This is a Premium feature
When to introduce kids to new partner(10 Posts)
Bit of background, I have 2 DC from STBXH, we have an arrangement in place for children to stay with him regularly, we have both kept it up and the DC have a good relationship with both of us and both sides of family - we both have made sure of this. I can't stand him but the DC would never know, we are only positive about each other in front of DC. The DC have stability and routine with both of us.
Divorce is currently being processed and we are nearly at an agreement with splitting of assess etc. We split last August after being unhappy for 2 years in a loveless marriage.
I met my new Partner in January this year, wasn't looking to meet anyone but life happens...! We are both in a similar situation with divorce etc and he has 3 DC.
We have agreed not to rush and enjoy each other's company and build a good foundation for a relationship, and we know not to rush meeting each other's children, but we have just had a talk and despite the short time we have been together we both feel that we both want something long term with each other. He's met my family and I've met his, and it's just been a good experience throughout.
Although we know it's no rush, I am new to all this and was wondering if there was a right time to introduce a new partner? It would be nice to hear others experiences of this! Also, I was planning on telling my ex. Before I did anything like this, and would slowly introduce him to my DC.
Any insight would be appreciated! X
Personally I think this is all very soon..... you split from your husband in August. Met a man in January (circa 10 weeks ago), you aren’t yet divorced but are already talking about a long term relationship and introducing the kids.
My personal view..... you need to slow things down. Have you ever been in your own? Can you be happy without a man? Your children have been through a big change - no need to replace their dad straight away. Just my personal opinion.
Personally I had been with my OH for 7 months before I met his children and he had been divorced for over 2 years.
I would wait until your divorce is finalized. You will need to tell your DC and your ex at the same time (I'd suggest telling ex by email whilst the kids are with you) otherwise you'd be asking the kids to lie or cover up about your new man, which isn't fair. Your ex may find it hard that you're moving on so swiftly and could make things difficult in the divorce. If there was any suggestion of you living with the new BF that could affect the financial settlement, but more likely it could affect the goodwill that exists between you.
The only way I think you could potentially introduce them earlier is if your kids are very young, in which case you can probably get away with him as a new friend, especially if you're a sociable kind of person who has other (male) friends. But older kids will obviously click that this is a BF. I managed that with introducing mine to DH after just a few weeks, (they were 10 and 6, but very used to me having friends of either sex round)
DH had been divorced around a year when I met him and introduced me (formally, as a GF) after about 3-4 months. They'd known about me for a few weeks before this. Some people will suggest you wait much longer than this but it can be difficult, from a practical point of view if you have the kids with you a lot, and also I think in terms of needing to see how your new partner is with their children to really know whether it might work as a relationship.
From personal experience I would leave it to at least 8 months to a year. I introduced dp to my dc after 6 months, according to mn guidelines, and we went very slow about it, only seeing him once a month for a while. After 18 months he moved in with us and after 6 months of us all living together it came out that he had lied about something from the very beginning. Not a lie that would hurt anyone or that concealed something harmful, but a lie nonetheless.
My point is, unless you've known a new bf for years prior to getting together, you don't really know someone properly until you've been around them for a good year or two. If there's just you then damage is limited enough if the shit hits the fan. With children there is so much more to deal with. I was furious that dp moved here with my dc knowing full well that I could/would discover the lie and it could be yet another family break up for the dc. We've mostly worked through it but it's been hard.
Take it slow, even if it's frustrating for you, as the risk just isn't worth it.
I completely appreciate what you guys are saying. My marriage ended last August but he moved out March 2017, having space as advised by relate when I went to counselling alone. This was to establish what we both wanted etc
My plan was to wait until divorce was finalised and we had been together at least 10 months to a year before introducing him as a friend. My DC are 3 and 1.
I only see him when the DC are with their dad.
I'm planning on telling their Dad first before any introduction is made, but is it better to do this in person or email?
If your children are that small they won't have the foggiest idea that he's a BF. So there's no huge deal about him maybe meeting them in passing and bring casually introduced. Introducing people doesn't have to mean "instant replacement new parent".
I'd still avoid extensive hanging out with the new BF and your kids though - to give you and them time to adjust, and to avoid your ex knowing about the BF before your divorce is finalized.
Personally I'd favour telling your ex by email and following up with a call, so he's able to process his feelings before you speak. But you know your ex best. Telling him before you tell the kids or at the same time is definitely good, though you may also want to subtly make clear that you're not asking his permission to introduce the new BF to the kids.
Most will say that it is better to wait, but I totally disagree. The reason is that the longer you spend building your relationship without the children, the less likely you are to decide to separate if things don't work out with children. It then often results in pretending everything will be fine even when there are clear conflicting issues.
My OH and I both agree that he would meet my children very earlier on. My kids were 6 and 9 and I was totally honest with them, said I had met someone and we were going to see how it went, but it was important to me that they get along. I had been single for 4 years by then, but they were very excited at the idea of me having a new partner.
As it is, all went well, but if it hadn't, both my OH and I were an agreement that we wouldn't take the relationship further. It would have been hard because it was love at first sight and I knew then that he was 'the one' but it would have been a lot easier than further down the line. In the end, my kids were always going to come first.
I agree with swingofthings 100%. If you wait too long then all you end up doing is working out whether your new partner gets on with you, not your kids. Then by the time they eventually meet you're so in love with your DP you end up trying to fit a square peg into a round hole rather than lose "the one" which is obviously a recipe for disaster. Personally I think the problem isn't so much that the kids have been introduced to a new DP too soon, it's when the parent and new DP start living together too soon.
The correct answer would be to wait a while until you're completely sure of your relationship so the kids don't end up confused if things don't work out. But I allowed my partner to meet my kids within a few weeks. I was a single mum who couldn't get out much so most of our dates were at home. It was the right decision for me as we're married now and have another baby. It's your choice. Only you know your children and have an indication of how the relationship will work out.
Totally agree Tempus. DH and I knew from about 2 months in that we were in it long term and started talking moving together 3 months on but we didn't do so for another 18 months to be sure that everything was ready. Even then it turned out to be harder than expected, I can't imagine having done so earlier. Even during this period, he didn't spend all his spare time with the three of us and most of the time spent together was just him and I, when we could because I didn't want to see my kids getting attached quicker than I believed we could make it work. Finding the right balance is not easy.
Join the discussion
Please login first.