What To Know Before Dating A Man In The Middle Of A Divorce
We all know that, even someone just going through a breakup from someone to whom they weren’t even married can be ready to move on quickly. Sometimes, the official end is just a formality for something that died long, long ago. So, if that’s true for unmarried couples, then it can certainly be true for those going through a divorce. Divorce is a huge decision and, often, by the time a couple decides to get one, they’ve thought about it and discussed it extensively. They may have had a trial separation (or several) and even been living apart for over a year. I say this to point out that someone who has yet to sign the final divorce papers can be emotionally ready to move on. It’s just that divorce proceedings take a long time. So, you may be able to get involved with a man who is mid-divorce, there are just some things you need to know.
You might feel lied to
There will be times when you discover information about his divorce or life very late, and it can feel like he was hiding it from you. But, he might just have so much going through his mind right now and so much to keep track of that he literally just forgot to tell you.
Not all info can be shared
Even though it stings, the man might—for legal reasons—need to conceal some information from you. So long as he opens up to you about everything he is allowed to, this thing might have a chance.
He can still get sad
Just because someone is no longer in love with his ex doesn’t mean he can’t be sad about divorce. A marriage is about so much more than sex and love. It’s a partnership and a lifestyle and a friendship. So, your mid-divorce man may still get sad.
His money is all over the place
He may have a very hard time committing to things like, planning a cruise or even choosing an apartment for the two of you to move into together. If his divorce isn’t finalized, he could have no idea what his financial situation will look like in six months.
Your friends will tell you not to
Your friends will tell you not to get involved with a man who is mid-divorce. They’re just worried about you and they don’t really know the finer details of the situation, nor can they really feel out his emotional state. You have to go with your gut on this one.
Lawyer meetings can run long
If you try to make dinner plans after one of his meetings with his lawyer—or, worse, his lawyer, his ex, and her lawyer—you may be disappointed. Often meetings meant to run one hour run three hours or more.
His mood can shift after meetings
Even lawyer meetings that run on time will leave him emotionally drained and mentally cranky. It might be best to just not see him after these meetings—give him the night to decompress.
His anger will confuse you
When he gets angry talking about his divorce, you might feel confused. How can someone he doesn’t love elicit so many emotions? Well, there’s a lot at stake in a divorce, from sentimental belongings to pets to children.
He has to talk to his ex a lot
He may still need to talk to his ex a lot. If he’s lucky enough to go through a civil and friendly divorce, then he won’t be using lawyers to handle all communication. He may need to meet his ex for regular meetings to go over things.
He may stop by their old home
Sometimes, you might learn long after the fact, that this man spent time at the home he used to share with his ex. Maybe he was there going through boxes or even having dinner with his ex, and their kids, as a family. It can feel like a betrayal, but it’s more normal than you may think.
He feels displaced
Divorce usually means moving, so a man mid-divorce may have just left a house that he loved and cared for for years, into a place he’s not crazy about, and doesn’t feel connected to. He may just seem a little displaced at times. But, you can help him make his new home feel like a home.
He may ask you to keep it on the DL
If this is a nasty divorce, your boyfriend may ask you to keep your relationship on the down low until it’s over. Should he have a vindictive ex, she might try to grab for more money or just make things more complicated if she learns that he’s already dating.
He may keep you from the kids
He may keep you away from the kids until the divorce is finalized. His ex may be able to claim that his home isn’t a stable environment for the children if she finds out that he has a new girlfriend hanging around.
Things will feel dragged out
It will feel at times like this divorce is taking lifetimes. That’s just kind of how divorce goes. One little discovery can lead to weeks of negotiations. You, unfortunately, don’t get to get upset over how long it’s taking.
He chooses when you talk about it
For the most part, you’ll find that only he chooses when you two get to talk about it. There will be nights he wants to vent, and you have to listen for hours, and nights you have questions, but he doesn’t feel like talking about it.