Dating a separated but not divorced man! need advice

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  L 1 month ago.

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  • #545528 Reply


    So I have been dating this guy for about 8 months now. When we met he was completely honest about his situation…he was still married but separated YET living in the same house still as his “EX” and 2 kids. I asked many questions about why he stays and his answer has always been about the kids and he is “figuring it all out” but hard for him to just leave the kids bc he feels guilty. He says he and the “EX” operate like roommates and he has his own bedroom and man cave space so it’s not a volatile situation to force him to make a move bc I’m sure he is comfortable in his house and has been living like this for years…also she doesn’t work so he is 100% financially responsible. He says he sees a future with me and his plan is to leave and us be together but not sure how long this will actually take? We go on vacations and he stays over a couple times a week usually but I don’t think he has come 100% clean with the “ex” on his situation w me but he says she basically knows…but I still feel like a secret. I have no doubt he loves me but How long do I give this? Am I pushing too soon for action? Is he ever going to leave? Or am I kidding myself with this whole thing? I get upset bc feel like it’s all words and no action yet and when I push for answers he says he is trying and that my constant questions stresses him out bc he knows he isn’t moving as fast as I want him to and he is figuring it all out. I am trying to take it all day by day since I too am just getting divorced and feel like I should not rush into anything too serious just yet either. Help! Thoughts?

    #545531 Reply


    He still lives with his ex & he’s not started divorce proceedings … That is your answer right there – sorry :(

    #545532 Reply


    You gave this 8 months too long. Why not tell him to contact you once he’s out the house AND divorced. Because you think you’ll lose this “great” man? You can’t lose what you don’t have.

    #545534 Reply


    I think it is a lot more difficult for him because there are kids involved. He may be saying those things because he just wants to keep you around, or he genuinely wants to work something out with you.

    Either way… I think I agree with Vanessa’s advice on telling him to figure his sh*t out then coming back to you. In the meantime, be available and open to the opportunity to dating other people. I know its easier said than done but don’t limit yourself to a guy that can’t fully commit to you yet. You’re free game until he does so.

    #545536 Reply


    And sometimes after the divorce is final, they decide they want to date. You are going along with it right now and are a sure thing for him. I’m not sure many other women would put up with this right now an he knows it.. They don’t usually want to settle down once the ink is dry on the divorce papers.

    #545559 Reply


    The man needs to sow his wild oats. He needs a couple years to get over the divorce, and be ready for anything serious. Wouldn’t you rather date someone who didn’t have this complicated predicament?

    #545563 Reply


    Sorry, I didn’t read the whole thing. He is cheating on his wife with you. This man has no intention of divorcing. He is not “separated”. “Separated” man is only if he has a different residence.

    #545567 Reply


    You BOTH need to work on finalizing your divorces before you get into a serious relationship!! Right now you are probably drawn to each other because you are both emotionally unavailable. You are still legally married to other people and haven’t had time to heal and learn to live on your own. I NEVER date men who are separated and I certainly would never even entertain the idea of dating a man who is still living with the ex wife!! I agree with Alia, he’s not separated if he’s still living with her!!

    #545594 Reply


    He’s not separated if he still lives with his wife. She isn’t even an EX yet so to help you understand the situation I would force yourself to call her his wife until the divorce is final. That should help keep you focused on the reality of the situation. I doubt he will move out any time soon. He has everything he needs in this current situation, which is not fair to you at all.

    #545601 Reply


    Ahhhhhhhhhhh *sigh*. Some day women will understand that “separated” men are still married men.

    #545626 Reply


    If he hasn’t even filed for divorce…run! I’ve been in a very similar situation, except my ex was already in the middle of the divorce procedure. 20 years of marriage, an on-going divorce, a passive aggressive soon-to-be-ex-wife, 2 kids and living pretty much under the same roof (well, he lived in a house and she in another house next door on the same property that belonged to him, he bought a new house and was waiting for the construction work to finish to move out completely). Same story, he was honest with me about his situation on the first date, we loved each other very much, made future plans, vacations together etc…but guess what happened? The closer he was getting to the end of the divorce procedure, the more stressed out he became. He eventually broke up with me by “ghosting” me for almost 2 weeks and I never saw him ever since (we were together for 1 year and that happened 4 months ago). At some point I got an explanation per whatsapp message, where he told me that he’s exhausted, that he feels incapable of loving at the moment, that he needs to recover, that he needs to be alone. So yes, the post-divorce pain will hit him sooner or later. It can come in many different expressions and shapes but it will come. Everybody needs to close a chapter before starting a new one – right at the moment, he thinks he can get away with this situation, but it’s ephemeral, it won’t last, sooner or later he will either leave you or file for a divorce. I suggest you don’t let him decide and make your own decisions. Do you really want to be with somebody that still lives with his wife, “separated” or not? I know it hurts, especially when the feelings involved are strong, but just ask yourself that question. Do you REALLY want to be with somebody who is not completely free to be with you?

