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D with young children

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ddame23 posted 9/23/2013 13:32 PM

I am not currently in R, and not actively planning a D. I guess I'm in Limbo. One thing that keeps me here is that I have a 5 year old. I am terrified of the idea of being a single mom, with no safety net. I'm 41 now and keep thinking what happens if I get canceror something. I live far from any family and I love where I live. WS has stated that he will move 1,000 miles away, have a mental health crisis and/or not pay child support or just commit suicide if we split up. He has bi polar disorder and I see these things as being real posibilities. He states that the structure of being in a family helps him stay mentally healthy.

Can someone share their experience of D with young children? did it set the children back in school, behaviorally? How did the relationship with the other parent change?

Thanks for sharing your experinces.

[This message edited by ddame23 at 1:33 PM, September 23rd (Monday)]

Josephine01 posted 9/23/2013 14:29 PM

Never D with young children, but since my children have grown. I honestly think we would all be happier today if I would have. Not because of an a. That happened over the past few years, but because they didn't really grow up in a happy home. They tell me this now. I thought that they were unaffected. I think if we would have left before things escalated to this. My H, me and the kids would be better adjusted today.

lieshurt posted 9/23/2013 14:34 PM

I divorced when my son was 6. I truly wish I'd done it sooner. In my opinion, it's easier on them them the younger they are. My son adjusted well. He was actually relieved not to have to hear us arguing anymore

My ex turned into a crazy man for a while and threatened suicide too. I wish he'd done it. It would have made my life much easier. Don't let your WH manipulate you with threats. You must do what is right for you and your child. Exposing your child to a manipulator like him isn't doing your child any good.

As far as my son's relationship with his dad, well he doesn't have one. My son decided at the age of 15 that he was sick of his dad's lies and wasn't going to put up with them anymore. So, he cut him off.

7yrsflushed posted 9/23/2013 14:44 PM

I filed and I have an 8 and 6 year old. We seperated in Summer at the end of the school year so they had the summer to adjust to the shuttling back and forth. in general they seem to be adjusting fine. While I can't stand my STBXW I am able to be cordial around her when the kids are around. Every discussion is kids and finances and that's it. I kept the house and STBXW is in her own place. It's been 3 months and things seem okay. We may not like each other or more accurately I don't like my STBXW but we so far have been putting the children first.

Griefstricken25 posted 9/23/2013 14:51 PM

My kids were 2 and 6 and in utero when WXH left us. We were finally divorced when the kids were 8, 4 and 2.

My oldest was hardest hit and for the longest. The second was hard hit in the beginning, but due to his age, recovered quickly. I was homeschooling at the time, so my oldest was buffered from having issue at school, which he no doubt would have had. He has Aspergers and does not adjust easily. I had him seeing counsellors and did all that I could to ease his pain and I can say that now, at 10 years old, he is a happy, secure, healthy boy, and while some pain will always linger and come out in various ways as he grows older, he is pretty much healed.

Do not let your WS's threats make you do anything that is not healthy for you and your child. Divorce is hard and damaging, but it is not a death sentence. I don't actually advocate divorce, but if your marriage is not salvageable, you must do what is right for you and your child.

See a counsellor for YOU, and also see a lawyer and find out what your rights are. WS can threaten to move or not pay child support, but there are many laws in place to make sure he HAS to take care of you. Him threatening suicide is cruel and completely wrong. You do not have to stay in a situation because you've been threatened in that way.

(((hugs))) as you deal with these BIG decisions.

SBB posted 9/23/2013 18:09 PM

My girls are 5.5 and 3 and I've been on this road for just over a year.

I was terrified of being a single mum. I almost did not have children due to that fear. I was defrauded into having children.

Having said all of that - nothing, and I mean nothing that I have been through this past year compares to the hell of being in an emotionally abusive marriage.

What he is doing to you is emotional abuse.

If his mental health was so tied to the structure of being in a family then why the fuck did he cheat? Liar.

I am now a better mum than I was before because I am not dealing with that emotional abuse, with the moodiness nor with the tension.

