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Has anyone gone through a separation with very young children involved?

I just moved out of my boyfriend's house with our 7month baby and my 8 year old boy. (my sons dad passed years ago, so my boyfriend is a father figure)
I am having a hard time setting boundaries, and what to expect. I moved into his home last year when we were having our daughter.
I became a SAHM after years of being a widowed, working single mom. He has been the owner of two successful businesses for years. I felt isolated and ignored in his huge waterfront home away from friends, and he felt smothered by the sudden constant presence of me and my 8 year old. I dealt w/ minor post partum depression totally on my own, because he was busy and going through his own adjustment. We began to fight alot, so
I came back to my old community and put my son back into his old school, but I don't know how to move forward. Do I let him take our daughter alone for visits? Insist we do things as a family? Let him stay over? Can this work?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:24 PM on Apr. 17, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (4)
  • If you guys are able to be cordial around the children, I would encourage doing things together and stay overs so that the children do not have such a huge shock. If that is not the case and you trust him with your children, let him have his time with them. Don't take them away because of what is going on between the two of you. I know when my ex and I first separated I begged and begged him for us to do things with her together so that she wasn't confused. I didn't know why he was against it until he told me he had no intention of being in her life. My point in that was to say that if he truly loves those children and wants to make the adjustment easier the family activities and stay overs should work out. Good luck MAMA

    Answer by BriHan06 at 5:30 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • How long did you guys live together? Does he consider your son his son? I feel like its very important to keep the dad in your child's life. I grew up w/o a dad and it's very hard. But don't put yourself through hell by trying to be "one big happy family" b/c you're not together anymore and that might just confuse them. Be seperate but equal parents. Keep the rules the same in both houses and be a united front for the kids, but I wouldn't have family outings. That seems too hard. Have you asked him what he would like. Meet at a neutral location, like a coffee shop and discuss it with him. I hope he stays in their lives, it's very hard growing up w/o a father.

    Answer by dawn_misayo at 5:58 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • It's his dd. I'm sure he'll do fine with her if he chooses to take her alone. When I left my x I had a new baby and he wanted to do family stuff so just ask him what he feels best doing. If you are ok with it then it will work out fine. Trust your instincts.

    Answer by admckenzie at 6:13 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • I'm a little moved out but you're still in a relationship? Or you moved out and broke up? If you moved out and still have a relationship, you can do things as a family. You just have to feel your way to figure out what works best for you. If you broke up, that is a little stickier. Insisting on doing things as a family is going to make it more difficult to grieve the ending of the relationship, and may make you or him or both of you feel like nothing changed. Plus it could confuse the kids. But, if that's the case, unless you have concerns about his abilities as a father, yes, you should let him have time with your daughter. See if he will continue to spend time w/ your son though, since he looks to him as a father figure, and it may make him feel left out and abandoned if he suddenly is being ignored. If he won't, then you need to spend time with your son when he has your daughter and make him feel special.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 7:12 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

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