My wife filed for divorce three months ago. We have three kids and are living together until we finalize financial matters, housing, etc. Once done, shortly, I’ll leave.
Four weeks ago, she took our kids camping and told them that Mommy and Daddy are divorcing. She did this without me being there.
She didn’t tell me that she’d informed them, until two weeks after they’d returned. I’m still enraged.
I asked, “How can you tell the kids something so life-changing without the other parent being there and answering any questions they might’ve had for me?”
The plan was to gently break the news to them together, answer any questions together and reassure them that no matter what happens, we’ll love them like we always have, forever.
Now, I can't get my mind around what she did. I have great resentment towards her.
How do I proceed with my kids?
Talk to your children yourself, NOW. Yes, she pre-empted you, but the immediate focus has to be on the reassurances they want from you. The last thing they need is to see your anger at their mother over this (though you’ve had every right to be angry).
Tell them you’re sorry you weren’t there. But since you and their mom will be living apart, you all have to learn to have important discussions whenever they arise. And they can talk to you whenever they want.
Say that you both love them, and that the divorce is not about them or anything they’ve done or not done.
Say you both plan to be with them as much as possible, and involved in their lives.
As soon as possible, tell them how it’ll work…when they’ll stay with you, when you’ll have vacations together, etc.
Be prepared that they may go silent, or lash out about not telling them sooner, like Mom. Just say that you were waiting till you were all together including Mom.
Then drop your own anger and resentment. You all have enough to go through without adding more bad feelings.
I’m a working mom, mid-40s. My youngest child just started university on an athletic scholarship that she’d wanted.
Six months ago she started having increasing doubts about her decision. However, the contract and a desire to see it through pushed her onward. However, her up and down behaviour over the decision was exhausting and emotional for her father and me.
On her second day on campus a freak athletic injury left her in a strange country, awaiting surgery, at a school that she now alternately dislikes or hates.
She’s also lost her athletic season, in a sport that always helped keep her stable.
I’m missing her terribly and worrying constantly, while struggling to keep her calm and focused.
Bringing her home would be the worst idea (for both of us).
Am I better to have a tough-love approach with her, or do I commiserate with her misery and provide support?
Commiserate, provide support, send a package of favourite items.
Call regularly, but not too often; let her have enough space to adjust.
If her attitude worsens, suggest she ask student services for a counsellor she can talk to. A neutral voice may help her adapt to the situation rather than fall back on you.
However, if you fear/sense depression, go there and offer that she come home, with a plan for when she’ll return.
I've recently moved cities and started serving at a busy local pub. I’m 18, with no family or friends here, but have made friends with most of the staff.
One of my managers doesn’t show me respect or acknowledgement.
I greet her and later say goodbye, but she’ll ignore me. If I ask any question she rolls her eyes and answers like I’m stupid!
She says I must address her with my concerns but when I do, she seems annoyed. I’ve given her no reason to dislike me.
She treats a couple of other people like this, but acts gracious to all the others.
The problem is her, not you. She sees someone new and young and thinks her own workload will increase if she has to help you. So she’s unwelcoming. It’s a negative personality approach.
However, over time, when she sees you can handle your job, she’ll ease up. Don’t stress over it.
Tip of the day:
Alert to both parents: Divorce is hard enough on kids without making the transition period more divisive.