to think dh should explain the end of our marriage to dc

(44 Posts)
2anddone Fri 29-Mar-13 10:36:42

I posted in relationships on Monday that dh had told me he wasn't happy and was thinking of moving out. On Wednesday I came home and he had packed a bag to go stay at his mums for a few days to think about what he wants. I am a wreck though hiding it from the dc. My dc do not have a clue he is not currently living here as he works shifts so is often not here when they wake up etc.
I have started trying to think about what we are supposed to tell them if dh decides he wants to leave permanently. I have suggested that he stays and we get councelling as I really don't want him to go, he doesn't believe I miss him and thinks he is just a habit to me. If he decides to leave wibu to make him tell the dc (they are 4 and 7). As this is all because of him and I really don't want them being told mummy and daddy don't love each other any more, when in actual fact it should be 'daddy doesn't love mummy but still loves you both but he doesn't want to live with mummy anymore, but he will still visit you both?'
Sorry for length of post plus bad spelling and grammar am on my phone and can't really see through tears.

HollyBerryBush Fri 29-Mar-13 10:39:16

Just my opinion - you need to put the why and wherefores aside and sit down together and explain to your child what is happening.

TheCraicDealer Fri 29-Mar-13 10:42:05

I don't know what to say, I'm sure someone wiser will be along in a moment. But sending you hugs x

ENormaSnob Fri 29-Mar-13 10:43:44

Sorry you are going through this sad

The children need to be told in the least painful way for them imo.

Repost in relationships, I am sure people will help x

2anddone Fri 29-Mar-13 10:44:50

Thanks I didn't mean I wouldn't be there I meant that the 'blame' so to speak shouldn't be put on me. We would be there together when they are told but I more meant I don't want them thinking its me breaking their hearts

So sorry, 2anddone. sad When my ex H left we both sat down with the DC and told them honestly that while we would always love them, daddy didn't love mummy any more and wanted to move out. I had seen a solicitor by this stage and he had recommended being as honest with the DC as they could understand. My ex H had been having an affair and left for the OW, so I also told them that daddy loved someone else now.

I think the logic is that they deserve the truth and need to trust what you tell them. If they find out you had been lying (even if to protect them) further down the line, that could be more damaging.

If there is a possibility that you may reconcile, that's a bit trickier and 4 yo is still very young to understand this at all. In my case there was never going to be a happy ending so that helped my decision.

ApocalypseThen Fri 29-Mar-13 10:46:19

Easy to be him, isn't it? He packs his bags and goes home to mummy, safe in the knowledge that you're picking up the slack with the kids.

He's gone. You now make the decisions. Tell your children what you need to when the time is right in your home. But do tell them that Daddy isn't going to be living in this house anymore.

juneau Fri 29-Mar-13 10:47:14

Just my opinion - you need to put the why and wherefores aside and sit down together and explain to your child what is happening.

Yes - this. Don't get too involved with the details - they're too little to really understand adult relationships. My parents split when I was six and they told me and my sis together.

Crossed with you. My ex H was unhappy that I told them about the OW, but I felt like you, they deserved the truth and if that affected him more than me, so be it.

2anddone Fri 29-Mar-13 10:56:09

He says there is no ow he feels we have grown apart and doesn't see where he fits in my life anymore. He says all we talk about are the dc. I am sahm so they are pretty much all I do in the day so conversation is mainly about them as i do nothing else. He also says we have nothing in common anymore

Machli Fri 29-Mar-13 10:59:16

Pretty sure that you will find out there is someone else at a later date sad.

To be FAIR to you then he should tell kids. But to be fair to THEM you should both do it together so that they can see that Mum is ok and is going to be there for them. They are the most important thing so thats how it should be done.

Poor dc and poor you. Not poor DH though because I think there is more to this than meets the eye.

TBH, everything he's said so far, was what my ex H said, before I found out about the OW. Sorry.

quoteunquote Fri 29-Mar-13 12:27:59

TBH, everything he's said so far, was what my ex H said, before I found out about the OW. Sorry


sorry, but I think you are being conned.

see a solicitor. and don't lie to your children(that including concealing what is going on), they will stop trusting you, your children are experts on you, they have been studying you since birth, they will find it very unnerving, if they do not have an explanation as to why the change in your demeanour.

