This subject is often discussed in a family mediation session. Indeed, these questions are seen as a source of conflict among newly separated parents.
Hence, the separation of the parents and the arrival of a new person in the children’s lives may be disruptive and perturbing. According to psychologist Maryse Vaillant, we must begin by telling the children that we met someone important and it is expected that the new relationship becomes clearer before talking more to the children about it. Also, we shall inform our children of our new projects with that person only when they are concrete.
In addition, we avoid praising that person since the children will tend to believe that we denigrate the other parent. According to the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Alain Ranger, it is better to say less. It is also important, according to him, not to put pressure on our children to love our new spouse or lover. We must give them time and invite them to ask questions if they wish to.
Subsequently, we must introduce our new spouse or lover gradually and ideally in a place where children feel comfortable and where they can withdraw at any time, according to psychoanalyst Sylviane Giampino. The presentation of a new lover for the child often represents the end of the family and the end of any possibility of reconciliation between the child’s parents. Parents should be aware of it and respect the emotional needs of their children. According to the psychologist Stephanie Leonard, it is important to present the new member of the family slowly by gradually increasing contact with the children. It’s a good idea to start with a short meeting per week for a few weeks and then a day for a few weekends, and finally, a few consecutive days. During this time, reserve yourself alone time with your children.
How to handle the arrival of a new person in your life with your ex-spouse? It is better to inform the other party that you’ve met someone. And even to the extent possible, introduce your new lover to your ex-spouse. However, one should not expect that they become good friends! It is also important that your ex-spouse and your new spouse respect each other and do not speak against each other in front of children. Children should be free to establish a relationship with your new spouse without hurting one of his parents.
To conclude, remember that what is more harmful for your children during a separation, it is the highly conflictual relationship you may have with your former spouse. Therefore, with the arrival of a new person in the life of your ex-spouse, do not let your emotions take over the interest of your children!
Text written by Me Nancy Drolet / Translated by Andrey Leshyner