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Telling kids reason for divorce tonight and we disagree on what to say

I'm really hoping for some help here. My husband and I are divorcing and telling the kids tonight or tomorrow. Last summer I found out that he was having an affair and had been drinking for sveral years, when I thought he was sober. At that time, we separated and my husband went into treatment (for the 7th time). He stopped seeing his girlfriend when he got out of treatment and we started seeing a couples counselor. We were separated for about six months while trying to figure out if we could stay married. We told the kids (8 and 10) that Dad was drinking and it made him sick, and he had to go away for a while to get better; and the reason we were separating is because sometimes when someone is sick like he was they make bad choices that affect their relationship. Nothing was ever said about the affair. They now know what an alcoholic is, and we've talked about it a lot. We decided to basically re-write the script of our marriage, and he moved back. Things were good between us. 4 months after he moved home, he took a job in another state and almost immediately relapsed. He is also involved with the same woman again, which is what led me to believe it's time to call it quits.I want to tell them that Dad cannot stay sober right now, and for that reason it is best for our family if we divorce.He wants to tell them that we're divorcing because we don't get along.
Any suggestions? Feedback? Anything? The only thing I want to add is this: I feel very strongly that we never bad mouth each other in front of the kids, and I want them to have a great relationship with him. I feel very bad for him and what this disease is doing to his life. That being said, I hate the idea of giving the kids the impression that it is OK to divorce simply because you "don't get along anymore".

by mpd7357   3 Posts
Posted on 11/30/2008 4:17 PM

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Comments for "divorce360.com | Telling kids reason for divorce tonight and we disagree on what to say"  (6) (You must be logged in to answer)

We were very open and honest with our daughter when telling her why we were divorcing.  We did not lie to her and felt like that would be the easiest thing to do.  We did not speak bad of each other but we let her know that it was both of us and not to single either one of us out as far as the blame game.  She got upset with me and she got upset with him but we did go to counseling with her and she is doing much better now.
by MNL   133 Posts
Posted on 12/3/2008 1:27 PM

I say pick your battles and you are right not to speak badly of him to the children because they judge themselves by their parents and even though he has really made mistakes.  They won't fully understand.  When they are old enough to understand as an adult...they will look at him through adult eyes and that will be something he has to face.  My son knows that my husband is an alcoholic and what it has done to this family.  I tell him that he does love us but the disease gets in the way and we need peace.  My son is 13 so he understands more about what went on in the house while he drank and does not want that life any more than I do.
BTW: Thanks for your comments to me.  It helps to hear encouraging words from people who understand.  I am getting better but not sure if it because he is suffering now...that sounds so terrible but there is comfort in knowing that he regrets.  Not enough for him to admit anything was his fault but to know that he is feeling something too.  I am still firm in my decision but it is not easy.
by camo   26 Posts
Posted on 12/1/2008 10:11 PM

When we told our son that we were separating, we just told him that we haven't been getting along, but since it was a grown up problem and had nothing to due with him, we have never really said anything about it to him.  We didn't go into any reasons. We told him that mom and dad get along better when we have our own space, so we weren't going to live with each other anymore.

Before we told our son, we had him start seeing a counselor, just to have someone in place in case he started to have issues with things.  We talked to her about the best way to handle things.  She knew our situation and was able to help us figure out what to say. 

Our son is 6, so it may be a different with your kids.

Good luck. 

by sheilah   175 Posts
Posted on 12/1/2008 9:48 AM

I so wanted to tell my kids that we are divorcing because their mom decided that she didn't love me anymore and wouldn't do any counseling to keep our family together...but that wouldn't have helped anyone including myself and my healing.  So, we did the "pc" thing and told them that we couldn't be together any more pure and simple.  I moved out so I am sure they speculate that it was something that I must have done.  In time they will figure it out, but as I deal with the rejection and loss of my life, I have to not lay more on my kids than they can handle. 
It sounds like your kids have already dealt with way more than mine, and they probably already know whats going on.  I wouldn't get caught up on the words that you tell them as much as making sure that they know that they will always have a mom and a dad.  Just not together any more. 
Good luck, I will keep you and your kids in my prayers.
by boxerjo   69 Posts
Posted on 12/1/2008 9:22 AM

here are some articles that i hope can help you:

by paula1   29071 Posts
Posted on 12/1/2008 9:05 AM

It might be best to talk to a counselor first.  Honesty is usually the best policy, from what I've heard.  For children, details aren't really necessary, just honest, thoughtful answers to their questions.

Additionally, your children need to know the divorce isn't their fault, and that you both love them unconditionally.

It sounds like you've been through a lot already.  Good luck to you
by HereIgo   960 Posts
Posted on 11/30/2008 5:55 PM

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