How to tell the kids

(14 Posts)
whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 14:02:10

Dh has cheated on me. It's the last star in a long long line of mistakes. We have 3dc, 8,7 and 4. We are telling them Dh is moving out on Saturday. We will co-parent as much as possible and I'm determined not to let things get nasty in front of the kids. Dd 8 is especially close to him and copes badly when he is away overnight with work so this will hit hard. What reason do we give and how best to approach please? I'm clueless and know we only get one shot at this....

hermione2016 Wed 12-Oct-16 14:43:28

Oh bless, We are telling our dc just before half term when husband moves out.
I think we will say something like Mum & Dad no longer want to be together.I think it's important to stress that parents always love their children even if they live in separate houses.

At such a young age they may take a little while to process and perhaps ask questions later.The 4 year will most likely adapt better but will take a lead from older siblings.
Have you agreed when dad will see them?

Others in MN have recommended having something to do afterwards, nothing out of the ordinary just a plan so they feel as if the routine will continue.
Are you planning on talking to the school?

whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 15:02:06

I'll email school Friday. The head is amazing and it's a small school so I'm sure of their support. Thing is we've been getting along great and this is going to really come as a massive shock. I can't even say I don't love him because I do....

whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 16:48:43

Bump....

whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 19:27:29

Obviously we will reassure we love them and they will see us both as much as they like etc etc I'm just wondering if we say something like 'Daddy made a mistake' or 'Daddy wasn't honest with mummy' or something.....or is that awful? I've no idea but think we have to tell them WHY, in an age appropriate way

remem Wed 12-Oct-16 19:35:38

Please don't say something about daddy not being honest or something along those lines. They don't need to know the details (until they are older perhaps). You don't want them to hate their dad and that's what will happen if they think that this is their dads fault.

My parents divorced when I was 5 (my mum cheated on my dad and moved the new man in almost straight away) and my dad never told us, he never criticised her in front of us and he some how managed to stay civil. As we got older, we found out.

It's a very difficult situation for you to be in and you're hurting, and quite rightly so. Have you decided on contact and how that will work? The kids will want to hear that Dad is still there and still involved

whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 19:40:00

I really don't want them to hate him but surely we have to give them a reason? No? And I don't want being cross at me that he's gone when it's not my fault

remem Wed 12-Oct-16 19:52:23

I totally understand you want to give a reason and your older children will ask. Could you just explain that you and dh don't want to live together anymore but are going to be good friends and parents to them? Explain it has nothing to do with them, but sometimes this happens.

I just wanted to say it needs to be kept as neutral as possible, is that possible for you?

whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 19:55:05

Yes it is and really is my aim. We always talk about being a team so thinking of saying mummy and daddy aren't working well as a team anymore but that we will both always be on their team and can still have lots of family time together etc

remem Wed 12-Oct-16 19:59:40

That sounds perfect to me! Your 8 and 7 year old will have friends who have parents who live apart, so it won't be an alien c

remem Wed 12-Oct-16 20:00:29

Posted too soon!!

It won't be an alien concept for them. The "team" idea sounds great.

I really hope it goes ok and that the children adjust quickly!!

whatnextfred Wed 12-Oct-16 20:02:19

Thank you. Trying so so hard to be strong

remem Wed 12-Oct-16 20:05:29

Sounds like you've had a very difficult time and making some tough decisions. Just be confident in your choices. Kids are remarkably robust things.

Take time for yourself, to get your head around the changes flowers

Honeyandfizz Sun 16-Oct-16 08:53:59

Don't tell them about the affair, like pp have said they will figure it out when they are older. For now this will come as a huge shock and damage limitation is the best thing for the dc. Ex H and I recently separated after 16 years together (nobody else involved) and i felt sick telling my dc 13 & 11 as there were no arguments or signs from their point of view so a complete shock. I told them we had become more like brother and sister than husband and wife.
Its been 6 weeks now and they have coped amazingly, far far better than i could ever have imagined. I think this is completely down to the fact that Ex h and I are still amicable and they see that they don't have to hate either of us. Good luck, It must be terribly hard to be the bigger person when there has been an affair but your kids will thank you for it later in life I'm sure.

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