When to tell son I was married before?

Dawn - posted on 07/11/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




I have been divorced for about 15 years, with no kids from first marriage. Happily remarried for 12 years now, and we have a four year old son. I haven't seen or talked to my ex since the divorce, and with no kids from the marriage there is really no need to. I would like advice on what age and how to tell our son that I was married before and got divorced. I just don't want him to someday "discover" my first marriage and then feel like I kept a secret from him. I don't think it should be a secret, but it doesn't seem like a topic that will very naturally just "come up". I don't want to tell him too soon before he can even understand what I'm talking about, but I don't want to wait too long to where I've been basically deceptive to him. Age four seems too young, but I can't quite figure out what age would be good. I know there must be a lot of remarried parents who face this issue, but I can't seem to find any general advice out there in the internet world about it.


~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/11/2012




I would think it would be appropriate to talk about it when it is time to talk about relationships, love and sex. How sometimes you think you found the one, when infact not so much. I also think 4 is to young to understand this. There is no need to burden a young child with these concerns, cause then it will make them worry for your current marriage.


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Jodi - posted on 07/11/2012




My daughter is 7, and she has ALWAYS known I was married before. After all, she has a 15 year old brother who has a different daddy. She has also ALWAYS known her daddy has had previous relationships, she has another brother and sister. However, I would say she really isn't old enough to understand the complexities of the relationships. She has siblings from these previous relationships, so that is something that is tangible to her. But IF she didn't, I don't think she would understand. It is such an abstract concept to a child who isn't in the middle of the experience, that they probably don't question it until they are around 11 or 12 (when they are starting to explore the idea of relationships themselves). I agree with the others that if it hasn't come up before then, this would be the time to talk to him about it.

I would say, don't hide it, keep it real, make sure it isn't something "secret" when you answer questions about your past (and kids can get good at asking questions), but don't be surprised if he doesn't "get it". Chances are he won't even blink at it until he is older. When he is older, if he asks why you never told him, you can say it never came up, but that it isn't something you are ashamed of or hiding. Allow him to ask questions and be honest with him.

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I agree with Little Miss. When he's old enough for the "love and relationships" talk then it would be appropriate to bring it up. My dad was married before he met and married my mom (divorced for about a year before he met my mom). I had no idea until my teens, but I didn't feel he was deceptive about it at all. Honestly, there was no point for him to tell us, other than the fact that he wanted us to know that it's okay to screw up and sometimes something feels like love, but it's not.

Lacye - posted on 07/11/2012




By not telling him that you've been married before, you aren't being deceptive. You had a life before he was born and that just so happens to be part of it. If the subject comes up, tell him the truth. If he specifically asks you if this is your first marriage, tell him the truth. But if it doesn't, don't worry about it. It's not exactly a secret you are trying to keep from him.

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