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Naked_Homer's avatar

How did you survive not living with your kids when you got divorced?

Asked by Naked_Homer (2155points) February 21st, 2010

I have recently been divorced. I can’t seem to function with out my kids. I spend all my time thinking about them and the next time I get to see them. I finally broke down emotionally to my brother and his wife and just bawled my head off. They are 7 and 5. People keep saying it will get easier. I can’t fathom a time when not seeing those two precious gifts every day will get easier. Please help and let me know how you survived.

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17 Answers

MrGV's avatar

No matter how hard it seems, time is your key.

Response moderated
JONESGH's avatar

@davidbetterman that’s just rude…
I don’t have any advice for you man, but I sincerely wish you luck.

augustlan's avatar

I know we’ve talked about this before, N.H., but I want to reassure you again. It really does get easier to bear. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but nearly all things get better with time. Just remember, what you’re feeling is completely normal, and it’s certainly OK to cry about it. We lurve you, man. {hugs}

judochop's avatar

It does get easier even if you can’t imagine that it will. When I went through my split my daughter was 2. I went from seeing her daily to only seeing her 3 days a week. It was difficult and I did the same thing as you. I cried and on my days off without her I would drink myself to sleep. This is your new life and their new life, it is unfortunate for everyone involved but it is what it is. You need to except this and find a way to deal with your pain so that you do not grow remorseful towards your ex and so that your children do not see you in pain. You will grow to enjoy your time that you get to yourself. I still talk with my daughter almost nightly when she is with her mother. The children will adapt and you will adapt. You will find new ways to make better use of your time together and you will never take it for granted. Be safe towards yourself and love your children, they will be there for you but more importantly, you need to be there and be strong for them. Keep your head up, it will get easier, I promise you.
You can try some online support groups or try a single fathers group if you need more reassurance. You are not alone.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m so sorry
I didn’t – I kept him.

skfinkel's avatar

Funny, when I read this, I thought it was the mother who was missing her children. It’s hard on both sides, I am sure. Hopefully it is easier for the children that it is for you. Do what you can to make that happen. This is heartbreaking—how did so many people end up in such a sad situation?

Naked_Homer's avatar

@MrGeneVan – Thanks for your input.
@JONESGH – Your well wishes help, thank you.
@augustlan – We have and I thank you for that. You are a constant source of support.
@judochop – great advice, thank you. I am strong for and in front of my kids. This past weekend my younger one kept crying and begging me to move back. That was heartbreaking.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir – Thanks. I have 50% custody, but gave up primary placement for the good of the kids (a whole huge pot of reasons).
@skfinkel – Thanks for your input.

plethora's avatar

Nothing is harder than this. My kids were teens and I lived nearby in a smaller town and it just seemed that I spent a lot of time in their lives. Yours being younger makes it more difficult. You would be abnormal if you didnt bawl your eyes out over it. I still was very lonely living alone when I had always had my family around me. Thinking of you.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

At times, I curled up into the smallest ball I could on my floor and cried and cried. That’s one way I dealt with it.

When I did get to spend time with them, I tried to include them in all the activities not matter how small. We cooked together. We cleaned together. We walked together. We flew kites together. We did so many things together.

You’re still their dad. That hasn’t changed.

They still love you. Their difficulty lies in their inability to access you whenever they want like they could before. If it will help, buy a prepaid cell phone and program your number into it and no others. Call it “The Dad Phone” which they can use 24 hours a day to get in touch with you. This may ease their fears some and lessen the impact of their separation from you.

judochop's avatar

@Naked_Homer
Oh man, when the kid starts asking you to move back in or to re-marry the mother it is terribly heartbreaking. My daughter asked me for years. The first couple of years I delt with it open heartedly telling her that all things are possible even though I knew I would never do it. As time went on I just started telling her exactly how I felt. I told her that I had strong feeling for her mother and that I respect her as a mother and that we at one time shared something mutual but that things have changed and that I was not in love with her anymore. I had to explain this so many time. I would let her know that, yes….I love your mother but I am not in love with your mother and that just loving someone is not enough. My daughter is nine now and I am unsure that she gets it still to this day but she does know that there will never be her mother and father under the same roof as husband and wife.
You are going to adjust, they are going to adjust. Be gentle and be yourself. There are many people out there that are going through this very same thing right now. I know that none of this makes is easier for you at all and I am willing to bet that tonight will be hard and tomorrow will be hard but just know that it will get easier. Find yourself a mantra and stick to it. This is not an ending but a beginning.

Cupcake's avatar

@Naked_Homer I’m so sorry that you’re going through this pain. I haven’t been through this specific difficulty… but I’ve been through many others. Time does help… but life won’t be the same. You have to put your energy into creating your new life and absolutely cherishing the moments you have. Maybe that’s the good that can come out of it.
Look for any little good you can find.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@plethora – Thanks for your input. That is the hard part. My family and friends are all a min. of 50 min. away. I made the mistake of being absorbed into her life.
@hawaii_jake – Fantastic ideas! Including the ball bawling. While I don’t feel better today, I feel more functional. The other ideas are a great way to maximize the time.
@judochop – yeah. I need to find something that will help me remain focused.
@Cupcake – Great point and one I keep forgetting. I do get to create my life again as it should have been and should be now. Then let the kids join me and see and grow up in that world. Thanks all this is helping!

trailsillustrated's avatar

you have to get through it the best you can and keep it together for them. it’s good you cried. I lost my kids when they were 7. I nearly died I was so broken. I pulled myself together after a couple years, now at 14 my daughter has come back to me and I talk with my son often. It’s really really hard. If you are a constant in their lives, they will adjust and so will you. I wish you luck, and I feel for you

Zen_Again's avatar

Thank the stars I got ‘em, so I never had to feel that.

SuperMouse's avatar

I don’t have any advice @Naked_Homer, just lots of love, respect, prayers, and support. Hang in there.

Aster's avatar

I am so sorry for you. You’re a great dad. I had custody of our daughter who was a teenager at the time. Her dad told me, “you can’t MAKE someone see their child.” In other words, he did not want her over at his house on weekends and it was fifteen minutes away. Breaks my heart. He wanted to be alone with his girlfriend. So when she got married, she never asked him to walk her down the aisle. She walked alone. And fast. )-:
I hope you feel better.

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