[Y]ou have called your children together for a major announcement.
You’ve removed all the distractions; you have their attention. They know you’ve been dating this woman for a while, and you like her. Of course, you’ve dated others who have come in and out of your life, never to see them again. But hey, it was fun.
However, this one is different. You enjoy dates, but the times alone “just hanging out,” are special, too. You’ve gotten serious, and you think this might be the one you want to spend the rest of your life with.
How Do You Tell Your Kids You are Getting Remarried?
And you know you have to tell them. Now as you look into their eyes, you wonder if they know, or suspect why you called this meeting. It would be much easier if they did know, and recognize your angst, and then they start the conversation, culminating with, “Sure dad, we understand. We like her; go ahead and marry her. We are cool with it.”
After a few uncomfortable seconds, you realize that won’t happen, so you begin. The next steps will depend on innumerable factors, such as the children’s age and temperament, but here’s a start:
Tell them about you and their mom’s relationship.
Re-enlighten them about why you got married in the first place (keep it positive). Then say that while ultimately, the relationship didn’t work out, there were some aspects of marriage you liked and miss. Tell them you really like your new girlfriend, and recount all the fun times all of you have had.
Then say that you are thinking of making the relationship a permanent one, that you might like to marry her. Make it clear that this will not be a new mother, that she won’t be taking the place of their mother, but that she will be your new wife.
Keep in mind too, that they might have harbored a fantasy of the two of you getting back together. They probably won’t say anything about that, but be aware it might be in the back of their minds. They will also need to know that you are still their dad. While the relationship will change a bit, you will love them just as you always have.
After they’ve had some time to absorb this new chapter in their lives, get them to ask questions. They will have many, but they may not ask many (or any) at this time.
For me, my daughter was elated when I told her. She was very young and grew up with me dating SuperParentMom, so her reaction could have been different if she was older. You must expect reactions to be totally different based on the ages of your kids.
But be prepared. With time, they will come. And that will strengthen your relationship and make you feel more comfortable about taking this next step in your life.
What did you discuss with your kids when you were getting remarried? What issues did your kids have when you told them?
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