Have raised this several times over the last few years, the impact on children on the result of marriage breakdown can be devastating, especially when the separation/divorce is a warpath.
One of my children was in tears for an hour again last night, big sobs, saying he really didn''t want to move home. This just came on a t bedtime (which is when most of their emotions come to the surface). It is also something I have raised in the forum before.
Do you know it is just so heartbreaking to see your children, who you love, so distraught and upset. I tried to re-assure him but also acknowledged his feelings as this is so important rather than just brushing them aside and changing the subject. He clearly needed to be re-assured and comforted but be allowed to feel the emotions he was experiencing in a safe way. I cannot imagine how my children must feel. I know as a chils myself, when my parents split, the one thing I didn''t want to do was move. However my dad was decnt and respectable and did ''the right thing by us'' as opposed to ''looking after himself''.
My son repeatedly asked ''why we have to move mummy?'' I have already explained this to them the before that. I know however, how sensitive my children are, this child especially who it has taken councelling etc to ''come to terms'' with the separation in the first place. I have tried to make it positive and re-iterated that he could help choose the wallpaper and we would make it a happy place to be and he could still visit his friends etc. I suppose from a young child''s point of view this is hard. I know many of you on here will have moved several times and whose children have been through a lot worse.
So you know and must understand how heartbreaking it is when they are sobbing and there is nothing you can do to chamge it for them or make it better. Just hugs and understanding.
My son, then went on to say why was I ''funny'' around daddy. Now this is a really hard one, becasue over the last few years their dad has tried to destroy me emotionally/mentally. But has not succeeded and he still keeps on in any way he can. It has been really hard not to badmouth him, oh so very hard, because he actually maked me feel sick in his presence, to the point hwre I would rather walk away than hear him look at him etc. So I tried to explain to my son, that mummy doesn''t love daddy but that daddy and mummy loved him very, very much and that it was o.k for him to love his daddy but that doesn''t mean that I have to also. I said that I would talk to daddy if I needed to about him etc but that was it. Why?, he said.... it gets so difficult as he always wants answers. I explained that mummy was very hurt in her heart over lots of things but repeated that mummy and daddy loved him very much.
It is so very hard, especially when you have children who won''t accept.
" I hate my life" he cried " everything was alright until you and daddy split up" "why did you have to split up?".
They have already been told by ex and myself why in a very age appropriate way. This was because they had been questioning for nearly 2 years and it involved the school etc, where my eldest started having issued, defacing photos of himself, threatening to runaway etc etc.
This is all so hard. And I jst wish their dad could see exactly the impact of all his elfish behaviour is having and will have on our children.
They are ok when they are with him, eldest has already admitted to teacher that he doesn''t want to upset daddy. So i get the brunt of it. Which I know is all about feeling safe enough to show their emotions and know that I will still be here, unconditional love etc etc..... it still makes it so very hard.
I hate him for he has done and is still doing. How can he think that moving the children out of their home right on top of eldest starting secondary school is not going to affect them.
So to all of you about to embark on this journey, whatever your reasons, please, please,please think of the little innocent children involved here. They are our future.
I cannot offer advice really I was lucky in that we stayed in the house, neither of my children wanted to leave although I would cost memories etc.
I know how you feel, the constant questions, having to defend yours & worse the Xs actions when you really don''t want to, but you are doing the best for your children & one day they will realise that & thank you for it.
In the meantime you have to keep going, have to take the brunt of their pain, be there for them & help the come to terms with things it is hard & yes they feel sorry for the exs & may defend them to the hilt & seem to blame the way we act towards ex, but that is because they don''t know and shouldn''t know the whole truth just yet, so you take it.
All I can say is your doing brilliantly, your giving it your best & that is all that you can do, look after yourself when you can & stay strong for you & your kids.
I read and re-read your post and while moving kids is really tough I applaud you for how you deal with it all. You have put the children first and you have not bad mouthed about their Dad. Feel proud of yourself for that. You are a good Mum and a good person and your kids will survive the transition. Thank you for sharing this as what not to say to kids is so important. I can''t offer any advice but I do believe your kids will get through this as they have a super Mum.
Belated Happy Mothers Day Survive. You are a fab mum x
I.am afraid I will be called a bad mother ,but I personally don''t think that lying to your children is good for them.I have a 10 and 14 year old and they know exactly how I feel about their dad who has run off with a girl 20 years younger .There is no point in lying. they can see what he has done and I don''t want them to grow up thinking what he has done is OK.It''s always whats best for the children now , but they didn''t think that when they were having their affair.Of course I tell them he loves them and hasn''t left them but they say if he really loved them he would have tried to save the marriage and he has left them because he isn''t here anymore .How can I argue with that .I applaud you for being able to keep your emotions from your children if you believe it is best for them. Good luck .
You are doing such a good job with your children. You have done all you can do, which is tell them they are loved by both of you and try and explain why you and your ex aren''t together anymore at their level. It is so hard to see your children suffering and upset but so important that they can be open about it with you.
My eldest has also said they dont want to upset Dad so I get the tears and the upset too, usually as soon as they get back through my door but there are tears and we talk through worries together and we try and work out ways forward together. I would much rather that than them bottle it all up.
Keep strong, your children will grow up knowing they are loved, listened to and wanted which is the most important thing.
From my experience, the fear of moving is worse than the reality, my eldest is very sensitive and did not want to move but my ex gave us no choice, it was either stay in a dangerous situation or go and set up home somewhere else. My children settled within a few months with careful handling and now they love their new home.
No one has the right to call you a bad mother, only you know how to react and support your own children in the way you can. I don''t ever think children should be lied to but also understand not every child is old enough or able to understand and fully take in the whole truth. As long as they are loved and know it and as you said, you have made sure of that. I agree with you, there is no point in lying when they understand exactly what is going on, they will make up their own minds and they need to have the truth to be able to do that.
Thankyou all for your heartfelt messages of support. It is so hard trying to be mum and dad and bearing the brunt of all their emotions as well as your own. Somtimes I do feel like just walking away (which of course I never ever would) but I sometimes ''pushed'' to the max and I just think what is the point. But then tomorrow is another day and I know deep down that I hope, I will be able to hold my head high when I am old and grey and say "hey I tried the best for my children"
When oh when will the sunshine return into our lives.