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Advice on talking to kids in this situation

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32mor posted 5/19/2014 08:44 AM

I have been divorced for nearly 2 years and waited almost 1 year to date. Honestly, I wasn’t even looking or expecting to meet anyone for some time but it just happened and we have been together for one year. After everything that I had been through, I was trying to take it slow and be sure that she was the right one for me so that an affair would never happen again(even though I know I can’t control this). I probably was over thinking things way too much and not enjoying many aspects of what we have. I had delayed having her meet my kids until I was absolutely certain this was the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. I was pretty sure she was, but was nervous, hesitant, etc.

We recently found out that she is pregnant and while this wasn’t how we planned any of this, it is something we are embracing and moving forward with. I had introduced my 8 year old and 5 year old to my girlfriend a few weeks ago as my “friend” and things have gone well the past few weeks with a few meetings where they really like her. I know this is all new to them and they may go in and out of accepting her, but it has been all positive so far.

My ex was moving this past weekend so she asked if I could take my 8 year old daughter for the evening. I had plans yesterday with my girlfriend to attend one of her family events and asked my daughter in advance if she would be willing to go and that it might be “boring” for her; she did want to go and I thought it would be ok to begin introducing her to that side of what will likely become my extended family.

The day was difficult as my daughter overheard some people mentioning that I was her boyfriend and it confused my daughter. She also became bored as I unfortunately thought it might and complained that this wasn’t even her family so why did she have to be there. I tried to explain things to her about why we were there in the best way possible but wasn’t able (or know if I should) to address the boyfriend comment. After I dropped her off at my ex’s house, I received a few nasty messages about my daughter crying because she was “scared to tell mommy” where she was all day and that she wasn’t comfortable where she was at.

I get the kids tonight after school and need to talk about these things with them. The last thing I ever wanted was to mess these innocent children up and am desperately trying to do the right thing and handle things well with them. Obviously with the pregnancy we are trying to expedite the process of telling the kids about our relationship, but it scares the shit out of me to mess them up even more and alienate them against me or my girlfriend.

I will be trying to get into a counselor for more advice but just needed to hear any suggestions or support from you all. I know that I need to at least have a talk with my daughter that she is in fact daddy’s girlfriend; that I did not lie to her that she was my friend, but we care for each other very much. I just had a plan for how to do all of this and thought I was doing it right, and now feel like everything is crashing down on me and that I am the one screwing everything up with these kids.

gardenparty posted 5/19/2014 21:52 PM

8 is pretty young but even 8 years olds do not like being lied to. I would keep your explanation brief, this lady is your friend and you have been dating her for a while...etc. Then just wait for the questions. If you answer them honestly and age appropriately I would imagine that the kids will be fine. The counselling is a great idea to. Maybe you could get some books about telling kids to help you figure things out.

cmego posted 5/19/2014 22:24 PM to tell kids the truth. She IS your girlfriend and you care about her very, very much and YOU were unsure how to tell them. Just own your mistake, kids appreciate that. I tell my kids all the time that I made a mistake….

It messed my ex up because he introduced his boyfriend as "my friend B". So, when the clarification needed to be made that this was his BOYFRIEND, then the kids really were ticked off and confused. They are now 10 and 8, this was last year.

Now, they are pretty accepting.

My IC tells me that kids fantasize about their parents getting back together well into their teens, even if re-married. It just is. This is not going to go perfect, nor should you expect it to go perfect. Just be honest and know they are going to have their own feelings. Validate their feelings and give them time to adjust.

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