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#1 of 9 Old 05-04-2011, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not firing on all cylinders today...Hell for the past few months, but I'm tired today and need some input.

 

STBX spent last night at his condo, the boys were pretty upset and confused as to why he was leaving after only coming home about 45 minutes ago. We haven't told them and at a social workers recommendation are doing a transitional thing in terms of STBX leaving. I finally got them settled down and my 3yo woke up a couple hours afterwards very upset that daddy wasn't home.

 

I am so very angry that he goes off and makes a choice to leave based on sex and some reason he can't explain very well himself (He just keeps on saying "You don't understand me" WTFever!!!) and I'm left not only to deal with my broken heart, now I have to deal with the fallout of very confused and upset kids.

 

My question is, is there any point in telling him that 3yo was very upset last night? Part of me wants to just stick it to him, another part of me is thinking why should I protect him from this fall out, he should know darn well the pain he is causing in our kids and that it's biblically pissing me off, and part of me is like what's the point, he's clearly so wrapped up in himself right now, it won't make much of a difference. Any feedback?

 


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#2 of 9 Old 05-04-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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since you're working with a social worker, i'd ask for their advice on this.  from my perspective, it sounds like you guys have a plan but stbx isn't following it, therefore it's not working.  if him staying at his condo is actually part of that plan, then what is the explanation you are expected to give? 

 

i do think it makes sense to tell him about ds having a hard time with it, not to prevent him from staying at his condo in the future, but to make clear the need to handle it differently (leaving after bedtime, him being involved with explaining to the kids why he's not going to be home that evening, or making a new plan).

 

kids know a lot more than we think they know.  just because you haven't told them you're splitting up doesn't mean they think everything's cool, and i actually think having some answers could be comforting to them and make them feel more secure - but i'm not a professional and i don't know your kids.

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#3 of 9 Old 05-04-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I think  you should explain to the children why daddy is sleeping at his condo.  It doesn't have to be emotionally charged, just a basic "Mommy and Daddy aren't going to live together anymore...".  Then, don't do the transitions before bedtime - when my DS is dropped off right before bed its AWFUL.  It's much easier if good bye is said at least a few hours before (6pm is our current drop off time  after weekend visits and it works fine). 

 

Also, having just a very short visit with Daddy would be really hard - why not plan for him to take the kids our to play or to his condo for a few hours at least, then drop them off with a few hours to spare?  Then they know where daddy is staying, and aren't freaked out about what happened to him.  My DS used to be terrified if he woke up while I was in the shower, now he's fine but its b/c one morning he walked into the bathroom looking for me, and found me in the shower.  When he asks about daddy at night, I can tell him that daddy is sleeping at daddy's house, and that he can talk to daddy tomorrow on the phone.  I think he's able to picture where daddy is, and it helps him to feel better (and we've been separated for over a year now).

 

Good luck!!!  Things DO get easier!!

 

ETA - I think its really bizzare that the social worker is saying not to tell the kids - what are you going to accomplish by not telling them?  I think them knowing is perfectly OK - they don't need the reasons, it doesn't have to be a big adult explanation - just that you don't live together anymore, but that you both love all of them very much, and that they are going to be taken care of.

 

 

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#4 of 9 Old 05-04-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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My XH rarely contact DD and never through me. Once last year she had a complete daddy meltdown, she is often "sad about her dad" as she puts it but rarely cries for longer than 5 minutes. So after 45 minutes of her crying and screaming inconsolably I call him, of course he didn't pick up so I left him a message saying "Why do your feelings have to come before hers?" and then I held the phone out for about 15 seconds and hung up. I know it was wrong but I was so defeated and hopeless at that point because that was when I realized how horrible all of this was. So I guess in your situation with a fresh divorce happening I would not mention it to him and just do your best to help your children. Now maybe someday if a similar situation occurs I might bring it up but right now just roll with the punches until a routine has been established.

