Author Topic: My Story I just found out I am an LBS  (Read 2820 times)

Offline Little WingTopic starterTopic starter

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My Story I just found out I am an LBS
« on: July 13, 2019, 03:51:18 AM »
Hi everyone, this is my first post.  Like so many before me I found this forum and realised that my W is in MLC and I have been trying to stand.  I have found great advice and support here.  I shall try to sequence the madness, forgive me for such a long post, but I have only just realized I am an LBS despite acting as one for a long time. 

My W and I met when we were 17 and were friends and fell in love when we both 19.  We moved in together after I finished university when we were both 21, we married in 1999 when we both 26.  We are now 46 years old and have four amazing children; D17, D15, D13 and S10.  Up until 2017 I thought we were a strong family.  I worked FT, whilst W stayed at home with kids as we both wanted one of us to see them grow up, we discussed and agreed all our major life choices.  I was emotionally available, caring and affectionate.  We had an active and fulfilling sex life and were constantly complimentary to each other about how lucky we were to be together, how much we each appreciated the other.  Every day I thought how lucky I was and told W so.

Summer 2017, after a tense family holiday with in-laws, I was distant, angry and stressed.  When we returned home, W was very angry with me and told me she thought I was suffering from depression.  She was correct, and I accepted my mistakes over the last few years where my work-related stress became depression and caused me to be negative, isolated and short tempered, although I was never abusive or controlling, despite what W has recently claimed. 

I undertook CBT in summer of 2017 and talked through with W my damage, right from childhood issues, loss in teenage years and my erroneous belief that I had to be strong and carry on working despite depression bought on by 20 plus years working with young people in crisis, dealing with the abuse and neglect of children daily.  I apologised again and again for how I had hurt her, and the kids and I worked every day to be a better husband and Dad - I strengthened my relationships with my kids, separated work and my family life. W and I spent more quality time together, I thought working on how we moved forward together as the kids grew up and we needed more connection between us.  We seemed happier and closer.

Feb 2018, I found out that W had been having a 3-month PA with a man 10 years her junior who she met at work.  I saw his message pop up on her phone and confronted her immediately.  The first thing I said to her that she had pushed me to the brink of a breakdown as I had suspected her for some time and she had denied all, blaming my depression and paranoia, in short that she had gaslighted me as well as betraying our family. 
I was devastated, destroyed and furious.  W begged me to forgive her – it was an awful mistake, she was flattered, feeling old, not in her right mind, etc.  My eldest daughter, then 16, overheard the row and whilst I was clearing my head outside my W told her what had happened. This knowledge had a very negative effect of my daughter and I was angry that W had done this in her distress. W told me that there was no major problem in our relationship, but later said she struggled to cope with my low mood.  I agreed to forgive her and for us to communicate honestly about our needs and work on a better life together. 
W was genuinely remorseful, recognising that her behaviour in the build up to her PA meant she had drifted away from me and the kids.  She was very focused on her appearance before the PA; makeup, hair, fillers, tattoos, gym, perfect selfies, going out drinking too much etc. After PA came to light she seemed to be back to herself, not distant and selfish.  Despite the pain of the PA I felt so happy for her to be back to the woman I loved so much, and we seemed to reconnect, although she later said this time felt like a dream, to me it felt more real than the previous few months. 
Summer 2018, W starts to spend time with a male neighbour (10 years younger than my W) who she met dropping S10 at local school.  Obviously, I was very anxious about this and was honest with W, who of course reassured me that it was platonic, and part of our future needed to her being free and trusted despite her PA. 
I fought hard to overcome my suspicions and begged her not to hurt me again, if not for me, for the children.

 She started to drink with this man midweek and spend more time together.  She started to learn guitar with him, vape with him, message him constantly.  The torture of trying to trust her as I watched her slip away was terrible.  She continued to tell me she loved me and be affectionate towards me, but I knew that things were about to get worse.  I had met this man and knew him to be charming and manipulative, whilst I knew my W was still vulnerable as I still believed she was in MLC.

