Dad has a new love. Should I be happy or sad

new-love-divorced-dad-how-to-present-family-law-in-a-boxEveryone has the right to be happy.  However, how soon should divorced parents introduce their new love to their children? Some say it does not matter as children adjust with time. Others say parents should wait an average of six months of exclusive dating to ensure that the relationship is stable. Most health professionals usually advocate the same rule:  WAIT. Although the parent may be very excited to have met someone new, most of the time children do not share that same feeling. Many children feel anxious and awkward as they are forced to be polite and make small talk with a person they don’t know. At times, they may even need to get along with the new spouse’s children although they have nothing in common.

Children look for stability and comfort and they tend to become attached to people that respect them and that nurture them with love and affection. When the relationship with the new spouse does not work, then the bond the children have established is broken. They may feel abandoned once again. They may even begin to expect instability on the part of the parent, and they can lose focus and attention in school as well as with their own friendships.

Studies show that other situations prompt more time as often those relationships do not last. For example, if the new partner happens to be friends with the ex-spouse or if there is a significant age difference. Often children feel ashamed and do not want their friends to know about their parent’s new spouse. A young teenager once said during a discussion:  “I never name my dad’s girlfriend to my friends because I don’t want them to know if he has a new one”.

Being loved and cared for is a wonderful feeling. However, when children are involved their feelings must also be taken into consideration.Waiting for a new relationship to be stable before involving the children is a sign of respect when considering the emotional and psychological impact it may have on them.

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