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Tomorrow we tell the DCs that we're separating

(35 Posts)
splittingup Sat 25-Jun-16 10:49:06

We've waited until exams finished but tomorrow we're telling them we're splitting up after nearly 20 years of marriage. It's my decision as I can't contemplate feeling this unhappy for the rest of my life.

I'm willing to be the 'baddie' in the situation (although I have worked SO hard to keep the family together as they grew up) but I'm still scared they'll reject me.

They all have very different personalities so we've agreed to tell them separately as I don't want the one with the most dominant personality to set the tone for how the others should react.

They're two older teenagers and a 'tween'.

I'd appreciate any advice to make it as painless as possible for them.

PeppasNanna Sat 25-Jun-16 10:54:17

Honestly be honest with them. Theres no 'badie' or 'goodie'.
Give them concrete information as its a hard time & they will need stability.

Good luck.

Hotwaterbottle1 Sat 25-Jun-16 11:12:41

Im going to watch this thread as plan to tell our two (15 & 12) next month. I too am the one ending it and feel like the baddie but I can't feel unhappy & lonely like this for the rest of my life.

something2say Sat 25-Jun-16 11:17:03

I think, tell them and then sit back and give them plenty of space to say things in return. Have your message simple and have answers for questions prepared, such as don't you love each other, can't you give it another go etc. And then be kind with the no answers to these questions. Think how long it took you to get your head round the idea and relate that to how long they might need. Xxx but good luck x

splittingup Sat 25-Jun-16 11:17:28

Unhappy and lonely is the exact way to describe it. Friends are talking about how they're looking forward to spending more time with their DHs now their DCs are getting older - it filled me with dread.

I'll update to let you know how things went. Hopefully it won't be a 'what NOT to do' post!

splittingup Sat 25-Jun-16 11:19:23

Thanks for the advice about giving them time. I've been contemplating leaving for about ten years and still haven't quite got my head around it.

Hotwaterbottle1 Sat 25-Jun-16 11:58:11

I am exactly the same, I'm so lonely even though I'm not alone.

I dread though being alone with him, even for a 5 min car journey. The thought of just me & him when the kids left upset me so much. I thought I could wait until then but I just can't. How do I tell the kids though I've outgrown their dad, fallen out of love, sick of his non communicative ways & lack of intimacy and affection. No way I can be 100% honest with them.

pallasathena Sat 25-Jun-16 12:00:32

Make sure you emphasise that it isn't their fault. My adult kids told me recently that reassuring them that they were in no way to blame helped a lot.

ImperialBlether Sat 25-Jun-16 12:05:23

My children were 8 and 10 and they were very upset, as I knew they would be. I told them about 15 minutes before they were going to watch a programme they loved and a couple of minutes before it started, I said, "Right, let's stop crying and watch this for a bit" and I was amazed - their tears dried and within minutes they were laughing at the programme. Afterwards they were subdued and did talk some more but the horror had worn off by then and they were able to cope.

I hope it goes well. It's such a tough thing to have to do. I hope you'll be much, much happier in your new life.

Have you agreed with your husband where the children will live?

ImperialBlether Sat 25-Jun-16 12:06:07

Hotwaterbottle1, does he feel the same?

Hotwaterbottle1 Sat 25-Jun-16 12:10:33

No, he says he still loves me and wants to try but we have had this conversation multiple times going back around 4 years and I know nothing will ever change.

GoldenOrb Sat 25-Jun-16 12:53:34

Interested in this as I/we need to tell our DC soon, but they are quite a bit younger than yours. It is me instigating the split too and it is not what H wants at all. I'm worried about how we can phrase it, because "mummy and daddy don't love each other anymore" isn't true, H wants to stay in a relationship but like Hotwaterbottle this has been going on for over 4 years and I can't take anymore.

Good luck splittingup, I hope the conversation goes as well as it can.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 25-Jun-16 13:58:25

Waiting until after their exams must have been extremely difficult for you. I recall people on here saying that it helps if you reassure them they can talk to you any time and give an idea where they're going to live and what access they'll have to each parent. And if you know someone who they trust to talk to, give them the okay to let it out to a third party.

