Any resources/suggestions for "relationship transition" help for kids

Any resources/suggestions for "relationship transition" help for kids

Joined: February 5th, 2009, 2:45 am

January 2nd, 2012, 1:06 am #1

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
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Joined: March 12th, 2008, 1:22 pm

January 2nd, 2012, 1:34 am #2

....I'm so sorry for you and DDs. I don't have personal experience, so I won't presume to offer advice, but I wanted to mention an acquaintance of mine...she and her DH split and were so committed to co-parenting (Google co-parenting and you'll get TONS of resources) that she's practically made a career out of it. Here's how they started:

http://coparenting101.org/about/

Google them some more, and you'll find an internet radio show (podcast?), forthcoming book, and more. I've read some of her things and have been very impressed with the sensible advice and good parenting tips for anyone, not just someone who's going through this transition. So....reading her website, blog, etc., may be a good place for you to start, and it seems like she takes questions, too, so you could probably email her.

I hope some of the others will have advice too, but I wanted to throw this out so you can start the process.

Big hugs and my best to you as you navigate this new terrain.
xoxox,
k.
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Joined: January 24th, 2007, 2:25 pm

January 2nd, 2012, 1:40 am #3

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
i am so sorry to hear this. how devistating. have to say, i will be of no help here. i really am of the camp that if one doesnt want it to work, it's not going to, so spend your energy elsewhere. and why i realize that you are not asking for advice on how to make it work, i do think that your healthy attitude towards all this will be the best thing for dd. plus, lets not forget the loving home and stability YOU have provided for her. never mind dp. i am really put off when i hear one parent wants the every other weekend and nothing more. sorry, but she was in it from the beginning too, no?! horrible. dont let her off that easy. i know things dont always work out. i dont see the world through rose colored glasses. she has a responsiblity to these children. why do you say you cant have a full sib for young dd? unless it was dp's egg, i dont see why you cant have another child.

hear i am sounding all logical and harsh at a time when you are most likely losing your mind... i am sorry. get your rest, get physically healthy and boistrously love your kids. they will appreciate you. i am also of the camp that a peaceful home is better than one that is comprised of two parents. i really think dd will adjust.

you can tell me to remove this post if it is too harsh. be well my friend.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 2nd, 2012, 3:25 am #4

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
This is so complicated and so out of my realm of experience, given your enmeshed work situation as well as the break-up.

The only idea I know might not work since dp seems to not want to parent. Cindy Mixon (Sex and the City actress) says that when she and her partner or spouse split, they left the kids in the home they knew and each took an additional home. The kids always stay in the home they've always known, and each partner takes turns with an alternate week (or whatever) in the kids' home. But that takes full commitment from both partners, and it doesn't sound like you have that from her.

I'm sure there are very fine materials for you. This certainly isn't new, and believe me, it can be very ugly for hetero non-married couples, too. I know one unmarried couple who are going through a hideously expensive and ugly custody battle. Are you plugged into LGBT parenting resources? If you don't know any, check out United Church of Christ and Unitarian-Universalist congregations, b/c they are both pro-LGBT and will be familiar with the kinds of resources you need.

I certainly recommend that you begin, asap, seeing a therapist, (and maybe also an attorney, esp. wr2 your business), who is skilled in family transitions and especially LGBT relationships, so that you can sort this out. For instance, which has to be handled first, the business or the living arrangements?

There are co-housing developments in different areas, possibly in yours, since it's fairly progressive, and perhaps that would be suitable? DP might live elsewhere in the compound, so older dd could see her.

I'll see what kinds of books I can find for you.

