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We've just told the children that DH is leaving on Sunday :(

(21 Posts)
OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Fri 23-Feb-07 20:05:30

Blimey, I never thought I would do have to do this. I can't bear the look in DS' eyes - he looks shattered. I don't think DD has taken it in to be honest. Somebody tell me that it's going to be alright and that we haven't completely screwed up his life, please?

DonnyLass Fri 23-Feb-07 20:10:42

be strong, have faith

it will be ok again soon x

itsmeNDaveP Fri 23-Feb-07 20:14:57

he will come through it, you all will. It will take time and patience, but so long as you and H keep it civil and keep up a good degree of contact with both parents and please don't badmouth the other parent in front of/near the kids (I don't know how acrimonious this split is, hopefully not so bad given that you are still calling him "D"H).

Good luck and be kind to yourself

zubb Fri 23-Feb-07 20:15:05

Sorry to hear that Orlando. How old are your children? Is it totally out of the blue for them?
My Dad left when I was 7 and my sister was 5. Things hadn't been good between my parents and it was a relief really for us. I can't remember how we were told, but it's really how you deal with the next few weeks / months thats important. My Mum just got on with things, answered all our questions and things soon fell into a 'normal' routine again.
I can honestly say that it didn't screw my life up in anyway.
Good luck.

OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Fri 23-Feb-07 20:58:45

Thank you zubb, it's good to hear you don't feel it screwed up your life. The kids are 10 and 8, and it's not a particularly acrimonious split. More just a realisation that after a hell of a lot of ups and downs, we've grown apart. I guess we might get back together again, but I doubt it. We're still friendly though.

You know when you just want to keep protecting your children from hurt, and then suddenly not only can you NOT protect them, but you are causing the hurt.....

Even though I know/think/feel that this is for the best, I'm hugely doubting myself tonight. Several glasses of wine are needed I think.

Earlybird Fri 23-Feb-07 21:01:32

Must be very hard for all concerned. Will your dh remain in the area?

Spidermama Fri 23-Feb-07 21:03:06

Sorry Orlando. This must be hurting you.
We can't protect our kids from everything life throws at us, and them, and nor should we. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that. I know it sounds glib but these things really are character building and the important time is over the coming weeks and months.

Good luck to you all. x

OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Fri 23-Feb-07 21:03:55

Yes, I think so. It will be so much better for the kids if he does. I just don't know yet what will happen in the future re where we live. I earn very VERY little money so can't support me and the kids and a mortgage or rent. Not sure what the future holds really....

OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Fri 23-Feb-07 21:04:45

Thanks Spidermama. I'm just feeling a bit sore. I'll be more positive tomorrow (or in an hour, after the three glasses of wine!)

Spidermama Fri 23-Feb-07 21:05:16

My mum and dad split up and they never told us. I just suddenly noticed we were moving house and he wasn't. When I quizzed them about it (I was 11 or 12) they said there was nothing to talk about and I was a lucky girl because now I'd have two places to call home. Finally one day I overheard my brother talking to my dad about divorce and I remember the horror of that.

My mum and dad did it spectacularly badly. It sounds like you're treating your kids with respect and keeping them informed.

I hated the lies. Be honest with them.

mumtogusnalbie Fri 23-Feb-07 21:12:52

Oh Orlando - really sorry to hear that you are going through this. My H and I split up last May and our children were 4 and 2. We didn't actually tell them outright that we were splitting up - I just told DS1 that Daddy was going to be living with Nanny for a while because he was poorly and needed looking after (he had alcohol and drug abuse problems). To be honest the atmosphere in the house was so much better once he had gone and the kids still see him most days if only for a short time (DS1 goes to school near Nannies house so 10 minutes before school and 1/2 hour after). We said that we would try and get back together because ultimately I wanted the boys to have a strong family around them but to be honest, nearly a year down the line we don't seem to be much closer. My husband is still battling his demons and I really don't know if it will ever be possible to get back together. The main thing to remember is not to bad mouth each other in front of the children and just be there for them when they need to talk. Good luck xxxx

