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Old 02-10-2013, 09:34 PM   #1
cassandrap83
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How long before introducing new partner to children?

If you had an amicable divorce, and your children see both you and the other parent equal amounts of time, how long do you wait to introduce your new partner to your children?

Does it matter how long you've been separated?

Do you handle it differently depending on how old your children are?

Did your ex-wife/husband care? How did they react?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #2
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Kids should never have their emotions put on the line. Do not drag them into your romance!

When the couple has decided to marry, they should then (and only then) start hanging out with the kids - around the house, on outings, et cetera.

I always feel so badly for children who are hurt by their mom's break-up.

Don't use your boyfriend as a sitter. Don't make him part of the family. Don't let the kids get attached to him in ANY way at all. Not even if you like the idea of all of you together and want to see how he does with your kids. It's mean and cruel.

You date him. Not your kids.

Teens are different. They understand dating. But teens shouldn't be allowed to get attached, either.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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Totally disagree on waiting to introduce partners to children until ready to marry. I would never be able to commit to something like marriage or even fully emotionally invest without knowing how that person/kids mesh together. The kids feelings about the person would be a major part of my decisions (within reason).

I do think the ages of the kids play a part. Older kids may not invest as emotionally as younger ones.

In my personal opinion, introductions should be put off until it's determined that this relationship will be long term. I don't think there is a set time, but I think at least 6 months of solid dating as a minimum isn't a bad idea. It's long enough to adequately get to know someone and realize if you want to continue on.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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Totally disagree on waiting to introduce partners to children until ready to marry. I would never be able to commit to something like marriage or even fully emotionally invest without knowing how that person/kids mesh together. The kids feelings about the person would be a major part of my decisions (within reason).

I do think the ages of the kids play a part. Older kids may not invest as emotionally as younger ones.

In my personal opinion, introductions should be put off until it's determined that this relationship will be long term. I don't think there is a set time, but I think at least 6 months of solid dating as a minimum isn't a bad idea. It's long enough to adequately get to know someone and realize if you want to continue on.
That's great advice for the woman. But it sucks for the kids.

I think it depends on who you want to help and protect most.

If the people you want to keep safe from hurt are the children, do not allow them to attach to and love someone (or multiple someones) who may not stick around. That's my opinion. But I'll shut up now.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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That's great advice for the woman. But it sucks for the kids.

I think it depends on who you want to help and protect most.

If the people you want to keep safe from hurt are the children, do not allow them to attach to and love someone (or multiple someones) who may not stick around. That's my opinion. But I'll shut up now.
Totally fine to have different opinions. Everyone's different.

I don't think it sucks for the kids. I think it sucks when people introduce partners right away and split, but that's why I think you should wait until you know it will last long term. The age of the kids would play a big part. My cousin was about 7 and knew his dad was dating someone and felt super betrayed that he wasn't being introduced to that person. He would have been really upset if his dad had decided to marry someone and bring them into his life before he even met them.

I just personally wouldn't be able to entertain the thought of marriage if my kids weren't on board with it. I'm sure it sucks for the kids equally as much if you end up marrying someone they don't get along with.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kaligal
Kids should never have their emotions put on the line. Do not drag them into your romance!

When the couple has decided to marry, they should then (and only then) start hanging out with the kids - around the house, on outings, et cetera.

I always feel so badly for children who are hurt by their mom's break-up.

Don't use your boyfriend as a sitter. Don't make him part of the family. Don't let the kids get attached to him in ANY way at all. Not even if you like the idea of all of you together and want to see how he does with your kids. It's mean and cruel.

You date him. Not your kids.

Teens are different. They understand dating. But teens shouldn't be allowed to get attached, either.
I totally disagree with this!! So a child has no contact with a step parent until they become that ??? How do you know if someone is worthy of being a step parent if you have never seen them around your children? How can you commit a lifetime with someone who has never been around the most important people in your life, your kids? How will the kids feel when you introduce them to your new spouse? Hey kids here is someone you don't even know mommy/daddy is going to marry them?!?! I think kids are set up to be hurt a lot more with this reasoning!
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by aaarcher86
Totally disagree on waiting to introduce partners to children until ready to marry. I would never be able to commit to something like marriage or even fully emotionally invest without knowing how that person/kids mesh together. The kids feelings about the person would be a major part of my decisions (within reason).

