Let’s talk about bringing your boyfriend home when the kids are still living at home.
The transition from wife and mother to single and dating is often difficult for our kids. The idea of mom having a boyfriend sleeping in her bed can cause discomfort, for all parties. I recall how uncomfortable my adult sons were at the notion of their mother having sex. They liked my new friend, but couldn’t wrap their heads around the notion of people our age being sexual. Moms don’t have sex!
Should There be Rules for Sex?
Let’s talk about the idea of rules for having sex when there are kids in the house. What should you consider before bringing a man/partner into your bed?
- The ages of your children
- Length of time since the divorce or death of a partner
- Your children’s feeling about their father
- Your “job” as a role model for your children
- Your needs as a woman and adult
As far as I’m concerned, if the kids are old enough to understand, are comfortable with your new partner, and are not grieving about the change in their family, then what you do is your business. There are no set rules—nor should there be.
You have to live your own life and follow your desires and wishes. At the same time you want to respect your children’s feelings and the family dynamics. Don’t upset things just because you found a hot guy and want to have a romp. Get a sitter, go to a hotel or his place, but don’t expose your kids to someone who may not have any real significance in your or their lives. The younger the children, the more crucial it is to think about your actions.
My kids were teens when I divorced and several years passed before I resumed an active sex life. I thought about my adult children and the impact of my newly found sexuality on them. I felt it was important to balance my needs with their comfort level—to a degree.
There will be people offering opinions and passing judgment when you begin to date and when/if you decide to have sex with a new partner. There will always be those people who are opposed to sex for unmarried adults, of any age. That is their right. Try not to let well-meaning people get in your way. What you do behind closed doors is no one else’s business. Only you understand your children and your relationship with them. If they’re old enough, talk to them about the changes in your life and your decisions to have a new partner. What a wonderful opportunity to help your children see you as a multi-dimensional person, to see that it is possible to have a loving, respectful relationship.
Gradually introduce this new man in your life to the children. Give them time to get to know him before inviting him to spend the night. Include children in outings, meals or fun activities to help them adjust to having a man other than Dad in the picture. Our children will always see us as moms, even if they’re grown adults with families of their own. They’re reluctant to think of us as sexual individuals, married or not. Be prepared for their discomfort and try to acknowledge their feelings. Remember this can be an awkward transition.
Ultimately this is your decision. The sexy woman in you may want to hop right into bed and enjoy this juicy new phase of life. Acknowledge those desires. But take the time to stay connected with your children and give them a chance to be a part of your new life. Rushing the sex thing with your new guy, who they may not feel comfortable with, can cause tension and negative feelings. There will always be time for sex. Be intentional about this situation, balancing your needs as a healthy adult with desires and the needs of your children.
Do you have guidelines for overnight visits when your children are in the house?
Next week: Giving Ourselves Permission