September 07, 2008,
R.C. asks from Sturbridge, MA on June 04, 2008
Husband Leaving Me for Another Woman, How Do I Deal with Her in My Kids Life?
I've recently learned 6 months ago that my husband has been having an affair for 2 years. As a result we are getting a divorce. he has already told me that he plans to be with her after (she is also getting a divorce and has 2 kids). I don't know how to deal with the fact that eventually she will be some part of my 2 kids (3 and 8 months)lives. That is my biggest fear that she will be part of their life. It just isn't fair to my 3 year old to explain who she is. i know the kids are young enough to not be as affected, but this just kills me. Any advice?
K.H. answers from Boston on June 09, 2008
M.D. answers from Burlington on June 05, 2008
Good for you to reach out for personal suppport. Get counseling if you and the children need it. There are books and on-line help too. Here are some examples:
Lists of books about divorce for children:
What a chanllenge! Good luck to you. You've received a lot of good advice.
Take care : ) (A smile to give you some sunshine in these tough times.)
C.T. answers from Boston on June 05, 2008
The first thought that came to mind when I read your request was How very selfish of your Husband to give into his needs at the sacrafice of his children. Whether he knows it or not he will scare them for ever with this one. How does one tell a 3 year old that the first man in her life is gone to live with another woman and leave her. What message is being sent. Your Husband should be ashamed of himself. I know that every marriage has problems but the giving in to ones own desires proves to be nothing but self centeredness. That is why the world is what it is today. Personal desire and satisfaction at any cost. He will regret it one day. However, you still have rights in this matter and you can if you want to request that his visitation does not include her. You need to think about your children as he clearly is not. I do not know if you can talk with him about this or not but if you can then point out how this will effect the children if you can not talk to him about it then let the lawyer address it. I have a child who's Father is not in his life and beleive me your children will ask questions and as they grow older they will suffer because of this. Be prepared at any time to answer questions that they will have. My Son is 10 and has self-esteen issues because of his Father. Adults just do not think about how these things effect there children. They just care about there own current happiness and that is so wrong. I wish you God's Blessings on your journey with this man. In one way you are will rid of him but you will never be rid of him because of your children. May you get through this hurdle with peace in your heart.
2 moms found this helpful
S.R. answers from Hartford on June 09, 2008
R., I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am writing to you today not as a mother but as an adult child of a father who had an affair and married the "other woman." It really just sucks. I was much older than your children (I was about 12). Although my mother was expecting a divorce she was not prepared for the affair. It was devastating and embarrassing for her. It was incredibly painful for me to watch her go through this. She was even suicidal for a brief time. My mother did a great job reassuring me that it had nothing to do with me. It was good for me to know the pain that being unfaithful caused but I really saw too much. Even as an older child it was scary. When my Dad remarried I chose to go to the wedding and it just about killed my mother. I cried through the wedding, hated my step mom, and was furious with my Dad but I knew enough to know that it would be important for me to be there. I remember my Mom telling me once that she wouldn't be able to attend my wedding if my father was there. She just never thought she could be around him. That hurt. I was 12 and remember it like it was yesterday. My advice. Remember that you kids are entitled to their relationship with their father. It is OK to tell them you are sad, mad, or jealous but then add that it is something you will work through as a family. Tell them that sad things happen but together we learn to get through it. I was an adult before I had a good relationship with my father. I was so angry but eventually decided that if he had know better he would have done better. I am sure that my mom wouldn't agree, but we have separate relationships/realities with my Dad. I lived with my mother through high school but I longed to be a part of a "family". I married young and then divorced young. Make sure that you have special family traditions and family times so your children know that they are still part of a family. I remarried but was fearful of divorce. I am sure my parents thought their marriage was going to last so how did I know mine was going to be different. I decided that love isn't a feeling but action. You love someone when you work on the relationship. You love someone when you are faithful. You love someone through your everyday actions and decisions. It has changed my whole perspective on being a wife and a mother. I think it is a good lesson to learn early on in life.
I know this rambled a bit and for that I apologize. Feel free to contact me if you have specific questions. Children can come through divorce (and affairs) OK. Be thoughtful of you actions and you will be OK. Just like with a plane oxygen mask you must first take care of yourself so you are able to take care of you children. A good read is "Adult Children of Divorce" or something like that. It might not be an immediate read but something you should read when you get through the immediate phase. You and your children will get through it. You really will.
