I have a client who went out with a man who was separated. It wasn’t a question of whether he and his wife were going to divorce – the relationship was toxic, the lawyers were in place, it was definitely over. The real concern was whether this guy needed time and space after the demise of his marriage. He assured my client that he didn’t.
About Relationships Today's role for a Christian woman takes many forms working together - mom, sister, wife, home maker, career women, and more. All of these relationships demand your time and attention.
At iBelieve.com we want to help you grow in healthy relationships whether you’re single and dating, newlyweds, married or widowed. Find encouragement and feel uplifted with the sharing of personal experiences from women in every walk of the Christian women’s life. When I was single I dated a man who was divorced. Today as I listen to single women tell their stories about dating divorced men, I remember my experience well. I see them making choices about dating divorced men similar to ones I made.
Choices based on the present but without enough regard on the past. These similarities make me think it is wise for women to ask four questions before dating a divorced man. Every year my church hosted a singles retreat in Destin, Florida on Labor Day weekend.
It was the first year I went, and even though it was for singles, I was dating someone at the time, a man previously married. He went on the trip, too. My boyfriend and I spent time together, but we weren’t inseparable like you might think. At the time this annoyed me, and I wondered if he was as into me as I hoped. One afternoon I had been on the beach since after the morning general session, but I had not heard from my boyfriend all day.
Finally around 3:30, he came to the beach and explained to me that he had gone to lunch with a group of people. Needless to say, this created a heated conversation of why he didn’t invite me to come along with him.
It was also a red flag that my suspicions were right – we didn’t share the same level of interest in each other. When the night was over I went to his hotel room to see if he was there. As I stepped off of the elevator, I saw him straight ahead sitting on a glass-topped table in the hallway. He was crying. Not just crying a little bit, but sobbing. Then he said, “Here I am a 34-year-old man at a singles’ retreat.” That’s when I knew that dating someone who had been married was more complicated than dating someone who had not.
There was extra “stuff” to work through – a whole other person from the past worth of stuff. Before you date a divorced man, ask these four questions: 1. Is he legally divorced? This seems like an obvious first question. However, it’s astounding how many people, Christians and non-Christians, get into relationships with people before they are legally divorced.
I imagine this is evidence of our societal apathy towards the marriage covenant. If it’s our desire to treat marriage as a covenant between two people that represents Jesus’ covenant with the Church, then we must respect marriage. That means that until a legal divorce has taken place, the person is still married, even if their separation from their spouse goes on for months or years.
A healthy purpose for a dating relationship is to discern possible marriage. Otherwise the dating relationship is nothing more than selfishness of either one or both people. A good follow-up question to ask is, “If this person is still married, what is his purpose in dating me?” At this point it can’t be to get married because legally he can’t get remarried. Even if it’s to discern marriage for a future time when he can remarry, can he commit to you the attention needed for discerning marriage?
2. How much time has passed? It takes time to heal from a divorce whether or not the divorce was a person’s choice. There are different opinions about how long it takes. Some say it takes at least a year. Some say it takes several years. And of course the time depends on the circumstances and what was done after the divorce to heal from it properly. In the story I told above, my boyfriend had been divorced for about three years and yet he was still hurting. Dating too soon after a divorce is sometimes a sign that the man is trying to fill the void left from his marriage.
He might think that finding a significant other quickly will get life back to normal quickly. But like any breakup, a man must go through a grieving and healing process before he is ready to date. 3. What steps has he taken to heal from the divorce? Not only does an adequate amount of time need to pass before someone starts dating after a divorce, but that time should be purposeful. Participating in professional counseling, mentoring, and support groups, ideally Christian-based, shows a man’s humility, maturity, and leadership.
He understands the seriousness of divorce, and he’s taking steps to heal and grow emotionally and spiritually. However, it’s important that he begins this process before he starts dating again. He needs to seek healing for himself, not just to satisfy the wishes of a new girlfriend. 4. What were the reasons for the divorce? Even though I have never been through a divorce, I imagine it is difficult to identify one clear reason for it.
However, the question is still worth asking. Depending on your interpretation of scripture, your personal experiences with divorce, and your convictions, you may not agree with the reasons. You will also be able to see his body language and tone of voice as he talks about the divorce. The answer to this question could potentially give you valuable insight into how the man views marriage, handles conflict, and his plans for a future relationship or marriage.
Asking someone the reasons for their divorce may seem brash, but I would argue that it is wise to ask it soon after meeting someone new. Divorce is not a subject to be taken lightly. A potential partner should offer this information willingly. Soon after the incident at the singles’ retreat my boyfriend and I broke up. If I had taken his past seriously and asked some tough questions, we may have not gone out again after the first date. Even though I knew breaking-up was the right decision, it’s always hard to say good-bye to someone you spend time getting to know.
