As the story unfolded in public, also, some of her little friends asked after him and actually worried, as he's such a big personality he was missed...until they knew what he was doing.
What I ended up doing is telling DD that "Daddy has problems that he cannot work on at home and he doesn't ask for Mom's help. So mom is working on my own things while Dad works on his problems."
One thing I didn't want was for her-or anyone, really-to think it was my wishes or idea that he was gone. Yet, I couldn't speak ill of him, either.
I know what you mean, SDL...sometimes we have to put ourselves aside, even when there's not enough strength. What I'm finding, also, is that a quiet hug goes a very, very long way. I don't always have the words our daughter searches for, so instead or sometimes, I reach out and hug her until she feels like she can pick up what she was doing again.
This is puberty time in our house, so not easy in and of itself and I find this way, she can feel that I'm not grilling her, but I'm also there.
And if she comes with a statement I don't know what to do with, I say simply, "I'm sorry." and a hug with it if she wants one.
This way I acknowledged her troubles but hope to not be overwhelming or overstep with her.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
He totally threw me under the bus- after we had discussed what we were going to tell them- and said that Daddy was not happy and was not going to live here anymore because Mommy didn't want him to.
That was NOT what we had agreed on. I was such a mess back then, still reeling from the blindside of discovering he was having an affair with a fugly co worker that I was not myself. I didn't know what to do at that point! I did so much damage control after that- it was difficult because I wanted to save my marriage and keep my cheater. (And after his whole speech to the kids he ended up refusing to leave! Got them so worked up, sick to their stomachs, my son threatening to hurt his dad if he left, sobbing... It was brutal... And then he didn't leave!)
I wish I had told them the TRUTH- the real truth- right from the start. Our oldest knew the minute I told her that he wanted a D. (We were the couple that everyone thought had such a great marriage, including me!). Even our kids were blindsided. I wish I hadn't tried to cover his lying ass back then. Because I'm getting questions now that tell me the kids know about the real reason for the divorce, but I have not yet answered them fully. Soon. I will have to soon.
I told my kids that Daddy broke promises to me that husbands must never break to their wives. He also lied to me. These lies & broken promises meant we couldn't be married anymore.
This is pretty much what I told my kids. I didn't tell them right away though. I took a couple of months after the decision was made to deal with the finality of it myself and try to work through my own emotions a bit.
My middle child was the only one who asked "why" but I told them all that their daddy broke a promise that should never be broken when two people are married and that he is unable to fix what has happened.
"Unwilling" is the word I wished I could have used but "unable" is truthful too as he seems to be too messed up in the head to deal with the reality of the situation he created.
I think it would have been much easier if they were a lot older and more details were appropriate. I'm sure the vagueness in my explanation of such severe changes left them more confused than if I could have said "Daddy cheated, wouldn't stop and now blames me for his horrible actions so it's over. He is profoundly messed up mentally and is not willing to get any help for himself or to save his family." But that is a conversation that will have to be saved for years in the future.
My girls were basically "meh". The only question from them was from my youngest who asked "OK, are you single now?" My son took it hard and all I could really do to help was listen to him, answer questions as best as I could without being too specific or saying anything negative about Ex (so hard!), and hugged him as long as he let me.
I think I/we are going with the "having problems that can't be fixed, not getting along, better off living apart..yadda yadda"
Having 3 young daughters, I don't want them to know what their mother did, and then have them think "well my mother did it, so I guess I can" later on in their lives.
My H dropped bomb of his LTA 3 weeks ago. It was way messed up- the how, the what, everything was so bad that night.
By 7am the next morning, the dumb ass goes into our older daughters room and she was up reading or something, and he started hugging her and telling her he is always going to love her no matter what....well, she is pretty smart and intuitive and she was all over that and started with 100 questions.
Apparently, she asked if we were getting a divorce (after did someone die, are we moving?) and he said Daddy did something wrong, and mommy and daddy are just talking now, and then she kept asking questions why, why what did you do, etc.
Picture me in my room- less than 12 hours ago my husband and best friend who I thought was happy and loved me told me of his affair and that (at least at this time in his evolving story) that he loves her and loves me and wants us both. SO, I am in my room crying and talking on the phone to my BFF on the east coast...
In comes my 9yo DD crying and yelling "why are you getting divorced. I am sure Daddy is sorry and didn't mean it. You always said if we do something bad you would still love us...." and by this point my other DD, 7, had come running in when she heard all this and she is on the bed crying saying "I am so confused, what is happening"
OMG. I was in shock, is he completely insane?? I held the kids to me and mouthed to him to get. the. fuck. out. now. And that is when I kicked him out- for laying that emotionally laden bullshit on the kids like that.
So now, he has been seeing them. Has them right now as a matter of fact. But, we haven't said much more than "mommy and daddy both love you." "we are working on some adult problems" "we don't really know what is going to happen" and "I know your sad, I am sad too, and I am sorry"
Sigh.....so this week going to see separation/divorce/parenting therapist as we can't communicate at this point but we need to figure out how to best handle this for the kids.
And if you have this come, sometimes I've found just telling him I have the anger helps and saves me from replying under anger or emotion.
It's not about you anymore and takes a little bit of time to let go of your children, because now they have their own lives with the other parent and unfortunately, we cannot shield them from what might come from the WH to them...broken promises, way too many gifts, too much glitter...kids see through this soon and realize and oftentimes search for substance and people they can trust.