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How do you cope with the actual realities of being divorced?

8 replies

amypondsbestmate · 18/03/2014 15:48

I have no fears about single, other than the possibility of DH being an arse and making the separation process convoluted/difficult. I have some financial concerns but am confident these could be sorted. I think I would cope perfectly well without DH (he is often abroad for long stretches anyway so we are used to being without him). I do all the DIY and practical stuff anyway. In fact I find the idea of being alone liberating and even exciting.

What I worry about is making it real for the children (older ones, 13 and 8). For example how/when to tell them.

When I think it about it from their point of view I can see nothing good. I can't be honest with them about the reason for the split so what to tell them? I am just so worried they will be traumatised/go off the rails/hate me!

Also the two homes thing, how does this work? Do they have two duplicate homes or do they carry belongings back and forth? We seem to have enough trouble managing the logistics of homework and school uniform and after school clubs as it is. What happens with holidays - do you allow your ex's to take them abroad on holiday for example. Can you stop them if they want to? Can they stop you?!

I don't know anyone who shares custody of their children so have no idea how it can be made to work. Ours is not an amicable situation - DH can be very manipulative and I feel sure he would make out it was all my fault even though it is not.

I have read books on divorce but none seem to cover the practicalities of it, only the process of divorcing.

I would love any advice on how to cope with all of this. Thanks.

OP posts:
ElBumpo · 18/03/2014 16:15

I don't know about telling older children as mine were much younger but on the practical parts:

We split the weekdays and then alternate weekends so I do mon-wed noon and he does wed noon-fri then I either have them sat 9.30am or Sunday 6pm. Yes they go on holidays abroad with him and likewise he wouldn't stop me taking them (if I could ever afford it!) You could go to court to stop him taking them abroad but you're unlikely to win if it's a family holiday. It's the part I dislike the most - sometimes they go for 12-15 days in the summer and it feels like too long to me, but I wouldn't want the DC to miss out so I have always let them go so far and they've always had a brilliant time.

We tend to have mostly things in duplicate because we weren't great at remembering to send things back and forth. Now they're a bit older I let them decide if they want to take things with them and it's their responsibility to bring it back.

Tell the school what's happening, they may be able to refer to counselling type services that can help with the adjustment.

Also your DH may well "blame" you but on a practical level it's kind of irrelevant whose fault it was - the main (only?) question is "what's best for the children?". Now you may not agree on the answer to that but I would always encourage compromise, mediation if you can't work together and avoid court at all costs.

Minime85 · 18/03/2014 19:47

hi. I'm not divorced yet but will be filing soon and have been separated since November. dcs were very upset when told and for a good two months after younger one (6) asked constant questions about it all.

eldest one now struggling more with the 2 houses thing. we are amicable as it stands and hope to keep it that way. to start with I packed everything up and it all came home again.

but then we bought between us PJs, dressing gowns and school uniform etc to keep there. then I told him to get socks and pants for them but they obviously get mixed up and we just each wash what we have. they have toys there that stay too.

they pack a bag with tablets, kindle bed time teddies etc and eldest has a key in her bag. she then let's herself in to pick bag up after school if ex doing school run.

it works reasonable well. we can't have regular days due to ex's work. but aim for 1-2 nights a week at his. rest with me. he or they can face time or call as and when anyone wants.

I think each family has to do it to suit their circumstances but they are just my examples of what we do. my only advice is for it to be completely centred around the dcs and their wants and needs.

good luck Smile

amypondsbestmate · 18/03/2014 22:42

Thank you, I guess my problem is that DH has always done very little in terms of parenting or housework so I find it hard to imagine him taking care of all the domestic things like washing and ironing and changing beds ...I guess it's a case of accepting that things are not always going to be done your way and so long as the DD's are healthy and happy that's all that matters, and of course he can always learn I suppose....I think I would find it hard not to be checking up on them all the time! One worry I do have is that he is a heavy drinker especially at weekends, which means I do everything in terms of things like getting them off to bed, so it worries me from a safety point of view as to how well they would be looked after..okay they are older kids and not likely to come to harm but it's not great is it?

OP posts:
Minime85 · 19/03/2014 07:45

can u raise the drinking concerns with him in any subtle way or use mediation? my ex only cleaned the bathroom and pit washing on if there was something he wanted he could do a bloody good clean when it suited him and I will say he could iron. but he never ran a house financially or domestically, lived on his own, cooked a proper dinner or had responsibility for kids on his own for more than a day.

but he had to learn and get on with it. and he has. his choice.

I've had to pull back and let him as I can't be responsible for him anymore. although I still find myself giving him ideas of things to do with dcs and checking he has enough uniform and stuff Smile

DaisiesDandelions · 20/03/2014 23:47

I have been wondering all of this. My husband has not yet moved out and the children have not yet been told but I have been wondering how the practicalities work. Things like holidays with him and Christmas I am dreading.

Anna44 · 21/03/2014 20:55

Hi - I've recently made our seperation permanant and told the kids. All the things you put in your post are all totally normal thoughts because the acutal whole process of doing this is literally turning your whole world as you know it upside down and it's a HUGE lifechanging time for everyone involved.

You could see things very differently when (and if) you seperate but these are things you won't know until you get to that point. If you can see yourself being happy and find it liberating and exciting as you say then your mind is definately not in your marriage!

Life is too short to be anything but happy, if your Children are suffering and the atmosphere is just awful etc then its time to get out. I strung mine out for quite sometime as I was so worried about all of those things you've mentioned but everything is solvable.

  • you will both take the kids on holiday seperatly, you need to be totally prepared for DH to take them away for 2 weeks and you won't see them and depending on how things are handled you may not actually be in contact with them
  • Christmas you could be without them or just see them for part of the day
  • I've done it where we do 50% 50% custody as we both work full time so we both have active roles in our childrens lives

My children are 7 and 4, my 7 year old has asked a lot of questions and was quite unsettled for a period of time and then my 4 year old doesn't really get it, she understands but doesn't really see the bigger picture.

I hope you can get things sorted and everyone is happy!
Minime85 · 21/03/2014 21:55

Christmas just gone was our first one and ex came out for lunch with us and my family. then I went with him and children to visit his parents. he came in morning to see them open their gifts.

we've agreed to try and do it so we both see them on Christmas day. he had them for few hours boxing day too.

eldest b day we did together too for dd.

I think those arrangements are so hard and so personal to your own family arrangements and fundamentally home you and ex get on.

we are OK at moment but wonder how things might change if new partners come on scene.

ElBumpo · 22/03/2014 07:47

We split Christmas Day, one has overnight Christmas Eve til 1pm (before Christmas lunch), the other has 1pm til 1pm Boxing Day and then we resume our usual schedule.

It feels awful now, unbearable, but you eventually get used to it I think. I thought I'd prefer having them in the morning, waking up and doing the whole "santas been" thing but actually I prefer the afternoon - we still get to do the "santas been" thing and I don't have the knowledge that they'll be leaving soon hanging over my head.

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