I tend to think that if a parent cannot calmly wait for the support of her children when becoming seriously involved with a new partner, that parent needs to understand she is making a choice. There is a difference between minor children and adult children, but I think the reality is that if a parent values her relationship
with her children, she will value the child's (even adult child) opinion about a new partner.
For example, if a parent cheats on her spouse, I think it would be incredibly self-centered to expect children of the marriage to accept the new partner immediately (or ever, really).
If a relationship
simply ends in divorce, and a parent subsequently begins dating
someone, it seems premature to involve children in the new relationship
(whether minor children or adult children) until the relationship
is solid and definitely "going somewhere." For example, in my custody agreement, which I believe is relatively standard, neither my ex or I are to introduce our daughter to anyone we are dating
unless and until we have been in a serious and committed relationship
with that person for at least three months, and then only after discussing the introduction with the other parent. Now, our child is quite young and I don't think divorced parents of adult children need to abide by the same decree, but I do think it makes sense to be certain yourself of a relationship
before asking your children to be involved.
I recently married a man with three children, ages 21, 18 and 16. I did not meet them as his "girlfriend" until we had been seriously dating
for a few months, and we did not spend significant time together until he and I had decided as a couple that we were hoping to consolidate our families. Neither of us believed in having our children "date." He had dated other women since his divorce, some for years, and none of them had spent time with his children because while he was dating
those women he was not thinking about actually creating a life with those people and he saw no reason for his children to date the women he was casually dating
. He also was very clear with me that the opinion of his children mattered to him. He wanted me to be myself around them, and if his children objected to our relationship
he would have to really consider what he would do going forward. Thankfully, they all approved.
I guess my point is that it is not wrong for the mother to want a new and happy relationship
. However, she has gone about it horribly.