While dating can be a challenging and confusing time for anyone, adding a man who is separated, but still married, can make things even more complicated. Some women choose to avoid this situation altogether, vowing to only date men who are free and clear. However, sometimes the right man comes along and, even though he is still technically married, you wish to pursue a relationship with him. While he is still legally married, though, it is important to be careful.
Be discrete. It is likely that if anyone finds out you are dating, it will have a negative impact on his divorce proceedings, especially if there are children involved. This might mean that you go on dates in another town or do not go out to many public places. If you aren't willing to do this for him, you should not be in the relationship.
Ask for honesty from your boyfriend. If he is dating while he is still married, he may have difficulty committing. Talk about these issues and be honest with how you are feeling. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the relationship, he deserves to know.
Be patient with him throughout the process and lend him an ear. Going through a divorce is a traumatic time emotionally. He is likely to be on a roller coaster of emotions and needs someone to listen to him. You may have to wait longer to meet his children, family and friends. If he means enough to you to have a relationship with him, you have to be willing to wait until he is comfortable.
Remind yourself that he will need to communicate with his wife for the sake of the children if they have children together. If you are feeling jealous, share it in a way that does not make him feel like he has to choose between you and his children. He will need to communicate with his wife about their children for many years to come. To have a successful relationship, you must accept this.
Keep your dating experience low-pressure. No matter whose fault the divorce is, some men may be gun-shy to start up a new serious relationship. Be there for him and listen to him. Enjoy being together, but do not pressure him to become engaged or promise to marry you someday. Let him know that you understand the need to go slow and you are willing to wait as long as he needs.
Ask him about his expectations for your relationship and what he expects from you. Listen to him about what went wrong in his marriage and what he expects to be different the next time around. Be willing to work on yourself if he needs something from you. But be honest with him if you feel you cannot meet those expectations, especially if he expresses that he has no desire to ever marry again and that is a goal for you.
- If the divorce is not final, be prepared in case your boyfriend decides to work things out with his wife. Until it is finalized, he could change his mind.