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Introducing a New Partner to Your Children

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 21 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Separated Dads Children Partner

One of the most stressful things you can do as a separated father is to introduce your children to your new partner. You want everyone to like and accept everyone else – and you’re really not sure what you’ll do if that doesn’t happen. There are no guarantees, of course, but there are a number of things you can do to try to ensure everything goes smoothly. That’s especially important for your children, who won’t understand a lot of the dynamics, and who after all, are the most important things to you.

What Type Of Partner Should You Introduce?

The chances are you’ll date a number of people before finding a serious relationship. Don’t introduce your kids to every passing girlfriend. It will only confuse and frustrate them, and when you want them to meet someone with whom you’re developing a Serious Relationship, it’ll take them longer to trust her.

It’s best to wait until you have a committed relationship with someone before introducing your children into the equation. Give things time to reach stability, where you’re comfortable with each other. Talk to her about your children beforehand, by all means, but try to avoid discussing your former partner.

One thing you have to do, as the relationship develops, is make sure you still give plenty of time to your children, all the time you can. It’s easy to become distracted in a new, major relationship, but don’t do it at the expense of your kids.

The First Meeting

The first meeting between your children and new partner should be a casual, social occasion – say a trip to the park or the cinema. It certainly shouldn’t be anything that involves stress. Introduce your partner as a friend. Don’t kiss her and hold her and include everyone in the conversation. After a while, slip away for a few minutes so your partner can briefly interact with the children. However, keep time for yourself alone with the kids during the visit, too, just as you normally would.

Moving On

You don’t need to have your partner with you every time you have your children. But do have her join you regularly. In time, sit down with your children and explain about your relationship – obviously in terms they’ll understand, depending on their age. Remember, their reaction is important. Hopefully, by the time you do tell them, they’ll have developed their own relationship with your new partner and accept her readily.

If you and your new partner decide to move in together, make your children a part of the process. If you’re renting or buying a new place, let them make the decisions about Decorating Rooms that will be theirs – it gives them a stake in both the place and the relationship.

If the relationship allows, discuss the move with your ex. She’ll hear about it anyway from the children, but it would probably be best if you told her first, if only as a courtesy to prepare her.

Encountering Problems

You can’t force your children to get along with your new partner, so what happens if they don’t? Well, there’s no easy resolution. It’s quite possible you’ll have to make a choice between your partner and your children (and the same applies if your partner doesn’t like your children). Remember, however, that your children are with you for life. Your responsibility to them will never end. The best thing to do is try everything in your power to make sure things go well. Don’t rush anything – there’s plenty of time.

If You Leave For Someone Else

The situation is a little different if you’ve left to be with another woman. Your ex will have told the children, and you should have sat down with them to explain it, too. However, that doesn’t mean you need to introduce her immediately. Take time alone with your kids when you’re with them, and introduce her gradually, as you might with any relationship. Avoid introducing her immediately as their new stepmother; between fairytales and stories, step-parents have bad reputations. Give your children a chance to become used to her – and vice versa.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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[Add a Comment]
@Leigh and @Jaded - not everyone is as morally upright as you two are. My ex introduced my kids to her new partner a month into their relationship. That said I actually quite like him and he is good to my kids (and that was now two years ago). Isn't it dependent upon these factors not the length of time or who did what? You have to look at a vast cross-section of society and not that many are as moralistic as you two. So the advice should cater for everyone. People can't instruct others on what they esteem to be morally right or wrong. This advice is as good as it gets...under the circumstances!
Chris76 - 22-Aug-17 @ 11:59 AM
Hear hear Leigh. A heartbreaking indictment of our times that such 'advice' should even exist.
Jaded - 21-Aug-17 @ 7:10 PM
This is the most inane and useless advice site I have ever seen! I cannot believe you are giving "advice" to parents to introduce the new lover before a divorce is even final and when there was an adulterous relationship. And honestly you don't even give advice. I am surprised after reading these q&a's that people would continue on and ask anything. Your morals are questionable and your lack of concern for children in a broken relationship is astounding.
Leigh - 12-Aug-17 @ 4:14 AM
Stevie - Your Question:
I have recently separated from my ex we have four kids and one week on she's informed me she has a new man and wants to introduce him to my kids.I have told her it's too soon and I'm more than happy for her to be in a relationship as ours wasn't good for a while, what I haven't said to her is I think her new relationship must have overlapped ours for a bit if it's as serious as she's making out.I have also told her our kids are just trying to adjust to me being out the house and having them at the weekend I think she should wait to introduce a new relationship but she is certain that's what she's going to do. I have reiterated I'm not happy about it and don't think it's right but I don't want to argue too much as I am scared she will make it difficult for me to speak too and see my kids.

