I’m in Love with a Separated Man Who Is Not Pushing to Finalize His Divorce.

I’m in Love with a Separated Man Who Is Not Pushing to Finalize His Divorce

I have been dating a wonderful man for the past 5 months. We both felt an instant incredible connection. I’ve called him my “person” and he has called me his. We are in love and I know it’s right.

Unfortunately, he is married (separated) and getting divorced. There has been an incredible amount of transparency regarding this – the issue, however, is that in the course of our relationship, there has been no real progress to go through with the divorce. They still live together (sleeping in separate rooms). His wife knows all about me, but he went away with her to see her family (a “goodbye” type of situation) during my birthday weekend. Needless to say, my anxiety and uncertainty about our relationship heightened and caused doubt. I ended up becoming THAT girl (the one who needs too much reassurance) out as a result and we have decided to take a break. I have told him I support him 100% in whatever he needs to figure things out in his life. I know that he needs to do this in order to truly be able to pursue a future with me. He must grieve, mourn and separate before he can maintain a healthy, loving, confident relationship with me. I also know that he said the reason why it’s been so slow is because they are just in this robotic routine that has become very easy. Ultimately, I just want to know that I was right to feel the concern I felt due to the lack of progress? Or should I have been more understanding? I am fearful that perhaps I pushed him away and he may not come back to me when all is said and done. I also wonder if this is so easy for him that he will never get divorced and settle for a life of being roommates with his wife. I don’t want to lose him because I truly believe he is the love of my life. And I know parting ways right now was the right thing to do. I am just so fearful that this is the end of us. I really appreciate your advice.

Sheree

Hate to throw your words back at you, Sheree, but let’s start right at the top:
“We are in love and I know it’s right.”

Um, no you don’t. If it was “right,” you wouldn’t have written this letter to me. I’ve never received an email from a happily coupled up woman asking me for advice on her non-existent problems.

So here’s what we DO know:

    • You chose to date a separated man who still lives with his wife.
    • Either because of the circumstances or because of your natural disposition, you acted anxious and needy.
    • Your insecurity either suffocated him or pushed him away to the point that he was willing to break up with you.
    • You’re not even his girlfriend, yet you think you have the right to tell him what to do with his marriage, separation and divorce.

You’re not even his girlfriend, yet you think you have the right to tell him what to do with his marriage, separation and divorce.

Hate to tell you, my dear, but you’re in way over your head. You’re THAT girl on steroids.

You are exhibiting all the feelings of a woman in love – the high highs, the low lows, the obsessive thinking, the lack of perspective, the need to put his feelings before yours – but this is not love.

Love is what happens AFTER this obsession goes away. Love is what happens AFTER the smoke has cleared and you can assess your relationship properly. Love is when TWO people are committed to each other by choice every single day, not when one person has tingly thoughts and can’t let go of a complicated situation.

I’m not saying he doesn’t care about you. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. For all I know, you are wonderful together – true star-crossed lovers, that, in different circumstances, may have a chance.

Love is when TWO people are committed to each other by choice every single day, not when one person has tingly thoughts and can’t let go of a complicated situation.

These are not those circumstances.

Objectively, you chose a man who is both physically and emotionally unavailable to you – and while he is in no rush to get married again, you’re putting your entire life on hold for him.

I couldn’t tell you if he’s going to go back to his wife, move out, or how quickly he’ll be able to move on. I can tell you that these are decisions that are dependent on what’s right for HIM, not what’s right for YOU.

What’s right for you is to break it off entirely, cut him off entirely, and, when you’re ready, start dating an emotionally available man who doesn’t have a wife at home. I guarantee that you can find these same “in love” feelings without all the complications.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Michelle

    Evan,

    Your advice is spot on; I have recently been dealing with a couple of friends crying on my shoulder over the very same situation; they “fell in love” with a “separated” (AKA still MARRIED) guy and are now devastated.  One ended up going back to his wife and the other wanted to “explore a bit” and is now dating multiple women, on Tinder, etc..  I think dating a separated guy is a recipe for pain and the odds way against you.  Wait till he’s divorced or at least been legally seperated for at least a year.  There is always an exception but they are few and far between.

    1. 1.1
      Christine

      Is there something in the water?  I just had this same conversation over the weekend, with single friends in love with separated men!  I got so frustrated on their behalf.  I know it’s hard out there and sometimes, it can feel like there’s a shortage of quality single men…but I don’t think there is such a severe drought that women have to resort to dating men who are still married (and legally unavailable to them!)

      1. 1.1.1
        GoWiththeFlow

        Ditto here Christine!

        I have a friend doing the same thing.  I don’t know where “My wife and I are still living under the same roof and legal proceedings haven’t been started, but we’re ‘separated'” became a mating call.  As I told my friend, he doesn’t even  meet the definition of separated, they’re under the same roof and legally she’s his wife.

        1. Christine

          I also somehow missed the memo that married men are available partners!  Obviously with married men, the wife will always come first.  I say, find the man who doesn’t have a wife and will put YOU first!

      2. 1.1.2
        Michelle

        Agreed all!  There are lots of great men out there…choose wisely!

