One-third said one of their parents had already formed a new relationship before the divorce.Ahrons found that most of the children she studied consider their parents’ dating lives strange.Parents of adult children don’t seem to recognize any boundaries here.Often one spouse will move quickly and shamelessly to line up allies among the adult children, telling them all the transgressions of the other parent throughout a lengthy marriage.This is all about the thorny issues that divorcing spouses and their children face when the children are adults.Often adult children are just as reluctant to enter the divorce fight between their parents as young children are.
Melissa's mother, Rosemarie, still gets emotional when she talks about the divorce."You assume your kids understand that mom needs a life outside of them. "He asked about him almost daily, for months," she says. The problem is not that they get attached to a new person, but that exposure to a parade of new people creates the potential for more loss."At its heart, this is about trust," says psychologist Leah Klungness of Long Island, who specializes in single-parent issues.They don't."Mistakes 2, 3, and 4:* Introducing her children to the first man she liked.* Allowing him to spend time at the house, especially playing ball with her son, then 8.* Giving him a peck on the cheek one day as they parted. Children are likely to wonder, "Who can I count on to stay around? " Some blame themselves: "I'm not lovable." The more loss there is, the more distrustful they can become, including in their own future relationships.It was more than a year before she was ready to date.Today, she continues to be discreet even with the twins, who are now 23, and fiercely so with Shana, who is 8. But Friedman would never kiss him in front of her children, and even though the twins are adults, she was careful they didn't see her go off to bed with him."It's still a parent-child relationship," she says.