The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
This is something I'm battling with at the moment.... My own well being or that of my children's.!! If I separate I will be blamed for not loving my husband or asking their Dad to leave as I would never tell them what he did.....
Do you see a therapist individually or together? The first thing my therapist asked me is if I was safe and then if I wanted to repair our marriage. My therapist was very clear if I did not want to continue in the marriage that we would work through it together. And that would include how to tell our children. My therapist did not think we needed to say what happened but that my husband would need to own the fact that he was not honest, not a good husband etc. We never got to the wording. My husband is a mental health professional too and he deals with it all the time. Even though every situation is different they can help you with wording, even have a plan for the kids. I understand if you don't want to do that but I hate for you to feel trapped. Even if you explore it individually maybe knowing your options will feel empowering. Kind of like how some women here have consulted an attorney but never file for divorce.
Womanlost,I hear you and feel the same need to protect my child. There are no easy choices here. I do think I have to put myself first if it comes down to that. Not in a selfish way of course, in a self care way. My child needs a sane, healthy mother. If that means I have to leave at some point, I will. If that means I have to take ridicule for leaving, I will. Nothing fair about it. Hugs to you!!
Womanlost, how old are your kids? I think giving the kids limited age appropriate information is ok (elementary school: daddy mad a very bad choice that hurt mommy very much; college: your father was unfaithful to me; etc.). You don't have to give the gory details or throw H under the bus, but I do think you can be respectfully factual at the level appropriate for their development. I hate the idea of any of our kids thinking their betrayed mother did something wrong. Here's an opposite story - my H's mother walked out on him & his dad when he was 2. His dad never told him anything. Never even told H that it was his mother who abandoned them. So my H grew up his whole life living with his dad but also resenting his dad for H not having a mother. The whole thing caused my H to have attachment disorder and depression (which he self medicated with pot & porn). And now my H has a very weird 'friendship' with his mom and she has been toxic to our marriage. I think it would have been better for everyone involved if his dad would have been honest and simply told H as a child 'it was your mother's decision to leave me'. He didn't have to call her names or try to prevent them from having a relationship. It breaks my heart all those years my H blamed his dad for what his mom did.I don't know your particular circumstances, but I'm really sorry to hear it if continuing in your marriage is unhealthy for you and I hope you have good support & a counselor. You are among friends.
Our own happiness is so important. Not depending on someone else to make us happy. I have a friend who doesn't really have any hobbies. She works a lot. Her husband had an affair 9 years ago and she is still dealing with the pain from that. I don't want to be like that. I want to feel that happiness everyday. No pain, no reminders, no nothing where his affair is concerned. And I know that for me to have that happiness back again I need to let go of the anger that I hold onto for the OW. I know it's not healthy. I've thought about doing art therapy for me to cope with this anger and I don't want it to turn into bitterness that I hold onto for more years. It's hard enough dealing with it the last 9 months and we are going on 2 years since dday. But I know that this too shall pass in time. I just wish it would hurry up so that I can be free of it. I try to choose happiness every day. Sometimes it's harder living with it from one day to the next but it is getting better.
Anonymous I often use art therapy to lift me out of dark moments of life! On the rainiest of days, I paint blue skies and beautiful clouds with the colors of sunrise and sunset! I've used it for years but now post dday, I find it very cathartic to just sit and mix the colors! Each day life gets better when I start my day looking for the happy I deserve and I go through the day and find it! Sometimes in my garden sometimes in my art! Hugs! This is a daily struggle for all of us!
Holding your own being sacred is the best thing you can do for others. I know it sounds like an Oprah cliche, but it truly is. Your children will reap the rewards.
I have to share something. I spent all morning in like a text war with the OW she had sent the first one. I was surprised at how well I handled this. She kept trying to make me feel crazy and get me upset but it didn't work. I know this will be the last time I have anything to do with her. But it felt good knowing that I could deal with her this way and not feel anything but pity for her. I was never shocked with what she said. My h and I had talked and talked about what happened over and over. Some of the things she said made me laugh out loud. I kept catching her in all of these lies. 2 years of lies from her. But I never lost my temper and you could tell that she did. She tried really hard to make herself a victim and tried to make me out to be the crazy one but I held my ground. Thank all of you for your post and wisdom.