      3. 1.1.3
        Elizabeth

        I totally agree with you. It can happen without you even knowing…I fell in love with a guy that did not tell me he was separated. His wife lived in another city. I found out a yr later after dating. My first instinct was to leave him but in my heart I knew we truly loved each other. He had been separated for several years when we met. It is not always so clear on what to do when it happens to you.

        1. Mariann

          Elizabeth,  Yes it is hard to know.  8 months Now and holding.  I was told he was divorced.  Then I was at his apartment and his wife wanted to come in and use the bathroom.  He told her.  I have a woman in there and she wanted to leave,  but he asked her to come in and  meet me. She said.  “You are sleeping with my husband.”  I looked at him and said.  “You told me you were divorced.”   He said,  I am from my first wife.  This is my current wife.”  My heart sank.  Since then he has done everything to keep me out of the eyes of his separated wife and his family so that he does not get caught with me again.  I am still in love with him.  But, his frequent tending to his wife really bothers me.  I still desire him and love him.  But, I don’t want to share the man I love with another woman.  He tells me they are not intimate like we are. Yesterday was Easter.  He wanted me to come over to his place and I said no.  I figured if he could not invite me to be with his family on Easter Day (by the way I really like his mother and I thing she likes me too. )   then he does not deserve my company.  It was a hard day yesterday knowing he was with family that he would not let me be around.  Tears ran down my face so much yesterday.  I truly want to be with him, but if he has to stash me away somewhere in hiding and only visit when it is convenient for his personal life.  As much as I love him.  I need more respect than that.  He asked me if I wanted to come and sleep over last night after his FAMILY festivities.  I declined.  I told him that I proclaim my love to him with everyone even my sons and my ex husband and it is about time that he does about me with his family.  He texted me telling me he had some things that he wanted to bring me this morning before he went to work.  I said OK.  It was bitter sweet.  I love seeing him,  but I can tell he will never be mine ever though he has asked me to marry him.  Not a laughing matter, but LOL anyway.  Like I am going to marry someone that has an Ogga horn for his wife on his cell phone and goes a running every time she calls.

        2. Mariann

          Oh my garsh.  Sorry for the book.

    2. 1.2
      Yet Another Guy

      I shake my head when someone claims to be separated, but still lives with his/her spouse.  The status of separated requires one to live in a separate residence apart from one’s soon-to-be ex.  That is why the marital status exists.  In fact, states that require a couple to be separated for a period of time as grounds for no-fault divorce require the couple to live in separate residences.  In my state, a couple cannot spend a single night under the same roof during their period of separation without resetting the clock to day one.  It does not matter if they slept in separate bedrooms and abstained from sexual relations.  They slept under the same roof; therefore, they nullified their separation.

      I wish that women would stop lumping guys like this one in with guys who are truly separated for the purpose of seeking a divorce.  Guys who are truly separated are paying all of the costs of being a divorced man, including supporting two homes.  What this guy is technically in is an open relationship, albeit one that is dysfunctional.  He will remain in an open relationship until he moves out  (transitions to true separated status) or receives his divorce decree.  I did not sleep in the same bedroom or have sexual relations with my ex for the last decade of our marriage, but that situation did not count as “separated” for divorce grounds.  I still had to live apart and abstain from sexual relations for 12 months in order to qualify to file for no-fault divorce.

      Any woman who dates a man who is still living with his spouse is a fool.  It is that simple.  If a man lives in an enlightened states that allows a couple to file for divorce without going to through a period of separation purgatory, he needs to file for and be granted a divorce decree before being considered date worthy.   If a man lives in a maritally backwards state such as mine,  he needs to move out of the marital residence with the intention of filing for divorce and establish child support and/or spousal support before being considered date worthy.   The fear of reconciliation in states that require a period of separation as grounds for no-fault divorce  is non-sequitur because a divorced couple can reconcile.  In this case, a woman needs to judge the man, not his marital status.  A marriage is usually long over before a couple is willing to go through the pain of enduring a period of separation purgatory in order to qualify for divorce.

      1. 1.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        *state

        *a non-sequitur

        Note: A separated man should have a judge granted decree of legal separation in states that allow for legal separation or an executed separation agreement (this document usually becomes the settlement agreement at time of divorce) in states that do not grant legal separation decrees in place before being considered date worthy. Both of these documents demonstrate clear intent to divorce. My state does not grant legal separation decrees, but I had an executed separation agreement in place shortly after moving out of the marital home.

  2. 2
    CaliforniaGirl

    Many years ago I dated a separated man. He wasn’t living with his wife but somehow she always needed him and he would cancel our dates or leave early to go to her. So I gave him space for 1.5 months while I was visiting family in another country. When I came back home, he was back with his wife and all I got was a text message with “sorry” or something along the lines. It really hurt because he told me that he loves me and wants to be with me and we were planning the future.  He eventually got divorced but it took few more years and I was so glad I haven’t stayed, I met my future husband literally few weeks weeks later. I saw the guy few years ago at some friends gathering. He told me that it was a mistake of his life to go back to his wife. I didn’t care. He looked unattractive, kinda of old and pathetic.

    Don’t wait for him, it’s not worth it.

    1. 2.1
      Loy

      Not worth it at all California girl. True True.

