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When to tell DC we are separating

(6 Posts)
issynoho Thu 13-Apr-17 18:40:46

I am separating from partner. 3 DC - 11, 9 and 6.

He is looking for a place to rent and living at his parents' house but coming and going to do childcare for school hols, etc.

We haven't told the DC yet. My instinct is to wait til there is something definite to tell them about where Dad will be living and when they will see/stay with him.

A complicating factor is eldest DC sits SATS early May.

When should we tell them? Will it be better to wait til after SATS? Split is amicable, atmosphere not too bad, although I feel uncomfortable when he is here. What to do?

MrsDrRaj Thu 13-Apr-17 19:11:51

All i can say is my parents split right before my SATS - I was just about to turn 11. It was a horrible, messy, bitch split. It really was gruesome. But I still did pretty well.

If you feel the time is right - tell them. Together. And explain that you're still the best of friends (even if you aren't) and both love them and it has nothing to do with them as children but as you both as a couple.

Children adapt well if they feel safe.
Good luck OP

issynoho Thu 13-Apr-17 19:19:07

Thanks flowers Mrs. I'm doubting myself on everything.

MrsDrRaj Thu 13-Apr-17 19:26:51

Don't doubt yourself you're clearly a very caring mum.
If you feel ready to tell them, do it. If you want to wait until everything is more concrete, then do that.
Don't feel guilty, you're doing all you can to give them a happy life and they will realise that.
Do the kids have a good relationship with their dad? How was family life before?

issynoho Thu 13-Apr-17 19:35:42

DC's relationship with their dad is OK. They don't feel as comfortable with him as they seem to do with me - you know, the emotional side that I will notice and empathise with, he is quite blind to that.

Family life before was tense for me - feeling like I was the only safe pair of hands in the relationship. If something needed doing, it fell to me to plan/organise/sort it all. We had increasingly few interests in common. I felt resentful and somewhat trapped by my belief that i should stay with him for the kids. It got to the pout that it was impossible to pretend any more, esp to myself.

So all that is better now - I am calmer, although suffering anxiety symptoms, not surprising I guess. He has stepped up domestically somewhat, which bodes well for his future relationship with the DC but was too little too late for me.

Ellisandra Thu 13-Apr-17 19:43:57

Aren't SATS just for the school? I wouldn't worry about that.

Haven't the kids noticed?! He's moved out! I would tell them now before they work it out themselves.

I actually disagree with telling children that it's not because of them - I think it just puts it in their heads that it could be! Why would children ever make that assumption?

I also wouldn't say you're best of friends if you're not. Good luck explaining then if you don't choose to spend a lot of time together. Could also confuse them as to why you can't just stay together if your best friends. To young children who don't understand sexual attraction, what is better than a best friend?

We told my then 5yo that we weren't each other's "one true love" (she was far too into Disney at the time!) and that married couples should really be in love. Simplistic and I don't think it's as easy for an 11yo. But the principle is there.

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