Telling Children your not together

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  • #13435 Report


    I’m sure this is a common topic so sorry but I am new to the group. My partner and I separated after 10 years in February but we didn’t tell the children as at the time felt it better to deal with our own emotions first. We are several months on my x partner is here with us virtually every weekend. We finally separated due to him cheating on me over several years with different woman but I had time to get

    my head round it and so I’m not even bothered anymore (in a realistic way im

    it metal mickey) any way I have the kids at the times they ask the difficult questions. My kids are 7 and nearly 9. I think my daughter knows she’s the older One and my son ask questions like why doesn’t daddy cuddle you mummy. It’s heartbreaking so when their dad came this weekend I spoke to him while the kids where at school to say we need to tell them. He is a nightmare with difficult situations and no surprise said no I’m not ready to tell them but I’m sick of swerving the questions, I am an honest as you can be mum and I feel like I am lying to them all the time and particularly to protect their Dad which I have done for years. So I shall get to the point 🙈! I wanted to tell them with him but when I’ve tried this he gets me so worked up that I then become to emotional and lose my strength to stay strong when telling the kids. Do I just tell them myself? I can then just deal with it in the moment the next time the awkward question comes up I can just sit them down and talk to them. I am very much about doing this together but my x is not a strong person so I do wonder if I should just do it on my own? Thank you for reading and advice welcome

    #13442 Report


    I would tell them yourself but be very careful not to say anything that puts the other parent in a negative light. Never slam the other parent! Keep the reason “why” very general i.e. mommy and daddy love you very much and that will never change. Mommy and Daddy are good friends now. Sometimes mommy and daddy do not always stay together but it is okay because we are always there for you etc.

    #13521 Report


    Relate do a very good helpsheet on this subject. I recommend that you read and follow it.

    I hated telling our children. It is by far the hardest thing I have had to do as a parent. It was horrible. But I am also proud that I did it – proud because my wife did not have the inner strength to do it herself, despite her having caused the marriage breakdown.

    I hated the lies that my wife told, and I was not prepared to lie to our children. They are 8 and 11. So we told them early doors.

    Hope helpful.

    #14010 Report




    im not sure this will help but I’m planning to tell our children with daddy.  Once we have the action plan sorted.  I’m kind of bursting to tell them but I know I want to wait and do it together so they know everything is ok



    #14089 Report


    This is the very first time I am sharing this with anyone so please excuse my lenghty details…

    Having been married for 7+ years we finally decided it was time to have children.

    We both worked long hours and at every opportunity made the most of taking time out together with regular weekends away, travelling & holidaying abroad, cinema, theatre, plays, Gigs, eating out, socialising with friends, families and new acquaintances.

    My Ex’s work involved alot of travelling often several days or weeks at a time and unsociable hours. I too worked all hours but was close to our home, being self-employed was extremely flexible.

    This flexibility meant that at least one parent would be at home to look after the newborns straight after maternity leave finished.

    We found a good nursery and school near to our home and went from sharing a love nest to raising our children. I pretty much took over after maternity and raised my son from age 0.6-9 (now 12) and daughter from 0.5-5 (now 8).

    It was very hard at the beginning but eventually we managed to get into parent mode. This involved the usual early morning, lunch, tea time, bedtime and middle of the night routines. Juggling work, family, social and childrens parties became the norm. We enjoyed every minute of it! My Ex, son and daughter were my life we were a very happy loving family of four.

    Four years ago my Ex was offered a job abroad, something she always wanted to do to further her career and ambitions. We decided it would be a great life experience for our children and finally a chance for my wife to work a normal 5 day week so she too could spend quality time with our children and me too off course!!

    So she moved abroad to settle into her new job whilst I stayed in the UK and continued looking after our brood.

    We kept in touch through daily Skype video calling and I took our children over during school holidays to see mum.

    I would make sure that we all Skype video called mum everynight. Mummy would not always prioritise this so kids often went to bed without saying good night to her because there was not there or busy.

    About 10 months later my wife said that she was settled in her work and that it was time we all joined her there so that the children could start their new year at their new school.

    I packed everything up, said our goodbye to all the childrens friends, cousin’s, grand parents and families. It wasn’t easy shutting down my business but I did it with losses and flew to start our new lives together in the Sun.

    Children settled in very quickly and made lots of new friends at school, had regular playdates. The lifestyle was amazing and we all loved it.

    Unfortunately, I found it difficult to find work and after 6 months of trying, decided to come back to UK and look from here and restart my business again. My wife was well settled with the childrens routines and no conflicts with her work so it made sense so I could contribute.