October 2018, BD, I return from work W is quite drunk and has been with OM neighbour, she was distressed and wouldn’t discuss why.  Following day, she sent me a message whilst I was at work ‘I love you so much, but soon you will hate me as I deserve. I’m so sorry to hurt you.  I am sick.’  My D17 was told that morning by W that she had PA2, D17 ran away to friend’s house.

I returned home and out came PA2.  OM’s W had suspected and snooping, found pictures, videos and messages confirming my W and her H had been in an EA over summer becoming a PA in August, (some of this stuff was sent to me by OM W and to see her betrayal was agony). OM was kicked out by his W and quickly divorced.  The few days after BD featured a lot of what I now know are typical MLC/monster lines from W:

‘ILYBINILWY. We just don’t connect, maybe we never did. I realise from OM what I have missed out on and can’t get back.  OM was my best friend/soul mate (she knew him 4 months at this point). I have no respect for you.  You are a victim, you were still crying four months after PA1!  Everyone works, we didn’t need you to take promotions – we could have lived in a smaller house. I have modified myself for you.  I need to be free now. You will only ever be a friend.  I don’t care who I hurt now – its my time.  I have looked after everyone else, now I’m going to look after myself.  Its ok to be selfish. I feel nothing. Count yourself lucky you are the father of our four kids’

W seemed to suffer cognitive dissonance at this point, telling me that she felt guilt towards the OM’s W and children for helping destroy the marriage, but none towards me.  This guilt and her belief that she deserved more in life pushed her to self-harm and depression, rarely getting out of bed for the first two weeks, only eating when I forced her and seeing no one else.  During this time I tried to stop her destroying herself and keep the family safe. 

Caring for my distraught, furious D17 who wanted me and her to leave immediately, as W did not deserve us, whilst protecting youngest three children from W’s breakdown which at points was so serious at times I consider hospitalisation of W.  OM messaged me a few weeks after BD and told me that my wife had kissed another man in 2013 and had planned on leaving me, this seemed to be his final attempt to break us up.  To be told this by OM was like being stabbed, again.  A month or so after BD W informed me she was over guilt, 'coz thats how i roll'. She stopped self-harming.

 I was the major focus of her anger – my depression had broken her and now she had meet OM she could see how awful I was and all that she had missed out on.  She should have had more social life despite kids, should have gone back to work, (but she wanted 4 children and to raise them each day – told me this 5,000 times – ‘Im so lucky to be here, thank you for working so hard so I can be’).
 She was very aggressive and abusive towards me at this point, I think trying to force me to leave the family home.  Before I realised that R discussions with W were counterproductive as no logic or perspective could penetrate the anger and justification, there were some revelations that may be illuminating about W’s mental state.  I will detail a couple of things she initiated discussion about:

W asked me if I remember a night a couple of years previously when I could not sleep due to dealing with a very distressing case at work involving a boy who was subject to sexual abuse by a paedophile ring and then disappeared without trace. 
I had cared for this boy for two years in my job and was devastated that he was gone.  I sat on the edge of the bed and tried to accept the unacceptable – that I had done everything right, but still a child had been hurt or worse.  My W told me that on occasions like this she did not feel like she could sleep whilst I was awake.  She agreed that I had always told her to go to sleep I would be fine, but she was still under the impression that it would be disloyal in some way for her to sleep when I couldn’t.  I told her that I had worked very hard in the last two years to compartmentalize work and family life with some success.  W acknowledged this but said it was too late – I had already screwed her mind up.

W went to a therapist November 2018 and told me after the second and last session she attended that I had been emotionally abusive to her for 5-8 years.  When asked for an example she said that me wanting the kids to come and sit with me and watch a film for an hour before they went to bed, (kids much younger then and younger ones went to bed 8pm). 
I explained that I left for work before kids were up and after returning home, doing paper work, washing and eating it was 7pm and exhausted, I just wanted to spend some time with our kids.  W returned that this was controlling and abusive.  She agreed that I did not get angry if kids were not about for a film, but still felt that she was walking on egg shells.  Later she denied believing that I was emotionally abusive, but acknowledged that she said it.

