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Telling the kids


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Old 25th December 2012, 2:08 PM   #1
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Telling the kids

Hi everyone...Merry Christmas...

Husband and I started the D process at the beginning of November...because of the holidays and not sure how long it would take...we opted not to tell the kids until the new year...we still both live in the same house with kids bc there's no legal separation in Texas so why incur the expense of 2 mortgages (or 1 mortgage and rent) until we have to?...we get along fine for the most part so it's been amicable so far...that's one of the things that worries me is that it will blind-side the kids...since we don't fight and nothing as changed (on the surface) I afraid it's going to shock them...

I would like to hear anyone's experience with telling the kids, how you told them, how they reacted, and more importantly how the kids are feeling/functioning on the aftermath...we have 3 boys...16, 13, and 10...

Thanks!
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Old 26th December 2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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An often posted but often true thought is that your kids know much more than you suspect. The dynamics of 5 people living in a closed space are such that there's few secrets. I'd guess that at least the two older boys are pretty attuned to what's going on.

What is the timeline to physical separation and divorce? Is there a chance for reconciliation?

Mr. Lucky
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Old 26th December 2012, 2:31 AM   #3
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An often posted but often true thought is that your kids know much more than you suspect. The dynamics of 5 people living in a closed space are such that there's few secrets. I'd guess that at least the two older boys are pretty attuned to what's going on.

What is the timeline to physical separation and divorce? Is there a chance for reconciliation?

Mr. Lucky
We could be D by Jan 7th...60 days...but with the holidays we didn't get too many mediation meetings in...or collaborative meetings in our case...so I'm thinking it will be more like march...I don't think there's a chance for R...H hasn't brought it up and I don't think it would work out with me in the end anyway...I had an A...he's done and said some things (illegal) after dday that have ensured me that I'll never trust him again or look at him the same way again...and obviously he cant trust me and shouldnt...I could go thru the motions of R just to "make sure"...and we might be able to make it a few more years "for the kids"...but eventually I'm leaving so that's really not fair to him...he's almost 46 so I'd like for him to have time to find someone that makes him happy...plus I want my kids to see him happy too...I could never do that...(make him happy)...
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Old 26th December 2012, 10:10 AM   #4
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Well, 18, you're gonna have to suck it up and deal with the disappointment from them. Without knowing everything between you and the ex...except for your affair and his illegal activities...I would recommend that you keep the adult details to yourself...yes they are older, but the details are adult business, and they are still young enough that they don't need that s*** in their head about their parents. To them, you and your ex are their parents where there should be a invisible barrier that keeps you as the parent and them as a child..not a peer. If I was you, I would just tell them that you don't get along, have tried to work on it but you can't work it out, and then end the conversation....no question forum, no other details.
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Old 26th December 2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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If I was you, I would just tell them that you don't get along, have tried to work on it but you can't work it out, and then end the conversation....no question forum, no other details.
Agree with this as long as it's framed in the context that Mom and Dad still love them and will be there for them. You have to be careful as kids can easily blame themselves for their parent's issues. You should also be ready with the logistical details -who will live where, who will visit when, holidays, etc. My son's first question (he was younger than yours at the time) was "where will my room be?"...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 26th December 2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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With the younger kids, it would b super tough for me, as a father, to b away from the young kids. In my case, I'm 49, 2 girls , one goes away to college, the other is 16. It's hard enough Im losing my wife, but to lose the day to day contact with my 16 year old is tough.
Did the affair lead to the ending of your marriage?
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Old 27th December 2012, 3:43 PM   #7
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Do it now. Also, I hope your H doesn't move out as soon as the D is final. The kids need to adjust, and since you two aren't fighting, then it's probably wise to make the transition slowly. No need to get him out of the house by Jan 9th if the D goes through then.
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Old 27th December 2012, 4:31 PM   #8
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With the younger kids, it would b super tough for me, as a father, to b away from the young kids. In my case, I'm 49, 2 girls , one goes away to college, the other is 16. It's hard enough Im losing my wife, but to lose the day to day contact with my 16 year old is tough.
Did the affair lead to the ending of your marriage?
The M was broken already...but yes the A was the straw that broke the camels back...
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Old 27th December 2012, 4:33 PM   #9
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Do it now. Also, I hope your H doesn't move out as soon as the D is final. The kids need to adjust, and since you two aren't fighting, then it's probably wise to make the transition slowly. No need to get him out of the house by Jan 9th if the D goes through then.
Ok but geez it's hard enough living here together now...it's not normal...most normal people would b separated during the D process...I discuss this with him tho...
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Old 28th December 2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 18Years2Late View Post
Hi everyone...Merry Christmas...

