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Dating a separated man who won’t divorce? 16 things you need to know

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Are you dating a separated man who won’t divorce?

I know exactly how difficult it can be because I’m currently dealing with this same issue.

My love story hasn’t unfolded the way I had hoped, and a lot of it has to do with this exact problem.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

1) He may not be ready

The first thing to keep in mind about dating a separated man who won’t divorce is that he may just not be ready.

Whether that’s because he’s newly broken up, emotionally invested in his wife, or simply not in a state to date, the bottom line is the same.

It revolves around his emotional and spiritual readiness to embrace a new partner at this time in his life.

You don’t want half a man, and I know I certainly don’t.

If he’s not ready to be with you, that’s really up to him, to be honest about it and let you know the concerns and reservations that he is having at this time.

2) Tread carefully before giving your heart away

I’m a romantic. I feel deeply and really wear this old heart of mine on my lacy sleeve.

My current on and off-again relationship with this married man of mine has taught me a lot about being more cautious.

I can see now that I ought to have tread more carefully when giving my heart away.

Because the fact is:

I’m now deeply in love with a guy who’s technically single but legally not.

Which presents its own array of unique and very frustrating challenges.

I’d love to be more optimistic about this, I really would. However, I’d hate to misrepresent any of this to readers:

Dating a guy who won’t divorce is confusing and difficult.

3) Is he playing you or just insecure?

The crucial question you have to answer when you’re dating a separated man who won’t divorce is about what his intentions are.

Is he playing you or is he really just going through a hard time in his life?

What’s more:

Is this hard time in his life a time in which he can truly be devoting himself to potentially undertaking a new relationship with you, or is he too busy and caught up in other things?

It’s not always black and white.

My married fellow really wants to leave his wife and I think he’s just overwhelmed.

But I also think he’s taking advantage of my seeming reluctance to stick to any firm boundaries and playing me in that sense.

4) Sometimes you need some help

Everybody needs help sometimes, and it’s no different with me.

Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next.

I know that the idea of talking to a relationship expert would have struck me as a silly idea in the past, but now I swear by it.

Relationship Hero is the best site I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talking. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like being in love with a man who won’t divorce.

In my case they really cut through the endless circles I was going through in my mind and made me see the reality of my situation.

My coach was kind, they took the time to really understand my unique situation, and gave genuinely helpful advice.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to check them out.

5) Why does he say he won’t divorce?

My guy says he can’t divorce right now because of the associated legal bills and costs.

I’ve never been divorced before. I have no idea about the costs. But I’m inclined to believe he’s telling the truth here.

Am I just being naive?

Part of me says yes. Part of me says no. and Part of me is just plain confused.

He goes on and on about these supposed legal costs, bureaucracy, and how he’s a libertarian, whatever that means exactly.

I mean, sure. But somehow half the rest of the world managed to get divorced.

Call me entitled for thinking maybe he could get around to it, too.

6) How long has he been separated?

Let’s talk turkey: how long has your guy been separated?

My married and separated man split up one year ago. At least that’s when he moved out.

They say that time heals all wounds, and I suppose there’s some truth to it.

If he’s been separated only a short time, cut him some slack.

After a year or more, as in my case, you’re left wondering what exactly is left to figure out.

You’re not in love anymore. You’re living elsewhere, and you have a new girlfriend (hi, it’s me).

So…get divorced.

Why do I care?

Because I don’t want to date a guy who’s technically married or live with him.

And I was hoping to move in with this guy within the next year. So it’s kind of important to me.

7) Going slow or stringing you along…

So, my guy and I are going super slow. We’re serious in terms of the commitment we’ve made to each other but on paper, we’re just two strangers.

I know that real love happens between the lines, but I still crave that officialdom I suppose.

Is he just going slow or is he stringing you along…

It’s a question for the ages, I suppose, and not only for a separated man who won’t divorce.

But in this case look at both how long he’s been separated, as I mentioned previously, and also at what he says and does.

What are his actions?

Does he cancel on you a lot, but you last minute and rarely open up to you?

Or does he treat you with respect, tell you his deeper emotions and fill you in?

8) Is his ‘wife’ OK with it?

My guy is separated from his wife and no longer lives with her.

I know he’s committed to me.

I also happen to know, from him, that his wife is pissed off as hell at me.

She sees me as some kind of harlot who stole her man from her.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but I’m not here to talk her down from her self-righteous crusade.

She’s already told their three kids to have nothing to do with me and I’ve noticed their death stares on the few occasions where I’ve seen them.

So what about the guy you’re seeing: is his wife OK with it?

Because if she’s not you’re going to have a serious headache, also known as a migraine.

9) What about his kids?

So like I said, my guy has three kids. Two adorable girls of 5 and 7 and one boy of 10.

They also apparently hate my guts now thanks to their dear mom.

If you’re dating a separated man who won’t divorce then you need to also factor the kids into the equation because the truth is it’s a lot more important factor than you might imagine.

