Q&A How Do We Help Our Adult and Teenage Children?

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Question: 

In April of this year, while using my computer, one of our 17-year-old daughters saw a message from me to my affair partner which was sexual in nature. After my girls confronted me, I forced them not to say anything to my wife and I promised them that I would immediately tell my wife about what happened - I didn't and I lied that I had. I convinced the girls that my relationship with the woman I was emailing was only a friendship. I acknowledged that my email was inappropriate and promised that I would permanently cut off all ties with the woman. I didn’t. Months later, they told my wife about the message – thus, beginning our discovery phase. At this point, my wife and I don’t know if we’ll stay together long term. We are, however, actively working through EMS Online with the goal of determining if our marriage is something we want to or can save. Our girls know we are participating in a “marriage bootcamp” to help us work on our issues. But they do not know the reasons why we find ourselves at this point, nor do they know I lied to them about the nature of the original email they saw. We are looking for help in guiding any potential conversation with the girls. We don’t know whether it's best to work on our marriage privately or address the fact that I was unfaithful and lied to the girls while we work through recovery.

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