STBX was served on Tuesday with papers (in another state). He is driving up this weekend to meet w/ a lawyer. My older son't birthday party is on Saturday, so STBX will be here for that. I convinced him not to stay at the house (at least for tonight) because the tension isn't good for the kids. Anyhow, I thinik we will talk to the kids Sunday morning. At least, that is what I'd like to do. I have read several books. Would appreciate hearing how you did it and how it went. Nervous and sad right now to the point of feeling physically ill.
It does suck. My ex packed up right in front of our 4 year old one morning and walked out. For days all she could say to me was "where's daddy? when is daddy coming home?" It about killed me. Once we worked out visitation (50/50) and she started going to "daddy's friend's house", I told her that daddy didn't live here anymore. She excepted it just like that. She still asks occasionally where he is. Honestly, he was rarely around at the end anyway, so this wasn't much of a change for her.
Thank you. My older is turning 8 and I am more worried about him. The 4 year old doesn't understand too much. I should mention that STBX hasn't lived here in 18 months, so aside from moving his stuff there won't be major changes (in some regards) to the kids day-to-day lives.
Mine had just turned 7 & 3. We just told them that Daddy was moving into X's house (next door neighbors who had just moved away) and that they would spend X time with him over there. Nothing about divorce, nothing about we don't love each other anymore or anything like that. The focus was strictly on how their lives would be affected (and we tried to make that be as little as possible, which is why he moved next door)
It wasn't until a couple months later that I was talking to my Big Kid about something and he asked if we were getting divorced and I steeled myself for a horrible conversation about it but he just moved right along to how we had to be sure that his teacher knew about his new telescope =)
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my Wonderboys
BigKid (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
I think the idea about giving them only the info they really need and keeping it strictly to details about how it will affect their lives- is good advice.
The day I moved out of Ex's house my 5 yo ds had a sleepover at his cousin's. The next evening I picked him up and we went out to dinner and I told him we were going to sleep at Grammy's house that night. He asked why and I told him that I was not going to live at Daddy's house anymore so I'd be staying at Grammy's until I could get my own house. He said- And I'm going to sleep there with you? And I said yes and sometimes you'll sleep at Daddy's. That was it.
Ex and I had discussed how to do it. Ex wanted to be there when ds heard the news. But he really only wanted to be there to be sure I didn't say "we" decided to live apart. It was not a mutual decision and he was more concerned with not taking any responsibility for the break up than anything else. He was very angry at the time and I was concerned that things might turn ugly. I definitely did not want ds to witness us in a battle right there with im as captive audience. So I told Ex that I was telling him. It turned out fine.
He did ask questions over the next 2 months or so like- why don't you want to live with daddy?, will we ever live at daddy's house again?, can daddy come on vacation with us?, let's call daddy and see if he wants to come play mini golf with us, etc. And every time I would simply address the question gently with something along the lines of- me and daddy aren't together anymore, daddy's with Jamie now and they will go on vacation together, or daddy's working and can't play mini golf with us.
Personally- I would avoid breaking the news to my kids so close to a special family day like a birthday- especially one of their birthdays- if at all possible. They will forever have that association. Since your STBX hasn't lived with you in so long anyway and nothing much is changing for them right away- I would think you could wait a week or two to tell them.
Good luck- I know I dreaded telling him but it turned out when I did it was a huge weight off and he was minimally affected by the actual news. It was more of a gradual adjustment to the changes afterwards.
My kids are three and four, and we were out of state when he was served. I told my kids the truth, but kept it short and sweet. They seem to be coping just fine, but they've only had one weekend and one day trip with him. I do have conselling sessions for both of them, but it's going to take about a month to get them in to be seen.