Our Response:
There is little you can do with regards to this as a court of law is not going to prevent your ex from introducing your children (unless it deems it is not in your children's best interests). In a perfect world, people will take advice of articles such as this, but unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. Your only option would be to suggest mediation to your ex and if mediation fails, or your ex refuses to attend then you can apply to court. However, it will take time to get heard in court and therefore may be no longer applicable. Please see link here with regards to trying to create a situation whereby you can work together on behalf of your kids.
SeparatedDads - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:31 AM
I have recently separated from my ex we have four kids and one week on she's informed me she has a new man and wants to introduce him to my kids. I have told her it's too soon and I'm more than happy for her to be in a relationship as ours wasn't good for a while, what I haven't said to her is I think her new relationship must have overlapped ours for a bit if it's as serious as she's making out. I have also told her our kids are just trying to adjust to me being out the house and having them at the weekend I think she should wait to introduce a new relationship but she is certain that's what she's going to do. I have reiterated I'm not happy about it and don't think it's right but I don't want to argue too much as I am scared she will make it difficult for me to speak too and see my kids.
Stevie - 18-Jul-17 @ 10:20 PM
Hi. I divorced 2 years ago after a very painful 3 year divorce battle. My now 15 year old came to live with me after the divorce leaving his mum with his sister. I have since in the last 9 months introduced my son to my new lady, who is 23, and we have moved in. I'm 49. All went ok at first but then my son started getting upset as most of my spare time got distracted away from him as she is very loving and needs my attention. He got my attention on a lot of weekends due to his hobby. She fell pregnant, we ended up moving out because of arguments. She had a termination after we tried to get back together but failed due to my son saying he hated her. We've again tried to move back in together but I feel sad for my son who cries and says he'll move to his mothers (who kind of hurt him trying to get at me during divorce,) and so I ask for more time from my girlfriend and she says no it's over. Trouble is the relationship we both agree is the most amazing on the planet. Do I just ship my son off to his mums thinking that he'll soon hate being there then come back? If I don't move in now my girlfriend says it's over. Please help.
Loving guy - 30-Apr-17 @ 9:30 AM
HCM - Your Question:
I met my boyfriend five months ago online. We pretty much fell hard for each other and within a month and a half he introduced me to his kids although only as a friend which I was OK with. He has been separated for almost 2 years and hopefully his divorce will be finalized in May. We had every intention of spending Christmas Eve me him and his kids at my family's house and then Christmas day at his house with his kids. About a week before the holidays he calls me and says that he's been reading some articles about introducing significant others to kids and he feels that I shouldn't come over Christmas day. Needless to say I was extremely hurt and honestly since then our relationship has been rocky. I've put the relationship on hold and he's put the relationship on hold and I've pretty much broken up with him at least once and it all stems from this whole issue that he has his kids twice during the week and every other weekend and we don't talk at those times. He is totally off-limits. And that's a giant portion of his life that I am not included in and now I've been excluded. Prior to us having this rocky patch we had agreed that I would meet his kids officially after his divorce is finalized. But now that it's all changed because of the Rocky period He says and now he just wants to wait till the divorce is finalized before he makes any decisions.You keep sending me pictures of all the stuff that he and his kids are doing that's fun but he and I never do anything that's fun. So when I tell him to please do not send me pictures of you guys having fun he gets upset because he should be able to share that with his girlfriend and I'm like wow this whole thing is gotten jacked up and it makes me feel really sad and depressed because you're out having fun with your kids and I'm not involved.I don't know what to do. Any suggestions or advice?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, I'm afraid there is no black and white answer to your question as much depends upon the individuals in question. It may be that your partner has a genuine reason for wishing to keep his children separate from you, or he compartmentalising this area of his life. There are parents that don't want any outside issues to affect the divorce, and to some extent this may be understandable. However, it sounds like your partner has other reservations and is almost holding you to ransom over this. I'm afraid this is a decision you will have to make by yourself. Your partner has doubts - that is for sure. You have to decide whether you wish to continue to be treated as though you are on some sort of relationship trial - which cannot be comfortable for you. If you feel loved and wanted in every other area of your relationship then you may have reason to continue to wait. However, if you do not and you genuinely feel excluded from his life to the point it is making you miserable, then you may wish to cut loose and find someone who will value you for who you are and include you in their life.
SeparatedDads - 20-Mar-17 @ 12:05 PM
I met my boyfriend five months ago online. We pretty much fell hard for each other and within a month and a half he introduced me to his kids although only as a friend which I was OK with. He has been separated for almost 2 years and hopefully his divorce will be finalized in May. We had every intention of spending Christmas Eve me him and his kids at my family's house and then Christmas day at his house with his kids. About a week before the holidays he calls me and says that he's been reading some articles about introducing significant others to kids and he feels that I shouldn't come over Christmas day. Needless to say I was extremely hurt and honestly since then our relationship has been rocky. I've put the relationship on hold and he's put the relationship on hold and I've pretty much broken up with him at least once and it all stems from this whole issue that he has his kids twice during the week and every other weekend and we don't talk at those times. He is totally off-limits. And that's a giant portion of his life that I am not included in and now I've been excluded. Prior to us having this rocky patch we had agreed that I would meet his kids officially after his divorce is finalized. But now that it's all changed because of the Rocky period He says and now he just wants to wait till the divorce is finalized before he makes any decisions. You keep sending me pictures of all the stuff that he and his kids are doing that's fun but he and I never do anything that's fun. So when I tell him to please do not send me pictures of you guys having fun he gets upset because he should be able to share that with his girlfriend and I'm like wow this whole thing is gotten jacked up and it makes me feel really sad and depressed because you're out having fun with your kids and I'm not involved. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions or advice?
HCM - 19-Mar-17 @ 12:59 PM
Juls - Your Question:
You responded to me 20 Feb so I have spoken to my ex numerous times about the situation btwn him and my daughter and he keeps saying he will sort it out. Till today he has not spoken to her abt him planning on getting married which is soon by the way. My daughter has not met his future wife as yet. He just keeps lying to her and says there is no need for him to tell her everything he will tell her when the time is right. With all his lies she is becoming more and more distant from him and never wants to talk to him when he calls and doesn't want to see him anymore. She has been suffering with headaches and eczema and hair loss which the doc after bloods came back clear has labelled this as stress. He does not want to take responsibility and says I'm stressing her out by keeping him away from her. She does not want to see him anymore and he isn't making an effort to sort things out btwn them. I even took her to his place to speak to him and he doesn't answer when we call from the intercom at his complex. I try talking to my ex but there is no winning and if I start pushing too hard he will accuse me of being jealous bcos he has moved on. And he has been doing that accusing me that I can't except that he has moved on and is lashing out at me instead of fixing his relationship with his daughter. From your articles that I have read he should introduce them and also give the child time to adjust and build a relationship with his future wife b4 getting married? Pls advice me as to what to do I'm out of options. Juls

