Moving out of marital home and having to tell 6 year old son

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  • #22736 Report


    Hi all, my husband of nearly 9 years ( been together 24) have been struggling for the last few years and approx 4 months ago decided to separate. We havea lovely 6 year old son.  We are still living in same house but myself and my son are moving out in the next couple of weeks to another property a few streets away. We are maybes in a unique position as we are trying to remain amicable about the whole situationM and deep down we do still love each other but we just aren’t happy together anymore. My husband is also suffering from health issues at the moment which makes me feel worse about me leaving him here in the marital homh alone.  WeWhave agreed husband will see son twice a week and every other weeked.  I am beside myself with worry and anxiety as to how to break the news to our son and how he will react as I don’t actually think he has a clue about all this. Since we decided to separate we have got on better in the last few months than in the last few years so it is making it harder for me. Can anyone give advice how to break this news to my little boy and that we will be moving to a new home again. ? I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow as I’m not coping with anxiety and stress. I’m dizzy and breathless and vey tired constantly. Any advice welcomed.

    #22748 Report

    Hi there

    I’m Justine from Gingerbread.  I’m glad to see you are reaching out to other parents here on the forum.  They can be a great support and many will have been through similar situations.

    On our website at Gingerbread we have information and factsheets that can support and inform you through difficult times.  This link may be of use.  Hope it helps, Justine



    #22749 Report


    I came on here to tell a similar story, i joined today. your post was at the top and my heart went out to you. I had to tell my seven year old daughter on wednesday. situation is slightly different as me and her mum are still currently living together to keep things as normal as possible until we finalize all the financials. i have to remember Every child is different and you know your child more than anyone. what i did is I spoke to her head teacher and asked to take her out of school an hour early so i could tell her. we went to our local park which was empty and fed the ducks together. I lied to her in honesty. i said ” you know daddy has been very sad the past few days, well daddy has not kept mummy happy and mummy does not love daddy anymore and wants to split up. this means we might have to move to a new house” the fact is her mum had an affair but i am not getting into that.  my advice would be to take your little boy to a place he loves, that will be quiet, put him on your lap, stroke his hair and tell him. try not to cry… i did not manage this but my daughter squeezed me so tight and told me everything will be okay. i hope this helps x


    #22761 Report


    Hi, I’ve recently been through very similar. My partner and I split after 15 years together (it was my decision). We sat our 5 year old down at home and told her together. She could see we were sad, but I managed to hold the tears in. I explained mummy and daddy aren’t best friends anymore and that I was going to buy a new house for she and I to live in. She took it really well and asked very practical questions. She was excited about having a new house, with all the innocence that a young child possesses. We should be moving into our house in May. So the three of us are still living in the same house – I cannot wait to get out! But I think then it might hit her more that Daddy is not there all the time. But as long as you support your child, offer lots of reassurance, listen to him and ensure everyone is on the same page as much as possible, he will be fine. Definitely speak to his school, they need to know what’s going on so that they can support him (and you). My anxiety has got bad too. Just try to remember that this is happening for the right reasons and don’t beat yourself up about it. Me and her daddy are fortunate that we are amicable for the most part. We agreed that our daughter is the priority. Very best of luck. Feel free to message me.

    #22794 Report


    We told our 9 yr old the weekend we decided and did it all together so she could ask questions. That was 3 months ago and my ex moved out a week ago and in hindsight  for us we probably shouldn’t have dragged it out as we have all struggled to readjust this last week. Good communication and patience with reactions to things is the best tip I can give, just try to be honest and approachable for questions. Our daughter understands why we have split up, grown apart etc. She just struggles with one being in one place and the other in a different place but in time I suspect this will ease. Good luck I hope it goes as well as it can just reassure him you  will both be there for him and how much you both love him 🙂

    #22854 Report


    I was lucky that my son was much younger at the time I separated, but even at the age of 2 he knew something wasn’t up and the main thing he wanted was for the arguing to stop and for both parents to be happy.  It’s surprising how tuned into everything they are even at that young age.

    I’d certainly second everything Teaandcake and Kanger1 said in their posts above, and you’ll find the forum really supportive.

    It’s a double edged sword when things are amicable still or there is reluctance etc… in any separation because of situations “just not working out” as opposed to adultery or abuse etc but in those circumstances I think the situation of the separation can be driven somewhat by the kids as the focus should be to ensure they suffer as little as possible.  Communication is key, and remembrering that in such situations they value both parents and it’s important to ensure that they are never placed in the middle or made to side with one etc.  They just want to be happy, and in a relationship where there is no fault, or where there is any chance of amicability as ideal as it sound it’s what everyone wants so anything that can make the process as smooth as possible without conflict is going to help everyone but most of all your kids.



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