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a divorced man

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Today, it’s not uncommon to find someone who has multiple divorces under his belt. Divorce is more socially acceptable than it once was, for better or for worse. It’s obviously better for those who are truly stuck in miserable marriages that are just wrong for them. They finally feel they have a way out, and won’t be scorned by society. But the current casual attitude towards divorce may be to the detriment of people who just give up on relationships too quickly. Anyone in a successful and happy marriage will tell you that it is the work they put into it that made it so. Some people just have flighty personality types, dropping anything—from a job to a pet to a marriage—the moment things get tough. So, if you’re seriously involved with a man who has been divorced multiple times, and he wants to get married, what should you do? Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself, and him.

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How quickly did he re-marry?

How much time elapsed between each marriage? Was he single for multiple years between each one? Or, was he perhaps engaged before divorce papers were signed? Did he walk out of a marriage directly into a relationship, because he was cheating during his marriage?

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Why it matters

Multiple marriages are red flags for relationship addicts. Some people really try their hardest at their marriages, and go into them with open eyes, and still find it just doesn’t work. But they went into it mentally and emotionally sound. Others just cannot and will not be alone. That’s a relationship addict. You don’t want to be with a relationship addict because he doesn’t appreciate you for you. You are—as abrasive as this is—a warm body.

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How recent was the last divorce?

How recent was this most recent divorce? Maybe he spent plenty of time alone between previous marriages but this more recent one came just on the heels of your relationship.

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Why it matters

Sometimes, even emotionally sound individuals just get so frustrated by all their divorces, they become intent on getting it right. They rush into something new, just to break their failing streak. You don’t deserve to have your marriage just be something your partner does to prove something to himself.

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How long did each marriage last?

Did his marriages last…one year? Five years? Ten years? It may seem judgmental to pry into this, but if he’s had many marriages, you can determine some patterns by asking these questions.

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Why it matters

If none of his marriages made it past a year…run. What you have is a child in an adult’s body who tosses out women like toys when they become boring. If his marriages lasted five years well, that’s nice but, that’s sort of the honeymoon period for marriages. A lot of couples can stay married for five years, even if unhappy, before calling it quits. If his marriages made it to that seven to ten year mark, then this man probably has the emotional tools and fortitude to make it through rough patches and really work on a marriage.

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How old was he during each marriage?

Did he have several divorces in his twenties and thirties? Or was it more like his forties and up? Were they spread out throughout the decades?

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Why it matters

If this man is older than forty, and his divorces occurred in his twenties and early thirties, he has (hopefully) likely learned a lot since then. But if he’s still been doing the divorce thing in his forties, you have to ask—does this man ever take a moment to breathe and reflect?

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Is he open about what happened?

Will he speak to you openly about his previous marriages? Will he tell you about the progression—where things went wrong, and what they did to try to fix things?

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Why it matters

You should be wary if he prefers to remain very private about his past marriages. Even if he’d never been married, it’s important that a man be an open book about his past if he’s asking you to marry him. Also, if he won’t talk to you about those relationships, it’s probably because he doesn’t even like to think about (aka learn from) them.

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Can he tell you what he learned?

Can he tell you what he learned from those marriages? Can he tell you how he realized he needed to change? What he wants to do differently in his future relationships? How he matured?

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Why it matters

Some people just chalk up their divorce to the other person’s fault. That is not good. That’s a sign of a very emotionally stifled person. Everyone should come out of a divorce with some understanding of what they did wrong, and what they could do differently next time.

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Does he think marriage is sacred?

He may feel a bit judged at first but you have to ask the question: does he think marriage is sacred? Does he think it’s a big deal? When he gets married, does he hope it’s for the last time?

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Why it matters

Look, some individuals just don’t think marriage is a huge deal. They even expect that they’ll probably get married several times in their lives. But for you, if this is your first marriage, and you hope to never marry again, you want to be with someone who takes the union as seriously as you do.

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Could he wait to marry you?

What if you told him you wanted to wait a few years to get married? Would he wait for you?

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Why it matters

If he gets angry at the idea of waiting, accuses you of not loving him because of it, and makes other nasty statements, you may be dealing with a marriage addict. Some men just want to be married. To anyone. They feel lost and incomplete if they are unmarried. That’s something this man should work out on his own and not drag you into. If this is about loving you, he’ll wait.

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