'DH' and I are to divorce. When is the best time to tell the children?

(8 Posts)
goodlifemummy Sat 06-Apr-13 14:15:52

Hi, we told our children on Tuesday evening, we have DTDs age 8 and a DS age 2. We told them when we knew exactly what was happening ie mummy and children will be moving into new house on this date etc. We both sat down with them and explained that although mummy and daddy love each other we can't live together any more and that we are going to live I separate houses. Whatever happens we will always be a family and aren't we lucky that we will not even be a mile away from each other etc. we didn't say that daddy doesn't want this and is very cross with mummy. There were a few tears but ultimately they went to bed smiling and woke up the next day smiling too. There are the occasional questions about who gets to keep what etc, but we told them they can ask us anything any time and its ok to feel sad if they want and have a cuddle hope that helps x

Liltzero Mon 01-Apr-13 22:22:37

Thanks all for your replies and experiences.

Amazingly we are still very civil towards each other and there is no particular 'atmosphere' in the house. I've known about the OW since the end of November and after the first raw emotion just feel so sad that our marriage is to end.

We get on so well that even in these very trying circumstances we can still get on with each other which I know is totally bonkers. shock

TBH the boys must know something is up. For example I'm just back from a weekend with my sister and family whilst they all went to the in-laws. 'Normally' of course we'd all go together.

Any more replies and experiences much appreciated.

MilanToMinsk Mon 01-Apr-13 22:06:22

We were in a similar situation. Children a little younger, but we had several months where we knew we were divorcing but living separate lives in the same house. We waited until we could tell them how it would work - where he would be living, how/when they would see him. We told them about 10 days before he moved out so there was some time to ask questions and to see everyday life continued but not so long so that they might think it wasn't actually going to happen. We also timed it for holidays so they could spend plenty of time with both of us and it reduced the stress levels.
Good luck. It's hard but actually once that initial conversation was over, it was not so bad. Just remember to keep talking to them about it (not obsessively!). Their questions and understanding change over time. Don't treat it as a one-off conversation but do be clear and definitive about what will happen.

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 21:58:32

Well in the first instance I don't think you should sustain this living arrangement for any length of time, esp given the circumstances. If you'd perhaps just drifted apart but were on good terms and both happy to stay put for a while it'd be rather different, but I cannot see how you (or rather he) hope to maintain a civil relationship in the current circs. Particularly not if he decides that now that you're separated he is free to pursue his other relationship.

That said, I don't think it will be in your dc's best interests not to know the reason why things have changed at home. They won't have missed the fact you're in separate rooms and doing things with them separately. You don't want them to think it's something they've done wrong. So it will initially set minds at rest for them to know what the reason is. Thereafter, however, I think it will be very confusing for them to know you are separated but not move on to the next phase of their lives - the limbo doesn't seem fair to anyone.

I appreciate that the limbo is almost certainly financially motivated and not your choice.

littleblackno Mon 01-Apr-13 21:55:53

My kids were a little younger than yours when I split with my exh but we waited till we knew when he was moving out, then we involved them in the process. Going shopping for daddys new house, chosing thier own bedding for new room at his house, that sort of thing. It made it real for them without waiting for so long for it to happen. Your kids may well already know that something is going on so it may be an idea to tell them something, but only you will know your kids and what they understand.
It's a horrible situation to be living in that limbo time, I feel for you. I don't think i would agree that introducing someone else is a good idea at the moment.
Not sure if this helps but good luck - it will get easier.

ClaudiaSchiffer Mon 01-Apr-13 21:55:16

I'm so sorry you're going through this, how bloody awful for you.

I'd be inclined to tell them sooner rather than later. As floweryblue says it will let them see that you are both still able to focus on them - are you able to be civil to your husband? At least in front of the children? In similar circs my friend kicked her husb out 30 mins after finding out he'd been having a 3 yr affair, and 6 months down the line the kids seem to be fine - her kids are also 8 & 6.

Maybe you could discuss it with a counsellor?

Good luck, it must be a horrible situation for you.

floweryblue Mon 01-Apr-13 21:47:00

I'm replying to your post because no-one else has.

I have no idea when/how you should explain the situation to your children but my gut instinct would be for you and H to talk to them about it ASAP together, and given that you are living together but seperately, show them that they are still no1 in both your lives whatever happens.

If relations between you and 'D'H are good enough, introducing the friend and involving the children in the changes which are going to happen, might be a positive move.

I met DP while I was married (no kids) and he was in the process of divorcing (nothing to do with me, but two DC).

Best I can offer I'm afraid!

Liltzero Mon 01-Apr-13 20:22:05

The children are two DS (8 and 6). Do we tell them sooner rather than later? At the moment we are still living together but in separate bedrooms and don't do anything as a family anymore. I'm in two minds on the timing. Tell them now and it could be months before there is any change in the living arrangements and the news might be all a bit abstract but give them time to get used to the idea, or tell them close to my husband moving out?

BTW he has ended our marriage by being in love with a mutual friend who he's not going to give up. I know this is not important to the question but important to me to make clear that this is not my choice!

I'll really appreciate any advice from those that have been there / done that as well as possible.

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