The final question I am answering in my series of three questions I am frequently asked:
3. I’ve fallen in love again. After my wife died two years ago, I never thought it would happen again but it has. I feel fifteen, and can hardly eat or sleep. I'd really like to tell my adult children but I think they'll be cross and feel bad for their mum. We are a very close family.
Congratulations! How lovely. It's always such a pleasure to hear from someone who's come through bad times and found happiness. I wonder why you think your children won't feel the same? You've not replaced their mother and you never could. Maybe they need some reassurance that whoever you're with, however much in love you now are, you'll never forget their mum and you can all go on enjoying her memory, even if there is a new woman around.
Sometimes children however old they are think they will lose their parents' love and attention when they make a new relationship. Talk to them about this and tell them you will still be there for them and you will still spend time with them on your own. When we fall in love we tend to assume our children will feel the same and of course that's not the case. It will take time for them to make a relationship with your new partner, so give them time and take it slowly.
It's important that your new partner knows the family's history and how much your late wife was a major part of it, so she gives your children time to get to know her and doesn't expect too much at the start. You may be worrying about your children's reaction unnecessarily. Very often, and contrary to what we expect, children are delighted when their parents make new relationships. It gives them the freedom to get on with their own lives without worrying that the bereaved or divorced parent is home alone and lonely. You may be very surprised by their reaction.
If you are interested in knowing more please take a look at our website www.experiencematters.org.uk and join us at one of our workshops.
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