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telling the kids before Christmas?

(21 Posts)
Duffelcoat Mon 30-Nov-15 01:12:55

After a year of counselling I've told Dh I want to separate. He is angry with me and feels I have given up - told me I was going to ruin the kids lives forever and that they would never recover. Things are extraordinarily tense. There is no going back. He has a history of depression and anxiety and a big old self destruct button. Some compulsive behaviour too. Is it better to tell kids (age6 and14) next week before Christmas and have the holidays to deal with fallout or wait till new

Duffelcoat Mon 30-Nov-15 01:16:47

......Posted prematurely then and don't know how to edit? Last sentence should read 'wait till new year, but then it's back to school and depressing january'

babymouse Mon 30-Nov-15 01:22:22

Your fourteen year old knows something is up and the six year old is likely aware as well - there is never a good time to say these things, but given the tension I'd tell them now. It will be horrible, but it will release the tension which is a good thing.

Fwiw this is coming from the perspective of someone whose parents separated when I was fourteen after four years of increasing tension.

thanks take care of yourself

Duffelcoat Mon 30-Nov-15 01:32:21

Thank you babymouse. Ds does know something is up. Dh is very good at putting a jolly front on but it is coming across as a bit manic. DS is worried about me I think. Keeps asking if I'm alright - Been sleeping badly and look like crap.

TooSassy Mon 30-Nov-15 08:25:35

The one question that springs to mind.

If you separate is your DH likely to stay in the house?
Is he going to be able to sit down with you and calmly explain to the DC's what is happening?

IMO your mind has been made up and the tension is only likely going to get worse and worse. Unexplained tension is pretty horrendous to anyone. I would tell the DC's and then focus on making Christmas as great as possible for them.

You do need to know if he is going to move out etc before telling them.

On a side note, make sure you have got passports/ important paperwork/ valuables etc somewhere safe.

Stay on here OP and keep posting. Lots of support

Malamutes Mon 30-Nov-15 13:59:20

Duffel coat I am in exactly the same situation. Countless reasons why I am seeking a divorce but he absolutely refuses to accept this. We have been attending counselling in my mind to help him understand why I am doing this, DH has depression and is an alcoholic so really worried about him. BUT he is a grown up, he has led us to this point due to his unreasonable behaviour so must accept that this will happen.

I have two DS and I am hoping we can not tell them until after Christmas, they are aged 10 and 13 BUT I have just emailed DH to tell him I will be instructing the solicitors and he will be angry with me. So will need to play if by ear whether we tell the children all not, can you just wait and see too?

I'm not sleeping, look awful and have a terrible cold BUT I'm not going to give up on getting a divorce....l.i have tried to leave DH before but gave up, he made it so difficult and made so many promises that he kept getting chance. Not this time though!

Here to support you the best I can!

AuntieStella Mon 30-Nov-15 14:15:24

I think it depends on when he will actually move. I think it's generally better to hold off until you can tell the DC (especially younger ones) something concrete (where he's going, how often they can see him, etc).

How far have you got with the actual nuts and bolts of separation?

Duffelcoat Tue 01-Dec-15 06:38:23

Sorry for silence and thanks for your support all. horrendous day yesterday and Malamutes like you I'm ill, have tonsilitis. He is not making it easy. Generally He won't speak to me since I told him this is what I wanted in counselling that last week. He's very good at putting a big jolly front on. But I think my older child is picking up on that, as he is coming across a bit manic. I'm getting half an hours free legal advice through a scheme at work today. He has told me that by seeking separation I am about to ruin the kids lives and that I have to be the one that moves out. I told him I wanted to do what was fair and best for the kids. He won't speak to me beyond that. He is a loving Dad, and although I am very worried by some of his compulsive behaviours - my wish would be for us both to live in the area and shared custody. I told him via text I wanted to speak to children on Sunday but he said they will forever associate Christmas and their birthdays ( which are either side) with us parting. I can't bear the idea of them going back to school and horrible January very soon after hearing this news. I don't know what to do

TooSassy Tue 01-Dec-15 08:28:48

Firstly OP. Under no circumstances do you move out of that house. At all.

Once separation/ divorce proceedings are underway, they will focus on the wellbeing of the DC's. Therefore you stay in the family home with the DC's. You do not move out nor do you move them. If you move out then you will lose ground. If you move them out then you are the one to have disrupted their lives.

Second of all. You don't have to tell the DC's anything at this stage. They are children and they don't need to know what is happening if he is adamant that they don't need to be told. You can start a legal separation...or file for divorce (if you have grounds for unreasonable behaviour)...

Be strong OP. It doesn't sound like he is going to move out or make this remotely easy for you. That doesn't mean you should waver from your path. But equally if he isn't moving out....short term there isn't a compelling reason to tell him.

Goodbetterbest Tue 01-Dec-15 23:26:24

Hi OP, FWIW we told our kids on 28th Dec last year. It doesn't seem to have a massively adverse effect on them. Mainly because it was the right thing to do, and they really knew something was going on. Mostly they were relieved.

We're really looking forward to Christmas this year. They aren't carrying it with them. We're doing things a little differently, including the ILs more but mainly pleasing ourselves.

