Need Help Explaining to My Children Why We Are Separating/divorcing

Updated on January 15, 2009
K.W. asks from Kennesaw, GA
4 answers

My husband and I are thinking of separating/divorcing. There has been adultery and the other woman is still in the pictures. He says he loves us both - can't decide. We want to separate and see if we might be able to save the marriage - not sure at this point if it is fixable.

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answers from Atlanta on

I'm sorry to hear of your situation. I would like to suggest a website for you to check out- (If that's not right, then just type her name in a google search.) She focuses on helping people not go through the divorce process and has written some easy to follow books- even when there has been affairs, one person wants to save the marriage and the other doesn't, etc. I encourage you to check it out. I believe you can even read the first chapter of her book "Divorce Busting" on her website.
In regards to the children, it is important to reassure them that they are loved and have nothing to do with the problems between you and your husband. They don't need to know any of the details as what is going on are adult issues and between you and your husband.
If you feel you have no other option but to go through the divorce, then I would encourage you to check out It offers free support to those considering and/or going through the divorce process.
I am also a life coach and teach people how to "be happy" as well as teach parents how to raise "happy kids" through parenting skills as well as feeling good about themselves.
If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.
I wish you all the best.
Take care,



answers from Atlanta on

Hi K.,
My heart aches while I read your request as I am all too familiar with this.
First and formost let me tell you, your marriage can survive this. It will depend a lot in how you handle this and of course in the ability and cominment of your husband to repair this. If he doeant get the fact that there is a primary desicion that must be made (which is recognizing his responsability in stepping out ofthe marriage and ending the affair) and his clearing out "confusion" it may be difficult.
It will also depend on your willingness or not to make it work. Before man AND most importantly God, you have grants for divorce.
This is hard and painful and I know how you must be feeling, if you would like to talk to me please do. I would love to at least provide you with an understanding ear and support...
Now the children...they are old enough to realize that something wrong is going must be sicere with them, but and hear me much as it takes two people for a marriage to have problems it takes only one to stray and be unfaithful, your husband alone made that desicion, THAT is HIS responsability, don't make the mistake to blame yourself in front of the children,( or out of their sight for that matter)or say that mommy and daddy don't love each oher but they love you...and is better this way...This part is difficult and is one of the first of the consecuences of this problems, and he needs to realize that. If you think that this is temporary and you are BOTH commited to rebuild your marriage there may be ways to spare the children the pain. If he travels for work for example...but if is inevitable I would definately seek the assistance of a family therapist. I wouldnt blame him directly in front of the children or tell them excactly what he did, but I would be honest in saying that their dad, although loves them very much, needs to work on some issues and has decided to do so out of the house (if thats the case)reassuring them of the (hopefully) constant precence of their father in THEIR life (him seeing the kids and doing things with them) and also if you are choosing this separation as a temporary messure, then you may tell them too...again, I would strongly advise you to find a therapyst.
Now lastly K., God can work in the heart of a man and a marriage and turn it around 180 for the better, and He may do that for you...or he can liberate you form a bad marriage..either way, you'll be ok, beleive me...but one thing is certaint, this can be survived but he cannot be in the middle, he needs to end this affair if he is ever going to try to save anything. And you also will survive this pain, ask God to make you strong and to give you ears to hear and words to speak, you will need them K....and please if you would like to talk to me please dont hesitate to call husband had an affair 2 years ago and our marriage did survive it, it was hard and painful, probably the most painful thing I had ever to go through, and it took a whole lot of work...never ending work...a great therapyst and God's intervention (maybe I should have said that first), it did make us better...not the affair nor the aftermath of it, but what both of us learned about made me stronger,and enabled me to know excatly what I want and never settle for anything less, and tought him the value of the people that love him and what a second chance means in life and what Gods love for him looks like...he learned to let go of pride and what a great amunt of pain, work, time and love is needed to rebuild a broken heart and trust...
You may not see it now,through your pain and the uncertainty of it all, but even if you arenot together at the end, beleive it or not, something good will came out of this at the end...



answers from Atlanta on

First of all, I am so sorry for what YOU are going through. I have a friend who has been through something somewhat similar so this hits close to home. You'll go through phases of missing him and hating him.

Just remember to not show any of it to the kids. The 13-year-old may question the "why" and try to work it out in his/her head alone. The 10-year-old will mostly just mourn the family. (Or at least, that's what I'd guess based on ages. Every kid is different.)

As far as explaining, I'd say to not give any details about who's "at fault" or what brought this on. Just a "We are having a really hard time between us and so we've decided that this is what we're going to do for now. YOU are still very loved by both. You have done nothing to cause this nor failed to do something that could have prevented this. This is something between Mom and Dad."

And get them in to regular (weekly?) appointments to talk with a counselor for a bit. They'll go through their own journeys in dealing with this new definition of their family.

Get yourself in with someone too? Talking to friends is great and cathartic but you will never get the unbiased and trained-in-this-kind-of-thing stuff you'll get from a "pro."

Again, I'm sorry to hear that you are having to go through this. (that idiot)

check this out:



answers from Atlanta on

Hi K.,

My name is S. and I help teach a Surviving Divorce recovery program at North Star Church in Kennesaw. I would love to talk with you about your divorce and your children. If you want just send me an e-mail at
[email protected] and I will respond in kind. Please know that even if I don't hear from you I will be praying for your entire family. I have been divorced for over 2 years now and I have a 4 yr. son. I know this is a very painful time but I can promise you that you will make it through with both you AND your children intact!! I hope to hear from you.

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