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Question for people whose parents divorced or separated

(46 Posts)
DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 19:45:53

Regular poster with a name change (naice ham, naked panpipes). A conversation with a friend has got me thinking about this and ruminating a bit. Sorry if this is a bit sensitive but I wondered: if your parents split up, did they sit down and break the news together like it was a joint decision, or did one parent suddenly leave/walk out?

My dad walked out one evening after a row.

DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 19:46:09

Posted too soon! Bear with me while I finish...

Just while you are writing .. I came home and mum was gone smile.

DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 19:56:03

My dad walked out one evening after a row. He was gone for two nights, during which time DM bit my head off when I asked where he was, when he'd be back, etc. I then came back from school to DF there saying "We've got something to tell you," to which DM said "No, YOU have something to tell them, this is YOUR mess." DF then told us he was going to go and live somewhere else, and left that evening.

Personally I think they both made a royal hash of it. I understand that my DM was hurt by the affair but I think it would have helped if she had put her need to be a victim aside and tried to talk to us jointly. I think that would have been less traumatic.

My friend thinks the way the news is broken doesn't make much difference and I don't buy it. (Don't want to give her experience too in case it outs her.)

DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 19:56:37

If I'm so sorry to hear that.

5YearsTime Tue 30-Jun-15 19:58:08

Came home and dad was gone leaving my mum to tell us. Small child. Horrific. Who the hell does that to their child?

FernGullysWoollyPully Tue 30-Jun-15 19:59:20

No. My mum came to pick me up from school. Which was really unusual because she worked a very hard job. A family friend was supposed to collect me as usual but didn't turn up so I started to walk to their house but saw her car. When I got in, there was all my stuff in the back. Conversation followed
Mum: "we're leaving your dad"
Me: "will my bedroom be bigger at our new house"
Mum: "yes"
Me: "Ok"

Anaffaquine Tue 30-Jun-15 20:00:06

A bit different, after years of EA, my mum, sister and I left without telling my dad.
I was delighted that she had found the courage.

cuddybridge Tue 30-Jun-15 20:01:31

My teacher told me I didn't have to do my homework as I was leaving on Friday, then my grandparents "kidnapped" me from school and the police came and took me and my brother back to my Mum, the conversation was academic by then, I was 10 and my DB was 8

CityDweller Tue 30-Jun-15 20:02:01

They sat down together and told us. It was cringey and horrible and I burst into tears at which point my older sister looked at me liked she hated me and told me to 'shut up' (I was 11, she was 16).

DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 20:02:03

5Years I'm so sorry, I feel a bit churlish complaining about mine.

Suffice to say my friend is in denial that a badly handled split would impact DC more than a united front. Which seems to have brought up some feelings for me rather. I'm probably projecting. But I realised I haven't discussed this sort of experience with many people basically.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Jun-15 20:03:19

My dad walked out after a massive fight where my mum smashed the house up and stabbed him! Wasn't the best way for it to happen I guess. grin

DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 20:03:50

I am pleased for those of you who escaped abuse flowers

Quiero Tue 30-Jun-15 20:07:31

I found a stash of cards and letters from the OW. I gave them to my mam (I was young, had no idea of consequences). She sent me to my friends house and by the time I came home that evening he was gone. It probably wasn't handled well but he was (and still is) a shit dad so I wasn't bothered.

spancake Tue 30-Jun-15 20:08:24

My mum broke it to me quite insensitively when I was 8, convo as follows:
Me: "I'm pleased it's going to be a nice quiet weekend"
Mum: "no it's not, me and your father are splitting up".
Then I spent literally the whole weekend in my bedroom, on my own listening to banging, crashing, shouting and screaming, things being thrown out of windows. It could probably have been handled better.

MyCatHasStaff Tue 30-Jun-15 20:10:42

My dad tried to kill my mum while I was at 'D'GMs. We never went back and I lost everything except the clothes I was wearing. I would say that had a fairly profound effect on me.

DiscoDinosaur Tue 30-Jun-15 20:11:05

So many sad stories. flowers to you all

PatioPonderer Tue 30-Jun-15 20:11:41

My parents did the united front, all very grown up approach. We were still devastated. But what really did the damage was when our DF upped and moved to the US

juneau Tue 30-Jun-15 20:15:52

My parents sat us down and my dad did all the talking while my mum stood there crying. I was six and my sister was three. It was horrible and very traumatic, but what happened next was worse. We were sent to stay with our GPs for a few nights and while we were gone all our stuff was cleared out of the house and when we came back the two of us and our DM had to move out into this horrible, damp little cottage. Within days of our leaving my DM's former best friend had moved into our home with her three kids shock.

The divorce was rushed through and then my dad married DM's former best friend. The way he told us about that was to send us a postcard from their honeymoon in Paris sad Ultimately, it made no fucking difference how they told us. The whole thing was absolutely horrendous.

juneau Tue 30-Jun-15 20:16:27

sad MyCat flowers

FernGullysWoollyPully Tue 30-Jun-15 20:18:22

I don't consider mine to be sad.

My dad had an alcohol problem which my mum had to contend with for 21 years. He would trash the place, throw up and shit everywhere when he was really drunk. I had no idea, my mum did hide his behaviours from me. He was really emotionally abusive to her as well, he tried to convince her she was mad and would constantly put her down.

She left him when his behaviour started to get creepy, I don't want to divulge too much but there was a child protection issue, not related to me but all the same...

When she filed for divorce, he counter petitioned her and tried to take my grandparents house and various other assets from her. He hardly paid child support for me. I stopped having anything to do with him at 12. I consider myself lucky to have escaped him.

oneowlgirl Tue 30-Jun-15 20:22:06

I'm not sure that how the children are told is what matters compared to how the adults act afterwards as I think that's what does the damage if the behaviour of the adults is pretty despicable.

MagicalHamSandwich Tue 30-Jun-15 20:25:08

They handled it like pros.

They did the whole sitting us down thing and explained that they both loved us very much and that this would never ever change. And that mama and papa just didn't get along like they used to that and for this reason papa was going to live elsewhere.

If it weren't for the fact that my mum otherwise called my dad 'the arsehole' while he referred to her as 'the frigid bitch' you'd have thought they were perfect! hmm

MyCatHasStaff Tue 30-Jun-15 20:28:00

Thank you juneau
I agree oneowlgirl the last thing I wanted was to be divorced, so when XH had an affair I did everything I could to make sure DS felt secure and loved, I never ever said anything against his dad and pushed as hard as I could to make access visits happen. But his dad is still a twat so their relationship is, and always will be, difficult.

pocketsaviour Tue 30-Jun-15 20:28:24

My dad used to periodically bugger off with various OW (usually after 3-4 months of gaslighting my mum and denying like hell anything was going on.) He always left it to my mum to tell us, never gave her any money for us (she was a SAHM) and he never contacted us.

She took him back every single time so we were pretty inured to it. He didn't give a fuck about us anyway so it hardly pinged our radar.

In the end Social Services made him leave after he was found out for molesting me. My mum still didn't want to divorce him hmm

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