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When splitting up means losing your kids

(19 Posts)
Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:18:20

A friend told me about this site. I have spent some time reading the postswhich have been really helpful.

Without wishing to put too much detail my wife and I are currently considering divorce. This follows several years of marriage difficulty and infidelity on her part.

The marriage is over and the ball has been thrown in my court to decide if we should officially split.

But I just can't do it. I cannot leave my children, I can't live each day not waking up with them. I cannot accept the damage a divorce would do to them. Best case split custody I still loose 50% of them. Worst case property has to be sold children uprooted all sorts of horrendous things for them to go through. I would sacrifice my own happiness and "stay together for the kids". Is this possible? All the reasons to leave are offset by not having my children every day.

Nolim Fri 12-Jun-15 10:21:13

As a child of divirced parents i can tell you that splitting up was the best decision for them. Having happy parents is a good thing.
Why do you think that uprooting is horrendous? Inconvenient and upsetting yes but that is far from tragic.

twistletonsmythe Fri 12-Jun-15 10:26:06

staying together for the sake of the children is much worse.

MassaAttack Fri 12-Jun-15 10:28:30

I tried to do this. It was bloody awful.

Think about the relationships you want your children to have when they grow up, and model that.

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:29:13

Thanks for your reply. I feel like my children shouldn't suffer or be burdened by going through this. That it would be better to stay together to save them from that. I know the sensible thing is to separate but I feel that makes me responsible for hurting the children. And on a selfish note I would miss them terribly.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 12-Jun-15 10:34:14

Better to be apart and happier than be together and miserable for your own basically selfish reasons. These children are not going to say to you, "thanks dad" for staying with their mother.

Think about the kind of a relationship you're both currently modelling for your children. If it's loveless, children may grow up to regard that as the "norm" which is NOT the legacy you want to leave them.

Also, you can't burden a child with a choice you've made. They aren't going to thank you for resentment and bitterness or take kindly to being told, 'If only you knew what I've sacrificed for you".

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:35:11

It is so hard to think of 1-2 years down the line and being happy. I want to keep my family together so badly. I know what the right thing to do us it just feels like this hurdle I can't get over. Very difficult.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 12-Jun-15 10:36:48

Sometimes we have to sacrifice our own needs and wants for the sake of our children. In your case you would be sacrificing your needs and wants to wake up without them some days but you will still have them in your life.

Has your wife indicated what sort of contact arrangements she would be happy with in the event of a split?

You sound like a great father btw. Your commitment and dedication to your children is admirable

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 12-Jun-15 10:37:25

You are still entitled to have a relationship with your children post separation and they with you.

By being together now you are both hurting them emotionally.

Children are often very perceptive to their parents marital problems particularly if they are older; they would I think rather see the two of you apart and happier than to be together and stuck in your own miseries. They probably know and have seen and heard a lot more than you both realise; sounds travels after all. They will NOT thank you for staying together, it teaches them a lie and places a terrible burden upon them.

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:37:56

You are right I will end up bitter and resentful I am already half way there. I need to find a way to get over it.

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:40:22

The last thing I want is to damage them and it seems I am just coming at it the wrong way assuming that keeping normality would be the best thing for them. When I fact normality is the most damaging for us all.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 12-Jun-15 10:40:37

Its not just about you, its about the long term emotional wellbeing of your children who will one day become adults.

What do you want to teach them about relationships here?.

Do you really want to teach them this current role model that is not fit for purpose of a marriage; that this is how people really do behave in marriage?.

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:44:08

I definitely do not want to teach them that this is an acceptable relationship. I just wish that I didn't have to put them through their parents splitting up. I know I have to, I know it's the right thing to do. All I am saying is it is that last hurdle that stops me leaving. In my attempt to put them first it seems I just bring selfish.

Joysmum Fri 12-Jun-15 10:44:40

As the daughter of parents who stayed together for me (and they just weren't in love, there wasn't anything more to it than that) I can tell you it's negatively affected me.

For years i thought ok was good enough for a long term relationship and committed to relationships that were nowhere good enough to be exclusive or long term.

I can't say how it would have been if they'd divorced but my point is that staying together has its effects too. sad

littleunderdog Fri 12-Jun-15 10:44:47

My children suffered terribly for years when we divorced (DH fell in love with someone living 800 miles away) and at the time I would have put up with anything to avoid this happening. But... 14 years later I can see that there is now a very positive side for them. As they grew up the oldest ones learned to choose steady, kind partners to settle down with (they had initially gone for mean, goodlooking sorts like my DH). I've now been in a very happy relationship with a decent, hard working man for a long time, and it has instilled good values in all my kids, esp the youngest. If you are with a really bad spouse who behaves atrociously your children pick up all the wrong lessons about how to behave and it will probably ruin their lives. But divorce is horrendous. You are right to dread it.

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:47:41

Thank you it helps to hear of some personal experiences. And actually I feel somewhat more positive in what my actions need to be.

DrMorbius Fri 12-Jun-15 10:47:50

Hi Anotsosunnysunday - there is some great advice on here and one of the best pieces of advice I have read is "dont make any assumptions, based on your current situation". Your current arrangement is a product of the decisons you made as a "couple".

Once that ends, you get to re-write your arrangements. Therefore your wife may be a SAHM now, don't "assume" it has to be that way after a split. Don't assume that you will be the secondary carer, you may choose to be the primary carer. Don't assume you have to sell your property. Obviously negotiations are required, but don't assume you are on the defensive just because of your current roles.

Anotsosunnysunday Fri 12-Jun-15 10:52:05

Good advice DrMorbius. Everything is very difficult just now and when alone with ones thoughts you do tend to assume and imagine. Appreciate everyone's replies.

Isetan Fri 12-Jun-15 13:43:02

'Staying for the kids' is always more about the adult fearing change, than it is about the kids. Change is inevitable and it's our response to it, rather than the change itself, that influences our happiness. Children aren't damaged by change, they're damaged by uncertainty and dysfunctional marriages are just as harmful as antagonistic divorces.

Think about it, In practical terms what would 'staying for the kids' look like? Would there be new partners'? Separate bedrooms and finances? I don't know how old your children are but you won't be able to pretend that their parents relationship hasn't fundamentally changed. I personally think everything less ambiguous after a split, as it makes it clear that Mum and Dad aren't together romantically (even if the children and one of the parents want different).

There's nothing lonelier than being in a dead relationship and as I am sure you are all to aware, it saps confidence and impacts your self worth. Your marriage is over and it is futile trying to preserve something that no longer exists.

Right now you're mourning the death of your marriage, coupled with the likely change in contact with your children it is bound to be a very difficult time for you. Be kind to yourself.

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