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How do we tell the kids we're seperating?

(35 Posts)
bizzi Thu 30-Dec-04 23:12:58

Dh and I have finally given up working at our relationship and have decided to separate. We argue frequently and the children, 9 7 and 4 are too aware of the unhappiness caused between us. I need affection and to feel loved and he cant give it. The kids need a far more harmonious lifestyle to the one they have right now, we reckon we can be better parents if we live separately.

We are both heartbroken but know that this is the best route for all concerned. After all I've been through in the last 18 months I'm scared I wont cope well with divorce, relocation and the loneliness to come.

How do we tell the kids we're separating? Ds 9 will be the badly affected, he's always said that the thought of mummy and daddy splitting up scares him.

Any support and words of wisdom will be gratefully appreciated

marzipan Thu 30-Dec-04 23:15:14

Oh Bizzi - can't really help other than hope that you can either work through this or can amicably separate - in real terms how are you with each other - close or killing each other - best for you or the kids - can you work things out?

Merlin Thu 30-Dec-04 23:16:32

Bizzi - have no personal experience of this but just wanted to show my support and to wish you all well for the future. My best friend has gone through a similar thing and yes it was tough, but she and her 2 daughters are so much happier now for it - I know it is a cliche but it will all turn out for the best in the end. Do you have family and friends near you to help out and be there for you?

ja9 Thu 30-Dec-04 23:17:48

no words of wisdom, but i am so so sorry that you are going thru this just now. really thinking of you. (((hugs)))

marzipan Thu 30-Dec-04 23:46:37

Bizzi - going by time you're obviously ahead of us - come back tomorrow

ChicPea Thu 30-Dec-04 23:56:49

Can't offer advice from experience but I remember watching an Oprah Winfrey show years ago dedicated to parents splitting and the effects, etc. One of the guests she had on the show said it was very important for both parents to sit down with the children and explain gently that they were separating while at the same time telling them that they loved them very much, it was not their fault, they would spend as much time with them, etc. Also, to re-meet say a week later once the children had time to think about it and have some questions.

I am sorry you are going through this but you sound very ludic about the whole thing.

BeckiF Fri 31-Dec-04 00:06:11

From the experiences gone through by my dp, I would echo what has been said before in that you need to explain to the children. Make it clear that Mum & Dad still like each other but don't love each other and living together just hurts you all. Make it clear that although they will live with just one of you, they will always have unlimited access to the other parent. Above all, you must retain your dignity and make sure that neither of you ever use the children to get at each other. I wish you will and hope that the split goes as well as a thing like this can.

Lavenderr Fri 31-Dec-04 00:07:11

I know it sounds like a really obvious thing to say but have you tried Relate, counselling, talking to other people about why your dh can't give you the affection...

I can't help feeling that there is something else involved here because I don't presonally believe you would divorce someone justt because you argued with them as that is quite common to do if you are under stress/have children and so on. I am not prying at all but only wanted to find out if there is something more than just the arguing that is making you want to you say you don't look forward to the lonliness and the children are scared of there really no hope...please remember mumsnetters are a very kind bunch of people who try and help many people and do not someones circumstances because they differ from their own...I hope you can tlak about this more openly...if not I hope you are making the right decision....has it been on the cards for long?....don't be afraid to talk on here lavxx

Lavenderr Fri 31-Dec-04 00:08:37

do not judge meant to say

marzipan Fri 31-Dec-04 00:08:53

Here, here Lav

fairyfly Fri 31-Dec-04 00:11:28

I was incredibly honest with my kids, i didn't want them to think what they were feeling was wrong. I told them we were splitting up as we weren't in love and got angry too much. With every comment like that i bounced back a thousand more times with compliments and kisses for them. I also said ( as daddy was gone) he thought about them every day and loved them as much as i did. I dont like side taking and think that is probably the most damaging thing to a child. I kept the politics hidden. When i did cry i said it was because i missed daddy, it helped them feel the same. My son who was four at the time found it hard, he clinged on to me, i spent most of my time trying to find a balance between..... lets get on with it and have fun.....lets talk about it and say how we feel. I think my children are wonderful now, it was hard, and im not saying i did anything right, i just did my thing and my kids are happy happy little angels.

