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How to tell the Children? Divorce/moving countries

(10 Posts)
tryingtobecoolandtough Thu 29-Sep-11 18:02:20

Apologies in advance if this is long, its a bit complicated, but will try and be concise.

After 13ys together, in what has always been a tempestuous and rocky relationship (married 7yrs) we have decided to call it a day and divorce, finally. This WAS a mutual decision, but seems to have changed in his head, to what I want, and is also my fault for 'not trying hard enough' (I really have bloody tried til I am exhausted though, honest)

We are both English, but moved to USA last year, with his job, was meant to be fresh start, but really has not worked that way at all, and has been hell. Not the country at all, I LOVE America, and would rather stay than not. But as we are on his work visas I have no control over this. He has decided the only option is to return to UK, and ASAP. He wants to be back by end of November sad sad

I'm managing ok, with a couple of good friends here for support, but I'm really worried about the children. I have 2 girls, aged 9(nearly 10) and 7.

Obviously they know something is up, we have been in separate rooms for weeks now, and there were some pretty loud rows previous to this, which made the final decision for me, I cant have them growing up in this environment.

But what will be the best way to explain, that not only are mummy and daddy not going to be together anymore (when we get back I'm planning to live at least a 40min drive from him) but we are going back to UK? Youngest will be thrilled to be going to UK, as she has struggled to settle here, but she will not be going back to old school/town. Eldest has settled really well, and loves school/teacher/friends etc.

I'm thinking to tell them Friday night or Saturday daytime, and then give them a really nice, reassuring weekend before they go back to school. And to email their teachers, to tell them the situation too.

I feel like the worlds worst mother for doing this to them. And I really need some advice to minimise the damage. Please

icemaidensu Thu 29-Sep-11 20:56:47


Cant really help...but someone Will be along Soon....

I am also an expat ...of sorts, though not in USA

squeakytoy Thu 29-Sep-11 21:02:41

I have no idea what to advise other than hold off from saying anything until you have fixed dates set for going home.. (that would be my view anyway).

tryingtobecoolandtough Fri 30-Sep-11 01:18:56

thank you both. For the bump and the advice.

Thats kind of what I was thinking SqueakyToy, but He is insisting we start packing stuff up and marketing the house before he has dates, and the kids need to know whats happening before they see boxes getting packed and people being shown round...

tryingtobecoolandtough Fri 30-Sep-11 01:52:44

ooh, and thanks for the un-mumsnetty hug smile much appreciated. Its all a bit wobbly here x

mummytime Fri 30-Sep-11 08:54:05

Have you thought of getting Babette Cole's "Two of Everything"? You can get it from US Amazon, and I think it would be a nice place to start to discuss Mummy and Daddy separating. Use this as a place to discuss, the fact of you separating and then move on to what they think will happen. Ideally this would be done as a family group, BUT I think it is unliely to happen and be open, so I would suggest you find a time you can talk to them in peace by yourself, and really listen to them (always hard not to dive in, but they really need to be listened to).
Okay next thing is to get some legal advice. You probably do want to divorce in the UK, as it tends to be the best place for women. But do get legal advice even if only by email etc.
Finally do not expect him to be reasonable, it usually doesn't work out that way. So try to keep everything business like.

tryingtobecoolandtough Fri 30-Sep-11 22:03:21

thats a great book, thank you I have ordered.
We are going to try and talk to them together, and see how it goes. Looks like we'll be back in the UK before Christmas, so things should be easier then.
Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it, and the hug x

Proudnscary Sat 01-Oct-11 08:36:46

What a sad situation for all of you, I'm really sorry.
There really isn't any other way than the truth, simply and honestly when it comes to telling your dc.
Definitely do it together.
My advice would be don't bombard them with positives, let them talk/think/vent. They might be furious or upset, they may not react at all.
I think it's very tempting to dress it up as a great oportunity/fresh start but that can come, over time as you talk them through it.
My db is 18 months down the line, his 3 dc similar ages to yours, and they are now settled and in a great routine. It wasn't easy at first and there was a lot of adjustment and anxiety but because they were given space to air their feelings and voice fears (sometimes over and over again) they are doing really well and seem happy to me.

tryingtobecoolandtough Sun 02-Oct-11 05:52:29

thanks Proudandscary. Took all your advice on board, we told them together, little one had a complete meltdown, but as soon as she established we were taking the Wii everything calmed down. Still worried about my eldest, she was much quieter, and exhausted at bedtime. hopefully they'll be ok
Thank you

Proudnscary Sun 02-Oct-11 09:34:44

Oh god how hard for you, and them. My db's little one broke down too - I didn't want to say that before as not very helpful when you were so anxious about doing this. She cried every night for a while but the good thing is she asked questions over and over and vented her sadness and I think she is really doing okay now. Well done for getting it through it, hope you are ok.
Yes maybe your older one is the one to keep an eye on even more.
You sound very caring and obviously put your dc's feeling before your own which, I think, is how it should be. But do look after yourself, keep healthy and talk to your own RL support network and on here.
ps Funny about the Wii! They are so deep and so shallow at this age!

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