Depending on where you are in your journey as a single mum, there will probably come a time where you consider moving on to a new relationship. For some, this can be fraught with difficulties – many of which I cover in the book with advice related to dating again and how to decide if he’s Mr. Right. But what if you’ve found the elusive Mr. Right but your family – especially your children – don’t share your affection for him? Bear in mind, of course, that you should most certainly listen to their concerns. There may be something they have picked up that you missed and I am a great believer in intuition and gut instinct. Give your children the time and space to express their concerns, as well as plenty of patience, love and reassurance. It may be that they are worried that they will lose their strong bond with you, that someone else will be taking up all of your time and attention. Make sure that you plan enough events or activities where it’s just you and your child and your new partner is not involved. In most cases, time and patience will reassure both you and them that their fears are unfounded. If it’s worth waiting for then what’s the mad rush? As I point out in the book:
It’s confusing for children to adapt to new arrangements and it’s not surprising that they often resent a new adult in their lives. Who can blame them, really? And far be it from me to demand their trust and friendship before they are ready to give it. It’s a gradual process and all the more rewarding for that. I remember reading that, as a step-parent, the most you can hope is for your step-kids to see you as a friendly figure in their lives. The most you can expect is to develop a mutual liking for each other. Love may come, but only if you are really lucky. My two boys adore my (current) husband-and he them-and we never stop counting our blessings about that.
I am writing this post in honour of a very dear friend who has just rung to let me know that she is getting remarried next year. She and her fiance are perfectly suited and I am so thrilled that they have made this commitment for the world to see. It hasn’t been easy – he already had a blended family comprised of his own children and his (now deceased)’s former wife’s children. Although his children are delighted, these grown-up stepchildren from his previous marriage have refused to accept the union. After trying everything possible to reconcile them to his new relationship, he has decided not to let their attitude stand in the way of the happiness he has found with my friend and – whilst letting his stepchildren know that the door will always remain open for them – has made the decision to move on.
“Every day is a new day, and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.”
“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is now available from Amazon. Get your copy today!