Steve
Hi, just shared my story in the ”fog”- tread, (my wife has an affair and wants out.)
When we tell our kids my wife wants out of the marriage due to her affair and new ”love of her life”, should I still say that I want to save our marriage? (Which is the truth) I still believe we can rebuild our relation but only when she cuts the affair and show some remorse) 
any advice?
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ThrivenotSurvive
How old are your kids?  And how much (if anything) do they know now?
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Keepabuzz
I would be honest with them in age appropriate terms. I wouldn’t tell a lie to them for anything. I would’t Gloss over anything either. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
I agree with Keep.  Kids know far more than you think they do - and they sense even more than that.  If you don't tell them the truth, they will fill in the empty spaces on their own.  Usually with an EVEN WORSE story that features them in some villainous role.  You will see in other threads about kids that I learned the hard way about trying to shield your kids too much from some of the scary/hard parts of life.  It did not protect her and actually led to far more issues later.  

That being said, it does need to be age appropriate.  And you can't put the kids in the middle.  Try to keep to the facts as much as possible without adding a lot of description.  They don't need to know the gory details and they don't need to know that you think their mother has lost her mind or that the AP is a loser who should be run over in the parking lot.  Just that you didn't want Mommy to leave, but she felt that she must.  You are very sad, but you will be there for them and so will their mother.   Or whatever is appropriate in your situation and with the ages of your kids.

You are human - so a small part of you will want them to hate her or at least be very angry with her for doing what she is to your family.  It's only natural - don't beat yourself up about it.  But also don't give into it.  Put yours kids needs first, make sure that they know that you (and she) love for them and are committed to making sure that they get to spend lots of time with you both.  That even though things won't be the same, they can still be good - and that one thing has not changed, nor will it ever - they still have two parents who adore them and want the best for them.  

I really suggest individual therapy both to help your rebuild your confidence - but also to help you navigate the very tricky waters of separation and divorce with grace.  I've seen people do it really well and their kids LOVE them for it.  I was talking to a friend only yesterday about how much he admired his mother for handling his father's leaving her and remarrying someone he'd met in AA.  She never spoke ill of their father, never made the kids feel bad about liking their new step mother and worked with him to co-parent gracefully.   It made the kids lives so much better - and they have immense love and admiration for her courage and compassion as adults - because now they REALLY understand with far more clarity how hard that must have been.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Steve
Thanks for all responses. Our kids are between 8-15 years.
my plan/idea is that my wife tells the kids she wants to leave but I will be present when she does and I will let them know that this is only her choice and not a mutual agreement. No blaming session but I want them to know the truth. 
I strongly believe she has to own her choice to have an affair, to break up our family and I would not help her make this sound like a mutual decision, it would be a lie. 
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UrbanExplorer
Steve wrote:
Thanks for all responses. Our kids are between 8-15 years.
my plan/idea is that my wife tells the kids she wants to leave but I will be present when she does and I will let them know that this is only her choice and not a mutual agreement. No blaming session but I want them to know the truth. 
I strongly believe she has to own her choice to have an affair, to break up our family and I would not help her make this sound like a mutual decision, it would be a lie. 


If you're not sure if this is a permanent split, you could frame it as a crisis or difficulty in the marriage and a separation for now. I will say, my oldest kid was damaged by learning of my affair and the possibility of divorce, and I never even actually moved out. Your wife probably underestimates this. You will have to be ready to support them emotionally. 
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Phoenix
In our case our kids are 17 and 23. My BS did not want to tell them until he was certain if he wanted to save the marriage. So we did what Urban said. We told them that we were having strong issues and we were trying to work things out. As of now 33 months later we still haven’t split and he still doesn’t know if he wants to save the marriage. I feel if we would of told them that it would have been an unnecessary pain for them. My BS does not want to give them that pain. 
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Keepabuzz
We didn’t tell our kids anything, because neither of us moved out. They knew “something” big happened, and they knew it was my wife’s fault. I left for a few days. I told the kids it was a business trip, which was usual.  My 2 older girls were in constant contact with me. Checking on me, asking if they would get to live with me if we got divorced, etc. They did not want to live with my wife. The entire time I was gone my wife was at home with our kids, and they didn’t speak a word to her. Not one.  

If if I had decided to divorce, I would have had my wife tell them the truth. That she betrayed me and started a relationship with someone else, and because of that we were getting divorced. I would have been ok with her saying she didn’t want the divorce, but I did. Because that would have also been the truth. But the kids would have been told the truth.

