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Breaking up with a BF? Best way to protect DD's emotions?

(9 Posts)
bellbottom Fri 12-Aug-11 19:19:32

Dd is 3.5. Was a single mum from pregnancy and until she was 2. Since then she has built a strong and regular connection with my BF. So that's for 1.5 years. We have been on and off, but today we broke up for good.

Each time we broke up in the past it was always a big issue for me. How to protect her emotions? I thought that despite a break up with BF that she should still be able to keep her friendship with him intact somehow. I thought it was unfair for his to disappear from her life from one day to the next. We never got to that because we always got back together. But now we are at this point and I just can't decide what to do for the best. He means so much to her. He is the only father figure she ever had. She adores him and he does her. But he and I cannot see eye to eye as a couple. He says he never remains friends with an ex. Bu he is prepared to protect her feelings and try to come to some arrangement so that he still has contact with her.

I need to hear from other mothers. Is it best to make a clean break? Is it damaging to her concept of future relationships if he is just gone from her life so abruptly?

It would be helpful to hear from peoples experiences, from both angles. I want to do whats best for DD. Many thanks X

bellbottom Fri 12-Aug-11 19:20:15

p.s BF is not father of DD. He is someone I met when she was 1.5 years

elliebellys Fri 12-Aug-11 22:18:21

hi bellbottom,is ur ex bf prepared to keep up contact for all her childhood,as he thought about future relationships or future children.?.bcos it wud be devastatin for her to build the relationship further with him for him then to walk awy completely when he has a new natural family.

bellbottom Sat 13-Aug-11 11:14:54

elliebellys - thanks for that point. I had not thought as far as that and I think it is a very valid one. Now that you have raised it then I think you're right, would be risky indeed and perhaps I will make a clean break.
The one thing that does bother me though is that the last time we saw him he and I had a huge fight. I got very angry in front of her. I am ashamed of this. I never wanted that. But it was like a red flag to a bull at the time.
What I don't want is for her last memory to be a bad one. So I thought maybe a good idea just to pass by a few times here and there to say hello and be happy around him. That way it may lessen the blow to her emotions and protect her a bit with regards to feelings on relatioships in the future. What do you think?

elliebellys Sat 13-Aug-11 16:37:00

it is hard 2 know wot to do ,but wudnt that confuse her more,just sayin hello.?

lastupenda Sun 14-Aug-11 08:11:29

I think elliebelly's right. If she were 7 or 8, I'd say maybe you could convince him to have a last chat with her with you there, too - just to say this is both of your decision and you think it's for the best... but she's only 3. She needs clear boundaries more than anything. At least it's black and white - you had the argument and now you're not together. If you want her to keep happy memories of him and not see him as an ogre or sthg then maybe it's down to you to talk about him in a positive way: share positive memories, and just make it clear that these things happen.

MeMySonAndI Mon 15-Aug-11 00:41:58

I agree with Elliesbelly, at this age it is not really that bad, you say you have been on and off with this guy for a long time so, I doubt that your child is seeing him like a "dad", I would say that probably more like an uncle that comes to visit from time to time.

there is no need to tell the kid you are not going to see this guy ever again, that would hurt her. It is just about letting the time pass and then, if she asks, you can explain that you are not seeing much of each other lately because you were not getting along well, but be careful to avoid using sentences that include the words ever, never, forever.

My ex boyfriend split with his wife when the child was that age, I can tell you the child doesn't even remember his Dad ever living at home.

TastyMuffins Tue 16-Aug-11 07:50:40

I split with a BF almost 2 years ago when my DS was 5. We keep in touch as his DS was friends with mine too. The contact has gradually thinned out though so only see him every couple of months or so. It was good for DS not to have a sudden break from someone who was part of our lives several days a week. I think we may see even less of each other now as I am less keen to continue and ex Bf has a new GF.

If you do keep contact for your DD, arrange to do family things, outings or picnics, like you might do with any friend. If you don't want it to be a forever thing, gradually stretch out the gaps between.

It can be a problem if either of you feels that there is a chance you will get back together so make it clear that it is for the child. It may also be very difficult if either of you begin a new relationship, also for the new BF/GF to accept an Ex relationship where you don't have a child together.

davidtennantsmistress Tue 16-Aug-11 08:08:03

Hi I mt someone when DS was about 2.5, for a year or so, bit of a mistake but anyhow, we split up, he'd built a relationship with DS, and wanted to see him etc & remain in his life - I thought it was best that given DS's age for him to not have anything further to do with DS, there was never any intention of seeing him again, on my part and as we live in different towns no thoughts as to bumping into each other.

DS did ask questions, but I told him he was no longer friends with mummy. He was ok & took things in his stride, we did have a few weeks where he would randomly mention him, it prob also helped that for about a month before hand I hadn't really let them see each other.

fwiw, DS took to DP like a duck to water, it's not effected him at all with other relationships - well has slightly in the respect of DP's job takes him away quite a bit & sometimes DS will give him a hard time when he comes back - much the way he does when his dad comes back from working away for a spell & he first see's him again.

Either way you need to be consistent with your DD.

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