    2. 2.2
      Mariann

      Califoniagirl.  Thank You for the advice.  I think I know in my mind  that what you say is right.  My heart is still aching now.  And he knows it and I am sure he plans to use my pain for his benefit.  I don’t want to be in tears every time I hear that Ogga horn on his phone.  I can’t do this anymore.

      1. 2.2.1
        Mariann

        Too many tears to cry.  I do have another man that is single and very interested in me that I have been putting off because I am still in love with the man that is separated.    I told him lastnight why I put him off and that I am still in love with the separated man.  He said.  “That man is married I am not.  I am your’s,  he is not.”  I just don’t want to jump ship into another mans arms so fast.  He called me a moment ago and told me “Baby,  I will be home shortly from work it is raining.”  He lives close by.    The story goes.  Torn between two Loves.  One is available and the one that I am pining for is not.  I need to stop pining for the one that is not and pay more attention to the one that actually professes his love for me in front of everyone.

        1. Mariann

          Thank You for giving me a way to let my feelings out.  i can only hope that the original poster has peace in her mind and heart that I hope to come to mine eventually.  Again  Thank You.  This was very therapeutic for me to put my thoughts in word and know that maybe my experience will help those in the same situation.  I guess what I am saying is what I am feeling I should be telling myself.  Don’t settle for less that what you know you know that your heart deserves.

           

  3. 3
    Christine

    I would say that she is absolutely right to be concerned in this particular situation.  First of all, I don’t think it’s a good sign that he chose to not celebrate her birthday with her, but elected to instead go see his wife’s family. Her birthday obviously only comes once a year, at that time.  I’m not sure what he had to do with the wife’s family that was SO urgent it couldn’t wait until after her birthday.

    I also am not buying this excuse about him staying with the wife because it’s just convenient.  If a guy really wants to make things happen, he will find a way.  My guy was sort of in a similar situation, living with his ex-girlfriend at the time he met me.  It would have been really “easy” and “comfortable” to just keep being roommates with her, when they were living together already.

    But, he told me, in no uncertain terms, that he had to get out of it.  And I felt reassured when he did everything in his power to make it happen (not just say it).  He really scrambled to refinance and get a new loan, to remove the ex as an owner. I also noticed that the ex began to spend less and less time actually there at the house, and often visited her family out-of-state.  She was technically an owner, but barely living there!  He also started cutting off ties with her family as well (certainly did not blow me off to go with her on any of those family visits). In a matter of months, she was out of there and I was in.

    In the writer’s situation, though, I’m not seeing what actions he is taking to match his words about the divorce.  As a general matter (even in situations not involving a wife like this), I say be wary of any man whose actions don’t match his words.  She did the right thing in parting ways with him, difficult as it is.  Love has to be a two-way street and I’m not sure he returns her feelings (or at least, not enough to actually build a future with her)

     

     

    1. 3.1
      Mariann

      Not to celebrate any holiday together.  He sent me flowers for my birthday last week and I tried to refuse them when they arrive.  The flower delivery guy said.  We can’t take them back.  I had to take them.  I texted him and said.  Thank You for the flowers.  I wanted you for my birthday!!!!!  This is making me sick.  I hardly eat because my nerves are so bad right now.  I can not digest.  I cry so much.  And even though he has his other stuff going on.  He still invites me to be with him at his convenience.  I basically told him after the Christmas Holidays to not bother me at all on my birthday.  But,  When the flowers arrived even my landlord told me.  He’s a good guy.  Don’t throw the flowers away.  I did anyway.  I changed my phone number a week ago and he ended up getting it again.  My landlord really likes seeing us together.  But,  Let my landlord think about sharing his wife.  What is good for the gander is not so good for the goose and visa versa.

      1. 3.1.1
        Mariann

        Need I point out that his mother told me that he does not even speak to his grown children from his first wife and has never met his grand children.  Something is wrong right there.  I have a great rapport with my ex husband and my children and my ex’s family.   We parted ways during DIVORCE But, still keep the family together out of respect for each other.  Them and I would have it no other way.  Do, I run to my ex every time he calls? No.  We keep communication Yes.  No reason to break up the family just because we both decided to divorce. The man that I have been ranting about calls his beautiful daughter The spawn of the devil.  And he takes pride in having a phone number that ends with 666.  Hmmmmmm.

  4. 4
    Heather K

    Great advice, as usual, but I have one caveat.  I’m not sure if I would say that her insecure behavior was a bad thing.  I think her insecure behavior was a good indicator to herself that she wasn’t in a situation that was providing her with adequate emotional security.  I’m not sure I would even worry whether or not her insecure behavior pushed the guy away, because I think this was a no-win situation to begin with.  I also wouldn’t want the letter writer to internalize that her insecure behavior is a problem, because then the next time she comes into contact with someone who isn’t available, or isn’t in line with her needs, I wouldn’t want her to ignore her own experience of how she feels around this person.  I wouldn’t want her to think that she needs to ignore her own feelings and boundaries and get her insecurity ‘under control’ in order to make it work with someone who isn’t really available.  It might be better for her to worry less about being ‘that girl’ and worry more about what she needs in a relationship (with a critical eye, of course).

    1. 4.1
      Antoinette

      Yes!

