Some people say they are separated, and are still fully involved with their former spouse, working out the details of a divorce, maybe, discussing child custody, planning to sell the house, maybe.
One man said he was separated, but in reality, that meant separate bedrooms, same house. One man (35 years ago; I was young) made me hide when his ex came over to leave something for the kids’ next visit. One guy was mortified when I said in passing that I didn’t date married men, and he knew he hadn’t finalized the divorce and he had been misleading me. I didn’t, but he did finalize the divorce within two months.
If you chose to proceed in dating him, I caution you to proceed slowly and with eyes wide open. Comments like, “Bah, I just want it over,” or “Doesn’t matter, we’ve been strangers for years,” may seem casual, even confident — but they also mask what’s going on underneath and behind the scenes.
When a man has truly processed his divorce and moved on, he should be able to speak to it with compassion, kindness, and wisdom.
If he was the victim: Depressed, angry, and mistrustful.
If your separated man was cheated on by his wife, these fallout emotions will likely rear their heads in some form as you get to know him.
For the number of men who claim to be destitute and “victims of an unfair legal system”, you’d think there’d be a line-up of trucks parked by the Bow River with separated dads living out of them.
Please, before you buy into his tale of woe, veer on the skeptical side.
Accepting that that dream has died – and that he –is a painful process that requires the healing hands of time. It amazes me how many men are two, three, even important and it’s far more than “just a piece of paper.” In addition to providing some legal closure, it brings more emotional closure. Your separated man could be angry at many things: himself, a legal battle, women in general, even life.
Throwing himself into dating or another relationship may temporarily make him feel better – but it only postpones the inevitable inner work that needs to be done. It symbolizes the completion of an old life – a finished chapter – as well as the freedom and independence to create a new future (ahem, a new relationship, possibly with you! Ask him this: If, in fact, the divorce decree isn’t a big deal (like he says), then why doesn’t he just get it done? Then ask him if he thinks it’s fair and reasonable to expect you to continue dating Hmmm… You know it’s possibly because he’s still emotionally “holding onto her”, too, right? If you pay attention, you’ll see flashes of it — in his eyes, his periods of silence or in his body language.
It’s a mentality of “this bitch owes me” and he’s speaking from the Victim position. That being said, if your separated man was unfaithful in his marriage, you need to proceed very slowly and spend extra time assessing his character, behavior, and moral code.