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Divorce- how can we help our children through it?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Martin87, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Martin87

    Martin87 New commenter

    First of all, I apologise if this is the wrong place for this type of post.

    I'm just at a loss.

    My partner and I have agreed to separate. There's no animosity or anger or any particular reason to cause it, we've just slowly drifted apart over our relationship and aren't in love anymore. We've really tried and tried counselling etc but it just isn't there anymore. It's incredibly sad and I feel like a bit of a failure.

    Looking ahead to the future, we have two gorgeous children (aged 4 and 1) who mean the world to both of us. Just looking for any advice (even reassurance that they'll be okay) as to how to help them through this process? What can we do to keep them happy as they currently are?

    I guess in a way we're fortunate that my partner and I will always be very amicable. We've both discussed that we'll still be able to do things as a four etc.

    I'm sorry if this is a bit incoherent, just all a bit raw at the moment.
    Happygopolitely likes this.
  2. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    We live in a 'throwaway culture' in the UK. You have two young children and difficult jobs. Life is hard. Life will probably get harder (emotionally/financially) if/when you do separate.

    Children are better off with both parents, unless there is a good reason for separation. Marriage is a commitment.

    ^ This may sound like an attack on you. It isn't! Just food for thought. Best of luck whatever you decide.
  3. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Senior commenter

    Hi- sorry to hear this but how great that there's no aminosity between you because that has to be the most helpful thing for your children. I think as long as they know they're loved they'll be absolutely fine.

    Children accept things- long gone are the days of the stigma attached to being a 'one parent family'- thankfully! Waaaaaay back in the 70s we moved to a new part of the country during my parents' separation and divorce. In our new school- small town, seaside, insular- we were known as the one parent family such was the stigma of divorce!!!!!!! Shocking!

    My parents had an acrimonious divorce, my sister and I were witness to horrible rows etc. We weren't allowed to refer to our dad, instead we had to call him "you know who". Weird. Damaging.

    So, back to you. I think things will be fine. Love, friendly relations etc can only be a good thing.

    Oh- and please don't think you have failed at anything!
  4. Martin87

    Martin87 New commenter

    I do understand however we literally live like strangers once the kids have gone to bed. We have really, really tried and done everything we can but have both agreed. Believe me, it is the hardest and most difficult decision we've come to.
    Happygopolitely and HelenREMfan like this.
  5. Martin87

    Martin87 New commenter

    Thank you for your kind message and reassurance.
  6. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    It certainly comes across as one. I'm sure @martins and partner have already given it much thought. You don't know them or their situation .
  7. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    I think it's a fairly well known fact (or should be .........) that children from separated families fare best when they have close relationships with both of their parents, and when their parents communicate and co operate so, if you can carry your good intentions through, your children should do well.

    It's when one parent can't "share" with another and involve the child/ren in things they should never be involved with that trouble can arise (as in my case - parental alienation)
    monicabilongame likes this.
  8. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    I assume you are a man, based on your username. You should look into the $ aspect of any divorce and on the standard of living YOU will be left with.

    It is good that you are still both friends now, and are communicating. Things can, however change. Please do not reply to this i'm not 'fishing' for information.

    Hope for the best, plan for the worst!
  9. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    No I don't. They came on a public forum and asked for input/thoughts. I gave an honest (and non judgemental) reply.

    Between my post & Flowersinsprings post I think this thread is pretty much covered.
    knitone likes this.
  10. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    At least you tried. Better to try and fail than never try at all.
    Not everyone would define it as a fail either.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Just carry on as normal.

    Do your jobs. Lead by example. Act according to your values. If you're passionate about recycling (or cycling), French literature or football? Then just carry on.

    I'm the product of a different kind of home. My parents stayed together. Much to my disgust as my father was a complete and utter bar-steward and made our lives a misery. But hey. It looked good from the outside. Which is what counted in the 50s and 60s and so on.

    You'll cope. They'll cope. It won't be easy but it never is. I divorced when my two were 6 and 4. My grandchildren were roughly the same age when their dad found another woman. They're fine. In the sense that they go to school, argue with their mum (my daughter), get good reports and also get into trouble, go swimming and lounge about watching YouTube.

    You do the best you can with what you have. There are only ever shades of grey when it comes to families and human behaviour. Be nice! Including to YOURSELF!
    emerald52, Happygopolitely and InkyP like this.
  12. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    emerald52 and Happygopolitely like this.
  13. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I agree. It should work out fine in theory. The thing that usually puts the fly in the ointment is when new partners appear on the scene with different ideas and aspirations.
  14. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Hi, I’m in the same situation. My 3 are coping ok. It’s been 3 months since he moved out and we’ve had the odd wobble, and the middle one in particular asking them why dad can’t move back in, but to be honest, ours was a situation much like yours where we’d just grown to the point of strangers so the children weren’t exactly unfamiliar with the idea of doing something either with me, or with him, as we rarely did things together anymore.
    I’ve told them that the number of people who love and care for them hasn’t changed, just where they live.

