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Separation and Dh having a breakdown , what and how do i tell the children

(13 Posts)
Spotsanddots Sun 09-Nov-14 03:09:47

Please help x This summer things came to a head in my 14 year marriage for many reasons and it was my decision that i wanted to end our marriage. My husband was devastated and tried everything to keep us together, but for me i could not carry on and separation was the only option. We have continued to live together with our 2 girls aged 9 and 5 whilst we get our heads around the idea of splitting etc etc. To cut a long story short, my husband has found it increasingly difficult to accept and this weekend resulted in a break down and a serious cry for help. He is now living at his mums and in a bad way, awaiting help from the community health team. How and what do i tell the children ? We have been living separate lives for the last 3-4 months , separate beds, taking turns with the kids and avoiding time with each other, but still living in the same house. So far in panic, i told the children that daddy was in hospital with a bad stomach bug, thought this would buy me time. Now i don't know how to tell them , or should i tell them about the separation now ? I am hoping that he will be a little brighter in himself to see the girls in the next few days, but just don't know how to deal with this double whammy, any ideas?

Anomaly Sun 09-Nov-14 11:45:49

I would post this in relationships lots of posters there will be able to give advice. I think the 9 year old is old enough to know what's happening. The current situation will be difficult for them and very confusing. Do you have support?

Spotsanddots Sun 09-Nov-14 17:24:20

Yes, i do have support from friends and family, it just feels such a mountain to climb on its own a separation, and on top of it dh has become mentally ill, I'm doing ok, any advice is very welcome x

Ohheavens Mon 10-Nov-14 18:05:53

Bumping for you, sounds really difficult.
Hope someone comes along with some good advice for you.
Good luck

DIYandEatCake Fri 14-Nov-14 20:41:05

I'm so sorry you're in this situation, it must be so hard to decide what to do. I think ideally you need to speak to your husband before telling the kids, to agree on what/how they'll be told - are you on civil enough terms to do that when he's up to it? Don't rush into saying anything more than you have yet, take time to think and get it right. If the children question, then of course you have to be honest (without giving too much detail) - they may not be completely surprised if things have been different at home lately.
My parents divorced when I was 5. Looking back I'm very grateful that they managed to be on speaking terms (which must have been extremely difficult for my mum) and that they didn't let me witness any drama.
Good luck and I hope your husband's mental state improves soon for all your sakes.

Spotsanddots Fri 14-Nov-14 22:01:42

Thanks for the advice and support, unfortunately things got worse and now he's back in hospital. His breakdown was severe. Its a shame that there isn't much help out there for mental illness until someone has a major crisis. He's getting the right sort of help now, but its going to take time. Ive got great support from friends, just need to look at the finances now as he's going to be off work for a very long time. Ive told the girls that he is still poorly but getting the right care, its going to be a tough road ahead. Anyone else out there who's husband / relative had a severe breakdown?

Spotsanddots Fri 14-Nov-14 22:06:19

I will need to deal with the children accepting and dealing with the mental illness first, before the separation. I very much doubt he will come back home now, either go to his mums or stay in a unit. I never thought it would come to this. I just wanted to do the right thing. I fell out of love with him, he just couldn't accept that and plummeted into depression. I am keeping positive and hope he gets through this for the children's sake .

frankiebuns Fri 14-Nov-14 22:32:49

My mum had a mental breakdown when I was 8 not because a separation but dad kept it normal for us kids my brother was 13 we knew what was going on and to be honest the normality kept us going. No special treatment time off school teachers were aware

frankiebuns Fri 14-Nov-14 22:34:37

But that's what made life ok. Family rallied and so did friends and think we both appreciated the truth although dumbed down

Rinkydinkypink Sat 15-Nov-14 07:53:31

I had a breakdown 3 years ago. Different reasons to your dh but we had a 4 year old. I wasn't admitted although I wanted to be to get the help.

We told dc that mums head had gone wrong. It had decided not to work properly and was making me ill. You could tell your dc that dad is in hospital so the doctors can help him get better.

It's nothing to be afraid of. If they ask questions just be honest and tell them sometimes peoples brains get poorly just like every other part of your body. But because you think with your brain it can take a while to fix.

Spotsanddots Mon 24-Nov-14 20:54:41

Thank you everyone, girls have accepted that daddy is poorly and going to be in hospital a while, they have been amazing and seem unaffected so far. Ive been keeping things normal, trips out , friends around and have said to my eldest aged 9 to talk to me if she has any questions or is worried. Ive told them everything at home will be the same and so far so good. Thanks for the reassurance everyone x

Spotsanddots Mon 24-Nov-14 20:56:45

thankyou rinky and frankie, you've helped me so much x

makeitabetterplace Tue 25-Nov-14 16:22:38

Could you go to school and speak to the pastoral care worker or senco there? They will have experience of separation and the difficulties that come with it and will support you in how to speak to your children.

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