How did your kids handle it?
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 06-20-2011, 11:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How did your kids handle it?

I have been lurking for about a week on and off, but I haven't seen any posts on how your children reacted to the separation/divorce and secondarily how you handled it.

Here's my low down (just the facts):
Married 17 years with two girls, 16 and 13. We had a typical marriage for the most part, some turbulence, but lots of good times as well. Then 4 years ago, I found out my W had an EA/PA for about a month. It then brought back all of the memories of her cheating on me twice before we married (PA both times). She has been remorseful since D-Day. After the affair, I read many self-help books and the common recommendation was not to over-react and divorce out of anger. I should give it at least two years. It has now been four years. My kids do not know about the affair and for the record, I was completely faithful in our marriage. Anyway, working with my therapist for the past six months, I have come to conclude that I want a divorce.

For the most part, we have a tranquil household. The wife and I occasionally fight, but the kids are well adjusted academically and socially. Both my wife and I have a tight bond with them. The reason I held off on divorce these years was my concern for the kids.

How did your kids handle it when you told them about separation/divorce. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

My kids are pretty much grown, 23 and 18, but in no way did their ages make the news any less painful for them. I should also say that the whole thing, H abandoning us, came like a thunderbolt from out of the blue. Talk about "thunderstruck"! Both have expressed anger (at their dad), resentment, you name it. I did not handle things very well myself in the beginning. Hysterics would not be an understatement. But almost 4 months since I am doing better with it, though I still have my bad days/times. We're all working through it the best we can. Just need time to heal.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

The situation i'm in is that stbxh cheated on me four years ago ( a series of three affairs) and we saw a counsellor and he promised "never again".

well never was this past spring and on May 3 i told him to leave (his g/f is a child herself, she's just turned 20 and he's 44) and we've been separated since and i am filing for divorce although i have to wait a year (Ontario law).

we have three boys 16, 14 and 8 and the two older are very angry and have no interest in dealing with him. he did tell all three boys that "he found himself a girlfriend and mummy wants me to move out". i guess that makes me the bad guy in this and the two older ones are mature enough to understand the situation completely. the youngest not so much and has been rather angry with me. once he's older and understands that more fully what daddy meant by girlfriend i'm sure his outlook will differ but for right now i just let him know that daddy broke the rules of being married, that married people do not have girlfriends or boyfriends and i cannot stay married to daddy.

the older two (who are my heroes) have told me that they respect my decision and respect me for being strong in my beliefs to end the marriage. they know i still love their father but that i cannot and will not live with the disrespect he has shown me.

your girls probably know or sense that things are not okay and just go with your gut and keep things age appropriate - even using the broken rules analogy.

knowing what i know now, four years ago i should have separated and worked from there rather than not and thinking that things worked out. perhaps we'd be divorced already or have a marriage that was stronger than what it turned out to be.

Last edited by justkate; 06-20-2011 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherokee96red View Post
My kids are pretty much grown, 23 and 18, but in no way did their ages make the news any less painful for them. I should also say that the whole thing, H abandoning us, came like a thunderbolt from out of the blue. Talk about "thunderstruck"! Both have expressed anger (at their dad), resentment, you name it. I did not handle things very well myself in the beginning. Hysterics would not be an understatement. But almost 4 months since I am doing better with it, though I still have my bad days/times. We're all working through it the best we can. Just need time to heal.
I am glad to hear that your kids EXPRESSED their anger. My therapist said to look out for kids NOT expressing anger or become depressed. I hope I will be able to talk to me kids about it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

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the older two (who are my heroes) have told me that they respect my decision and respect me for being strong in my beliefs to end the marriage.
Kate,
In fact, one of my decisions (there were many) to divorce was in line with what you said. I want to teach my kids not to be subjected to disrespect by their spouse when they grow up. Someday, I will pass and not be here for them. I want to teach them courage to stand up for themselves. Thank you for your post.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

In the midst of seeing their parent's nearly 25 year marriage get ripped asunder, my son and his fiancee are planning their wedding. As much as it has been a pleasant and fun diversion for me, it has also been difficult. I say difficult in that picking music, especially the mother/groom dance song, has been emotional for me. But I shall persevere.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

My kids were 6 and 3. Both thought it was totally cool that moms new apartment had a pool. AND they could still come over to Dads house to use the trampoline.

Not the outcome I was expecting, but I wasn't upset that they took that stance either. I guess they saw the good out of the situation, in the eyes of a child. Being so young, my oldest sort of go it, but the three year old hadn't a clue, of course. Except the pool. That was cool to him. He was all for that.

After reconciliation, he sometimes asks if mom can move out again to the "pool place". Lol.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

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Kate,
In fact, one of my decisions (there were many) to divorce was in line with what you said. I want to teach my kids not to be subjected to disrespect by their spouse when they grow up. Someday, I will pass and not be here for them. I want to teach them courage to stand up for themselves. Thank you for your post.
You are welcome.

to me ensuring that my boys learn how to respect others and committments is so important; especially now when they are seeing first-hand what disrespect results in.

not only are they going to miss having their father being here on a full-time basis, they have lost total respect for him and i can not even make a guess as to when that damage may be repaired if ever and eventually the youngest will understand exactly what happened. stbxh will have a very lonely life without his children and those are the consequences of his own actions.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

The time has come to tell our children that I am leaving and I am dreading to do it. I told me wife three days ago that I am leaving and after a few days of emotional turmoil, she's at stage where she understands that my leaving is imminent. We are both very worried about how the kids will handle it though. One of our kids is very emotional and loses control easily.

Once again, I am looking for anyone who would care to share your stories. Thank you.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did your kids handle it?

I was scared to death about telling my kids. I was the one leaving and I was very worried they wouldn't understand.

Luckily, I was in counseling with a very good renowned therapist who specialized in children.

She tells me, they are very resilient. They are at a stage where they are thinking mostly about themselves. So, its important to convey that this separation is not something they brought on.

Mommy and Daddy have been fighting a lot and this is creating conflict. You deserve to live in homes that you aren't exposed to conflict, so for now, Mommy and Daddy are going to separate and live in separate houses.

This is basically what I told my D8 and D13.

Its not a divorce yet, just a separation. If something changes, we will tell you.

They took it pretty well. My D13 wanted to know if she could have her own room in the new place (She shares today with D8).

My youngest, she expressed concern about having to 'move' every week. But I think we've managed that well by allowing her to keep clothes at both places.

The important thing to rememeber is, making sure they know that you're decision to separate is not because of them and more importantly you feel that after the separation, you can provide them a more stable time with each of the parents (Rather than constant conflict.)
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