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Separation is common, but it can be difficult to introduce a new partner if you already have children. Here we provide tips and advice on how to make the process easier.

Introducing a new partner

Introducing a new partner into your life, especially if you have children, is a big step that requires thought and sensitivity. It is a process that affects not only you and your partner, but also your family and those close to you.

The key to a successful introduction lies in building a foundation of trust and communication, while respecting the feelings and needs of everyone involved. Whatever the circumstances of your previous relationship or your family situation, it is important to approach this new chapter with openness, patience and care.

As a column in the Irish Times states “Lots of children can find it hard to “share” their parent with a new partner or can worry that the arrival of a new partner might somehow change the importance of their own relationship with the parent.”

A well-planned and thoughtful introduction can lay the foundation for positive relationships going forward and contribute to the harmonious interweaving of your and your partner’s lives.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk


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10 tips on what to do when introducing a new partner

Introducing a new partner into your life, especially if you have children, can be a delicate process. Here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible:

1. Be confident in your relationship

Before introducing your partner to your children or family, be sure that your relationship is stable and that you are both committed to taking the next step.

2. Take it easy

Don’t rush the process. Give your child and your new partner time to get used to the idea and adjust to the change.

3. Communicate openly

Talk to your children about your new partner before the meeting takes place. Explain why the person is important to you and be honest about your feelings. Also talk to your ex before introducing your new partner so that they are aware of what is happening.

4. Plan a relaxed first date

An informal and relaxed first meeting, such as a trip to the park or a shared dinner at home, can help reduce tension and build a positive first experience.

5. Respect your child’s feelings

It is natural that your child may have mixed feelings about your new partner. They need to know that they will always come first. Acknowledge and validate their feelings without pressuring them into acceptance.


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6. Give time and space

Understand that relationships are built over time. Give your child and your partner time to develop their own relationship at their own pace.

7. Be a role model

Show through your actions how to respect and value the new partner, while maintaining a stable and safe environment for your child.

8. Include your partner in family activities

Gradually include your partner in family activities to promote togetherness and belonging.

9. Maintain routines

To give the child a sense of security, try to maintain the family’s usual routines as much as possible.

10. Seek support if needed

If you or your child are struggling with the transition, consider seeking professional support or advice from an experienced psychologist or therapist. By following these guidelines, the introduction of a new partner into your and your children’s lives can be a positive experience that contributes to your family’s long-term happiness and well-being.


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Seeing a psychologist or therapist

Seeking help from a psychologist is an important step when experiencing difficulties in introducing a new partner. Treatment is tailored to the individual needs of the child and parent and may include methods such as parental counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy or family therapy. The aim is to improve the child’s and parent’s emotional well-being and develop coping strategies. The child psychologist works closely with the child and his or her family to create a safe environment where the child can learn to manage emotions and behaviors effectively.

Depending on the age of the child, different services are available. For children under the age of 6, the Child Health Center can help. If the child is older than 6 years old, you can seek help from your health center. If the child is over 13, you can go to the youth clinic or the school counselor. You can also contact child and adolescent psychiatry (BUP). At Lavendla we also have experienced child psychologists who can help.

It is important to remember that each child is unique, so treatment may vary. Working with a child psychologist can give your child the tools they need to manage their emotions and behaviors in a healthy way.


12 common questions about introducing a new partner

What does it mean to introduce a new partner?

Introducing a new partner into your life, especially if you have children, is a big step that requires thought and sensitivity. It is a process that affects not only you and your partner, but also your family and those close to you.

What do situations require when introducing a new partner?

The key to a successful introduction lies in building a foundation of trust and communication, while respecting the feelings and needs of everyone involved. Whatever the circumstances of your previous relationship or your family situation, it is important to approach this new chapter with openness, patience and care.

What can I do as a parent to make the process easier?

When introducing a new partner, it is important to do so gradually and with open communication, respecting your child’s feelings and giving everyone involved time to adjust and build relationships on their own.

Can I get psychological treatment if the process is difficult?

Seeking help from a psychologist is an important step when experiencing difficulties in introducing a new partner. Treatment is tailored to the individual needs of the child and parent and may include methods such as parental counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy or family therapy. The aim is to improve the child’s and parent’s emotional well-being and develop coping strategies.

How to introduce a new partner for the first time?

When introducing a new partner to your family for the first time, choose a relaxed and neutral occasion that facilitates natural interaction and reduces pressure, while communicating openly and respecting the feelings of everyone involved.

The divorce was difficult, how do I tell my ex?

Although the divorce was difficult, it is important to put the children first. Telling your ex that you have met someone new can help in the process of introducing the new partner to the children, so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to either party.

What is a child psychologist?

A child psychologist is a licensed professional with knowledge and experience in working for the well-being and mental health of children and parents.

What does a child psychologist do?

Child psychologists offer therapy and counseling, but also work with families in parental support and the whole family when needed. They also work with schools to create good conditions for the child.

Can I see a child psychologist online?

It is possible to have an online treatment via video. We have several child psychologists working digitally at Lavendla.

What can I do to meet a new partner after the divorce?

Meeting a new partner after a divorce can open the door to new beginnings and opportunities for happiness, while requiring openness and patience to navigate the emotions and changes that come with moving on. Seek help in therapy if it is difficult.

My child refuses to accept my new partner, what can I do?

If a child refuses to accept a new partner, it is important to show patience and understanding, while actively listening to the child’s feelings and needs to work together towards gradual acceptance and understanding.

Where can I go if I or my child needs help from a child psychologist?

Depending on the age of your child, you can turn to different agencies, and you can also get help from a parent counseling service. At Lavendla, we have experienced child psychologists who can also help.

How does treatment with a child psychologist work?

Seeking help from a child psychologist is an important step when a child is experiencing mental health difficulties or if you are having difficulties as a parent. Here is a brief overview of what treatment can look like:

First step: Initial consultation where the psychologist assesses needs through conversations with the child and parents.

Treatment plan: An individualised plan is developed, based on your specific situation and needs.

Types of therapy: Common methods include play therapy for younger children, where play is used as a tool for expression and processing, and talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for older children, which focus on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. Other methods such as family therapy can also be helpful.

Parental counseling: Parents receive guidance and support to better help their child at home.

Monitoring and adjustment: The treatment plan is continuously evaluated and adjusted as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

It is important to remember that each child is unique, and therefore treatment may vary. Working together with a child psychologist can give you and your child the tools they need to manage their emotions and behaviors in a healthy way. At Lavendla, we have child psychologists who can help make the hard stuff easier.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.