When Should I Disclose To My New Boyfriend That I’m Divorced?

I am a professional in my early 30s and was married for seven years. I was divorced two years ago and remained single till I decided this year that I am sick of being lonely and the only single person in my social circle, so decided to try my luck at online dating. I want to thank you for the awesome insights you provide in your books and blogs. After reading Why He Disappeared and Believe in Love, I dated with so much confidence and finally started exclusively dating an intelligent, successful, thoughtful man that I really, really like. He asked me to be his girlfriend after a month and I happily said, “yes”.

However, something is haunting me and I desperately need your help. I did not tell him I was divorced. I don’t know how much or when I should disclose my past. I don’t want to scare him away. But when he asked me about my relationship, after a few dates, I told him I was with the same person for 8 years and we grew apart.

I don’t view divorce as my failure. Rather it is a memorable life lesson where I learned how to treat my partner equally and communicate better.

How and when should I disclose my past marriage without jeopardizing my relationship with my new boyfriend?

Thank you again for your guidance.

-Olivia

Olivia,

I appreciate your kind words, so forgive me if I kind of dispense with the niceties and cut to the inherent contradiction in your question.

To wit:

1. “I don’t view divorce as my failure.”

2. “I did not tell him I was divorced. I don’t want to scare him away. How and when should I disclose my past marriage without jeopardizing my relationship with my new boyfriend?”

Evidently, Olivia, you view your divorce as a failure, or at least some sort of personal embarrassment. Otherwise, why would you hide something as integral to your relationship history as a marriage and a divorce?

Your divorce isn’t the problem. Your lying and your insecurity is.

Let’s just take a second to pick this apart and hold it up to you, so you can see what I see:

You say you’ve got a great boyfriend.

But instead of telling him the truth about your divorce (something that you are NOT embarrassed about) you lied to him and pretended you’d never been married.

Now I ask you: what do you think is more likely to upset your boyfriend? The fact that you’re divorced (like 60-70% of people who first got married under the age of 25), or the fact that you lied to the one man who is supposed to trust you the most?

You’ve got it.

Pretty much everyone has a hard time with a partner who has an iffy relationship with the truth.

Your divorce isn’t the problem. Your lying and your insecurity is.

I’m not sure what you’re afraid of – or why being divorced would jeopardize your relationship – but I can assure you that nobody outside super-religious circles judges divorcees any longer. But pretty much everyone has a hard time with a partner who has an iffy relationship with the truth.

So rip off the Band-Aid and tell your boyfriend you were married – and own the fact that the impetus for your lie was your shame and insecurity.

Otherwise, you’re implying that you were worried about him being so narrow-minded as to break up with you for no reason, which is kind of insulting to him, don’t you think?

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Clare

    A bit harsh.

     

    “Evidently, Olivia, you view your divorce as a failure, or at least some sort of personal embarrassment. Otherwise, why would you hide something as integral to your relationship history as a marriage and a divorce?”

     

    Not because SHE sees it as a failure, but because she’s afraid HE will see it as a failure. I don’t think she’s afraid of being judged as immoral, I think she’s afraid it will make him question her ability to sustain a long-term relationship. I can relate to Olivia because I am in the same situation myself. I wouldn’t outright lie about the fact that I’ve been married and divorced, but I also wouldn’t put it out there in the first few dates. I’d wait till we’d been together a little while before I told him. Again, this is not because I judge myself negatively for it or view it as failure, simply because I don’t know how HE will view it yet. Obviously as I get to know and trust him better I will tell him, and maybe I do have something to learn here and should put it out there earlier on. But honestly that doesn’t feel quite right to me. It’s something I feel more comfortable revealing when there is a degree of care and intimacy, simply because I view it as quite a private detail.

    1. 1.1
      Skaramouche

      Not trying to minimize your issue and the stress of your situation at all but dare I state the obvious?  If a guy cannot handle the truth of your divorce, perhaps he’s not the guy for you.  If one *truly* believes that something is not a failure, one would not tolerate a partner who does.  Instead, it seems to me that what the OP is hoping is that once her man is hooked, he will overlook her divorce as a misdeed of her past rather than understanding why it happened and what she learned from it.

