Sunday, 30 January 2011

Day 6 - Telling the Children

My husband had asked me to tell the children he was working away til he got himself a flat nearby.  My experience before was that when he was on his own he 'broke down and couldn't stop himself telling them' and he made it all a lot more traumatic than necessary.  If you have never seen your dad cry and suddenly he is hysterical, sobbing about having to leave you then naturally you're devastated.

So, I opted to brace myself and tell them on the morning of Day 6 because he was going to see them for the first time that evening.

I tried to think about how to tell them, tried to think of the best ways to break the news to them, I looked it up online and in the end just went with the flow of what I felt best.  I just told them that we had decided to separate, that dad had moved out and was looking for somewhere nearby to live, that they'd see him every weekend and a couple of times in the week or whenever they felt like it.  They were shocked but didn't look surprised.  They had heard the shouting and been upset then dad had not been there for 6 days, so I guess they had an idea of what was going on. 

They didn't say a lot.  I asked if they were sad about that, they said they were.  I said that was ok, that I was sad too.  I asked if they had anything they wanted to ask, they said no.  I said that they could always ask dad or I if they wanted to know something or talk something over.  They said Ok.  Then they sort of went on as normalish.  DS1 acted a bit over-the-top cheery, but that is his usual nervous-anxious sort of behaviour.

Once they were told I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders and realised how much I had been feeling sickened about telling them.  I don't want to destroy their lives, and only hope that what I'm doing is going to make their lives a lot better.  Maybe not today, but in the long run.

Later on we went to visit a friend with children they enjoy playing with.  They had a great time.  Unfortunately she had a couple of other visitors, one I don't know well and one I'd never met, which meant 2 hours of 'socialising' for me that I really could have done without.  And sympathetic looks!!  I swear, they will kill me before this is all over.

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