The sooner you can discern whether the relationship should go on, the better. This article is part of our larger resource: . If you’re going through a divorce or are already divorced and looking for more resources, be sure to visit our guide! Related Video: from on .
Brenda Rodgers considers herself a “recovering single” after years as a single woman chasing after marriage instead of chasing after Jesus. Now her passion is to mentor young women to live purposefully and grow in their relationship with God and others. Brenda has been married for five years to a heart transplant hero and is the mom of a toddler girl miracle. She is also the author of the eBook . You can also read more on Brenda’s blog, and follow her on and .
About Relationships Today's role for a Christian woman takes many forms working together - mom, sister, wife, home maker, career women, and more. All of these relationships demand your time and attention. At iBelieve.com we want to help you grow in healthy relationships whether you’re single and dating, newlyweds, married or widowed.
Find encouragement and feel uplifted with the sharing of personal experiences from women in every walk of the Christian women’s life.
best dating a man who is going thru a divorce - Dating a Recently Divorced Man? Here's What to Expect
Do you want to date him and his soon to be ex wife? This is what you will be doing if you get involved with a man going through a divorce.
I dated a man for three long years while he went through his divorce. It was the longest three years of my life. It was also the most painful time in my life. Anyone going through a divorce has mixed emotions about their soon to be ex as they proceed. One minute they may even think of getting back together. The next minute they don't want anything to do with their soon to be ex.
Do you want to be a part of that roller coaster ride? You meet this guy and he is great. You go out to dinner and start talking. You find out that his divorce is not final yet. What do you do? You have to be strong and let him know immediately that you do not want to get involved with a man that is not divorced yet. If you wait and get involved with him, you will never walk away. You will be too attached to him. It is better to break it off in the beginning before your feelings become a part of the already crazy emotions and feelings he has.
He may say that things are over and it is okay. I would still stick to my word and tell him no until he is divorced. You are not ready for that roller coaster ride. You do not want to have a relationship with him and his ex wife. Especially if he has children. There is way too much there for you to be taken seriously as a part of his life right now. He may not be strong enough to admit that. You are! Photo Credit: Pixabay, Public Domain Where is he at? Why can't you get in touch with him? Why does he disappear at times and not return phone calls?
It might be because he is still trying to work things out with his soon to be ex-wife. He will have to spend time with her to go over final things pertaining to the divorce. During those times it will be emotional for both of them. If you are involved it will be more emotional for them. She will most likely be upset that he has moved on and throw that up in his face.
She may even try to hold it against him in court. Worst of all, she might use it to keep his children away from him. You do not want to be the cause of all of that drama. Do yourself and him a favor and walk away until the divorce is finalized. Some men will not realize that they don't want the divorce until they are faced with it head on.
This tends to make them rethink things and want to make things work. This is what happened in my situation. I had been involved with this man for a few months when I find out that he had agreed with his soon to be ex wife that he would try to work it out with her.
That only lasted 2 weeks but it broke my heart. I could not believe it was happening. He had been married for 22 years.
He said that he felt like he owed it to her to try to make it work. After two weeks he called it off at the marriage counselors office and came looking for me. I had mentally shut him out by then.
I did not think he would come back to me. I had to then figure out if I wanted to be with him and ride that roller coaster called divorce. I did it and had to deal with her fighting for him for the next 3 years. She did everything she could to make him feel sorry for her so that he would come back to her. She would call crying night after night. I had to listen to him talking her through her emotional fits. Or I had to let him go home so he could do it in private.
Neither was a good situation. I should have called it off and told him to get divorced first. I could have saved myself a lot of heart ache. If it was meant to be then we would have been together when his divorce was final. Don't go through what I did. Photo Credit: Pixabay, Public Domain He may try to convince you to continue to see him while he is going through his divorce. Think about the fact that there are 3 of you in the relationship.
Do you really want that? Tell him no and stick to it. Do not continue to see him for an innocent dinner or movie. You are not helping yourself by getting emotionally attached to him. He is still married and needs to complete that phase of his life before he can move on to the next. Please take it from someone who has been there. It is not somewhere you want to be. Stay strong and stick to it!
Good advice Angel. I can add to that. Don't date a man who is newly divorced. When men get divorced, they need to go out and sow their oats, especially if they're past 30. They think the world is a candy store, and they have got to bed all the women in the store. I once dated a man who had been divorced for only a year. I told him right off that he needed more time to heal from his divorce. He didn't think so, but it turned out he did.