bizzi Fri 31-Dec-04 14:42:28

Thanks for all your comments.
Marzipan, we are splitting for all 5 of us, dh and I have fallen out of love and are so miserable that we're creating an unpleasant atmosphere. And yes Lavenderr there is more to it, he is an intollerant git with the kids at times, he comes from quite a cold unloving, almost child hating background, he's the better of them all, granparents, mother and siblings are totally disinterested in our lovely children, the opposite to my family's attitudes.

We still do like each other, even love each other but as friends not lovers and there's far too much we don't like about each other to be able to continue. We have tried Relate twice in the last 11 years and they have helped, infact we're booked in for next week for another attempt but are going to cancel and make an appointment with Family Mediation instead. We feel we can keep this amicable and are talking together, crying and hugging lots. Hugs used to be so rare!! It's ironic.
I just hope I can get through this revolting business as well as you have done fairfly. I feel so sad and alone though and dread the task of telling people, so far only my sister, mum, dad and one friend know. Thank god for the holidays for avoiding people but I'm already so lonely.

aloha Fri 31-Dec-04 14:52:48

From my perspective as a stepmother and wife of a man with a child from a previous relationship, I would suggest you live as close together as you can - ie don't move to another city or anything - so the children feel they can go from one home to another fairly easily. Ideally you will be close enough so your children can take friends back to both homes. Let them have possessions/clothes/books etc in both homes so they don't have to carry a little suitcase with them everywhere and so they feel at home in both homes. Let your children have a real say in how you deal with contact -ie you will probably want to make a regular agreement but if something comes ups that the children want to do at either house, don't get upset. For example, my dh took his dd back to her mum's house after Christmas for a couple of days as her grandparents were visiting, then we picked her up again to go to the pantomime. Children do feel guilty about letting their parents down and we really had to hammer it home that it was absolutely, totally fine for her to go back early to see her grandparents. Sometimes you really do have make things very explicit - ie it's not your fault, you can go and stay with your dad/mum and we won't be cross/upset. Also let them call and encourage your partner to call on the phone all the time. It keeps the person who doesn't live with the children in touch with all the tiny things that make for an intimate relationship. My dh is a very devoted and committed father and calls his daughter every day and it makes a huge difference.
I think it's wonderful that you are being so amicable about this. I am sure it will make a world of difference to your children.

lulupop Fri 31-Dec-04 15:48:19

Bizzi, sorry you're facing such a difficult time. I am interested to read how you feel, and how things develop for you, as I envisage being in your situation myself quite soon.

DH and I have 2 small children, and like you, we have got to the point where the atmosphere is just intolerable. DS is 3 and starting to notice, and it is affecting him, I know. I like DH, and think he likes me too, but I don't love him the way I should and would like to be able to stay on good terms. The thought of him meeting someone else and maybe having another child with them makes me feel ill, but equally I know we cannot make each other happy any more.

I have no idea how I will/would cope with a split as we have no money and I am currently a SAHM, but I draw strength from MN and the experience and advice of others here.

Would be interested to know how the family mediation thing goes - please do let us know.

bizzi Fri 31-Dec-04 20:52:27

We both hope we can make this an amicable split, who knows if that good intention will last. We have agreed that, sadly, I will almost certainly be moving 150 - 200 miles away. He has family and job here, my family and old friends are 200 miles away, almost all our friends here are mutual.

lulupop I was sorry to read your post. I have always, right back to the beginning of our relationship, wondered if I was doing the right thing by staying. Would he change, help around the hoise more, have more to do with the children, be more affectionate with me!?? I don't feel I've wasted these years by hanging on and hoping, we've had good times too, but I do wish the children were younger so it wont be so hard on them. At least I'm now sure that this is right for me (us). I do recommend that you try Relate, they helped us once. Perhaps we should have gone back a year ago, only I think it would have only served to prolong all this.

