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DD asking about split ??

(16 Posts)
Bob19701 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:22:43

My 12 yr old DD is asking me why her mum and myself split 4 years ago , my DD and myself have a brilliant relationship and not sure how much to tell her ..

Her mum had an affair with a work colleague that she was gutted about when he ended it believing they would ride into the sunset . I don't want to fob off my DD but don't feel it's my place to explain her mums actions ...she thinks I ended the marriage because I wasn't happy.
What would you do ??

QuiteLikely5 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:28:28

Talk to her mother and come to a mutual agreement

Bob19701 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:31:36

Apart from co parenting ( which we are good at) we really don't speak not keen to open this can of worms

BettyBaggins Fri 17-Mar-17 14:43:46

I went through this when I was a child/teen. My DM had affairs and I presumed that when DD and she broke up it was DD's fault, that is that he was the one having affairs. I did eventually find out it wasn't DD's fault and it made me mad at DM for a very long time and really affected my teens years.

I'm also a Mum to a DD, older than yours. I know her Dad did have an affair when I was pregnant (we broke up a long long time ago, DD now left home) but I have never told her. My feeling is that it's just best to explain that you both fell out of love and were very unhappy. I think to tell a 12yr old that their DM or DD had an affair could be pretty upsetting for the DC, if they get on well now that could change. You have teenage years ahead remember and stability during the hormonal years of studying for exams is key.

Keep co-parenting well and let sleeping dogs lie.

NuffSaidSam Fri 17-Mar-17 14:50:50

Tell her the truth, but remain vague.

If it was her mum's decision to end the relationship then refer her back to her mum.

If you ended the relationship then she's correct really in saying that you ended it because you weren't happy...(that she had an affair). Just hold off on mentioning the affair bit.

There is nothing wrong with ending a relationship because you're not happy anymore. She doesn't need to know the specifics of why you weren't happy.

paap1975 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:55:15

I think she has a right to know the truth. That her mother broke her vows to you and you felt you couldn't continue with the relationship. You don't need to give her any more details than that. I'd say telling her about the affair is her mother's responsibility

TwentyCups Fri 17-Mar-17 14:55:54

My dad had affairs, we all knew at the time. It was on open secret and I genuinely thought it was normal.

My parents split and both already had new partners. My mum told me about my dads affairs when she was furious with him over something - I was a teenager and they had split several years before, but obviously I already knew.

So I would assume your daughter may be aware already and want clarification on whether that is normal. It's tricky but I wouldn't lie to her. However make sure you tell her how happy you both are now and there's no grudges. It was obvious how much my parents disliked each other and it was (and still Is) really hard.

xStefx Fri 17-Mar-17 15:02:18

She is only 12, of course you don't tell her the truth. Tell her that you both weren't happy together and that you decided to split rather than argue all the time.

My cousin was told of my auntys affair (his mums ) and didn't speak to his mum for 3 years. ( 3 whole years) that was awful for both of them to be honest.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 17-Mar-17 15:16:49

I would tell her that her mum no longer wanted to be with you.
Then if she asks more question I would suggest she ask her mum.
She may have already figured it.
When I split with my ExH DD was 11.
She knew he'd cheated on me.
We never told her that. But 'well it's hardly rocket science mum' about summed up how bright she was.

HarmlessChap Fri 17-Mar-17 15:34:58

If I'm reading this right your ExW is letting her think (or has expressly said) that you were unhappy and ended the marriage, thereby dumping the blame at your door.

That's rather adding insult to injury IMO, I'd save the full details until she's a couple of years older but I'd agree with a PP that you could say that your Ex broke your wedding vows and that's why you ended the marriage.

Wallywobbles Fri 17-Mar-17 15:43:08

Ask her what she knows (or thinks she knows). And go from there.

I don't believe in being a martyr (and I absolutely will not let people slander me) and I always answer my kids questions truthfully. So our kids 8, 11, 11 & 12 know the truth about why the original parent relationships went tits up. They also know that marriage contains a vow of fidelity and if you don't want to be faithful you shouldn't get married.

It's not going to be less of a shock at 18 than 12. I'd tell her the truth as you know it but being fairly vague and not too emotional. Along the lines of mum fell in love with someone else and so we couldn't stay together. Sadly it didn't work out for her.

OverOn Fri 17-Mar-17 15:54:41

Don't say you were unhappy - insinuates you were the one at fault entirely for the marriage not working.

I'd suggest something along the lines of that you both realising the marrriage wasn't working and decided it would be best to end it.

Bob19701 Fri 17-Mar-17 16:11:17

I have decided to tell her mum that she has been asking about it ..I am not going to tell her what her mum did at 12 just that we fell out of love . Her mum hasn't pointed the finger at me I think she has just assumed that , maybe when she is older the truth will be told ..

BettyBaggins Fri 17-Mar-17 16:49:35

Good move Bob

Ciderandskatesdontmix Fri 17-Mar-17 17:54:07

I would be wary of referring dd back to her mum to ask questions. My DP split with his ex when his dd was 3. She's now 17 and has been under the impression that her dad walked out on her and her mum. In actual fact, he left because his ex told him to. The relationship was very rocky anyway but it was the mum who called time on it.
I obviously wouldn't tell your dd the specifics of why you split up, but don't let her think that you walked out, more that you didn't have a choice because of how your ex had broken your marriage vows

hellsbellsmelons Fri 17-Mar-17 18:15:31

Don't agree to take any blame for this.
You did nothing wrong.
Your mum fell out of love with me - should cover it.

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