Divorce is the end of an important, long-term relationship. It is a seismic shift in your life and has even greater impact on your children’s lives. Divorce is also an opportunity for positive change and independence. Further, there may come a time that you decide to begin dating again. When you feel that urge, it may help you to keep the following advice in mind.
- Be sure that you are ready. While companionship can be wonderful, remember that you are recovering from your divorce, which is a trauma. It is important that your nervous system is intact that you are confident in your capacity to make big decisions.
- Take your new relationship slowly. It is not healthy to be in a relationship with someone just for the sake of being in a relationship. Get to know this person and see if they have compatible interests and values. Do not try to replace or re-create your old relationship with your new partner, as this is not fair to the new person. It is relatively easy to unconsciously fall into bad relationship patterns.
- Always remain mindful of your children’s needs. Remember that your children are grieving their family unit and have had to adjust to their new living arrangements and visitation schedule. Be mindful about when and how you chose to introduce your children to this person. Talk with your children and look for changes in behavior. It is also important to remain a respectful co-parent. Be cognizant that your new partner is not your children’s parent, especially if your children have an involved co-parent.
- Choose a safe partner. If you have been with an abusive partner in the past, you may know what domestic violence looks and feels like. Despite this, abusers are manipulative and it is surprisingly easy to become involved in another bad relationship. Look out for warning signs that your new partner has anger issues, extreme jealousy, or has any history of domestic violence, child abuse, or sex offenses. Further, if they have children, but have no contact with their children, this should be a flag.
- Be mindful of substance abuse. Be wary of indications that your new partner drinks excessively or uses drugs. You want to be involved in an emotionally and physically healthy relationship. In addition, drug abuse creates a dangerous environment for your children.
- Your new partner must understand your duty to your children. You should never feel like you are in a position of choosing between your new partner and your children. Have open conversations with your new partner about early in the relationship.
New Direction Family Law
Separations and divorces are difficult, emotionally charged experiences. You need a compassionate attorney who understands what you are going through, but can keep you focused on getting to the finish line. The attorneys at New Direction Family Law fight for the legal rights of clients who are separating and divorcing. Our team has built a reputation as experienced, no-nonsense professionals who work hard to achieve our clients’ goals. Call our office today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or contact us at our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law