Dealing with Kids and Dating Post Divorce
I'm struggling big time between moving on from my divorce, finding happiness for myself, making someone else happy, and keeping my children happy. What would you do in my situation?
Here's the deal. I have a boyfriend for the first time since my divorce three years ago. I dated prior to this, but it never got to the point where I introduced my kids to them. I've ended up dating someone who has been a very long time friend, someone my kids have known their whole lives, and it's rocked the boat a lot.
Not only are they struggling to get used to me dating someone they pretty much saw as an uncle, but he lives with us. It's a lot of change and I think they are struggling more than I ever realized.
Both of my kids have seemed to like my boyfriend as a person, especially prior to us dating. He's a funny, charismatic guy that was always friendly towards them, but when they think of us dating it changes their perception of him.
To make matters worse, they know we are sleeping together and I grew up Mormon. My kids are still active in the LDS church, where it is forbidden to have sex before marriage. I know they see me as living in sin and all of a sudden this man has invaded their lives. It's a lot for them to take in.
My son seems to get along really good with my boyfriend for the most part. They talk about sports and that's about all it takes to win my son over, but its different for my 11-year-old daughter. All of a sudden she has big issues with him. She hates thinking of us being romantic together and as she put it "it seems like you are already married" because he lives with us and we sleep in the same bed. Fair enough.
My daughter doesn't express her emotions much (which drives me crazy) but she broke down the other day and said she wishes we would break up, but she has no control and she doesn't want to make me sad.
Her tears absolutely broke my heart. I had no idea how much this man in our lives was affecting her. I think she puts on a brave face, but inside she just wants me to be back with her Dad. She says there has been so much change and it has all happened too fast.
How do you balance your happiness with the happiness of your children? How do you make them feel like their opinion matters if you don't go with what they want?
I really need some advice from those who have walked this road before me, so please tell me, "what do you do when your kids don't like the person you are dating?"