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#5 of 9 Old 05-04-2011, 08:00 PM
 
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I agree with SSM.

 

Truth is always the best course even if you have to temper the hard truth with some softness for a while.  I cannot understand why any counselor would promote outright lying to the kids.

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#6 of 9 Old 05-05-2011, 10:00 AM
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Taking the bolded one step further: Phrase it in a context of what *will*, rather than won't, be happening.

 

"Daddy is going to have a different house now"

"Mommy and Daddy are going to have separate houses"

"You will spend time at Daddy's house sometimes"


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I think  you should explain to the children why daddy is sleeping at his condo.  It doesn't have to be emotionally charged, just a basic "Mommy and Daddy aren't going to live together anymore...".  Then, don't do the transitions before bedtime - when my DS is dropped off right before bed its AWFUL.  It's much easier if good bye is said at least a few hours before (6pm is our current drop off time  after weekend visits and it works fine). 

 

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#7 of 9 Old 05-06-2011, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your writing. I do love your suggestions. I did end up telling ex about DS2 crying and he felt pretty awful by it. Ex is still living here while his condo is being finished, but he spends a night or two there on an air mattress. We talked about it last night and he apologized profusely about coming in for 50 minutes and leaving and I made it clear if this is going to work, he better not expect to leave until the kids are sound asleep. I think he's going to have to realize that he's going to have to adapt to the kids schedule and it's going to be a much larger effort than before.

 

I should just clarify that the social worker wasn't advocate that we don't tell them, we've been dragging our heels on that because he's a chicken...well so am I. I am going to be pushing for telling them next weekend. She was just advocating the transitional moving. At this point, I'm less and less thrilled about it and just want my space.


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#8 of 9 Old 05-06-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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I let stbx know.  I think he needs to understand the ramifications of his actions and also, i would want to know if the kids were having a hard time if i was away from them.  DD is old enough to call him and i let her call whenever she wants.  Sometimes she leaves him a message saying she misses him, or tells him something funny from school, or leaves a yelling tirade about how awful he is.  It is what it is and i wont stifle her or protect him from what he is doing.

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#9 of 9 Old 05-06-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post

Thanks for your writing. I do love your suggestions. I did end up telling ex about DS2 crying and he felt pretty awful by it. Ex is still living here while his condo is being finished, but he spends a night or two there on an air mattress. We talked about it last night and he apologized profusely about coming in for 50 minutes and leaving and I made it clear if this is going to work, he better not expect to leave until the kids are sound asleep. I think he's going to have to realize that he's going to have to adapt to the kids schedule and it's going to be a much larger effort than before.

I'm so sorry that this man is putting you and your children through this.  I have to say, the above bolded quote would not be acceptable to me.  He's made it clear that he wants to separate/divorce, he intends to leave, he's been having affairs, etc.. yet he's still in the house with you?  I'm sorry but F*** that.  Tell him to move himself and his possessions  into his precious, secret condo TODAY. Or at least over the weekend. If the condo is actually still under construction, then he can go stay in a motel, with friends, in his car, wherever, who cares, not your problem!  Trust me, I have BTDT and the most painful part of everything was still sharing space and having to look at his face everyday, for weeks, after he'd told me about the things he'd been up to and that our marriage was ending. 

 

Also, having him still living and sleeping in the house is bound to confuse the children even more.  You and STBX are sending them mixed messages.  This social worker is giving some bad advice.  In my opinion and my experience, this "transitional moving" just makes everything harder and uglier.  He needs to get OUT of the house.  And find a place to visit the kids that is his own space so that they can begin to understand that he does. not. live. with you anymore.  Sure, he should be seeing them often, every day, fine.  I would forget about the bedtimes for now, though.  He can tuck them in once he has a place set up to keep them overnight properly.  I know it's very hard, but it will be better for you and the children if you can start to build a bedtime routine that does not include him anymore.
 

 

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