"He Said, She Said" Divorce Blog
with Dr. Stress and Therapist Nicole Myers

How do I handle my children showing disrespect to a new significant other: "You're not my parent I don't have to listen to you" attitude?
Posted on January 21st by Dr. Brian Stress, Psy.D.

If you decide you have emotionally healed enough to develop a relationship with a significant other, good for you, but it is complicated. It should be noted that the children did not decide to be in a relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend. They did not, nor should they, decide that their parents were going to divorce. They may resent that you are attempting to replace their mother or father with somebody they don't even know. I have worked with thousands of children who resent their parents for trying to be happy after a divorce. I have also, unfortunately, worked with thousands of divorced parents who have chosen their new relationship over their existing relationship with their children from their previous marriage.…

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How do I handle my children showing disrespect to a new significant other ("You're not my parent; I don't have to listen to you" attitude)?
Posted on January 15th by By Nicole Myers, MS, LPC

You have moved on, ready to have a new relationship and all that entails. You have begun a new chapter in your life. Unfortunately, it looks like your children aren't joining you in your happiness with your new relationship. In fact, they may be actively working to undermine your happiness by being disrespectful to your new partner. This is not only frustrating, it can cause you a lot of distress as your new relationship is impacted by your children's behaviors. It is not unusual for children to feel threatened by Mom or Dad's new relationship. They not only have two households where they used to have one, they now have to share their parent with another person. The good news, children can and do adjust to such additions and you can help…

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How do I introduce my children to a new romantic partner after a divorce?
Posted on December 24th by Dr. Brian Stress, Psy.D.

Please remember that the children do not dictate when parent's divorce, or not, which may results in them feeling helpless during this process. Forcing any relationship on your children may unleash resentment and may provide your children with the ammunition to get even with you for perceived injustice they have endured. It would be understandable that your children may be scared that they are going to be forgotten or replaced by your new partner and possibly their family.

Introducing a new romantic partner to your children can be complicated. I suggest that you introduce the new romantic partner to the children in an environment where the children feel safe and have the choice of interacting with your new partner, or not.…

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How do I introduce my children to a new partner after divorce?
Posted on December 21st by By Nicole Myers, MS, LPC

Returning to dating can be thrilling, exciting, scary and even a lot of fun. If you have children, there is another whole aspect of dating: how will your children respond to your new boyfriend or girlfriend? This can be tricky. You want your children to be happy for you and enjoy this new person with you. We cannot control how our children react but we can help set the stage for a more positive interaction.

First of all, pick who you introduce your children to carefully. They don't need to meet every first date, you're not a teenager and their not your parents, you're in charge of who you date. Take your time, only introduce someone whom you know well enough to feel is serious relationship material. If someone has been judged by…

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How do my ex and I figure out custody and placement of our children?
Posted on December 14th by Dr. Brian Stress, Psy.D.

First, custody and placement are two different terms. Placement refers to physical placement of the children (e.g. Child will spend Easter at mom's house and Labor day at dad's house.) Custody refers to legal issues related to the children such as who will make decisions about the where the children will go to school, non-emergency healthcare (e.g. braces,..), and religious training…

I complete court ordered custody evaluations. Custody and placement evaluations are generally considered the most difficult work a psychologist can participate within as a result of all the different circumstances that must be considered. Yet, the vast majority of parents develop acceptable custody and placement schedules on their…

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How do my ex and I figure out custody and placement of our children? What are the best options?
Posted on December 11th by Nicole Myers, MS, LPC

It can be exhausting and painful to consider having less time with your children. You're used to seeing and caring for your children on a daily basis and now have to give up some of that placement time. You have been able to make decisions about your children's care within your household and now will need to share such custody choices. With divorce, you have to negotiate this unwanted change along with your own emotional, financial and physical adjustments. Having children together means having to continue to interact with our ex when many times we would rather forget that person even exists.

We can be most successful in managing custody and placement issues if we follow a few simple rules. One, custody and placement is about our…

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