November 2018 – June 2019,  I have stood by my W and family.  I became an LBS before I found out what that was.  I tried to emotionally detach before I knew how to do it.  I refused to leave home and despite W going to lawyer, we agreed to stay together for kids. W sleeps in D13 room and we speak little and she avoids touching me as if I am infected.  D17 knows too much and is on AD, we do not discuss W’s breakdown or affairs. I have not told D17 any of the sordid details and hope that keeping her out of it as much as possible will allow her to continue getting better with help of AD, which are helping her greatly. 

W is also on AD and they have helped her mood, but we are no closer as a couple.  W is happy with status quo and although to live in this environment has pushed me to the brink, I feel like I must stand for my kids.  I don’t want to look back and wish I had been stronger for them and have hurt the innocent, but each day is a battle to GAL, to detach and do that whilst appearing normal in front of kids.  Very rarely I see a flash of my wife through the cloud, she looks anxious, scared, but something about her beautiful eyes tells me that my real W is still there.  Then the fog returns, and she looks cold as ice.

July 2019, I find HS and realize that there are so many other LBS, I do my homework and become a better LBS.  I take great comfort from the stories of others who fight.  I wish I was stronger and hope with a mentor and the support of all members here I can be.


Offline Kintsugi

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 05:05:36 AM »
I am so sorry for what you have been through.  I found this place in the midst of my H's MLC.  There are great people here and very supportive.  I dont know what I would have done without this site.  Get yourself a mentor.  It helped me A LOT!  It can help you too. 
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful ~ Barbara Bloom

Online Treasur

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 05:08:55 AM »
I cried a little reading your story. I am so sorry LW for how much you and your oldest daughter have suffered in the last couple of years. Others will come along to support you bc you are not alone and I wanted to respond quickly so you knew that.

It will help us to help you if we are clear about a couple of practical things.
As far as you know, is your w continuing to see om2? Are you seeing any of the other textbook Replay-type behaviours?
And she went to therapy twice six months ago but is not doing IC now? Who is prescribing her ADs?
And have you returned to therapy as you navigate this situation? Or your daughter? And how are your younger kids doing?
Do you have much family support or another support system for you and your kids?
And she has seen a L but the two of you are 'staying together for the kids'? Does she see that as an in house separation or something else? And have you taken legal advice? Or done anything to protect your finances?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 05:10:29 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline OldPilot

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 05:41:49 AM »
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.

Developing Detachment

RCR has asked everyone to keep to one thread until  that thread is 150 posts

Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon

Online Milly

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 06:18:23 AM »
Hi Little Wing, just jumping in to lend emotional support. It seems to me that you have done so many good things for your W and family. I thank you for posting your story, as hard as that must be, because for me to read how many 'right' things you did to try to keep your W from going in the tunnel but she went anyway, helps me accept that there was nothing I could have done to prevent my H from doing so, too.

In fact, reading your story, I'm surprised you are not the MLCer. But that just goes to show how a man can have some of those basic problems: depression, FOO issues, stress at work and not necessarily have a MLC of his own. You realized what was happening and got help. That's admirable.

If I understand correctly, your W is still at home. It must be really hard, but I would say this is the best option. If you can read all the articles here and on Hearts Blessings and take advice from veterans, especially the: Do not have relationship talks with your MLCer! then you should find that you will become stronger, might even like yourself more than you have done in years. 

Thank you also for tellings us about the many discussions you've had with your W since the first EA. Your W has shared a lot about her feelings, a side we rarely get to hear. Her accusing you of being a manipulator is so MLC. My H said that to me so many times, when in fact it was my H who was the manipulator and later his OW.

I feel for your D. She's at such a vulnerable age for a young girl. How you react to this situation and how you live your life is going to be very important for this D. She is going to be watching you for guidance. What I mean is that if you do ok, she will feel better. I'm glad you got her on ADs. She sounds fragile, many of us have one child like this, my oldest D25 is like your D. It seems you got on top of the situation right away. I would say keep the ugly details from her as she can't cope emotionally. Don't lie because she mustn't be given expectations, but just show her that no matter what, it's going to be ok.

