Deep down, you know they should be kept in the loop. But just how much should you tell your kids?
There's no getting around it, getting a divorce is awful. But when you add adultery to it, it's down right gut-wrenching.
And really the only thing that makes a cheating spouse worse is when he's a Dad. If you have kids, the real truth is that your spouse's infidelity wasn't just a violation of your marriage vows, it was also a violation of the vows he made to keep your family intact. Your husband didn't just tear your heart apart, he hurt the innocent lives of his kids. What. A. Jerk.
As a woman trying to make sense of all of this, the real questions are how do your protect your kids? And what's too much to say.
As we think about it, it's probably hard to shelter your kids from all of your pain. Divorce leaves normal scars and weary feelings and it's very likely that your kids will see you breakdown and cry. But that doesn't mean it's wise to tell them everything nor is it smart to make their Dad into the devil in their eyes.
We took this question to attorney Katherine Miller to to discuss what parent's should tell their kids and what's best left unsaid.
In this video, Katherine makes an excellent point about your children's reaction to the news. She says, "You [hate that they're] angry at you for something that wasn't your fault. You want them to know that the marriage is over because of the fault of the other person. Imagine what that does to them though. It is important for them to hear an authentic story from you. But remember that your children are half you, and they're half your husband or wife."
So while your divorce is happening between the two of you, your children will be forever changed by what happens as it unfolds. Kids tell our Experts that their parent's divorce stays with them; that they feel responsible and incredibly sad. As a parent, the very least you can do is help them make sense of it without having to pick who is the good or bad guy.
Remember, your kids shouldn't be collateral damage in your divorce. It's your job to protect them and as hard as it is to not tell them what a lying, cheating, stinkin' Dad they have, ultimately you won't regret taking the higher road and protecting them over venting for a momentary release of your own sadness and anger.
Think about it.