting hit in the face with a big old dose of reality.  

He hasn't asked me to stay quiet but his parents have and I think they live in fear of me just losing it all over social media and letting the entire family know in a blaze for glory.  though I"m not the one they need to be worried about.  My mom is about to go off and it will be a fantastic thing to watch.


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