Maggie111 Fri 29-Mar-13 14:47:11

You both need to sit down together and tell your children

"mummy and daddy are still friends but don't want to live together any more so we've both decided it's best for daddy to move out for a little while."

None of this "he doesn't love me" shit.

midastouch Fri 29-Mar-13 14:59:54

I totally see your point its his decision it should be him to deal with the DCs but i dont know how you get round it. They'll realise soon if he doesnt come back and face them DCs are not stupid.
Sorry you're going through this

Really, Maggie? hmm But what if they aren't still friends, or the decision to move out is all the man's? Are you sure that sort of deception is actually good for the DC? Honesty is best, albeit at a level the child can understand.

It's really important to reassure the DC that they aren't to blame and that both parties' love for them is unconditional. Children often feel that if only they'd been better behaved or nicer to daddy he wouldn't have left.

YouTheCat Fri 29-Mar-13 15:10:02

I also think you are being conned.

What sort of person backs out on the marriage for no good reason when there's kids involved?

Maggie111 Fri 29-Mar-13 15:16:32

Yes I really think so. They both need to burden themselves with the responsibility of making the transition as easy as possible for the children.

Any hint of blame on either side is going to lead the children to

"if you weren't so mean, Daddy would still be here"
"why would daddy leave us?"

And so on.

A united front, leaving the children no upset and no room to play parents off against each other will be much better. Both parents should be grown ups and I don't give two hoots if the mother wants the children to know the truth so she'll feel better - it's not going to make life any easier for the children, or her in the long run.

juneau Fri 29-Mar-13 15:18:09

He says all we talk about are the dc. I am sahm so they are pretty much all I do in the day so conversation is mainly about them as i do nothing else. He also says we have nothing in common anymore

If this is GENUINELY the reason, and only he knows this, then you could try to do more together as a couple to give you things to talk about! It's easy to get into this rut when one works and the other is at home with the kids, but if you want your marriage to work, you don't just move out back to your mum's - you work at fixing it. You try to rediscover that spark and what made you get together in the first place. I think, if it was me, I'd challenge him to do this and see how he reacts.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 29-Mar-13 15:24:33

I can tell you, having been the child in the situation, that it is FAR more damaging for it not to be a child-friendly version of the truth.

Saying that mummy and daddy are going to be just friends is bullshit if you don't WANT to be friends with your ex that's fucked off, and the DC's will see through that anyway - the OP is not going to be able to hide her sadness at her ex walking out from them completely, no matter how hard she tries, and the DC's WILL blame themselves for her sadness if they don't know the truth.

This SHOULD come from him, albeit with the OP present. The OP bears no blame in this, it's all her Ex's decision, and he needs to be man enough to tell his DC the truth. And HE needs to reassure them that HE still loves them - it's not the OP leaving, is it?!

And I'm sad to say, I would eat my shorts if there isn't another woman involved. He's following the script down to a tee.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 29-Mar-13 15:25:46

And how can you be 'a united front' with someone who has walked out in you because "all you talk about is the DC's". He's a bastard. You can't show a united front with someone who has just BROKEN your union...

Pandemoniaa Fri 29-Mar-13 15:43:42

You must both have a discussion with your children. Together. And be very careful how you phrase issues like not loving each other either.

I say this because I thought that my ex-dh and I had been very careful about how we broke the news of our separation to our dcs and we'd gone down the lines of "mummy and daddy love you both very much but not each other so we'll be happier living in different houses." Later that same night, 6 year old ds1 cried his heart out because he'd assumed that because I didn't love his daddy any longer, ds1 wasn't allowed to either. The sight of his little tearstained face as he said "But I do love him, mummy and now I won't be allowed to" remains with me to this day.

Both parents should be grown ups? But one has decided being a grown up isn't what he wants anymore. So how will that work? Pretending everything is all right, really, isn't going to work. The DC will soon see through that.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Fri 29-Mar-13 16:08:49

Very, very rarely do men leave the marital home without another in the wings sad He might not admit it, but incredibly soon he will 'meet someone new' hmm Lying bastard.