@optimist - I felt like I had to write this. I have had all of this stuff on my mind for years now and it is a way of healing for me to write about it. We all meet and experience losers! I have 2 girls that I wish I could protect from losers but they will have to learn like I did from my mistakes I suppose. I did end up marrying the guy that was going through the divorce and we are very happy right now. I went through a lot of pain to get to this point. Pain that I won't go through again.
I hope to help others from going through the same thing I did. Thanks for reading and commenting! Digby - I wasn't that smart. I wish I would have been strong enough to say NO and get divorced first. But I didn't. Don't get me wrong.. I am happy where we are at now but it took a lot of years off my life just getting through his divorce. Ugggh... it was nasty. You are so right...makes life much simpler. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.
The older we get, the more inevitable it's going to be we date people who already have a marriage behind their belt. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it proves they were — and therefore likely still are — able to really commit to someone.
Still, there are some things to be wary of, and just like everything else in life, timing is everything; it can play a larger factor when ; even a couple of months can make all the difference in the world. If you take only one thing away from this story, let it be this: If the timing is off, don't try to force it.
No matter how great the guy or gal is. If the timing isn't right, it just won't work. In any relationship, you can't force someone to be ready for something when they're not, as frustrating as that is. I've been there. I'm sure a lot of us have. And before you ask yourself, how will I know if he or she is ready? Trust me, you'll know.
Now of course, not everyone going through a divorce is a lost cause — Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger even calls . But even they have some traits you should go ahead and just expect. The trick with some of these are the levels. There's a difference between being hurt and not ready to move on. Think of it this way, in every relationship, you eventually talk about exes — this one just may be a bit more, well, significant.
You'll want to get it out there in the beginning. Let he or she do the talking, listen attentively, and then do your best to move on from there. Don't over indulge in these sessions because you DO NOT want double as his/her therapist, and this is an easy role to fall into.
You're not getting a high (or any) hourly rate for this. 2. Don't Bring Up The Ex Yourself It's inevitable you'll be curious about this ex. How can you not be? He or she was married to your current significant other for Pete's sake!
Don't let your curiosity get the best of you here. This means: no stalking him/her on social media, and no peppering your new love interest with questions about the ex. Remember, he or she is attempting to move on, so you certainly don't want to be the one making that harder for him or her. When it comes to bringing up the ex, always be on the receiving end. 3. Be Prepared To Move Slow Chances are, this person has been burned. Their may be guard may be up.
Breaking down those walls could be a long, tough process, but it's possible. Just be willing to move a slower pace, and take your time when getting to know this person. This works in your favor, too. There's something to be said for taking your time in a relationship, and this will allow you to potentially build a solid, trusting foundation.
Or, find out if it's a total bust. 4. The Parents May Be Against You ... At First Don't be offended if the parents don't exactly welcome you with open arms at first. Their baby has been hurt, and they're going to be extra protective him/her for, well, a long long while. It may take them a little longer to warm up to you, but if you've met them at all, you're clearly on the right path.
5. That Goes For Friends, Too Big ditto on the friends here. Friends are family, and oftentimes they can be even more protective over a hurt friend because they received the unedited version of how this divorce went down (let's be honest, often parents don't get the full play-by-play for their own good.). They saw it all, and they don't want to see it again. It's possible you don't meet them for a while for this reason, because even your new significant other knows they will pepper you with questions like you're on a second interview.
6. You'll Probably Have To Interact With The Ex At Some Point For me, this was because of the dog my ex and his ex-wife used to share. Every other week, they would hand-off the dog like it was a small child, during which she and I would make polite but totally forced small talk in the apartment they once shared together. This was never not weird. If there are actual kids involved in this former union, well that's an entire — and far more complex —story.
7. There Are Far Less Games One of the best things about dating someone who is divorced, is there are far less games. Odds are this person knows exactly what he or she is looking for in a relationship, and will be very honest about it.
If they're not ready? They'll tell you. Overall, you won't ever be guessing how this person feels or where you stand, because this will almost always be forthcoming information. Remember: They don't want to waste their time either.
8. He/She Will Be Very, Um, Experienced We're not just talking about sex, but oh wow is this a major perk. More often than not, former married people have tried it all in the bedroom because they lived in the "we're comfortable, so we can say what we really like phase" for, well, a long time.
In other words, they've graduated from the prestigious "How to really please a partner" college, and you get to be the lucky benefactor of this degree.
9. They'll Have High Expectations
I'm Dating Someone Whose Getting A Divorce