Our Response:
I'm not surprised your ex doesn't answer at his workplace, the workplace is not a place to sort out personal issues. We try to give all round objective advice in our articles, such as introducing a new partner over time. However, this doesn't always happen in practice, people have their own methods of dealing with such matters and there are no specific rules. Everyone is different with regards to how they approach things. It sounds as though you are all very much at odds with each other and are finding it impossible to reach any kind of resolution. Therefore, in cases such as this, mediation can be an option, please see link here. I hope this helps. 
SeparatedDads - 1-Mar-17 @ 12:03 PM
You responded to me 20 Feb so I have spoken to my ex numerous times about the situation btwn him and my daughter and he keeps saying he will sort it out. Till today he has not spoken to her abt him planning on getting married which is soon by the way. My daughter has not met his future wife as yet. He just keeps lying to her and says there is no need for him to tell her everything he will tell her when the time is right. With all his lies she is becoming more and more distant from him and never wants to talk to him when he calls and doesn't want to see him anymore. She has been suffering with headaches and eczema and hair loss which the doc after bloods came back clear has labelled this as stress. He does not want to take responsibility and says I'm stressing her out by keeping him away from her. She does not want to see him anymore and he isn't making an effort to sort things out btwn them. I even took her to his place to speak to him and he doesn't answer when we call from the intercom at his complex.I try talking to my ex but there is no winning and if I start pushing too hard he will accuse me of being jealous bcos he has moved on. And he has been doing that accusing me that I can't except that he has moved on and is lashing out at me instead of fixing his relationship with his daughter. From your articles that I have read he should introduce them and also give the child time to adjust and build a relationship with his future wife b4 getting married? Pls advice me as to what to do I'm out of options. Juls
Juls - 28-Feb-17 @ 7:45 PM
In response to Juls ( 20 Feb) I have spoken to my ex numerous times about the situation btwn him and my daughter and he keeps saying he will sort it out. Till today he has not spoken to her abt him planning on getting married which is soon by the way. My daughter has not met his future wife as yet. He just keeps lying to her and says there is no need for him to tell her everything he will tell her when the time is right. With all his lies she is becoming more and more distant from him and never wants to talk to him when he calls and doesn't want to see him anymore. She has been suffering with headaches and eczema and hair loss which the doc after bloods came back clear has labelled this as stress. I try talking to my ex but there is no winning and if I start pushing too hard he will accuse me of being jealous bcos he has moved on. From your articles that I have read he should introduce them and also give the child time to adjust and build a relationship with his future wife b4 getting married? Pls help I'm lost as to what to do and say. Juls
Juls - 24-Feb-17 @ 5:06 AM
Miss Katie - Your Question:
Almost 2 years ago my ex partner of 4 years left me & our daughter for another woman & her two children he frequently would hit me on occasions and cheated on me for years with other woman although he eventually settled down with this one. They have moved in together in my old house and eventually my ex decided he wanted to see our daughter although I refused because of the domestic violence etc but recently we have been to court and he managed to gain access to our 2 year old daughter. He now has her every other weekend although his new gf is continually posting pics of her and my child over fb etc and VERY rarely has her own children. This is a very difficult situation to be in as she is using my child to get closer to my ex and his family she tried for years to interfere and was very bitter and jealous when we had a child. I worry for my daughter so much. Any advice?

