Where to start? A lot has happened in three days.
Last Sunday, I told my daughters I wanted them to join me in my therapy session on Monday. I had something important that I needed to share with them. While they were filled with questions, I assured them that we would address their concerns the following day. Although I felt the urge to disclose it myself on numerous occasions, I believed it would be more beneficial for my therapist to handle the conversation.
Early Monday morning, my STBXW left for the airport to go on holiday with her "friends".
During our therapy session, I sat there, facing my daughters. I couldn't help but feel a weight on my chest. I knew what was about to be revealed would shatter their world. My therapist took the initiative and informed them of their mother's affair. Before I could utter a word, their reactions were explosive; they began screaming and shouting. Their anger was unlike anything I had ever seen before. My youngest was more tearful than vocal, whereas my eldest displayed her frustration by pacing the room and saying a lot of profanities (which is unusual for her, as she rarely swears).
I made multiple attempts to soothe their distress, but they remained resistant to calming down. Eventually, my eldest turned to me and asked why I wasn't angry. She questioned if I was contemplating reconciliation with their mother. In response, I acknowledged my anger but said that I had something else to say. I requested their undivided attention and asked that they refrain from interrupting until I had finished speaking.
So they both settled back into their chairs, and I began to reveal that I had been aware of their mother's affair for the past six months. Their reaction was even more intense than the first time. They reached for their phones, seemingly intent on calling their mother. I urged them to allow me to finish speaking, emphasising that there was a reason behind my silence over the past six months.
My therapist recognised my difficulty in finding the right words. She stepped in and told them that my eldest was not biologically mine. My eldest daughter, who is sitting on the chair, suddenly jumped up, dove on me, and clung to me tightly. Her tears flowed as she repeated phrases like "Please don't leave me" and "I didn't know". "It's not my fault," "I'm so sorry," and "You're my dad; I love you". Her words tore at my heart, and I reassured her repeatedly that I had no intention of leaving. She was my daughter, and I loved her deeply.
At the same time, my youngest daughter was also in tears, embracing me and echoing similar things: "don't kick her out," "She loves you like I do," and "Please don't punish her for what our mother did". I asked my eldest to look at me, but she resisted. Despite my therapist's efforts to intervene, my daughter refused to release her grip on me.
I reassured her repeatedly that I had no intention of leaving. I loved both of them deeply. I emphasised my commitment to staying with them. Despite my reassurances, my eldest remained visibly shaken and continued to avoid eye contact. On the other hand, my youngest daughter gradually regained her composure after comprehending the message I was trying to convey to her.
I tried to explain why I had delayed sharing the truth about their mother's affair over the past six months and whether I had changed my behaviour towards them. My youngest daughter, being the first to respond, raised her head to me and said, "No, you haven't". My eldest, who was still holding onto me tightly, heard the question the second time, and I could sense a shift in her demeanor. Her trembling seemed to subside as she slowly raised her head. I locked eyes with her and repeated the question about my behaviour over the past six months. She confirmed, "No, you haven't."
The way my daughters responded is a painful reflection of my own shortcomings as a parent. I am haunted by the knowledge that my actions and words have led them to believe that I could leave them behind or disown them. The sheer weight of guilt I carry for having instilled such fear and insecurity in their young hearts is gut-wrenching. It's a sorrow that pierces to the core, an anguish that lingers as I realise the emotional toll my actions have taken on the two people I hold dearest.
The admission I made was one I'd carried in my heart for six long, agonising months: I hadn't been entirely truthful with you about your mother's affair. Please understand that my intention was never to inflict pain on you. Instead, it was a desperate attempt to reveal the depths of my love for both of you. I need you to know that I'm not going anywhere. Our home, the place where we've shared countless memories, will remain just as it always has: a haven of love and support. We will continue living in our home while your mother is moving out. The decision of whether to stay with me or your mother is entirely yours.
Both of them had tears in their eyes as they expressed their desire to live with me. Their emotions were in shambles, and the car ride home was a long journey filled with unspoken pain. Though I repeatedly asked if they were okay, their responses were limited to single, heart-wrenching words.
My youngest daughter, her voice trembling with hurt, confided that she had blocked her mother and never wanted to speak to her again. Her words were heavy with the weight of a fractured relationship, and her eyes held a mixture of sadness and anger. Beside her, my eldest daughter wore a determined expression, her resolve unshaken. She chose not to block her mother, explaining that she wanted to confront the lies she knew would come her way.
I asked them if they were both willing to do therapy, and they both said yes.
I sent a text to my STBXW and my ex-best friend. After sending those messages, I turned my phone off and replaced the SIM card with a new one. Meanwhile, my STBXW bombarded my daughter's phone with numerous messages and calls. Only my eldest has replied and told their mother not to come home.