      I can certainly understand not volunteering this personal information until you’ve been on a few dates and waiting to reveal it until there’s a bit more investment on both sides.  However, this is only if you have the choice.  Once the other party specifically asks about prior relationships, the timing is no longer in your hands.  At that point your only choices are to avoid answering the question or to lie outright.  How would you feel if, for example, you asked a guy about children/family and he told you that he spends time every few weeks with young relatives, except by “spends time” he means “has for the weekend”, and by “young relatives” he means “his children”?  That’s essentially what the OP did.  A lie about divorce is of a lesser magnitude than a lie about children to be sure but it’s a lie nevertheless.

       

    2. 1.2
      Evan Marc Katz

      That’s on you, Clare. Divorce isn’t private. I mean, you can CHOOSE to act that way, but it’s not like you’re hiding a jail stint, a history as a drug mule, or that time you experimented in that cult. You just got divorced. Same as 30-40% of the population. You can make a big deal about it, but then the story becomes “she’s not comfortable or she’s not truthful” whether you like it or not. Seems to me that owning your divorce and being matter of factly comfortable about it would be a better course of action than to proceed like the OP.

    3. 1.3
      Sunflower

      Why would you need to “trust” a guy better in order to disclose a divorce?  A divorce is a public record.  It indicates nothing of the sort of being less of a person just because you got divorced.  It happens to the best of us through all walks of life.  The OP decided to lie about it, which will only come back to bite her in the long run.  I think Evan is right, the OP obviously has insecurity issues and needs to deal with that. Otherwise, what else will she chose to be dishonest about?   Not a good foundation for a relationship.

    4. 1.4
      L

      Sorry I don’t get it.  Lots of people are divorced for a wide variety of reasons.  I am divorced but I couldn’t hide it even if I wanted to.  I have kids.  Frankly, however, I learned a lot about life and myself from my past marriage and it isn’t something to hide.  I would expect to be told about a past marriage right away.  I am suspicious of anyone that feels the need to lie about something so importante.

    5. 1.5
      Clare

      Ok, just to address all of these comments at once:

       

      I haven’t and never would lie about my divorce. If someone on the first couple of dates asked me outright if I had been married I would straight up tell the truth. And I absolutely would tell a man that I’d been married and divorced after a few dates. Your replies all make me feel rather defensive because I never stated nor even implied that I would hide it AT ALL. I’m simply saying that it’s the kind of personal detail I feel more comfortable sharing when I feel safer with someone. I am entitled to my feelings on this issue, and whilst none of you may feel that divorce is private, it is to me. Perhaps where you come from people blab all about themselves on the first date, but it’s not like that for me and nor does that kind of reveal all within the first 10 minutes of knowing someone feel comfortable for me. It’s nothing whatsoever to do with being ashamed or trying to lie, just a question of timing as a function of comfort.

  2. 2
    Alex

    Hi!

    Olivia, I completely understand where you are coming from. Now, I have never been divorced, but 2 weeks before my wedding (year long engagement) my then Fiance broke it off. It was horrible at the moment (blessing in disguise though).

    After a year of concentrating on myself and evaluating my mistakes, I decided to give dating another chance. I didn’t want to become the bitter old cat lady one day. (I love animals). I found an AMAZING MAN. Hands down the best PERSON i’ve ever known. Two months into our dating, I decided that he had to know my whole history. Not only for his sake (i wanted to leave him free to chose me despite my past), but for my sake. I had to reconcile with my past and stop seeing it as a failure, but as a stepping stone into my bright future!

    I for sure thought he would be scandalized and put down. To my surprise, he was extremely understanding and also admired the fact that I would let him know to leave him free to chose ME!

    And he did.

    Take consolation in the fact that we ALL have something we are not 100% proud of. BUT also remember that we should not let our past dictate our future. So, let him in. Completely. Trust him because he deserves it.

