Bespoke Matchmaking writes a monthly “Ask the Expert” relationship column for Go Magazine, the nations most widely read free lesbian publication. Read this months column below. (http://www.gomag.com/article/aprask_the_expert14293065)
Carol Sugar-Burke is an Executive Matchmaker with Bespoke Matchmaking, the premier executive gay matchmaking firm.
I was married to a man when I was 23 and too young to know myself and know better. We did have 2 beautiful children and I stayed in the relationship even when it was clear to both him and I that I was a lesbian. We waited until the children were 10 and 13 and 2 years ago got divorced. It took me about six months before I explained to my kids why and what the reality of the situation was. They were both very mature and very accepting of who I am and encouraged me to get out there and start dating. I have been dating a woman for about 8 months now and we are quite serious. Although my kids are 12 and 15 and realize I am with a woman I am still uncertain when the right time would be to introduce her to them. She is anxious to meet them and cannot understand what the holdup is. Is there a right time? How do I know when that right time is?
The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open with your children. Be positive and remember sexuality is like eye colour we have no choice and are proud of who we are. You have already talked to them about sexuality and why or how your sexuality is different. Even if your children are used to you dating women and excited about the possibility of having “two mommies” you still need to be tactful. They may seem to be old enough and mature enough to meet the new woman in your life but; there is a bigger picture than just that. You do not want your children to have to get to know a new woman every few months. Make sure you feel strong enough about this relationship before you introduce her to your children. If you are hesitant ask yourself why? There is no point in introducing your children to someone who is not going to be around for awhile. Children are fearful of change and what will happen to them, they may experience grief, anger and false hope (at any age) that perhaps Mom and dad will reunite. You never want your children to feel they are to blame for anything or for any reason and the most important thing is for them to know they are loved and will always be loved and that will never change. If the new woman is someone you want to have in your life for the long term and this is a solid relationship then you will want to share your children with her. You will know when you are ready!