Journal Entry: Thursday, January 14, 2014 (the evening)
We decided that our boys should know the truth about their Father’s behavior and his addiction diagnosis. Our children are both college age and I don’t keep secrets. Maybe I should actually say I thought our children should know the truth because that is how I live my life: open, honest and truthful. In addition, I truly believe that it will take our entire little family to help get my husband through this mess, if he is able to get through it. My husband has spent his entire life hiding behind his secrets. I will not be a party to the abuse any longer. My husband did not argue. It was also my wish that he tell them, and he did. Our younger son had been at home last Saturday when No Caller ID finally got through to me on my mobile and subsequently turned my life upside down. There was absolutely no way I would be able to hide the pain from him. Life is just that way sometimes. He doesn’t know all the details, but he does know his Father has been lying to us all for many years and that he betrayed me, and our marriage, and that his father is a sex addict. We are trying to supply him with answers as quickly as we find them, and when he shows interest, but he is definitely angry at his father.
Our older son is out of the country, so it took a while to connect with him, but my husband did tell him today and our son immediately asked to speak with me. My husband cried while I cried on the phone with our child. This is the first time I have seen my husband cry since this whole discovery mess started. This makes me believe that he has remorse and feels compassion towards what he has done to our children, namely putting his own needs before theirs, and now stealing away a bit of their innocence, but that he does not seem to be able to mourn for the shit he has put me through. Supposedly this is part of the addiction, but I have to say, it sucks! My extremely mature, wise beyond his years, 22-year-old son actually comforted me. He told me whatever had happened with “Daddy” that it wasn’t my fault and that Daddy needed to get help. That I should be strong knowing I did things right and he loved me. I told him that sometimes adults make horrible mistakes, this time it was his father, but that it did not negate the overwhelming love we both have for him and always will. He already knew this.
I spent so many years making sure my boys did not have a childhood like their father’s. While I was nurturing his children, he was cheating, repeatedly. Everyone tells me he gushes about me all the time, talks about me endlessly, puts me up on a pedestal. Why does he do this? Is he trying to talk himself into it? If I am so great, why does he stray? According to a book I am reading, supposedly this is not about me. He compartmentalized me and my feelings out of his addictive life. I WANT TO SCREAM! How could it not be about me? How can I not feel like dirt on his shoe? For years I am home making breakfast for our kids, getting them to school, picking them up, taking them to sports, music, art, whatever their hearts’ desire. Reading them books at night and bonding with them. Loving them. I gave them the best mother I could be. I work full time at our company, I volunteer, I pay the bills, I take care of the house, I give him sex and all the other parts of me that go along with being a partner. I trusted him. He cheated. Is it all a lie? Did he not want marriage or children? Did he just go along, all the while resenting me for forcing things on him, the way he resents his parents? In all this, I do not want our sons to behave like their father and I do not want them to feel unloved. I do not want them to feel like their childhood was a lie. My parents divorced when I was six. My parents chose unwisely. They were much too young when they got married, but it was just what their kind of people did back then. The memories are painful to me. Not the memories of the separation or the divorce, but the memories of the arguing and the fighting… of a love dying. I didn’t want that for my children. I thought I chose more wisely. I wanted safety and security and love and nurturing and everything. I wanted everything good for them and nothing bad. How does it feel to know that their Dad betrayed their Mom? I didn’t want my boys to feel any pain at the hands of their parents. The world will bring them pain. I did the best I could.
2 thoughts on “The loss of innocence”
Telling your kids is a tough choice. Mine span many ages. My older two know, I often wonder because I wanted so bad to protect them from ugly if I made a mistake on that choice.
Deciding whether to tell the children truly is a very difficult and painful decision. Some are just too little to understand. I made the decision to tell our boys immediately, on dday actually. I did not do it to punish my husband and further complicate the lives of my sons. I did it because I am an honest and open person and my boys know this about me and I couldn’t imagine trying to keep it from them considering my complete and utter transformation from super mom to super depressed mom. I went from doing everything, to doing nothing. Many days I wish I could have been stronger, and I do wish they never had to know such a thing… many days I wish I did not know. The therapists say wishing I did not know the truth is not a way to live, but it worked fine for me for 15 years. They don’t agree. We’re still working on that.