Our Response:
I'm afraid if a court order has been issued, then there is little you can do to have the order varied. The exceptions are if there has been a significant change in circumstances where a court would feel compelled to re-visit the decision. The fact you don't like his current partner or do not agree with the relationship she has with your child is, I'm afraid, not really grounds enough.
SeparatedDads - 21-Feb-17 @ 2:13 PM
Almost 2 years ago my ex partner of 4 years left me & our daughter for another woman & her two children he frequently would hit me on occasions and cheated on me for years with other woman although he eventually settled down with this one. They have moved in together in my old house and eventually my ex decided he wanted to see our daughter although I refused because of the domestic violence etc but recently we have been to court and he managed to gain access to our 2 year old daughter. He now has her every other weekend although his new gf is continually posting pics of her and my child over fb etc and VERY rarely has her own children. This is a very difficult situation to be in as she is using my child to get closer to my ex and his family she tried for years to interfere and was very bitter and jealous when we had a child. I worry for my daughter so much. Any advice?
Miss Katie - 21-Feb-17 @ 12:17 AM
Juls - Your Question:
Hi my ex and I are divorced for over 5yrs and daughter is 11. She has always had a good relationship with her dad and we often did the stuff together as a family now he has a girlfriend and is getting married shortly. He hasn't told my daughter but my daughter has seen her in his car and when she asks her dad he lies abt it. He has blocked my daughter on his whatsapp bcos he has his profile picture as him and his girlfriend and she has seen this. My daughter has really been lashing out at him and doesn't even want to be with him anymore. When ever they are together they fight she has taken back his xmas gift that she made for him. Has asked him to remove photos of her in his house. He has also laahed out at her and called her a looser which has really hurt her.I don't know what to do.

Our Response:
If you are on amicable terms with your ex, you may wish to speak to him about the situation in order to get his side of the story too. Your daughter has obviously taken the fact her father has met another woman hard - and therefore you need to talk with her too in order to get to the bottom of why she feels like she does. Hopefully, given the fact she has always had a good relationship with her dad these are just teething problems and will sort themselves out in time. You might have to be the middleman here and try to pave the way.
SeparatedDads - 20-Feb-17 @ 10:23 AM
Hi my ex and I are divorced for over 5yrs and daughter is 11. She has always had a good relationship with her dad and we often did the stuff together as a family now he has a girlfriend and is getting married shortly. He hasn't told my daughter but my daughter has seen her in his car and when she asks her dad he lies abt it. He has blocked my daughter on his whatsapp bcos he has his profile picture as him and his girlfriend and she has seen this. My daughter has really been lashing out at him and doesn't even want to be with him anymore. When ever they are together they fight she has taken back his xmas gift that she made for him. Has asked him to remove photos of her in his house. He has also laahed out at her and called her a looser which has really hurt her.I don't know what to do.
Juls - 19-Feb-17 @ 5:42 AM
Gib - Your Question:
Hi, I split with my ex over 14 months ago now and have recently become involved in a new relationship. My daughter is 3 years old and I've introduced her to my new partner as a friend only I also never show any emotion towards my new partner in my daughters company so as not to confuse her. I'm being told from her mother that she is to young and it's to soon although I only treat my partner as friend in her company. I see my daughter 4 times everywhere and only have 1 daya week to see my my partner without my daughter. My daughter and my partner get on well but am I in the wrong for doing this. Please help as I don't know what's best. Kind regards

