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Author Topic: My Story I just found out I am an LBS

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My Story Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#60: November 16, 2019, 06:52:57 AM
Hi Treasur, Thunder  thanks for your help.

Treassur no apology necessary- all my experience with supporting young people in crisis has not made me any clearer about my decisions regarding my own daughter, although it may have given me more skills to support her mental health and her studies.

I dont want to interfer in W and D17s R - i just dont want to be the person who messes it up, even though the person actually responsible is my W.  In some ways my D17 has seen enough monster herself without me adding to the awful truth.  I will think long and hard about what D17 needs to know. 

Certainly i will not take the blame, but I am unsure Thunder if when we tell the kids that not saying that the split was mutual is damaging to them - much that i have read implies that mum and dad should say the split is mutual decision?

My W is working fairly low paid jobs and i have no major concerns about sharing custody  with her in future, although I totally accept that she will demand more financially than she has stated.  Until we work out some figures together, which requires W to initiate investigations on benefits she will receive, I dont know if i can afford to keep this house, (which i would prefer as my kids have only ever known one home, here).

I will get further legal advice after Christmas when i can afford.  I am happy to separate first, agree a financial settlement and then divorce.

So survival is detachment as all here at HS know.

I will keep reading and sitting quietly. 

I dont wear my wedding ring any more.


Thank you both for taking the time to reply to me.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#61: November 16, 2019, 07:11:18 AM
Other parents here will come along to share their experience of what and how they told the kids (weekends are often a bit quieter)

Fwiw from me as a Non child owner lol....when your world goes bonkers and uncertain, I happen to believe that unembroidered factual truths matter very much. And that the truth tends to come out eventually anyway but withholding the truth can damage trust, particularly with older kids and young adults. You don't have to say everything but what you do say should be the truth imho. If it isn't a mutual decision, don't lie that it is and inadvertently gaslight them even if your intentions are good. Jmo. Although you can't control what your w does or doesn't say of course, only what you do.

MLC spouses can be bizarrely slow about getting important info and docs together even for a divorce/separation they say they want. Particularly if the current situation suits them quite well in some ways. And they do lie a lot unfortunately. If there is benefits/finance info that you can gather without involving your w, you might find that easier? And you might want to figure out if you can keep the house and if it will be their primary home before any big announcements  as younger kids will often want to know if they will have to move schools, home, friends etc.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 07:14:22 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 https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#62: November 16, 2019, 08:15:10 AM
Little Wing, as a parent I’m of the mind that a child’s relationship between itself and each parent is exactly that: the relationship between itself and *that* parent, which the other parent does not really have right to change or control except if someone is at risk for harm. So if your w wants out, it’s her responsibility to explain that to the children herself.

The trouble is that she is off her nut and may say all kinds of unexpected and untrue or even damaging things to justify her behavior and to avoid being “blamed” or held accountable for it. As well as to avoid the sheer pain and guilt of knowing she is either/both lying to their faces and also hurting them very much.

To be quite honest, in my current state of the union, I would tell either of our kids (D15, S20) that h was leaving us in order to do some needed self work and because we do not deserve and will not tolerate his crap behaviors in our house and home. We need to be able to live in peace right now. He will always be welcome home, but *with respect* in place. As long as he is lashing out or [insert any or all unacceptable MLC behaviors], he can do it elsewhere. Just because we are family and love him does not mean we tolerate or overlook what is wrong.

But I don’t really have that situation. H lives far away now with ow2.

About cats: h and ow2 went through several. I think an MLCer with a new pet is sort of like a kindergartner with one, in that the responsibility is sort of beyond their scope and also that the commitment just isn’t there. I’m not sure if you did wind up with a new cat; if you haven’t, I’d say don’t.

After our old cat died, or in the few years leading up to her death, H used to say “If you want a box of *sh!t* in your house, get a cat!” Now he lives with ow2, unbelievably, named Kat. So I’m not a fan of cats at this time.

But bias aside, and even if we were talking about dogs instead, I think it’s probable that a new addition to your life may be a foil or distraction for anything else going on. It may be good for the kids, but someone is still going to have to deal with the litterbox every day.

The commitment level of MLCers, as far as I’ve seen with h and all the rest, is very, very low, and very distractable. Your w may be all in for one thing one moment, and within a week, may not remember ever wanting that thing at all.

Last but not least, our kids are very clear that something is going badly. I understand firsthand the need and desire to protect them from it, but in the case of family separation or fragmenting, we can’t. From my own perspective and experience as both a child of divorce and having parented two children of divorce, may I offer that it may be ok for you to be plainspoken with your kids about what is happening and why. Briefly, but acknowledging that there are changes coming and we hope it will give us all a rest and some peace. That we do not expect it to be this way forever, but just need the time apart for right now. That of course we still love.

