Introducing a new partner to your children can be daunting: there are life-changing implications for all involved. The fallout from introducing your children too quickly to a new love interest can be disastrous. It can cause anguish for everyone, especially your children who may be holding onto the idea that you and your ex- spouse will eventually get back together. It may take your children time to accept a new person in your life.
While it is completely normal to seek comfort, companionship, and a sexual relationship after getting a divorce, it’s crucial to take any new relationship slowly so that you can assess whether the relationship is casual or might become permanent.
The number one thing to keep in mind is not to introduce a new partner to your children too soon after your divorce. Even if you and your new partner are in love, breakups are common and the children are the ones who get caught in the crossfire.
Keep in mind the age of your children when introducing them to a new partner, Younger children, especially those under age 10 may feel confused, angry, or sad since they tend to be quite possessive of their parents.
When it comes to introducing a new partner to your children, there is no guaranteed way to ensure that the process is going to be smooth sailing. A few tips to assist in introducing a new partner to your children are the following:
Wait Until You Are Sure
Be sure that your new relationship has long term potential. Introducing a new partner to your children is best left until you are as sure as you can be that this person is here to stay.
Talk To Your Ex-spouse
If you are thinking about introducing a new partner to your children, talk to your ex-spouse before you do anything. Whilst emotions may still be raw it is beneficial to allow your ex-spouse some time to process the idea and their emotions in order to approach the introduction of a new partner in a positive manner. What matters is that both parents put the children’s needs first.
Keep the first introduction of your new partner short, casual and in a neutral location where the children feel comfortable. Take it slowly and be sensitive to your children’s reactions.
Be Prepared For Different Reactions
Children are adaptable when it comes to introducing them to new circumstances, as long as they feel loved. The things that worry children may not be obvious to adults and they often express their emotions through difficult behaviour rather than through words. Try and acknowledge your children’s emotions and give them specific words to talk about when you see how they may be feeling.
Have Time Alone
Introducing a new partner to your children should not mean that you don’t spend lots of time one-to-one with your children too. Your children will still require a lot of time with you without your new partner being present.
It is important to remember to be cautious when dating after divorce, especially when there are children involved. Consider the amount of time since your divorce, the age of your children, and the level of commitment with your new partner. Talking to a psychologist or a therapist may also help you to make a smooth transition into this next phase of your life.
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Author – Kaye Bailey – Hill