Should we tell the kids?

I’m divorced and seeing someone new and now he wants to tell my children about us – we met 6 months ago and we really do think this is it. But I’m not sure. It’s not that I don’t think we’re going to last, it’s just that they’ve had so many disappointments in their lives I’d hate to get their hopes up until we’re more sure of the future.

The problem with keeping quiet is that it’s highly unlikely your children are entirely ignorant about your partner’s existence. Whether they have picked up hints from the fact you go out in the evening or whether they already have met, they will have drawn their own conclusions and have their own fantasies about this. You don’t have to announce weddings or shared homes or anything permanent to let them know some changes are happening. Neither should you – as you say, you don’t know where this is going yet. But you should say something. All you have to do is tell them the truth – that you’ve met someone you like who is becoming important to you and you don’t yet know what is going to happen but you’ll keep them informed.

If you don’t, they will go on spinning their own tales out of wishes and dreams but they won’t be able to talk these through with you because they know talking about it is taboo. If anything does go wrong if you say nothing it will leave them even more confused than before and if you announce it’s over they may be furious that you kept them in the dark and then sprang it on them. And if it goes right and eventually you tell them they may be upset you didn’t tell them beforehand – how can they trust you if you won’t trust them? Talk to them as soon as possible.

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