27 Jan How to handle it when your partner has a baby with his new partner
Kristina Rihanoff announced last week on Big Brother that she was having a baby with her boyfriend Ben Cohen. It’s been widely reported that Ben’s ex wife, Abby, was unaware they were expecting and was informed by friends calling having watched the shock announcement on the show. By all accounts the marriage ended on bad terms and Abby struggled with the break-up blaming Kristina for the end of her marriage. So this news, especially broken in this way, must be devastating for her. She also has two children with Ben to consider as it will be life changing and have an impact on them and their future.
When you walk down the aisle and say your wedding vows the last thing you ever expect to be dealing with is your husband having a baby with another woman. I should know as this happened to me.
This kind of revelation hits you hard and can leave the strongest of people reeling.
The truth is that however you feel about your ex and no matter how long ago it was that your marriage broke down, this makes it all so real. There is no way back and your relationship is really over. They have decided to have a family with another person and that fairy tale ending that you had once dreamed of with them is gone in a sudden puff of smoke.
For many this news is devastating. The sense of rejection and loss can be paralysing. For others they are relieved that their ex has found happiness elsewhere and feel a sense of freedom to move on guilt free. However you feel about the news you have a new situation to navigate and this is more challenging if you have children with your ex.
This is life changing for your children, as they will now have a half brother or sister in their lives. They will have another family that they are part of and relationships that you will probably never really know much about unless you are on good terms with your ex and new partner.
My advice in these situations is always the same: do the right thing for your children. I know this can be extremely difficult to do as its natural to be angry and hurt and to not want your children to be part of any other family. However you are the adult and need to be a good role model for your child. Remember they are learning from how you react to situations and will take these lessons forward with them for life.
My 7 top tips for dealing with your ex having a child with a new partner:
- Keep any negative feelings and thoughts away from your children. You don’t want them to feel guilty for building a relationship with their half sibling as this could be damaging for them.
- Shift your focus away from your ex and his partner to you and your life. If you start to create an exciting future for yourself you will be able to cope better with the upcoming changes.
- Be realistic. Your children love you and this won’t change because a new baby arrives.
- Don’t take it personally. It is natural that your children are excited about having a new brother or sister and not a reflection on how they feel about your or their life with you.
- Aim for what I call a “functionally friendly” relationship with your ex and his partner. It’s not always possible for many reasons to be best of friends, and in some cases where someone has betrayed you or treated you badly I won’t even suggest this, as boundaries are key to your recovery. However it is possible to rise above any tensions when you are together to enable it to be amicable for the children’s sake.
- If you are devastated then you need to get some help to move forward. This does not have to be painful for long and should not define how you feel about yourself or how you live the rest of your life. You too are entitled to happiness and sometimes you need professional help from your GP or Divorce Coach to help you get back on track.
- Plan ahead when the children are staying with your ex so that you have things to keep you busy. Book in activities that you enjoy and make you laugh. Sometimes you need to do something drastic to change your state of mind like trampolening or ice-skating to properly break your negative state of mind.
Eventually you may come to see this as a good thing in your life, however hard it is to imagine now. Whatever happens you cannot change the situation so there is no point letting it control you and your feelings. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about people and things you cannot control. The key to coping is to focus on you and creating a future for you and you children that you are all excited about. You only live once so make the most of it.
As seen in @CloserOnline
Sara Davison is an expert break-up, separation and divorce coach who developed the UK’s first Divorce Coaching program which provides individuals with the tools, techniques and advice needed to help individuals navigate and better cope with the process of divorce.
For more information on Sara, or to book a one to one consultation, logon to her website www.saradavison.com or follow her on Facebook (Sara Davison Divorce Coaching), Twitter (@SDDivorcecoach) and Instagram (SaraDavisonDivorceCoach)
Book yourself on her next break-up Retreat from the 19th – 20th of Feb 2016 via her website http://saradavison.com/break-up-recovery-retreat/