    #545638 Reply


    Have you been to his place to see what his living arrangements are? If he really is in an in-house separation then he will not have a problem with you coming over at least when the wife and kids are not there. If they are both moving on and seeing other people then you would not be a secret and they would have made arrangements to provide each other space and opportunity to have relationships with others.

    Divorce is expensive and emotionally difficult more so when kids involved. He will have to pay alimony and child support if he moves out and makes the divorce final. In my state, you need to be separated and living at different addresses for at least a year until you can divorce. I agree that I would never get serious with a man who is not fully divorced. It’s a tough process and takes a lot of healing to move on from. I dated a man who claimed he was in an in-house separation for four years just to find out he had a 2 year old son, lol. thankfully it didn’t progress past a few dates.

    I’m afraid after 8 months and he has not made progress in the direction of divorce then I don’t think he will any time soon. I would suggest you start to date others and let him know to contact you when he is serious about divorcing his wife. If your leaving doesn’t prompt action from him then you have your answer.

    #736394 Reply


    Same basic situation I am in. Dating a man for exactly 4 months. He is living with his wife still. They do not have kids together, she has three adult children of her own. They say they are separated. She has a boyfriend who stays at the house. I have never been there, certain I do not want to be either. I wish to be patient but all I see is that he is not really progressing, doesn’t really talk about a divorce just how they are going to split their marital belongings. I know that will not work without a lawyer. He stays with me most weekends and lives there during week to go to work. We live an hour apart. I am divorced which happened quickly for me because I just did an uncontested one. I have been living alone and single since last June. I care about this man. He seems to feel the same about me. I just feel that this is vastly unfair to me. I don’t wish to be selfish but I deserve the total package as I feel I am that myself. I have a great job, kids that are thriving on their own, I am an attractive(I think) smart and , stable woman. Except that I am put in this position by his situation. I know I should put this on hold, wait for him to leave her but, he is very unique and awesome guy that I do not think I will find again , ever. I know I am holding back on my own natural instincs due to his situation and think its going to be an eventual road block. I know what I should do but its so hard as I am falling for him. Help!!!

    #736400 Reply



    I have no doubt that you are the whole package and a smart woman. But you should never have allowed yourself to get into this situation to begin with! As I commented on the original post one of my rules I never broke when dating after divorce was I never dated a man who wasn’t legally divorced. I didn’t care the reasons, the circumstances, etc. And dating a man who still lives with the WIFE, and I say wife because they aren’t divorced even makes less sense! If there are no children what exactly is his excuse for staying especially if she has a boyfriends who stays there?

    You have only been dating for 4 months and it’s not progressing. If this is amicable and they’ve already agreed on how to split assets what’s stopping them? I mean she has a boyfriend and he has you so why prolong the inevitable? If he feels the same way about you as you do about him why can’t you tell him this is unfair to you?

    I’m also afraid you are rushing things. You’ve only been out of your marriage since June and it seems you’ve latched onto the first guy you dated! If you’ve been dating him 4 months then you were only single for a few months. That’s not healthy to try to jump into a serious relationship that quickly and you are already acting like this is the only guy in the world for you. What do you think the odds are he will have a long term relationship with the first woman he dates after his divorce? Not good. Divorced guys like to play the field and see what’s out there once they get out of their marriage. And with online dating it’s easier than ever to see if the grass is really greener. You are setting yourself up to get your heart broken here.

    #736407 Reply


    You are treading in rebound territory and if his WORDS and ACTIONS are NOT meshing up then he’s yanking your chain. They aren’t even legally separated which is in many cases the first step a couple takes to separate assets, agree upon custody arrangements (if there’s children) and start process of living apart until such time they are ready or in a financial position to fully dissolve it as they can be very expensive.

    If she’s not working then it doesn’t sound like either of them are ready to ‘let go’ of what they have. Do you honestly believe he’s going to want to jump right into another relationship when he hasn’t even dissolved the first yet? You’re his MISTRESS and don’t be surprised if he never follows through on all his empty promises—why should he when he has a wife taking care of the home and a mistress he gets to play with from time-to-time.

    #736411 Reply


    True story-
    My ex and I lived together for a time. He had cheated on me with a woman and after we broke up, we stayed in the same house. He liked her because she was OK with me living with him, and he said to me “It makes it hard to date when I live with you” because “the women I want to date don’t like that I live with you”. So basically, she thought he was a GF, he thought she was a convenient sex partner for the time being.

    As soon as I moved out, he dumped her and began dating the women he wanted to be with. He met a new girl fairly quickly- maybe 3-4 months.

    You are a convenience for this guy. When he gets free he will find a woman with boundaries that he respects.

    #736412 Reply


    8 months is not so long. cut your losses and get out. so many red flags here. wife is completely dependant on him. he hasn’t even initiated the divorce dialogue. and you have no idea when that’s going to happen. kids and a dependant wife. assuming he does get a divorce it wont come cheap. a man whos just gone through a divorce and paid a settlement, do you think he will be ready to assume the responsibility of marriage again so soon. highly unlikely. if you plan to stick around, its going to be a long and sticky road ahead.

