How to Tell My Kids About Moving in with My Girlfriend

By Stephanie Mitchell ; Updated April 18, 2017
Reassure your kids that you are still there for them.
Reassure your kids that you are still there for them.

Moving in with your girlfriend after a divorce can feel like a major step in recovering and moving on. You have found someone who makes you happy, and you want to start a life with her. Your children, however, may already be angry that you have found someone new, and the fact that you are moving in together makes it that much less likely that you will ever get back together with their mother. You can break the news as easily as possible by addressing a few of their biggest concerns right from the beginning.

Assure your kids that they are still your first priority and that this change in your living situation does not mean a change in your relationship with them. Kids may be worried that you will be too busy with your new girlfriend to spend time with them or that she is now the most important person in your world. Tell them that you will always be there for them and nothing will ever change that.

Tell your children that your new girlfriend is not a replacement for their mother. Make sure they know that, even though she is now the woman with whom you share your life, you do not expect or want them to transfer their allegiance to her and away from their mother. She is not a substitute but an addition to their lives.

Establish rules and boundaries for your new household. Your kids may have preconceived notions of the "evil stepmother," so tell them that your girlfriend is not suddenly going to have full control over their lives. Decide with your children what limits there will be for everyone in the household. For example, you may decide that no one is allowed into your children's rooms without knocking, but your children are expected to listen to your girlfriend when she tells them to do their homework or turn off the television.

Answer your children's questions honestly and openly. They may be nervous about adjusting to this change, so reassure them that they can always come to you with their concerns. Explain that they should not be afraid to come to you with any problems that arise and that you will work through any issues in the transition as a family.

Tip

Do not move in with your girlfriend before your children have had the chance to get to know her and become comfortable with her.

Warning

Your children may not be happy about your new living situation initially, so be prepared for an adjustment period. Allow them to be angry for a little while, even if the anger is directed at you. Be willing to talk things through as many times as they need you to.

About the Author

Stephanie Mitchell is a professional writer who has authored websites and articles for real estate agents, self-help coaches and casting directors. Mitchell also regularly edits websites, business correspondence, resumes and full-length manuscripts. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater.