The Art Of CoParenting The Significant Other Has Arrived


So, the new woman has arrived in your ex’s life. There are many ways you could feel about this.

You may be relieved because your ex has been hinting to you that he wants to make a mends and it’s been uncomfortable. You may be sad because you’re left to wonder why the two of you couldn’t make it work and now there is someone new that he’s starting over with. You may be outright happy, because while the two of you could not make it work, you want him to have a healthy relationship with someone. Or you could be a bit furious because it’s someone you know. There are probably other scenarios that have not been covered; however those are for another column. We’re here to talk about the children.

Now that she is here and has ranked high enough for an introduction to your children (assuming not everyone he meets ranks), what do you need to know? The first thing is, is she pretty? Kidding. The first thing is to talk with your children about how they feel about it. If your ex tells you about it ahead of time, it may be a good time to ask him what the children’s reaction was to her. This way you will be prepared to have further discussions with your children, if necessary, and you and your ex can have the same approach. If you get the news from the children, it is still critical that you get their take on what they’re feeling. While children need to know that there are boundaries around their influence on your lives, it is important for them to feel included and respected. Be very careful to leave your feelings for your spouse and the former marriage on the sidelines.

If you and your ex communicate civilly, take some time to discuss any concerns around interaction, discipline, decision making, etc. You want to be sure that this new person in their lives abides by the rules you’ve set for your children and that she does not undermine your authority in any way. The more you all can remain a united front, the better it will be for the children. Despite what you may feel about your ex dating someone new, you do not want to create a wedge. The children need stability and the more stable you are, the more they will be also.

I implore you to keep your emotions at bay, communicate with your children, and only when necessary discuss any concerns with your ex. You do not have a right to the intricate details of his new life; however you do have a right to ensure that your children are healthy.

Whether you believe the new woman is significant or not, she’s here. Put the children first.