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Adult children, adultery and divorce

  • JCS
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22 May 12 #332328 by JCS
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My daughter is 18 and just finishing A levels. At the end of June we have to tell her that we are splitting up after 32 years of marriage and this is due to her Dad having an affair. There''s plenty of info about younger children and how they react but not much about older teenager and young adults. I''d really appreciate so views on this, thanks:(

  • flowerofscotland
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22 May 12 #332335 by flowerofscotland
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Hello and welcome to Wiki. I have to be honest, regardless of the age of your children, your separation will have an effect on any family involved. The fact that you and your husband have been together for a lifetime and more, may just upset any children involved as hard, regardless of age, the difference I think will be that as adults they may just be able to be a little bit more impartial and digest and process the situation far quicker than a younger child. I honestly think it will be hard for all concerned as divorce is not something I would recommend, although like so many here adultery is the final straw that anyone with any pride in themselves will not tolerate! There is no excuse for it.

Take care for now FoS x

  • sun flower
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22 May 12 #332342 by sun flower
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Hi JCS. I am so sorry to hear about your husbands affair. Awful for you.

I believe uni and college support systems are inundated with students who are just starting their courses and find out their parents are splitting for one reason and another. A local Uni or college student support center might be a good place to ring and ask where to get the information you require.

And, not directly in answer to your question - I would recommend two books. Runaway Husbands by Vikki Stark and Rebuilding when a relationship ends by Fisher and Alberti - in that order.

Blog on the site to express feelings or post on the forum as you have done for information.

Is your daughter and only child? Does she have cousins, friends, grandparents etc who can offer stability and support. You may have it under control, but you may find you may ''lost the plot'' a little if further revalations come out. Beware of the leaver rewriting history so that everything you believed to be true gets turned on it''s head for a while (Until you realise they are turning the cogs messing with your past and future and you are able to take control again.)

This is perhaps more than you wanted. I hope I have not overstepped the mark. Good luck with your daughter.

  • Lostboy67
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22 May 12 #332345 by Lostboy67
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At 18 years of age it is difficult because although in law they are adult, really they don''t have the life lessons that someone of say 40 does. Its always wise to remember that they are still your children and what they believed was the foundation of their lives is being blown apart.


  • Nota
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22 May 12 #332346 by Nota
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Your right, there is nothing for older kids when dealing with divorce.
Our children were 17 & 13 when he crossed to the dark side! We''d been together for over 20-odd yrs also.
Came as a complete shock to us all.

The effect on our kids has been awful. We have one of each. They leaned on each other at times. Daughter found help with her friends, our Son was a bit alone. School was a scruggle for him, he went completely off the rails, it badly affected his grades and ended up mixing with the wrong crowd!

Our daughter was admitted to hospital with a clot on her brain...scary stuff. Her father was more concerned with the bargirl than her, he never came back to see her!

His actions have led to where we are now, they are 20 & 17 now. Their feelings towards him now are that.....as their dad, they love him still because that''s what he is.
As for any respect.....erm no, he''s lost that well and truly. They think he''s an Absolute tw_t.

There feelings towards relationships and children for themselves in the future......they won''t have a bar of it. They''ve seen the effects and how it destroys, they both don''t want it.

As their mum, I feel I''ve let them down badly. We''re now a family of 3, we support each other the best we can....even when we have wobbles and tears!

There will come a day though, when those tears are replaced by smiles

Take care

  • Crumpled
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22 May 12 #332347 by Crumpled
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Hi JCS sorry that you find yourself here.I was in a similar position last year daughter doing a levels son gcse little one changing secondary schools at 13 so lots of changes and stress .
Do not be surprised if your children suspect my daughter 1 who was 18 was racked with guilt when it came out because she had overheard her father on the telephone at christmas in the early hours of the morning when he thought there was no one there and she felt awful that she hadnt told me but she hadnt really or didnt want to put 2 and 2 together.
My children have reacted in different but along the same lines but its really sad to see especially after a such a stable childhood as my eldest daughter says she loves her daddy but has no respect for him she also thinks he is incredibly selfish as she knows it could have come out over her exams.
My son is autistic and doesnt really know what to do.
My little one could easily hate her father but i have bitten my lip and tried not to talk about anything in front of them....
Scaryclaire is bang on the money about rewriting the history of your marriage so do not be surprised if that happens....as my stbx told our children our marriage was over 5 years ago (together for 30) in counselling that ranged from anything from a year to virtually our whole marriage which is Absolute rubbish as we were really happy until my husband was 50 (2 years ago)
One thing i would say is the truth does come out I think at one point my stbx had our children almost believing the rubbish he was spouting but then he took them on holiday and spent the whole time on the phone/text/bbm to at least 3 other women and our children were disgusted and appalled with him...........and couldnt believe what i had put up with and my eldest is begging for me to divorce him.
I am just rolling with it ...i have a counsellor who is great and i run stuff via her and she helps me with what to say do etc with regard to the children i also asked my children if they wanted counselling but they have declined so far
sorry to ramble on and i am not sure whether i have answered your question good luck with all of it i will think of you!!

  • pixy
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22 May 12 #332355 by pixy
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Yes she will be upset. Mine are a bit older than your daughter. My stbx did not want them to know about his affair. He still keeps it a secret. I agreed not to tell them but one sussed it and one asked me point blank. I wasn''t going to lie. One seems to handle it well and understands that the affair stems from some sort of breakdown; one is really angry at him, but nevertheless is very anxious about doing anything that seems to indicate that she''s taken sides.

I think you have to be honest - but not brutally so. Don''t hide your hurt but don''t burden your daughter with your emotions. The last thing you or she needs is to turn her into piggy in the middle. Don''t ***** your stbx off; don''t play the blame game even if he does. No matter how tempting it is to look to your daughter for emotional support, don''t do it. You are the adult; you have to look as though you are coping, no matter how hard it is. Your new wiki friends are here to help you through this - lean on us.

Remember that if your stbx''s affair lasts (and that might be a big if) she will have to forge some kind of relationship with the ow.


Edited to add that wiki turned a word into asterisks but it wasn''t a bad word! Wiki can''t tell the difference between a verb and a noun ...

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