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Separation and effect on young children

(10 Posts)
topsecret123 Sun 06-Dec-15 23:08:19

We have one son, almost 6. I am desperately unhappy with the relationship with my partner. We can barely have a civil conversation or stay in the same room. My partner creates arguments over trivial things in front of DS. I'm worried what affect this might be having on DS. If it wasn't for DS we would have split up a long time ago. However my partner does not want us to split up as he does not want to be a part time dad. So it will have to be me that instigates a separation and I expect he will then tell DS that it me splitting the family up, turning DS against me.

Is it really best for us to stay together for DS's sake? I do not think I can live in an environment like this for much longer. Obviously it would be massively disruptive to DS for us to split up. He is so attached to us both, the house we live in, his school etc.

I could not afford to buy another house in the area we live on my sole income. I also could not afford the school fees, although my partner could. We have a cohabiting agreement and I will only get a proportion of the uplift in value since we bought the house just before DS was born. I will not get any benefits. I probably will get no money from my partner either if we split up because he is so tight anyway. So DS's home environment will change hugely, we will be living miles away from what DS considers to be home and then he will be living in two homes.

How do 6 year old children cope with this? Is it best to continue as we are for DS? Or is it best to separate? How do I minimise the pain to my son?

topsecret123 Sun 06-Dec-15 23:11:39

I realise there is a mumsnet page on this topic, however it is aimed at dads not mums and would be nice to hear some more personal advice from someone who has actually been through this.

tinkerbella55 Mon 07-Dec-15 05:08:34

Hi ts123, my LO is a lot younger than yours at 19months but on one aspect - the change of finanical/std of living front - I can give my exp - my STBXH is also v tight & we had v nice std of living pre separation. I was so worried re my children being brought up in much tougher circumstances. I was so unhappy in marriage & STBXH was awful. Separating best thing I ever did, going through really horrific divorce/financial agreement now & am so scared about all financial difficulties I will have but don't & haven't regretted decision for 1 second. I know if I (& STBXH) so unhappy cld only be negative for children.

HeyMicky Mon 07-Dec-15 05:54:24

My parents stayed together "for the sake of the children" for a decade before divorcing in my early teens. The atmosphere was toxic, everyone was very unhappy and their relationship deteriorated so badly that they never spoke again post divorce, which made it difficult for DB and I to juggle the relationships.

Staying together will not be the best thing for your DS. You will also be teaching him that it is acceptable to stay in a relationship where one or both parties are unhappy, which will have consequence into his adult relationships

MagicalHamSandwich Mon 07-Dec-15 06:25:19

Agree with Micky, another child of a couple that stayed together for the children. They eventually separated when I was 12 and my sister 10. It was horrible before they did - especially when they insisted on doing Christmas together every year - again 'for the children'. Cue an annual drunk shouting match.

20 years after the divorce they're finally at the point where they can refer to each other in different terms than just 'the cold bitch' and 'your useless father'. Would have been easier on all of us if they'd just split up when they stopped wanting to be a couple!

Just go, OP! Your kids won't thank you for modeling a dysfunctional relationship to them for years to come ...

FollowTheGreaterSun Sun 31-Jan-16 14:23:55

I don't think it's ever a good idea to stay together for the sake of the children. It'll be difficult at first but having happy separated parents is much better for them than unhappy married ones.

MagicalHamSandwich is right - modelling a dysfunctional relationship won't do them any favours.

elliepac Tue 09-Feb-16 20:18:41

Staying together for the sake of the children is a bad idea. It is not modelling a good relationship. I did it for about 3 years and then eventually split. It was the best thing I ever did.

Dd was 6 when we split. She took it well and adapted. There were wobbles where she was unsettled. I am not going to say that it was all plain sailing at first because it was not as she struggled at handovers, felt like she was choosing between us. We merely rearranged handovers so we were both not here, i dropped off and picked up at his mum's. We never bad mouthed each other in front of the children and always supported then seeing the other parent. After about 6 months, it really settled down and now, nearly 2 years on, she is absolutely fine, well adjusted and settled. She is happy in her relationship with both parents. And she is happier knowing that both I and her dad are happy. We are both in new relationships and she has accepted those at well. DS will be fine if you and your dh handle it sensitively.

Minime85 Wed 10-Feb-16 08:52:23

Hi topsecret123 I also add to the don't stay together for the kids. My exh and I split over two years ago now dcs were just 6 and 8. As last poster said it hasn't always been easy and they had wobbles but ex and I worked together to make transition as smooth as possible in these situations eg they were not made to stay overnight at his until they were happy to, they had old bedding from home to take there to make it feel more normal, I went with them to see exh new house.

We were able to stay where we lived though and I got the house. Once dcs involved does it change your right to the house?

My dcs now are happy and see two happy homes instead of one where it was tense and arguments were happening. You think they don't realise but they do. I won't say it's easy as I hate having to share them but equally I have a new partner now and so does exh and we were no longer happier together. The issue you have is with school fees can he move to a state school?

bb888 Wed 17-Feb-16 20:58:45

I'd also like to add to the votes for not staying together for the children. If you are struggling to be civil then your DS will be picking up on the tense environment. You will be a better mum to him if you are happy and relaxed.

This isn't your fault. Both you and your partner were involved in getting the relationship to this stage, you just might have to be the one who is strong enough to take that final step rather than leaving things to drift.

Can you check out what the finances would be re support for your DS if you did separate? It might help you feel better about things if you are clear about what the finances would look like?

murrell0cherri Thu 18-Feb-16 08:14:45

Current research suggests that staying together for the sake of the kids may not be the best idea from the kids point of view.

It's a decision only you can make

A really helpful article for those struggling with tough decisions

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