December 7, 2010
Since your wife died, you've been very lonely. A few months ago you began a friendship with a widow from church and you've become very fond of one another. How do you tell your children?
First, relax: Chances are that your children will be very happy with this. Most of the time, adult kids are pleased when a widowed parent gets a new romantic partner. But they DO want to know what's going on. So let them know. There are easy ways to gently break the kids into the idea. Just mention activities you've done with the person ("I went to see a movie yesterday with my friend Irene.").
Your kids may not get the idea the first time, but once they've heard Irene's name three or four times, they'll figure it out. When you think they get the idea, let them know more clearly: "Irene and I have been seeing quite a bit of each other. I guess you might say we're dating."
Try not to wait too long to make it clear; the kids won't appreciate having a sense that something is going on, but thinking that you're hiding it from them. And don't spring the relationship on them as a grand surprise, particularly in a social situation that would be awkward for them, you and, perhaps, Irene. This is definitely something to share before a dinner party, not during it.
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