Sending you a big hug, Little Wing, to help you cope with this terrible crisis.
Married 1989, together since 1984 
BD May 2014,
D25, D22, S15
OW Physical Affair same one. He and she said she turned 34 the month of BD. She turned 52 this year.

Offline Little WingTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 08:02:16 AM »
Hi all thanks for your messages of support, they mean a great deal. Treasur I will try to answer some of your Qs...

As far as you know, is your w continuing to see om2? Are you seeing any of the other textbook Replay-type behaviours?

I think not, W tells me not and I think I believe her, but i also believed the last two times she cheated on me!

Other replay behaviours seem to have really reduced in last 2 months - W has stopped going out drinking with friends, is not obsessed with appearance, seems more engaged in family life and is generally less selfish and teenage in her attitude, speech and action.  She told me about a month ago 'I have realised that I cant make up for lost time by behaving in certain ways that I did before'  Again I believe only that she believed it when she said it.  I trust nothing she says.

And she went to therapy twice six months ago but is not doing IC now? Who is prescribing her ADs?

W not in therapy and doesnt want to return, says she knows what the problem is - my depression made her stop loving me and have an MLC (which she acknowledges she has suffered).  She says she has behaved appalingly, but seems not to care that it has destroyed me in so many ways.  She says that she doesnt believe any therapy is going to change that, so we must just be friends for the kids.  Her doctor prescribed an SSRI which she has been on for about 9 weeks.

And have you returned to therapy as you navigate this situation? Or your daughter? And how are your younger kids doing?

I stopped therapy due to expense after two sessions, I used the money to pay for D17 to go instead.  She seems to be doing much better!

Do you have much family support or another support system for you and your kids?

My Mum and Dad and a few close friends know my marriage is in deep trouble, but none of the details on affairs etc.  I thought it best that few people knew to protect my kids and perhaps allow some relationship to continue between W and family/friends if she comes out of her MLC.  No one i speak to in IRL knows everything and the person who knows most is D17 and I dont discuss it with her for obvious reasons.

And she has seen a L but the two of you are 'staying together for the kids'? Does she see that as an in house separation or something else? And have you taken legal advice? Or done anything to protect your finances?

We live in same house with kids, we are pretend friends.  We play it out for the kids, but generally speak little and have no real affection.  To see her everyday and not be with her is agony and i feel so vulnerable even though i try to detach.  Its a tough balancing act.  I have spoken to L and in short the split would be very damaging to me and the kids, financially I would be very restricted in future and the logistics would be very negative for children.  I cannot bear the idea of not seeing my kids half my life. 

Protecting my finances is very tricky as i make most of the income and the payments for all the household go from the joint account in to which my pay is deposited.  Even with both of us working there is no spare money at end of month, so there is little she could take or spend.  We have no access to credit.  I cant control what she does with her wages, but they are low and mostly spent on the kids, she may be storing up some money from her wages, but it is certainly not a large amount.

Offline Father5

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 08:16:10 AM »
Welcome little wing,

Your story is very similar to mine. I only think you handled yours better at BD. My wife has since moved out and we don't talk. But I am working on me as you should work on yourself. You will get stronger in time. Listen to the vets they have some great insight into this mess.
Together 12 yrs Married 5
5 kids 3- Step (21) (20) (18) Two together ( 8 ) (9)
BD1 March 2018 - I wish I could give you more of what you need
BD2 Aug 2018 - I want a divorce sent by text ILWYBNILWY

O/M Discovered Nov-18

Online Treasur

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 08:49:29 AM »
Thanks, LW...that helps us understand a bit more about how things are.

Your depression, and how you dealt with it, is how a fundamentally emotionally healthy person recovers. Your w is a different kettle of fish, a kind of depression are right to not believe much that she says and to see her blame as the twisted coping behaviour that it is.

