Child psychology divorce dating
Sometime after parents separate and often before they divorce, at least one begins to date.
That's generally healthy for the adults; it means they're moving on to the next phase of their lives. Marilyn daughters, Shana, and twins Alison and Rachel, were 4 and 19 when she and their father split up after almost 27 years.
It was more than a year before she was ready to date.
Two weeks ago, on a night Shana was with her father, Friedman cooked dinner for the twins and the man she has been seeing exclusively for two years. "I'm very mindful and protective of their emotions."Overkill?
Not to Elaine, a mother of three who asked not to be identified because she's in the midst of divorce proceedings. The first was starting to date two months after her separation."You go through a selfish stage when you split up," she says. "' As awful as that was, it was worse to see her son so miserable when the relationship ended. Children of divorce have already experienced loss, maybe trauma.
"You assume your kids understand that mom needs a life outside of them. "He asked about him almost daily, for months," she says. The problem is not that they get attached to a new person, but that exposure to a parade of new people creates the potential for more loss."At its heart, this is about trust," says psychologist Leah Klungness of Long Island, who specializes in single-parent issues.
They don't."Mistakes 2, 3, and 4:* Introducing her children to the first man she liked.* Allowing him to spend time at the house, especially playing ball with her son, then 8.* Giving him a peck on the cheek one day as they parted. Children are likely to wonder, "Who can I count on to stay around? " Some blame themselves: "I'm not lovable." The more loss there is, the more distrustful they can become, including in their own future relationships.
By the time a parent finds someone to commit to, they may be adamantly resistant.
Parents are entitled to a personal life, but it's best to keep it private in the beginning.Children need to know only two things: (1) "Since your mother and I aren't living together, there will be new people in my life"; (2) "You are always the number one relationship in my life."They do need to know that much, emphasizes Tufts University psychologist Donald Wertlieb, whose practice in Wellesley Hills specializes in families coping with stress."Even preschoolers tend to intuit more than we realize," he says."It's better to be open [to that degree] than for them to feel there are secrets." He advises telling your ex-spouse that you're taking this step and, when one parent starts to date before the other, to say, "I know your dad is dating.When I'm ready, I will, too." Otherwise, children are caught in a bind, feeling protective of the parent who isn't moving on and angry with the one who is.Even when a relationship is in that stage between casual and committed, keep details from children.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating