- Give yourself sufficient time to heal. Divorce is a major life crisis. Entering into a new relationship too quickly increases the likelihood that you will not have had time to master the emotional and relational lessons to be learned from your marriage so that you can be truly ready for a new significant attachment.
- Give your children sufficient time to heal. Children are deeply affected by a divorce. Many children tell me the news felt like a bad dream, and what helps them adjust is getting used to the “new normal” over time. Adding additional changes too quickly can negatively impact children’s energy, focus, emotional stability and resilience.
- Inform your co-parent before introducing a new significant other to your children. This is not only a courtesy between parents, but it also helps keeps children out of the middle when they know the new relationship is not a secret.
- If you are co-parenting, any new partner or spouse will need to understand and honor the fact that you have a preexisting lifelong co-parenting relationship. It can be a big red flag if a new person seems threatened by or not accepting of your co-parenting relationship.
- Children may experience insecurity, jealousy or other worries regarding new adults and children who are increasingly present during their time with a parent. This can be especially challenging if step-children get to spend more actual time with this parent than do his or her own children. Parents need to stay attuned to their children’s cues about needing attention, and plan dates and special time with them.