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Discussion Starter #1
Guess it's over, my wife is not willing to try anymore and after realising that she no longer has the strength to put up with it I can't fight to keep her and I don't really see the point. We're not discussing the seperation itself tonight as it took us a while to even get the limited words we said to each other through tonight - we had awkward silences, it's just the time to leave it, and talk about the details later.

The thing is, the law in my country says we have to live seperately for a year before divorce to prove that the marriage has indeed broken down. So under the same roof seperation will not work if we are to get it started. Tomorrow we will discuss how to tell our daughter and we're going to do it together.

Any hints or tips you can part for tomorrow when we break the news?
 

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With a four year old, I would keep it simple. Don't over explain & answer questions simply when they come.

There may be some acting out, some return to babish behaviour, but there may not be. Our youngest was 3 when H & I were separated years ago, she really didn't blink an eye. My granddaughter was 5 when her parents split, she wet the bed for a couple of weeks & played up a bit for her mother, but she is good now.

The main thing I think, is not to project your emotions onto your daughter, don't use her as weapon against the other parent & don't spoil her to try to ease your guilt.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks... I'll try my best, I'll let my wife know as well of those guidelines. I don't think either my wife and I have the strength left to even fight each other anymore too so I guess it may go smoothly

Have to keep it simple, you're right, she won't understand even half of what's been happening. What kind of questions would she ask? Is there any other preparation that we should do before we break it to her?
 

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Since it's no surprise to her that you've been fighting, lay it out to her as a way that you two decided that you can stop the fighting and make sure she has a more peaceful life. That you want her to be able to stop being scared when the two of you are home together. Then ask her what is important to her, in her life. She will give you four year old answers, she might want a pony. But in reality, maybe she will ask for a dog or a cat, or a fish, she might say she wants to go to the playground every day, she might want a pink bedspread or something like that. Focus on stuff like the pet, and the playground, but don't ignore the other stuff. Then explain the new logistics and make it a part of that to ensure getting her what it is that's important to her. Make sure she knows she can think of new things and that you will ask her again in future, if there is anything she needs/wants and if you forget she can remind you.

You might want to provide her with a counselor, so she has a trusted third party to talk to.
 

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Update... alright, this is harder than I thought and we haven't even broke the news yet. My WIFE was acting up for a while, about 5 minutes, saying her life is a living hell right now and that I'm to blame etc etc. But meh, I didn't say anything, just let her vent, and then she straightened up, apologised, says she didn't mean that, and that she just needed to get it out but doesn't feel ready for this.

Well I don't know if we should go ahead today when she doesn't seem in control of herself. But that's normal right? I don't blame her really, cause right now I'm also seriously wanting to procastinate this!!! Sheez...

I admit, it's funny... we really have to work together for this one, and we're on the same page, brings back old... OLD memories, before all of this.
 

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Check out my post from a few days ago called something like "I told the kids today". My youngest is five, and at first he didn't even understand why his 10 yo sister was crying after hearing the word "divorce", but once I told him daddy's moving out he understood and cried about it too. They cried a while but then moved on to the questions and figuring out the mechanics. The 10 yo has been asking all kinds of questions, but the 5 yo has mostly focused on what toys to keep at which house, that kind of thing. They've mostly been acting normal; maybe a little more clingy and demanding more attention, but otherwise the same.

Honestly, it was the hardest part of the divorce, without a doubt. Get past it, and you'll see in a day or two that your child is more resilient than you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes I've read, and I responded as well

Right now it seems getting my wife to keep it together so we can do this is also a challenge.
 

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Agreed with the above posts.

One other thing though, don't let rules and consequences slide during the transition. It is very common for divorce guilt to make you want to let the kid get away with more than usual, but she still needs the parent to set the boundaries on acceptable behaviour.

That said, you should expect her to be out of sorts for a while. Make sure she knows you love her, even as she acts out and is corrected as usual.

^This is my pet advice since it's one of the things my husband and I really struggled with after his divorce.

