OK, quick recap for those that haven't bothered to read my blog (can't say I blame you!!).
X2B has decided she wants to separate. It's very amicable (although more than a little strained at times) and we are getting on OK at the moment. I (hopefully) have found somewhere else to live and will move out over the weekend of 27th October.
We will tell our daughter on the Saturday of that weekend and this is the point of this post.
Our intention at the moment is to make sure that we present it as "one of those things" as our daughter finds things easier to accept if it's presented like that.
We're going to make sure that she understands it's not her fault in any way and also that she will still have a mummy and daddy but just that daddy (me) will live somewhere else. We are not going to blame anyone, it's going to be a mutual thing.
'Mum and Dad just don't get on anymore. That has nothing to do with how both of us feel about you. We both love you dearly and want you to be as happy as possible. Mum and Dad falling out has absolutely nothing to do with you children at all. It is not your fault at all.'
'Both mummy and daddy will always be there for you, whatever happens'
'You're going to have the best of both worlds. You will have two homes, two bedrooms - twice as much fun.'
'Its much better to have two very happy homes than one very unhappy one'
There's much much more to say. But it was the questions we couldn't answer that hurt most.
Be prepared to just sit down and cuddle your daughter and see her cry. It's a hell of a shock for them. We separately took turns to try and make sense of everything for them over an evening, and just cuddled them.
It took a couple of days for the questions to die down. Some, as I said, are unanswerable. But you need to give her the reassurance that when you can answer them, you will.
This may help....
My current partner and her x had to tell their 2 children when they were splitting up (children 12 & 7). They told them together and both children obviously got very upset, one child went to one parent for a cry and a cuddle and the other child went to the other parent BUT if there is only one child, who does she go to for a cuddle when you break the news???
This was put to my partner by a family friend (social worker) and it does seem to make abit of sense. She said that maybe it might be easier if one parent tells the child, let her have a good cry and when she calms down abit, the other parent has a chat.
I can see the sense of this, but it may not work for you
I'm not a regular poster to this site coz of my lack of inexperience of what most people are going thru.
However, I have been exactly where you are now... My daughter was 8 when I told her.
I sat her down with me, told her I was moving to another house, told her how much I love her... Explained situation... We both cried our eyes out...
I was moving out the following week and when I said she was going to stay with me the next weekend, the biggest smile I have ever seen appeared on her face - I very nearly broke down again! Somehow, I had neglected to tell her or it didn't sink in that I would be seeing her very regularly...
Now, 18 months on, my relationship with my daughter is as strong as ever - the weekends she spends with me are like a mini-break - even though it's every second weekend.
I still get down whenever I take her back on the sunday evening... But I know it won't be long before I see her next and my wife is very amicable and I can visit in between my weekends.
Don't know if any of this helps, but I wish you all the best.
It might be better not to leave it as late as the Saturday of the weekend you are going to tell your daughter. Maybe it would be good to give her some time for it to sink in before you actually move out.
I would have thought telling her a week before might be better. If you have a new place already lined up that you could take her to see that might be better still. But she's your child and only you can decide.