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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.

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Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 19:57

I will talk with H first, Blu. I want to make sure this is done as carefully as possible.
I hope he doesn't throw any guilt trip type comments in, but you just never know with H atm.
He has told me that I am not to let the boys see me tearful at all, as it will upset them.
I know it will affect the boys & I try not to get upset, but sometimes you can't help it & I know I will find itso hard breaking this horrible news.

Bundle if he doesn't go on Sat, it will be deadline time.

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bundle · 28/06/2006 19:59

I think that if (ok when ) you do cry in front of them explain it's because you feel sad about what's happening...but you know it's for the best.

Lemmingswife · 28/06/2006 20:10

Yes, I guess you are right, bundle. Very hard though, as I don't want to upset them.

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Caligula · 28/06/2006 20:13

They'll be upset anyway. But Mummy trying to hide her feelings won't make them less upset, it will just confuse them.

He is a controlling bastard isn't he? No wonder you can't live with him any more.

Can you present it to him that telling them together, is putting them first. Neither of you want to tell them. You could argue that he's got to tell them as you have to tell your mother, who will be upset. How mad would that sound to him? And yet he's trying to pull that fast one on you, putting his feelings before the welfare of his children. Do you think a phone call to parentline might help? They might have some kind of leaflet they could send you with advice about how to tell the children, whcih you could then show to him. Sometimes, people accept arguments from "experts" that they won't accept from people they live with.

Lemmingswife · 29/06/2006 00:18

I had never thought of anything like parentline, caligula.
He is v controlling, has been through our relationship & is continuing to be now.
I will try to get him to at least be alongside me when I tell the boys the news, as I feel it is important. They think the world of their Daddy & I think Daddy needs to be around to let them know that he will always be there for them whatever.

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lou33 · 29/06/2006 00:32

unfortunately there is no way not to upset them, the only thing you can do is to make it as easy as possible for them to take in and adjust to

but they will cope, and they will be fine, as long as you keep telling them that mummy and daddy still love them and it is not their fault

Lemmingswife · 29/06/2006 07:25

I will make it crystal clear that none of it is their fault & that Mummy & Daddy still love them just as much as ever.
Thanks for all your advice.

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lou33 · 30/06/2006 12:13

not just you, he has to be there to say it as well

good luck

glitterfairy · 30/06/2006 12:38

I told all three of my kids that we were having a temporary split for 8 weeks whilst my X laughed himself silly knowing he was off with another woman.

Then on the day I found out and chucked him out the children saw him removed by the police after hitting me. Nothing could have been worse adn it was followed up at his insistence by him telling them all about his other woman and how wonderful she was and how they could all have new bedrooms at his new barn conversion in the village where they had grown up and where one of them had been born.

I gave in LW and was made to bear the consequences of their deep hurt and mine. Dont let him get away with it. Saying you should do it is another aspect of his abuse of you.

glitterfairy · 30/06/2006 12:40

Just to add LW I did loads of crying at first in front of mine and they respected me for it. He never cried and that struck them as odd. He was always telling them to look after me and take care of me which made me furious.

shimmy21 · 30/06/2006 12:42

Hi LW Have been lurking on your thread with much sympathy but no thing helpful to say. You seem a very caring and brave woman.

Today I came across a website that seems to offer a lot of help in this area (and all other aspects of divorce too). I'll try to link it
telling children

Good luck.

shimmy21 · 30/06/2006 12:46

Damn -didn't work!

Anyway the website is

Click on child aid and then on telling children (down the side of the page).

jamsambam · 30/06/2006 12:47

my ds1 was only 2 when his dad left so it was relatively easy, but now they are 5 and 6 they both ask silly questions like has he died? or is he living on mars?, so i now ave to retell the story a couple of times a week.
it would e so much easier if you told them together, then dad can look them in the face when he says he is leaving, rather than hide behind you. good luck XX

SecurMummy · 30/06/2006 12:47

Please don't try to hide your feelings from your children - if you try to be strong about this then they may get teh impression that they have to as well along with a vauge idea that you don't care that it is hurting them, which is far far more damaging to them than pretty much anything else.

If your H won't be there then fine - but make sure you tell them that he wanted you to tell them as he was too upset or somehting like that - this way even though they may never see daddy upset tehy will know that he was IYSWIM which will add to their feeling that they are loved by you both. use his idiocy to yours and your childrens advantage.

Finally -they may be heartbroken by this whole thing - but not forever, children pick themselves up and dust themselves off far far more often then adults can, they just need certain things, love and someone to talk to. It looks like that person will be you, so start it off as honestly as you can.

Hope it goes well for you all now and in the future

Lemmingswife · 30/06/2006 14:52

Thank you for all your advice here. I haven't broken the news yet. I want to get it just right (well as right as it can be) & am dreading it so much.
Thanks for the link shimmy21. I will take a good read of it.
This is by far going to be the toughest part of all this.

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HappyDaddy · 04/07/2006 12:33

Am late to this but I sat my dd1 down and told her that I still loved her the same but mummy and daddy weren't living together anymore. I explained that it meant that mummy and daddy wouldn't be arguing anymore, which would be good and that she'd get two sets of birthday and christmas presents. She was also pleased cos she got a mobile phone earlier than she might have, her best mate had one to talk to her daddy too.

Lemmingswife · 04/07/2006 18:06

That was a really positive way of breaking the news, HappyDaddy.
I have now explained to my DS1 that Daddy will soon be going to stay with a friend (as this is what is meant to be happening), but he will still see him a lot & that sometimes when Mummys & Daddys argue a lot, it is better that they live in different houses.
He said "I don't want you & Daddy to stop loving each other, but I don't mind Daddy staying in another house because I can go to Daddys house then, just like XX in my class!"
Thought I had better start to prepare him. I will talk to them again properly as soon as the move looks likely to happen. H is not budging easily atm, but that is another thread!

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