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My son is keeping secrets

Posted by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM
  • 10 Replies

I am separated from my husband.  I thought I had a great relationship with my 10 year old son.  Three weeks ago my husband's deadbeat girlfriend and son (and also my ex-best friend) moved in together.  My ex told my son to not tell mommy, he would tell me.  Well it was three weeks and a neighborhood person shared the news with me.

I am extremely hurt my son didnt tell me and having trouble moving on.  My son is very happy that they moved in together and I feel like he would be happier there than here.  Anyone have advice for me?

My ex is an alcoholic.  That is why I left.



by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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krisnkids
by Silver Member on Jun. 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM

You are in a similar situation to what I was in 5 years ago. My husband and I were going through a divorce and he remarried my now ex-friend and former nanny. Dad told kids not to tell mom. I found out by looking at something for my children's insurance (in ex's name) and the new wife's name was listed.

First I would say since it is all pretty fresh, your son is probably quite insightful and knows that anything he says about dad and his gf is going to hurt your feelings. So he probably was okay with not saying anything. For that he deserves credit, kids aren't stupid, and I'm sure he wants you to be happy.

Talk to your son, let him know that he can tell you things no matter what. Do not bring up dad moving in with gf, you know it, him having to tell you is not worth it. Let him know that no matter what, he can talk to you. You may get sad or mad, but it will never change how much you love him.

raegan1221
by Raegan on Jun. 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Your son is in a really hard spot. I would sit down with him and explain to him or remind him that there are no secrets especially like that. He probably just likes it over there and that is a good thing. You want him to be happy when he's with his Dad..or at least that's how I feel with my son.

aimalah
by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I am so hurt he didnt tell me.  His dads hows has a family feeling.  Im here alone.  Does that mean he wants to live there?  He says no but I cant remarry or move in with anyone according to my separation agreement.  Thats fine with me but its small here and his dad lives in our big house with the mercedes.  Where I live that is a big deal and I spoil him.  Im very confused and sad.  

steviechick
by Gold Member on Jun. 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM

It is sad knowing that your ex has moved on.  I was almost in the same situation you are in now.  Only exception was that my ex was cheating on me with a co-worker, and had fathered two kids behind my back all while he was active duty. 

He actually told our daughter of his affair even before he had the courage and respect to tell me.  He even showed up with his son he fathered with his tramp in the back seat of his car.  He simply pulled up into our drive-way and then explained to our then 17 year old daughter about his disgusting affair.  So, basically, our daughter met her half-brother at that moment.  To be told of an affair AND a half-sibling is devistating.  My ex told our daughter before he told me because he wanted to somehow win her over to his side of explanation.  He didn't even have the guts, respect nor decency to tell me first.  Even after 26 years of marraige - I still was nothing to him.  My ex is selfish fool for doing this to our daughter.  It was totally unjustified.  BOTH me and our daughter deserved better respect then this.

I'm still hurt for what my ex did to me.  Had he just come clean about his affair - at least after the first three or four times he slept with his tramp, it would have been a bigger difference in how our daughter relates to her father and, his kids wouldn't have born in wedlock.  My daughter is still going through a tough time accepting what her father did behind our backs.  We were a family and my ex simply tore that to shreds. 

My advice to you is to try and talk to your son about respecting women.  Your ex obviously didn't respect you when he decided to pursue your nanny.   I would hope that even though your ex is with this nanny she was a huge part of your son's life while you and your ex were married.  Don't be hurt about your son not telling you.  He didn't want you to be hurt.  My daughter didn't want to hurt me as well.  She and your son were put into vicarious positions at a young age by their stupid fathers.   I wanted to kill my ex for what he did, but eventually realized just how screwed up my ex is.  How mentally ill he is.  There are other things he's done before and after our separation, but it's too detailed. 

I also realized just how much of a scumbag he is and I'm much better off without him in my life.  How truly lucky I am to have him out of my life.  Your son (like my daughter) was put into a bad spot because our exes decided to make amends with their kids rather then with their ex wives for what they did.  I know my ex felt shame for himself and wanted so badly to win our daughter over.  He's a very disturbed person.  He also has to know he's scum for keeping this a secret for as long as he did.   Your ex should have told you of his relationship with the nanny - a friend of yours.  He decided to be selfish and cruel instead.  Be mad at him.  Hug your son and keep that honesty and communication open while he's a young man.  I hope his father's actions has taught him about honesty, respect and making good life choices.

woodstock525
by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Quoting aimalah:

I am so hurt he didnt tell me.  His dads hows has a family feeling.  Im here alone.  Does that mean he wants to live there?  He says no but I cant remarry or move in with anyone according to my separation agreement.  Thats fine with me but its small here and his dad lives in our big house with the mercedes.  Where I live that is a big deal and I spoil him.  Im very confused and sad.  

First, I don't think it is right that your ex involved your son in an adult situation.  It was your ex's responsibility to share the news with you.  However, just as your son shouldn't have been asked to keep the secret from you; it is also unreasonable to ask him basically to tell you about everything that goes on at his dad's.

