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Can't face separating H because of daughter

(54 Posts)
Snowflake18 Sat 18-Nov-17 21:46:33

Is there anyone who might be able to help me get my head around this.
My H has been repeated unfaithful. I just don't think I can face giving him another chance. I do love him but I don't think I can trust him anymore. I think we need to get divorced. But I can't bear for the damage it will do to my daughter who is 3.
At the moment we are playful and trying to keep things as normal as possible for her, tho people always say kids pick up on things so I have no idea what she thinks really. She's a very shy and sensitive little girl and only really comes alive and feels safe with my H and I. It will devastate her and she's at just a vulnerable age. The thought of her asking for Daddy and crying for him repeatedly breaks my heart. I know she won't transition well and feel it would set her back even more.
I equally know that I have a right to a life but I feel I might forever feel guilt at disrupting her at such a delicate age. I know it's not me really and it's my H who has done this but that won't make me feel any better or make any difference for the outcome for her.
Has anyone been through this? Would anyone recommend leaving it until school age when she is less reliant on us and has more of a social/friendship group? I feel lost.

Coffeeonadrip Sat 18-Nov-17 21:51:32

I'm sorry I don't really have any advice or experience to share but I think there is never a good moment. Even later on it might be "still settling in at school", "exams soon", "favourite teacher has left", "bereavement in family" (obviously not wishing this on anyone). Meanwhile she will have an unhappy mum who is stuck with an unfaithful husband.

Coffeeonadrip Sat 18-Nov-17 21:52:28

Sorry will just add that my parents separated when I was 2/3 I have no recollection of that.

Makesmilingyourbesthobby Sat 18-Nov-17 22:05:10

Oh gosh, I wouldn't say it has anything to do with age its more to do with the individual child, how the parents handle it & behave around child & the circumstances the divorce might cause child, but if I had to catagrise what age child would be least effected with a parents divorce & somrle changes it would be the 3 year old well before a 5 year old in my opinion flowers

Littlefish Sat 18-Nov-17 22:06:04

I think if you have made the decision that the relationship is not working, then you should separate. As your dd is so young, I suspect that in time, she will not remember you being together.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 18-Nov-17 22:06:05

I would infinitely prefer my parents had separated when I was three and understood nothing rather than dragging it on until I was eight, when I really, really understood what was going on. She’ll be upset for a few days then find a new normal. Honestly, she won’t retain a break up at three nearly as much as she will once she’s school-aged.

mineofuselessinformation Sat 18-Nov-17 22:06:25

I'll just say this - no matter how good an actress you think you are, she will know something is wrong, maybe not specifically, but she will pick up the fact that you are unhappy.
Ask yourself, is that the sort of life that she (and you) deserves?
Whatever your answer is, that is what you should act on.

OldWitch00 Sat 18-Nov-17 22:11:35

What do you want her to learn from this? That as a young woman she needs to fake being happy? That men cheat and there are no consequences?
Staying in a shitty relationship isn’t worth it.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Nov-17 22:12:25

Your little girl will imo pick up vibes from the both of you it is better for her if you split up sooner than later, there is always going to be something or other so you are going to stick with a git of a husband who shags about how is this a good parent?

merrykate Sat 18-Nov-17 22:14:37

My daughter was three when me and her dad broke up. We have always had a good, amicable, friendly relationship and our daughter flourishes as a result. She doesn't remember us being together which I'm grateful for. If you don't do it now I fear you'll always find an excuse. The sooner the better for both of your sakes, I'd say. Good luck ❤

Snowflake18 Sat 18-Nov-17 22:14:48

I know. I hate that her life so far has involved me feeling anxious/sad. I do try my best to appear happy with her but I fear that i haven't always achieved that. I imagine years of that would be ultimately more damaging to her than us making the break but the thought of her worrying and being distressed, missing one of us, having to sleep somewhere she doesn't know just fills me with dread.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Nov-17 22:15:00

How is he a good parent is what I meant to say. Fwiw my parents split when i was 3 I have no recollection of anything.

Animation86 Sat 18-Nov-17 22:16:29

At three she isn’t at school or nursery. Believe me it will be WAY harder after this age.

MrsJayy Sat 18-Nov-17 22:23:38

Litttle children are resiliant she will be ok if she is allowed to be upset she will pick up again, it is him that did this to his family not you.

