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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, wife has been living in the spare bedroom for about the last 7 months. She's been pushing away and talking about divorce the whole time, but hasn't done a whole lot to actually move the process.

I've now gotten past the "point of no return", where my desire to move on exceeds my desire to reconcile with her. I've given her fair warning, and I'm moving forward. I've already separated my finances from hers. I had a free consultation with an attorney, and am meeting with him again to hire him as a consulting attorney so that he can help us file for a no-fault divorce.

Anyway, we've got two teenaged kids, ages 13 & 14. They obviously know something's up... Mom and Dad are sleeping in separate bedrooms. A while back my wife talked to them vaguely about one of us maybe moving out, but never got into specifics. I get the feeling that right now both of them are just sort of pretending things are okay, and hoping my wife and i fix things and get back together.

We'll need to start figuring out details of custody schedules (we both want a 50/50 schedule with flexibility, if we can make it work). I firmly believe the kids are plenty old enough that they should be included in the discussion, and have a say in it. We haven't yet broken the news to them that a divorce is practically certain.

Anybody have any advice on how to open this discussion with young teenagers? I'm having a harder time with this than with any other aspect of our imminent divorce.



Pb.
 

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Teenagers probably already know and are waiting for you to actually say something. You and W should agree to tell them together, and agree on how you're going to say it. Things along the lines of:

"You guys know that things between your mother and I have not been good for sometime. We've tried to make it work and talked about different options, and we believe everyone will end up happier by divorcing. Having two happier parents in different houses is going to be better for our family than having two miserable ones in a single house."

Tell them where everyone is going to live. Tell them about the initial custody arrangements. Tell them you will always love them and this has nothing to do with them, it is you.
Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"You guys know that things between your mother and I have not been good for sometime. We've tried to make it work and talked about different options, and we believe everyone will end up happier by divorcing. Having two happier parents in different houses is going to be better for our family than having two miserable ones in a single house."

...Tell them you will always love them and this has nothing to do with them, it is you.
That's a talk we've already had with them about the in-house separation... We weren't saying anything about divorce, until we were certain one way or the other.

Teenagers probably already know and are waiting for you to actually say something.
I know that they understand there's problem me and DW, but that they're still a little confused about why and how it happened (except that it's not their fault). I know they're at the point where they understand that one of us might us moving out (though neither of them has asked about us divorcing yet), but neither of them wants either of us to move out, and they are both hoping we'll work things out.

You and W should agree to tell them together, and agree on how you're going to say it.
That'd be ideal, but DW has been avoiding talking about this sort of thing, and when I do get her to talk she's been reluctant to make any real decisions. She's kind of been leaving the "dirty work" of all this to me. I WANT to include her in this, but I'm also unwilling to delay things any longer. Plus...

Tell them where everyone is going to live. Tell them about the initial custody arrangements.
The kids are old enough that I want to include them on some of the decision-making process, especially with regards to custody arrangements. First and foremost, I want to make the sure the kids are taken care of in a way that keeps them feeling safe and loved and cared for. And we'll need to make sure we know what they want and need to make a custody arrangement that best accomplishes that.

But thanks, Pluto2, you've given me a good start with some good ideas. I think part of this is just working up the courage break the news.



Pb.
 

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The only other thing I can sugget is tell the DW that you two have to discuss this with the kids, that you will have that conversation with them tomorrow (or whenever), that you want her there. If she won't come, talk to the kids anyway. Tell them their Mom thought it best if you talk to them alone first. Don't assign any blame to anyone, that will all come out later. But this first actual discussion, it won't serve you well to put the blame on her (even if it belong there). Tell them.
BTW, you sure sound like a caring father. I wish my STBXH cared as much. Like you, he left most of the dirty work to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only other thing I can sugget is tell the DW that you two have to discuss this with the kids, that you will have that conversation with them tomorrow (or whenever), that you want her there. If she won't come, talk to the kids anyway.
Hrm... that actually seems to be becoming my standard operating procedure with her, lately. I try to work with her on something touch, and she either gets worked up about an irrelevant detail or stalls. Eventually, I get tired of waiting and just tell her, "I'm going to go get it done on this day at this time. You're welcome to join in." She doesn't.

She's apparently too worried about saving and hiding away a little hoard of rather meaningless personal possessions that I don't really care about and wouldn't stop her from taking, if only she asked. It's not like I'm going to fight with her over chick flick DVDs that I've never watched.

Tell them their Mom thought it best if you talk to them alone first. Don't assign any blame to anyone, that will all come out later. But this first actual discussion, it won't serve you well to put the blame on her (even if it belong there). Tell them.
This is actually something else I'm having a tough time with... They've got questions about what's going on, and they're going to have more. I don't want to lie to them and i don't want to beat about the bush, either. But I also don't want to speak badly of my wife.

How do I explain to them what's happening without somehow mentioning her emotional affairs or her sexting other men or or the way she'd place the blame for all her mistakes on me or the way she's given up on the relationship and refused to work to make it better?

They're old enough to understand, if I explained it to them, but I don't think it's fair to influence their relationship with her in that way... As tempting as it may be, I still love her enough that I can't be that mean and spiteful simply out of petty revenge, and I love my kids enough to not use them as a weapon against her.

The kids can see her actions and choices for themselves and make their own judgements. And we've taught them well enough that I trust their judgement to see those actions and choices for what they are.

BTW, you sure sound like a caring father. I wish my STBXH cared as much.
Thanks. It's surprising how much it can mean to hear something like that right now... Even from a complete stranger on the internet.



Pb.
 

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Well, my teenager discovered the EA/sextig/whatever-the-hell-else-it-was- and she came to me. At first I did not tell our younger one.
The relationship between my teenager and her dad thoroughly deteriorated. The fights during visitation were bad and the younger one was confused. So I sat her down and said, "They are fighting because your sibling is angry and confused. She discovered conversations on a computer between your dad and another woman, they were inappropriate." The younger one asked if they were about sex, and I said yes. I told the younger one "I didn't want you to be hurt, so I didn't tell you. You are hurt now anyway and it wasn't fair to force your sibling to shoulder this without the support of her family."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I had the talk with them last night. It went about as well as can be expected, I guess.

They were both a bit shocked and surprised at the news, though I don't think it was entirely unexpected. They were sad and a little bit worried, but not angry. I told them that we'll want their opinions about certain parts of how things will work. I assured them that they were still loved, that it had nothing to do with them, and so on... they didn't have any big questions or concerns just then.

And on the surface, at least, they bounced back to their normal selves within a few minutes, as kids are won't to do.

Thanks for all the advice, Pluto2. Seems I was on the right track here, but it's a big help to talk to someone else who's been through the same thing.




Pb.
 
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