our everyday life

How Soon After a Divorce Can I Remarry & Not Upset My Young Children?

by Candice Coleman, studioD

Meeting a new love after a divorce can bring a sense of normalcy back into your life. It can also create complications with young children from your previous relationship. Though creating a blended family involves adjusting to new people and a new way of life, there are ways to reduce any discomfort your young children may experience.

General Timeframe

Long before marriage becomes a concern, divorced parents may want to wait two to three years before returning to the dating market, according to licensed professional counselor Ron Deal. After that, parents may want to date for about two years before strolling down the aisle with a new beloved. While you may remarry sooner than four years after your divorce, dating or remarrying within six months of leaving your previous spouse can be especially difficult for children, according to HealthyChildren.org.

Helping Children Adjust

One of the factors in deciding how soon you should remarry is how your children are adjusting to your relationship, according to the American Psychological Association. Moving the relationship forward gradually while slowly extending the amount of time your children and new partner see each other can reduce conflict and tension. If your children show resistance, increasing the amount of time they spend with your new partner may be counterproductive. You can talk to your children concerning their feelings on the subject along with any worries about the idea of you getting married. They may fear that you will spend less time together if you remarry, for example.

Getting to Know Each Other

If there is conflict between your new partner and your children, the news that you plan to remarry may be more upsetting. Helping them get off on the right foot with each other may aid your children in adjusting to the marriage sooner. Letting your partner partake in your kids' favorite activities, such as by playing video games with them, can help them bond, according to HealthyChildren.org. However, allowing your partner to discipline your children can backfire. Clarify how you expect your partner to handle your kids and anything related to them, including discipline, ahead of time.

Additional Help

While younger children generally adjust to remarriage more easily than older children, the process can still be difficult, according to HealthyChildren.org. Children may secretly hope you and their other parent will get back together, and a new partner can dash those hopes. If helping your child adjust to the situation is proving difficult, a family therapist may be able to help. Taking a little more time before you walk down the aisle can also be helpful.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images