P.S. My mother eventually met a wonderful man and remarried as well. Through that relationship I was able to see what a healthy marriage looked like which helped me put an end to my bad marriage and gave me the foundation for my current very happy marriage. I have never seen either of my parents happier. I would never wish them married to each other but I will always regret the painful way the marriage ended. Best wishes.
1 mom found this helpful
R.S. answers from New London on June 05, 2008
Wow! I am soooo sorry you are going through this! I can understand the fear of this woman being a part of your precious children's lives - it is so unfair! Maybe you should talk to your ex about not involving her at all in the kids lives, let them get used to the idea of dad being out of the house. Then if it is indeed serious and they get married, then she can be slowly introduced. Good luck and God bless!
H.D. answers from Barnstable on June 05, 2008
First, I want to tell you how sorry I am. Unfortunately, if the children's father is going to be a part of their life so is she. It will make you look bad if you try to keep her out of their lives. They will grow up and eventually see that you were the one that kept her away. If she's a good person, they will see it. If she's not a good person, they will see that. Let them make the choice.
It's going to take some time. I highly recommend the father not to introduce her right away. They need to deal with not having him around at home first. Over time she can be introduced into their lives.
As for you, you are going to need support from your friends and family. It will be hard for you to not bad mouth both of them...they hurt you in the worst possible way. Over time you will heal and eventually be able to move on. But you need the time to heal...give it to yourself.
Above all...remember it takes more energy and life out of you to hate...trust me, I've been there.
Best of luck to you. My thoughts and best wishes are with you.
L.B. answers from Portland on June 05, 2008
I am so sorry for you and your children, this is really hard. Have both of you sat down with the kids and told them you are getting divorced?, that should be the first thing you do. I think it is your husbands responsibility to introduce the new woman in his life to your children. He is the one who needs to explain himself, not you. Your job is to be supportive for your kids, do not bad mouth dad or the new woman, do not use your children as pawns to get back at your ex, listen to your kids, keep an eye on them and let them know you are there for them. You really need to find a way to release your anger without getting the kids involved at all. Show your kids you can be strong and mature, so they know you are stable enough to come to you if they need to talk about this. If you show them you are fragile in dealing with the divorce and the new woman they will not want to talk to you about it, because they will not want to upset you. You can do this, you do not need a man in your life that treats women the way he has treated you. The way he has gone about this is so boyish and immature. If he was unhappy, he should have left you before getting into an affair. Focus on your kids and what is best for them and try not to worry about what their father and his new woman are doing. Know that you can always vent on this forum and hang tough!!
K.M. answers from Boston on June 05, 2008
I know you've heard this from about 20 other people on this board, but do get therapy and support to help you cope with this situation. My heart just breaks for you & your kids.
If you work, see if your job has an EAP benefit that can provide you with a referral to a good therapist for you & your kids. Otherwise, it looks like some others have offered some really good websites & resources.
Take care of yourself & your kids - put yourselves first.
I hope you weather this storm.
All the best,
J.D. answers from Boston on June 05, 2008
I'm so sorry that you have to go through such a terrible experience. The same thing happened to a very good friend of mine a few years ago. In the beginning it was extremely difficult - the feelings and emotions were so raw. It was hard on me and my husband too because we were such good friends with them - our hearts broke for them and their children. I have to say though that my girlfriend was always very good about not talking negatively about her husband and the other woman in front of the children. It can be so easy to say nasty things about the guilty parties to the kids or in front of them, but I think that will do a lot of damage to the children. The children are the most important thing and they need to feel as secure as possible and that they're loved by both parents. As far as my friend goes - he ended up marrying the other woman and they have their typical visits with his kids, every other weekend, etc. My friend is doing very well. I think that somewhere along the line, she made her peace with the situation. Whether she likes it or not, this other woman is her children's step mother and she does love her step children. They're all civil to eachother and can be in the same room together now. When the children are as young as yours, you have to realize that this woman is going to be part of your life for a long time. There will be school plays and sports, birthdays, holidays, etc. Somehow just work towards making peace, it will take time and a lot of you biting your tongue, but you can do it eventually. I wish you all the best.
B.T. answers from Boston on June 05, 2008
R. . i feel so bad for you. your baby is onley 8 monthd old. i have been there my self. i went to court and ask onele dady can see them . there is no neet for her to be in your childrens life. thats what i did she had no part of my kids life. its time there dad makes up his ming give up his kids. or visit with them alone. let him make the choise. if he loves his kids . he can spent time with them alone . i feel so very sory for you . keep in touch