Divorce is a messy and complicated process. No matter how equal the partnership, one person is often hurt more than the other. Second only to the death of a partner, child or parent, divorce is by far one of the hardest of life’s problems to face. One way to ease the pain is to search out comfort in another partner, but this can lead to even bigger problems. It is normal to seek solace, companionship and sexual intimacy after a divorce, and while the time frame for doing so is different for each person, a good rule is that if you are still upset by your former partner’s actions, it may be too soon to start a new relationship. Healing must take place before you can move on to better things.
Don’t Rush Me!
It is natural and understandable to want to rush this process because you have met this incredible new person and you want everyone else to see how great she is. However, the reality is that the new person may simply be “great” because she is affirming you after years of feeling put down or left out.
The problem of when to introduce your children to a new partner is one of the biggest problem most divorced men face. Introducing a new partner to your children takes attention to timing to be successful. If you introduce your children to a new partner when the relationship is new and not yet on solid foundation, it could mean disaster, anguish and heartache for all involved. Before you introduce a new girlfriend to the family, you should take into consideration how long it has been since the divorce, the age and level of understanding of your children and, most importantly, the wishes of your new partner and her commitment to the relationship.
Set A Good Example
You are your children’s primary role model and moral compass. They will look to you for clues on how to behave. Divorce is traumatic for children and it takes some time for them to release the hope that their parents will get back together. It is especially difficult for younger children because they may feel confused, angry or possessive of their parent. Younger children often do not understand dating and courtship behaviors of adults. Teenage children are often more accepting of new relationships but may feel threatened by the attention given to the new person. They may also feel especially uncomfortable when it comes to the physical contact in front of them.
You owe it to yourself and to your children to build new relationships slowly and allow your children the time they need to become comfortable with the new person.
For advice on how to handle a divorce, child custody or child support issues, contact the Men’s Legal Center.