Dating after divorce with small children
By Tara Lynne Groth Divorce is the end of a relationship, but how soon should divorced dads introduce the next relationship to their children?
While co-parenting with their former spouse, adjusting to a new routine and establishing a separate household, dads may meet someone new whom they want to share their life and family with.
If a father identifies with one of these situations, but they know their new partner is committed for the long haul and will be a good influence on his children, it’s best to wait much longer than six months to test the relationship on its own.
“Don’t hurry to introduce someone new to your kids,” says Aaron Welch, a licensed therapist with The Lifeworks Group in Winter Park, Fla.“The tendency is to be very excited that you’ve met someone you really like—especially after a tough divorce.This is to eliminate confusion while kids process their pain and grieve the loss of their former family unit. Fagan stresses new partners who happen to be friends with the ex-wife, have a significant age difference, or are the first partner after a divorce are all very likely to upset children and the father’s former spouse.Relationships that share any of these features, more often than not, do not last.
Because of that excitement, people believe their kids will share that same feeling.” Welch explains that children become attached to new people in their life. Romance”), licensed psychotherapist and author of “The Unofficial Guide to Dating,” children should not have any clue that their parents are dating. Tessina says, “Until the relationship is a serious one, children shouldn’t know about dad’s new partner.” She stresses to fathers that they need to really think about what they’re looking for in a new partner.
If the relationship doesn’t work out, then the bond the children established is broken. Fathers are not only looking for a partner for themselves, she explains, but also a stepmother for their children.