You should be there, but he's the one that needs to tell the children and he needs to take full responsibility for it and he needs to stress to them that it's NOT your fault and nothing you, or they, have done.

Don't ask him to stay again. Let him be. It will be a nightmare if he's guilted into staying and it wont last sad

ChippingInIsEggceptional Fri 29-Mar-13 16:11:38

Oh & make sure he realises that his responsiblility for actually, physically caring for the children doesn't end when he leaves either. Tell him you will be seeking 50/50 shared care so that you too can move on with your life - that'll a stop to any ideas he has about you doing all of the parenting while he swans about playing the single guy about town.

You don't actually have to go through with the 50/50 shared care if you don't want to - but don't let him know that yet. They think they can just walk out of all their responsibilities when life gets a bit tough/boring and they need telling that they damn well cannot.

Fleecyslippers Fri 29-Mar-13 16:12:48

He is complete and utter tosser. but sadly there are many, many similar men out there.

Op you are the one calling the shots now and if you want him to explain things to the children, then that's what he bloody well does angry

Tosser sad

Apileofballyhoo Fri 29-Mar-13 23:43:30

I have no idea really except plenty of reassurance that DH loves DCs very much and no mention of him not loving anyone else as it might not be the best time to introduce the concept of stopping loving someone IYSWIM. Daddy doesn't feel happy sharing house with Mummy so is going to stay elsewhere. Mummy is free to say to DCs she likes sharing house with DH, she misses him etc.
Agree there is more to come OP - sounds as if he has been deceiving you. If he was unhappy with relationship but no OW he'd probably be willing to work on it. For you to have no idea he wasn't happy till he drops bombshell - smacks of deception.

duffybeatmetoit Sat 30-Mar-13 01:52:31

I have a 5 yr old. When stbxh walked out (denying that he was involved with the OW who he now lives with). I asked him to tell dd what was happening whilst I was there so that she didn't get mixed messages. He ignored that and I don't know what he said to her. I also suggested that he said that he didn't love mummy rather than he didn't love mummy anymore so that she wouldn't think he could stop loving her too.

I kept to the line if daddy doesn't love mummy but he found the questioning about why he didn't love mummy too difficult so told her that he loved mummy again which led to the inevitable assumption on her part that he was coming back. He then had to backtrack again as he hadn't thought it through.

It's not easy but you do IMO need to think about how they will interpret what they are told and if possible tell them together so you all giving the same message. Don't give them false hope if there is no chance of reconciling.

ComposHat Sat 30-Mar-13 02:20:28

I don't see how baseless speculation over whether the op's husband is having an affair or not is either helpful or necessary at this stage. The question is about explaining to the op's children the dramatic change that will happen in their lives.

I'm not sure if the 'no longer loves mum but still loves you' line needs to be used.

If you can sit them down together and explain 'Dad is going to stay with Grandma, this isn't your fault and he'll still come to see you and whatever happens and whoever lives where, both of us will always love you.'

Machli Sat 30-Mar-13 08:24:39

Compo far, far worse to be left not knowing why someone doesn't love you anymore and desperately falling over yourself trying to get him back. I think that resonates with many who have posted (myself included) and I know I wish there had been someone to point ME in that direction rather than the endless searching for what I did wrong. Being left for no real reason and having suggestions of counselling and my desperate willingness to try and save the marriage thrown back in my face was excruciating and it was a RELIEF to find out he'd been seeing someone all along and I was not just some horrible person he couldn't bear to be around anymore.

Machli, exactly that. Thank God for MN, who suggested an OW was involved when my self esteem was at rock bottom. I snooped and the rest is history.

EverybodysSootyEyed Sat 30-Mar-13 11:20:22

I also think you need to put aside the reason for the split and come up with a no blame reason for the kids. They have plenty of time as they get older to see it for themselves. Children dont see things the way adults do and they won't understand.

My dh has issues which clearly stem from being far too involved in the breakdown of his parents marriage. He spent the rest of his childhood feeling guilty for loving his mum because she was the one to blame. His relationship with her has only really improved once he was an adult and could see it with an adult perspective. All he needed to know at the time was that none of it was his fault and that both his parents still loved him and would care for him.

