Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How to comfort/explain to DD why we do t live with daddy?

(13 Posts)
Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 08:41:38

I split with my EXDP when DD was 18 months old. It was a horrendous time. He was addicted to Internet porn and had crossed the line into darker stuff. He had a break down and social services and the police were involved. He has had counselling and MH services involved and seems much better.

Doesn't change in my mind the risk factors though.

DD is now 5, she has supervised access with him. Recently she has become upset and this morning had a massive crying fit asking why daddy can't move back home. I have explained that although we both love her, we don't love each other anymore. She doesn't understand that and blames me I think for him not being here.
She says she is going to ask him when she sees him next if he loves me hmm

I need some advice on how to explain things to her (age appropriate) and try to handle her distress in a way that makes her feel heard and understood. I don't want her to have false hope that we will be a family again because it will never happen.

Any advice??

Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 09:26:33

Anyone?

ayeokthen Sat 24-Sep-16 09:29:35

I split with XH when DS was 14 months, he was very abusive and unfaithful. Over the years he's tried to fill DS head with loads of bullshit, but I spent a long time explaining to DS that sometimes grown ups can't live together. I love him very much, his dad loves him very much (bullshit but still), but that sometimes Mums and Dads have to live apart and that it doesn't change how much he is loved. Has your ex been saying anything to your DD? I know how tough it is when it's all being aimed at you, especially when you know the truth but can't tell them.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 24-Sep-16 09:30:09

I wonder is he saying something to her as she can't have any memory of ye living together. Try not to over react when she asks as she might be picking up on that. Be casual. Say lots of children have parents who don't live together and try to mention someone she knows.

RaeSkywalker Sat 24-Sep-16 09:35:49

I also think he's probably saying something to her. She won't have a memory of him living with you. I'd just continue to say that you both love her, but sometimes things are better if grown ups don't live together. Is there a way you could raise your concerns about her recent behaviour and what the source of it might be?

This must be so hard for you flowers

Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 09:43:27

I don't know what he has been saying to her. He doesn't really talk about her life with her much. Doesn't ask about school etc. He does the activity he has brought (cooking, arts and crafts etc).

It's weekly contact when his shifts allow for 4 hours. But there are gaps of up to 4 weeks where he doesn't see her.
It will be different to other children's access at school etc and I haven't a clue how to explain why when she (inevitably) asks me.

I have said that we both love her but not each other. She wants to know why we don't. It's hard seeing her so upset.

Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 09:45:26

She makes up memories of when daddy was here, always funny happy stories and says 'do you remember mummy?'. Breaks my heart sad

Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 09:48:18

aye sorry to hear that, it's crap that people try to do that to kids. It's point scoring power play. One day your DS will figure out what is truth and what is lies by himself I hope flowers

ayeokthen Sat 24-Sep-16 09:52:21

Rarity75 thanks, it's not easy for us when it's all aimed at us at all is it? I felt he could lash out at me because I was the constant, he knew I'd never leave him and was always there. I have to say that 8 years down the line it's very much settled down and he sees his dad once a fortnight and barely mentions him the rest of the time. His dad chooses not to call and speak to him or Skype or anything. DS has just accepted this that's the way it is. I hope your DD gets there one day too flowers

Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 10:00:20

Thank you, I hope so too. She is so very little still and believes the Disney Dream of happy ever after. She knows I will never leave her too and has a great relationship with her GP's. She has had some losses to this year. The cat and a GP on his side. I think it's affected her, and made her less secure, hence the demands for daddy to move back home.

ayeokthen Sat 24-Sep-16 10:47:14

Losses can be terribly traumatic to a child, it makes sense that she's trying to make sense of her world and who is in it. Bless her, she's got a lovely mum, she'll be ok.

Kr1stina Sat 24-Sep-16 12:25:46

Tell her that you and her father will never live together again, that you were not happy living with him. That there were some happy times - like having a baby - but too many sad times .

Say that you know it's hard to understand , there thing are hard enough for adults to work out , let alone little kids.

But it's ok for her to feel sad or angry about it and she can talk to you about any time she wants .

Rarity75 Sat 24-Sep-16 15:21:13

Thank you all for your advice. It helps to have more words to my arsenal! It's hard also because I don't know what he says to her. Although we do speak (when we have to) he isn't a great communicator and he blames me not his behaviour for the split. Also I am pursuing him over shared debt that he doesn't pay for so its difficult at the moment.

We've been to a swimming morning to start lessons and then went looking for a kitten. Currently doing decoupage whilst I ignore the housework! Tears of this morning are gone for now.

Love MN got me through some really tough times and you lot are great!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now