If it is a comfort, there is very little anecdotal evidence here that either therapy or ADs make much difference once the lid is off the box. It sounds as if you have personal and professional skills that you can use to cope but I hope you understand, and I think you do, that you cannot be any kind of therapist or guide for your wife bc your thoughts are the last she wants to hear. I hope you have read some of Shockand Awe's sister's posts...just her own experience of course but some useful reminders about how different your w's reality might be currently.

I'm pleased you have considered all the sensible practical stuff...albeit none of it produces 'good' answers does it? may want to run a periodic credit check on your wife bc unfortunately MLCers can be tremendously ingenious about finding sources of money to play with, sorry.

I can hear how hard it is for you to live this half-life with someone who looks like your w but isn't. You might want to tell us if there are particular challenges you would welcome advice or suggestions on? There are people here who have survived, and are still sane lol, living with an MLCer in much the way you are.

My two penn'orth fwiw - and I think you instinctively know this - is that you are the cornerstone now for the wellbeing of you and your kids. There are lots of things you can't control and must simply trust that you will cope if or when you must. But I suspect you assume that being the strength like that means looking after others by putting them first? Actually, for now, that is the first thing that needs to need to put you first. Bc if you are not physically and mentally strong and well, you cannot be the cornerstone for your kids. Reading what you have written, that makes me wonder if you need to muse on a couple of things:
- as money is an issue, some kind of free or cheap new activities or hobbies, not work related and ideally either some kind of exercise or something that involves normal humans outside your house. Many here have found exercise better than therapy for anxiety or stress  :)
- your work sounds as if it is emotionally demanding...depending on your situation and key relationships, are there ways in which you can reduce that as your home life is also emotionally stressful? Or even any kind of IC available through EAP at your workplace. Think about yourself as a can't keep pouring stuff out on multiple fronts ad infinitum and your family needs you to be sane and emotionally resilient.
- which brings me to the 'tell no one' principle....again, no one right answer and many here have not told family and friends so as to protect their spouses ability to be as they were again or tbh to avoid dealing with other people's emotions or opinions when dealing with your own is hard enough. But...and it is an important but...that also means you have little or no personal support system for you or your kids, that you are carrying everything alone. You sound like a good, strong decent human but you are only one person with the responsibility for four smaller ones. You might want to muse on this a bit, think creatively perhaps about different kinds of support you might need and where you might find it? And linked to that, start to muse on how you might respond when/if your kids start to ask questions bc as time goes on they might. Most probably your w will be as much use as parental version of a chocolate fireguard for quite a while and all of the adultier adult stuff will fall on your solo shoulders. When you can't talk things over with your spouse as you used to, sometimes it helps to have time to think it over on your own.

Life has brought you to this strange time. It will pass. It does get easier. Time does help. But navigating it sometimes demands new skills or perspectives and we all mostly learn by trial and error. But the basics of your physical and emotional health are vital fuel no matter how things unfold.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 09:05:16 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline terra

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 09:15:55 AM »
Little Wing, welcome. I’m sorry you all are going through this, on top of the difficult stories you tend in your work outside the home and family.

I agree with others here, read the articles here and at HB. No relationship talks. My h did the same, casting the innocuous as controlling or abusive. It’s maddening but it shows you how raw and messed up their MLC mind and ethics are. H made mountains out of molehills for at least three or four years straight. Early this year I put him concisely in place on a few of those things and my brevity about it served as final word. He now knows certain accusations will never be heard by me again. So just trust that your reading and rereading will eventually leverage into your strength and calm boundaries. This takes a good deal of time.

Please do what you can to ensure your daughter and all children are shielded from the mess and details, and that they have a safe support to discuss their feelings and concerns about it all. In my county, in a divorce or custody circumstance, what your w said to your daughter can be legally penalized. Hearing anything like that at 17, I’d have run away too. My heart is with your kids.

You both are a little younger than h and I, but it was around 45 that he started hanging around with 35yos too. Casinos, bars, tons of drinking, totally obnoxious. He vapes too. I’m old school and wish if he were going to do that, he’d just use cigarettes.