    Alex 🙂

  3. 3
    Almita

    The question “Have you been married before?” usually comes up in the first or second date, or sometimes even in your initial e-mails and phone conversations!  I don’t see how it’s possible to avoid this question for so many months without outright lying.  I agree with Evan that lying to a potential partner is a bigger sin than having previously been married and divorced.  I wouldn’t trust a person who lied to me about their previous relationships, even if those relationships have no impact on your current relationship.  A person who lies about small things could also be lying to you about bigger things.

    1. 3.1
      Valeri

      Can’t think of a single dating web site I have been on that does not ask for you “status” up front and has it included in your profile…just saying.

      1. 3.1.1
        Joe

        That doesn’t mean people can’t lie!  People lie about their height, their weight/body type, their age…why do you think they wouldn’t lie about their marital status?  Do you think all the people using OLD to cheat on their spouses were on Ashley Madison?

  4. 4
    katerose2

    I am in the exact same situation as you are. I am in my early 30s and was married for 7 years in my 20s.

    I would recommend you tell him as soon as possible, especially since he is your boyfriend.

    As for me, I told the man I am dating on my second date- even though we are not exclusive yet. He asked about prior relationships and I told him I was married for 7 years (and young), that we grew apart, but left on good terms even though we are not in each other’s lives. He blinked once and after that, we didn’t talk about it at all. And he asked me to go out again, so I don’t think it bothered him.

    To me being divorced is not a bad thing (hey  you tried, learned, and gained experience) and if someone asks about a prior relationship, I am going to mention it- no matter what date I am on. If the man doesn’t want to date me just because I am divorced, then he is not the right man for me.

    If your boyfriend cares for you, explain the situation, explain why you feel vulnerable about sharing it. He will understand and support you.

  5. 5
    Skaramouche

    For me, the most surprising thing about this letter is that the OP wrote it at all!  This is not to say that we don’t all make mistakes or that we don’t behave in ways we might regret later.  But generally, we know what we’ve done wrong and how to go about fixing it even if we might be scared of the outcome.  I’m flabbergasted to think that OP is in any doubt as to next steps.  She’s terrified, I’m sure.  Admitting you’ve lied is never easy and you can’t predict the other party’s reaction.  I’m especially flummoxed because she says:

    I don’t view divorce as my failure. Rather it is a memorable life lesson where I learned how to treat my partner equally and communicate better.

    Er….?  Isn’t a part of better communication not keeping important things from your partner?  I’m not condemning the OP for lying though admittedly, it’s not the best foot to put forward in a new relationship.  But dude, OP, if you don’t already realize that you need to tell him immediately and offer profuse apologies and explanations, I don’t see good things for you ahead.

  6. 6
    Marie

    The OP messed up and needs to come clean as soon as possible before she ruins all trust.  No one is saying she needed to put it out there in glaring headlines on the first few dates.  However, she was asked a direct question and instead of answering honestly chose a vague and calculating answer that obfuscates but still gives her an out should the truth ever be revealed.  See I didn’t lie, I was “in a relationship” for 8 years.  If he did that to her how would she feel.  This is a fundamental piece of information to make a life decision and it’s not fair to give an answer that can be purposely misconstrued (most people who are divorced would just say it when asked not refer to it as a relationship) thus he may have made the decision to date her on false pretenses.

  7. 7
    Marie

    I’d like to point out the irony that Olivia says she viewed her divorce as a memorable lesson in which she learned to treat her partner equally and communicate better.  Clearly, she has not learned this lesson and her way of communicating may be a pattern of a major character flaw rather than a misguided slip.  One cannot build a solid relationship on anything but transparency.

  8. 8
    Stacy

    I never knew this was a thing and that divorce holds any kind of stigma.

    I have been divorced and while I am certainly not proud of the announcement, I feel absolutely no self consciousness about it. In fact, at my age (37), most people I know are in the same situation.

    If I dated someone who wasn’t upfront from the beginning (and information like this will more likely than not come out in at least the first two dates), then yes, I would view that person highly unfavorably (especially if the relationship is new).

