Hello, I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with 20 years of experience working with families, including many blended families, and am happy to help.
I understand how upsetting this is for you and your boyfriend, but I would caution you to not overreact.
I think you have handle it very well with your children and said all the right things to them. As you said each was seeing his/her counselor, I am assuming that they are already in counseling; and that is good. I do not at all think that the two of you should end your relationship because of what happened with your children.
As you said, some sexual exploration is normal and sometimes even happens with biological siblings. My recommendation would be that all 4 of you have a few sessions of family therapy to work through what happened and process all of your feelings. I would hold off moving in together until you have completed your family therapy. Your family therapist, seeing all 4 of you, will really be better able to assess the situation than their individual counselors. I feel confident that after completing your family therapy, you will all feel comfortable moving in together. You may go to www.TherapistLocator.net or www.psychologytoday.com to find family therapists where you live.
I know that what happened with your children feels like a huge obstacle to you relationship and you plans to move in together, but it is more than likely just a bump in the road. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX have helped. Chat back if you have any questions. I wish you both and your children all the best, XXXXX XXXXX Eleanor
PS: Since you are not replying here in chat, I am going to switch my answer to the Q&A mode. You will still be able to ask me a follow-up question there.
Thank you so much for your answer. I hope you're right. I hope that I haven't already overreacted -- I have been calm for the most part, but I did raise my voice to my son when he told me that he "forgot" that it's inappropriate to do these things. I yelled and told him that he'd better not forget this conversation because kids can end up in juvenile hall for these things! He started crying, and I felt so bad, I apologized for yelling and I held him and reminded him that he wasn't wrong for having those feelings -- I was just worried about him. My boyfriend and I asked him several times if anyone had ever engaged with him inappropriately before, and he told me he had been asked by kids in school but declined... I hope this is the case. He totally denies that he was ever sexually abused.I would like to do family counseling, but neither my boyfriend nor I have health insurance, yet -- just the kids. My son already sees a counselor, and his daughter will be going for the first time, most likely to a different counselor. I have suggested that they go together, at least at some point.I think both of us worry that, even with counseling, they will try it again when they are older because they have already been "down that road." We worry that it's too risky of a situation to put our children in :(
Thank you so much for all of the resources. I'm not sure our children's insurance will allow for us to participate in the sessions (they have Medicaid/Famis), but we will ask.
Two more questions: I'm worried that they will look back on this when they are older and feel ashamed -- do you think there is a good chance of that happening?
Also, do you think it would be a positive or a negative thing, if we did move in together, for them to regard each other as brother and sister?