so i have a question about divorce and a toddler...

Larissa Ann - posted on 01/19/2016 ( 9 moms have responded )

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my husband has been not so subtle about wanting a divorce. has any mother experienced negative behavior from a toddler 3 years old or so? how well did you cope with everything? and how does the child fare? its been really tough for me the past few months and no amount of pretending will change what he said this morning. and I quote "I love you but I'm not in love with you. I'm only doing stuff for you out of duty as a husband. you have to feel the same way. don't you?" my answer was to burst into tears and walk away. its been 7 hours and I haven't spoken to him. its so hard to miss the person that sleeps next to you every night.

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Raye - posted on 01/22/2016

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Cindy, it's not always men that bail. My husband's ex was the one to bail and left the kids to him. Once someone has decided they're done, it is nearly impossible to recover the marriage, even with counseling. You say "he doesn't see that things will get better", but it's more like things MIGHT get better if he tried, but he doesn't want them to. So, you need to take a hard look at the situation and start making a plan for the inevitable.

Jodi - posted on 01/19/2016

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Well, if he won't try counselling, then your hands are tied on this one. A marriage needs two people willing to work on it. If he isn't willing, then maybe you are better off calling it quits.

Maybe it is time for you to talk to a lawyer to discuss the legalities. You need to make sure custody, visitation, child support, financial arrangements/community property are sorted, but you will need your own lawyer. Even if you aren't going to get papers drawn up, find a lawyer and get some advice.

Jodi - posted on 01/19/2016

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My son was 2 when his dad and I split. It was pretty common for him to have a period of adjustment to schedule when he came home from visiting his dad - I had a little escalated behaviour for a day or two as we readjusted to the schedule and rules in my home, but overall, I wouldn't say there were any major behavioural issues. I just made sure he was kept away from the "adult" issues, encouraged his dad to spend time with him, and made sure I was super consistent in schedule and discipline at home.

I'm really sorry this is happening, but it sounds like he has checked out. Have you guys tried marriage counselling? It is normal for a relationship to change over time and this may be something he is struggling with?

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Anne - posted on 01/31/2016

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My daughter and her husband separated when her son was 4 years old. Yes, the child feels confusion and bawled his heart out when the father left after short visits. Later when he knew they were no longer together he had separation issues with his mother. He always stopped whatever he was doing to check where his mother was. Both parents were allowed to show their love for the child which is very important so that today, at 8 he is a happy, well adjusted child. My daughter struggled financially,(and was lonely) as she lived in Germany and to this day is there only because of the child who needs both his parents. She is now with a very loving man who has his own son. The ex husband has a partner and is expecting another child. The way the 8 year old sees it is that he has a brother, and will have another brother or sister, has two fathers and two mothers, two grandfathers and two grandmothers, more aunts and uncles...in other words his family has become larger and there is plenty of love to go around. Everybody gets along with everybody else because my daughter and her ex made sure of what was right for the child. To conclude, it is better for the child to go through a divorce when they are very young than to handle divorcing parents when they are older and have opinions based on what parents tell them. Having said all this, I am so sorry for what you are going through because I saw it all happen when I was there visiting and stayed for 5 months through all that pain.

Natalie - posted on 01/30/2016

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My ex left me with my son, and in time we learned to work out our differences and be friendly for him. It wasn't hard on my son when he left because he was only a year old, but he gets to see him often and he's with me most of the time. But, I do know where you're coming from. Now that he's three I can see a slight difference in when he has to leave for his dad's and when he comes back. When we're in the same room, my son lights up. He really does. But, with more time he'll understand. It's all a matter of time, girl. I'm sorry this is all happening to you, and I wish you the best, I truly do. Just make sure not to let it take up all of your attention, and make sure your LO knows you both love them no matter what

Cindy - posted on 01/22/2016

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Uggh, all too familiar! My husband and I are going through this right now! Exact same scenario, going downhill for about 4 months strong. He totally checked out and just threw it on me one day, very similar to your husband. We have a 4year old, 2 year old, and 6 month old. He has very much been against counseling until we have a fight that ends in the big D word, which he then comes back with talks of counseling. Things cool down for a bit and of course another fight will come up and ends the same. He has been out of town 1 week on and off now for 3 weeks and that has given us time to at least have some space. But like you, the absence is beyond physical. He has not been supportive as a teammate, much rather always criticizing me about my behavior at home. Keep in mind, we have had back to back pregnancies and our youngest is just now 6 months!!! I'm almost 40 and it has been a harder recovery on my body with each baby. So sad to even think that divorce is even an option! But what I have viewed as a huge life adjustment, a rough patch that we work through together, he views as more than just a bad time and he's just over trying. He doesn't see that things will get better.
I'm just here wondering why it is that it's so easy for men to just bail rather than stick together as a couple, a team, and work through hard times?? I'm left at this point wondering if it's even worth saving at this point!!
Makes me question that if we ever had a huge tragedy or major turmoil in our lives, would he be by my side?

Larissa Ann - posted on 01/19/2016

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Jodi_ no we haven't tried counseling. he wont agree to it. and he's been phasing out for a really long time. bit by bit for over as year.

Larissa Ann - posted on 01/19/2016

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Raye Rasey_ I don't want to start off pushing him out there like he did this to me or something. hes always been a great father. and always used to be a good husband. unfortunately I too did somethings I'm not proud of. so id say we are both at fault for this.

Raye - posted on 01/19/2016

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Divorce is hard on anyone. Many children believe it has something to do with them. So, try to help your child feel it is not their fault and get into a new routine as best as you can to provide stability for the child. Try to co-parent with the father (if he's willing) by thinking of what's best for the child, and not acting out of anger because how much he hurt you. He is still the father. As part of the divorce, custody and visitation should be set so each parent knows what their rights are. Assuming you get awarded primary, or at least split, custody, you can also file for child support. Whether or not the father gives his time to the child, he is still responsible for helping raise the child financially. It is not being mean to him or showing any weakness on your part to file for child support, it is the child's right to have all the advantages they can have in life.

As far as your own feelings and needs... yes, you will miss him. Yes, you will be angry. Yes, it will be more difficult on your own without someone there to share the burdens of life. But you can do it. You have to be strong for you and for your child. Co-parenting with someone who has broken your heart is awful. But you have a kid together, and you have to get through it as best as you can. For most people, it does get better. That may not sound very comforting, but the odds are on your side. For your sake, and that of your child, don't hold on to resentment and don't try to hold on to a love that won't ever be again. Trying to hold on will make it so much worse. Again, you can do it. Everyone is afraid of change to some extent, but you might surprise yourself and find it's not the end of the world. You can do it. It takes time and effort, but you can do it.

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