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Divorce - Advice on how to break it to the children

(13 Posts)
gessami Tue 27-Oct-15 23:29:00

H and I have decided to divorce. He had an affair, we've spent a year trying to rebuild the marriage. It didn't work. We are really keen to do this civilly, and to try to get through it without damaging DCs.

So we have 3 DCs: DS (10), DD (8) & DS (5).

I'd love to know how you told your kids.
- what did you say?
- how long between telling them and actually separating?

I guess other than reassuring them that we both love them and that we will always be their mum & dad, I'm at a loss.

DivorceAlchemist Wed 28-Oct-15 12:38:00

Gessami well done for asking such a great question. Not enough parents think this through! I work with families in your position. I could write you a detailed post. I do have a PDF with details on how to handle this situation. If you'd like it, do PM me and I'll send it to you smile

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 28-Oct-15 15:57:00

It is not just what you say now, but how you both act after you split that is important.
ExH and I told DD (rather I did as he was too chicken to) that were not making each other happy and we felt it was better to have two happy houses rather than one unhappy house. I have always maintained these even when DD tried to push me to reveal I stuck to there were complex adult reasons why we were making each other unhappy.
Sadly my ExH had the OW stay the night when DD went for contact 5 days after he left the family home. I think if he had not introduced OW for at least 6-9 months things would have been very different.

gessami Wed 28-Oct-15 18:18:15

thank you lonecat. did you give DD some time to get used to the idea before actually separating? or did you tell her on the day? we can't decide what's better

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 29-Oct-15 07:02:04

We told her roughly a month before Ex moved out.

VelvetShroudatMidnight Fri 30-Oct-15 10:31:03

Sorry to hear about this, but its excellent that you are able to put the adult issues to one side & prioritise your DC. A lot of splitting couples are so overtaken with anger or bitterness that the DC can come second.

The way I did it was this: we presented a united front & avoided blaming one parent, we told the DCs that we would both be happier in our own homes & that we no longer loved each other & that it was a joint decision (even though it wasn't). I focused on how their lives would change, for example they would have 2 bedrooms, 2 front doors, they would see me during the week & ex at weekends. As you say we reassured them that it was not their fault & we loved them as much as ever but sometimes parents make the decision to live apart.

Try not to go into the actual details of it, they don't need to know the reasons. Focus on what will change for them.

As for timing just do what feels right, I decided to leave my ex one Sunday evening, told him at the time, told him again in the morning & had to tell DS that night as ex had moved out. It varies according to circumstance & I don't know what the best time is. If you are planning to share a house for the foreseeable future then it may be confusing for them if you tell them & nothing changes, or it could give them a chance to ask questions of both of you & give them time to prepare for a parent leaving?

gessami Fri 30-Oct-15 23:12:50

thanks so much for your replies.

we're telling them this weekend and H will move out next weekend.

absolutely dreading it.

Minime85 Sat 31-Oct-15 17:20:58

Hi OP I hope it goes as well as these things can. That's what we did time wise and I went with them to see daddy's new house. Tried to remain as amicable as possible and we did not tell them the ins and outs of everything. They were 6 and 8. Had a book called mum and dad glue which helped explain it to youngest one. Dcs lives have remained as much as we can the same so it doesn't matter who they are with they still do all their activities and go to parties etc.

DivorceAlchemist Sat 31-Oct-15 19:56:17

Good luck. Remember, children are more resilient than we sometimes think. Answer their questions and reassure them that even though mummy and daddy live apart, you both still love them just the same. smile

TooSassy Sun 01-Nov-15 09:37:02

Op. How did it go?! You ok?

gessami Sun 01-Nov-15 23:59:04

it went really well! they asked lots of practical questions regarding toys and toothbrushes etc. they got super excited when they found out they would each get their own room at daddy's new house. and then we spent the rest of the day as normal.

i am sure there will be difficulties in adjusting when it actually happens. and i know they will take time to settle into a new routine and circumstances.

but generally they were ok

TooSassy Mon 02-Nov-15 07:11:33

Well done OP. Just continue to reassure that you love them both. There will be some ups and downs but children adjust remarkably quickly.

DivorceAlchemist Mon 02-Nov-15 10:47:07

That's fantastic news Gessami well done!!smileand thank you for sharing your positive experience too!

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