    1. 8.1
      Morris

      I totally agree. I didn’t know it was an issue as well. And an issue worth not being upfront and truthful in a relationship??? Can’t even imagine.

    2. 8.2
      Lisa

      Agreed I’m 38 never been married but think at our age it’s totality nornal and would not think twice about dating a divorced guy.  Would think twice about dating a divorced guy who was not upfront about it though.

  9. 9
    Kitty

    One of my boyfriends disclosed his divorce on our second date, and it was fine.   If your divorce was particularly acrimonious, if there was infidelity or abuse that still affects you you should see a therapist and straighten yourself out.  A divorce is traumatic and people need to recover.  If you’ve gotten over it and have grown from the experience no decent guy would dump you just because you were divorced unless he’s very religious and doesn’t believe in divorce.  And someone who’d reject you for being divorced isn’t the guy for you anyway.  So I wouldn’t worry about it

  10. 10
    Holly

    She says she started online dating. Did she meet this guy online? Because most sites have a field in which to state your status. And it’s not necessarily true that secular people don’t judge divorcees. People do still judge that – my friend has had lots of online guys reject her because she’s going through a divorce. And look what happened to Kim Davis, that Kentucky county clerk – people picked all over the news that she’d been divorced multiple times. Of course, they were looking at any possible way to slander her, so that’s no real surprise. The point is, divorce is still a sensitive issue for many people, whether they’re religious or not.

    But I agree that dancing around the truth does no one any good. If he asks about it again, she should definitely tell him. Otherwise, drop the information casually into a conversation and go from there.

    1. 10.1
      L

      Separated is different from divorced if that is what you mean by going through a divorce.  I don’t like to date separated people – they are too unstable and noncommittal. It isn’t an absolute deal breaker, but a definite red flag because of the rebound issue.   Unfortunately I have had people lie about being separated for this reason and list themselves as divorced online, only to come clean after a few dates.  For me, that’s a deal breaker.  I am more likely to give you a chance if you are separated and you are honest than if you lied about it.

      Normal, non religious people don’t care if someone was divorced.  To be honest, if a man is in his 40s, I prefer that he is divorced because the ones who haven’t married are often committment phobic.  I actually view never married 40 something as just as big a red flag as separated.

    2. 10.2
      Kitty

      “my friend has had lots of online guys reject her because she’s going through a divorce.” 

      Doesn’t “going through a divorce” mean “still legally married”?  I don’t write or reply to men who are “separated”, legally or otherwise.  I assume that someone whose divorce isn’t final isn’t ready to date yet.  It may be an assumption on my part but I’ve heard of men who drag out divorces for years to avoid marrying their girlfriends.  And I don’t judge divorced people for being divorced as long as they actually are divorced and not still married.

       

      1. 10.2.1
        Not Jerry

        No, going through a divorce means after your DOS, Date of Separation. Your divorce will be done when it’s done, but you can do whatever you want then. You can make $10,000,000 or as much money as you want.

        Your life is yours after that DOS.  NO reason to say still married, it’s just not the case.

        My divorce dragged on because of property settlements. Not my fault, the wheels turn slowly.  My divorce was fair to both of use but there was a process that had to complete.

        I am not having my life on hold for years. You should not insist on that, it’s not right.

         

        1. Joek

          Most people will see that as a not-finished divorced…it’s still in process, so you aren’t fully separated from your ex.

           

          Many (most?) people have a rebound relationship post-divorce – I would never want to be the rebound person if I were looking to have a serious/permanent relationship.

           

          So no, you aren’t divorced after the DOS – it’s not complete until you lives are permanently as separate as they are going to be.

        2. Not Jerry

          Maybe some do have a rebound. I have heard of that.

          If I were much younger it might be different.

          I was relationship ready in a few months.  But I am older.

          As I said, my divorce was a long time coming.

          You can’t make generalizations about these things.  Maybe if you are 20 or 30 something it might be different. Might be different for women.  I don’t know.

          A relief. Finally, the ordeal was over.

           

  11. 11
    Not Jerry

    Uh, divorced?  The only alarming thing here is the apparent lie.  That may cause you trust issues going forward.  Lots of people are divorced, past about 30, the vast majority.

    No one is going to scream “you’re a failure” because of your divorce, but they might scream “you’re a liar” over the omission.

    So just come clean. Try to just say you were embarrassed, and he didn’t ask.  Maybe that approach will work.

    Since I have been divorced I have discussed this in my profile. It’s no big deal. I even have my signed divorce decree on my phone.

    The thing that surprises me is how many men that are doing OLD are actually married and living with their wife.  And they are dating.  The stories I have heard.  That is the only explanation.  Now that’s troubling.

    1. 11.1
      Kitty

      “The thing that surprises me is how many men that are doing OLD are actually married and living with their wife.  And they are dating.  The stories I have heard.  That is the only explanation.  Now that’s troubling.”

      Exactly, this is why I don’t date men who aren’t 100% divorced.  Trial separation, just about to get divorced etc.  There are lots of guys out there trying to live double lives.

      1. 11.1.1
        Not Jerry

        Well, I disagree with that. I was married a very long time. The divorce was a long time coming. So even though she filed, I was OK with it.

        So after a few months I started dating a little.

        My divorce dragged on for over three years, property settlements and letters between lawyers.  Selling real estate. Fighting.

        What was I supposed to do, wait?  Hold myself only for her, when she didn’t want me?

        I had to get on with my life.  I met a woman who said about what you said, word for word.  I told her I understand and if that’s your standard, OK.

        But I am looking for the one.  The person I am supposed to wake up next to for the rest of my life.  I can’t take a chance on missing her.  Too risky. So I can’t be careless about that stuff. I am not dating much, I just don’t have it in me, though I get many offers.

        So if someone has filed for divorce that’s OK with me. It should be OK with you too.

        But what I was talking about is all the men who allegedly are still married and sleeping at home every night, and trying to date too.  I have heard about that, but I consider that to be a complete lack of integrity.  Scumbags.

        1. Stacy

          Not Jerry,

          I absolutely understand where you are coming from. But, let’s face it, ‘going through a divorce’ tends to come with a lot of drama (and that’s even IF you don’t want your ex anymore). So, it’s not a matter of judging, it’s a matter of being practical (for most anyway).  And, if you add children in the mix (which many people have to deal with), it becomes even more so.

          You even said it – property settlements, fighting, letters between lawyers, it dragged on for 3 years…

          So for most people with options, this is just not something they would choose to deal with and most men that I have met that were ‘going through a divorce’, were not able to be emotionally available because of those issues even if they tried. And, they were all really good guys. Sometimes, timing is everything. Just giving you another perspective…

        2. Not Jerry

          Stacy,

          Admittedly I am older. Kids are grown and gone. Sure, if you have kids and you are fighting about custody that can take a toll.  I have no experience being a divorced 30 year old man fighting over custody and support.

          It’s an individual case. Some people who are divorced or even still doing legal stuff are relationship ready, and some are not.

          That said, I do have a woman friend who is dating older men, and she is starting to suspect some of them as being actually married.  We’ve talked about it, and it does happen.  Scumbags.

        3. Joe

          I can see where Jerry is coming from.
          Also, don’t forget, just because you’ve started divorce proceedings, you and your soon-to-be ex may be stuck living together (though hopefully not sleeping together!) though circumstances such as inability to sell the house, or not being able to afford multiple dwellings.

        4. Not Jerry

          Joe,

          I think before you begin actually dating there has to be a break between you and your ex.

          Not sure if you are still living together you should start.

           

        5. L

          I started dating when I was separated too. I was excited to get out there and met the “one” and get my new life started!!!  But… life has taught me that separated guys are a no-go.