Our Response:
There is no right or wrong answer here and it is something that really should be agreed between you both. You don't say if your ex has moved on and whether a new man has come into her life and whether she has introduced your daughter to him. If so, then your ex hasn't really got any grounds to request you act differently. If you both have joint parental responsibility then really you are both equally capable of making decisions that you think is in the best interests of your child.
SeparatedDads - 16-Feb-17 @ 11:02 AM
Hi, I split with my ex over 14 months ago now and have recently become involved ina new relationship. My daughter is 3 years old and I've introduced her to my new partner as a friend only I also never show any emotion towards my new partner in my daughters company so as not to confuse her. I'm being told from her mother that she is to young and it's to soon although I only treat my partner as friend in her company. I see my daughter 4 times everywhere and only have 1 daya week to see my my partner without my daughter. My daughter and my partner get on well but am I in the wrong for doing this. Please help as I don't know what's best. Kind regards
Gib - 15-Feb-17 @ 12:07 PM
Sarah - Your Question:
Hi my partner and I have been together for over 6 months he left a 20year relationship to be with me and has 4 wonderful kids that I get on with very well but his ex keeps telling him that I am aggressive and that he's not aloud to see his kids if he's with me I new his two youngest before we even got together due to being friends with him previously, I have no children my self and is youngest daughter lives with us and has no contact with her mother we just want to know what the best thing is to do because his kids are his world

Our Response:
Your partner would have the option to take the matter to court through a Specific Issue Order, please see link here. The court will always act upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the children and unless his ex can come up with a good reason why access should not take place with you, then it is likely that your partner's access will continue. Once a court order is in place, his ex will have to adhere to it. Alternatively, your partner may wish to ask a solicitor to write a letter to his ex outlining his parental rights and if access is not re-instated then he will take the matter to court.
SeparatedDads - 10-Feb-17 @ 1:55 PM
Hi my partner and I have been together for over 6 months he left a 20year relationship to be with me and has 4 wonderful kids that I get on with very well but his ex keeps telling him that I am aggressive and that he's not aloud to see his kids if he's with me I new his two youngest before we even got together due to being friends with him previously, I have no children my self and is youngest daughter lives with us and has no contact with her mother we just want to know what the best thing is to do because his kids are his world
Sarah - 9-Feb-17 @ 3:40 PM
Currently me and my boyfriend of 3 years recently had a child together. She is a few months old. However, he still won't introduce us to his other kids ages 10 from a previous divorce. His oldest son 13 ( with the same partner) came to live with him in June 2016, he tells his son to keep this matter private from his siblings and ex wife. He brings him around, they stay here 4 nights out of the week due to their busy schedule. The other kids live out of town with their mother which is he goes to pick up once a month for a weekened. When that time comes he leaves and return after he takes them home. He says hes protecting them and if the ex wife finds out she will take the older son back. Which doesn't make sense to me if he's paying child support like he says. Although he tells me the ex has a new partner around, this doesn't make sense. I have two other children 14 and 5 who wonders why they can't meet the 10 year olds.... The relationship at this point is taking a toll from the secrecies. He says he loves me and wants this to work, but I'm starting to lack trust. I feel there is something deep rooted and it's making me feel inadequate and unworthy in this relationship. After 3 years somethingdefinately not right about this, and I'm about ready to call it quits. He is a great father to our daughter but this can't continue.Opinions please. Thank you
Fran - 21-Jan-17 @ 9:17 PM
Zlr92 - Your Question:
Basically my ex and I split over 3years ago. He had our son every weekend until he started school, then it went to every other weekend and the other Friday for tea. I found out via facebook he had a new girlfriend, he had introduced her and her family to my 5year old son, without telling me. I then put a stop to it, not forever but until the relationship was established. They now see eachother ect. Whenever my son comes home it's never just him and his dad, stories always include her. Now don't get me wrong I'm not jealous. I moved on a long time ago. But I've asked if they have moved in together and he has assured me they haven't. Yet she is telling people they are. It's not the fact they have or haven't it's the lying. Why lie? I just want a truthful answer. I have a right to know who my son is around do I not? I was truthful with him about my partner. He also uses living alone as an excuse to pay a very minimal amount for our son. My partner paid for his share of the school uniform as he couldn't afford it. Yet he can afford to take his new girlfriend to Disneyland for a weekend. His excuse it was only for two people Surely the first person you'd think of would be your child? Not the person who is allowing you to get your end wet?