The hard part is knowing and feeling that the MLC spouse/parent will come home again. All I can say is that therapy (especially EMDR) and prayer and ongoing caring times with the kids do help. Stay steady and stay open and available to your kids as they adapt. I feel for you and hope you will continue to keep us updated.
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 08:18:38 AM by terra »

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#63: November 16, 2019, 10:29:00 AM
I am weighing in on D17. There is zero need for you to run to D17 and say"Your mom is having an affair", so you don't have to worry that YOU will cause anything between D17 and her mom. D17 isn't stupid and does likely know what is going on and her stress may be that she wants to tell you but doesn't know if she should.  If D17 asks, infers, mentions anything about her mom having an affair, you will need to NOT deny it exists. Also make sure she knows she can talk to you. There is difference between not mentioning (the sin of omission) and covering up (that would be gaslighting). This is actually true for all of your kids.  They need to know their perceptions are valid, even if it makes them sad. Sad is better than feeling crazy.

IMO, when the time comes to tell them you are splitting, the words "Your mother has found someone else she wants to be with so we are divorcing." are fine if delivered as factual They are the TRUTH. Many will disagree with me, but I am of a mind that sugar coating unacceptable behavior makes it look like it's ok. Then why wouldn't your kids decide if it was ok mom did this, it's ok for me to do this? Not what I want to teach my kids. But I don't want them to think that what was said was vindictive, either. Just a fact now they know, not what you want eithrr but you can't control anyone else's actions, just your own.

D17 needs someone to talk to. Does she have a counselor?
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#64: November 16, 2019, 10:41:46 AM
I have one other opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Life is full of good and bad things and everything in between. Divorce is horrible for kids, no doubt. Trying to make something that feels bad to them into some kind of kumbaya, let's pretend mom didn't blow up the whole family makes it more confusing. Learning to deal with unpleasant things in a healthy way  is part of the growing and growing up experience. The truth is easier to deal with and process through than fabrication or avoidance. Give your kids the gifts of being able to feel how they want to feel about the reality of the situation when the time comes to tell them.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#65: November 16, 2019, 08:18:04 PM
“They need to know their perceptions are valid, even if it makes them sad. Sad is better than feeling crazy.”

What OffRoad says here about informing or responding to the kids is golden.

If it helps, when my mother separated from my stepdad, two adult siblings understood and were completely fine with her reasons, if also sad. I am the oldest and I was devastated. But the other kids had lived with our parents longer and had seen whichever parent acting out, and had suffered the tension and disharmony in the house much more directly than I ever had, and for much longer. So they saw firsthand many reasons that the separation was a good thing, and to my astonishment, were even relieved.

If you are to separate, you may find that your children cultivate their own relationships with each other differently and in deeper, stronger ways than they might have otherwise. And again, that can be a beautiful contract between each child and it’s sibling, or collectively all of them together.

I sure feel for all of you and will continue to hope for your family best.   
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#66: November 17, 2019, 04:30:31 AM
Hi All

just for clarification - D17 has been told twice in last two years (PA1, PA2) by W that she has had an affair, see first post of story for details.  D17 knows exactly why we are intending to split.

 I have put no pressure on D17 to keep this secret - i have just decided that D15, D13 and S11 do not need to know that from me.  I have seen the effect of this knowledge on D17 and it has been awful, she is still dealing with the fall out now and the damage to her R with her mum is massive.  D17 had her AD dose double last month.

If D17 tells her siblings I will be honest with them and support D17 in this decision, otherwise I intend to hold my tongue.

 I expect my position to change as my kids grow up and ask more Qs.

There are nothing but bad answers to this problem.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#67: November 17, 2019, 11:06:54 AM
I had thought D17 knew, but the way I read your recent post made me think she didn't.  Keeping this from her siblings is likely very hard on her. Wondering why you are putting up with it is also likely very hard as is the knowledge that if you decide you've had enough, her family will fall apart. Of COURSE her relationship with her mum will be strained. If SHOULD be. You can't behave like a selfish fool and expect everyone to thinks it's ok.

I can only go by the things that S20 and D23 have told me over the years: watching me put up with crappy behavior from their dad confused them. Keeping secrets from me stressed them. Not knowing the truth of the situation made them afraid to say anything to anyone. Being afraid to hurt anyone made them upset. D and I recently had a "lay everything out on the table" Skype session, and things between us are more calm because she isn't hiding things to "protect" anyone.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#68: November 18, 2019, 04:32:36 AM
LW,

In my situation, xW ABD'd me and the kids all on the same day, them right after me. She started off with "Daddy and I have decided..." and I cut her off right there and said, "No, you have decided." My kids were 8 and 4 at the time.  S(now12) has a difficult R with his mom and blames her for the D (I do NOT encourage the blame game even if he is correct) and D(now 8) still, until recently, has harboured the idea that xW and I will get back together someday.

I can't offer anything more than that. Neither kid knows about the PA and it is not my place to tell them. xW will most certainly NOT say anything to them about it as it was a short-term fling that didn't go well.... And it would mean that she can not hide from the responsibility / accountability of her own actions...

UM
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#69: November 18, 2019, 05:07:29 AM
Thank you all for your input.  There are no easy answers. 

Certainly if my kids were older I would be more honest.  I think the ages are crucial.

Having seen D17 BDed before i was (after PA2), i never want my other kids to look at their mum like that.

On balance I think I may feel less guilty not mentioning PAs than mentioning it, but it is a close call and i really appreciate the different views expressed - i have held all these views at one point or another in the last two years of hell.

LW
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