Recently, I have seen numerous parents who decide, in the middle of a divorce, that this is a good time to introduce their new “partners” to their children. Unfortunately, they do so oblivious to the problems they create by making these introductions.
When Mom includes little Billy and Suzy in her newly rekindled love life she is only thinking of her own needs and ignoring those of her children. She forgets that children are still grieving their parents’ divorce and are not ready for a new partner to come into the picture. How does she expect the children to deal with the split allegiances they must feel between the new partner and their parent?
If you are considering letting your children meet your new lover, you should give some serious consideration to the situation you are placing your children in. Your children are feeling a tremendous loss from the divorce. If your children get attached to the new partner then they will experience yet another loss if this relationship ends (as these relationships frequently do). This burden is too much for the children when they are adjusting to a divorce and to the back and forth life that will become their new reality.
While you’re at it, consider the anger towards you that you will be creating in your current spouse. Yes, the poor state of your relationship has gotten you to my office in the first place, but why complicate settlement, trial, and custody disputes by adding fuel to the divorce fire? No parent is likely to believe that sharing your dating life with your children during a divorce makes you a proper role model for your children.
Use the periods your children are in your care to help them adjust to their new lives in dual households. Spend quality time with your children and without adding new people to their lives. They need your help to get them through this difficult time. There will be plenty of time after the divorce to welcome new friends into your life and those of your children.