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I am just beginning to process the full extent of the damage

I am just beginning to process the full extent of the damage he caused to our family unit. I met my husband when my son was 5. Now he's 17 and his world is upside down. Everything he knew to be true and trusted is gone. Senior year in high school now full of uncertainty due to covid. Family, our little family, shattered. My son supports the choice I made to try and work things out, but he refuses to speak to his step-dad and has blocked him on his phone and social media. I feel caught in the middle. I'm angry at being put in this position and I'm beginning to shut down like I did in the beginning. I didn't choose this mess - my husband did by being a selfish *****. I feel like I'm trying to walk through wet cement that is knee deep.

Aug 1

Hi that_wife, I'm so sorry to read all the turmoil your ex has caused in your life and in the life of your son, who you obviously love and are obviously trying to be a good parent to. It sounds so messy and convoluted. Like everything you had in your life has been thrown in the air and you're left with a chaotic mess on your hands. None of which is your fault. It sounds so painful and exhausting. Do you know why is your son refusing to talk to his step-dad?

devastatedinptbo's picture
Aug 2

I think your son feels betrayed by your husband’s choices too, and I think that is very normal. I think you need to be patient and understanding about that and let him figure out his way forward with his relationship with your husband in his own time. Just because you’re ready to forgive and move forward with your relationship with your husband doesn’t mean your son is ready to move forward with his relationship. Life is a lot more black and white for teenagers. That’s natural. Their frontal lobes are just developing, and that part of their brain is what moves them from adolescence to mature adulthood. It may take him longer to process your husband’s choices. Perhaps the problem is that your husband, like many cheaters, has not matured emotionally. Is he in individual counselling to understand his issues and how he could have made the choices he did? Has he talked to your son about his failures and how he is taking responsibility?
Once your husband gets some professional help then perhaps some family counselling would be helpful for all of you to learn how to reconnect emotionally. Trust and respect takes a long time to earn, especially after a betrayal like infidelity. I know it’s taken my teenage daughter 3 years to really move forward with her relationship with her dad since d-day.

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