My 3 big worries are location - proximity between kids and dad, money and loneliness!

bizzi Fri 31-Dec-04 20:55:18

We live in a house not a hoise!

OLittleYurtofBethlehem Fri 31-Dec-04 21:43:16

really sad to read this Bizzi - esp having read all about your dds nightmares - I would suggest that you try to rediscover love but sounds like things have gone beyond that - really really for you but cant really offer any helpful advice - sending xxx to you and your kiddies

OLittleYurtofBethlehem Fri 31-Dec-04 21:48:31

I really dont want to turn this thread away from your problem Bizzi but I am feeling really cross that someone (and you know who you are!!!!!!) has responded with helpful advice about what to do - when you completely fail to accept our advice when we offer it to you in your own situation

Sorry for slight outburst will wander off now with face

Hope to chat with you again soon Bizzi

lulupop Sat 01-Jan-05 09:30:57

you're not talking about me, are you, YG?

I have actually made an appt with a solicitor. I know this state of affairs can't continue, and think that seeing a solicitor is the best first step before broaching the subject of separation with DH. At the same time, it is very scary thinking about making such a momentous decision, especially when things are relatively calm (albeit only at surface level).

puddytats Sat 01-Jan-05 09:37:10

Bizzi, so sorry to hear this. I don't often post on here but you touched me. My parents split up when young and I remember mum sitting down and telling us mummy and daddy don't love eachother but they will never stop loving us. I beleive if they had stayed together I would not have had the fantastic childhood i did.

DH parents waited until both children had finished school so not to disrupt their lives but he wishes they had not bothered as he was aware for years there were problems.

At the end of the day any decision is difficult and good luck in whatever you decide to do

bizzi Sat 01-Jan-05 10:22:32

YG you reminded me to leave an update on dd2! (She's doing well). It really is ds I'm worried about, he has social/emotional problems already and appears to be far closer to dh than either of the girls. His schooling has always presented problems because of his behaviour and I'm worried this will worsen in the beginning. However I also think that a calmer and happier home life will do him a lot of favours. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

The distance that I'm going to create between kids and dad is a concern . No way round this, I've wanted to be closer to my parents for years and last August dd2 was sexually assaulted (hence the nightmares) by a young lad from this area, his family are now in the US but they have strong ties with this town and easily could return. She recalls all too clearly the boy and the events so I feel an overwhelming need to protect her and move away.

OLittleYurtofBethlehem Sat 01-Jan-05 12:48:38

OMG lulu no of course i didnt mean you - I have written this on your thread too but i dont think you have returned to it since i wrote it! - On christmas day dh and i lit 7 candles - 1 for Jesus, 2 for Bunglie and the other MHBP lost mothers and children, 3 kids affected by 11 Sept 2001, 4 for the children of Beslan, 5 for the children of Dafur, Sudan. 6 for the MN kids whose daddies are abusive 7 for MN kids who have been sexually abused - Candle 6 was primarily for you lulupop and Stressed Mummy and candle 7 was mainly cos i have got really upset for Bizzi's dd and other tales of abuse to MN kids

I really didnt mean to offend in my rant last night Other MNetters will understand why i got cross

Of course on christmas day we didnt know we would need candle 8 for the tsaumi disaster

Sorry Bizzi will stop interrupting now!

OLittleYurtofBethlehem Sat 01-Jan-05 12:51:26

Ps to Bizzi - How about contaacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau to see what advice they might suggest - Also our local library has books for children about divorce and when "mummy and daddy dont live together anymore" HTH

stressedmummy Sat 01-Jan-05 12:58:33

The candle thing was so sweet of you YG.

lulupop Sat 01-Jan-05 14:07:49

bless you YG, it is a lovely feeling to think of you lighting a candle for me, stressedmummy, and the other MNers in less than happy circumstances.

of course the tsunami thing puts it all in perspective and has made me wonder if I'm just being incredibly selfish anyway.

thanks for your msgs and support - I will now return to my thread and stop interrupting this one!

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