18 answers

How to Explain Divorce to a 5 Year Old

My Husband and I of 6 years, have had many fights ( nothing physical ) just mostly yelling and such... But this past weekend, it went wayyy beyond any help...
So I am thinking it's time to just be done with this ( crying while writing sorry )to stop the emotional hurt, and burden it's putting on myself, and our 5 year old son to see his mommy always crying, and being mad at daddy..
Our son loves his mommy and daddy to peices, if it goes this direction, how do I do it?? How do I tell him, make him know that mommy and daddy will always love him, just having troubles right now?
I myself have appt to go to a counselor, for myself, and keep me stable emotinally and physically.. I am not sure what else to do? Can anyone help with advice or knowledge or experiences

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Featured Answers

That is awesome you are planning on working it out!!! Keep us posted and let us know if you need any additional help! Congrats to you...I hope you take time to celebrate!!

More Answers

I am so sorry to hear your pain, and I hope that you can find strengh to get thru it! It is so hard when you have children, but I believe that you can't stay togather just becaues you share a child either. I would suggest you both work togather for his sake, if you do decide to divorce. Make sure that you guys can get along in frount of your child and work togather on making him feel secure and safe and loved!
Spend extra time with him, and as he gets older then maybe he will understand alittle better.
I will be here to support ya!

1 mom found this helpful

M., I first want to wish you the best and to tell you you're doing well by making your first priority to take care of yourself.

We all go through hard times, yes, but I have to disagree with one of the responses...there are some times when enough is enough and for the (mental, emotional, AND / OR physical)safety of our children and ourselves, we need to remove ourselves from the danger -- just as if we'd get ourselves out of the way of an out-of-control vehicle.

You need to ask yourself what it was that made your fight over the weekend "beyond any help" and if it was indeed beyond help. If not, see if he'll go to counseling with/without you. Perhaps try to talk with him and at least agree to not fighting when the kids are around...and not yelling to wake them up in the middle of the night.

I also need to ask how his children (not just your son) react to the fighting, how your relationship is with them, and how this will affect them...especially since they have gone through this before?? I'm disappointed that no one else has mentioned them and how they will be affected as they are older and have had to deal with it before.

I felt as you do...and left my boys' dad a year ago. It was an extremely emotionally abusive relationship that began to turn physical and for my sanity and the well-being of my boys, we left. We're trying to work things out, but it's a slow process. We'll have to see how it goes.

My boys were 4 and 2 when we left, and it was a little easier since we hardly saw him at home, anyway. However, the constant questions of "Where's Daddy?" and "When's Daddy going to be here?" and the worst of all "I miss Daddy", "Is Daddy still mad at you?" and "I want Daddy" were hard to take. Most answers were vague...at work, at his friend's, when he can, I don't know, etc. I kept telling them that he loved them and missed them and then changed the subject.

There is no magic pill for this, I wish there was. The closest I've found is a two book compilation..."Letters to Karen" and "Letters to Phillip". In "Letters to Karen", there is a chapter called "Fight the good fight". It is really very good.

Bottom line is only you can decide what is acceptable for you to live with...and what you CAN live with.

All the best to you...feel free to email me in private if you'd like...and take courage -- you're not alone. ~T.

When my husband and I divorced, our son was 4 years old. We basically told him that while we both loved him very much, we just couldn't be happy living with eachother. He witnessed plenty of fights and felt the stress, so this came as no surprise to him. We assured him that we would always be his mommy and daddy and our love for him would never change. We also were careful to explain that this was our problem and not his fault... etc. We also told him that all of his feelings were okay, that ot was okay to cry and be sad and it was even okay and normal for him to feel angry at us. He never expressed that he was angry, but if angry feelings do come up, kids can feel very guilty about it of they don't realise how normal it is and more problems can come from the child feeling shame and guilt than would have come from just simply feeling angry.

My ex husband and I also made a pact that despite our inability to be happily married, we would do our best to work as a team to focus on our son's needs rather than continue to bring up past disappointments, etc. Basically we both agreed that after the divorce, the past was the past, but we still had a son who deserved a happy childhood. Focusing on that instead of eachother was the key - because it was something we could finally agree on. I know many divorced couples who have a hard time with this, but if each person can agree to try to put aside their own ego to focus on the child, it would be well worth it. No matter how angry you are at the other person, the fact remains he/she is still the other most important person in the child's life and that needs to be respected if the child has any chance of eventually healing from what amounts to a real tragedy in any child's life.

A year after the divorce, several family members commented on how well-adjusted my son seemed to be. He is 9 years old now and has accepted the divorce. And although I think he still wishes it could have been different, he also sees that his mom and dad are happier and less angry all the time.

That is awesome you are planning on working it out!!! Keep us posted and let us know if you need any additional help! Congrats to you...I hope you take time to celebrate!!

This so certainly something to bring up to your counselor. Maybe have a childrens counselor see your son with you present of course. But by all means never say negative things about Daddy to the kids. Good luck

Hey M.,
I can relate, I separated from my fathers children when they were very young. The best advice I have for you; is to always let your son know that he is the most important thing in both of your lives, no matter what. Always encourage time to spend with Dad. It is difficult, but it does get better. He will understand when he sees you start to heal. He'll see that smile on your face and know everything is really going to be okay. Good luck. Liisa

Oh M., I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this. I can ONLY imagine how difficult it is for you.
Just wondering, have you thought about counseling for both you and your husband? You may feel beyond that but you don't sound as though you're definite on leaving him.
I am happy to hear you are going to seek help to take care of yourself. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of that sweet boy.
I've witnessed too many divorces involving children where the adults act more immature than the children do. Whatever you do don't involve him or say ANYTHING bad about daddy in front of him. I don't really know what else to tell you but just keep telling your son that you and his dad will never love him any less. You cannot love him too much!
Just want you to know even though I might not have the best advice, my heart goes out to you. Stay strong and if you need to talk or even vent we're here for you.
Your fellow mama friend-S.

Hello, I personally have not delt with it but I have seen a lot of parents do it the right way and the wrong way. I am a teacher.

Find some books about it at the library. Constantly tell him you BOTH love him (which I am sure you do). Be as honest with him as you can be about what will happen and whats going on. I don't mean why your are specifically getting divorced. Spend lots of time with him. Try and be civil around each other! I know things got bad but he shouldn't have to see it! And tell his teacher, so she knows what is going on and can help him if needed. Don't change your routine too much or do some drastic changes! And if you think he needs it get him into counseling too! I hope this gives you some ideas!

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