Recently, comedian Kevin Hart posted a picture of his two children, ex-wife (Torrei Hart) and fiancée (Eniko Parish) on Instagram. Under the picture he wrote, “My #1 responsibility is 2 raise 2 beautiful kids…As a MAN its my job to make sure that the two most important women in my life have a relationship…”
Regardless of what might have happened in the past, it seems as if Kevin, Torrei and Eniko have put their differences aside for the betterment of the children.
About 68 percent of remarriages involve children from the prior marriage. With all of the changes that a divorce can bring, it’s important to establish a healthy relationship with your ex and spouse, mainly for the children. According to Jann Blackston-Ford, MA and Sharyl Jupe, your new partner and ex don’t have to become friends but you all should put your own issues aside and put the children first.
Below are ways to create and maintain a healthy relationship with you, your spouse and your ex.
Make an Early Introduction
Introducing your partner (before marriage or even engagement) to your ex before introducing your partner to your children will start this blended relationship off well. By doing so, you are allowing your ex to get to know your partner and possibly feel comfortable before he/she meets the children. Also, this says to your ex that your partner is someone important and someone that you plan to have in your life. Your ex will appreciate this meeting and it will set the tone for the future relationship.
Discuss All Concerns
It’s normal for your ex to put your children first, especially when additional changes will be made. Before your new partner meets your children, it is best to have a detailed conversation with your ex regarding how the introduction will take place, when the introduction should take place and how will this all affect the children. Of course, this will all depend on how your children reacted and are still reacting to your divorce.
Accept the New Situation
Be patient and understand that it may take time for your ex to fully accept your new partner. If they want to get to know your partner more, give them that time (within reason). If the divorce was an ugly one, this might be another reason to be patient, as your ex might feel resentful toward you. If this is the case and you all are not getting along, counseling might be the best option, especially if you are already married to your partner or planning to do so.
Alyssa Rachelle has been married for two years. She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband, 4-month-old daughter and 9-year-old cocker spaniel.