I do think the ages of the kids play a part. Older kids may not invest as emotionally as younger ones.

In my personal opinion, introductions should be put off until it's determined that this relationship will be long term. I don't think there is a set time, but I think at least 6 months of solid dating as a minimum isn't a bad idea. It's long enough to adequately get to know someone and realize if you want to continue on.
I agree with this, I say the timeline has a bit of wiggle room either way based on a lot of factors. I wouldn't factor the ex in at all, WAY to many things play into that and chances are they are dealing with feelings not related to the kids on this subject . Even if everything was very amicable until this point .
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:19 PM   #8
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I totally disagree with this!! So a child has no contact with a step parent until they become that ??? How do you know if someone is worthy of being a step parent if you have never seen them around your children? How can you commit a lifetime with someone who has never been around the most important people in your life, your kids? How will the kids feel when you introduce them to your new spouse? Hey kids here is someone you don't even know mommy/daddy is going to marry them?!?! I think kids are set up to be hurt a lot more with this reasoning!
You should be able to figure out what sort of person they are and whether you want to marry them without putting your children's hearts on the line.

And I didn't say you should marry them first. I said the two of you should have decided that you will marry. Before the kids hearts are involved, you should know that this guy won't break their little hearts.

It's fine for grown women to risk THEIR OWN heart in a romance. It is mean and cruel to allow your children to risk theirs. They don't know what they're getting into. They're hurt and bewildered when its over.

I've seen enough confused, hurt, angry, broken-hearted children to know it is a horrible idea. But then their moms start dating someone else and the kid sloooowwly learns to extend their heart again.

Eventually, the kids learn not to count on these guys. Everyone gets callouses on their heart and toughens up after enough sorrow.

I don't recommend it.

I know there are other viewpoints. Like I said, I've seen a LOT of it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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You have to factor the ex in because if you bring a lot of new relationships around you spouse can go back to court and fight to get your custody agreement changed again. I don't know if it is legal in every state but i know in Texas they make a big deal about boyfriends and girlfriends always changing and being around the kids after divorces.

Once the relationship becomes serious and you think it might become long term then Tell them he is a friend of yours just like any other friend. They don't need to know the person is your bf or gf. That way they will know him/her with out the emotional attachment of it being their new parent. This way if things don't work out you can just say you guys aren't hanging out any more and it isn't that big of a deal at the same time if things do work out your kids know this person and know they are good people and not some stranger that will soon be living with them.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kaligal View Post
You should be able to figure out what sort of person they are and whether you want to marry them without putting your children's hearts on the line.

And I didn't say you should marry them first. I said the two of you should have decided that you will marry. Before the kids hearts are involved, you should know that this guy won't break their little hearts.

It's fine for grown women to risk THEIR OWN heart in a romance. It is mean and cruel to allow your children to risk theirs. They don't know what they're getting into. They're hurt and bewildered when its over.

I've seen enough confused, hurt, angry, broken-hearted children to know it is a horrible idea. But then their moms start dating someone else and the kid sloooowwly learns to extend their heart again.

Eventually, the kids learn not to count on these guys. Everyone gets callouses on their heart and toughens up after enough sorrow.

I don't recommend it.

I know there are other viewpoints. Like I said, I've seen a LOT of it.
Marriage doesn't guarantee that.

I don't think it's quite as black and white as you're making it sound.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #11
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People generally wait six months or a year after agreeing to marry. More than enough time for children to get to know and love their new step-parent.

Two adults who are concerned with a child's welfare won't mind waiting a few months to a year to get married. Most people wait that long, anyway.

Of course the courts will take another look at custody agreements if mom is allowing the kids to have their little hearts broken by her boyfriends. Duh. But by then the damage is done. That really shouldn't be the reason to protect your kids - that you might lose custody. It should be because you love them and WANT to make sure they don't have to break-up with him, too.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kaligal
People generally wait six months or a year after agreeing to marry. More than enough time for children to get to know and love their new step-parent.

Two adults who are concerned with a child's welfare won't mind waiting a few months to a year to get married. Most people wait that long, anyway.

