It's hard enough that my own husband has rejected me, but when my 7 year old looked up at me with tears covering her face and asked, "Why doesn't Daddy want to live with me anymore?" I was speechless. As much as we have explained that they have nothing to do with him leaving, it is incredibly hard for them to comprehend. They take it personally, as they should. They feel rejected, too.
I want to say that I don't understand, either. I want to tell them how I don't understand how he doesn't want this life anymore. He doesn't want to be a family with us. He will always be their father and will always love them, see them, and always be there for them (though not always physically... or in the middle of the night for illness or bad dreams or for snuggle time when they are cold)... but he doesn't want to be a part of this family anymore. I want to explain that he feels that his life will be better without me being his wife, hence the separation... but they are a part of me so he must sacrifice living with them as well. I understand how they feel rejected.
I suppose that he is happier now. Free from daily family responsibilities, free from commitments, free from caring for an infant on a daily basis, free from us, free from me. Free from working on a marriage. I wish I could explain to them that his need to be away from me are greater than his need to be with his children or to provide them with a stable 2-parent family while they grow up, and that his happiness depends on meeting this need; that the grass is greener in the other fields out there, and he is going grazing. He loves them and wants to be with them, but he needs to give it all up to do what is right for him. What is right for him may not be what is right for the whole family, but evidently he has been miserable for so long that his needs now come before the needs of the family.
What about God? What does God want? Well, God is pro-marriage. God is forgiving and loves us no matter what, but God is pro-marriage. Marriage vows are important. They are promises. Broken promises change lives. Clearly.
I wish I could tell them all of these things. But I can't. Not only can they not understand it (well- nor can I really...), they don't need to hear these things. They just need to be held while they cry. And I will do just that.