The other usual advice is also still true:
-Make sure she knows that the separation and changes are not her fault.
-Remind her often that you still love her.

Good luck, sounds like quite the situation with you and your soon-to-be-ex-wife under one roof. I can't even imagine that part.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys, seems like a lot of preparation looking at it all. Something my STBX and I really have to plan, decide, and agree upon with our approach. Especially with the guilt, I'm going to talk to her again tonight and hope we can somehow find a way to make this as smooth as possible. I guess it's good we chickened out today, gives us some time to at least do something right.
 

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Update, well... we did it. And it was devastating to watch. My wife is moving out with her but we agreed to shared custody for now, my daughter didn't want to go, cried endlessly. She's staying with me tonight, and I don't think I would be sleeping either... *sigh*

It may very well be the last time she lives with both her parents... and it's going to be tough to see an empty house tomorrow.
 

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Update, well... we did it. And it was devastating to watch. My wife is moving out with her but we agreed to shared custody for now, my daughter didn't want to go, cried endlessly. She's staying with me tonight, and I don't think I would be sleeping either... *sigh*

It may very well be the last time she lives with both her parents... and it's going to be tough to see an empty house tomorrow.
My opinion - neither of you want to break up. You don't want to be the crushed one if your wife says it's over and your wife is trying to bring you back in her control by pushing that 'she's done'. Expect tears, second-guessing and remorse by the end of the weekend and change of heart from wife.
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Look, if she suddenly switches now I will DESPISE HER FOREVER for putting MY CHILD through that and second guess by the end of the week... *sigh* sorry for my tone, but that thought just angered me right now considering what I just experienced.

She's crossed the threshold, as per we have agreed, and I doubt she's stupid enough to come back to me after that.
 

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Look, if she suddenly switches now I will DESPISE HER FOREVER for putting MY CHILD through that and second guess by the end of the week... *sigh* sorry for my tone, but that thought just angered me right now considering what I just experienced.

She's crossed the threshold, as per we have agreed, and I doubt she's stupid enough to come back to me after that.
I would be upset too. But do you really think she's done or that she is just desperately trying to get you back under her control Nd she thought you'd give in to her by now? I think she thought you would have given in along time ago. She kept taking baby steps to push you into submission and I think her game got out of her control when you didn't cave. Expect her to back pedal in next while. She isn't done with you, she just wants things her way.
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Discussion Starter #14
I sure HOPE she's done, because I sure as hell do not want to hate her especially when we can reach agreement without court and I want my daughter to see her mum and dad finally NOT fighting. No, I can never forgive her if she does that, my wife may be good at forgiving most of the time, but I'm not.

My daughter did NOT just go through hell for NO reason
I won't allow it
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, that was heartbreaking, and I thought that was the worst of it... I can handle whatever feelings when it comes to my wife, but watching my daughter struggle to leave me behind was FKING TERRIBLE. Hell, I hope she can forgive us... this is what is best for her, but "tough love" really WAS tough this morning. *sigh*
 

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Sorry you had to do that. But... now it's done.

(That's one thing that'll motivate you not to relapse with the ex-wife: having to repeat that conversation!)

I know it hurts but she'll get over it. Probably faster than you think. Kids adapt to change far better than we do.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks... and YES! Once is enough, never again.

I sure hope she does get over it but only by next week I can tell, I just hope she doesn't shut off or at worse... become like me due to this trauma. I won't be able to live with myself.
 

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I know everyone's different, but one of my husband's kids was 4 at the time of his divorce. For my step-son, the divorce is a non-issue now. There's far more interesting things going on in the small world of a child for them to spend much time bogged down in judging their parents. Your mistakes made in her adolescence will be met with far less forgiveness... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It does get hard at times to believe that now, but it's hope at least. Thanks for your support through this. I'm finding myself very tempted to fall into the trap of spoiling her at the moment in relieving the guilt. I have made rather bad plans come to think of it when I do see her again next week, plans to spoil her and make her happy again.

*sigh*
I keep making mistakes in all this!!!
 
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