Dating someone with divorced parents

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Children who "discover" that their parents are in loveoften feel betrayed when the situation reveals itself.

Already anxious about the changes in their lives due to the divorce, and often feeling closer to a parent than they did before, they may now feel that a trusthas been broken -- exactly at the point when trust and reassurance are most needed. Rather than forgo romance, Neuman and parents interviewed for this article suggest addressing children's concerns head-on before dating begins: Make sure the introduction of your new significant other takes place only after you've had a privateconversation with your child about the relationship.

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The idea of getting back into the dating scene after years being married is daunting at best.

When the family disintegrates, achild's sense of self is threatened, even if he maintains strong ties to both parents.

Neuman recalls, "This 13-year-old kid once said to me, 'I feel, now that my parents are separated, that Idon't exist.'"While most children don't articulate their feelings so strongly -- in fact, most shrug or say "okay"if asked how they're coping with a parental split -- therapists who work with children of divorce agreethat divorce makes kids question who they are, where they came from, and where their lives are headed.

' Some men use theirkids like dogs in a park to get attention.

I think it's horribly unfair to children."Joe B., father of 7-year-old Cathy, was initially very careful about how much time the two of them spent with his girlfriend and her son.

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