GL -- this is so hard. I'm so sorry you and your kids have to go through this. (((hugs)))




Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 51, dh 52
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg

Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc

ttc since 1998
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 2nd, 2012, 3:54 am #5

On Jan. 3, I'll contact my local public library reference desk and ask them to help me hunt down resources, too. I would recommend that you also contact yours.

http://www.therainbowbabies.com/Parenti ... eakup.html

http://wigaypedia.com/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.proudparenting.com/node/16641

http://www.nelfa.org/ (This is european, but perhaps there is a longer history of support for gay families, who do break up sometimes)

http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/ma ... amily.aspx

http://www.glad.org/protecting-families (this is supposed to be a good one -- I've seen it referenced several times)

http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/lega ... our-family

http://sos.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/ domestic partnership family law

I've seen this book referenced a few times. It discusses co-parenting ex-partners.http://www.amazon.com/Families-Like-Min ... 0060527587

these books discuss lesbian parenting and break-ups too. Be sure to check inside the book and read the reviews and customer comments, and notice at the bottom which other books customers bought or looked at: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Lesbian- ... 99-2834022

http://www.amazon.com/Lesbian-Parents-H ... pd_sim_b_4











Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 51, dh 52
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg

Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc

ttc since 1998
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Joined: February 10th, 2009, 9:24 pm

January 2nd, 2012, 5:03 am #6

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
My experience is very limited in this area, but a few thoughts come to mind. The reading that I have done about children and divorce, and the few friends that I have spoken with about this to in real life (who have been there, done that) all tell me the same thing: happy moms cultivate happy children. Doesnt matter whether theyre living with the partner or not, rich or poor, as long as mom is happy then life is good for kids.

It sounds like you dont know what her plans are, and she is kind of leaving you hanging whether she will stay or go, the business arrangement, the kids.

In other words, secure your own future first. Then your children will be secure. I would certainly consult an attorney now to see what would need to be done in terms of either buying her out of the business or you getting out of the business, if this is possible. And think about journaling your feelings and what you want to have happen for your life. After all, this is not just her decision.

I would recommend reading books on parenting after divorce, and there are some great books out there about telling children about divorce (I know you cannot be legally married, but you might as well be after kids and 12 years!!) I really like Mister Rogers Divorce book that is written for children. He speaks to children about how it is not the childs fault, the feelings that they may feel, and how things will be different but both parents will continue to love them. There is a section at the end written solely for parents which has some very good advice. I am not familiar with what has been written specific to lesbian relationships.

Something else that I read recently has really stuck with me tookids need one really good parent to thrive, not two. If your DP decides to be the weekend only parent, then so be it. You can make a great life for your kids on your own, and perhaps DP will decide she wants to take a more active role. But if she doesnt, then you just go about making a great life for them and you, with or without a new partner.

I dont know if you are contemplating continuing to live in the same household while no longer a couple, but I have read that many couples are choosing to do this because of financial constraints of maintaining 2 households. I imagine ground rules would have to be set up with regards to dating and bringing dates home, etc. You could probably google this topic and read more.

I am awfully sorry you are having to face this, especially at this time of year. I hope you can find a way to find peace in your life amidst the turmoil that is going on.

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

January 2nd, 2012, 2:11 pm #7

I've heard about couples not living separately due to finances, too, and I've read that child abuse has gone up as a result, so if you choose this, be very careful that the kids are safe.




Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 51, dh 52
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg

Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc

ttc since 1998
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Joined: June 20th, 2006, 2:07 am

January 2nd, 2012, 5:05 pm #8

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
so I don't have anything to say except sending you a big hug and a grrr in commiseration too.

love,
Julie
ps more later, can't really add more to the advice part but want to sympathize and, you know, grr a bit.
xo
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Joined: December 2nd, 2005, 3:49 pm

January 2nd, 2012, 5:53 pm #9

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
First of all, I'm very sorry that this is happening in your life right now, and that it has the complexities it does due to working together. Some families have a family home, and kids don't leave there. The parents rent an apartment or house somewhere else, so it's the parents who move in and out rather than the kids. This is much less disruptive for children, but obviously tricky for parents in terms of privacy. If that is not possible (like if you own a house and you have to sell it and both live in smaller places, for example), it is good to not live too far from one another so that kids can at least live in the same hood all the time, be close to neighbor friends, etc. I think you guys should commit to some therapy with the express goal being how to work these things out so that you are making decisions in the best interest of the children. Every family is different, so there's no one right way.