In the early days I was trying to decide if I should tell the kids or not. Of course my wife didn’t want them to know what she had done, I literally couldn’t have cared less what she wanted. I was trying to do the right thing by my kids. I decided after much thought to not tell them unless I left. With 2 caveats. One, If any of them experience infidelity, I will immediately tell them. Second, if we divorce in the future, I will tell them.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Steve
My situation now is that she wants out but I will stay in the house with the kids. Idf ahe wants to leave me and live her fantasy she can also find a solution. Probably move in with affair partner straight away. 
This week we’re on holiday with the kids and just having a great time with our kids. Even though there is no physical contact between us since she’s still in her affair. 
Off to dinner now but thanks for support and your thoughts.
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JORGE
She may see herself as the bad person and seen as the victim in some perverted way or justify her leaving. So if possible, ask what she's going to say and anticipate blaming you possibly. So, you may want to get her to agree to stick with the facts. Facts are, she's leaving to live with another man and you wish to remain together as a family. 

Also, wouldn't be a bad idea to anticipate the following questions from the kids.

Where will mom be living?
Is mom gone forever?
Why is mom leaving us? (big one)
How long? 
Are you and mom divorcing? 
Day to day living changes?
School? 
Who's the other guy (unlikely, but you want to be prepared),
Dinner and domestic house management, or basically any activity that your wife engaged with the kids that she won't be available to do so now.  
Will we be staying with Mom sometime? 

Your strength and resolve will be needed for the kids to feel as safe as possible, during this very unstable period. As said before, focus on you and the kids only. If you have the finances/insurance to do so, consider getting independent counseling immediately and a support system, which we at AH can provide you to some degree. Keep us posted and well wishes Steve.
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JORGE
If you have a moment or two privately, you may want to begin discussing asset separation and divorce with her. I'm not suggesting you divorce necessarily (although I would) , but if that is her wish, start the ball rolling Steve. Speak confidently and in a detached, matter of fact way the best you can. One thing it will do is show her you are heeding her wishes and she no longer can count on you as a safe backup plan.

Security is a key component of a wayward's actions and with it being removed, the finality of her decisions will begin to be revealed, as well as the consequences. The message is I'm now looking out for me and my kids and since you're no longer on our team, let's formalize our status. 

Don't expect her to reverse course, but it will reverse the power dynamic between you two, as it will tell her you are no longer waiting for her, and in fact taking control of your life and that of your kids. The days of hoping, wondering, wishing and waiting are over. You now steer the ship and have an idea of what course to plot and proceed forward with your destiny, which she has chosen to not be part of.  

It's unfair for you and the kids to be in limbo while she takes her boyfriend for a test ride to see if he's a potential long term partner. You are now the sole caretaker of your children's emotional stability. Your wife has shown incapable of putting you and the family first. My take based on your comments of her wanting out is that she feels he's the one. If this is the case, why wait around to see what the future holds?

Getting out of infidelity is the goal, not necessarily divorce. Just removing you and the kids from riding on the emotional roller coaster of a wife/mother in limerence, and whose heart lies elsewhere. Limerence is probably a very accurate description of her emotional state, as few women are willing to walk away from a husband, 4 children and home with the conviction and certainty she has demonstrated. She's gone and I recommend proceeding forth accordingly.

Lastly, I would protect you and your family by filing for divorce. The clock starts ticking the moment you file and the period of which it becomes final is finite. It serves many purposes, most importantly is it guarantees you and your family are permanently removed from the uncertainty of limbo and infidelity brings. It also forces her to really come to terms with what she wants in life.

Yes, she has made her decision to where she wants to be. But she hasn't had to make the decision for real and permanently. She's made a fantasy decision to leave. The finality of divorce forces her to make a real decision with a real time line and real consequences. If she wakes up and you determine she's capable of being who you need her to be for you and your family, then you can withdraw the filing. If not, divorce is months away and your course is set. Nothing is lost with filing in my opinion. 

It's a little like foreclosure. When the bank notifies you, the process doesn't stop when you decide you can make back payments. It's not UNTIL you make back payments and meet the terms of reinstatement that the foreclosure is cancelled. So, it's all action and promises aren't even acknowledged. Same thing with your wife Steve. No words should satisfy or permit you to call off the divorce. Only actions. Waywards will do anything to get what they want. Hell, they'll even abandon their family, as you can see. 
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