So your Ex has a new partner . . .

May you live in interesting times.
— Chinese Curse (thought to be anyway)

When your Ex finds a new partner you enter interesting times.

In the early days of my separation, my Ex taking a new partner was a principal concern. Not that she found someone new per se, that was fine, but how this new person would impact on, and interact with, my children. I must record that my concerns were never realised and both my Ex and I have managed new partners and our children well.

New partners are obviously more challenging when children are younger. Once your children reach their teenage years, they can generally make up their own minds about who they want in their lives. Maybe not environmentally, they have to live where they have to live, but who they interact with, and respect as, parents. Then it isn’t about DNA, it’s about building appropriate relationships with the young adults they are becoming.

I think, however, an important contributing factor is how much involvement you have in your children’s lives. We share custody 50/50 and, therefore, I have always been fully involved. I was Dad and I left no room for another dad. They could be friends and acquaintances but my children had all the Dad they needed (often a little too much).

If you have irregular contact with your children, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant. And if you become irrelevant, then a vacancy opens for a dad figure. I think the misconception is that many dads think they’ll reconnect when their children are adults but the world seldom turns that way. As I wrote in my book.

Fathers who believe that they can make up for lost time by having more to do with their children when they’re older are, I think, in the main going to be disappointed.
— My book

Incidentally, the inspiration for this blog was my Ex announcing she has got engaged. I was a little surprised, it seemed to be quite sudden, but I wish them both the best. It will have little impact on how my, and my children’s, world turns as they are now 17 and 19.

What I found strange was they chose to announce their engagement - over Facebook to their vague acquaintances and not letting their family and “real” friends know first. Everyone keeps saying “it’s a different world now” but it’s not. Humans still have the same number of chromosomes, we haven’t mutated. Our basic needs and wants have remained the same for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. I think it’s the same world with more and more gadgets. Just because something is easy to do doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. The internet isn’t the answer to all things.

My advice, if you are fully engaged with your children then new partners will, hopefully, not cause much disruption. If you aren’t fully engaged, get fully engaged.

Thanks for reading, feel free to buy me a coffee........ 😎

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