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dearmargaret I've been divorced for several years. My son wasn't quite two when we split up, so he really has no memory of the mental and physical abuse I suffered during my marriage to his biological father. And I never went into details about it. His father has never really taken an active role in his life. My current husband has always been 'Dad' to him. I've never elaborated on the reasons for the split to my son, and tried very hard not to make disparaging remarks about his father. He is aware there was abuse. Now that my son is in his mid-thirties, I think it's time he knows the truth about the circumstances surrounding the divorce. I feel it's time for full disclosure, and my son is now old enough to handle the events surrounding the divorce. What do you suggest? Isn't it about time my son is made aware of, and be told the truth about, his father?
Full Disclosure

Dear Full Disclosure: Is there something from which you suddenly feel you need vindication? Has your son made comments suggesting that you might be to blame for the divorce? If not, I'm having a hard time thinking of a reason (other than shear revenge against your ex) for you disclose to your son the horrors of being married to an abusive spouse. If you've brought him up to be a kind and respectful individual and you see that he is, he needn't know specific details of the consequences of acting to the contrary. At his age, I'm sure he's aware of the results of abusive behavior. If he were to ask you specific questions, by all means answer him truthfully, without side commentary. If you didn't want to burden your son when he was younger with information that would cause him pain, there is no reason to do so now. If you find you are now struggling with pain you suffered at your ex's hands in years past, you deserve healing. You shouldn't have to live with that pain and should seek counseling. Just not with your son.

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

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