Husband and I started the D process at the beginning of November...because of the holidays and not sure how long it would take...we opted not to tell the kids until the new year...we still both live in the same house with kids bc there's no legal separation in Texas so why incur the expense of 2 mortgages (or 1 mortgage and rent) until we have to?...we get along fine for the most part so it's been amicable so far...that's one of the things that worries me is that it will blind-side the kids...since we don't fight and nothing as changed (on the surface) I afraid it's going to shock them...

I would like to hear anyone's experience with telling the kids, how you told them, how they reacted, and more importantly how the kids are feeling/functioning on the aftermath...we have 3 boys...16, 13, and 10...

Thanks!
My kids are younger than yours -- now 8 and 4. At first, we talked to them about how Dad was going to be living in his own place, and they were mostly curious about where/what/when can I see it? There wasn't a lot of curiosity about the state of our marriage and and why/what this separation meant. We are just starting to get into that now - what legal "separation" means, and how when we get a D, we will no longer be married.

We are amicable, but the hardest part for me now is dealing with his new girlfriend, and the fact that after only 2 months of their relationship he has involved her with the children, with very little explanation...

I imagine it will be difficult with older boys, who may be more inquisitive, but the advice I got was to keep it simple and not get drawn into the adult detail. .. ie we don't love each other the way a husband/wife should, it's not your fault, has nothing to do with you. I do agree with another poster that you need to have your parenting plan ready when you talk to them because that's what they will want to know - more than the reasons... how this will affect them, where will they live, how often do they see the other parent...etc. It helps a lot that you have kept any animosity/disappointment from bleeding into your family life. Best of luck.
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Old 29th December 2012, 12:47 AM   #11
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Ok but geez it's hard enough living here together now...it's not normal...most normal people would b separated during the D process...I discuss this with him tho...
I'm sure it is..But the thing is, it's going to devastate the kids either way. Why not you and your soon to be ex, go see a counselor together to figure out the best and healthy way to tell the kids.. And, do family counseling as well.

They've never seen you two fight or anything, so it will be an upsetting shock to them to hear you two are divorcing.
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Old 29th December 2012, 3:01 AM   #12
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If I was you, I would just tell them that you don't get along, have tried to work on it but you can't work it out, and then end the conversation....no question forum, no other details.
I would agree with your points in general, but the "no question forum" thing is a little extreme - you can't drop this bomb on the kids and then just say "OK, that's it, move on, no questions." As pointed out elsewhere, of course they're going to have questions. It's perfectly fine to deflect any questions that are in the "adult realm" as something between the parents only, but I think it's better to listen and let them ask questions, because they will certainly have ones that are appropriate to talk about and need to be answered.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Lucky View Post
Agree with this as long as it's framed in the context that Mom and Dad still love them and will be there for them. You have to be careful as kids can easily blame themselves for their parent's issues. You should also be ready with the logistical details -who will live where, who will visit when, holidays, etc. My son's first question (he was younger than yours at the time) was "where will my room be?"...
Yeah, especially the younger they are, their main concerns will be in how it will affect them - if they haven't seen this coming, this is going to rock their world, and their first instinct is to make sure they will be safe, in all the various ways they can imagine it might affect them.
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Old 29th December 2012, 5:42 AM   #13
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Old 29th December 2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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My kids were 4 and 8 when their father and I separated. Telling them was the most difficult thinig I've ever done in my life- much harder than telling my husband that I wanted a divorce. Like you, we lived in the same house for a few months because the now-ex found a terrific place to live nearby, but the owners needed some time to renovate. We waited to tell the kids until after the holiday season, and until we had decided between ourselves exactly what would happen to the kids and where they'd be.

It was as amicable a divorce as you could hope for, I suppose. We had agreed what to say beforehand and told the kids together. We reassured them that both of us would stay in their lives. We did not get into details of why, other than to say that we just couldn't live together anymore.

It's a terrific advantage if the two of you can talk amicably about each other and the future. Kids need reassurance that they will be ok, and that both of you will be ok.
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