    Four the last three years I have yoyo’d back and forth during school holidays and whenever needed. Each time having to stop and start my work.

    It took several weeks to restart work from scratch each time I returned back to UK. I soon got used to it but since last year it hasn’t been great and my general health.

    To top it up I have had 2 back injuries which are going to effect me long term. I have good days and some very bad ones but life goes on I spose.

    It has also been extremely difficult not being around my children and wife when I return to UK. Missing out on them growing up and being a part of their daily lives. Skype video calling is great for the short term but you can’t compare it to the real thing which I have realised now.

    Anyway, since last year I noticed that my wife had not been her usual self. The Skype calls from abroad became less frequent not only from her but our children too. Days and weeks would go by without any contact. I barely got a few minutes of time when children did Skype because mum would ask them to hurry up on the phone.

    Before we moved abroad I knew everything that was happening in the childrens lives from school, after school activities, their friends, daily ups and downs and was actively involved in decision making.

    It all started to change early last year, everytime I brought this up with my Ex on several occasions but she totally dismissed it. She was too busy to talk, was out and couldn’t speak along with every other excuse under the sun.

    Everytime I visted during their school holidays, I could see that our children were so affectionate towards me and didn’t want me to go. I also noticed that they were both getting addicted to their iPad’s. I raised my concerns but my Ex dismissed them.

    Each time I visted it would take a week or more for me and our children to get ‘reaquainted’ with each other. And then it was time for me to return to UK again.

    As I was not working whilst there, I took on full responsibility of running the day the our rented apartment. Cooking, cleaning, washing, school runs, etc. as I did back in the UK. My Ex would not engage in any activities apart from occasional family time. I didn’t mind, it meant she could have a break.

    We have had our ups and down like all couples do but always got back on track. I was really looking forward to our 20 years wedding anniversary this year and was planning on renewing our vows with our two children who could plan it! They both love watching Naomi and Ed on “Marrying Mum and Dad”.

    Before I was due to fly, in December just gone, to join my family fir Xmas holidays, my Ex messaged me to say said that she no longer wanted to be with me and wanted a separation and not to tell the children until they were older.

    That I could visit during school holidays and when she couldn’t cover. Summer holidays they would come to UK and they could spend a few weeks with me. “Joint parenting” is how she phrased it.

    It came as a complete shock to me and after so much heartache I had to give in. I didn’t want to take children out of school again. They had built up good relationships with the teachers, class friends. The school is amongst the best in the country and so diverse with children from all over world.

    I had realised that I have been taken advantage of by my Ex. Her meaning of Joint parenting is to keep our children as far away from me.

    We have a family home in the UK but my wife chooses to stay with her mother. She nor I want to see each other’s family anymore. For me it’s too painful and I don’t want them to interfere. I also want to make it easier for my Ex ecause a part of me still cares for her.

    My parents knew something wasn’t right with me so I finally told them last week that we are separating and that there is nothing they can do because it’s all over.

    Explained to my mum and dad that I have tried my best and respect my ex’s decision. You can’t force someone to love you, it’s got to come from the heart. There is no no “zing” there for her. I have finally accepted it and just want to do the best I can for our children.

    So my Ex arrived in the UK with the children and they spent the first 2 week catching up with her mums side of the family.

    The children spent the last week with me and my side of the family. The children were collected by my ex from a carpark near her mum’s house on Tuesday. I had to lie to my son and daughter that I couldn’t drop them off at grandma’s as I had to go straight to work.

    There is a big family wedding taking place at my ex’s parents house which I haven’t been invited to. I don’t particularly want to go and plau happy families. I know that this will seem really odd to our children. It also means that everyone’s eyes are going to be on my 12yo son and daughter 8. People and acquaintances who you only see at weddings and funerals will be asking them “where is your dad”?


    I have always told the truth to our children, never hid anything from them and know that if I don’t tell them that mum and dad have separated they will hate me.

    I don’t wish to say it with my Ex present. I understand that I have to show no negativity towards mum, that we both love them… etc.

    So my dilemma right now is:-

    1) Do I say it now, before the wedding, which is spread over the next 3 weeks???

    2) After the wedding is all over???

    3) Just days before they go back in September, which will be 2 days before school term starts???

    4)Wait till I go back to see them in the xmas holidays??? )

    5)Wait till they are older???

    Would really appreciate your suggestions and guidance.

    Many Thanks

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