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Ask Dr. Keane Your Own Question

Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1760
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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Hello, My name is Sarah and I have a seven year old son.

Resolved Question:


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have a seven year old son. I had my son out of wedlock and he does not know his real father because he chose not to be in my sons life. I got married when Mason (my son) was only four years old. Recently, I decided to file for divorce from my husband of almost four years. I have no idea if my husband (Toby) will continue to be in Mason's life or not. I need to know the best way to tell my son that I am getting divorced and I need to know that my son will be okay. Toby has been deployed for a large amount of time out of our marriage so Mason is used to him not being around. I need to know how to tell Mason about the divorce and what to expect. Thank you so very much.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 6 years ago.
Hi. If you and your current husband have exhausted all the avenues that would keep the marriage together, such as counseling then you have to ask Toby what he plans to do in regards XXXXX XXXXX son. Once you know whether he intends to be in his life or not you will be better able to let your son know what life will be like in the future. If Toby has been deployed for much of the time you have been married that fact alone will make it easier and less stressful on Mason. All you need to do is to tell Mason that you and Toby have decided not to stay married. Don't make a huge deal out of telling him. He is already use to prolonged absences and if you try and explain too much he may become curious as to what's the big deal. What to expect depends on how much Toby was around and if Toby stays in touch or not. Kids are resilient and Mason will be fine. Plenty of kids have parents who divorce (even boyfriends who leave after many years) and as long as you are not showing any anxiety when he mentions Toby he'll be fine. Just make sure you have exhausted all solutions to the marriage and know this is what you want. I have seen too many couples throw in the towel and then find out the grass isn't greener on the other side. I have a real soft spot for all the soldiers and their spouses who wind up with broken marriages due to the stress of not being together and/or the strain of being alone. It's tough on all. I am speaking from a professional viewpoint.
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