He Cheated; You're Divorcing. What Do You Tell the Kids?Opinion
SAN ANGELO, TX -- I stumbled across a Dear Abby question from a woman seeking advice about a marital problem. Here's the scenario.
A 38 year-old woman, newly divorced from her husband due to his infidelity, was unsure how to talk to her boys about it, one age 12, the other age 15. They knew something was up when Dad moved out of the house, but hadn't been told much other than their parents were having “relationship problems.”
The woman was finally ready to make the separation permanent and was torn about what she should say to her boys, or if she should say anything about the reason for the pending divorce. After all, “irreconcilable differences” is a real thing, not only to the courts, but a fact of life between two people.
For the most part I don't read Dear Abby because I don't agree much with her answers.
This time, she advised the woman to wait and make sure the divorce actually happened, and there wasn't some sort of “make-up” before the divorce was final.
Abby's answer sounds a little weak to me.
Now, I admire parents who divorce and remain good friends. Especially when children are involved, not saying nasty things about the other parent in front of the kids is a good thing.
And while it's okay that kids know Mom and Dad aren't perfect, is this something that kids at this age can handle?
It's a sticky wicket, indeed. Not saying anything seems dishonest. On the other hand, this is their Dad.
Doesn't Mom have an obligation to protect her children's relationship with their father?