A good friend whose parents divorced when she was at primary school (so younger than your DCs) said she wished she could have told them both:
1) "Don't put me in a situation where I feel I have to pick sides"
2) "It's not necessary to go into huge detail - it is okay to say there were adult/private issues you couldn't agree on, though you tried your best to sort them out".

splittingup Sat 25-Jun-16 17:36:07

Thank you everyone for your advice. I'm sorry some of you are going through the same thing. He wants to stay together and thinks because things are slightly better everything is ok. It isn't. I feel suffocated.

He is moving out and I am hoping to stay in the house in the short/medium term to provide some stability for DCs.

It's been horrendous waiting for the exams to finish. We've swung from hate (from him) to normality. It's made me doubt my decision a few times, but then something happens to confirm I've done the right thing.

FurryLittleTwerp Sat 25-Jun-16 19:21:49

I'm in a similar situation, except DS 18 knows & DH doesn't! I think he suspects though - he has to - he knows & makes no effort to change the things he knows upset me & that I find unacceptable - we have had many many discussions going back over several years. He occasionally mutters about knowing I'll leave him when DS leaves home, but I think when I tell him "this is it" he'll be horrified.

stealtheatingtunnocks Sun 26-Jun-16 00:27:00

watching, waiting to do the same

splittingup Sun 26-Jun-16 15:53:53

Well we've told the oldest and the youngest. We emphasised that we'd worked at it but the marriage still wasn't right, we'd probably be better parents if we weren't together as there'd be no conflict and that we would both always be there for them.

Oldest looked in a state of shock and asked why now rather than five years ago ( when things were horrendous). I'd always said to stbxh that it was my biggest regret that I didn't go then as then I wouldn't have to justify my decision as it was so obvious.

DC1 then said they understood and why should we be unhappy to stay together for them.

He worried about the financial situation as we said this would always be his home. He knows I can't afford it on my salary so we reassured him that it would be fine.

I'm a bit shocked as he said he might live with his dad. I can see his point as his dad's apartment is in the town where his friends live but I thought he'd stay a few times each week - not full time.

Youngest didn't say much. Just said "okay'. I emphasised he could talk to us at anytime or his siblings.

Just about to collect middle one from work and then we can tell them.

loveyoutothemoon Sun 26-Jun-16 16:28:22

Well done to you! It's tough, I've been there, but they'll be fine eventually.

Is there a reason why you didn't wait and tell them together?

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Sun 26-Jun-16 16:34:59

I would say don't tell them how long you've been unhappy and that you've been waiting for the children to grow older before splitting (if you have). My mum told me that her and dad were splitting when I was 16, and she'd been unhappy for years and was waiting for me to do exams. I felt and still feel very guilty that she was unhappy all that time. I wish she'd never mentioned it tbh.

Hotwaterbottle1 Sun 26-Jun-16 16:40:46

Im glad it went well for you. Thanks to the other ladies for the advice.

lifeisunjust Sun 26-Jun-16 17:02:42

There certainly is a baddie in some situations.

I'd leave it to the parent who has decided to call it a day because it is wholly unreasonable if the other person does not agree to tell the children.

Hotwaterbottle1 Sun 26-Jun-16 17:07:12

Life, not the most helpful comment. Should people be unhappy then and stay because of the children? Surely for the children's sake a united front is best.

splittingup Sun 26-Jun-16 17:31:44

Have just told the middle one who appeared the most shocked and said he "didn't get it".

We told them separately as the eldest has a very dominant personality and I didn't want the others to feel they had to follow their lead. I think it was the right thing to do as they were free to express their own feelings.

We told them it wasn't a quick decision and we had worked to save the marriage but were still unhappy.

Hotwaterbottle1 Sun 26-Jun-16 19:03:08

Are they still ok? How do you feel? Relieved? Im scared I will cry.

splittingup Sun 26-Jun-16 21:25:28

It was a bit of an out of body experience. I felt it wasn't really happening. Nobody has mentioned it since - we've just sat and watched Glastonbury! I don't know if it just hasn't hit them yet. I'm sure when their dad moves out it'll seem real (to us all).

This day has been on my mind for weeks while we waited for exams to end so my major emotion is relief. No tears. A feeling of guilt perhaps but not tears.

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