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How do I tell my kids (9 and 11) boys that we are getting separated?

I am leaving my husband because he had a serious affair with a woman I knew very well. He supposedly stopped seeing her, but I can tell that he still has feelings for her. Anyway, I decided to get an apartment and my husband and I agreed to a custody arrangement we can both live with until we either work things out or one of us files for divorce. Since I am still leaving the door open to work things out, I don't want to tell the kids we're getting divorced, but I don't want to give them false hope either. What should I tell them?

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Asked by michelleinsa at 6:24 AM on Jun. 24, 2008 in Relationships

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Answers (6)
  • It will be one of the hardest things you will have to do,but they will appreciate the honesty from both of you in the end. It is going to hurt and upset them because they are old enough to understand. I have an 18 year old daughter and was divorced from her father when she was 9 years old. I left my husband beacause of abuse from him. We sat down and talked with her and she was upset and said"You guys made me a promise in your vows to love for better or worse" she was very hurt and upset for awhile and eventually in time she somewhat healed. Now that she is grown she has literally thanked both of us for being adults about it and involving her with her thoughts and feelings also. Do not forget that your children are also going through a divorce also. You will get through this,I am now happilly married to another wonderful,fantastic man that I have a 16 moth old daughter with at 39 and I can say I have found my true soulmate!BE STRONG!

    Answer by momat38 at 7:52 AM on Jun. 24, 2008

  • I am sorry to hear about this. I went through this type of situaion when i was 11yrs, my mom and dad seperated for a while bc my dad had an affair. My mom did not tell us anything, we just up and left one day and got an apartment. Thankfully they did work things out and are back together, but I would have liked to know why at that time, why we were leaving daddy at home. I would be honest, I would also tell them that you might not be getting back together, but also tell them, that it is NOT there fault you are seperating. Make sure they know you both love them and they can still see there dad and such. I would be honest as possable without making dad look like a monster. ( they dont really need to know that dad had an affair just yet) these are my sugestions, you do what feels right to you and your husband. O, and do this together as a family, eveyone in the room and talk it out. Good luck

    Answer by mommylee21 at 8:03 AM on Jun. 24, 2008

  • The best thing you can do is be honest with your children. Perhaps you and your husband should sit down with them, together, and explain things. Let them know that you two will try to work things out but that there's no guarantee that you will be able to do so. It will be difficult on you both, as parents, to have this talk. But it will make things easier on your children. Especially if it appears to them that you and your husband have a united front on the situation. Perhaps talk with him about what you both will say to your children.

    Answer by amethystrse at 8:41 AM on Jun. 24, 2008

  • Stay together! Work it out.... your kids need you married. Kids are better off with married parents. Go to counseling find out where things went wrong and fix it. I know it is hard, but look beyond yourself and work it out. Love is unconditional. An affair took place only because something went wrong in the marriage, find out what "it" is and work on it TOGETHER... Your kids need both of you together.

    Answer by lynn63042 at 8:42 AM on Jun. 24, 2008

  • I think you are gracious to even consider it with your circumstances. If you and your husband can tell the boys together, it would confirm that you will be able to work together during this time of separation. They may already have a sense that this is coming. Explain it the best you can without being detailed or blaming (even though I know it is obviously your husband's choices that brought you here) for their sake. Anything negative against either parent may be taken to heart by the child, the product of both parents. I think a professional experienced in this type of situation (not post divorce/divorce) would be helpful to you individually and together perhaps. I would find someone who shares my values and belief system to assure I am comfortable with the counsel I will get. If you could get that guidance before sharing with the boys, you will be best prepared. My best to you as you walk through this tough time.

    Answer by manna1qd at 8:50 AM on Jun. 24, 2008

  • Your kids deserved to know what is going on, just help them understand the situation. Let them know for now, it is the best way to cope with the unfortunate situation, yet, both parents do love them the same. I would suggest that the husband move out instead of the children and the mother. It will be so unfair to uproot the children. The children already have to try to understand the "situation" and to have them move out of their home is too much. Since your children are still very young, the mother should stay at home (current living quarter) with the children. Hopefully, both of you can work things out... Please think of the children first.

    Answer by hildawoo at 4:57 PM on Jun. 24, 2008

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