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How to tell the kids, advice needed

(28 Posts)
DiamondsInTheFlesh Fri 07-Aug-15 19:27:50

I'm feeling elated at the moment, exh & I are separated and he's finally moving out on the weekend. There's been no ow/om but there's huge amounts of resentment & bad feeling. we have tried really hard to create an illusion for the kids, we don't argue in front of them although inevitably the sniding/eye rolling etc has spilled over. Plus we haven't slept in the same room for several years which they know (but haven't questioned??).

Does anyone have any advice on telling the kids/what to say/what not to say? Ds is 9 (eldest) and bound to cry, we are normally very emotionally attuned but I'm worried I won't feel empathetic as I'm feeling so elated at the moment.

I can't believe that this time next week I'll be free of this man child who I've really begun to hate, I just cannot wait to finally be free of him (well free of living with him) But for the kids it's going to be a change dad won't be sat on the sofa every night drinking and ignoring them oh ok he does take them to the cinema sometimes & he tells rubbish jokes & tickles them occasionally.

Has anyone been through this can give me some advice? Ty

DiamondsInTheFlesh Fri 07-Aug-15 19:29:08

I feel like a right bitch

cal28xx Fri 07-Aug-15 20:42:31

the kids seeing you happy will make them see your husband leaving as a good thing. you have done nothing wrong dont feel like a bitch. just explain dads staying some where else and we both still love you. kids are resiliant. good luck with everything.

newnamesamegame Fri 07-Aug-15 21:50:47

I separated from my H about 3 months ago in what sounds like similar circumstances, i.e. I was very glad he moved out but worried about the impact on my DD. My DD is four so possibly a bit easier for us than for you, but I second what cal28xx said -- basically if its evident that you're going to be happier and you behave with sensitivity and respect it will make it much much easier for your kids.

We basically told my DD that daddy is going to move to a new house where he's going to be happier because mummy and daddy have decided that its best if we live separately. It was very matter of fact but we stressed that we both love her very much and she will see daddy a lot still. And he is still very much in her life.

And basically she's more or less accepted it without any tears or trauma. I've been gobsmacked at how well she's adjusted to it and what a happy child she is despite this. I've been visibly happier -- to everyone I know -- since my ex left -- and my DD has apparently picked up on this.

Its still early days and she may have questions or unhappiness later on, and also your DS is older so it probably will be harder for him to adjust so I don't want t minimise what you're going through. But I firmly believe that as long as a) you don't bullshit your kids b) you are still respectful and kind to each other, at least in front of the kids and c) your ex keeps up contact and spends time with the kids post split, there's no reason for it to be horrifically traumatic for them.

Good luck with it

DiamondsInTheFlesh Fri 07-Aug-15 22:01:31

Ah thank you both. Yes it would have been much better if we'd separated 5 years ago, I really regret that. I will try the matter of fact route. Ty again

newnamesamegame Fri 07-Aug-15 22:12:33

Diamonds don't beat yourself up about it -- it's bloody hard to walk away from a long-term relationship where children are involved and trying to make it work as best you can is nothing to be ashamed of. It took me the best part of three years.

My point is that people assume that separation is the worst thing that can happen to a child. It's not. A well-managed, respectful separation where the child's needs are put first is something that a child can and will get to grips with and doesn't have to be a nightmare for them. A bitter resentful one where the parents use the kid as pawns is a nightmare, as is an unhappy relationship where the parents would obviously be happier apart but stay together for the sake of the children.

You're doing the right thing.

DiamondsInTheFlesh Fri 07-Aug-15 22:55:13

Thank you new I need to hear things like that.
I think it will go that way, as in we will be civil, friends I hope even.
I just fear money in particular might make it very hard to be civil. He won't tell me how much he earns confused
I've had to force him out by tripling my hours & salary so I can pay the mortgage on my own. I resent him for that as our plan was not to have the kids in before/after school care.
I'm upstairs now as I cant bear being in the same room as him sad
Give me strength to remain civil for the sake of the kids!!!

cuckooflamingo Fri 07-Aug-15 23:06:19

My DC were 6 and 4, but a bit younger. But I said that we weren't going to be married anymore but we were just good friends, and so daddy was going to live in another house, but they would still see him lots. I always stressed that it was just that mum and dad didn't want to live together anymore, but we still loved them.

It took a few months for them to settle, but then he was a pretty hands on dad so they were used to having him around. What helped DC1 in particular was when she started relating it to friends at school, she would say things like 'Emma's dad doesn't live with her' or ' Millie's mum's got a boyfriend who isn't her daddy' - it seemed to help her realise that (sadly) it's pretty normal. So if the DC have any friends with separated parents it might be worth mentioning them.

Also, don't be afraid to tell the school. DD's class teacher was brilliant.

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Sat 08-Aug-15 06:51:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GaryBaldy Sat 08-Aug-15 07:01:19

As someone in a similar situation I'm finding this thread really reassuring.

Mine are older 17 & 11 and just changing schools so lots of upheaval going on for them atm. I'm worried how they will deal with it.

Lweji Sat 08-Aug-15 07:08:36

I suspect it won't be much of a shock to them if you haven't been exactly loving with each other the past few years.
He will just live elsewhere and he'll still be their dad.
Have you sort out contact yet? They will probably have questions and it may be better if you can answer.
As you are happy about it, I think it's great as they will catch up on that. Certainly better than to trying to keep a happy face while dying inside.
Just make sure you have time over the next few days to listen to them and their concerns. Find some quiet private time to talk about the day, for example, and if they have any worries they will tell you.
(Sadly from experience through a difficult break up, but that DS has gone through with no issues)

Winniethewylde Sat 08-Aug-15 08:00:47

Watching this with interest as about to start divorce proceedings with 2 DCs (5 and 2). Thinking of you Diamonds and sending you strength

DiamondsInTheFlesh Sat 08-Aug-15 08:42:22

I said that we weren't going to be married anymore but we were just good friends I'm going to say this, it doesn't sound as sad.
Thank you all and strength to you to winnie

AubergineDusk Sat 08-Aug-15 09:24:12

I/we are going to have to tell our DC's that we are separating soon. They are 14, 11 & 9 so a bit older but I am watching with interest.