My MIL contacted my daughters and asked if I was willing to go see her. During this visit, my MIL and I engaged in a brief conversation. She had already been in contact with my STBXW. I refrained from asking about the details of their conversation. Her mother did mention that my STBXW had decided to cut her vacation short and was coming back home, where she would be staying with her. She also asked if there was any message I wished to convey to my STBXW, to which I responded that I would appreciate it if you could ask her to sign the divorce papers once she gets them. Furthermore, her mother expressed her apologies for the distress her daughter's actions had caused me.
STBXW constantly sends texts and calls to my eldest. She doesn't provide me with many details about her messages. However, what she has shared is that my STBXW is adamant about not signing the divorce papers until I meet with her personally. I've told my daughters I don't want to meet her. They have agreed that I should not engage with her, believing that anything she says will be untruthful.
I've terminated my ex-best friend's employment; he's no longer part of my workforce. In my message to him, I told him that he didn't need to serve his notice period. Additionally, I recall coming across a comment suggesting that some of my employees might have been aware of the affair. This comment was accurate, as it involved two female employees who were involved romantically with my ex-best friend. Surprisingly, it appears that my STBXW was unaware of these other relationships. However, I acknowledge that I can't verify the accuracy of these claims without engaging in a conversation with my STBXW.
I've spoken to my eldest, letting her know that when she feels ready and/or wishes to discuss her biological father, I'm here to listen. She declined, saying that she has spent her entire life with her real father and has no interest in learning more. I'm truly thankful and touched to hear her say those words.
I have consulted with my solicitor since Monday, and while some aspects of the situation are straightforward, others are considerably more complex. For instance, my awareness of my STBXW's affair for the past six months and my decision to initiate divorce proceedings pose significant challenges. Regrettably, my mention of the duration of my knowledge about her affair in a message to my STBXW may complicate the process of seeking a divorce on grounds of adultery. This potentially places me in a less favourable position regarding the divorce proceedings.
I have another option that offers a more straightforward path: pursuing a no-fault divorce. This can be done either separately or through a joint application. Choosing a no-fault divorce means that we can mutually agree to end our marriage without placing blame on either party for the breakdown of the relationship. This approach can help streamline the divorce process, reduce conflict, and potentially make the transition smoother for both of us as we move forward with our lives separately.
I've had a few conversations with my MIL since Monday, and while she initially checked in to see how I was doing, the topic of my STBXW inevitably came up. My STBXW seems to think that if she doesn't sign the divorce papers, the whole process will come to a standstill. However, MIL has told her that this isn't the case. She explained that the divorce can move forward even if my STBXW doesn't sign the papers. My MIL is deeply concerned about my STBXW's emotional well-being. She's said that my STBXW has been struggling with her appetite and sleep. What's more concerning is that she's been sharing details of our marital situation quite openly on social media. This has had a considerable impact on our daughters, as they've been exposed to their mother's public posts about our lives. I've spoken to my MIL about this, requesting that she speak to my STBXW and ask her to remove those posts.
However, despite our efforts to keep the situation private, I'm still receiving messages from people on social media who have learned about our situation through my STBXW's accounts. These messages often urge me to forgive her and consider reconciling with her. It's a challenging and emotionally charged situation for everyone involved.
My daughters are currently going through a tough time. They've become rather quiet, and when they do speak, their comments about their mother tend to be negative without digging into how her actions impact their feelings, despite my efforts to encourage them to be open. I've repeatedly assured them that I'm here to listen and support them, emphasising that they can express any thoughts or emotions they have about their mother. However, it seems they've been somewhat hesitant to bring up their mother unless prompted, which is understandable given the circumstances. I'm hopeful that with time and continued support, they'll feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with me.
My daughters are struggling; their tears are a constant presence. They choose to be near me all the time, even accompanying me to my office, a behaviour I've never seen before.
My youngest, who only leaves me when she goes to bed, and my eldest have relocated their sleeping arrangements. She has moved her bed into my room.
My eldest has an incredible sense of humor. Even in the most challenging situations, she never fails to brighten the room with her witty remarks and attempts to make me burst into laughter. Lately, she teased me relentlessly about my snoring symphonies. According to her, my nighttime nasal performances could rival a chainsaw convention. Yet, in her quirky way, she finds solace in my thunderous snores, claiming, "Well, your snoring might be a nightly disturbance, but at least I know you're catching some quality Zs!".
Even though we all laughed at this, as we shared our laughter, I couldn't help but notice that it wasn't the same as it had been just a week ago; there was a noticeable difference in the atmosphere and the dynamics between us.
I did take a std test; the first time I got tested was right after I learned about the situation. But as luck would have it, I found myself in a bit of a pickle last week, so it was back to the testing centre for round two. It's amazing how life can throw you curveballs, right?
Sorry, I've had a hectic schedule in the past few days. I'll do my best to catch up on any comments I might have overlooked during this time. Thank you