If it has legs, then patience is an investment. What do I mean by that? Well, I mean that everybody deserves to be happy, and everybody deserves to find a loving relationship in which they can flourish as individuals.
If, after a divorce we also feel pretty battered by our last relationship, our desire for a happy fulfilling connection with another is even more understandable. It’s natural to want to involve your children in this new happiness – fair enough.
In this, part 2 of our series on introducing new partners to your children, we continue the discussion on how this might be managed.
The introduction of your new partner is a monumental event in the lives of your children however, they are adjusting to a whole new world view. The idea that mum and dad no longer love each other (but say they still love them) is a concept that is difficult enough. But to now have to process the idea that either mum or dad has a new partner? Someone they share a bed with? Someone with whom they might have more children with? That’s a lot to manage.
If your new love is indeed Mr or Mrs Right (and not Mr or Mrs Right now), and this new relationship has legs, then patience is an investment in your own future. Trust me on this, taking some time to introduce your children to your new partner is the smart play. Despite how eager you may feel about involving the kids into this new fulfilling part of your life, doing it in stages will vastly increase the likelihood that this new person will not only be accepted, but fully embraced by your kids. The single biggest mistake people make when introducing new partners to their children is to rush it. They expect their kids to handle the process of meeting, getting to know, forming a relationship with, and then become happy to have a future with this person all in one meeting or event. The odds of that actually happening are fairly slim, though your children may not reveal their true feelings about it until months, or even years later.
A weekend with new partner (and their kids) who they’ve not yet met and expecting them to like each other just because they are similar ages is a sure fire way to have children rebel against or outright reject your new love. Any sort of sudden immersion into the life of you and your new partner will likely backfire. Your children need the opportunity to become acquainted with, and then form their own relationship with your new partner. In the next blog in this series, I will suggest a specific plan for introducing your new partner to your children after divorce.