    From a personal standpoint, it hasn’t felt like much of a change for me, but if you Are the person moving out I suspect that’ll be a different scenario. Just be involved as much as you can, be friends, remember who you’re doing all this for.
    Genuinely I wish you the best of luck and if you ever want to chat to someone in a very similar boat, by all means pm me.
  15. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    What’s being a man got to do with that?
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I read your post with sadness for your situation but admiration at the way you and your partner are trying to cope with it ....now. The difficulties will come along later, especially if one/both of you form new partnerships. From the outset you will have to be upfront that the commitment you made to your children is lifelong and new people must understand that. As a teacher I saw all too often the trauma inflicted on children as one parent or the other embarked on yet another 'relationship', other partner's children were brought into the equation with all the difficulties that can produce. Add in issues of PE kit etc being at the wrong domicile and problems at school arising from any lack of organisation a split homed family can produce. The life of the children post divorce will need probably as much work as the actual marriage. I know you will both have the best of intentions but please do not think it is going to be anything but bloody difficult. Having said that warring parents remaining together is highly undesirable also. I actually had a child in my year group where the parents had physically divided the marital home and lived behind their own parts of it, totally uncommunicating!
    I do hope you can work your way through all this and I really do hope you manage it. As people have spoken of the 50s/60s and the very rare issue of a lone parent family - I remember doing a sub in a Year 7 classroom base and a lovely FT had obviously asked the children to write an introduction for themselves which they had then made a frieze of around the room. I got to child28 before I found a "typical , nuclear" family. I was actually pretty shocked as I had not realised how bad things had got. Subsequent years saw the problems arising from the non family situations for so many children - from the parents' evening appointments ensuring a mother and father never got within viewing distance of each other as they negotiated meeting subject staff, to parents who had no clue re their child's very worrying attendance and performance at school, to the parent who facilitated their son watching highly inappropriate material when on weekend visits.
    I know you say that you will both remain amicable but be warned about all the hidden possible 'nasties' in there. Brave of you to write - I hope you find some advice and help in some of the replies. Best wishes.
  17. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    When my son divorced from his partner my wife and `i were very glad, However, the sat down discussed the options and the difficulties and when actually divorcing they had it all worked out.
    Since that time my son has stayed a devoted parent, often traveling weekends to be with them or bringing them to us to stay. We as grandparents were delighted to see the kids, but not with the son who we felt gave in too much to her.
    The children were told and it was discussed with them and they accepted although when younger they clung to dad when he brought them away from their mother.
    Since then he and his ex get on better and still share the care of the children although developing their own lives.They have even been on holiday together with the children,
    So if you are happy to remain friends for the children it can work, but there has to be a lot of care and thought in undertaking it. If you have to leave the children you do have to sit down and discuss the whys and wherefores and seek to establish the arrangement, but please do in volve the children and please impress to them the separation is not because of them, but your own 'losing love' in each other, Children are incredibly tough but they still want to know they are loved and wanted.
    At least honestly recognising that you no longer love each other now gives you both a chance to re-establish you lives, no matter how sad you are at the moment, I hope you manage to work it out.
    Old x
    Ps make sure you involve the grandparents if you can or dare, and tell all who might care for them such as thier class teacher and friends.
    emerald52 likes this.
  18. Martin87

    Martin87 New commenter

    I just wanted to genuinely thank all of the replies for being so understanding, caring and informative. They've really helped me get through a particularly down day.

    I really mean it when I say thank you.
  19. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    1 Let your children know you both love them
    2 Let them know if needed that the divorce is not their fault . And that you will both be be there for them.
    3 Let your children know that there are all types of family units. The best communicate, love and share.
    4 There is much to think about eg Birthdays, Holidays, Finances, Time, and most important of all balance.
    5 Allow your children to see you and your partner together at times but make it clear your relationship is different and NOT THEIRS.

    Finally,.there is a way forward. And you and your expartner and your children are still on an important journey. You will all continue to see each other,.witness each other grow and be there. You are teaching your children that love comes in many many forms. You do not hate your ex. Its just that you both want different things.

    Best wishes. And you will find a happy medium if you continue to share and communicate regularly.
  20. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    Good luck staying amicable. On the relationship itself I would say that having a four year old and a baby leaves nothing left for each other. Don’t give in, just shelve your relationship and rediscover it as the kids grow up to school age. I speak from experience. My marriage is the best it’s ever been, but it was basically non-existent until they hit 7 and 5.

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