OurPath Open Forum

This Open Forum is funded and administered by OurPath, Inc., (formerly the Straight Spouse Network). OurPath is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides support to Straight Partners and Partners of Trans People who have discovered that their partner is LGBT+. Your contribution, no matter how small, helps us provide our community with this space for discussion and connection.


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

February 8, 2021 9:36 am  #1

telling the kids

So I have 2 kids, a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son.
My ex told our daughter he is gay/bi but refuses to tell our son. He says he is not ready to tell him. 
Anyone else have this going on?
I have told my ex he needs to tell our son on several occasions,  but he gets mad and defensive.

Should I tell? or wait for my Ex.

We have been divorced for many years and at first the kids were so little, I never told them the real reason we got divorced,, I just would always say   "Well,  things happen." And they never asked for more.

When my ex told our daughter, She handled it great and I really don't see our son feeling any different. But maybe its a dad/son/ man thing?  I am not really sure what my ex is scared of.



February 9, 2021 6:10 pm  #2

Re: telling the kids

I haven't reached the point of actually separating yet, so we haven't told the kids anything, but here are my thoughts. My older two kids are about the same age as yours, and at that age--it's possible he already suspects.  He could have come across something at dad's house, overheard a conversation between dad and someone or sister and someone.  They're also just very perceptive, so it's possible he might wonder about his dad.

If he has asked you directly, I would give your ex one last opportunity.  I would tell your son something along the lines of "I think it should come from your dad, so if you want to ask him first you can, and then I'll tell you my side of the story..." and then go from there. The whole "it's not my secret to tell" thing baffles me--on the flip side, it's not your lie to keep.  We all know lies don't do anyone any favors, so if he asked, I would absolutely tell him.  

If he's not asking, I would think about why you want him to know.  Is it just so he knows, or so he knows it wasn't your fault? Then I would let your ex know that if he doesn't tell him soon, you will tell him when the opportunity arises naturally--he's at that age where you're going to be having sex and dating talks, so it's not like you have to wait around forever to tell him if you think he deserves to know.  

I don't know if it's a "dad/son" thing.  My husband is terrible at any type of "big" conversations, with me or the kids. Imagine my surprise when I realized I was going to be the one having the sex talks with my sons.  He has already said he's terrified of the girls, so I hope I don't suddenly die before both of them go through puberty.  

Last edited by ThisTooShallPass (February 9, 2021 6:11 pm)


February 12, 2021 4:32 pm  #3

Re: telling the kids

Ehgreen, I still struggle with this question of telling the “kids.” In 2012, I made the discovery that their Dad is a cross-dresser,who gets sexual satisfaction when dressed as a woman in slutty clothes, makeup, nail polish, various wigs and sparkling  enormous-sized platform shoes. We separated 2014 and have been divorced since 2016 after 26 years of marriage, half of which was sex-less and quietly so, meaning, we never discussed why.  I tried but there was this palpable wall around him. We were estranged under the same roof but put on great theater. (He’s moved in with another women about a year ago whom I know of  professionally and I struggle with wanting to tell HER too.) I asked about telling our 3 sons, who were 22, 20 and 18 at the time, during a marriage counseling session after I made the discovery. I remember my ex begging me not to and the counselor saying basically, “not now.” We live in a small town; my ex makes his living as a trusted lawyer; and  like TTSP mentions, if I ask myself what my motivation would be as to the specifics of the breach of trust, honestly the answer is to punish /shame/discredit my ex in the eyes of our sons for my revenge and that’s just not okay if I have hopes of us still behaving like a family (at a few holidays/year) as our sons form their own partnerships in life and maybe give us grandkids. Also, after self-restraint, I do see it as something that’s between my sons and their Dad—not my business anymore. And I wouldn’t talk to my sons about our marital sex life, or lack of it, so ultimately I put it in the category as between us. What I have shared with my sons is just simpler but truthful—“it takes two people to make a marriage and it takes two to break it up. Your father betray me and it doesn’t matter how. The distrust grew like a cancer and I couldn’t get past it to a future where we stayed together. Some couples do; I couldn’t.”  And of course they asked  “but what did he do to betray you?” And I replied : “Ask him. That’s his to tell.” And of course they don’t ask him and even if they did, he’d lie. Also like TTSP says, they don’t talk to him as easily as they talk to me, especially about matters of the heart. I gave them the “body” talk in fifth grade (I remember the pamphlet they brought home from school describing what a wet dream is.) They stick to surface topics with their Dad like soccer scores, the weather, politics. Nothing that requires authenticity like the struggles of a love relationship or what it means to be a man in 2021. And finally, in case I die before my ex, I have left an envelope of photos of my ex’s wardrobe, taken on the day I discovered his secret stash,  in my desk drawer for my sons to find after I am gone. Why? I guess I do believe they deserve to know the whole truth some day.


