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My wife and I have decided to divorce after just over 2 years of marriage (known each other for 8 years). I have a 12 year old son from my first marriage (separated when he was only 2), who we have on weekends. What is the best way to explain this divorce and his step mom no longer being in his life? I don't want to go into details with him, but I want him to understand that love and relationships are good things, they just don't always work out. I never really thought I would be here, but I don't want my choices to negatively affect his view of relationships as he grows up.

Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I think he already knows. Kids are very smart and they can see, feel, sense things, even if you never showed it in front of him. He's old enough to know and see the truth. Good luck.
 

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Seems to me that you can simply tell your son that you and your wife have decided to split. Since he's already familiar with divorce, you won't have to explain what this means.

Do your son and your STBEW have a strong relationship? If so, then I'd recommend that you talk to your wife and figure out if she is going to continue to play any role in his life. If not, then you may want to talk to your son about this change specifically.

As far as keeping your son's outlook on relationships positive --
Does your son have a positive relationship model in his mom's (your ex wife's) relationship? Does he have grandparents, aunts/uncles/ cousins with long lasting and happy marriages? If so, you might be able to tell him that while your marriages haven't worked out, there are many examples of happy long lasting relationships and that you want him to know that there is no reason why he won't eventually have one.

My understanding is that you may need to revisit this point later -- like when your son is college aged. As a 12 year old he is unlikely to worry about whether or not he will be happily married. But, when he is in his early 20s this may be a real concern.
 

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Don't be surprised if he asks why, and have something ready for him. I'm taking my girls 15, and 10 to a family counselor, although we have a lot of issues to deal with. One thing the counselor told me in our first meeting was that at 10 (and maybe the same for your son), they have a hard time separating bad acts from bad people. In their mind, if someone did something hurtful, they become the bad guy, solely because they have yet to develop the nuiances adults can sometimes discern.
Also, tell any teachers what is going on. They can be a wonderful resource for you to determine how he's really handling the divorce.
 
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