After the difficulties of divorce, you may find you have settled into a new routine with your children.
Sooner or later it’s likely you will feel ready to move on and meet a new partner and eventually for them to meet your children. This can be a nerve-wracking time for everyone concerned and needs to be approached with sensitivity.
Introducing a New Partner
Here are a few steps you might find useful:
- To maintain good communication, and avoid unnecessary upset and stress, it is advisable to introduce your new partner to your ex before introducing them to your children.
- Take things slowly. Your children may not yet have come to terms with your divorce and will need time to get used to the idea of a new partner in their lives.
- Keep your first introduction low key. Meet somewhere outside the home – ten-pin bowling can work well – and keep it short and simple.
- You may have come to love and trust your new partner but remember your children are meeting them for the first time.
- If you are planning to have your partner stay overnight, build up to it gradually. Let your children get to know them as a visiting guest to their home first.
- Jealousy is natural. Work to maintain your parent/child bond and reassure your children that your new relationship does not diminish your relationship with them.
- Let your children set the pace. It’s tempting to push things forward but learn to take your cues from them.
- Encourage your children to use your partner’s first name.
- If your new partner was involved in your relationship break-up, bear in mind it may take your children longer to re-adjust.
Sometimes no matter how sensitively you introduce a new partner, your children may just not be ready for it. They must remain your priority.