Pin It
dearmargaretDear Margaret: My teenage daughter recently came home from her friend's grandmother's house and asked, "Who is Melinda?" I almost fell to the floor in shock. We'd never told her that her father had been married previously. The grandmother apparently knew my husband's first wife and never knew of the divorce and remarriage. The grandmother said, "Tom (my husband) and Melinda used to visit here all the time." Of course, my daughter had it figured out. I was caught so off guard by the question that I simply said that her father had been married before and it didn't work out. We left it at that. I feel like I owe her more. I feel like I've been lying to her by omission and can't be trusted. I don't know how much she should know or how to fix this. What can I tell her to make this right?
Caught Off Guard

Dear Caught Off Guardl: It isn't necessary to go into great detail with your daughter. Your initial response was an acceptable start. Your daughter should know, however, if she has any half siblings. If there were children from the first marriage, that's another issue you'll need to deal with. You might mention how long they were married. I don't think it's a good idea to cast any aspersions on the first wife. Perhaps you were always waiting for the right time and circumstances to broach this subject with her. If that's the case, let her know and offer an apology for waiting. This is a perfect example of how can secrets cause issues when exposed. I'm sure your daughter knows of many friends whose parents are divorced and remarried. I'm sure it's just as shocking to her to imagine her father with another woman. You might want her father to be in on the conversation. Hopefully in time this information will settle in for her. I would think it's a relief for you to finally bring this into the open. My best to you.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.

Pin It