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 Post subject: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:08 pm 
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I haven't posted on here in a long time but I really need some advice from people who do not necessarily know me in real life.
My boyfriend and I each have a child, his is 10.5 mine is 6.5. We have been living together for a year and dating for two. It seems that it is just not going to work out for us to stay together.
My daughter often calls my bf her dad or her step-dad because we have in the past talked about marriage and what that would mean for our families. And we had kind of set a date for when I was done with grad school.
I am really broken-hearted right now, but what I came here to ask was how do I tell my daughter, who dearly loves this man, that we will no longer be seeing him, that we will no longer be a family?
thanks

edited to add: my daughter and his son will still be in the same school next year. just to add to the mess.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:17 pm 
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I don't know, but it sounds sad and awful.

Is it true, though, that she will/can no longer see him?

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:19 pm 
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To me it sounds like a good thing that the kids will be in school together, if they are close with each other and consider each other family?

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:20 pm 
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rubylove, I'm so sorry. It all depends on how amicable the split is. Does he love your daughter too? The best case would be for you to work it out with him and have you both sit down and talk to her; let her know that the problem is with the two of you, he (hopefully) still cares for her, but lay out exactly what she can expect. And then you check back with her frequently to ask how she is doing and if she has questions.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Footface, I don't know for sure. But I don't think I can see him for a good while so in turn she won't be able to.

Strawberryrock, their's is a complicated relationship. It will probably just be really weird and hard, unfortunately.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:22 pm 
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I'm so sorry about this rubylove. Does he still want a relationship with her? Would it hard for you to see the two of them spend time together?

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Jill wrote:
rubylove, I'm so sorry. It all depends on how amicable the split is. Does he love your daughter too? The best case would be for you to work it out with him and have you both sit down and talk to her; let her know that the problem is with the two of you, he (hopefully) still cares for her, but lay out exactly what she can expect. And then you check back with her frequently to ask how she is doing and if she has questions.



Thanks, those are good ideas, And, yes, he does love her.

We have been pretty cool so far, but he wants to stay until he can afford to move out (in September!!) I said no, it needs to be quick, for the kiddos. It would be too hard emotionally on all of us.
My daughter and I are going to a friends house for a week or so to let him have some time to pack up. I don't really know what else to do.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:29 pm 
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I've been through this from the kid's side - my mom and stepdad divorced when I was like 12 after being together during all my formative years. It was so hard for me, way harder than my actual parents' divorce or the ones that came after that. My mom never told me I couldn't see my stepdad and she did set up a counseling session for me after that that he came to and that was the last time I saw him. It was easy to see after that session how it was going to be. It really throws you into reality to see someone that you love treating you differently - not badly, but no longer as a parent either. If he wants to see her, it might help just to have one last goodbye-thing.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:29 pm 
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JENNA wrote:
I'm so sorry about this rubylove. Does he still want a relationship with her? Would it hard for you to see the two of them spend time together?


I don't know if he does or will want to, it may just be too painful for him.
And yes, probably at first.

It is complicated by the fact that we still love each other, just can not live together.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:35 pm 
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Fee wrote:
I've been through this from the kid's side - my mom and stepdad divorced when I was like 12 after being together during all my formative years. It was so hard for me, way harder than my actual parents' divorce or the ones that came after that. My mom never told me I couldn't see my stepdad and she did set up a counseling session for me after that that he came to and that was the last time I saw him. It was easy to see after that session how it was going to be. It really throws you into reality to see someone that you love treating you differently - not badly, but no longer as a parent either. If he wants to see her, it might help just to have one last goodbye-thing.



I am sorry Fee.
I think that counseling will be a very good idea. I feel so horrible, her dad has never been around, and now her step-dad is leaving.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:33 pm 
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I second the suggestion for counseling, and possibly more than one session depending on how your daughter wants/needs to process. The most painful thing about my parents divorces was the mystery and silence that surrounded them and the fact that I never got to talk about how I felt or ask questions about how things were going to be different or what that meant about my relationships with my parents. It has been mostly downhill from there in terms of parent-child relationships in my family and I think the way the divorces were handled kind of clinched the negativity/silence situation.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:23 pm 
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well, we talked more this evening and we have decided to still be together but in separate houses until he can pull it together or we break up. I am honestly fine with that. we plan on having a sit down talk with both kids in a few days when his son comes back from a fun trip he is on right now. Yay welcome home kid, now you are moving ;/
Anyway, I am still not quite sure how it is going to play out but as for now I am feeling a bit better about the situation.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:32 pm 
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That sounds more confusing for the kids than just splitting.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Sending you lots of good thoughts rubylove. It all sounds so hard, and I hope you can find a way to save the relationship or give your kids an easy transition out of it.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:24 pm 
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annak wrote:
That sounds more confusing for the kids than just splitting.