We haven't worked out the arrangements yet and I think we need to be able to explain to them what it means in practical terms as well as the emotional stuff.

It's not what my H wants which makes it hard but I think he is coming round to understanding that how we handle it with the kids is absolutely key.

BugEyedBeans Sat 08-Aug-15 21:48:23

Please tell us how it goes Diamonds. I hope the kids are OK.
I will have to tell our DC's soon as well (DS13 and DD19). I anticipate anger from DD, and shock and anxiety from DS.
But what is more on my mind, stupidly, is the fear that H could refuse to play ball and give them a sob story of his own (it is not what he wants and he is taking the moral high ground), while I am trying to do the reassuring "we still both love you and I will be moving just round the corner and you will have two houses" thing. ugh.
Gotta woman up and do this thing so there is plenty of time for them to understand before school / uni starts again.
I move in September and just can't wait.
Although the 'limbo' period has strung out for so long that it almost feels normal... i have thought so much about the little house that is waiting for us (at vast expense) it feels like a dream that will never happen.

BugEyedBeans Sat 08-Aug-15 21:53:26

Just reading that back I sound so angry!
I have spent so long - months, years - keeping all emotion at bay... if I let myself feel irritated or sad or sorry it only makes everything so much more difficult!
I can never ever say how I feel. Not even to my sister. It is too much.

BugEyedBeans Sun 09-Aug-15 14:34:45

Diamond, how is it going? How is everyone feeling?
I must tell the DC this week. Very scared to take this step. It will make it all real and get out in the open what I & H have hidden for so long.
Please give me strength.

DiamondsInTheFlesh Sun 09-Aug-15 23:39:08

Hi Bug excited for you & your little house waiting for you. I don't know why but the thought of that is so jolly, a cozy little place of your own with no bad feeling.
if I let myself feel irritated or sad or sorry it only makes everything so much more difficult yy but I'm guessing there will come a time when everything feels peaceful where you/I can let go & feel sadness. It'll be cathartic sadness though, with an end point. This limbo land has been going on for so many years for me too & I felt like I'd never get out of it yet here it is, I want to sing from the rooftops!!
but arrrrrrgh he's now going on Thursday because the previous tenants have left the place in such a state. Don't these people care about my mh?!? Anyway I'm not letting it affect me, onlh slightly worried we'll have less time to sit down with the kids during the week. Gotta feeling it may just be me anyway. Should I have told them today? Do people tell kids & then immediately leave? I'm over thinking this now and also rambling sorry!

DiamondsInTheFlesh Sun 09-Aug-15 23:40:52

Oh I forgot. Some [strength] for you Bug

Lweji Mon 10-Aug-15 07:20:30

I think it would be best if you could let them know gently over the week rather than tell and go.
An alternative would be to say he's staying away temporarily and then for them to be told eventually you had decided to make it permanent.
I'd prefer the first option.
And it may well be that you'll have to tell them yourself. I'd prepare for that.

BugEyedBeans Wed 12-Aug-15 11:10:19

Have you told the DC, Diamonds and Aubergine?
I will try today.

BugEyedBeans Thu 13-Aug-15 13:15:05

Got myself all psyched up to tell kids, agreed with H what to say... then could not go ahead, as kids were never in at the same time, and won't be for another 3 days! It seems hugely important to tell them together so they can support each other too.

On the plus side, I bought a table and rearranged some savings and am starting to sort out some of the minor bits and pieces around the house to take with me - it is all a bit random though - loads of cushions but no fridge.

Sorry I seem to be taking over this thread...

mrsdavidbowie Thu 13-Aug-15 13:22:18

It is hard
Dcs found out on Xmas day shock.....not international. They're 15 and 18.
But they'd sussed it was imminent. Separate rooms, much eye rolling etc.
He moved out two months later. That was the grimmest 8 weeks I've ever had.
But everything fine now..divorced, dd got great a level grades today and DS predicted same for GCSEs.
So much happier .all of us.
Ex h actually apologised last week for his behaviour.
flowers to you.
There is light.

Goodbetterbest Thu 13-Aug-15 20:20:44

Diamonds, very similar situation here. We simply told them we were really unhappy together, knew we couldn't make each other happy so were going to be really, really brave and not stay married.

They were not surprised, I think - although there were some tears and they were upset - they were also relieved.

We were in separate rooms for years like you. It might be of interest to you that we are divorcing under the 'two years separation' as we were essentially living apart under the same roof, so we can divorce immediately without 'blame'.

cookiefiend Thu 13-Aug-15 20:36:08

When my Dad and stepmother divorced my younger siblings (9 and 11 ish) weren't upset at all when hey told us (though were laters), but immefietly asked loads of questions about the practicalities- will you show me how to program the VCR, Where will daddy live, when will we see him, how will mum cook she is awful...

So don't worry too much and just be prepared to answer all those type of questions. Also be nice about each other- he is not a douche bag who never helped around the home he is a man who you loved very much, but you have grown apart and you both want each other to be happy. You still love the children.

My dad and step mothers divorce was much more traumatic than my mum and dads as my SM was so vindictive about him to me and my brothers. It made the thing so hard, whereas I always knew I could invite my parents to a school concert etc and that would be social to each other and supportive of me. May have been hard for them, but so good for me. Good luck.

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