  5. 5
    Skaramouche

    I’m as sorry to say it as you will be to hear it but this seems to be a recipe for disaster.  You will get hurt.  You don’t say how long he has been “separated” so it’s difficult to say whether the pain is still raw or whether he’s had time to process it.  No matter how bad the marriage and how amicable the separation, there will be pain; pain caused by the end of a years-long relationship, at the dismantling of one shared life into two separate ones.  If he hasn’t had the time to work through it, there’s no hope for you; you are simply a rebound.  Another word to the wise, in-house separation is very different from actual separation.

    If he has had time to process it, then maybe he’s not really over her or doesn’t really want to be divorced.  His actions are somewhat suspect.  Do you know why the divorce is taking so long?  I.e. have they filed and it’s taking time to work out the details?  Is it that one spouse is on the other’s health insurance?  Is there any tangible reason at all?  It could just be that they really are over each other and have just gotten comfortable but then that’s one hell of a risk for you to take and I wouldn’t recommend it.

    I sympathise wholly with your pain…it’s a sucky place to be.  But you’ll thank yourself later for cutting him loose until he really is divorced and holding strong to that resolution.  If it really is meant to be, maybe it will give him the push he needs to get divorced.  More likely though, he’ll just fade out of your life and you’ll move on to someone who IS available.  Good luck!

     

  6. 6
    Skaramouche

    Sorry for the double post but I just had a thought…when you say:

    “His wife knows all about me”

    is it because you know this for a fact (i.e. you’ve actually met/spoken to her) or is it just that he’s told you she knows?  I’m not saying he’s lying but it makes me go “hmmmmmnn…”.

  7. 7
    Drea

    He wanted to feel desired and that he had options out there. What you feel is not love, it’s just attraction mixed with anxiety that is caused by the uncertainty of the situation. He has all the power. Cut him off and you will feel better. You are wasting precious time with this guy.

  8. 8
    Mrs Happy

    Dear OP,

    you are in the throes of the brain chemistry high that is, being madly in love. We all know it feels absolutely fantastic.  It’ll be brief.

    Because you are in love,  you cannot reason logically and you probably won’t listen to our sensible advice.

    You should stay on the break, make it a firm break up, and let him stay gone (I typed “let him go” but then realised, he’s already left you).

    All the best for the next few months of pain, and next time, avoid married, separated or newly divorced men.

     

  9. 9
    Elly Klein

    “Baby, sometimes, love just ain’t enough.’ – Patty Smith

    Sheree, Evan is spot on. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how you feel or how he feels. The circumstances suck and, at this point in time, are going to lead you to no where but Misery Land.

    It’s gonna hurt like hell, but rip off this Bandaid and find someone who, as Evan said, is physically and emotionally available to you. And please read Dating the Divorced Man by Christie Hartman, PhD. It’s hands down the best book on this subject, and will bring you much clarity and comfort.

    All the best. xooo

     

    1. 9.1
      Mariann

      Elly,  Thank You for responding to this post.  I am sure there are many girls out there in the same situation.  We do need advice.  It was so good for me to respond and let my feelings out about this topic.  I am still hurting and am old.  57.  According to my family history.  My parents died at 65.  I don’t plan on dieing at 65, and I do look forward to waking up with a wonderful man and making breakfast and doing what I do and especially doing things to make someone else other than me happy for the rest of my life.  Plus knowing my happieness is very important to the man that I choose. I think with my dialogue everyone here knows the direction I should go.  Good Bye Separated/Married man.  One more thing?  What do I say to him the next time he texts or calls.  Ummmmm  Hmmmmmm.  Yup.  I will do what you told me to do.  He won’t like it.  But, So Be It.  I was not neglecting him for my ex or anyone else.  I was there at the ring of my phone every time.  Not so with him.  His loss not mine.  Again.  Sorry for the book. I just have to fight with my emotions right now and the best way for me to do it is to write it and read it over and over again.

  10. 10
    Alain

    Really Sheree,

    You have really set yourself up on this one. Come on now. You believe all the crap that he told you? Separated still means married and things are slow because he has no intentions of going through with the divorce. Here is a tip: Do not deal with men who are still married. If the divorce papers have not been signed, don’t bother.

    Along with that, the time that you’re saying he will need to mourn is time being taken away from you having a healthy and fulfilling relationship with someone who can actually provide that. No, you shouldn’t have been more understanding about anything. What you need to do is leave. Next time you meet a man and he tells you that he is married but separated, walk the other way. Done.

    1. 10.1
      SparklingEmerald

      BTDT, only in this case I was the “separated” one.  I made the colossal mistake of trying to date before my divorce became final.  I was in physical therapy when my ex dropped the bombshell of wanting a divorce.  We languished in separation status so I could stay on his insurance  (co-pays for PT on MY work insurance were astronomical, but not on his)  Very few men wanted to date a “separated but not divorced” woman, and I can’t blame them one bit.  So my time on OLD stretched out very long, and then men started questioning why I had been in OLD for so long (which they could only know if they themselves had been in for so long, but whatever ! )

      Once my divorce became final, I took a very long hiatus from OLD, after I reported a sexually aggressive series of messages to match.com, and the creep remained in their dating app.  I didn’t feel safe after  that .  They had a mechanism for reporting harrassing and inappropriate responses, but in actuality, did NOTHING about them.