Keep posting. Many of us have been through relationships falling apart and the messiness that can ensue. Stay tough, girl.
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Joined: June 26th, 2006, 5:42 am

January 3rd, 2012, 5:04 pm #10

I know, a bit cryptic. I guess since we can't technically get married that I'm uncomfortable with saying divorce.

Basically, my DP of 12 years kind of surprised me 2 days ago by saying she wants to move on. As difficult as our relationship has been, it has been very disorienting for me the last few days. I'm pretty sure that there must be someone else, although I doubt that she's been physically unfaithful yet. We are equally at "fault" - we've tried therapy before and it just doesn't change anything. Having children only made things worse, although we also started working together at that time, so it's hard to know what was the trigger. Plus, I think there are a few things that nothing I or therapy can do to overcome - I think she basically doesn't want to be a fulltime parent, and as much as I've been there for her with MANY things - financial, alcohol, work and parental issues (and she hasn't really been there for me on the few occasions that I've needed support), she is unhappy and doesn't seem to be able to make the changes needed to try to be happier. We do have a commitment to remain friends for the sake of our kids, and I think she probably will honor that depending on who it is she's set her sights on.

My primary concern is my children. My almost 7 year old LOVES her. In many ways it almost seems prescient that DD knew this would happen because she's always clung to DP and has always had an unnatural fear of DP leaving, which always was bizarre to me. Our 19 month old also loves DP, but I don't think it will be as big of an issue other than I feel like crap given DD is adopted and her birth parents, whom we see twice a year, are still together. Thankfully we just saw them, so we're good for another 6-7 months.

I'm dealing with a lot of emotions - this will effectively end my ttc#2 and I really wanted to provide a full sib for my older DD; DP and I work together, so my financial livelihood and a business I've built for almost 12 years could be in jeopardy; my mom, whom I always thought I could turn to for emotional support, is going through huge emotional and financial problems herself and is behaving so unbelievably that I had decided that my DDs only needed small doses (she lives 6+ hours away, so not that hard); financially we can't afford for DP to move out because business has been down the past few years and when we moved last year we weren't able to sell our old house (it's currently rented until spring 2013). Given the financial situation, I think she will be here for at least another month or so, but I can't be sure. Today she said she hasn't decided what she wants to do or when she'll leave. We're currently in separate bedrooms (my first clue!), so maybe this is a transition that will make sense to my older DD. For the short term, she wants to continue to work together, not sure in the long term although again probably depends on who the other person ends up being.

So, now that I've vented and provided tmi, here are my questions:

1) Are there any books or resources for how to handle this with DDs? My older DD is in such a good place right now, has lots of friends, one of the top students in her class, maturing emotionally, after years of difficult behavior, so I'm terrified this will scar her or cause her to regress (I know she will some, but worried she will a lot). I want to do this the best way possible and shield her as much as I can.

2) Do you know of any type of alternative arrangements that have worked where two parents have created some sort of living arrangement that works for parents and kids? I'm looking for any sort of brainstorming. Nothing is too crazy! My parents thought seriously about living in commune when I was a kid and we live in a liberal college town, so I'm open to any suggestions (not sure if DP will want to though - I think she really wants to only have small doses of the kids). This would be completely on DP's side - this is my second 10+ year relationship that's tanked, so I'm just not interested in pursuing another one and be doing this when I'm 60.

Thanks for any suggestions. I still can't believe I'm writing this and am embarrassed that I am.
Hey there,
This sounds like a shock to your system indeed. I am sorry!!! Your situation sounds especially complicated due to the work entanglements. YOur feelings of failure are natural and normal given the circumstances. YOU are not a failure even if the relationship fails!!!! Please do not feel embarassed, especially here on the bb. We got your back!!! We know that you are an excellent, superb mama. Look at you now, taking all the steps to think through what is best for your children during this difficult transition.

When I had a partner that was newly divorced I found the book, "The Good Divorce" to be very helpful to supporting his kids' transition. You may find some helpful nuggets there. For a self-help book, this one is well supported by research by the author.

Hang in there,

Malka

ds born 11.20.09 from single embie
highest fsh 75
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