Finding out that your partner has cheated on you is perhaps one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can go through. I believe that loving someone is a choice and when you’re emotionally invested in another person, in many ways it’s a process where you attach a certain amount of meaning to them. In a loving relationship, people attach value judgments to their significant others that have the same significance as the very ground beneath them.
Marriage After Loss: How To Navigate a New Relationship as a Parent Who Has Lost a Partner to Death or Illness
It’s not easy to find true love and your odds are further severed if you’re navigating a new relationship as a single parent who lost a partner to death.
Between mending your broken heart to protecting your child’s emotional health, there’s a lot at stake here. So how do you let someone in, at a time when you’ve shut yourself out?
Don’t Hide Anything
Whether you’re heading for drinks with friends, to find new people or signing up for a dating website, never conceal your truth. Come clear from the get-go. It might seem scary and might narrow down your prospects, but it’ll also save you time beating around the bush, attracting people who can’t handle the pressure of being with someone who has a kid or ‘baggage’.
Being open about your situation will also help you filter out people who’re just in it for a ‘good’ time and save you from the paradox of choice. As a single parent you know your child is fragile and therefore you can’t jump into relationships with people who’ll leave once the weekend is over. Your child needs someone who’ll stay and that can only happen if you say that upfront to potential love interests.
Don’t Call it Baggage
Your previous relationship and the loss your endured from it are not baggage and neither are your kids. Your partner, may their soul rest in peace, was a huge part of your life. They gave you love, laughter and a lifetime to cherish. Calling it baggage would be nothing short of insulting their memory.
The same goes for your kids. They aren’t baggage. If anything, they’re the bonus that you bring to any relationship. Remember, even when you unconsciously regard your kids as baggage it automatically causes potential love interests to view them in a negative light. Moreover, it might make your child feel unwanted, which is the last thing you want, given they have already lost one parent.
Photo credits: prostooleh
Take Time Before You Introduce Your New Partner To Your Child
The death of your partner has already shaken your child to the core. Therefore, it’ll take them time to heal from the grave loss. Inflicting them with the knowledge that you’ve already moved on can be met with resentment and loss of trust. As a result, your child might develop abandonment issues and feel alien in their own skin. So, don’t rush into introducing your new partner to your child.
However, hiding the fact that you’ve started dating won’t help either. You must carefully navigate your way and only introduce your partner to your child when you’re sure they’re in it for the long haul.