From the start, Cathy said little about her father's growing relationship with a new woman."I didn't really want her to know much in case it didn't work out," he recalls.
"My daughter pretty muchknew we weren't just friends. She made some comments to my roommate at the time, but not to me.""Don't ask, don't tell" dating policies are often the unspoken rule of parents who plan to keep their romanticlives separate from their children's lives, or who fear that introducing a new love interest who might not"stick around" will simply give their children a new reason for heartache.
I think it's horribly unfair to children."Joe B., father of 7-year-old Cathy, was initially very careful about how much time the two of them spent with his girlfriend and her son.
Children who "discover" that their parents are in loveoften feel betrayed when the situation reveals itself.
Neuman recalls, "This 13-year-old kid once said to me, 'I feel, now that my parents are separated, that Idon't exist.'"While most children don't articulate their feelings so strongly -- in fact, most shrug or say "okay"if asked how they're coping with a parental split -- therapists who work with children of divorce agreethat divorce makes kids question who they are, where they came from, and where their lives are headed.
That's not an argument for or against divorce, for or against dating.
He once waited up for her when she was out on a date and asked, "How did it go? Later, the two discussed her difficulty ending the relationship.
The child urged herto say goodbye to the man she'd been seeing, and Eva is now moving toward doing so, in part because she was so impressed with her son's observations.