Need your BTDT stories--telling young children about separation/divorce - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
coloradomama1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We are having this talk over the weekend and I'm not looking forward to it.  However, I want to keep it as positive as possible and my hopes are that we can come out of this conversation closer as a family.

 

We are separating physically for 6 months...DH is moving into an apartment close by next week.  We have been separated and living together for over 2 years so this has been a long time coming and those years have been thick with tension.

 

 

Would you do anything differently if you had this conversation again?

How did your kids take it?

Have they recovered?

And things as simple as what to do afterwards...

 

TIA for any support you can offer :)

Amy

coloradomama1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 06:43 AM
 
Sunshyn74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have any good advice. I do think it depends on the individual child and their age.

Our "talk" was devastating for my 9 year old DD. I thought it would be a quiet discussion, with me explaining what would happen, but as soon as she heard "divorce", she started crying and didn't stop for a really long time. I am not sure how I could do it any differently, we were all calm and just mentioned it and it set her off.

Our case is extreme, but she has not really recovered (it's been 2 1/2 years). She blames her dad and has a lot of anger toward him. If I could change how he handles her anger, it would definitely help matters. She is in counseling to help her deal with it all.

As far as afterwards...just handle each issue as they arise. I had no idea that we would be dealing with this 2 years later.

My youngest was 3 when we had the talk. Too young to understand, and very resilient about everything. Even now, at age 6, she just goes with the flow. That is just her personality though. Not as sensitive as her sister.

Good luck. I hope it goes well for you.
Sunshyn74 is offline  
#3 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 07:24 AM
 
hillymum's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Louisville, Ky
Posts: 3,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

We didn't have a talk, more an argument at 10pm where ex gave me an ultimatum and I took the "Get your ass out of this house, I'll talk to a divorce attorney in the morning!" option. The boys were 5, 9 and 10 at the time. My eldest wanted to be on his own, and the other two and I went to bed and cried our selves to sleep and then the next morning we all started to look to the future with optimism.  My children have amazed me in how well they have dealt with a lot of crap (And there has been a lot!). I don't know if they have done so well because I have not let this get to me or because we have such good communication between the kids and I. They only see ex eow and hardly talk to him in between visits so I am the one who influences them the most. Up until the last 4 months I would always say I love you and Daddy loves you, and really reinforce that, but I have stopped after doing it for 2 1/2 years.

 

As to when I talked to them about what divorce would mean, I could only say positive things about it, I saw no drawbacks and so my children didn't either. I was really cheerful (surprising as the night before was tears) and felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders. 

 

I imagine as you have been living under so much stress you will all feel so much better when you make that physical move, or your ex does. I would emphasize that positive, and stress how dad will not be far away, and now both parents will be less stressed, more relaxed and happier, and still want to spend time with the kids. If you can do this without bitterness and bad behavior on both sides then that really is what you should aim for. I do really wish ex didn't resent me or blame me for the hole he is in, but he does, and he has stooped really low to satisfy his vindictiveness. I would do anything to stop that. 

hillymum is offline  
#4 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 10:18 AM
 
rubelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

my kids had just turned 3 & 7. Their dad had been sleeping in the spare room for a few months. We simply told them that Daddy was going to live in X's old house (our next door neighbors had just moved out and he moved into that house) and they would see him on X days at X times (which was basically when they already spent time with him - breakfast every day and all day Sundays). We didn't talk at all about the relationship between he and I, we only talked about how the changes would affect them.


Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
rubelin is offline  
#5 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 10:58 AM
 
lilgreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,726
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)

My boys were 3, 7, 10. We sat them down and told them that we had decided together that we would separate and live in separate homes. We told them it was an adult decision and had nothing to do with them. We told them that we still love them just the same and that will never change. 

 

My 7 yo flipped out and started sobbing and shrieking, which really upset me. But I quickly realized that he thought they (the kids) were going to have to leave and find a new family to live with. So I immediately explained it more clearly for him and he suddenly stopped crying and said, 'Oh. OK.' He was fine after that.

 

They asked why a lot and that was hard to answer. We tried to keep it to 'sometimes mommies and daddies just don't get along well and they decide everyone will be happier if the live in separate homes. That's what we decided'. But we always followed that up by saying that it's different with children. We told them that mommy and daddy will always love them and we will both be there for them no matter what and that we will always be their parents together.

 

My 3 yo was clueless and seems to have no memory of life before separation. He recently saw an old photo of his dad on our living room couch (I stayed in the home) and he said, 'Look! Daddy is at your house! That's funny.' My 10yo was angry at first but he now says he's so glad we did it. My 7 yo was pretty sad about not being a 'real family' for quite a while, even though I did my best to explain that we are still a family and families come in all different shapes and sizes. He still asks (we told them August 2012) if daddy and I will ever have a sleepover.

 

Good luck. I dreaded it beyond belief. But it was a relief to have it out in the open and to finally be able to talk about the transition with them. Just get through it then breathe. 

lilgreen is offline  
#6 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
coloradomama1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Can't thank you all enough, your replies have helped immensely.  This has been a HUGE weight on my shoulders for years, we have been living a lie and the time is long overdue.  This will be the most difficult thing I've ever had to do.  But, I do have hope that we can move on to a better place as a family, we have spent too many years in conflict.
 

coloradomama1 is offline  
#7 of 7 Old 02-06-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
coloradomama1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post

My boys were 3, 7, 10. We sat them down and told them that we had decided together that we would separate and live in separate homes. We told them it was an adult decision and had nothing to do with them. We told them that we still love them just the same and that will never change. 

 

My 7 yo flipped out and started sobbing and shrieking, which really upset me. But I quickly realized that he thought they (the kids) were going to have to leave and find a new family to live with. So I immediately explained it more clearly for him and he suddenly stopped crying and said, 'Oh. OK.' He was fine after that.

 

They asked why a lot and that was hard to answer. We tried to keep it to 'sometimes mommies and daddies just don't get along well and they decide everyone will be happier if the live in separate homes. That's what we decided'. But we always followed that up by saying that it's different with children. We told them that mommy and daddy will always love them and we will both be there for them no matter what and that we will always be their parents together.

 

My 3 yo was clueless and seems to have no memory of life before separation. He recently saw an old photo of his dad on our living room couch (I stayed in the home) and he said, 'Look! Daddy is at your house! That's funny.' My 10yo was angry at first but he now says he's so glad we did it. My 7 yo was pretty sad about not being a 'real family' for quite a while, even though I did my best to explain that we are still a family and families come in all different shapes and sizes. He still asks (we told them August 2012) if daddy and I will ever have a sleepover.

 

Good luck. I dreaded it beyond belief. But it was a relief to have it out in the open and to finally be able to talk about the transition with them. Just get through it then breathe. 


My DD's are 3 (almost 4) and 6.  I'm hoping that the 3 year old will have little to no recollection of any of this.  What I am sad about is that we've spent most of her life thus far in conflict.  The 6 year old will no doubt be devastated but I will just love her and support in every way humanly possible. 

coloradomama1 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off