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If your ex keeps you from talking to your children...

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by Mysteria, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Mysteria

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    Basically. A situation rose today with something I posted on FB that my kids could read (not about this, but something serious). He told me next time I do anything like that to block my kids, because the kids don't want to talk about anything serious with me or anything related to the past, and that I "burned that bridge". He also applied it to himself.

    I feel I have to give in to my ex because right now he has total control over visitation. I don't have a car or a house big enough to have all the children at. I don't have the money to get a lawyer and challenge him but he has the money to get one and make my life miserable. I was hoping to come out to my children in the next couple of weeks but now I don't know what to do. There's nothing stopping me from just going about my business, of course, but I want them to be part of things, to know what's going on, and now I can't do that.

    Just wondered if anyone else's ex affected communication in a way that affected your ability to come out to your children.
     
  2. DecentOne

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    At first my wife told me I could not tell our children (all adults) back when I first came out to myself and to her. It was awful what she said, that they would be devastated to hear their Dad is bisexual. I knew we didn’t raise them that way, it was her own projections of her discomfort, or maybe where she was in her grieving process (denial, maybe). It took months, but she finally agreed and we told them together. Of course they were fine with it. That helped her loosen up a little. And I know if they had been the ones coming out, she would have run to get pro-LGBTQ magnets or stickers for the car.

    What I had read online before we told them is the advice that our children are likely to feel we’ve broken trust with them if we are not honest. Keeping it in the closet is thought to undermine the evolving relationship as they grow up. What I read is that children want to see how their parents are real people (or how they are showing strengths and vulnerability) so they can be themselves. Plus, I’ve always wanted my children to know they could talk with me about anything, and I didn’t want them to think I didn’t trust them.

    I did ask that they let me know if they’ve told others, so I could respond appropriately if those people approached me (or looked sideways at me). I didn’t want them to think they couldn’t talk about it, so this was giving them permission.

    I would have come out to them sooner, but I realized that would jeopardize our marriage and not be very loving and supportive of my wife. So I understand that you are weighing your options in regards to visitation. But please stand up for yourself.
     
  3. Mysteria

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    That's what I'm afraid of. That they'll feel I've broken trust with them if I'm not fully honest. We didn't raise them to be open and accepting...quite the opposite, and although they've gone on a different path since then, I don't know how they would react. It's only the four oldest I want to tell right now, so they don't accidentally find out or find out in a way that hits them in the face.

    It's very hard for me to stand up to my ex because he has so much power over me right now. And like this thing with FB, I have no idea if it's true that the kids really feel like that or not. Same with this. I don't know if they would rather know or not. I don't know if they're really going to be traumatized if I try to talk to them I was going to come out to my ex first and then tell him I was telling the kids. Now I'm doubting what to do.
     
  4. TwoFeech

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    Did your ex demand that you lie, if the kids see something and ask you about it? To the older kids, when you can see or talk to each kid one on one, you could say something that skirts the issue, like: There are some things your dad doesn't think it's good for me to talk to you about right now, but I want you to know you can come to me with anything. I'm not into anything bad or dangerous, but I'm going through some changes and making some new choices, so you might find out some things about me that you didn't know.

    Kinda the way you would talk to a parent if you had to ask them to trust you when you couldn't reveal a secret.

    That way, if they see you with a new date, they can put two and two together and not feel like they "spied" on you or that you're hiding from them. If one of them needs to tell you something about themselves, they might feel safer doing so if they know you have nonjudgmental reasons for not coming out.

    Their dad holds all the cards and you have to play along.

    Personally I think they will feel way more betrayed if he cuts you out of their lives. They might see it as your choice, rather than as his. Don't say anything against him, don't make him the bad guy. Let the kids figure out this stuff on their own to some extent.

    I hope it all works out.
     
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  5. Mysteria

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    That's probably my best approach. If he has asked me to lie I wouldn't have agreed to it, and he knows it, so I don't see him asking. I just hate feeling like I'm so...incidental in their lives that I can not discuss anything serious with them and it doesn' t matter, and that's how they want it. *sigh*

    But it is what it is. I've got to work within that.
     
  6. TwoFeech

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    "This too shall pass." Hang in there.
     
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  7. MBM4K54

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    I'm sorry to say this to you but your ex holds the cards and he's calling the shots. My advice to you is box clever, at least for the time being .
     
  8. Poofter

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    Keep a notebook, write down date and time of every denied phone call, and every denied visit. It will reflect extremely negatively on him in court if you end up in a court room with an attorney or not. If you make a trail like that there are some lawyers that will do pro bono work so you can at least get a visitation schedule even if they can’t live with you. Never give up fighting for your kids. And don’t feel like you owe him anything. You don’t, but you owe it to your kids to keep a relationship with them.

    I have been in a very fortunate position where my ex wife is ok with my being gay. However one of my children has a different mom and she has been in and out of the pen. And I was scrutinized in court because I refused to take a 5 y/o to a prison for visitation.
     
  9. Mysteria

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    He's been very good about keeping visitation schedule. And I don't think he could care less that I'm gay. He just doesn't want to be faced with the fact that he abandoned me in the middle of the worst crisis of my life, when we both were Catholic, and both supposedly didn't believe in divorce. And so he doesn't want any discussion at all about the past. To keep that, he doesn't want any discussion at all that's serious. It's very frustrating.
    Right now I'm just trying to tell the truth in little ways. Like when I visited last time we ran by the store, and I picked up flowers for my date. The kids asked me and I simply said that they're for a woman I know. None of them asked me any further questions, my ex wasn't upset, and we just went on with the visit. I'm hoping that, over time, the little things will add up.
     
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  10. Poofter

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    Well, small steps, it will take time for both of you to heal. There’s the anger phase and the grief phase, and sometimes a mutual respect comes after and sometimes a friendship. I am sure he felt hurt and betrayed so he did what he did and now you feel the same. It will come along eventually, just keep taking your small steps and let the wounds heal.