How To Tell Your Adult Children You Are Dating Again
Parents of adult children of divorce should keep the following information and Categories: Children's and Parenting Issues after Divorce. Nothing is more exhilarating than falling in love. It is especially sweet when love comes to you after the devastating pain of divorce or death. Divorced or widowed parents might feel excitement or hope when they return to the dating world after decades away. But their adult children.
They have their own emotions about your divorce that they have to deal with.
That is totally unfair to your kids! If one of your kids sides with you in the divorce and the other sides with your ex, not only are you and your spouse going to be at odds, but your kids will turn on each other too.
Even if all of your kids take the same side in your divorce, they can still turn on each other later. Take the high road! They deserve to have a relationship with both of their parents. Do your best not to ruin that for them. After all, with only two people living there, the house may have been too big to keep anyway. What parents may not realize is that their house was the family home.
It was where the kids grew up. It is where their memories are — memories that they now may be struggling to hold on to now that everything else is up for grabs. If you have to sell the house for financial reasons, tell them so in advance. Be honest about your finances, and your reason for selling the house. Give them time to grieve the loss of their home. No one tells parents that if they have spent a lifetime pretending their marriage was happy, their divorce will likely blindside their adult children.
For a while maybe for a long while they will lose faith in marriage altogether. Adult children of divorce may also find themselves questioning more than just marriage. They also question their ability to maintain any kind of long term relationship. Finally, the adult children of divorce who are not already parents themselves may start to question whether they ever want to become parents. If no relationship is permanent, and kids always get hurt, why bother having kids in the first place?
Differentiate your mistakes from theirs. Encourage them to get therapy to deal with the emotions they are feeling and the questions they are having. Your Divorce Rewrites History.
When parents of young children divorce, the kids usually still have plenty of time together with each parent to adjust. They make new memories, new family traditions.
They have their history of being one family and their history of being two families.
How To Tell Your Adult Children You Are Dating Again
For adult children, the only history they have as a family is in the past. Now, that history seems like it was resting on a lie. Suddenly, they find themselves questioning whether they can believe in anything. Again, be sensitive to how your kids are feeling. Unless, of course, it was. In that case you have some heavy duty explaining to do. That only reinforces their belief that their whole family life was based on a lie.
Holidays Will Never Be the Same. You think you figured this one out already.
The Way They Were
Obviously you know that you, your spouse, and your kids are not going to be sharing Norman Rockwell moments during future holidays. But, are you sure you really thought about what that means? Unless you and your ex are willing to put aside your differences and go to holiday events together, your kids will now have three sets of parents to visit.
Putting aside the question of just how many dinners you can eat in one day, expecting that you will spend every holiday with your kids may just not be realistic. That will make your kids feel guilty and put even more stress on them during an already stressful time. Be realistic about the holidays! Know in advance that everything is going to be different and plan accordingly. As hard as it is, you may want arrange to celebrate the holiday on a different day than usual.
Dating After Your Adult Kids & Your Social Life
Then purposely plan your own vacation on a cruise ship on the actual holiday, just so you spare your kids the drama of trying to please multiple sets of parents all at the same time. That difference in perspective virtually ensures that they will struggle to see eye to eye. This is an emotionally challenging situation, so be ready to take any reaction in stride.
If you find someone who you think could become a long-term partner, ask your kids if they want to meet this person rather than trying to force a first meeting. Offer the option of waiting to see whether the relationship lasts a while longer before agreeing to meet.
Parents often have unrealistic expectations that their new partners will instantly become part of a happy family unit. That almost certainly will take time if it happens at all. Dissuade your new partner from pushing too hard to form close bonds with your adult children when they do meet. Your partner should be pleasant and polite but should let your adult children take the lead in these relationships.
Continue to find as much time as possible for your adult children and your grandchildren—ideally without a date by your side. When parents of adult children start spending time dating, they often spend less time with their children and grandchildren.
Reassure your adult children that your money is safe. Relatively savvy people sometimes do fall victim to dating scams, and when they do, their entire families can pay the price. Or you could agree to work with an estate planner or some other trusted financial adviser to make sure that your money remains in your family.
Reminisce with your adult children about the old days when your original family was intact. This subtly reinforces the sense that your search for a new relationship does not invalidate the family unit of their youth.
Adult Children of Divorce: 10 Surprising Facts Parents Might Not Know - Karen Covy
Do not discuss your sex life with your adult kids. It is surprisingly common for parents to share details about their revitalized sex lives with their adult children when they return to the dating scene. Doing this only makes a difficult situation even less comfortable for the adult children. Do not denigrate your ex-spouse.