          The reason I discriminate against separated guys online is because I want a guy that is done with all of the legal crap and that has emotionally moved on.  As long as the legal crap is going on, the healing isn’t complete.  If you are spending THREE years fighting and haven’t settled, that is not a situation I’d want to be involved in…

          Bottm line, at least for me, separated isn’t a 100% deal breaker but it is a HUGE red flag.  I’ve been burned more than once by separated men who SWORE up and down that all that was left to do was for the court to file the papers and nope, they were on the rebound.  They were so distracted by the divorce, that it was impossible to have a real relationship – even the guys that had an amicable divorce.

        6. Not Jerry

          L

          Separated, a legal separation, that’s a fiction. You have a trial going on. I would never agree to a legal separation. My ex suggested she was going to file for one. I responded “I will immediately file for divorce.”

          I don’t do half measures.

          I had a gf that was going through a divorce, but hers is going to drag on for years.  Maybe 8 or 10.  She was surely troubled by all that, but I was the comfortable part of her life, and I was glad to be able to support her.  She would sometimes say “just hold me”.  She was very special and I am glad to have known her.  Ended now, not because of any of that.  Her divorce is final, but the property settlements, whoo wee!  That’s going to go on for a while in her case.

          Everyone has to be able to strive for happiness.  Sometimes legal matters can drag on.

          What are we all supposed to do? Wait?  For years? Because it would be *better?*.

          I realize some would rather have everyone be done with all the hard stuff but that’s not realistic for those in my older age group, we all have a past.  But you might miss out on someone that is special to you.

          Not everyone feels like this, some are just dating around and no big deal if this one or that one doesn’t work out long term.  Not me.

          I am looking for the one, so I am not dating. My goals are well defined, and I consider a failure, well, failure.  I wouldn’t see someone from the dating site at all unless I am convinced they are a keeper, at least potentially, and that all happens before we meet IRL.

          But I am an Alpha male who is only open to a monogamous relationship.  Yeah, they exist.  Rare, I heard.

        7. Lisa

          Currently separated is a no go for me.  In some states I guess there is legal separation but in mine and the surrounding ones there is no such thing.  I understand that with no fault divorce you have to wait a year or two but during that seperation you are still married and guess what you the spouse are still committing adultery in most states!  Oh the marriage is already over you say it does not matter right?  Nope.  Not when the ex wife gets mad and wants to subpoena you to testify in the divorce proceedings trust me.  If the emotional reasons for not wanting to get involved before something is final daring sway you the legal ones should.  You don’t need that.  And I’d children are involved and a decree is not final them you are dragged into the custody mess just leave it alone.

  12. 12
    April

    I am divorced also. Sometimes it takes a while to come to the terms of reality. I used to hide this fact. I was judged by our pastor and friends and family. But after a year of them ridiculing me – I stopped caring what other people think. Thing is, especially with dating – you are who you are and if you change that to impress someone, you’re just lying to them and yourself. If it comes up on a first date (which often it does) I’m 30, divorced and a single mom of a 6 year old boy. If someone that you’re dating is that caught up in your past to judge you for it, then you need to move on to the next anyways. I’d rather weed people out early on than waste both of our time.

  13. 13
    Tara

    I think the longer you delay telling your boyfriend about your divorce, the more attached you will become of the relationship and the more fearful you will become to disclose the same at a later stage of your relationship. Whereas if you start your relationship in a clean slate, there will be no insecurity or fear of loss from the very beginning. Hence there will be no question of feeling ‘inferior'(though there is no reason to do so). It also matters on how you put this information across to your boyfriend. If you put it across in a casual, ‘part of life’s experiences’ manner and are open about your past, it will create an all together different experience with your boyfriend. However if you continue to remain hush-hush and insecure about your past, it sets the ball rolling in a different court all together.

  14. 14
    Michael17

    I agree with Holly #10 on a crucial detail.  The only way this guy cannot know that you are divorced is if you put “Never Married” on the field “Relationship Status”. (Even if you put “I’ll tell you later” or something like that, your boyfriend would have had to suspect something.) So Olivia, you ALREADY lied.

     

    I agree with Evan’s advice, come clean ASAP.

