Kids are only considered "double-agent spies" if you allow them to be. Whether Mom put them up to it, or it was genuine, you still have an obligation to deal with any confusion your children may have at this time, while trying your best to be impartial. Don't assume anything more than what they are telling you. Children do not have the wisdom or intellect to effectively communicate their feelings as would an adult. By suggesting that they keep peoples feelings private, could possibly leave them to internalize their own emotions during your separation/divorce, and cause problems for them in school. As parents, the two of you are the only sources where your children do feel safe to talk about anything, and that is something you want to continue to offer them as they age. This is a very troubling and confusing time for your children, and you have to take what they have to say with a grain of salt, and try to at least empathize with them in that it must have been a little hard to see Mommy like that. And if you can muster it up, assure them that Mommy will be okay.
It is a tough place to be. If you are going to proceed with a divorce, keep a journal of such things, so if it does escalate into a fierce fight of he said, she said, you will have a bit of leverage, during discovery. (Make sure the book is bound, where papers cannot be added/removed.)
No matter what...your "soon-to-be-ex" will feel the pain that comes from a failed marriage, as well as deal with her shame when she sees her children, so her tears are probably real.
· 1 decade ago