Good luck - it sounds like he is being a coward and I would be livid with him.

MumOfTheMoos Sat 30-Mar-13 11:36:19

I agree with not going into the blame thing.

Daddy is going to live somewhere else but he will still see you and will always love you.

Trying to ensure they understand that it's daddy that had stopped loving mummy not the other way around is more about how you feel then what's best for the kids.

I am so sorry this is happening to you and telling children is a horrible job. That said, as long as they continue to feel safe and secure they will be pretty resilient about it all. So, all they need o understand is that they are loved by everybody.

duffybeatmetoit Sat 30-Mar-13 12:51:21

So if you take the daddy is going to live somewhere else what do you say when dc asks why? When the dc sees that daddy is living with someone else straight away what do you say when dc asks why?

duffybeatmetoit Sat 30-Mar-13 12:58:49

If you are matter of fact about daddy not loving mummy and not getting emotional or abusive about daddy, it is quite straightforward for a child to understand. The most important thing is making sure that the child doesn't think it is their fault (daddy not loving mummy fits that) and that daddy will always love them (so no mention of "not loving mummy any more" which would suggest that feelings can change).

zwischenzug Sat 30-Mar-13 13:01:36

The blame shouldn't be on you, but just because he has left doesn't mean it's on him either. Would an abused woman who left the family home be seen as a "complete an utter tosser" as someone on here puts it? He may have legitimate reasons to leave, although nobody here knows if this is the case.

You should both tell the children together, without assigning blame.

chris481 Sat 30-Mar-13 14:18:50

"What sort of person backs out on the marriage for no good reason when there's kids involved? "

So you're saying if he's not happy he should find OW before leaving, rather than leaving then doing so?

Or maybe you're just observing that's what usually happens.

(I don't think the order is the most important issue here, but I've been led to believe that separating first is the more socially acceptable approach. Though from a practical point of view, finding OW first makes more sense for him.)

ComposHat Sat 30-Mar-13 14:35:51

Machli I understand this must have been helpful for you, but it doesn't mean that it is always the case that there's another woman involved. Unless there is something concrete to suggest this (and from what the op said there isn't at this stage) it really isn't going to advance the situation at this stage to have a Greek chorus of 'there's another woman' from posters who doesn't no the poster or her husband and has made 2 plus 2 equal 500.

Machli Sat 30-Mar-13 16:17:38

I disagree entirely that it won't advance the situation. No we don't know the full story, does anyone on here? I think it WILL advance the OP's ability to begin to come to terms with the situation. It's not about gossipy speculating, it's about making someone aware of what I am sad to say is often going on when a man leaves his DW and DC for no apparent good reason.

The OP is the one who has posted, not her DH so I will try to offer support to someone in apparently horrible situation with the information she's given.

Machli Sat 30-Mar-13 16:19:30

Oh and honestly take a look in relationships. Quite often there is NO apparent evidence of anything going on, the OP states categorically that it's not possible and nine times out of ten sure enough there is something. I think most people would want to know that. Not just me.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 30-Mar-13 16:49:32


Yes, what you say is right, and sort of obvious ( making the effort to reconnect
etc) which is what makes me think there is an OW

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 30-Mar-13 16:52:37


I agree with What EverybodyLovesSootyEyes has said.

I am so sorry you are having to go through this.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 30-Mar-13 16:53:29

Sory, got the name weong above,

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:00:11

no you do not tell your dc that daddy doesn't love mummy anymore and is moving on.

Sadly marriage do end but you need to put your feelings aside for just a bit and not upset your dc anymore than needed - so let them know if this is the end of the marriage that mum and dad are not staying together and you don't need to tell them why - it is mean to try and involve your dc in the marriage they are part of the family and they will stay part of a family where mum and dad don't live together but still love them both.

the end of a marriage is horrid it really is but please please try to think about you both being parents to your dc and making sure they are ok - this may in the end help you.

can you go for mediation to help you split up - if it come to that - and split amicably.

i can remeber being asked do you love your dc more than you hate your exh or is it the other way around? I found this gave me a focus to try very hard to keep silent on things I knew my dc never needed to know that would have hurt them

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