Posted by: Anon | 2010/05/13

Moving on

Moving on is often discussed here but what about moving on when there is a child involved. A while after my separation I met someone else and even though I was not really looking or even interested in another relationship, we just clicked. We decided that we need to take things slow especially since my son lives with me and she was very understanding. I can now see that our relationship is going long term and each day I find myself closer to the step of telling her that I have fallen in love with her. She has never been married and does not have any kids of her own so from the very start, she always showed an interest in meeting him and she does seem to enjoy the little time that they spend when we are together but it is always limited and I assume that he see’ s her the same way that he see’ s the other loving adults in his life such as his grandma, aunts, cousins etc. But before I can take the next step, I am really concerned about my son. His mom is not very actively involved in his life so he looks to me for everything, I am all he as got and his well being is of the most importance to me, much more than my own happiness so I need to protect him emotionally.

He is only two, is it true that toddlers adjust more easily? Is there anything that I can do to make things a bit easierfor us. Since she never had any kids of her own, how would I be able to tell if she will ever get annoyed later on? Can a step parent really bond and treat a step child like their very own?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Great question and great answers. Thanks for this valuable interaction.

A divorce is sad on the children especially when a parent tend to turn their back on them, but what they really need is one loving, stable adult in their lives to grow up into happy, well adjusted young adults.
Anon, you are demonstrating that you are a very thoughtful parent who puts his child's needs first but you also have to be "gentle" on yourself and allow yourself to have a life as well.
YES, children needs need to be put first but all they need is a good enough parent. There are no guarantees in life, as you may have found out already, and mistakes are part of the learning process. If you meet someone you like and is good with you and your child, that is something that you can appreciate and enjoy in this time. Yes, relationships who breakup are hurtful, but your son is going to experience his own in his lifetime. They cannot be avoided. What can be learned though is how to deal with it with emotional maturity. To refuse a relationship because of what could happen will keep you from discovering some very happy moments in your life and therefore in your son's life too. If your doubts are founded on present behaviour than it's for you to read the signs, but there is no better way to protect your child than to allow for a richness of experiences into your life.

All the best.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Phil | 2010/05/14

I am a divordced dad, and m kids stay with me. To answer your question.

1. Another person might pretend to treat someone elses child like their own, but it just isn''t the same. Infact, as soon as she has a child of her own, you will see exactly what I meant. I''ts not blood, if you know what I meen.

2. Why is your son''s mom not involved in his life? This could later in life really negatively impact your child, and if you love him then you should try and adress this. Don''t know your circumstances, but will elaborate why I say this from experince.

3. Just want to mention, I grew up in a divorced home.

4. One thing I/you/anyone can never change, is a childs real father or mother. If any of the parents are alianating the child/children from the other parent, it might work when they are young. The day the kids are bigger and start to think for themselves, they will blame the parent that kept them away from the other parent. Trust me, I know.

5. I don''t particularly like my x, and I personally don''t think she is a good mother. But I will never keep the kids away from her, infact, I make sure they spend time with her - even if I don''t always like it. Last thing I want, is for my kids to hate me one day, even if they didn''t know all the facts.

But you are right, kids do adjust easier, and as I have personally learned, oustiders can never replace a parent. (From my own experience.)The step parent thing doesn''t even exist, the best you can hope for is that your child and the other person would be good friends. This I have seen while growing up, and with my own kids now also growing up in a divorced home.

Reply to Phil
Posted by: A dad | 2010/05/14

Intersting questions Anon - your son a very young, I am shocked that his mother does not play an active roll in his life. Has she moved on with her life? Is there a step dad in the picture?
I am struggling to understand why a mother will neglect her child. That has such an impact on any child''s life especially at such a young age.
Always remember, sometimes people change, no matter how they treat your child now. A step mother may sometimes never replace a childs real mother.
Im glad I don''t have children to be put into that situation. I wont be able to live withself if oneday I was forced to choose or if the one ill-treated the other.

Reply to A dad

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