I had to learn the hard way from my daughter who at age 8/9 told me that she wasn't going to tell me about her dad's just like she didn't tell him about my life.  She didn't want to be in the middle and set specific boundaries which was a very mature thing of her to do at that age. 

What you're feeling I also felt years ago after my divorce from my son's dad.  He married the woman he was cheating on me with...a woman with her own house and five kids.  I was scared crapless that he would want to fight me for custody and that my son would want to go live with him because they were a family...or at least my definition of a family...and I felt threatened by that so much that it consumed me as much as his having been unfaithful did.  Because I was so threatened, I did what I should not have and engaged in PAS to discourage my son from seeing his dad because I was so angry with what his dad did...it ended up damaging my son more than if I had just left things alone.  As I said I was consumed with the wrong that I had been done...just like the OP.  It wasn't until I learned to let it go and that what he did since we were divorced was none of my business and certainly nothing to be shared with my son, that I was able to move on, get healthy, and find a good relationship.

Your son can't just decide that he wants to go live with his dad.  And, most courts will not go for a change in custody unless there has been a drastic change in circumstances typically involving children's services and abuse.  So, I don't think you have much to worry about.  You need to live your life separate from your ex and you need to allow your son to feel good about enjoying his time with your ex and his new family just as he enjoys spending time with you.  It's not a competition and I would caution against spoiling him if you are doing it to 'keep up with' the ex.  It can backfire...it did with my stepdaughter.  She unfortunately became a very demanding and self-centered thing as a result.


WatchmansMoon
by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM
1 mom liked this

This has got to be painful, sorry you're facing this.  From your son's perspective, he loves both of his parents.  If his dad's an alcoholic in the beginning of a new relationship (honeymoon stage), things are probably all rosey right now.  Unless he gets treatment for his disorder, however, that will not last.  If I were your son, I'd want to be around my dad at this time, too.  He's probably not used to "family life" with dad going so nicely as it is right now.  But, we all know that will eventually change. 

Regarding the secret:  as adults, we all understand that your ex instructing your son not to tell you his "news" is not a good idea, but for a 10 yr old, I can really see why he didn't tell you.  1) It would have been an emotionally difficult conversation because he wouldn't want to hurt you, AND, 2) his dad told him not to (which was wrong of your ex, of course.)  What would you think about sitting down with your son and explaining that you know about what's going on with his dad, and yes, it's painful and makes you angry as well, but secrets like that only make the pain worse later?  Maybe mention that his dad was wrong to ask him to keep a secret like that, but that you understand and are not angry with him?  He could learn a valuable life lesson about relationships and how to respond better later.

There's a "Successful Co-Parenting" article at http://bit.ly/16nYEBL that you may be interested to read, too.  Hugs and blessings to you!

 

easinpc
by Gold Member on Jun. 14, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Hugs!

raegan1221
by Raegan on Jun. 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM
1 mom liked this

 I'm so sorry:(. I'm sure that is really hard. My son also has more of a "family" setting at his Dad's. He has his Dad, Dad's girlfriend and now his half brother over there...they have a house, go cart track, horses, etc...the works in his little brain lol. But...honestly, it's not about material things..those just go so far. It's about the love and family that you give him when he's with you. With my son, he never wants to live there because he knows that we are a family. We may be small and it may just be the two of us right now but we are family and I am home. I would bet your son feels the same way. :)

Quoting aimalah:

I am so hurt he didnt tell me.  His dads hows has a family feeling.  Im here alone.  Does that mean he wants to live there?  He says no but I cant remarry or move in with anyone according to my separation agreement.  Thats fine with me but its small here and his dad lives in our big house with the mercedes.  Where I live that is a big deal and I spoil him.  Im very confused and sad.  

 

aidensmom0407
by Member on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

 I think you should explain to your child that adults should never ask children to keep secrets.  And if anyone (adult) tells you to keep a secret that he should tell you.  Explain to him, Mommy doesn't ask you to keep secrets from anyone right?  and mostly the reason for this is becasue you wouldn't want something worse to be happening, god forbid someone touches him a certain way and tells him not to say anything, you want him to come to you and know that it's not ok for adults and children to have secrets. 

Perle1
by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM


I think this is the best advice I've seen. Nothing to add.

Quoting krisnkids:

You are in a similar situation to what I was in 5 years ago. My husband and I were going through a divorce and he remarried my now ex-friend and former nanny. Dad told kids not to tell mom. I found out by looking at something for my children's insurance (in ex's name) and the new wife's name was listed.

First I would say since it is all pretty fresh, your son is probably quite insightful and knows that anything he says about dad and his gf is going to hurt your feelings. So he probably was okay with not saying anything. For that he deserves credit, kids aren't stupid, and I'm sure he wants you to be happy.

Talk to your son, let him know that he can tell you things no matter what. Do not bring up dad moving in with gf, you know it, him having to tell you is not worth it. Let him know that no matter what, he can talk to you. You may get sad or mad, but it will never change how much you love him.



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