How to parent when your partner leaves and never comes back

There is much emphasis in the media on one parent forbidding the other parent any access at all to their children. However, it is much harder for people to accept that sometimes a parent will simply walk out of a marriage and choose to rarely or never see their children again, despite the main parent wanting them to maintain a relationship.

If you are in this situation, then you will be used to the conclusions that people jump to not being believed. However, this is nothing compared to how hurt you feel for your children and the confusion about how to deal with it.

Ensure you are financially secure

Sit down, do the sums and make sure you have more coming in than going out. If you have more going out than coming in, then you need to do something about it. Check to see if you are entitled to tax credits or other benefits, ensure you are receiving the legal child maintenance payments from your ex and look to boost your income, or reduce your expenditure. Providing a secure and stable home for your children is vital to their wellbeing and your peace of mind.

Be age appropriate and honest

The age of your children will determine how aware of their situation they are. Very young children adapt to their surroundings and as long as they are fed and loved they accept their world as the status quo.

When your children ask questions, try to keep it as age appropriate and honest as possible. If your children know that they can talk to you about any worries they have over their absent parent, then they are much more likely to believe you as they get older and trust that you have done your best for them.

Reassure them that it wasn’t their fault

Children will worry that their parent left because of something they did. Reassure them that it was not their fault and keep drumming in this message as they get older. This will be vital for them, especially as they hit their teenage years.

Keep things neutral

You may well be seething with rage, but keep things neutral in front of your kids, it won’t do them any good to grow up thinking their absent parent is an awful person. They can also twist negativity against you as they start to questions things more as they grow.

Do your best

Your best is the only thing you can do and as your children grow up they will recognise that you have always been there for them and done your best. You will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but so do all parents.

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