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by Abigail Van Buren

Heartbreak Awaits Sons When Dad Is Released From Prison

DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, I found out my husband had sexually abused one of his nieces. He took a lie detector test, failed it and confessed. Learning the truth was devastating, and I felt like a fool for having believed him.

We have two children together, both teenaged boys. I had to give my boys the bad news about what their father had done and the reason I could no longer be with him. He had to move out because he was restricted from being with minors. There were so many changes.

Then came the news that their father was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison. I was emotionally drained. I have always been honest with my boys and have never kept anything from them. Because I've had to give them so much bad news, I have tried my best to give them the happiest times that I could. Soon after, he was sent away.

I received word that when he gets out, he will be deported to Mexico. This is something I haven't told my boys yet. They are talking about having a life with their father. When he gets out, they will both be adults. My youngest talks about living with him. When they find out, they will be heartbroken.

They have been doing so well. We've come a long way, and we're finally in a happy place. I don't know how or when to tell them. Should I do it now or wait until closer to his release date? I'm just over the sadness. -- EMOTIONALLY DRAINED

DEAR EMOTIONALLY DRAINED: Hang onto your happiness because you deserve all of it that is coming your way. You and your sons have been put through an ordeal not of your making. I see no reason to burden them further with this unhappy news until closer to the time of your husband's release. By then they will be older and better able to adjust to what it will mean if they choose to live with or spend time with their dad.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Abuse | Teens