When you divorce, part of the healing process for many people is finding themselves again through the eyes of a new relationship. Its natural for us to seek new love and companionship, especially after a difficult split. But what happens when you have children? The introduction of a new significant other can be traumatic and difficult for kids to handle. When you pursue your first relationship after a split, here are some tips for how to deal with your new significant other, divorce and kids.
Divorce and Kids
Divorce and kids can seem like oil and water. When you bring a new relationship into the mix, your kids may take out a lot of anger on the new man or woman in your life, may place undue blame on the new relationship and may test boundaries and create difficulties. It is important to handle the process correctly to keep the peace in your family and help everyone to move forward.
How Serious Is It?
You dont have to introduce every single person you date to your children right away. If you are in a casual relationship that is not likely to turn serious, there may not be a reason to bring your kids or former spouse into the picture. The time to bring your new significant other into the fold is when things turn serious and that person truly becomes “significant” in your life. If you become committed and see yourselves together, exclusively, for the long term, then it may be time to slowly introduce them to your children.
When to Introduce a New Partner
Talk the situation over with everyone involved. This means not just your new partner, but your spouse and your children. Make sure that everyone is on the same page before you make introductions. This will save you and your family from unpleasant surprises. Remember that even though you may be divorced, your ex is still a parent and a partner, and thus a part of the family even though its non-traditional.
Get Ready for a Tough Road
Your kids and your ex may not like your new partner. Prepare yourself for this. In fact, they may actually be predisposed to dislike the new entry into their lives. This doesnt necessarily mean its a permanent thing – their initial negative reactions could fade over time. Then again, they may not.
When I don’t like him (or her) comes into play, its important for you to step back and carefully evaluate the situation. Your children should still come first, but your happiness is important, too. Its a delicate balancing act that you and your new partner are going to have to learn to juggle, and if you cant, then it may not be meant to be.
Can Mediation Help?
For those facing divorce and healing, a mediated process can sometimes help to get started on the right foot with your new life. If your marriage is over but you want to salvage a partnership out of the relationship, connect with us for more information today.
Disclaimer: The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.