  15. 15
    GL

    Omg girl….I had a guy lie to me about another kid he had. He was so horrible about it! I don’t think it’s because he’s cheating on the mother, (I certainly brought that up,) but because he’s insecure about it. Well he blew up at me and banned me from his life.

    1. 15.1
      GL

      Hit the button too early and didn’t finish my comment…..but he freaked out, it was unnecessary and stupid and I don’t think I can ever trust him now because: LIES ARE SHADY. I have some drama in my past I wouldn’t hide. I’d never hide a divorce or a kid. There’s no reason to be a liar because the bullshit in your past doesn’t make you the person you are today. Sorry to be a tough ass but if this guy’s a good guy he’s going to question his trust in you.

  16. 16
    Karmic Equation

    I’m going to go out on a limb here.

    While divorces are nothing to be ashamed of, sometimes the REASON for the divorce may feel shameful and that’s why the OP is not disclosing.

    Maybe she had a miscarriage.

    Maybe she had a mental breakdown of some sort.

    Maybe she was a drug addict.

    Maybe she was abused.

    Maybe she cheated on her husband. (Not going to suggest he cheated on her, most women are not ashamed to admit THAT.)

    etc.

    If you tell a date you’re divorced, “What happened?” usually follows.

    If OP is ashamed of what happened, then that may be reason she doesn’t want to disclose she was married in the first place.

     

    1. 16.1
      Marie

      That is a good point.  If that is the case, I would advise the OP to stop dating until she comes to terms with the shame and insecurities and matter of factly give an appropriate answer that is not lying, dodging or obfuscating.  That is, if she wants a LTR eventually built on trust.  If someone asks you a question point blank like that she needs to be more prepared to answer.  She could have even said I’m not comfortable discussing right now but we can have this discussion another time.

    2. 16.2
      ScottH

      I was just on a first date and was asked why I got divorced and I said that it was complicated but essentially that “we just grew apart.”  The “why” part of divorce can be pretty personal and should be discussed later, after you get to know the person a bit.  Telling why too early is not having boundaries and asking why is busting the other person’s boundaries.

    3. 16.3
      Christine

      That’s a good point and perhaps one of the few plausible explanations there can be, for why she lied.  I’m wondering, did he filter out divorced people in his online dating profile, or otherwise indicate in his profile that he wouldn’t date a divorced woman?  You would think he would have, if a divorce was a true dealbreaker for him (and you’d also think she wouldn’t have dated him at all if he had).  So I have a hard time believing it is just the divorce that she was afraid of telling him about–there is more to this story.

  17. 17
    popee

    I have been on the receiving end on this and my advice is come clean asap. It’s not a big deal bcs the OP has been divorced for a while and has no kids.

    In my case, I met a man I ***really*** liked we had a wonderful first date…where I asked him point blank if he had been married before (at 44)  (I am 36 and date men in their 40s so that’s not unusual) his answer “no never” and if he had kids “nope”.

    He was handsome and almost too polite to be a single guy in NYC, something raised a red flag, (the never-married, tall, attractive men in NYC in their 40s with a good job tend to have some attitude bcs they know they are in high demand).

    After a magical evening I went online and found his facebook – where I found photos from 2009 of several young children.

    I confronted him via text and asked him if he was married, he said “no”…we met again and he came clean and said that he was legally separated…we are still in touch because the connection was too strong, but there will be no physical relationship until the divorce is final.

    This was VERY damaging, the lying part. He said he lied because he had been judged by women (obvs women don’t want to date 1. separated men and 2. man with 3 kids) and he wanted to see if there was a connection before revealing the info.  Divorces are only really negative for really religious people (i.e. catholics who want to marry in the church).

     

    1. 17.1
      L

      Yuck.  Anyone that would pretend not to have kids is a loser.  Run.

    2. 17.2
      Holly

      Speaking as a Catholic, I can tell you that we’re not all against divorcees. However, what you said is true: to be married in the Catholic Church, which is what I want, the man would need to go through the church tribunal to get an annulment, which carries no guarantee. So yes, it’s important for me that a man who has been divorced has obtained an annulment (or will soon know if he’s able to) but I’m not going to discount a guy completely just because he’s been married before.

