Introducing Your Kids to a New Partner After a Divorce
The ink is fully dry on the divorce decree, and you’ve moved on. In fact, you even have a new monogamous partnership and decide you want to take it to the next level: introducing your children to them. While you probably worried about the nerve-racking prospect of introducing your ex to your parents, it’s a different ballgame when you are the parent and your children are the ones making the judgment calls on whether this new partner is a good fit for you. Timing is key. Make sure you assess whether your relationship is truly going to go the distance or if you’re rebounding – this can alleviate the potential stress of introducing your kids to a partner who isn’t going to play a long-term role in their lives.
What’s the Hurry?
You’re in love again, you may even feel as though you’re walking on air, and you want to bring your children into the mix. Remember: If this is the partner you see yourself committing to for life, there’s no rush to introduce them to your children so soon. You already had to handle the heartbreak your children endured when you and your ex-spouse split up, and it would only compound their emotions should you end up splitting with the new partner in the future. Children need time to adjust to their parents’ divorce and it can take well over 6 months or even a year to adjust to the “acceptance” stage of their grief.
Consider Your Children’s Needs
Introducing a new love interest to your children before they’re emotionally prepared to handle such a big life event can backfire. Just because you’re smitten with your new partner, it doesn’t mean your children will be as joyous as you are. Your children may be hoping you will reconcile with your ex, or they may be possessive of you and your time and view the new paramour as a threat. Consider whether your new partner is the best fit for your family and whether they’re suited to taking on the role of stepparent if you decide to make your union legally binding and marry them.
Ask Your Children for Feedback
Your children are bound to have strong emotions and opinions on your new partner. Allow them to voice these questions and concerns before and after you introduce the new partner to your children. Keep the first meeting brief and low key so they can get a feel for this new figure in their lives and not feel threatened by their presence. Remind your children that just because you have a new love interest it does not mean that your love for them has diminished. It’s essential to reassure your children that your new partner is not a replacement for their other parent, either.
Need Advice on Your Impending Divorce? Contact Myers Family Law.
Looking for divorce advice on the legal front? Contact Myers Family Law today by dialing (916) 634-0067 or contact us online for a consultation.