How To Tell Our Son

STBX and I agreed to divorce a few months ago (my idea). However, we have been staying together to avoid any awkwardness for awhile. He had family visiting from overseas, then Xmas. Anyway, he has decided that he is moving out this weekend. We still have not told our 6 year old that this is happening (the baby won't care). I have been seeing therapist and he said that my son will ask why we are getting divorced and I need a good answer. The truth is not appropriate for him. What do I say? He is very smart and will need a convincing story.
Maleficent77 Maleficent77
31-35, F
4 Responses Jan 8, 2013

Dammm good question, but hard to make it sugar sweet. Tell him the truth, and make sure he gets extra love that only a Mom can give her child.

I've been divorced for 2 months. Thank God my kids are grown up, but is still is sad.

You might like to check out yourchildyourdivorce.com which has lots of good information on this topic.

Do you know the term "intellectual honesty"? It is usually used in academic circles, but I think it can be applied (in one form!) to this situation.
Example of being intellectually honest (in an age appropriate way) to a child:
Babies grow inside their mothers and they are born when they are ready to come out.
Example of being intellectually DIShonest: babies are left in cabbage patches by the stork!

In your case your child cannot absorb the intricacies of your situation but you still need to give him the honest truth in a way that he can understand and make sense of. For example: "When we got married we thought we would want to live together for all our lives. But we made a mistake. Now we know we cannot do that because we would hurt each others' feelings. So we are going to live apart." NOT those words, but that idea. . . .

Be careful not to use words that a child can misinterpret such as "hurt each other"- the child may immediately think of you coming to blows with each other!

Hopefully BOTH of you can agree on the process for telling him - and agree on the explanation you will give. I think you will, find the above mentioned website useful. Good luck!!

I think that children also, and most importantly, need to know that even though the two of you are divorcing that it has nothing to do with them and your love for them...I also think that both of you need to tell him together; the unity as parents is still important. Lao Tzu has small children and has written some stories about children and the separation/divorce process; you may find them helpful. Best of luck to you.

tell him the way you would like to be told. And you don't tell a convincing story, you tell the truth. The divorce is a fact that will be a part of this child's life for forever. You will always be divorced parents.

i agree with you about sticking to the truth. it never pays to lie, especially about the important stuff.