So far, if you’ve been following this series and our suggestions thus far for introducing your new partner to your children after divorce, you’ve ensured your relationship is likely to last, and have prepared your ex for the fact that you’re going to be telling the kids.
Now you’re ready to take things further:
- Before the actual introductions, try and sow the seeds a little bit and mention your partner in casual conversation. Allow their name to be heard within normal conversation in some capacity, perhaps mentioning them as a friend or colleague. Again, make sure your ex knows this is happening. Your ex being caught off guard with the sudden news of a new partner will be unlikely to do your children (or you) any favours.
- The first meeting should be at an event or outing of some sort that has a limited time to it (not the whole weekend). Make sure the kids know in advance that you may be seeing this person there but that you are not going “together” as such. Take a trip to the zoo or the cinema for example. Arrive at this event separately, introduce the kids, spend a bit of time together, and then go your separate ways. This will allow the kids to put a face to the name they’ve heard about, without putting undue pressure on them to begin forming a relationship of any kind with this new person.
- As the kids get used to the fact that you have a new person is in your life, try to avoid public displays of affection. You and your new partner are going to be spending many years together remember, so you don’t really need to be holding hands and hanging off of each other. Let your children get to know them as a person, not as your new lover.
- Over time, slowly increase the length of time you spend together with your new partner and the kids. Allow your children the space to breath within this new relationship, and you won’t regret it.
If you would like more information on introducing your new partner to your children after divorce, or if you and your ex still need to resolve a few issues in order to make that process go as smoothly as possible. Please telephone the offices of New Landscape Mediation on 01279 211657 to speak with a Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) mediator to see how we might be able to assist you.