ADVANCED psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist CLAIRE GASKIN sees clients in Essex and in London’s Harley Street. If you have a problem you’d like Claire’s advice with, email agonyaunt@nqe. com. For more details on Claire’s work visit


Since my husband and I divorced we have managed to remain on fairly good terms and we share custody and holidays without having to make formal arrangements.

I didn’t think this would always be the case, I am not naive, but I did hope once we both met new partners, we could carry on being grown up.

But even though we had been apart for almost three years when I met my new partner, my ex-husband is now acting very jealous and being difficult about everything.

I am planning to take the children on holiday with my new partner in the summer but their dad is saying he thinks it is too soon, even though my boyfriend and I have been together for more than six months already and we are both serious about a future together - I would never have introduced him to my children if I wasn’t.

How can I talk him round?

CLAIRE SAYS: The children are your main concern here.

You have all had to adjust to the breakdown of your marriage and now things are set to change again.

However, there is much to be gained from the extended love and care that blended families bring.

There isn’t a ’right’ time to introduce a new partner to your children but, if you are serious about your boyfriend, I suspect your ex-husband is feeling fearful that they are going to start calling this man dad.

You could say nothing and let your ex come to terms with your new relationship in his own time.

The problem with this approach is that he may try harder to assert himself.

Whatever happens, avoid being defensive.

Instead, keep relations amicable by explaining to your ex that you understand his concerns.

Tell him how lucky your children are to have such good parents and reassure him that no-one will ever replace him as their father.

If he is still grieving the loss of your marriage then your new relationship will force him to accept that it’s over.

Eventually, he may go on to form a new relationship of his own but, in the meantime, a little compassion will go a long way.