TheweewitchRoz Sat 18-Nov-17 22:27:52

Better to do it now while she’s so young - she’ll have no recollection & you’ll be able to move forward with your own life sooner.

paranoidpammywhammy2 Sat 18-Nov-17 22:32:12

I stayed with a lying, cheating partner for a few more years and was trying really hard to make the relationship work for the sake of my daughter. My Ex wasn't. We split up when she was 5ish but then got back together (I was a fool). He just cheated again and again, denying everything and getting angry when caught out.

I would say I stayed for my daughter's sake but with hindsight she was a lot more affected than I realised by us staying together and didn't benefit by us staying together. I should have split permanently as he wasn't going to change. She wasn't devastated by the breakup - I think she suffered more in the stressful environment when we were together, I think she was relieved more than anything, her behaviour calmed once we moved out and our home environment became much more happy. My daughter is far more settled now.

Snowflake18 Sat 18-Nov-17 22:34:00

yes, my H has let us all down and believe me, I'm hurt and angry with him beyond belief but thats like wasted energy now. I'm just worried about what impact his actions are going to have on our daughters life and how she feels

SingingMyOwnSpecialSong Sat 18-Nov-17 22:35:03

I separated from my husband earlier this year when DD was just over 2 years. She has been fine, much happier with us apart than when we were together and there was so much negativity in the house. She sees him several days a week and has never been bothered that he isn't here all the time, or that I am not at her dads. We have made an effort to go out for special events together, and he will be coming over on Christmas Day, I'm hoping that will continue as I don't want her to ever feel she has to choose between us. The only thing she did get upset over was a couple of things he had taken with him that we had never realised were so important to her. He happily returned them and all fine.

Anditstartsagain Sat 18-Nov-17 22:46:36

My parents seperated when I was 5 I have no memory of it, my mum was pushed into trying again and I do remember the unhappiness in our house then them divorcing when I was 10 by which time their relationship had become toxic and really damaged all of us especially my sister she was 8 and really felt it.

nadinexo1 Sat 18-Nov-17 23:06:37

I have a child who is so sensitive and shy too and he really seems to need both parents with him to give him confidence in all areas of life, he is especially close to his father and even if we have a small tiff he seems to get so upset and keeps it in his head for days so I do understand where you are coming from in not wanting to make things worse for your daughter. Having said that however if things are so bad then she will be picking up on the vibes between you anyway so its better for her to have two happy parents and I do think that will help her have more confid3nce rather than taking in all th3 anxiety and tension around her.

Stinkbomb Sat 18-Nov-17 23:22:18

My DD was 2, nearly 3 when we separated and she has adapted far better than I could have imagined - she’s taken it all in her stride, although I did get some books about children with 2 homes etc.
It’s nearly 2 years now and she does ask questions about why we dont all live together, and stuff, she’s absolutely fine, and better now than when she’s older and more aware.

Stinkbomb Sat 18-Nov-17 23:23:00

Happy parents play a far more important role than 2 unhappy parents that live together.

jeaux90 Sat 18-Nov-17 23:31:22

Honestly you are projecting your anxieties onto your daughter here. The main thing is splitting amicably and making the co-parenting work. Mine was young when we split she's 8 now and absolutely fine.

I'm a single mum and I get really fed up of people banging on about kids being impacted by "broken" homes.

Your home home is already broken but you and your husband can fix this by splitting and learning to co-parent.

Seeingadistance Sun 19-Nov-17 02:25:35

My son was 5 when we separated. He's now 15, and has said that he doesn't really remember us being together, and that us being apart isn't a big deal for him at all as it's what he used to.

As adults we project our adult understandings onto small children, but they understand things very differently. My ex and I got on much better when we were apart, and despite our differences we always managed to make sure our son knew he was loved by both of us. I've been much more bothered by my son having two homes than he is. For him, it's normal.

If I could go back in time, I would have left my husband much earlier than I did. Like you, I was worried about the impact on my son, but in reality, the older he got, the more he was affected by our poor relationship.

My advice would be - if you are staying only for your daughter, then don't. Leave now. Your daughter will still have two parents and you can put your energies into making your separation work well for her, and for you.

Zampa Sun 19-Nov-17 03:20:05

My DSC were 2 and 6 when their parents split up. The youngest one took it in his stride and had a much easier time of it. The eldest took far longer to get over the break up.

They're happy kids now, with two separate but loving families. You and your partner can make it work. Any initial issues will be worked through and the likelihood of your DD remembering much of it in detail are slim.

Good luck.

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