Phoenix69 Wed 02-Dec-15 09:07:41

Thought I would jump in here and add my thoughts.

He will throw plenty of emotional hooks at you and refuse to accept your decision. This is a defence mechanism because he doesn't want to accept the fact that you have decided to move on. Blaming you for the state of the marriage, his problems, the harm to be done to the kids, your financial future are all common.

Ruining the childrens lives is a common myth used as a tactic to make you give up on ending the marriage. See link below

wendyparis.com/yes-you-can-raise-happy-children-after-divorce/

research shows that kids need to have a good relationship with their parents which is irrelevant of marriage or divorce. In fact when you are together the kids will be assuming that this is how couples treat each other so any arguing, silences, awkwardness, bickering, snapping leads to the kids thinking that this is how couples behave.

You have spent a long time coming to this decision, don't expect him to accept it, he won't and that is no reason to stay. You health and happiness is important and you must do whatever you need to do to achieve this.

Financially things will slot into place but right now it is important to get that weight lifted from your shoulders. Take legal advice with a free half hour consultation with a solicitor.

With regards to when to tell the kids, play that by ear. If you tell them before Xmas it could put a sadness over Xmas, but you will have the holidays to discuss with kids. Tell them after Xmas and the kids could see a happy Xmas as a lie and go back to school. There isn't a good time. You could start by saying to the kids you think you both need a break as you are not happy rather than launching into a divorce conversation.

Good luck.

etttvatre Wed 02-Dec-15 09:19:22

Well done for working up the courage to tell your DH you want a divorce!

I'm in a similar position and wish I would have done this years ago. I told my DH I wanted out about four weeks ago, we told the DC's two weeks later.

It's amazing how much children understand that you don't think they do, and I firmly believe it's important to be honest with them in a situation like this, they'll know something is going on anyway.

Our DC's took it extremely well and so far haven't been traumatised at all. Despite it being just before Christmas!

Newtodating Wed 02-Dec-15 18:16:56

I am a year on from where you are now (albeit it wasn't my decision to end my marriage) and I don't think it was any worse explaining to the kids 3 weeks before Christmas than it would have been waiting until afterwards.If anything I don't think I could have faced having a 'happy family Christmas' based on a lie.hope you figure it out x

WhatAm1doing Wed 02-Dec-15 18:20:45

I'm having the same thoughts. We've talked and agreed he'll leave after Xmas but before the holidays are over to give everyone time to adjust before the back to school, ds 16 is aware dd 13 doesn't have a clue(I don't think). I'm lucky there is no atmosphere he's being very cheerful and trying to put a smile on everything which is what we agreed to as so he could sort his relationship with ds which had almost fallen apart. But if I'm honest it's killing me but I just keep counting down the days.

Duffelcoat Thu 03-Dec-15 03:33:29

Thank you for all you feedback this is massively helpful. I'm in such a state right now - his compulsive and avoidance behaviours have really ramped up and I'm feeling huge guilt at potentially leaving someone with an undiagnosed personality disorder (which feels cruel) And concern that any promise we make to the kids about joint access etc will not be appropriate if their Dad has a breakdown - which he has done in the past in an extreme stress situation before. Im feeling so overwhelmed and lost. Have been really strong up to this point then yesterday after bursting into tears in playground, had to phone into work sick because I literally couldn't stop crying. Feel much more level today - work great I've let my boss know what's going on and working from home. I know I need to protect myself legally and financially going forward but I feel a responsibility to help him get better too, for the sake of the kids.

Savagebeauty Sat 05-Dec-15 09:24:09

My dcs found out on Xmas day we were divorcing.. Ex's behaviour was so bizarre DS asked directly.
And we survived. Much easier once things were out in the open.
Looking forward to this Xmas.

STIDW Sat 05-Dec-15 18:30:47

We held everything off until after Christmas & New Year. IT wasn't easy & the children did know something was amiss. With hindsight I still think that was better than the sh*t hitting the fan which it invariably tends to do when it comes to tackling the practicalities, particularly if one party doesn't want to separate.

Creiddylad Sat 05-Dec-15 19:06:44

I am now 9 years on. We did not tell the kids till January, we wanted to get through Xmas and we had the in laws staying and did not want them getting involved.

I got all the 'you are ruining the kids lives' and he refused to move out too. He was told by someone that whatever happened he should not move out. What nonsense.

I moved out instead, took the kids, only moved a couple of roads away, so there was no change to their school, friends etc. I then sold the house. It made no difference to the contact or finances.

It was a horrid time, the kids got through it and have good relationships with both of us. We are all much happier now, and I have met and married someone else.

kittybiscuits Sun 06-Dec-15 09:56:45

I left a strikingly similar man last year. Don't expect his co-operation or for him to consider the needs of the children. Do not leave him in the house. Please be very wary of promises to children about future arrangements. He will have to be sober and sane to have them in his care. You are doing the right thing. Push on x

WhatAm1doing Sun 06-Dec-15 23:33:16

I'm taking great heart in all these messages as I am determined to keep a lid on it till after Xmas but before new year

gessami Fri 11-Dec-15 10:55:38

I agree with auntiestella. Tell them once you have a plan in place. They will ask questions and you need to have answers so that they still feel safe & secure.

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