nooka Fri 23-Feb-07 21:17:03

My ex maintains that the children have been happier since we separated 18mths ago. I'm not sure that is entirely true, but everyone has told us that they have coped very well. We do a split week share, so they get lots of time with both of us. Now dh has set his heart on emigrating the children are a bit worried about it (not that they really understand - my ex is planning on going to Canada, but dd thinks she will be spending three weeks here and then three weeks there). So I think the key is to be really as straight-up as you can be, and let them know when they will be spending time with each of you, and that you are OK about it. I think it's fine to say that you are sad (helps them to say they are sad too) but not to let them see you really upset if you can help it. My two are still pretty little (6 and 7), I'm guessing older children will need more detail than younger kids, but I guess some of how they cope will be to do with whether they realised there were problems, and whether they have friends from happy two home families, or unhappy ones.

OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Sun 25-Feb-07 17:27:40

Well this is it. DH is packing his bags and loading his car as I type this. The children are playing. And I'm sitting here thinking that maybe he's not so bad, and maybe he should just stay and we can work things out.

But I guess I've been trying for 19 years to sort this out and if I back out now, then I'm weak. And I'm not weak, I'm strong and feel well enough to stand up for myself. It's just that the pain is agony. And he hasn't left yet. And I haven't had to put two tearful children to bed yet. And when he's gone and they're in bed, what then? What do I do with myself now I've chucked him out ???????

fortyplus Sun 25-Feb-07 17:30:46

If you are on friendly terms and can maintain a united front on childcare issues they will be absolutely fine. It's the poor little sods who get used as a weapon by one parent against the other that end up damaged by parents splitting.

wombat2 Sun 25-Feb-07 17:50:40

Keep strong Orlando. If you can keep amicable, be as open as possible with your children and have regular and stable contact with your h, then imo your children will adapt. My children were OK, as things were much calmer and more stable in the house after h had gone.

As for you, the evenings can be very tough at first, I found, but everything was so much calmer and more stable, it was all worth it. I veered from wanting him to come back to feeling elated that he had finally gone! Is there a friend who can come over tonight to keep you company? Best wishes.

wombat2 Sun 25-Feb-07 17:58:50

Btw I split up with ex about 2 years ago. Dd1 (now 8) still misses her Dad from time to time and gets upset when he goes. I encourage her to call him and to see him when he can, but at the same time try to be honest about why we aren't still together. Imo there is no point playing happy families as this is confusing to them. In time, I believe that children can understand that not all relationships work out, but this doesn't mean you can't all be friendly to each other.

OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Sun 25-Feb-07 18:13:53

Thanks all for your words. I'm feeling distinctly wobbly at the mo. I guessed that having been so angry for the past two weeks, him actually leaving would be a relief. But I just seem to feel hugely guilty at seeing him, and the children, in tears.

I'm not sure that I can ring anyone this evening, it being Sunday etc. Hence me coming on MN for a moan.

DonnyLass Sun 25-Feb-07 18:37:43

You're not moaning lovey x

Please don't be on your own tonight (adult company that is ...) is there a friend that can just come around for an hour.

If not ... try not to think too much just yet ... that will come ... just maybe go through the motions and try to get to bed at a decent time.

Tormenting yourself in anguish in the wee small hours is the worst.

Cheesy I know ... but the darkest hour really is just before the dawn so to speak ... when you get through tonight and tomorrow comes you will feel a whole lot better that one of the worst bits 'the leaving' is done

and you can start to re-build x

DonnyLass Sun 25-Feb-07 18:38:56

You're stronger than you think Orlando.

Will be thinking of you ...

OrlandoTheMarmaladeCat Sun 25-Feb-07 19:31:43

Hmm thank you Donnylass, tears are in my eyes as I type. Your words are a huge comfort, so thank you really.

I'm not going to call anyone tonight. DS' lights go out at about 9.15pm so I'm going to go to bed after that and read the most gripping book I can get my hands on. Hopefully it won't be the Which? Guide to Divorce which has been stuck under my bed for a while now

DonnyLass Sun 25-Feb-07 20:01:20


an oldie but a goldie ...

"women are like teabags ... you only realise how strong they are when you put them in hot water"

there are a LOT of people thinking of you, sending you care x

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