So, I've been casually dating a nice guy for about a month. My girls have not met him, nor do I plan to introduce him any time soon. We speak on the phone after the kids are in bed, only. We text, but I text with a lot of people so the kids are used to seeing em text. I only see this guy on weekends I do not have the girls, so there is zero disruption to their world.
So, last night we were speaking on the ohone and my oldest dd (who is 11) called out for me from her bed. I went to see what was the matter and she was beside herself in tears, sobbing "I don't want you to get married again!!"
What the WAHT??? Where did this come from???? I reassured her that I was not getting remarried any time soon. Not even on the horizen. I asked her if she heard me talking on the phone and she said yes. This was 10:30 at night mind you.
I went on to tell her there would be no surprises, no surprise marriages and that I would not spring anythign on her. That was the right thing to say, right??? Do you all think this stems from the fact that her dad basically left the marital home and less than a month later said "here's my new partner, soon to be your new stepmom, and oh by the way you will have a new sister too." ????
This is what I feared. Fallout years later. So what I need to do with her is just be the steady mom, be strong, etc. In case I had any fleeting thoughts of introducing anyone soon, well, forget that.
"Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, freedom is."
The best thing I could think of was that I wasn't ready to get married agian. Its the only way I could put it.
I lost alot of my mom when she remarried. Instead of a mom that was there for me 100%, now i had to share and mind another guy that I really didnt like. She took his side on pretty much everything (united front you know) and so I just felt like she left me out.
Its hard because my mom really loved him and was doing what was right for her, but still - at the time it felt so selfish on her part to just up and get married without seeing if we were ok with it first.
I think you did the right thing, I think you are right in thinking that with her Fathers upheaval and all the changes, she really needs the stability to help stablize her new very changed world.
I've just started dating someone seriously and the girls are a little freaked. Figured out what they want from me is honestly. So, i let them ask me whatever they want and try to be honest - you know, within reason of what is age appropriate.
They haven't met him, i asked if they wanted to and they said "nope"
So once they knew the story and that i wasn't keeping anything from them, they were fine.
I'd say at 11 its best to let her know what you told us here. But i think she needs to get used to mommy dating. You have an opportunity to handle this the right way.
My H asked each of our 4 children (2 his 2 hers) for permission before he proposed. Obviously we'd never consider marriage to someone who doesn't love our child and vice-versa so we had the answers before he even asked...
Much like with your own triggers, familiar scenarios that played out badly are going to dredge up horrible feelings, even if the scenario itself is pretty benign. You dating, especially in the manner you are, is okay, and shouldn’t be disruptive to her life with you, but given the history with her dad, being out of the loop on major decisions is going to lead her down that triggery path to worse case scenario. More dialogue about your dating life, and why you were keeping it under wraps, might go a long way to reassure her.
[This message edited by sinsof thefather at 4:50 AM, October 5th (Saturday)]
And it seems pretty logical that her anxiety stems from the idiotic way her father handled things. Now you can show her how those things should be handled, if and when that situation develops.
Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling
Awhile ago I posted to my thread essentially the same thing.
My 9 year old son is aware of what his mom did and why I am divorcing her. (I never told him; he figured it out.)
He has since expressed great concern and even fear that I will find a girlfriend and get married again. I assured him, like you, that this was the furthest thing from my mind and the only thing that was and is important to me was him and his sister. (Which is of course the truth.).
Someone on SI responded to my post by astutely recognizing that my DS would frame my finding a girlfriend as an abandonment of him. His mom already left our family, so this is understandable and sad. But I told him very firmly the above and he felt better. :-)
This is such a tragedy for our young children.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Keep reassuring her, my kids therapist told me that my kids needed to hear it often and she was right!