“Children of all ages feel betrayed and abandoned when their parents divorce because their cozy nest is disrupted,” Lieberman says. “This even upsets kids who are already out of the nest. The message their parents are sending is that it is more important for them to have a life of their choosing than to remain in their prior, primary role of mom or dad.” The result: strained relations, uncomfortable moments for everyone and, for you, the feeling that your children may not have your best interests at heart.
Sometimes there are psychological reasons for an adult child resisting a parent’s new love life. For instance, a young woman may be especially sensitive when her father forms a serious new relationship. “She may feel her dad prefers the 'other' woman to both her mom and herself,” Lieberman says.
“It comes down to jealousy,” says Dr. Itamar Salamon, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at theAlbert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Children, even when they’re grown, get attached to being important in their single parents’ lives, and they resent it when someone gets between them and the parent.”
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