Our Response:
Your ex is not obliged to tell you about the decisions he makes as a father, just as you are not obliged to tell him of the decisions you make as a mother, or judge him on the decisions he makes as a single person i.e where he chooses to go etc. Likewise, as the father, only he is responsible for paying child maintenance to support his child. If his girlfriend wishes to contribute, like your current partner it is seen as a voluntary contribution, not compulsary. I'm afraid you don't really have rights to issue 'shoulds' or 'should nots' unless you don't mind him issuing them back to you also.
SeparatedDads - 29-Nov-16 @ 1:01 PM
Marcy25 - Your Question:
Hi! My ex left me Almost going on two months now,and not even a week later when he had left told me he was dating the girl he was seeing while we was still together (the girl he was cheating on me with). Well two weeks into dating her he introduced her and few more other times after to our 5 year old and 3 year old son. Now, I don't know about anyone else but when I found out I was angry. I felt it was way to soon and he didn't even know if this relationship was even going to be stable. Our oldest had seen them kiss one of the times she was visiting I told my ex how I felt about the situation and how it was to soon. That there was no way he could know from two weeks that the relationship was going to last and that the kids would get confused. Especially, with us just having separated two weeks ago (this was at the beginning of the seperation) and he replied that he would rather just tear the band aid off, and let it hurt now then do it later because he really liked her and he could see hisself with her and that our son just needed to get use to it. To me that was something selfish to say because I took it as if he didn't care how our oldest felt. He still was going to have her around him (by all means I'm ok with him moving on) but with almost two months coming up he hasn't been really around and the little that he does come around he wants to have her around instead of spending that quality time with them. I still feel that it's to soon especially the whole staying the night when they are there. Now again I am ok with him moving on because he has the right to move on and be happy, but I worry for our kids. I don't know if I'm stressing? If I have the right to feel this way? I just don't want my boys getting confused on the situation and when I talk to their dad he automatically assumes I'm the hurt one, but I've told him many times that when he is dating not only is he finding his partner he is also finding the stepmother of our boys and that he should take his time to really know someone before bringing them around someone please help me here I don't know if I am at wrong?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. As much as this article gives advice on how long to wait, there are no rules to say whether you are right or wrong, as much depends upon your opinion and your ex-partner's. Many parents will wait a while until children are introduced to a new partner, some wont. If this upsets you and you cannot come to an agreement, you may wish to consider mediation, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here.
SeparatedDads - 29-Nov-16 @ 12:37 PM
Basically my ex and I split over 3years ago. He had our son every weekend until he started school, then it went to every other weekend and the other Friday for tea. I found out via facebook he had a new girlfriend, he had introduced her and her family to my 5year old son, without telling me. I then put a stop to it, not forever but until the relationship was established. They now see eachother ect. Whenever my son comes home it's never just him and his dad, stories always include her. Now don't get me wrong I'm not jealous. I moved on a long time ago. But I've asked if they have moved in together and he has assured me they haven't. Yet she is telling people they are. It's not the fact they have or haven't it's the lying. Why lie? I just want a truthful answer. I have a right to know who my son is around do I not? I was truthful with him about my partner. He also uses living alone as an excuse to pay a very minimal amount for our son. My partner paid for his share of the school uniform as he couldn't afford it. Yet he can afford to take his new girlfriend to Disneyland for a weekend. His excuse it was only for two people Surely the first person you'd think of would be your child? Not the person who is allowing you to get your end wet?
Zlr92 - 29-Nov-16 @ 5:20 AM
Hi! My ex left me Almost going on two months now,and not even a week later when he had left told me he was dating the girl he was seeing while we was still together (the girl he was cheating on me with). Well two weeks into dating her he introduced her and few more other times after to our 5 year old and 3 year old son. Now, I don't know about anyone else but when I found out I was angry. I felt it was way to soon and he didn't even know if this relationship was even going to be stable. Our oldest had seen them kiss one of the times she was visiting I told my ex how I felt about the situation and how it was to soon. That there was no way he could know from two weeks that the relationship was going to last and that the kids would get confused. Especially, with us just having separated two weeks ago (this was at the beginning of the seperation) and he replied that he would rather just tear the band aid off, and let it hurt now then do it later because he really liked her and he could see hisself with her and that our son just needed to get use to it. To me that was something selfish to say because I took it as if he didn't care how our oldest felt. He still was going to have her around him (by all means I'm ok with him moving on) but with almost two months coming up he hasn't been really around and the little that he does come around he wants to have her around instead of spending that quality time with them. I still feel that it's to soon especially the whole staying the night when they are there. Now again I am ok with him moving on because he has the right to move on and be happy, but I worry for our kids. I don't know if I'm stressing? If I have the right to feel this way? I just don't want my boys getting confused on the situation and when I talk to their dad he automatically assumes I'm the hurt one, but I've told him many times that when he is dating not only is he finding his partner he is also finding the stepmother of our boys and that he should take his time to really know someone before bringing them around someone please help me here I don't know if I am at wrong?
Marcy25 - 29-Nov-16 @ 3:15 AM
Andy - Your Question:
Hi everyone, I am hoping for some help pIease. I have been separated for 3mths after a 20 year marriage and have 2 daughters aged 17 and 14 who now live with their mother. I met my wife when I was 17 and she was 20 and we were together for 25 years. She is a lovely person and has been the only girlfriend I have ever had. I have been quite naive about all aspects of love and relationships all my life, so it took me a long time to realise that our marridge wasnt workinga dn that the love had died. Over the last 5 years, I have known I was no longer in love with my wife but continued trying to make the marriage work until communication broke down completely between us and we both started suffering with depression. When counselling didn't work and the kids started to see how depressed we both were, I moved out. During the last 12 mths, a lady I met through work has been the only person I have been able to talk to and I have been the only person she can talk to about a disability she has so we became very close friends although there was no physical affair. Sadly, because I discussed this friendship in counselling my wife and daughters believe I was having an emotional and physical affair and this was the reason for my moving out, which wasn't the case. Since moving out my friend and I started talking more and we have fallen in love, never realising that we both have had feelings for each other for some time without the other knowing or ourselves realising it. We are soul mates and have a relationship stronger than either of us have ever experienced before but have held back on the physical side of the relationship. We both want to be able to tell everyone that we are together and start a full relationship but only feel we can do that and be guilt free if my daughters and ex wife are made aware first. After 3 mths, a formal separation agreemen is almost complete and a divorce will take place in 2yrs time and I now have an amicable relationship with my daughters and my ex wife again and I don't want to lose that. For me I have been emotionally detached for 5 years from my wife but the separation is a relatively short time at 3mths so I am plagued by the following questions.How long should I wait before telling my daughters that I am starting a new relationship? Although my new partner says she will wait for me, how long can I expect my new partner to wait for me? What signs can I look out for to help me know when the time is right to tell my daughters?Any thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated. Rgds Andy

