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Advice on introducing a new partner after divorce(8 Posts)
I am going to be divorced in a few weeks, I told my husband almost a year ago that things were over, though we only told the kids last October. They are aged 15, 12 & 10.
I have been seeing someone new for several months. The kids do not know.
I have no plans to introduce my new partner to my kids any time soon but I'd like some advice on how soon and how to when the time comes.
My ex is controlling and, though he would be hostile to any new man in my life meeting 'his' kids, he is going to be very hostile to this one as he blames our relationship for the break up of our marriage (nothing to do with it but he can't handle anything being his fault so he has to find someone else to blame).
My friends and family are supportive of my new relationship though family haven't met him either yet.
My advice is to delay introductions for as long as possible, although I know others prefer to do it quicker.
I waited almost a year to introduce new partner to my kids, and I had had an amicable divorce.
Only you know your children - it depends on their personalities and how they have coped with the changes so far.
And you might be a bit restricted if you have reason to tell them at the same time - might be better altogether, or you may think it's OK to tell the 15yo and then the 2 younger ones together later.
My child was only 5, and was totally unperturbed by the divorce. I work away a lot, so being on her own with her father wasn't something new, and anyway she generally seems to have a very accepting happy go lucky temperament. She thinks dating is terribly exciting. But she also knows that a new boyfriend is just a new boyfriend... It's not a new daddy, it's mummy trying out someone new to see if we like each other. I don't introduce her to all people I've just dated but in 3 years she's met 2 men. Both within 3 months. One lasted 15 months and we're still friends and she still sees him occasionally and chats happily (about his replacement, sometimes!)
The other is now my fiancé.
I wouldn't introduce a child unless I saw a future with someone. But you can never guarantee you'll have one.
I think it's more important how you introduce them than the amount of time. A man introduced as a boyfriend after 3 months is better than a man you wait 12 months for then spring on them as moving in.
I think children easily understand that their parents date - they just shouldn't be dragged into being a part of it.
In your shoes I wouldn't be worrying about when to introduce yet. I think 9 months post split is plenty time enough for all those ages to be told that you've decided to start dating again. I'd try to give them a chance to talk about that and their feelings, without suggesting they get to veto or control your private life.
You may well just get an "ooooh, gross, old people dating but - whatever" reaction.
For older kids I think it's better to introduce the topic of you dating separate to them actually meeting someone. Far easier to be open about a theory than a person.
we were never married and split when baby was very young, but, ten years on, we are both honest with her and tell her things straight.
You'll get some very differing advice on here I suspect. You have to do it when right for your family unit. I don't agree in waiting months and months. I think it depends on the dynmaic of your relationship and where you are both thinking it will go. If it's about in the end integrating as a family then if you wait for say a year to find him and they don't get along then it's a long way down the line. If it's more about you having a boyfriend who is occasionally in your life but not going to be moving in then I think that's different again.
My kids were younger than yours and I just introduced idea I had a friend who I was going out to cinema etc with so they knew it was happening. I agree with previous poster that it is about how not when.
I think kids are more used to the idea now as at school they will have friends in similar situations, especially the older ones.
I did it after a year, and it was great. Plan something that they like to do and do it in such a way that you can easily end the meeting if they appear overwhelmed. We went for lunch, then an ice cream parlour (my partner's idea which was very well received), then the beach, then a movie at his house. Of course, they had a ball, and are always wanting to see him now!
Thanks for your input everyone. If you say I did it after a year, three months whatever - do you mean after you had been dating for that length of time? Or that long after divorce/separation?
My daughter who is the youngest at 10 has already told me she wouldn't be upset if I was seeing someone and that it would be good for me to 'get on with my life'. That would have been the ideal time to broach the subject but I daren't yet.
My eldest (boy) wouldn't be bothered I think. Middle one (boy) may be, he's closest to his dad.
Once the divorce and finances are sorted I think I will allow it to naturally come out that I'm dating.
He only has one adult child so no integration of children is required, though we'd want to live together eventually. My ex has the children half of the time so we get enough child free time together to build our relationship.
We did it after we had been seeing each other for a couple on months.
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