Of course the courts will take another look at custody agreements if mom is allowing the kids to have their little hearts broken by her boyfriends. Duh.
Marriage doesn't mean they won't get hurt. If anything there is a higher chance of the next marriage not working if the children resent the new step parent and feel like they had no choice about this person being in their parents life full time . There is also a huge difference between parading every date you have around the kids and introducing them to someone you see yourself in a committed long term relationship with. No one here has suggested have every date meet the kids.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:41 PM   #13
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Marriage doesn't mean they won't get hurt. If anything there is a higher chance of the next marriage not working if the children resent the new step parent and feel like they had no choice about this person being in their parents life full time . There is also a huge difference between parading every date you have around the kids and introducing them to someone you see yourself in a committed long term relationship with. No one here has suggested have every date meet the kids.
Meetingthe kids is not that big a deal. That won't hurt them.

Allowing them to fall in love with and have to break up with your boyfriends, like you do, is the mean part.

IMO, anyway.

If you don't know this person will be a permanent fixture in your kid's life, why would you do that?

Aside from you wanting the family feeling before being committed to being a family...

Aside from you wanting to see how much he will love the kids and they'll love him and you don't want to wait until you're sure about your relationship...

Aside from your own desires and feelings...

Why would you allow your kid to become a part of your romances? Why?

I can't see any good reason for allowing your kid to be hurt by your romances.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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Meetingthe kids is not that big a deal. That won't hurt them.

Allowing them to fall in love with and have to break up with your boyfriends, like you do, is the mean part.

IMO, anyway.

If you don't know this person will be a permanent fixture in your kid's life, why would you do that?

Aside from you wanting the family feeling before being committed to being a family...

Aside from you wanting to see how much he will love the kids and they'll love him and you don't want to wait until you're sure about your relationship...

Aside from your own desires and feelings...

Why would you allow your kid to become a part of your romances? Why?

I can't see any good reason for allowing your kid to be hurt by your romances.

What exactly do you mean by getting envolved in relationships? I believe most of us are talking about letting the kids meet the person maybe have a few hang outs or even dates where the kids get to go along. It isn't anything like letting them call him/her daddy/mommy or letting him/her babysit or have the kids for overnight.


My parents were divorced when I was very young and so I met a lot of my dad's "girlfriends" several right off the bat and I never got attached or my heart hurt. It showed me more about my dad then about these other people or relationships. Even when I was little I didn't put much effort into my fathers relationships since I knew they never lasted long. Now on the other hand my mother never brought anyone around so as I got older and she didn't remarry I was always worried about her emotionally since I knew for adults relationships were important and my brothers and I had no clue if she was seeing anyone.

Also you keep acting like marriage is the end of it and the new person can't go away after marriage. Sadly the new person can and the kids already know that since their parents are divorced in the first place.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:07 PM   #15
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Meetingthe kids is not that big a deal. That won't hurt them.

Allowing them to fall in love with and have to break up with your boyfriends, like you do, is the mean part.

IMO, anyway.

If you don't know this person will be a permanent fixture in your kid's life, why would you do that?

Aside from you wanting the family feeling before being committed to being a family...

Aside from you wanting to see how much he will love the kids and they'll love him and you don't want to wait until you're sure about your relationship...

Aside from your own desires and feelings...

Why would you allow your kid to become a part of your romances? Why?

I can't see any good reason for allowing your kid to be hurt by your romances.
I guess I don't understand what you mean by allowing the kids to fall in love and get their hearts broken.
First you said a BF shouldn't be around the kids until you decide to marry, then you said its ok to meet them in your last post

A lot of engagements end before marriage, over 50 % of second marriages end in divorce so there is a good chance no matter what this new person may not be a permanent fixture in their life.

Why do you involve your children with someone you are in a serious relationship with?
You do it because you want your children to feel like they are involved and have a say in who you marry
You do it so your children don't resent having a new person forced into their life
You do it Because no matter how well you know someone you really can't trust them with your children until you see them interact . You need to see how someone handles your kids at there worst.

If you commit to marrying someone your children should have the ability to give you their input before that engagement has happened

I have heard of a new trend for second marriages where the man gets the blessing of a woman's children instead of her father before asking her to marry him .
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