Scared of telling the children
15 April 2020 at 4:02 pm #39031
I found out at Christmas that my husband of 15 years (20 years together) had been having an affair. He also confessed that he had fallen out of love with me. I loved my husband & had no idea. It was gut wrenching shock (& actually still is). It’s taken us a while to get our heads round it (he’s also suffering with mental health) & we couldn’t make any important decisions whilst he was suffering. Just before lockdown he decided he wants to try separating but that is on hold until life gets back to normal. He’s not in a relationship with the other woman but I believe they are in regular communication & once both single they will hook up. I am so sad & the thought of telling my two children (10 & 7) kills me & then in time having to explain that we will have to move home. My & my husband hardly argue (before & after the affair) & the kids are just not going to expect it. They are too going to to be very shocked/upset. Any tips on best how to do this? Is it best to tell them when husband knows he’s going to go so we have a plan or tell them in lockdown whilst we are all playing happy families & they can see us being civil to one another? So confused…
Thanks x15 April 2020 at 8:58 pm #39044
wow from this post it sounds like you are putting everybody else first I dare say your own mental health is not ideal in this situation. There is no reason why u all cant have a happy but different life. I would say to explain when hes going just before he does that must be so hard knowing all that and carrying on you are brave but dont be a doormat meant in a nice way x16 April 2020 at 10:22 am #39071
I read up a lot on this when I had to tell my children, and one of the things I remember reading was advice not to tell children with too long a time frame before the adult that’s leaving, leaves as it is confusing to say they are leaving and then not for a while (which the case would be now)….they need a short time to absorb but then it needs to happen so it may be worth hanging fire for now and instead, building your children up with some emotional health stuff that will support them when they need it (loads of books available for children on this, thinking positively etc) -It could arm them with ways of coping when you do tell them. The basics generally were that you need to do it together (although I couldnt quite bring myself to tbh!) and show a united front, let them ask questions and answer as best you can, giving them specifics on where they will live/when they will see the partner etc., tell them it’s not their fault and avoid blame of either parent/putting them in the argument (so definitely leave the affair out, as hard as that may be when you want to blame him and make them realise it is his fault!), encourage them to talk about it as much as they need to. Also, if you know any families that already have split parents maybe have them as someone for your child to talk to so they can identify with someone and realise its not just them that is in the situation.
I have to admit, this was the worst part of splitting with my ex – I felt panicked at the thought of telling my kids, especially one of them who is a Daddy’s girl. It all worked out amazingly well which wasn’t what I was expecting but I made sure that their Dad saw them every day at some point at the begining just so he didn’t just vanish from their normal routines and if not, he would always ring them at bedtime so that routine was still normal and he was saying goodnight – a year and a half later we don’t need to do that anymore and he sees them a couple of nights a week (when they were at school at least) and half a day of the weekend usually and speaks regularly on the phone too. I also imagine the thing that has made it so smooth with the kids is that we still have a very friendly relationship…to the extent that we go for the kids birthdays to places with my new partner and his too and all the kids involved in all the families – not the norm and I’m lucky we managed to escape the nastiness of breakups….as much as I can’t imagine yours would be that simple (not when cheating is involved), I think you have to try your very best to maintain some sort of tolerance of your partner so your kids feel less worried.
Hope that helps x17 April 2020 at 9:42 pm #39141
Thank you to both of your replies & very helpful xx