    I once got involved with this guy. on the verge of divorce. everything was almost settled. mutual divorce. yet when he got divorced he got cold feet and got reluctant. so I walked out. I recently met this guy. got to know hes separated but he convinced me to atleast meet him once. so I did. and from his talks I realised that men conveniently use the word separated to angle for a date. but really speaking the same term also helps them in ensuring that they have fun without any kind of commitment. so though the first date was pretty good, I decided I will not walk down this road. told him if he ever does get divorced, he can give me a shout if he so wishes.

    that was almost 4 months back, he still sends me periodic messages. and tries to convince me to meet him again. but I don’t bother.

    so cut your losses and move on. unless your fine with a casual and non committal relationship.

    #736420 Reply


    Separated = Still Married

    #736845 Reply


    I really appreciate your feedback as I have never been in this situation before and It doesn’t feel like a natural or healthy situation. I really would like to just have a conversation about this with him but find it hard to start. For the record, I did date before him a little but was physically separated since last march from my ex. Despite the fact I know this is a crazy situation, I’ve let It continue so I’m at fault too. He is truly a great guy in a bad situation. Is it worth me being patient or should I just walk away?

    #736851 Reply


    Seriously DD…you’re still asking if you should be patient or walk away. Did you not read a single thing we wrote?!?!

    #736924 Reply


    Ok I haven’t read through all the other replies…but this is my story take on it…I was living with my husband that I did leagally separate from…met a man left the house because it was wrong to be in a relationship with another man while living there…but I never got divorced until 6 years later and within that time I never felt I could honestly commit to anyone, because of the tie…now men are different, but, if there is no shift in change for u, I would widen ur options…I really hope things work out for u, this situation will make u crazy. X

    #737194 Reply


    your right, broke up with him. We are friends only till he gets his sh** together. I am moving on to a single relationship with myself. I need long down time before I begin anything new. I need my own healing time. I deserve better and I always knew it, just got caught up in the great times we had.

    #757358 Reply


    I’m dating a guy 2 years now, he’s separated has 2 kids days he can’t leave until they are 16-18 now
    13. He doesn’t like her way of parenting blah blah…. test she’s a communications relations for the town and fitness instructor. He’s build himself into fitness. We go a lot , he works shift work so I usually go visit him at work too. He doesn’t come to my place often as he uses go train mainly . I usually go to him and always drive him home which is an hour from my place. So 2 hour commute roughly . He calls her his room mate. Says they don’t do anything together. She goes out while he stays home he goes out while she stays home. He has his own room. He never talks to me when she’s home not does she know about me. He plays a sport on a field near his house. Sometimes I go and other times he says you can’t if it’s a home game. I don’t get it. He never sleeps at my house. Only when he calls in sick on night shift. When I express myself he says I’m acting like a paranoid teeny bopper. Maybe this is why my marriage ended? No, I have pretty good instincts and although I’m not listening right now I do feel I’m being blinded. He says all the right things, I’ve walked so many times he keeps coming back. He’s a guys guy. These men go out together dance with women all night go home to wives. He uses his culture as an excuse. Once we were out. I left for 2 mins max to come back as he danced with a women tourquing. He looked at me and asked what’s wrong with me. He knew I was pissed , on way home in a snow storm I have 1.5 driving to do he says maybe I should call in sick and spend New Years with you. He did but I was still pissed. I’m not a dumb woman I just want to give benefit as I’ve been there and know it’s hard. He goes on boat cruises and never had me in one. Only once we almost went but no time to make it. I was already on my way to him. I’m beginning to feel I am paranoid, I am a nag as I’m annoy myself.

    #757365 Reply

    Better off single

    Do you know what emotionally unavailble is?

    Being someone’s secret gets old pretty fast. Also it’s VERY demeaning. I mean, if you like being put in that situation go for it. Once she finds out, you’re going to have some competition and a s×it storm of drama because she will fight to keep him even if she doesn’t want him and use the kids as leverage. Leave the guy alone to figure out what he really wants and prepare it might not be with you.

    Your boyfriend is an unconscious jerk.

    I understand his situation well and right now (having been though it) he’s looking for a temporary solution to avoid facing reality. He wants everything his wife isn’t right now to fill up his own emotional tank. You’re giving that to him so there’s no need to leave his current situation. The ex is left taking care of the kids while you run off with him. Not much responsibility for him to handle and he also gets to have fun without dragging kids along. Looking for a baby sitter or planning ahead. Get out before you become emotionally damaged for investing yourself in an emotionally unavailable man.

    #757366 Reply

    Better off single

    Once its starts getting too serious there is a high probably gonna bail because he never took the time to heal from the seperation and be on his own.

    He will do the same to you that he did to his wife.

    Keep your distance girl. I understand not all men are the same. Just be careful and not get your hopes too high.

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