At first, I dismissed this because I thought well that’s his business and so I left it. But it’s also my business, at least it is now.

Because it’s very difficult knowing that his kids feel I am somehow stealing their dad from them.

Apparently, the small fact that he’d already left their mom before meeting me is immaterial here.

10) Does he potentially want kids with you?

On a related note: does he potentially want kids with you?

My guy says he does (sorry, global warming). Yes, we’re talking kids plural.

At first, I thought he had maxed out at three, but I guess he likes me more than a little (blush).

Then again, maybe it’s just talking. But either way, I’m glad I brought up the subject with him because I’ve always wanted kids.

Asking your guy this can give you some valuable insights into how serious he is about you.

If he is horrified by the idea of kids then you’re probably just a fling or an in-between relationship for him.

If he at least seriously considers it or explains his real thoughts on the idea then he likely thinks of you as more than just a side piece.

11) What’s his material situation?

I’m not a gold digger, nor have I ever been.

Still, I have friends who have ended up with men who were deeply in debt and lived to curse the day they were overly easygoing about financial issues in a new relationship.

When I speak here about his material situation I am not asking if he’s rich.

I’m asking how tied his finances and assets still are to his wife.

As sad as it is, divorce is still first and foremost a legal proceeding.

The fact that he’s not divorced can have a big bearing on his material situation and his savings.

I believe that my guy has more drama connected to his home and divorce than he’s explained to me and that he’s using the excuse of the procedure being costly to cover up how screwed he’d be financially by his wife taking part in what he owns.

True love can hopefully survive anything.

But if you’re dating a separated man who won’t divorce, make sure you aren’t signing yourself up for years and years of financial heartache and debt.

You may love him, but his debts and legal problems should not be something you take on as an obligation for yourself.

12) Watch out for rebounds

Outside of the sport of basketball, rebounds suck. At least rebounds that happen to you.

I’ve been burned by being a rebound before and it is both humiliating and extremely hurtful and devaluing of your feeling of self-worth.

If you’ve been the victim of someone else’s rebound then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

If I thought for even one second that I was a rebound for this guy I’d be long gone and never be back.

Warning signs that you’re a rebound include:

  • When he only gets in touch when he wants sex or to complain
  • When he hasn’t been split up for long from his wife
  • When there are hints of going back to his wife
  • When he constantly cancels on you and treats you like you come last

If this is happening to you, please take it seriously. It’s super uncool and it usually means he’s just using you for a quick little rebound.

13) Pay attention to communication

We all lead busy lives these days, I suppose, especially now that we’re emerging from this frightful pandemic.

Still, it’s nice if you’re seeing someone to know that they care if you’re alive and stay in touch with you.

When dating a separated man who won’t divorce, look at the pattern of communication.

In particular, who usually calls or texts first: you or him?

Is he eager to meet or usually only fitting you in as a last-minute Plan B?

Are you talking regularly and what do you tend to talk about?

Deep subjects and life experiences or the weather?

Really you want to try to see how much is here in this relationship and whether it’s worth the drama of a guy who still has to divorce his wife.

14) There’s still hope

My experiences dating a separated man who won’t divorce have been difficult. Very difficult.

It’s still far from easy and I’m doing my best to understand this guy.

One thing that has helped me is to look at the situation from a new angle.

Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?

Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…

When you’re dealing with dating a separated guy who won’t finalize his divorce,  it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.

I want to suggest doing something different.

It’s something I learned from the work of world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He explains that finding love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.

In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.

As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.

We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like chasing after someone who’s not really ready to commit to us.

We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture a love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to dealing with a separated man who’s not ready to divorce.

If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Click here to watch the free video.

15) Does his wife know he’s separated?

A big twist on the separated guy who won’t divorce is when his wife doesn’t know about it.

This sounds too bizarre to be true, but it’s happened many times.

Essentially, he’s separated in his own mind.

But back in his marriage, he’s just as married and not-separated as can be.

In other words, he’s cheating on his wife and telling you that he’s separated from her.

As I said, this is surprisingly common and you need to be careful that you’re not the other woman and think that he’s separated.

Words are easy to say, but the truth is not always so simple.

Make sure that he’s not using the word separated in a very free interpretation because sometimes he just means he’s fighting with his wife.

So he’s spending a few days away from her or seeing you when he has a fight with her?

Sounds like he’s not very separated from her at all…

16) Look at the give-and-take

If you’re dating a separated man who won’t divorce, take a look at the give and take.

Does he devote time to you and contact you on a regular basis?

Or are you usually some kind of last-minute plan that comes together?

Is he respectful of your boundaries and caring about what’s going on in your life, or does he act like you’re just an accessory to his drama? This can tell you a lot about whether this relationship is worth continuing and investing your time into.

There you have it. My thoughts on dating a separated man who won’t divorce.

Take it or leave it.

Remember to always proceed with caution and tread carefully.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.

Written by Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey.

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