Adult relationships can be confusing for kids, I don't see how "we'll be living in a different place but will still see x and y" is worse than splitting.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Kiddo wrote:
annak wrote:
That sounds more confusing for the kids than just splitting.

Adult relationships can be confusing for kids, I don't see how "we'll be living in a different place but will still see x and y" is worse than splitting.



Because of the uncertainty about their future. If the kids are anything like I was when younger, I wouldn't have given a rat's backend about the interpersonal struggles between my parents had they had relationship troubles (and I credit them with not giving me any idea what the state of their marriage was), but would have been concerned about the implications for my own life. Whatever they were, I would have wanted to know with some certainty.

I may have been an unusually selfish or fearful kid, but from what I see around me I don't think so.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:21 am 
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But if it is presented to the kids as the new (permanent) way of things I don't see why it would be any more confusing than a break up. Of course the adults know that things may change but if / when that happens it will just have to be presented as the new permanent way of things too. It seems to me that this is better than putting them through the upset of breaking up, just to avoid possible confusion for them, if it is possible things could be saved. And it seems likely that breaking up while living apart, if it comes to that, will be a little easier on everyone and may allow both adults to keep relationships with both kids without causing as much pain to eachother as that situation would cause now - which will be a much better outcome for the kids.

Good luck rubylove.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:45 am 
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I don't really think its all that important to lead your life based on what's least confusing for your kid to understand. You won't get very far and neither will they.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:54 am 
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rubylove wrote:
well, we talked more this evening and we have decided to still be together but in separate houses until he can pull it together or we break up. I am honestly fine with that. we plan on having a sit down talk with both kids in a few days when his son comes back from a fun trip he is on right now. Yay welcome home kid, now you are moving ;/
Anyway, I am still not quite sure how it is going to play out but as for now I am feeling a bit better about the situation.

Good luck, Rubylove. I think that you are doing what is best for your family and for yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:04 pm 
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annak wrote:
Kiddo wrote:
annak wrote:
That sounds more confusing for the kids than just splitting.

Adult relationships can be confusing for kids, I don't see how "we'll be living in a different place but will still see x and y" is worse than splitting.


Because of the uncertainty about their future. If the kids are anything like I was when younger, I wouldn't have given a rat's backend about the interpersonal struggles between my parents had they had relationship troubles (and I credit them with not giving me any idea what the state of their marriage was), but would have been concerned about the implications for my own life. Whatever they were, I would have wanted to know with some certainty.

I may have been an unusually selfish or fearful kid, but from what I see around me I don't think so.

Kids are pretty amazingly resilient if given context, support and a place to talk through what they're feeling.

And families look like everything under the sun--living together, living apart but being together, breaking up and getting back together, four moms, three dads, etc.

And I think the idea that parents should be beholden to what won't confused kids is a terrible parenting and life strategy. Parents help kids make sense of the world, and loving each other but choosing not to live together is pretty low-down on the list of things that are hard to make sense of.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:04 am 
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"Confusing the kids" used to be a mainstream argument against divorce/single parenthood. It's still a pretty prevalent argument against families with non-heteronormative parents.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:18 am 
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j-dub wrote:
And I think the idea that parents should be beholden to what won't confused kids is a terrible parenting and life strategy. Parents help kids make sense of the world, and loving each other but choosing not to live together is pretty low-down on the list of things that are hard to make sense of.


Maybe, but my daughter has a pretty tough time with it.


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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:22 am 
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There is a pretty big difference between a 6.5 year old and (I'm guessing) a 2 year old's ability to comprehend the different ways that families can look.

I'm not saying it'll be all sunshine and lollipops but they will figure it out. And more love with a bit of complication is oodles better than less love that is a bit simpler.

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:27 am 
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Is Violet's difficulty with understanding why her daddy's gone, or with not understanding why she can't hear his voice on the phone or go say hi to him once in a while?

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 Post subject: Re: separating families
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:35 pm 
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rentaghost wrote:
But if it is presented to the kids as the new (permanent) way of things I don't see why it would be any more confusing than a break up. Of course the adults know that things may change but if / when that happens it will just have to be presented as the new permanent way of things too. It seems to me that this is better than putting them through the upset of breaking up, just to avoid possible confusion for them, if it is possible things could be saved. And it seems likely that breaking up while living apart, if it comes to that, will be a little easier on everyone and may allow both adults to keep relationships with both kids without causing as much pain to eachother as that situation would cause now - which will be a much better outcome for the kids.

Good luck rubylove.


thank you, this is my thinking as well.


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