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Should I stay away from her until she's officially divorced? Right now she's separated.

Tagged as: Crushes, Friends, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 October 2014) 7 Answers - (Newest, 28 October 2014)
A male United States age 30-35, *uperDan writes:

So, this is a new one for me...

There is this girl that I got acquainted with recently. We really hit it off well and have a lot in common. We do seem to connect well on an emotional level and she says that I bring out the best in her and stir up wonderful emotions that she hasn't felt in a very long time.

Also, not to sound like I'm bragging but she's REALLY into me! Already, she has come to visit me at work several times (I work at a zoo), and she calls me a couple of times a week and we talk for over an hour. And she has told me that she thinks she loves me.

I can certainly see us dating... but there's just one problem:

She's still legally married and is in the process of a divorce.

Now, she has said that her husband moved out of the house recently (she's sort of kept me up to date on how the divorce procedure is going; document-wise, it's not very far ahead), but even if they are no longer living together and a divorce is truly in motion, I'm not sure how I would feel about getting involved with a [legally] married woman, who also has two kids.

Plus, I don't know what the husband is like; for all I know, he could be a bit off his rocker.

She has said that he made her feel awful throughout their marriage and that he even cheated on her with a prostitute, WHILE she was pregnant with their youngest child.

So she's been broken for a long time. But when she's around me, she feels rejuvenated.

It feels like she sees me as her potential rebound relationship, but the ball hasn't even hit the rim yet so to speak.

So, my gut tells me to stay away until things are officially finalized with that whole thing. But at the same time, I'd hate to have to reject such a kind person from being in my life.

Oh and one other thing, she has already invited me to her house for dinner a few weeks ago, and this was WHILE she was still living with her husband (supposedly, he was just out for the night). For obvious reasons, I turned that offer down.

Any thoughts?

View related questions: at work, divorce, married woman, moved out, prostitute

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A female reader, Staceily United States +, writes (28 October 2014):

Staceily agony auntTo be overly cautious I will first bring to light the option that she could possibly not be 100% honest. I'm not saying she is lying, I am just saying to be mindful that it happens. Two men that I know got involved with women who were 'separated' from their husbands. They came to find out later that there was separation at all and it was all a story. The women were just cheating but the separation provided a good cover to explain away anything that didn't add up right.

Now aside from that disclaimer, she can certainly be legit. I know because this woman was me a little over a year ago minus the children. I was going through a separation and I met a man I clicked very well with. I told him early on I didnt know exactly what I wanted and it was too soon, I said we are separated but not legally divorced yet. He was very interested but he eventually put on the brakes the more I told him. We talked all the time and were good friends, he felt more than just friends but was very patient and never pushed me for anything else, and about 3 months after meeting him the papers were signed and I was officially divorced a couple of months after that.

We are currently together, dating for one year now. The time we were talking during the separation phase from my ex was very difficult on him though. Those months of uncertainty were hard. My advice to you is much like the previous aunts, stay friends with her, be cautious, go SLOW. You cannot be boyfriend/girlfriend while she is still legally married. Even though I am sure to her it doesn't feel she is married, she technically is. There is no reason to rush anything. Be friends and be there for her during this time. If it becomes more down the road when she is truly single, then go for it. You don't need to have a title right this minute. Good things are worth the wait.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (28 October 2014):

Honeypie agony auntNot really knowing much about the husband/divorce (other than what she has told you) I'd try and keep it on "neutral ground" so to speak.

It's a complicated situation, no matter what and walking a "mine field" of potential drama can be avoided by just being a little cautious.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2014):

I am going through something very similar myself actually! Except I am the woman going through a tough time with my husband. I feel that my husband is very unstable and I am still in the 'reconsideration' phase where I am not sure what to do as I have 2 young children. I met a nice guy not too long ago. He is just a friend but we only see each other at his place of work. I only see him as a friend though, and I am not attracted to him emotionally as I don't yet have it in me to feel that way yet. The dust hasn't settled yet, and I am may not even sure I would divorce in my case.

