Life isn’t over after a divorce. It’s a new beginning. But women are worried about dating again, about their ex-husbands dating again, and about the shaky feeling that comes when the divorce process begins.
www.truemomconfessions.com has agreed to swap content with firstwivesworld.com every week. True Mom Confessions provides the questions, and we provide the advice.
True Mom Question:
I don't know the protocol on dating after divorce. I haven't had feelings for soon-to-be ex DH in a long time, so I feel like I'm ready to embark on the dating scene. Do I wait until the divorce is final (at least four more months)? How long before I introduce him to the kids? I am really scared about this situation. Will anybody want to date a single Mom?
First Wives World Answer:
Single moms date all the time, and find love again. It’s called reinvention and renewal and possibility. It all awaits you in the next chapter of your life. Look at Reese Witherspoon, even Angelina Jolie. They were single moms. Now you may think, “I’m not a movie star.” But you are. You have within you something that shines brightly and will be desirable to the right person. Since your divorce is going to be finalized in four months, however, why not wait? Use this time to embark on improving yourself, buying a new outfit for a first date, and becoming the best person you can be. As far as when to introduce someone to the kids, let’s wait until you find someone worthy. While there are no set rules, most experts say you shouldn’t introduce kids to anyone you haven’t dated for at least six months. You want them to have faith in the sturdiness and consistency of love. Life is long. A whole new future awaits you, and your children.
Since my ex, the father of my kids, started dating again, he's turned into a real jerk. It's gotten so complicated. We've been divorced almost five years, and I've happily moved on. But since he started dating, he’s totally changed. My kids see it, too, and they are just little.
It’s true that, when a father starts a new life, he sometimes distances himself from his former life and family. Be assured that the law protects you. If he is paying support, he has to take care of those kids until they reach 18 or 21, depending on your divorce agreement. But you want your husband to be there emotionally for the kids, too. As you’ve said, you moved on, but you must find a way to rekindle connections between your kids and your ex. That is an important for them. So suggest things they can do that would be fun – going to the zoo or a nearby farm, throwing baseballs in a backyard, seeing a new film you’ve found for them. And keep him informed of school plays and projects, awards they’ve won, projects they are working on. This helps in reviving important connections. If he still drifts away, that will hurt you because it hurts your children, but at least you will know that you’ve tried everything to keep him in your children’s lives. When they are older, you can tell them that.
I've been separated for over a year now, after being married for 17 years. My soon-to-be ex just told me that he filed our paperwork for the divorce. I feel so sad. It’s not like I didn't know it was going to happen. I can't even explain how I feel.
We totally understand. You feel a sense of emptiness because filing the paperwork shuts the door on any possibility of working it out, and all the dreams and hopes that were attached to the relationship. Also if we are honest, which we always are here at FWW, it is especially painful because he initiated it. In every relationship there is someone who leaves and someone who is left. Even if both people knew the relationship wasn’t working the one is handed the papers will suffer more. Yes, the final process is beginning now. But other possibilities await you. Holding on to the past can be a trap. Learn from it, and look forward to your new future.