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How to tell the kids we're separating?

(5 Posts)
doublechocchip Tue 07-Jul-15 11:48:38

6 weeks post finding out about dh's affair. Can't do it anymore i feel less of a person when I'm with him, I now dread him coming home from work instead of checking out the window in the hope of seeing his car. I don't think I am the type of person who can move on together from this .

Does anyone have any advice on how to tell them? He'll be living with his dad who lives nearby and the children will stay with him probably 2 nights a week. Or should he come here and I go somewhere else on 'his' days to begin with? Would that help the kids or not?

Our dc's are 8 and 6 any advice very welcome?

wallaby73 Tue 07-Jul-15 12:56:29

Firstly, sorry it has come to this. I think you're doing the right thing. Mine were 6 and 10 when i had to tell them.

I think the idea of him coming toyours at first and you going out is just uneccessary, it's confusing for them, and stressful for you. Start as you mean to go on - contact with him where he is living.

I felt it was important not to do a big "we need to talk" thing, it felt unnatural and just not suitable for their ages. I told mine whilst we were out on a walk; so we were physically moving, and not in some false "sitdown"situation. I also did it on my own; i could not trust dh to remain composed and calm and that would have frightened them. We are now 4 years on; it was one of the hardest things i have ever had to do, but i still feel it was the best way for us at the time. Good luck xx

midnightvelvetPart2 Tue 07-Jul-15 14:30:11

Sorry to hear about your troubles chocchip brew

Mine were 4 months & 4 years when we split, so a bit younger. I did keep some things in mind when I told DS1 that might help you though.

Make it seem like a mutual decision, even when its not, they are too young to understand the complexities of who did what wrong & it will prevent them demonising one parent whilst the other is the 'good' parent. They will have questions but answer it age appropriately, so they don't need to know about an affair, they just need to know that mummy & daddy will be happier living apart. They will need to know that its not their fault though, and its nothing that they have done.

Focus on what will change for them, how they will have 2 bedrooms & 2 houses & that they can bring their toys between them both. Also tell them about the things that will stay the same, so their school will be the same etc. Present it as a positive for them.

(Its sounds so easy writing it down but ime its not easy to do when you are seething with bitterness & rage that his behaviour caused this. I've always told DS1 that I will tell him what happened when he's older & I will, as he knows I'm keeping stuff back but how do you explain alcoholism & drug addiction to a 10 year old. I found that 'I'll tell you when you're older' is a useful middle ground for me, as the child knows that they will get to hear the truth so they don't feel lied to but the issue is way too complex to explain to him now. You may find it useful, you may not..)

Last thing, give them time & loosen the reins a bit, some children may revert to younger behaviour for a time or they may get angry & lash out at you, its just a case of feeling your way carefully through the days once you have told them & make sure that you remain a constant loving presence & that they can ask you anything they like & you will do your best to answer it.

doublechocchip Wed 08-Jul-15 09:14:49

Thanks for advice it's just summoning the courage to try and do it now

Nevergoingtolearn Wed 08-Jul-15 12:51:43

I split with dh a few months ago, my dc's are 11 and 9, I was dreading telling them. I explained by using their friend as a example, I said ' you know R's parents no longer live together but he still gets to see his dad at the weekends?, well daddy is going to be moving out, he still loves you very much and will see you as much as he can but he won't be living with us anymore', they took it very well and over the past few months they have been fine. To begin with he came to the house to see them as he was staying in a b&b so couldn't have them over, now he has a flat and he sees them every weekend and sometimes comes over to see them during the week.

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