But the thing is, I am in need of a friend in my life, but I know that this other guy would probably want to take it to the next level as his questions about my husband have been very specific. I cannot imagine a woman asking me such questions (like where is your husband, does he work in another city etc). Why would a man ask such questions if he weren't interested, right? As a man, perhaps you have a moment to comment on that. Also, does the fact that she has 2 children bother you in any way. The 'friend I recently met didn't seem bothered at all, and I was surprised. But when speaking about my significant other, he never used the word 'husband'. He referred to him by his 1st name (even though he has never met him).

This must be really tough on you but I think you should give this more time. Perhaps phone conversations are ok, but I would steer clear of her home and her home's vicinity for a long time until the dust settles and she is officially divorced or until you can ascertain her husband is no longer in the picture, and she seems stable herself on an emotional level. Be a good friend in the mean time. She may just need that aspect in her life right now (more than a life partner). That's how I feel right now. Perhaps in the near future you can take it to the next level. Take things really slow.

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A male reader, SuperDan United States +, writes (28 October 2014):

SuperDan is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Oh, I wouldn't mind just being friends with her at the moment, I'd be okay with that. I'm just not sure she would feel the same way. If not for her being in the middle of this divorce, it would probably be easier for me to want to date her, but... yeah.

It's funny that you say that things shouldn't be in black and white, because she tends to think a lot of things should (she's a social worker so I guess she's very analytical and wants absolute answers and whatnot), but I tend to favor the gray area now and then. It's true that we really don't know each other that well yet, so even that is a reason for me to want to say "whoa, slow down".

Both of these answers are very sound though. I too feel that it wouldn't really be good for either of us to enter into a dating relationship at this point in time. Like I said, I'd be okay with it being a friendship for now, but since this scenario is new to me, I wasn't sure how far something like that could stretch (i.e. would say, going over her house while she's still separated and not yet divorced, even if it is as a friend, jeapordize her procedure or get me into some kind of trouble? etc.)

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (28 October 2014):

Honeypie agony auntI agree with SVC. KEEP it at a friend's level and LET her know why you're doing so.

The time it takes to divorce is the time SHE should work on getting over the past relationship - NOT go look for a replacement before the ink has even been put to papers.

Getting into MORE than a friendship right now wouldn't be good for you either. SHE really ISN'T ready for one. The whole giving you the play by play of the divorce and so forth should show you that it's all still RAW and she is STILL having to deal with this.

What she really need is a person to vent to, to talk things over, to cry on their shoulder - NOT to start a new relationship with. Not yet.

She FEELS rejuvenated around you because when she is WITH you she can ESCAPE that drama of her marriage and upcoming divorce. Feeling REJUVENATED around you doesn't MAKE her whole again. You can't "glue" he back together, THAT is something SHE NEEDS to work on. And let's face it... SHE doesn't really KNOW you and YOU don't REALLY know her yet. You know parts of each other's story.

So my advice, be her friend (if you can and you want to) but don't let it go further.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2014):

It's frustrating to meet someone you connect with; however, you meet at the wrong time in life.

If you're really into her, gently tell her you would like to take her out when her divorce if final. If you get involved with her now, you're inviting drama into your life. She's living with her soon to be ex, and when a relationship ends, a person has issues to work through. Even after her divorce, she will be a bit raw, so to speak. It's quite normal after a divorce.

Probably a wise decision not to pursue anything further with her at this point.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (28 October 2014):

So_Very_Confused agony auntThere is nothing wrong with being FRIENDS with someone going through a divorce.. why does it have to be so black and white?

Sadly As a woman who went through a divorce in my early 30s with two small children, I can tell you that she has a lot on her plate and your interest in her is making her feel like she can cope and deal with it in the long run, knowing she is still desirable.

I strongly suggest that you let her know that until the legalities of her divorce are sorted out in court (visitation, child support, etc) that you are not available to date... she's too fragile emotionally even if she doesn't think she is.

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