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Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  n/a
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My wife and I are getting divorced. The divorce has been going

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My wife and I are getting divorced. The divorce has been going on for 3 months. I will be moving out of our house in about two months to go live with my girlfriend, who's home is an hour away from the current house. We have two children. One is 11 and lives at home, the other is 19 and lives 700 miles away at college. The oldest knows all about the gf and my plans; my wife told him. The youngest doesn't know I will be leaving to live with the gf and doesn't know I have a gf. He however does know the gf and likes her.

The question is when should I tell the 11 year old that I have a girl friend and that I
am going to be living with her? I have had to lie to him about the times I have gone to visit her and I am afraid this, and continual lies, will lead him to never trust me. What are your thoughts?
Hello J,
Based upon my experience in this area dealing with my clients who have the same issue, I recommend the following. First, it is important that you discuss with your wife that you will be telling him about your new living arrangement before you move out and ask her would she like to be there when you tell him? It would be great if she is willing to be there with you when you tell him especially since your son will be still living with her, but if she does not want to be present when you tell him, then you should tell him without her being present. Then the two of you should also discuss what day and time would be the best for you to tell him (-be sure to actually plan the day and time so that you can talk to your son about this sensitive issue while not being disturbed). During this time with your son be honest with him about what your new living arrangement will be, however, do not tell him unnecessary details, just tell him the basics. After you tell him this, ask him how he feels about it and then fully discuss it with him while being careful to answer all of his questions in a honest way but again just telling him the basics that he can understand at his maturity level.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How far in advance do I tell him? I am moving out in 2 moths. Do I tell him now so he gets accustomed to the fact I will be living with her, do I tell him right before I move out, or as one therapist has recommended I wait 2 months after I have moved in with her to tell him she is my girlfriend?
Hello J,
Yes I would absolutely tell him now (-in the manner I described above) so that he can get accustomed to the idea and also so that you will still be there for 2 months to address any questions, frustrations, etc. that he may have. I don't recommend telling him right before you move out for the above reason. Also, I think it is a bad idea to further hide the truth from him and lie about it by waiting 2 months after you have moved in with her. My clients have experienced first hand that continual hiding of the truth and lying only further harms their children and their relationship with them; age appropriate honesty is the best answer and to tell him now in the manner I described previously.
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