My girls are happy and thriving too. We have 50/50 custody on a 2/2/3 basis and whilst I don't think 50/50 is ideal it seems to work for them right now.

He is the same kind of father he was during the M - critical, moody, loving only when they are well behaved and following his orders. He drinks too much and has added recreational drugs to his life. He has undiagnosed mental health issues but because he is currently what a professional would call 'functioning' there's not a lot that I can do.

The awful fathering is the hardest part to deal with but that is just one of the awful things I would have been dealing with had I stayed in that M.

At least getting emotionally healthier myself I am better equipped to re-parent them and support them through this.

One thing I've had to surrender to is I can't have everything I want.

You say family lives far away but you love where you live. If you end up needing support you do have a safety net because you can move closer to them - it is not your preference but it is also not the end of the world.

A lot of us start off staying for the kids but end up leaving for the kids. Your kids need you to be OK and they'll be OK. I don't see how you could ever be OK whilst in any sort of relationship with this abusive, manipulating guy.

newlysingle posted 9/24/2013 00:03 AM

My D was just finalized last week. I have a 5 year old dd and a 1 year old ds. The process of us separating was difficult for dd. Things were so tense and unfortunately she witnessed some fighting. She will even admit now that while she's sad that we don't live in the same house, she's glad that we don't fight anymore. I think she has very much noticed the tension diminishing. She also loves OW, which is really difficult for me, but at least she sees their home as a safe and comfortable place.

My ds will obviously never know anything different. I agree that you cannot allow your WH to threaten you with suicide to make you stay. His problems are not your problems. Do not take them on any longer. You need to free yourself from this unhealthy situation.

If you do file, be sure to ask for $$ to assist with childcare. Not just during work hours, but outside of work hours too. If he is not going to be around to help with childcare, you are going to have to hire sitters on occasion. It is important for you to get time to yourself.

I would also look into joining a single parenting group. I'm in one and it's been a great source of support. Other single parents are often willing to help out in a pinch.

Being a single parent isn't what any of us wanted, but it's not the end of the world. I can honestly say that I'm much happier on my own than I was with my XWH that literally drained the life from me.

ddame23 posted 9/24/2013 03:30 AM

Thanks for sharing, everyone. It helps to know that others have walked this path and been successful at making it work. I don't know what I'm going t do, but I know that every day I'm getting (even if just a little bit) stronger.

tennispro posted 9/24/2013 12:59 PM

I'm 44yo and have an 8yo and a 3yo. It will be tough and financially a strain but I will not stay with a WS. He's been mean (verbally) and that wasn't the kind of life I wanted to show my kids or be in.
You can do this.
Best of luck.

little turtle posted 9/24/2013 13:27 PM

I stayed in my relationship with XH for the kids. I should have left way sooner. My kids have now been exposed to a toxic relationship for longer than was necessary. XH and I were off and on for a few years before finally ending things.

Do what is best for you.

My children are doing great in school. They are in 2nd and K. DS 7 loves math and pretty much anything non-fiction and DS5 is in the advanced reading group. At the time XH and I split up for good, DS7 was in pre-school. They have a good relationship with their father. Their behaviors are typical for their ages. There was a period of time where DS7 cried for the other parent. I think he was grieving the loss of his family as a whole. Since seeing his dad on a more frequent regular basis (every week for dinner and every other weekend), he hasn't cried about missing him.

Don't let your WS's threats keep you in the relationship. My XH threatened similar things and he didn't do any of them. It was a way for him to feel in control and have power over me.

NewMom0220 posted 9/24/2013 14:50 PM

I have a 7 month old. Found out about A when the baby was 10 days old. It's been a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but I too was terrified of the idea of being a single mom. I have no choice though, and if I'm honest with myself, I've been doing everything on my own since day 1. Not much in my day to day life has changed except for the fact that I'm not living under the same roof with a lying, cheating, emotionally distant narcissist.

Sometimes your worst nightmare might end up being your saving grace. I know I can do this because I see all of the good people on here who are living proof that life does go on and we all adapt. I just want a peaceful life for me and my son.

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