      After some time, I reluctantly went back on, and decided to just suck it up, and ignore any sexually harassing posts, and look for the good ones.

      Almost one year to the day since my divorce became final, I met the most wonderful man, and we are getting married early next year.  Since I was inactive (offline) for about half that time, that really isn’t that long of a time.

      Moral of the story, do not date “separated but not divorced” men, do not date if your divorce isn’t final.

      1. 10.1.1
        Mariann

         

        SparklingEmerald  I think I understand your point.  My Separated/Married man is married to a woman that he told me he could not sleep with because it hurt her too much because she has cancer in the pelvis area and is dieing and that is why he moved away from her.  I have had to witness him to go take care of her, her house, her dogs through chemo.  He said he still loves her and always will.  I was very proud of him for being so honorable because he said that she is on his health insurance.  I was there at his apartment numerous times when she would do the Ogga phone call letting him know that she brought some more of his belongings over and put them in the back of his truck and was ticked that she saw my car there.  In one sense it is honorable to take care of your wife after separation.  On the other hand it is not honorable to bring in and lie to a new woman about the arrangement. 

  11. 11
    Helene

    “they are just in this robotic routine that has become very easy.” Generally when a marriage ends, being around the other person isn’t “easy” its pretty unbearable, and one or other partner just wants OUT of the house. This couple aren’t separated, they’re just a married couple who aren’t having sex at the moment – nothing particularly unusual about that, a lot of marriages go through spells like this.

    I am sorry the OP has been taken in by this man, who as far as I can see is deluding HIMSELF about his situation, and carrying her along with him.

    One thing I would say is that when assessing a man’s availability, its the actions, not the label, that counts. Whether a guy is “separated” or “divorced” really isn’t the issue – I’ve known men who were divorced who still go round to the family home for sunday lunch, help the kids with homework ona tuesday then just kinda stay around for dinner , spend christmas there  etc…. They say they’re doing it for the kids but the truth is they still kinda enjoy their family life and spend a great deal more time at the family home than necessary – the new girfriend is little more than an “out in the open” mistress whom the man has no intention of building a new life with  – he just wants someone to spend a couple of evenings a week with who’s a bit younger and sexier than his wife.

     

     

    1. 11.1
      eeloh

      My ex and I are one of those divorced couples. It’s not such a bad thing for kids to see that their parents, although not together still, can get longhand like and respect each other. However, we don’t spend substantial amounts of time together.

      And living together with your ex while dating other people… bad news. His boring/ending/crappy marriage is not your problem. His need to give and process is not your problem. Nothing you can solve here…move on. “Still living with her? great … here’s my number, cal me when the dust has settled ad you’re in your OWN digs.”

    2. 11.2
      Mariann

      Helene

      Agreed 100 percent.

      1. 11.2.1
        Mariann

        He does just want someone that he can call and check on morning, noon and night to make sure she is available for his own pleasure and keep his wife happy at the same time.  Now,  You have me thinking.  He should move to one of those polygamist areas where that kind of  behavior accepted.  Not anywhere near me.  I want a monogamous relationship for the rest of my being.

  12. 12
    Selena

    Sheree,

    This couple is going to stay in their comfy, roommate marriage as long as it IS comfortable to them.  Why should they go through the hassle, expense and financial reversals that come with divorce if they don’t have to?  The only reason to change that is the desire to have a different life, a better one, with someone else.

     

    In 5 months you’ve shown this man the kind of love and life he could have with you.  Yet it wasn’t enough for him to make a change.  You worry that you will lose him by making a stand. If he doesn’t want a happy, healthy, non-compartmentalized  life with you…you never really had him.

     

    I know you are hurting. I wish you the strength to move on.

     

     

    1. 12.1
      Mariann

      For Sheree and I, I say Thank You.   It is best to move on no matter how much we are in love with that not really separated man.  We need to move on and let them find another playmate that may or may not be able to handle the BS.

  13. 13
    A good man

    I’m that man. I can understand the responses, but I’d like to share my story. Maybe I’m being naive, but I do think my heart is in the right place. My ex wife and I tried to get a divorce, but the judge threw it out, because I gave her everything she came into the relationship with, which was much more than I had. She was in a significantly better paying job, had a nice 401K, etc. But the judge wouldn’t allow it, because she said in CO assets had to be split 50/50! She and I were very upset at the hearing. In the meantime, after being laid off from my previous job, I started a new business, which although growing, doesn’t yet afford me the option of living on my own. If it weren’t for my ex wife, I’d be on the streets. If the situation were reversed, a woman would typically be awarded “maintenance”. I didn’t expect or want that. So, in the meantime, it makes the most financial sense to be housemates. There is no animosity between us. It may take another year (hopefully no more), for me to be financially stable. That doesn’t mean I don’t long for love and someone special in my life. I am upfront about my situation with any woman I meet and my ex wife knows as well. I dated someone for almost two years, was unwavering in my loyalty to her, never put my ex wife above her, but yes, my girlfriend eventually left, mainly because of my situation, and I am heartbroken 🙁 Ironically, my ex wife is only at the house about 1/4 of the time, and when she is there, it allowed me even more freedom to be with my, now ex, girlfriend. In the meantime, my ex girlfriend has two young children, and has about 5 more years before she’ll have the freedom and flexibility, financially or otherwise, to do what she wants. I know my financial situation will be stable by then. Her ex frequently causes her problems, but at the same time, contributes roughly 1/2 time and 1/2 finances for the kids (I say roughly because he skates as much as possible without technically running afoul of their divorce agreement, but that’s another story). She has much more interaction, often negative, with him, and still celebrates the kid’s birthdays and some holidays together. Isn’t there a double standard?

