My heart goes out to you apm, I can remember only to clearly the day me and ex2b told our 9 year old daughter and 7 year old son.
Some things I learned that might help -:
However hard it might be, do it with your ex2b and make sure that she believes that this is what you both want. I got my ex2b to do most of talking because I knew that I would just break down and just added things as we went along. Its an awful thing to have to do to your kids and I think doing it twice with individual parents must be harder for kids to take.
It might be useful to write down what will be said so that important things are not forgotten in the emotion of it all.
Both my children cried a lot after we had told them, my son asked lots of questions and my daughter was quiet and thoughtful, her questions came over the next few days. We have a special notebook where she can write questions and I can write her a reply if she feels unable to talk.
After the tears and questions my kids went off to play and later on we all went to the cinema. They didnt sob their hearts out all day like I expected.
I believe that the sooner you tell her the better, the more time she has to adjust with you still at home the easier it will be for her to accept.
We're going to do it together and it will be presented as something that we both agree on (although it wasn't, to be honest). Also, our daughter deals with things better if she thinks it's "just one of those things that happen some times". So that's the way we're going to play it.
The notebook idea is brilliant, I like that a lot.
I also like the doing something together afterwards approach but X2B thinks that might be confusing. We are going to discuss this tonight when our daughter's out on a sleepover.
I also think that if we tell her and I am still at home it will help her deal with it but again, X2B thinks tell her then leave straight away. We'll need to discuss this, I think. Maybe, tell her on the Friday, stay overnight, then Saturday we all go round to the new flat as a group. For me, this reinforces the fact that mummy and daddy are still friends.
Had the same thing with my 5 & 8 years olds, we both sat down with them & explained that mummy & daddy just want to be friends from now on. We still love them lots & we will always be their mummy & Daddy.
They seemed to accept it ok, a few questions, but nothing that hard to explain.
The main thing is to do it as a couple & dont disagree, play the united front (even if it is hard).
apm, does your daughter have any idea about what is coming?
Do you and ex2b sleep in separate rooms for instance, has she witnessed arguments etc?
I only ask because, if she has no idea that this is coming (my children didn't), then when you leave so suddenly after telling her, she may well feel somewhat abandoned by you.
It is really hard presenting a united front when telling children when it is not what you wanted, it was the same for me, be strong and tell yourself that you are doing this the best way for your daughter.
I agree that if you are leaving soon after telling your daughter it will send mixed messages if you all go out together afterwards.
For me it was different because we told kids at the beginning of the summer holidays and we knew that we still had a few months of living in same house for them to see that things are different, and that mum and dad will not be changing their minds. Unfortunately we are still stuck in the marital home until it is sold, but on a positive note the children have become well adjusted to what is coming.
Perhaps you could take your daughter out on your own after telling her, treat her and reinforce the idea that even though you are leaving it is not because of her and keep telling her how much you love her.
We don't think she has a clue. X2B went through a stage of being out most evenings and daughter missed her a lot then but that's sorted now. That's the only thing I can think of.
There have been no arguments (and won't be either) as we are very amicable about the situation. We still sleep in the same room / bed (apart from when either of us snore too much, of course!!).
The abandonment issue is a big concern for me and I'm not happy with the tell her then do a runner approach. This needs to be discussed with X2B.
I have mixed feelings about the going out as a threesome straight afterwards. I can see positives and negatives in it. This also needs discussing. I suspect it's a case of whichever we pick will have good and bad sides to it.
How about telling her the weekend before, and then the 2 of you going for a drive so she can see where it is, and both explore whether there is a park nearby and how close the shops are.
If you and your x are amicable, why not suggest that you all share the "moving in" process and make sure that you get some photos of your daughter and maybe let her place them around the new home, even get her to draw a picture so daddy can put it on his fridge.
I would personally include her in it as much as possible.
Just one more thing, will you be having her stay overnight in the future, is there a spare room, if so, then maybe buy a duvet of her favourite character and maybe take a few of her toys so she can have a few of her bits and pieces at daddys new home.
However you decide to do it, good luck