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Guilt that my divorce hurt my children

Cakecake
Community Member

I always prioritized my children over everything. I only married as I was pregnant (unplanned) and I wasn’t in love with my partner. I wanted my baby to have siblings and a family. It was working pretty well, although I was unfulfilled in my marriage and husband was quite dependent and more like another child than a partner. I became obsessed with a much older and senior man I worked with. He was very flirtatious and pursued me. I told my husband that I had fallen in love with someone else, but he became became extremely angry, hopeless and clingy and even more dependent than before. Anyway a year went by and I finally caved and visited this man and told him my feelings and kissed him. I felt so guilty and anxious, my husband could tell and he was able to track my movements and so discovered what had happened. He threw me out, in front of the kids, it was awful. However he called me to return a couple of hours later. The next few months were a nightmare, the older man was perusing me begging me to be with him, and I really loved him. my husband was tracking me and getting alternately angry, scaring me with potential scenarios where he said that if I left I wouldn’t be with my kids or hear about them for weeks. Or he was hopeless and desperately attached to me. I moved into the study of our house, and separated from my husband and commenced a relationship with the older man, well I actually tried to brake it off with older man several times as I was so scared to leave marriage and lose full custody of my kids, It was very hard to brake up with him, impossible actually. Husband says I was cheating on him during this time, and remains extremely bitter and angry. When home school started I moved to my parents regional property with the kids and took them home to their dads on weekends, and husband and I never lived in the same house again. Im not with the older man now either, who I now believe was a very toxic person who shouldn’t really have persued a married women with young children. There is still so much acrimony with my ex husband. I have worked so hard to shelter my kids from all the troubles, and they are doing very well actually. Their dad has become much more hands on. However I always feel so guilty, remorseful, and sad that I destroyed their family. When I am not with them and they’re at their dads I’m so sad the entire time. I’m so worried they will end up with illness. I love my kids so much, but I ruined their lives.

7 Replies 7

geoff
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Cakecake, hi and thanks for posting your comment.

Much has happened in your marriage and with time again probably wouldn't have been the case, never the less the majority of the time, kids tend to adjust to how the situation turns out, and most kids are much happier in 2 happy households, rather than 1 unhappy one.

They play their role differently with you compared to their dad but it's what suits them and are able to do with what each parent wants them to do, considering there will be times when this doesn't happen, but kids are kids and will develop their own personalities based on what is actually happening.

If you feel they need help then there are places out there that can assist them as well as yourself.

If you require me to give you these help lines then please get back to me.

Geoff.

Cakecake
Community Member
I would love the details of a help line for my kids

Also thanks for your kind words

Kidshelpline 1800551800

Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free (even from a mobile), confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Qualified counsellors at Kids Helpline are available via WebChat, phone or email anytime and for any reason.

Also parents can ring the helpline.

It has experienced counsellors.

I think guilt goes with being a mother. You have tried so hard. I wonder if yo would consider ring the kids helpline as parents are encouraged to ring.

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi cakecake,

I will share something that I once read from a child psychologist and that resonated with me and certainly fit with my experience. Children aren’t automatically traumatized when something bad happens to them, they are quite resilient and can deal with most things. Children develop trauma when they are left alone with their hurt. Many parents make the huge mistake of trying to “shield” them from these events. It’s a huge mistake because they often can’t so the child understands that the parent is missing and something is not right. So the reality is that usually means that the truth is hidden from them and they feel uncertain of what is happening, and are alone with that hurt. I think that you need to talk pretty openly with your children, explain that you and your husband are separating, and in a simplistic way explain why (so that they understand it is nothing they have done), being careful not to badmouth their father. If there are any disturbing situations they have seen, explain to them what happened. Encourage them to talk to you about their thoughts and fears, and a child psychologist may also be helpful.

geoff
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Cakecake, yes Kids Helpline as Quirky has mentioned the phone number is 1800 55 1800 either talk with them, online or web chat.

Headspace is another 1800 650 890, contact both of these and see who you are most comfortable with.

Geoff.

Thanks so much for your reply and the good advice.