    1. 13.1
      Selena

      @ A good man

      “My ex wife and I tried to get a divorce, but the judge threw it out, because I gave her everything she came into the relationship with, which was much more than I had. She was in a significantly better paying job, had a nice 401K, etc. But the judge wouldn’t allow it, because she said in CO assets had to be split 50/50! “

       

      If the two of you wanted a divorce, why not go along with your state law and then do your own settlement after the decree was granted? Just because you were legally entitled to 1/2  your wife’s assets, doesn’t mean you couldn’t give them back to her if you felt in good conscious they didn’t belong to you.

       

      Your business does not make enough for you to be able to live on your own, so your wife supports you. (She is not your ex-wife if you are still married, dude.) How is that any different from taking a share of her assets had you divorced? You would presumably be  living off “her” money anyway.

       

      Regardless of whether or not your business ever becomes more lucrative, won’t you still be in the same position re: your state’s divorce laws? Still having  to take assets you don’t feel are rightfully yours?

       

      So how long do you plan to keep this housemate marriage going?

       

       

       

       

      1. 13.1.1
        Mariann

        Gotta love that comment Selena.  Hurts to the core doesn’t it Goodman?

    2. 13.2
      Heather K

      It could be that your ex-girlfriend wanted to be with someone who would be able to marry her.  And maybe she wanted the person she dated to also be able to move in with her.  I obviously don’t know her – but that would be my guess.

    3. 13.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Having “interaction” (negative or positive) is not the same as still being legally married.  Are she and the ex, legally divorced ?  If so, there is no double standard going on, she is divorced and waited 2 years for you to become divorced, then she moved on.

      There is almost always “interaction” between spouses who had children together.  My son in his mid 20’s, but there are times when his dad and I “interact” when we both spend time with our son for an occasion.   My fiance still “interacts” with his ex-wife, divorced over 4o years ago.

      Neither of our “interactions” with our spouses are a threat, we are both legally divorced.

      I tried to date when I was separated but not divorced.  HUGE mistake !  I don’t fault men who didn’t want to date me in my limbo marital status.  I don’t even fault much the men who knew the score up front, said they were fine with it, but then when we started to get more emotionally attached, started to get angry about the situation.

      The best thing I ever did to boost my love life in this incarnation of singledom was to finally get that divorce decree !  I struggled for nearly 3 years dating while separated.  I  met my fiancee almost a year to the day after my divorce became final.

    4. 13.4
      Mariann

      A Good Man????????    What in to?  Sounds more awful than what Sharee and I are dealing with.  Dang,  I lived in my car for the time between his wife throwing fits because she saw my car there.  Do you drive GOOD MAN?  DO YOU HAVE A CAR GOOD MAN?  If so, do what I did.  live in your car and save your money and get a place of your own. You obviously have toooooooooooo much baggage to be calling yourself.  GOODMAN.  I would certainly run in the opposite direction from anyone so dependent on his wife that can not walk away on his own.  OMS.

  14. 14
    Kizzy8

    Run!  Run!  Run!  Take it from me, if you stay and keep catering to his dysfunction, you will soon discover that you are in a relationship with two people, him and his ex and the peace of your relationship will depend on how his ex feels that day.   PLEASE TRUST ME, you are wasting your time.  If you love him, then love yourself more and tell him that you will give him time to sort all of that out and when he does then give you a call and see where things are then.  Dont be afraid that he’s going to find soneone else or sleep with someone else.  You have to LOVE YOURSELF MORE.  You deserve better and if he cares about you at all, he would not torture you like this!  You can choose to stay with him if you want but it will prove that you are desparate and have low self esteem issues.  I’m telling you this from experience.  I did exactly what you are doing and as women we just weren’t built to accept this kind of emotional abuse because that’s what it is.  He is only thinking of his own feelings.  Be okay with being single and pray that God sends you the right man, not someone who’s okay with you living inconstant unrest.  Its jusy not worth it.  I assure you.

  15. 15
    Chris

    Holy smokes!   Wow!  Smh!  I didn’t even finish reading the entire title before I thought,  “Trouble!”

    I’ve been down this road more than once in my life.  I have FINALLY learned my lesson.   Stay very clear of married, separated, or recently divorced men if you are wanting a happy,  loving,  secure relationship.    You will be used as their “escape” when they don’t want to deal with what is going on in their personal lives.

    Props to Evan for always giving such crystal clear sound advice!

  16. 16
    Silverbee

    Good lord, what land of make believe is this woman living in, that they have separate bed rooms, his wife knows about her. Yeah um I don’t think so. Stop drinking the koolaid sweetie. This guy is simply MARRIED. Having his cake & eating it to! Please stop don’t waste your precious time on these tools. Date an actual single guy.

