When to Introduce Kids to Girlfriend

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I have been in a relationship for 1 year with my girlfriend and I have been separated for 2 1/2 years now. My divorce is now 2 months away. I have 2 children. My son is 8 & my daughter is 5. I want to introduce my kids to my girlfriend but I feel very scared because of the possibility of my kids having to go through a separation again. My relationship with my girlfriend is GREAT.I have introduced her to my parents and my sister and I have also meet most of her family. She understands my decision of not introducing my kids to her yet but I believe she is worried whether that day will ever come… I don’t want to lose her because of my fear of the unknown… Please help!!!

A: I appreciate your sensitivity and concern. The fact that you have this awareness now – almost regardless of what you choose to do — is the more important thing. Your children have a father who is invested in their well-being and that is more important than the specific path that gets chosen.

For others reading this answer I want to note that the answer would be different depending on the age of the children. At such a young age, in this circumstance you would want to err on the side of waiting. Since the divorce is imminent I would at least wait until the entanglements with that process are complete. I would then very gradually expose them to her in small doses, giving them a chance to react. Here are some of the top books by experts on the topic.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). When to Introduce Kids to Girlfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/12/when-to-introduce-kids-to-girlfriend/

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