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Old 03-15-2012, 10:09 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Location: Georgia
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My wife and I are just now trying to figure out what to tell our children - girls, ages 9 and 12 - about my developing relationship with another woman. They know I've been spending time with her, and know I spent the night at her apartment this past Monday.

My wife and I treated it as the most ordinary thing in the world, having daddy spend the night away from home, even though I wasn't going out of town.

That's all they know officially, though I have reason to think our 12-year-old suspects more than that. She may be worried about it: whenever I mention the name of my new love, she gets very quiet.

Reading this thread confirms my instinct: it's difficult to strike the balance between too much information and too little. Erring to much, either way, could be bad.

I'm planning to bring this up over dinner, in an hour or so. We've laid some of the groundwork, in the past year, by emphasizing that, even though my partner and I are married, we do not own one another.

That will be our starting point, I think: partnership, not ownership . . . and a partnership based on honesty, consent, and trust that doesn't exclude close relationships with others.

Beyond that, we'll just have to improvise.

Probably the most important thing will be to offer the reassurance that the new relationships my wife and I each develop do not change anything essential about our partnership, or our commitment to the girls.

Of course, the best-laid plans . . .
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