  17. 17
    SOPhia

    I made the (then-naive) mistake of dating a separated man “oh, we’ll be divorced by the end of the year” (he was off by 12 months!) and quickly learned there are really THREE people in the relationship and I am not a three-some gal! I broke it off, for other reasons, too, but I learned my lesson!

    A few months later, I met yet another separated man and when he asked me out, I said ” No thank you. Feel free to keep my name and number and give me a ring one year AFTER the divorce is final and let’s see where I am at that time”.  (ha ha).

    N.E.V.E.R.  A.G.A.I.N.

  18. 18
    Mel

    Wow. Exactly what I have been going through for two and a half years. He was legally separated (all finances, debts, house division, etc. paid out) and he stated he would be getting divorced. Two years later, and I have had every lousy, cowardly excuse thrown at me in his attempts to delay finalizing his marriage.

    I told him he is still married. He denies this! Married is married is married. He said he wanted to marry me. I told him: Ask me to marry you then. You can’t! YOU. ARE. MARRIED.

    Now I am being blamed and he claims he is being pushed while we talked about marriage, sharing a home (never happened!) and then he started ghosting me.

    I am now a f*cking mess. I keep asking myself WHY did I stay? Why would he treat me like this? Didn’t he love me? What the hell is going on?

    He forced me to leave by ghosting me… one of the crappiest and cowardly ways of ending a *relationship.*

    Yes, he is married. Yes, I understand now that he was never mine. But he made it look very good. Brought me everywhere, bought me everything. Did everything for me. But he wouldn’t divorce his wife. (She is with the man whom she was cheating with on her husband.) Good luck guy cause she is going to quit you the same way. However, that isn’t my problem.

    Like I said, he made our time together look good. I met his whole family. We spent all holidays, birthdays together. A couple of his last excuses to me  were: it’s too bad (I) wanted a ring when he wanted me more than marriage. When the fuck did I ask for a ring?! We talked about marriage. Then: our kids are too different. Buddy, ALL people are different.

    So I am left broken-hearted. I blame him. Not myself. I refuse to accept blame where he deceived me and lied to me. Should I have known better? Absolutely. However, I trusted him. No one wants to believe that someone they love is deceiving them.

    I am severely depressed. He took the cowardly way out. He lied to me the entire time we were *together.* His wife, the b*tch who cheated on him and left him and abandoned her kids, is living happily with “her” man and already is wearing a promise ring.

    I told him it didn’t matter that he wasn’t divorcing her. He asked me why. He didn’t believe me, lol. I told him what comes after a promise ring? Engagement ring. He’s just a sitting duck and will be divorced one way or another whether he likes it or not. I guess that’s his karma. I don’t feel badly for him in any way, shape or form.

    Problem: I still have feelings for him. I love him and I despise him. I am left with these warring emotions that are tearing me apart  emotionally and mentally. I cannot believe he did this to me.  I cannot believe I didn’t leave earlier. I cannot function properly. I guess that is my depression and anxiety.

    I wish he had given me the respect or damn courtesy of a proper goodbye. No excuses for him. He knew what he was doing. But what the hell should I expect from a compulsive liar and coward.

    Evan, I don’t know if you have covered “Ghosting”, but it may help a lot of your readers understand what it is and how destructive it is for a relationship. The person on the receiving end is left with self-doubt, blaming themselves (what did I do wrong), why didn’t they break up honestly.

    I guess knowing you wouldn’t treat a person that way doesn’t guarantee they will treat you the same way. Believing that is just being naïve to the point of ridiculousness. My point is, where do I, or anyone (woman or man) who have been on the receiving end of this type of break up deal with the fall out? It is such a destructive way to end a relationship and causes the person who was ghosted to deal with the other person’s actions (or inaction) in a way that makes them believe they are the cause of the other person’s selfish and cold-hearted behaviour.

    I don’t want to hear that they need to be heard out. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. They ignore texts, calls… everything. And the people who love them are left without closure. Ghosting is a way of ending a relationship without ending it. It’s despicable and traumatizing.

    Yes, we should move on. Yes, we need to find the strength to ignore that person and leave the past behind. It is very difficult when you planned a future with that person and believed in them. No one wants to believe they have been lied to and betrayed by their SO but it is so prevalent nowadays.

    There is no respect or courtesy for anyone’s feelings. Just leave them alone. I have learned that ghosting DOES cost the Ghost. They are left with the knowledge that they took the coward’s way out and out of frustration may attempt to try confront the person they ignored for so long so THEY can feel better about themselves.

    It is never a good idea as it reopens a whole lot of unnecessary pain. They simply want to justify their actions. And they can’t. Their behaviour was deplorable. Once they realize this, IF they have an iota of conscience left, THEY feel like the victim because they acted in a way that makes them look bad. And they know it.

    I say it looks good on them and they should leave the victim of their deceit alone. Let them move on with their lives and the mess they left them to cope with.

    I sincerely hope the writer takes your advice and of those who have been through this. Blaming her will not help. She knows what has happened. Put the blame on the SOB who deserves it and help her see that many others are going through this too and fighting to move on.

