Anyone have young kids when they S/D? How did you tell them? How were they with the news? How has life been for them since?
My husband is not seeing anyone (for now), and his only option for living somewhere else would be a bedroom at his parents' house.
I can't imagine not having him there Christmas morning, not being a part of his family's life, not taking the kids to his parents to go swimming every weekend in the summer etc. I also am in pain at the idea of spending time away from my kids because he was selfish.
I am off work for a few weeks (depression), so now might be a good time to tell her so I am here to help her deal with it.
We had all these plans as a family for the summer, that will now change. I have already told him I am not changing holiday traditions for him - and he has agreed.
We didn't fight or scream or yell at each other during our M, so it's not like they saw it coming. Telling them was one of the worst parts of all of this, in my opinion. They cried a lot.
Like most BSs here, I was profoundly angry at the injustice: she had the A, she pissed away R, and I was going to see my girls only half of their lives from now on because of it. But while I still despise her for her cowardice and the cost, things have settled down in the past two years since XWW moved out...and in many ways, it's not as bad as I projected.
I do see my girls less, obviously. I have 50% physical custody, and we trade off weeks - this mostly works because XWW lives about a mile away. I actually have my girls some days after school during her weeks with them, because I work from home, and I like having them here.
My girls have done well. It still sucks that this all happened to them, without a doubt, and my youngest (now 6) still struggles with the finality of the D, and with the idea that her mommy and I aren't together in the everyday sense. But she's getting it...it pains me to think that she'll never really remember us being married to each other.
It's sort of cliché (and it always bothered me to hear it said) that "kids are resilient". But they really are. They adapt to the reality and get on. In my case, they know very well that BOTH their parents love them very much, and with me, they know they come first.
And that's been the other, unexpected upside for me: I'm a better father, and I have a better, closer, and more pure relationship with my girls now. I'm no longer hostage to XWW's relative degree of happiness at any given moment, her refusal to deal with her depression, her emotional immaturity, and all her bullshit. And there was a lot, toward the end, including her constant "coaching" and nitpicking of my parenting. No more!
My decision to divorce was ultimately prompted by wanting my girls to see me as a strong man and father - not as a BS. Not as a hostage to another person's happiness. Not as a neurotic, fearful, needy and compromising person hoping my spouse would come around. She wasn't going to, and I'm a MUCH better, MUCH happier parent today for making the call.
I am dreading telling them. My son is only 2 next month, so he won't really know what is going on. But my daughter will be 5 next month and will obviously know. She already knows some things have changed because we don't share a bedroom anymore.
Initially, we thought we could stay under the same roof as friends and co-parents. But I am not sure I can move on with him still here. Emotionally he has already moved on - I guess he felt the marriage was over a while ago. And it's always easier for the one leaving I think. I do feel it is good for the kids to still have both of us here with them. We are just a different type of family. Logically it makes sense, but my heart has a hard time.
It upsets me to know that they will likely never remember a time when we were married. That is so painful. I never wanted to be a single parent. I hate the idea of not having them with me all the time.
And being a single mom is exhausting! Both kids still wake up in the night (my son to nurse, my daughter to snuggle)....so without him here, I get very little sleep. Which makes me a mess in the daytime. Then on top of that, having to take care of the house myself too......ugh.
I wish you strength and peace. Single parenting is rough at times. But it's also incredibly rewarding - even more so, in some odd and selfish ways, when you're doing it yourself. I still love it when my girls come running to my bed during a loud thunderstorm...to me. It's all me, I'm the guy. They know their mom loves them and will be there for them, but I get to be the focus of their attention, and they are mine.
It gets better, and your kids will always love you, and need you.
I have a child in 5th grade and a 6 month old baby. X left when I was pregnant to live with OW. He took four times to do this and the last time I did not open the door again. My older child was 11 at the time.
I had to tell her alone each time and can still hear her screams, nearly two years later, echoing in my mind and heart.
I kept it very simple. What I told her is that "Daddy has problems and he can't be with Mommy anymore. He can't live here anymore and has to work out his problems by himself."
For a time later he honored my request to keep OW out of her life and then suddenly OW burst in.
She has had time to adjust a little but has never been the same.
I am now a single mother and can tell you honestly, it's damn hard. But I would not, could not, do it any other way.
In the divorce agreement I wrote a blurb for my rights to tell truth to kids at all times in their lives.
I'm sorry for your pain and struggle. It is a process that we have to go to and a real test of us as people.
I have gay x inlaws and can also say it's been tough to explain to my older child who is very curious, though I've done that, too.
For the first set of holidays, he came to where we lived and spent a few hours there. FWIW, I puttered around the house and stayed in the other room, giving my kids the time with him because that's really what it was about.
Once I let him die in my mind and heart, it's been better for me, because for all intents and purposes, he does not exist for me any longer. It's an odd concept but really helped.
I'm really sorry, Emptiness, and feel free to pm or message me any time.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
It's brutal, but as the parent who is with my children all the time, I was their rock and they made it through, and they healed. Truly. They are 11, 7, and 4 now, and the trauma of their father leaving is barely a blip. Only my 11 year old remembers his father living with us, but he had expressed that he doesn't feel pain about it like he used to (which is pretty big, that he told me that, because he has Aspergers and expressing himself isn't easy).
I think your in-house separation is just prolonging the inevitable. I would seriously want him out of there.
Our first Christmas and the boys' birthdays were all about 6 months after d-day and he came first thing Christmas morning to watch the kids open their presents. He also came to their birthday parties and whatnot. Like you, I couldn't imagine him not being there for those things, but honestly, the further we became emotionally and physically, and the more he shoved OW in my kids' faces, the less I wanted him around, and the happier I was to have celebrations without him. It was a way to create traditions with me and my kids and forge our way as a new family unit.
There is another woman here whose husband had an affair and came out as gay. I hope she chimes in, so you feel less alone in that unique situation.
[This message edited by Griefstricken25 at 12:53 AM, April 20th (Sunday)]
I too believed it was one of the most brutal days. I was in shock at the thought of having my kids come from a broken home and that I would have to share time with my own kids. My parents were married for almost 40 years until my dad passed away and none of my close friends growing up had divorced parents so I had zero experience with how this all works.
The way the kids processed it was, well, a process. Their reaction on the day you tell them is not the end of it. They will ask questions for a long time down the road. They may act out and feel angry sometimes, and other times, they may seem ok. Mine continued to ask for a long time why we couldn't get back together. They asked even after OW started coming around. I think it's natural that kids just want their parents together in most situations. Mine also tend to ask that when they are tired of visitations. ExWH doesn't live in our same town so they don't have their friends around when they go there. Again, it's a process and different thoughts and emotions will come out at different times.
I have my kids about 90% of the time so I'm lucky that way. My exWH is basically an EOW father. It's hard, but I wouldn't trade it. My kids and i are very close and they count on me as the parent who will always be here. They love their dad, but they dont entirely trust him, especially the older one who does remember how things used to be and remembers that things seemed to change in an instant. In fact, hes the kid who still asks me every single night before bed whether I will ever leave him.
Yes, holidays and special events were sad for me at first. We used to make a day of shopping together for the kids for christmas and their birthdays. We would get coffee, shop, have lunch and have a great time picking out their gifts. He left shortly before Christmas so I remember crying the entire time when I went out shopping alone for the kids that first time. I also remember thinking how I was going to mess up Christmas because he was always the one to put the toys together and figure out the electronics. I'm still not great, but I've managed. Over the last few years, the kids and I have made our own traditions and the way things used to be is becoming more of a distant memory.
Same thing with the house. We bought this house about 9 months before he left. Ironically, he was the one who pushed us to buy it, and I'm the one who got it in the D. I was terrified of taking care of a home by myself. Again, as with everything else, I've managed. I still get pissed if something breaks or goes wrong since I then have to deal with it alone, but then I remember how lazy he got in those few years before he left and I remember that I would be dealing with it myself even if we were still married. I'm lucky in that I can afford to hire people to fix things and to help maintain the outside. I also have fantastic neighbors and friends who are always willing to help me if I'm in a pinch. I bought my own tool bag and have googled or searched you tube for explanations on how to repair something.
The bottom line is that you will manage. In fact, after a few years, you will do more than manage. You will shock yourself at your strength and what you were able to accomplish as a mom and a single woman. I never dreamed in the beginning that I would ever take my kids on trips alone, but we've done it and we will continue to do it. I've taken them on flights by myself now and have stayed in hotels, just the 3 of us. We have a bond now that no one, not an OW or any other woman that their father brings around, can touch. They also don't share this same bond with him. Any way you cut it, he left them and they know that no matter how much they also know that he loves them.
I don't have any advice for the fact that your husband has determined that he's gay. I'm sure that carries its own unique brand of anger and confusion. I would suggest lots of IC to help process through those feelings.
You can do this.
I'm the one whose H also came out as gay, so I have been there and back.
Mine were a tad older on d-day, 5 & 7 at the time. We did attempt R for a few months, but as soon as I got really angry, he went right back to AP and I left. I took the kids and moved about 2 hours away, he didn't fight me.
First, you will survive. Then, you will thrive. This is an unusual situation, but there are a few of us on these boards. Infidelity is infidelity and the emotions on our end are the same, so you will gain a TON of support from this wonderful community.
My kids are now almost 11 and 8 and they know everything. Ex is openly gay with a partner now. Most of the pain has faded and we agreed upon a good settlement. I'm now in grad school and own my own house and car and slowly dating. I started intense therapy to really help me come to terms with everything…and the grief of losing any time with my kids due to his selfish choices.
At the time, we told the kids we were not getting along and needed to separate. The 5 year old didn't really get it. My older dd asked more questions and within the first year I told her "People make promises to each other when they get married and Daddy broke a promise therefore we can't be married any longer". Soon after that we went into the "Daddy wants to date boys therefore Mommy and Daddy will never get back together". She asked if he cheated on me and I told her "yes".
It is still confusing for the kids and I have my older dd in therapy and watching my younger ds to see if he needs therapy. I am VERY open to discussing everything with my kids. We talk about gay issues, we talk about everything. They are still most confused about how Daddy married Mommy but wants to date men…and I told them only their Dad can really answer that question. I can tell them why *I* think he did it, but only Dad can really answer that question.
Ex isn't as open with them, he is still embarrassed about how he treated me and I think that comes through. (He had multiple affairs…and hidden bank accounts…a totally hidden life…).
We still do most holidays together…for example he spends the night at my house on Christmas Eve to get up with the kids. Then he leaves after "Santa". Or, we have birthday parities at my house. We don't vacation or anything like that together (he would like this…) because although HE wants a friendship with me, I'm not ready for that yet. Not that I want the marriage back, but it IS still painful sometimes when I miss the "family unit". So, I keep pretty strong boundaries up. I have primary custody too. Although you THINK you can't do this alone…YOU CAN. It is just a matter of putting your mind to it.
In the early stages, I broke everything down into small steps. If you try to look at the "big picture", it is too overwhelming. Take it one step at a time, prioritize, and you will do just fine.
1. Find a good therapist, then find a good lawyer
2. Find a place to live
3. Find a job/go back to school
4. Make new friends
Keep posting. You are welcome to PM me!
Anyway, I think it some ways it was easier having the kids be smaller. My DS was so little that he will never remember having his parents together. My DD definitely remembers and it has been hard on her, but she seems to have adjusted. While it's hard having to split time with them, I do enjoy getting time to myself. Not having him around was not that hard for me. He traveled so much for work, that I was basically a single parent anyway. I actually get a lot more time to myself now.
We do not celebrate any holidays or birthdays together. I can't imagine having him around for those things. He is no longer a part of my family and does his own celebrations with the kids. It hasn't seemed to bother the kids too much. I think DD likes getting 2 Christmases, 2 birthday parties, etc.
My DD has also pieced together what has happened. I'm always honest with her when she asks questions. She has figured out that XH had a girlfriend while he was still married, etc. She does like OW, and I'm glad OW is kind to her, but it's still really hard. I hate that they play happy family together with my kids. It makes me sick.
They don't know about any of the gay stuff at this point as he outwardly lives as a straight men. However, I won't be surprised if he ends up with a man one day. I have even said this to him and he did not disagree. So, I'm sure I will have these conversations coming up in the future.
On the holiday thing: its hard the first year I think. But kids really do enjoy having 2 Christmas mornings. 2 b'day celebrations, etc. This year we did Christmas morning on Christmas eve. Ex had Christmas day. It was a little rough for me... but not as much as I thought it would be. SO and I spent the day at the movies doing marathons and it went surprising quick. If you and your stbx are on good terms, perhaps you can write it up as every other year in your decree (just because you never know how the future may go) but verbally be flexible. This Easter was my day. Ex lives fairly close and has no family here. When he texted to see if he could swing by for a little bit, I had a chunk of time before dinner that I was fine with saying, hey come pick them up (not hanging here!) and take them to lunch or something for a bit.
Just because we put some rigid writings down in our decree doesn't mean that we can't be flexible if the day allows... and really, as a mother, I know my kids enjoyed spending 2 hours with their dad on Easter. Even though he was late and got snippy with me, their happiness was worth it.
My youngest was 7 weeks at d day.
Other ages 5, 7,9,11&13
The 5 and 7 are very emotional. Miss 5 cried nightly for about a week, mainly at bed time. He told her that daddy loves her but doesn't want to live here anymore then told her he'd buy her a puppy for his new house
Miss 7 blames me that "I won't tell dad just to come back" I explained to them the concept of treating people right and wrong and we have been exploring the concept (as a family) of setting boundaries .... Drawing your own 'line in the sand'
You'll here a lot of people say " kids are resilient... They bounce back". They do, eventually but only a fool would not put in support networks for the children as well. The moron thinks I'm an idiot for getting them councelling.
We have pastoral councelling through the school plus the older three attend youth group as well.
Miss 13 is under the care of a psych due to self harm.
Ultimately, given love and support they will flourish... This will be their 'normal'
My kids were 4 and 2 when we separated and 5 and 3 when we divorced.
My ex ran as fast as she could when I found out the truth and never turned back - it was her ticket out. She got an apartment and we agreed to rotate in and out of the house (me staying with family).
At my request we sat down and told my 4 year ago. He heard the words we were saying, but didn't really get it. The first few weeks were rough for me, but the kids really didn't seem to care all that much. They occasionally would ask where mommy was and why we weren't together. But the rest was art projects, reading, tv, and other normal activities. Bed time was occasionally rough since the habits were with Mommy, but I was patient and found a way to make them comfortable.
As months went by my 4 yr old began to forget most of the time we were together as a family - he began referencing my MIL, nieces and nephews as people who I had never met. My 2 yr old was clueless through the whole thing and had no recollection of the past.
When we divorced there wasn't really much to tell the kids - it didn't change the world they had come to know.
What crushed my 5 year old was when we sold the house. He bawled his eyes out when he learned we were selling it, and hated the realtor with a passion.
Once sold, things calmed down.
I have my kids 50% of the time and we have a pattern down pretty good. The first Christmas crushed me, their birthday was painful. But they still enjoy getting presents and having fun with their friends.
I never signed up to be a fulltime-parttime parent. But I am making it work - the time I am with them is more meaningful. I allow less distractions - I focus on them, not my phone, TV show, or friends. And the time away allows me to accomplish some goals and hobbies I never thought I'd have time for at this stage in my life.
I don't know how my ex became the person she did. But whoever the fuck she is, I am way better without her... even if the situations are a little imperfect.
Hang in there - take it step by step. While not perfect, it will all work out in the end.