Our Response:
I'm very glad you have managed to find love again. I can only advise that you are the best person to know when the right time to mention your new love is and you must do what feels right for you. If you start a physical affair with your new partner, you are not obliged to tell your ex wife and your children right away, and you have no reason to feel guilty. Plus, you may first want to see if the relationship has 'legs' first before you make an announcement and exploring your new relationship both emotionally and physically to see if it works may be a sensible and rational approach. It means you both have a strong foundation to build from the ground up, so that when you do tell your children and ex wife then you are both established and trusting enough of each other to feel comfortable it will last any possible emotional reactions. Both you and your ex wife are currently still in the adjustment phase, so talking and being as supportive as ever to your children and ex will mean that any emotional transition is a smooth one. You don't say what the response of your ex wife and your children was regarding the new woman in your life, but small incremental mentions and testing the water is the best approach. As the article specifies, don’t rush anything - there’s plenty of time.
SeparatedDads - 20-Jun-16 @ 12:37 PM
Hi everyone, I am hoping for some help pIease. I have been separated for 3mths after a 20 year marriage and have 2 daughters aged 17 and 14 who now live with their mother. I met my wife when I was 17 and she was 20 and we were together for 25 years. She is a lovely person and has been the only girlfriend I have ever had. I have been quite naive about all aspects of love and relationships all my life, so it took me a long time to realise that our marridge wasnt workinga dn that the love had died. Over the last 5 years, I have known I was no longer in love with my wife but continued trying to make the marriage work until communication broke down completely between us and we both started suffering with depression. When counselling didn't work and the kids started to see how depressed we both were, I moved out. During the last 12 mths, a lady I met through work has been the only person I have been able to talk to and I have been the only person she can talk to about a disability she has so we became very close friends although there was no physical affair. Sadly, because I discussed this friendship in counselling my wife and daughters believe I was having an emotional and physical affair and this was the reason for my moving out, which wasn't the case. Since moving out my friend and I started talking more and we have fallen in love, never realising that we both have had feelings for each other for some time without the other knowing or ourselves realising it. We are soul mates and have a relationship stronger than either of us have ever experienced before but have held back on the physical side of the relationship. We both want to be able to tell everyone that we are together and start a full relationship but only feel we can do that and be guilt free if my daughters and ex wife are made aware first. After 3 mths, a formal separation agreemen is almost complete and a divorce will take place in 2yrs time and I now have an amicable relationship with my daughters and my ex wife again and I don't want to lose that. For me I have been emotionally detached for 5 years from my wife but the separation is a relatively short time at 3mths so I am plagued by the following questions.....How long should I wait before telling my daughters that I am starting a new relationship? Although my new partner says she will wait for me, how long can I expect my new partner to wait for me? What signs can I look out for to help me know when the time is right to tell my daughters?........Any thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated. Rgds Andy
Andy - 19-Jun-16 @ 2:58 PM
Jillo - Your Question:
I've been separated for 2and a half years. I have 2 children, 4 and 8.I have moved on and have a partner who has kids of his own. All is going well.However, my ex is telling my kids that he will never want to have a new partner (he's in his low 60's, I'm 37). He tells them that he wants to give all his love and cuddles to them. This is confusing them as they now don't understand why I have a new partner. They say things like, 'you don't like my cuddles'How can I get them to understand that having a loving partner is beautiful?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you are having problems with your children over your new partner. The best way to get your children to understand is to demonstrate that by having a new partner you have not changed and love them just as much, this can be verbally, or emotionally and physically. Children can try to push the boundaries when there are new changes, mainly because they may feel a touch insecure, but they will begin to adapt over time. Including them in the things you do with your new partner will help them relax and begin to trust that you are just the same mum as you have always been.
