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We were like this during the affair . We seemed to WorkWell together but the couple part was missing. I was not happy and felt like I was doing it alone iduring the height (?) of the affair.

When it all came out and I was a mess, my H would come home and the kids were all "mommy was sad today!" Thinking he could fix it ☹️
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It's all so hard. I really don't know what my response would have been if my children were younger.

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My son is 8 and my daughter is 6.  They adore their Dad and they have a very happy life.  They may be aware of occasional tension, but it doesn't happen often in front of them, it never reaches the point of shouting or anything nasty.  As far as they are aware we are a happy family unit, they see Mum and Dad being affectionate, they experience signs that we care about each other and therefore I think they would be shocked and confused at an announcement that Daddy was leaving.

At their age I have no idea how we would explain it!  Daddy has fallen in love with someone else?  Mummy and Daddy are not in love anymore?  When do you introduce the AP into all of it.  I think it would be hard enough for them to accept the family unit has been broken apart, let alone get used to them seeing their Dad with someone else. 

I have never really sat down to wonder what sort of parent I would be if I was single.  I would have none of the stress and anxiety of the situation as it is now, so in some ways they might start to experience a much happier me.  To be honest I have probably felt this way for so long that this feels like my 'normal'.  But maybe I might turn into a much better parent if he left....who knows. 

Anna26 - yes I am probably far too guilty of over thinking and imagining all the possible scenarios , it's hard not to.  I wish sometimes I could be more selfish (like my husband!) and just do what is right for me.
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Fionarob, I feel for you so much. Your children are so young and of course you want to make them safe. It says a lot about you that you would put them first. Didn't we all wish our WSes had that kind of outlook before the affair?

My children are older (13 and 16), and because of the way the A came out they knew about it from the start. They still love their dad and have a great relationship with him. We've used it as an opportunity to show that people do awful things, but it doesn't make them awful people.

If this was a normal separation I'd say that you and your husband could work together to make them feel safe despite living in separate homes. But because you don't trust him, and he's doing nothing to win back your trust, that may not be possible.

I do think if things hadn't improved for us I would have asked for a separation. I also think it would have scared me to death. It's not a decision you take lightly. But the likelihood is our children will go through things like this in their own relationships in the future, and will learn from us how to deal with it. We can't shield them from everything as much as we want to. The best we can do is equip them to deal with the ups and downs of life.
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Yes, I did wonder whether your children were still really quite young.  At that age the family unit is their whole world and it would be very difficult for them to take it all in.  I think I would say that Mummy and Daddy are not getting on that well and need a little break or something, and keep it very simple, and also reassure them that it isn't their fault.  I don't think, rightly or wrongly, that I'd bring the AP into the picture just yet.  Just take it one thing at a time. 

At least at the moment you do have the option of letting things sink in gently for them, it may have been so much worse had your husband just left. 

But please don't think I'm saying this is what you should go ahead and do, that is your decision  Only you can know what you are prepared to put up with. 

Being a single parent certainly wouldn't be easy, and like you say, the situation would be totally different.  I do still think like this a bit too. Even though my children are all grown up in one sense, they rely on me for the roof over their heads right now, and for that pastoral and supportive side of things.  Neither of them have a personal relationship with anyone else and one is jobless, depressed and needs a lot of emotional support. 
That makes things difficult for me sometimes, if I wanted to end my marriage or find somewhere else to live, I would always have others to consider too.

I'm very good at overthinking things, I did this a lot when the affair first came out.  I had it all planned out in my head, entitlements, divorce procedure, even to the point of looking for accomodation elsewhere.  I really think I was planning for the worst but hoping for the best!  I think it's a way of dealing with all the junk that's going round in my head at times, but I'm a lot calmer now.
I always think that women prepare for everything in advance, they are there with the mop and bucket, just IN CASE there is a spill to mop up, while men happily mop up after the flood!
Be prepared...I knew there was a very good reason I was a girl guide! Lol...
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I chose to tell my 11-year-old recently about my affair because former AP's wife actively spread the news to the parents of other kids in the school, and my son was present when I got a subpoena related to their divorce, so I thought he might hear about it. I said I developed a friendship with my former AP last year, and it became too close, and that became a problem for my husband/his Dad and also for AP's wife. He asked if those two became sad or mad, and I said yes. He asked if AP "likes" me and said the thought of someone else liking me or his Dad is creepy. I said former AP probably likes me as a good friend. He asked if we might get divorced, and I said I didn't know but that nothing is in the works. He said he doesn't want us to get divorced but doesn't want us to stay together only for him and his brothers. I have not said anything to my 9 or 5-year-olds, but they will be switching schools after this year, so I will probably find a way to explain it.
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Urban, I'm so sorry you had to tell your son about this, but it sounds as though you handled it really well. I'm sorry that your children are suffering, and hope the AP's wife thinks long and hard about the pain she's causing them.

I think I've said before, I know I had revenge fantasies, but that's what they stayed as, fantasies. I'm so happy they did. Two wrongs don't make a right, and in this case (affecting the kids) they make things so much worse.

Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to hear the other side.
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UrbanExplorer & Heidi - we had to tell our children (ages 15-34) because his cheating caused him to lose his job and the provided housing.  Since we had no money and no job, we had to move into the basement of our daughter's house.  We called a family meeting and told the older children not to bring their children (they would be too young).  However, the meeting was only to tell them why he lost his job and his emotional affair with a co-worker.  Since that family meeting, I have discovered so many more affairs.  The children know about some of them, but not all of them.  I also wanted the children to understand why I would be acting a certain way, etc.  After reading the book "Unfaithful,"  I bought copies for all four married children.  You might try reading that book.  That is where I learned to get rid of everything from the AP and the things they used in their affair. 
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