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To ask how your children coped with separation/divorce (amicable)?

(9 Posts)
malika54 Mon 16-Oct-17 06:18:57

Just that really. I have officially split up with my long term partner. We'll tell the kids once we have a plan of action and have made decisions/sorted out paperwork etc.
Part of me knows it's the right decision, part of me thinks I am fucking up their lives.
Please be brutally honest about your experiences. Thank you flowers

Mrswinkler Mon 16-Oct-17 07:05:34

If it is truly amicable, try and keep it in your head that you are still a family. Still try and do family things. But tell your kids that living together just wasn’t working out for you and you’re going to be happier living apart. Expect that it’s going to be really hard work splitting up and support each other through the break up. Communicate with each other. You haven’t failed your kids in doing this; society’s expectations of the happy nuclear family are far too high. Work hard at an alternative. It can work out well and your kids might end up with four happy caring parents/adults in their life in the future if you are lucky, instead of just the two.

Darknessinthevalley Mon 16-Oct-17 07:13:02

As a kid of an amicable split, it taught me a lot of super healthy lessons. My parents aren't great people, or parents, but the divorce wasn't the reason for that.
But I understand why my parents split and I always have. It showed me I didn't have to stay in an unhappy relationship, and they didn't let us play them off against each other, the custody arrangements were very child led, from 10 years old I went wherever I wanted. Nice and easy. You definitely haven't ruined your children's lives.

Fantail Mon 16-Oct-17 07:59:55

I'm two years in exactly. We are amicable and share care 50/50.

My ex has been living with his new partner since January.

It takes effort and quite a bit of tongue biting.

I'm sure my DD would prefer that we were still together, but we can't change that. Although when she voices it I always listen, praise her for telling me how she feels, reiterate that it's not her fault and it isn't going to change.

It's hard, but then parenting is hard anyway.

Decide what you will do not just for day to day care but for Christmas, birthdays etc.

sukitea Mon 16-Oct-17 08:57:47

Really good advice so far. I am the child of a very bitter divorce that took more than 10 years to finalize, so I can tell you what NOT to do. I always cringe when I read on the step parenting board how "unhealthy" it supposedly is for parents of child to be friendly and still invested/concerned in each other. Apparently this sends very confusing messages to the child hmm. I would give my right arm for my parents to be together friends; 30 years later they don't even speak.

I think acknowledging their feelings is really important too. When DM got a new partner I felt obliged to be happy for her, although I wasn't and our lives became very complicated as he had children from before and we all lived together supposedly very happily in a 3 bed house that was way too small for privacy from people you didn't even really know.

We had to very much compartmentalize our father, my DM considered him to be 'not really relevant' once they split up. DF was not allowed to stand on the driveway or phone the house. I had a friend whose parents were divorced and her DC used to come on Christmas day to see her open presents and I was so jealous of that (again on step parents that is totally wrong and confusing for DC)

Solasum Mon 16-Oct-17 09:12:13

I think the above advice about still seeing yourself as a family is good. My DS is 3, and ex and I still communicate most days, we talk to each other about difficulties etc. (We even went away with his parents over the summer, but not sure I would do that again). If my son ever wants to talk to him we Skype or send a message, he always responds quickly. It is helped to make him feel much more present for my DS, even though they are not living together any more. We have also made a big effort to stay in touch with the rest of his family, even when he isn't around, and we also sometimes do things with my family too.

I have tried to answer all his questions honestly, and he has asked the same questions many times. I always emphasise that his dad loves him very much and it isn't his fault.

It seems to be working so far, though no new partners in the equation. Occasionally I am a bit resentful that I am the adult, and he gets to essentially be free and single, with just a couple of days of being a dad (one weekend day and one evening). But I think I hide this from my son,which is all that matters.

I have decided that the best way forward for us collectively is for me to occasionally bite my tongue in the interests of the bigger picture. It is in my son's best interests that we all get on. But it is sometimes hard!

undertheradarplease Mon 16-Oct-17 09:30:21

I am also a child (teen) victim of a very nasty separation/divorce. My parents separated 5 times in 12 years before calling it quits permanently 4 years ago.

Their lack of compassion towards each other, constant back biting, bad mouthing and general bad behaviour gave me a breakdown and nearly completely destroyed my own marriage.

It sounds cheesy but the best advice I can give is to be kind; to your dc, to your ex and to yourself.

You say that your separation is amicable - that's a good start. Your dc may still likely feel sad, angry or confused. Legitimise those feelings, it's completely normal.

Every child reacts differently to this kind of change because every family has different circumstances. Just because others have negative experiences, doesn't mean you and your family unit will emerge from this broken and traumatised.

I sought therapy to help me deal with my feelings of anger and disappointment - it's the best investment I have ever made.

Take your time when making decisions, put your child's and your own needs first, remember to laugh and cry if you need to.

I'm wishing you all the best for the future, OP. flowers

Twillow Mon 16-Oct-17 09:42:58

Not amicable due to long term DA, and exH has huge beef with financial settlement thinks I ripped him off...
Two DC, eldest particularly has suffered hugely but as much from the DA as the split. We had to move a few times so has been hard work for all of us. I desperately wish I could improve things but don't know how. I don't think I'd be at risk of physical abuse now but still emotional as he blames me for everything despite going to perpetrator counselling (which apparently taught him there are two sides to everything and my problem is I just label myself a victim), so I keep my distance and communication in person is nil and very minimal electronically.
Don't regret leaving, tried everything I could. Just wish I had left a lot earlier now...

malika54 Tue 17-Oct-17 05:54:17

Thank you all for your great practical tips! Thank you all for sharing, I was feeling wobbly yesterday and you made things better flowers

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