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How did you break the news to your children, that Daddy was leaving?

67 replies

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 16:45

Just over two weeks ago, my husband & myself decided that our marriage had come to an end and it would be best for us to seperate.
He is still living at home atm, but is soon moving out & going to stay with a friend until our house is sold.
We have two young boys aged 3 & 6, who adore their Daddy so much. We haven't told them anything yet, but H wants this to be my job.
It is tearing me apart, as they ask where he is all the time when he is at work, or at the pub with his friends.
I am dreading breaking the news to them & possibly breaking their hearts in the process.
I was wondering how others went about it & what kind of affect it had on their children.
I would be grateful of any advice.

OP posts:
Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:01

I know what I am doing is for the best for all of us really, it is just so hard, as my boys love their Daddy so much.

OP posts:
lou33 · 28/06/2006 18:06

they can still love him, nothing like that has to change

cd, i havent seen mine for 30 years!

LeahE · 28/06/2006 18:07

(I'm not a lone parent but) I know my SIL has never forgiven her father for not having the guts to tell her face-to-face that he was leaving, and she's in her mid-20s now so she's had a while to get over it. Does your H want to risk setting himself up for a similar situation?

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:10

Reading your posts have made me determined to make it clear that I feel he should be present when the boys are told. Saying I should wait until he has left the house is a real cowards way out & typical of H to want to dodge it totally.
It will be a huge challange for me not to end up in floods of tears when we break the news though.

OP posts:
Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:11

Which wouldn't be good for my children!

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lou33 · 28/06/2006 18:12

if you think he is going to find a way out of it, just pick a time he is in the room with you and tell them, then he would have no choice

or is that very wrong?

sparklemagic · 28/06/2006 18:14

lemming, I definitely agree he MUST be with you...the children will need the reassuring presence of both of you when they get this blow. If he can't stay with you then he must at least be with his children for this moment in their lives - the biggest, most formative event that they will ever have experienced.

Of course it will help for them to know that you both still love them etc but I also think it's worth acknowledging to yourselves that they have lost something here - no matter how re-assuring you are about it not being their fault and that you will always be their parents, they have still lost their family set-up, which is the main thing they have in their lives really. So I think what I'm saying is to allow them to mourn this and have all sorts of reactions to this because even though they are not losing you or their dad, they ARE losing their family (as they have known it up to this point).

You sound very sensitive to their feelings and needs so I'm sure they will be fine - but it is a MAJOR thing for them and your ex needs to develop a bit of backbone so he can be with you!

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:36

Good idea, Lou! That way he can't cop out of anything.
This is the hardest part of the whole horrible process & I am worried I will go & make it worse by getting tearful in front of them. I have to try & be strong for their sakes, but I don't know if I will be able to fight back the tears.

OP posts:
Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:39

I am very aware that they are losing their family unit, sparklemagic.
I feel so upset for my poor little boys.

OP posts:
lou33 · 28/06/2006 18:42

It isn't so bad if you cry in front of them, you are only human

bundle · 28/06/2006 18:45

it's fine to be upset, they realise you're human too.

for your husband to not be there also sends out the wrong message subliminally ie you or even they have done something wrong to make him go...when in reality it's a decision that you have come to, to try and make things better for everyone.

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:46

Did you get tearful in front of the children when you broke the news, Lou?
It is such a hard, horrible thing to do & I feel so bad for them, that I don't know if I will be able to stay strong.
H has told me that I am not to let boys see I am upset.

OP posts:
Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 18:47

Hadn't thought of it like that, bundle - but you are right.

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lou33 · 28/06/2006 18:51

Of course i did, we both did, i would be made of stone if it didn't affect me

your h sounds like a twat, sorry

lou33 · 28/06/2006 18:52

Also, as you are separating, your h has even less right to TELL you how to behave imo

bundle · 28/06/2006 18:56

being sad is a very important part of growing up, it's up to adults if they choose not to once they've grown up - and it's fine for you to cry imo. I remember sobbing my heart out in front of my ex-boyfriend's nephews and all 4 of them put their arms around me and said "what can we do?" I just said "you're doing it now"...they just understood and were incredibly kind to me.

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 19:02

H can be a twat, Lou. We are seperating, as I cannot continue to be scared & controlled by him anymore.

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Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 19:05

Bless your ex boyfriends nephews, bundle. They sound real sweeties.

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bundle · 28/06/2006 19:07

I know lemingswife and after that they went the whole nine yards: they were quiet during coronation street..just for me thunk

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 19:10

What good boys!

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Alipiggie · 28/06/2006 19:12

As I'm currently separated from dh my two ds's have gone through similar situation. Sadly he left it up to me to tell them, he just packed his bag and went to his little room somewhere else. Luckily they were already so used to daddy not being around as he travelled that they didn't seem phased by it at all. They have accepted that it's because he can't be with mummy and that it's nothing to do with them. Sadly I honestly think that the youngest who'll be 3 on Sunday is already shutting daddy completely out of his life. Sorry for your situation, I hope all goes smoothly.

bundle · 28/06/2006 19:13

when do you think he'll go? it would be good to rehearse it through, even if he's not there when you do it. also i think you need to dispel any worries they might have about the practicalities eg when they'll see him (how that will happen, where and how often), how they can just phone him whenever they like for a chat etc(but not too much for them to take in)

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 19:20

Sorry to hear of your situation, Alipiggie.
Bundle, the when is he going question is another thread in itself!
He is going to move in with a friend & made out he was going last Saturday, but then decided he couldn't go then for various silly reasons, so it may be this Saturday.
It is really hard having to have him around so much given the circumstances.

OP posts:
Blu · 28/06/2006 19:23

LW - my only concern is that you talk with H about it first and get him to understand the message you are planning to give the kids. And to make sure he doesn't come out with some accusation / guilt-tripping or balming you in front of them. 'Mummy wants me to leave...'. He needs to undeerstand that what you tell them is the basis of their security with both of you, and he will upset them much more if he does anything to seem as if he is apportioning blame. Even saying 'it's all my fault', I suppose.

And getting your Mother to sing from the same hymn sheet. Oh dear!

And as for "H has told me that I am not to let boys see I am upset." - well that says it all, really, doesn't it!?

bundle · 28/06/2006 19:36

lw could you bear to set him a deadline? sounds like drawing this out is doing no one any good

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