SeparatedDads - 9-May-16 @ 2:15 PM
I've been separated for 2and a half years. I have 2 children, 4 and 8. I have moved on and have a partner who has kids of his own. All is going well. However, my ex is telling my kids that he will never want to have a new partner (he's in his low 60's, I'm 37).. He tells them that he wants to give all his love and cuddles to them. This is confusing them as they now don't understand why I have a new partner. They say things like, 'you don't like my cuddles' How can I get them to understand that having a loving partner is beautiful?
Jillo - 6-May-16 @ 1:38 PM
My partner and I have lived together for 6 months and i'm planning on popping the question in May.She has a 4yr old boy. He's amazing and i treat him like he's my own.We live in a nice 3 bedroom house, he has his own room with a wicked cabin bed (slightly jealous).I look after him when my partner goes to work.Not a problem, we get on very well, i'm the one he comes to wake up first thing every morning to run his bath etc. The other day my gf's exs parents were bringing him back home after having him for 3 days.We had arranged a 12pm drop off as i was taking him to Jordans for lunch and a country trail activity and meet up with his grandparents. The brought him to the door, asked if my partner was in.I said she was at work, as she always is on a fri lunch.Her ex knows this.They then said "Sorry NO" grabbed him and dragged him back to the car.I went out to find out what was going on.They told me that their son had told them if my partner wasn't there then they were to take him back to their house. So with him back in the car waving at me confused and not sure what was going on as he was being taken away from his home.We had to collect him 3 hours later.No afternoon activities. He has stated that his son will not be left with me on his own, he wants to do a full background check on me.He has a new partner who has met his son.Did she get a background check?I have invited him into our home on multiple occasions to see where his son lives the majority of the time.He has declined.He is now refusing to pick him up as it was just me and the little man here.I have never been anything but accomodating as my partners son comes first.He wants to take us to court, surely that is being totally unreasonable and will put more stress on the child!!!! Not sure what advice i am after.Just venting, is there a way for me to become a legal gurdian of the child so he feels like i can look after his child.(I already do and know more about him and spend more time with him than he does which is why i am so mad about him daring to question my integrity). Cheers
Dave - 28-Mar-16 @ 3:55 PM
Hi My partner left his ex for me.We have now been together for over 4 years. We have good stable jobs. Own our own house & are financially stable. Our relationship is really great & we rarely argue apart from when it comes to his ex partner & their children. I have two children of my own whom both live with us. The issue is that my partners ex does not allow him to bring his children to our house or even have any association with me or my children. She uses the "happy mummy" scenario, basically saying if she is not happy then her children are not happy. One of their children had counselling for behavioural problems and it was suggested he visit at his dad's house so he can see where his dad lives & who he lives with. It turned out that my girls & I had to leave the house for the day as his ex was not happy about me being here. I have lived with the fact that he takes his kids to mums every alternative Friday & as he works shifts so most of his off weekend is spent at his mums with his kids. We never get the opportunity to make any arrangements to do things. Bare in mind we have been together for over 4 years. I don't, drink, smoke or take drugs & I am certainly not abusive to my two children who are both girls. Is this right that he has to agree to her terms of visitation which is normally at her house during the week & off to his mums with the kids every fortnight. He had said on numerous occasions that he does not like the arrangement & feels completely powerless against her. He gives her child support for both children & even pays an extra £300 a month towards the children's up keep which I have no issue with at all as I would want his children to have the best in life even though he is not there everyday. He also picks up his children from school twice a week & looks after them till about 8 at her house when she gets home from work. Other nights after work he just pops over to see them for an hour or two & again I have no issue with this at all. He doesn't want to go to court but doesn't know what else to do. He seems to think she had the better of him & used his guilt in order to abide by what she says. It's causing shift between us as she refuses to speak with me even though I have made attempts to clear the air with her & make things simple & more helpful to her. What are his options as I am all for fathers rights to their children.
Linz - 19-Dec-15 @ 11:36 AM
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