    Psychological abuse and emotional abuse are not the victim’s fault. That responsibility and blame lie solely with the abuser. Why are their actions excused? Call them out on their behaviour and see how they like being treated like crap. Fortunately, for them, they don’t, so don’t really give a damn what anyone thinks. Lovely.

     

  19. 19
    Dee

    This spoke to me because I got roped into a situation with a male friend who is married with 2 kids. It started off as just friends with  him talking to me about wanting to leave his wife , he’s not happy anymore,  she’s too jealous, blah blah blah.

    At first it started off innocent enough but it slowly morphed into: him calling and texting me multiple times a day every day, making plans to hang with me, ( BTW he lives in another state), getting really emotional with me and talking about stuff   that a married man should be talking to his WIFE about not some other girl, always telling me in detail his  “plans” on how he was gonna leave his wife and move on ( which btw I never asked him about) I didn’t give this much credence but over time, I started developing feelings that were more than friends same with him. Whats crazy about it is that you don’t even realize its happening because “your just friends”. What a crock! I feel married men who are having emotional affairs ( which is what we had) use that lame excuse of just being “friends” to justify their behavior. Ok woman we need to wise up on this one because it can infiltrate your life in a very sneaky fashion. Married men just like married woman need to respect what that is and while reaching out to  the other gender as “friends” is fine, there is a line that needs NOT be crossed.  If your dealing with an emotionally fragile person to begin with then its up to you to make sure shit does not go sideways cause when your an emotional mess YOUR HEAD IS NOT SCREWED ON STRAIGHT.Anyhow getting back to it, this whole fiasco went on for about 6 months and I let it happened because 1) I felt lonely 2) we had an amazing connection/understand each other fully 3) I let the fantasy monster get the best of me thinking that this could actually be something and “Ill wait around cause I know I just know this is the real deal”. I had my misgivings all long but it just felt right so I said fuck it and went along with the program. I finally wised up one morning and told him it was over and I’m done. There was some back and forth and he was all upset about it but I put the cards on the table and told him that 1) he needs to figure out what the hell he wants to do 2) what we are doing is not appropriate and brought all the reasons why 3) He needs to stop disrespecting his wife.Of course his plea was ” were just friends” and my response to that is ” bullshit”. It was very painful to let him go but in hindsight best decision I made.  Ladies Check your self when you are getting to know a guy don’t operate from a place of loneliness and if the guy is married separated run run run!! I don’t care how much you click or how fine he is or whatever, your heart will get broken guaranteed. Don’t believe me fine then go find out for your self.

  20. 20
    LaTrice

    There’s plenty of single men who doesn’t have someone waiting for them at home.

  21. 21
    Sunshyne

    I absolutely love your response. Being a former wife with a “separated/divorced” husband I know all too well about that situation. Yet, my ex husband was one that liked to go sniffing up the legs of his exes and a few young ones too. All the chics thought that he was All About Them and I was the crazy ex that they’d heard about. I’d heard it all. In the end I realized I didn’t love myself enough because I wouldn’t have stayed so long and tolerated that if I did. Too, some of the women that he dealt with had a lot of issues of insecurity and he took advantage of that. People that willingly deal with Separated “Married” Men/Women are only asking for heartache in return.

  22. 22
    martina

    I am separated. For real. I am on the ex’s employer’s insurance. I am grateful to him for keeping me on, especially with the scary Republican plan ready to leave freelancers high and dry.

    Never plan to get divorced . Romantically, I am never going back to him. Not all separated people are sneaky. I would hope a new partner would be OK with it, but he can have his opinion. if he pushed me to get divorced I would certainly doubt his concern for my welfare!

    age 56

  23. 23
    mary

    Hello Sheree,

    I can honestly say that you ‘chose’ to love a married (separated) man and I can guess that you ‘knew’ it before you go dating. Therefore, you should know that there is no reason to feel ‘my anxiety and uncertainty about our relationship’ – in your own words. Because it takes two to reach where you are now and what he is resolving now. Marriage is legal and therefore it takes a legal process to end it. A couple will undergo in the stage called ‘separation’ for several years before a divorce is taken into consideration. That is, subject to many circumstances such as; if the separated couple has a kid, in a transnational marriage or they don’t have any crime related reason for immediate separation and divorce. It is quite tricky also within separation, whereas the subject couple still needs to stay together but not necessarily mean act like a couple together. It is part of the process and according to ‘politics law’ that’s how should it be done. Sheree, as painful as it is to see- you and him, have no legal commitment. Your commitment to each other is bound by ‘acknowledgment’ of the existence of love for each other and the right thing to do is to wait and be there for him and support him and give him reason to see forward on ending the long and annoying process of divorce. That is if you really see yourself ‘able’ and ‘capable’ of doing it for the benefit of your future together. If he loves you, then you all have the reason to be there and have a little more patient. Like I said, it takes two to make it happen. If you are already tired and wanting to move forward without you holding your life for him- don’t hesitate and feel the burden of ending it because above all- it takes YOU to make yourself happy and be able to make other people happy and that includes that people in your future. Believe me, it is not easy but it is not also hard when you stop doubting what you know is real. I hope you finally have decided what is best for you 🙂 – Best, MARY

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