February 12, 2021 4:34 pm  #4

Re: telling the kids


Last edited by Toward the Light (February 12, 2021 4:36 pm)


February 12, 2021 9:31 pm  #5

Re: telling the kids

Toward the light,

Glad you got away from the hurt. 

My kids go back and forth between the houses.  Older now, I think they have forgotten the years when we were all in the same house with their mother screaming and throwing things at me.

That is ok.  I wish I could forget it.

God knows what these spouses did.  In this life and the next God knows we tried.

Leave the pictures of their dad.  But know  whatever your kids think you did what you had to for them and yourself.

Last edited by Rob (February 12, 2021 9:31 pm)

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

March 12, 2021 9:38 am  #6

Re: telling the kids

My husband has just come out to me.  We want to tell our 2 kids but both are away at college so I don't want to do so until they come home for the summer.  Part of me feels we need to work with a counselor, part of me says let's do this on our own at first and see how the pieces fall.  Care to share your experiences or thoughts?


March 12, 2021 10:19 am  #7

Re: telling the kids

Wow. I found out my friend was gay last June but he will not admit it. I have confronted him two times but he lies. We do not have children together. I think that if I were you, I would tell them this summer. Good luck and I am so sorry that you are going through this.


July 25, 2021 2:02 pm  #8

Re: telling the kids

My eldest son (of 3), age 30, has been working remotely from my home, his childhood home, since mid-June. He returns this week, Thurs., to his own home on the other coast. We’ve had some quality time together, alone doing fun things like playing tennis, eating meals together, co-hosting his newish girlfriend for 10 days in this span. His father, a crossdresser which I discovered after decades of marriage, and I separated in 2014 and divorced in 2016. My ex, my son’s CD’ ing father, has been included in the  “schedule” during this visit and in his time with  this son he includes the woman he is now living with. I believe My kids always assume we broke up because their father had a wandering eye. I often ask pleasantly about his time with his Dad (pleasant because I’m so glad I got out!). My sons are always kind of quiet about what they think of this other woman (and others before her that didn’t last.) . I finally said this weekend—“Ya know, I don’t have a problem with Cathy. She isn’t the reason we broke up after 26 years. I have nothing against her. In fact, my wish for her is that your father is being truthful with her about his part in the breakup of our marriage for her own sake.” My son didn’t say or ask anything more. During my eldest’s extended visit,  I’ve been literally praying for the opportunity to arise for me to explain what happened to blow our family apart, because I think he “deserves” the truth.  I took my son’s silence as a sign that he’s not ready to hear the truth.  It’s not something that will come up over the phone. So I’ll keep asking my HP to help me understand His/her will for me today and give me the strength to carry that out. And maybe in the next 4 days the  opportunity will arise. Thanks all for being here, always.


July 25, 2021 2:59 pm  #9

Re: telling the kids

Toward the Light wrote:

My eldest son (of 3), age 30, has been working remotely from my home, his childhood home, since mid-June. He returns this week, Thurs., to his own home on the other coast. We’ve had some quality time together, alone doing fun things like playing tennis, eating meals together, co-hosting his newish girlfriend for 10 days in this span.......

The time with your son sounds perfect
Yeah telling the adult children.....I have 4 and tailored the telling to each one to their personality and r'ship with their father and (separately) myself. At one distraught point I had the 2 youngest Facetiming with me and told them together, although their reactions were as different as chalk and cheese. One, my youngest son,  became almost a confidante for a while and I know he will be there for me.. The other is very close to her father (actually very like him in manner), doesn't ask questions so not wanting to ruin our good bond I have to respect her (unspoken) wish to not get in the middle. 
I believe adult children should be given the choice to hear why their father ruined their mother's life. Verbally face-to-face or in an email if you must but that's a tough one....you send an email, stating you have something to tell them but they don't reply (for whatever reason), you don't ask if they received the email, nothing's said, it all sinks into an unspoken abyss and the bonds that should stay strong become strained. 

Did you ever think your kids had suspicions? Don't talk about this other woman because their allegiance is to you? 
You were strong enough to get this man out of your life and now you hold your truth...your truth..... inside of you because....why?



KIA KAHA                       

July 26, 2021 6:21 am  #10

Re: telling the kids

“You were strong enough to get this man out of your life and now you hold your truth...your truth..... inside of you because....why?”

Good question, Elle. I guess I hadn’t thought that there’s another, better reason to talk to them, beyond wanting to punish their Dad, that has to do with honoring my truth. I’ll ponder your question a bit more. Thanks.


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum