I am seeking advice from both the WS and BS out there who have separated.
What wording did you use? Was there blame? Did you shield your kids from the added burden of thinking one parent didn't "want" the other?
DDay#1 September 2012
DDay#2 May 2013 (the remainder of my tt)
Children 4 and 6
In my mind I see us trying to make it as gentle for them as possible by making it a joint decision as opposed to "mommy hurt daddy and now our family is broken"
I'm going to be blunt. This kind of thinking does not make it easier on the kids, it only makes it easier on the wayward. The truth is always the best, and it will always come out eventually. There IS blame, but young kids will care less than you think.
I told my 8 year old that "People make promises to each other when they get married. Dad/Mom broke these promises to Mom/Dad. So we have decided to not be married anymore." Emphasize that this is because of problems between the parents, and has NOTHING to do with anything the kids have or have not done. Emphasize that both parents will NEVER stop loving the kids.
Give the kids time to process and ask questions. Think about some of the questions they may ask and what you'll say. "Why doesn't Dad/Mom say sorry to Mom/Dad? Why doesn't Mom/Dad forgive Dad/Mom?"
With my older kids, I explained that "everyone makes mistakes. You're Dad/Mom just made a very big mistake. And sometimes, sorry just isn't enough."
Younger kids tend to wonder more about the specifics that concern them, so hopefully their questions will be easier to answer. "Where will they live? Will they still see Mommy/Daddy? Where will they keep their toys?" My 8 year old wanted to know "Who would teach him to print papers off of the computer for school?" It may seem crazy to an adult, but that was his worry. Try to find out what their worries are and calm them as best you can.
I hope this is helpful.
[This message edited by Gemini71 at 2:09 PM, July 21st (Monday)]
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
I did not tell them what lies or what promises. I did not tell them what he did or what a pervert he is. Those conversations are inevitable, but until they specifically ask I'm not saying.
In yesterday's note, I got "Crying because Daddy is moving out and he has a lot of stuff". It breaks my heart to read her daily notes but her teachers are a great help as well.
DD: Did daddy used to live with us?
DD: Did daddy leave to go live with OW?
I absolutely would not lie and say that you both came to this decision. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for.
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
You may want to look into counseling for them. My son was having a harder time and we eventually put him into counseling because he was acting out. He is doing much better now.
It was My ex who had the affair and chose to leave for his new woman so I insisted that HE be the one to break the news and I would be there to support the kids.
We talked to a therapist about it beforehand and she suggested that we not place blame but instead focus on them having "two houses".
We explained that we love them very much and mommy and daddy would always work as a team to make sure they had everything they needed.
Hardest conversation I've ever been a part of. My kids were 2, 8 and 10 at the time.
Be prepared for all sorts of emotions but most importantly show respect to the other parent. It will set the tone for future interactions which will be plenty because you share children with that person.
I recently had to give my BIL this same advice, and he told his 5 and 3 yr old, he said it went well.
I want my children to take marriage seriously, and not think it is disposable. So, it was important to me that i told them more than just "Well, we fight". Now, as they've gotten older, they understand a bit more, and have seen dad move from one bedroom to the next without even a night between, so they've been able to put it into a context of "this isn't ok, it ruins relationships."
And, since the behavior hasn't stopped, I'm glad I didn't shield them.
It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end
Happily remarried to a wonderful man (Aussie). I think I found the right guy and the right finger this time.
My wayward wife and I are still in limbo but I rehearse the separation/divorce speech to my kids in my head and every time I break down crying.
How can they believe things are going to be ok if I can't make it through without crying?