It doesn’t seem like it in the moment, but you are going to find your center again. As someone in the helping and healing professions, it may be hard for you to let her be and not to “fix” her. We can’t fix them. Stay close with your kids and keep posting here, and just know you are not alone.

Offline readytofixmyselffirst

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 09:16:46 AM »

I am so sorry that you are here, but it is a great place to receive support from some great people.

Your script is the same as many others, but there are a lot of variables as well. I am going to break this down to four issues that need to be addressed.

1. You and your issues regarding your job, stress, depression, and MLC of your wife.
2. Your wife and her MLC.
3. Your D17
4. The other children in the household.

You have stated you suffered from depression as a result of your position. Due to the high stress of your occupation, you may qualify for therapy from your work. I don't know but some insurance plans offer IC as part of their coverage. Despite your w's MLC and the issues at home, the stress and issues you face at work will continue and it is hard to decompress from one stressful environment to another when you come home.

I don't have the answers as what your work offers varies from state to state. If a grocery clerk develops carpal tunnel syndrome from years of repetitive motion and the store is held liable for the surgery and rehab, I think your occupation may deserve the same consideration.

The one thing is to focus on yourself and the children at home. Think and try to live as if she is never going to come back. I did the "forced" family things and tried to pass it off to the kids and they saw right through it. In fact they said it added to the stress and made the events very uncomfortable because they knew it was fake.

Instead, find activities and things to do on your own or just you and the children. It creates a safe zone for you all to interact away from the presence of your w's MLC. You need to find your own safety zone to decompress and focus on the healing you need for your own system. I exercise. Others garden, paint, write, read, cook, and many other activities that pique their interest and allow them to take their minds off of the MLCer.

Not only will the activity you choose help you deal with the MLCer, it will help you deal with the stress from your job.

Now let's talk about your MLCer. I want to let you know that you can't talk, manipulate, force, or fix her crisis. It is her crisis and she will have to go through the tunnel on her own. Don't let her blame her crisis, actions, and choices on your depression. That is outward projection and are not connected. Lots of people deal with depression and stress of their spouse and they don't solve it by sleeping with the next door neighbor. That was her choice, she owns it.

In my situation, I had a wallower. She did not work and as her crisis continued, I took over more and more. I was cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. She just stayed in her room and did her thing. Looking back, I should not have enabled her. I may have cooked for myself and the kids, but should have made her fix her own meals. Take care of her own car, and if she wants to live a free life, then get a job and pay rent.

Eventually, we divorced and she left. She got a job and has a mortgage. Struggles with finances, but appears to be doing fine. Even though we are not together anymore, both of us are in a better place and so are our children.

The point is that you can't control her or her choices. However, you are not obligated to support her bad decisions nor accept and bend over backwards to appease the monster.

Which brings me to D17. She knows a lot and she sees through her mother. You need to acknowledge and support her. After all, she had her own BD when her mother blew her world apart be admitting to the affair. My ex did the same to my daughter by telling her at the mature and ripe age of 14. "I'm in love with a man that is not your father."

From what I gather, you work with youth that have experienced trauma. Your D is in the same situation and from what I gather, has chosen you over her mother. Remember, children at this age see most issues as black and white-no grays. So don't try to force her to accept her mother, just strengthen your ties and support of her as she heals in her own way.

Then the rest of the children. They may not know about the affair and they don't need to know. However, they don't live in a vacuum and you need to let them know that they are not responsible for the situation.  Based upon their ages, they too will try to choose sides. They may even see you as the villain and attack you. Of course they will attack you because you are safe and they know you won't strike back. That is out of fear and frustration as they feel they have no control.

Try your best to empower them of things they can control. Let them pick a place to eat or what is for dinner from time to time. They can take turns. Keep them focused on school and chores as necessary. Let them know there are issues and they are your and their mother's issues- not theirs.

Your are doing very well considering the circumstances and use my words as a guide, not the final word. I am not in your place. You have to read and select what will work best if any at all. Just know my intent is to support and help you.

((((Hugs)))) to you and your children,


"Always look in the mirror and love what you see."


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