      1. 17.2.1
        popee

        Yes I didn’t mean it in the judgement, more in the practicality of marriage sense.  Annulment is a big deal and it’s not the easiest thing to go through. Generally speaking a divorce is bad if a woman is single, never married and wants a traditional (catholic) church wedding.

        1. Josie

          Popee – what else does this creep have to do to let you know he is a scummy liar?   Run away from him and don’t look back !

  18. 18
    Lulu

    @ Karmic Equation – I understand your point but if you’re divorced and are not ready to start fielding those types of questions, then maybe it’s too early to start dating. I think it’s reasonable for dates to ask those questions and although it may feel uncomfortable for the person responding, they should do so. I’m divorced too and didn’t want to talk about the past because it was painful (not talking about now but when I started dating originally), so I took a break from dating so I could focus on getting through the divorce without dragging innocent bystanders into the drama. Plus I wasn’t really emotionally available so in the long run it proved a wise decision. When I did eventually start dating again, I’d left a lot of that baggage behind and was able to talk about it openly without problem.

    The OP shouldn’t have lied or withheld the truth, unfortunately it looks like she might shot herself in the foot. Hopefully for her, she can turn it around by coming clean.

    1. 18.1
      Karmic Equation

      I agree, Lulu.

      If she isn’t ready to tell the truth, then she isn’t ready to date.

      I wasn’t condoning her lying.

      Just offering a plausible reason why she lied even though she didn’t “view her divorce as a failure.”

  19. 19
    SAL9000

    By what she wrote, she didn’t lie – she just didn’t mention she was married/divorced from that person she was with for 8 years.

    1. 19.1
      Joek

      HAHAHAHAHAH…good one Sal.

       

      Actually, she did lie – it was a lie of omission.

       

      Seriously – if he becomes her BF, and later she says “during my divorce”, how do you think he’s going to react to that? Do you think he will have felt deceived?

       

      But I don’t judge her for that – it was in the moment, and she hasn’t yet come to terms with how she wants to communicate her divorce status. If he’s a decent fellow,  and she just comes clean by saying “when I said my last relationship lasted 8 years, I was afraid to tell you I was married and got divorced”  he won’t be upset, but rather empathetic. Good men are empathetic…this will be insightful for both of them.

  20. 20
    Josie

    If you hold off on telling someone you are divorced, they can very quickly find out about your divorce via the public records ( or even by googling you and coming up with a wedding website or announcement from 2006).   I google everyone and have found out about ex-dates’ histories that way.   Wouldn’t you rather tell your boyfriend than have him find out by a Google search ??

    1. 20.1
      Lucy

      Isn’t that a bit nosey? I think I’d rather just get to know him as  I go along.  If I start googling I might find something that puts me on edge for some reason but I won’t be able to ask about it without revealing my snooping. Another thing is when I used to get mad crushes, I would spend far too long looking at his Facebook profile and it would get me infatuated. I don’t think googling is the answer.

      As for OP, I do sympathise as I have some events in my past which I’m not proud of and would be hesitant to reveal straight up. For me I wouldn’t want to reveal aspects of my past relationships because it just throws up too much hurtful stuff and I’d want to trust a guy a lot first. Am I lying if I am unable to tell the truth straight away? That being said, if someone asks me a straightforward question, I find it impossible to lie. I just couldn’t do it.

      I guess it’s all hinges on whether the lie affects his perception of you. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling to think that a man might make certain assumptions about you and fall in love based on those assumptions which don’t reflect the truth. Then when you suddenly reveal new information, he could feel taken for a ride. So I understand Evan’s response.

      1. 20.1.1
        Josie

        Nearly all of the men I date, I have met through online dating.  Trust me, you cannot be too careful especially after a few run-ins with married men who claimed to be divorced  , men with criminal records, and other disturbing revelations.  The latest Match.com connection turned out to have a record of a DUI , dozens of traffic violations, suspended license violations , and a very recent record of domestic violence.  Background searches are totally expected in dating today.

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