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Separation & Divorce

When Should I Introduce a New Partner to My Children?

Life after divorce is definitely not easy. However, if you are one of the lucky ones to have found a new love, you may be searching for the right time for “introducing my children to my new partner.”

It is well known that children of divorce experience a range of emotional problems, including sadness, depression, anxiety, and withdrawal.

A child of divorce may also experience vague physical symptoms such as headache or an upset stomach as a result of the stress and depression.

The harsh divorce effects on children are the reason why it is important for you to make the transition to your new relationship as smooth as possible.

While there are no hard and fast rules, these tips can help you understand when and how you should introduce a new partner to your children.

Take time

Even before you introduce your partner to your children, ensure it is not a rebound relationship. It is quite common for people who are divorced to immediately jump on to a new relationship just to get over the heartbreak their marriage caused.

If you have not recovered and healed emotionally and mentally, the rebound relationship can end up hurting you more. Instead of rushing into the next relationship, wait until you get a fresh perspective on why your marriage ended.

If you are unable to assess your role in the marriage breaking up, it is likely that you are choosing a new partner who may not be aligned with your needs. The last thing you want is for your children to go through the devastating process twice.

Give your new relationship enough time so that each of you knows the other is here to stay and that you are sure about wanting to be together.

You will also need to ensure your children have adjusted to the fact that their parents are no longer together. Divorce effects on children such as anger, sadness, fear can take more than a couple of years for them to process.

Involve your ex

Before introducing your new love to your children, explain the new situation to your ex-spouse. Be prepared to talk over the matter in a calm way and answer any questions and concerns your ex-spouse may have.

For instance, your ex may be concerned about whether you will be moving to a new place which might affect the time they get to spend with the kids.

It is likely that your children might view the new partner as a rival, particularly if they are older and hoping that you and your ex-spouse reconcile.

If you and your ex-spouse can talk to your children about your new partner or new relationship a positive way, it can go a long way in helping your kids accept the same.

Go slow and talk to your kids

If you have older kids, it is better to talk to them about your new love before actually introducing your partner. Reassure them of your love and that you will always be there for them emotionally and physically.

Ask them about how they feel about being introduced to your new partner and when they want the introduction to happen. If you have younger kids, it is better to have them meet your partner at a familiar place that your kids love – such as a park.

If your partner can engage your children in some fun activity, it can take some of the pressure of the meeting off.

Progress slowly

Give your children lots of time to get adjusted and come to terms with the new person in your life. Let the relationship develop gradually by creating new traditions and memories, such as scheduling movie nights as a blended family.