Reintroducing a Fish to the Fish Tank

Ms. Meniscus:

What to do? I have a very close friend, we were at one time boyfriend girlfriend…We have decided to approach – slowly – a relationship as more than friends. I have a perturbing problem though – because of past, my children have a lot of animosity and outright “attitude” at times about this person entering my life again. I have tried to tell them they need to realize that I am a grown up. I am a divorced, single woman. I am not wild and crazy. I am very honest and forthright with them. I also really still would like very much for them to be accepting. When a holiday comes such as a birthday, I want to feel comfortable rather than awkward about inviting them along.Cindy

Dear Cindy,

First of all, no matter what your children say, you have the right to make your own decisions.  Depending on their ages, your children would also claim this right and should bestow the same courtesy to you. However, you shouldn’t completely disregard your children’s warnings. Yes, your children should not have a say in whether you choose to be with this man or not, but you should still consider what they are saying and why they are saying it.  What is the root of this animosity? Does this person have a negative influence on you? Does he tend to disregard your children altogether? Do you tend to give more attention to this gentleman, perhaps overlooking the needs of your own children? If you have examined the source of their attitudes, then you need to sit them down and talk honestly with them.

Talk it through. Maybe there is a simple misunderstanding, or maybe you have something to learn from your children. Maybe they just need some time to accept this new man back into your life. Either way, you are going to have to let him re-acclimatize to the fish tank before letting him swim with the other fish.

Happy Valentine’s Day

– M

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