The Challenges of Dating the Divorced Man

The Challenges of Dating the Divorced Man

With divorce rates these days higher than ever before combined with the fact that men remarry at a higher rate than women, single women are bound to encounter a man who is divorced or in the process of one. Remember that there are two sides to every story and we urge you to stay objective while cautious, even if your heart tells you otherwise, especially when it affects children, family members and friends.

Although the pieces might not quite fit together anymore, it may be hard for him to let go of his ex
Although the pieces might not quite fit together anymore, it may be hard for him to let go of his ex

I recently became involved with a man who is getting a divorce. He was married for five years and they just weren't going in the same direction. Nevertheless, they still share a home together. There's no clear-cut date as to when he'll be moving out and he doesn't seem that concerned about it. This makes me feel uncomfortable knowing this...any advice about moving forward?

Divorces are tricky. Regardless of how amicable the split is, they can still be very emotional and draining on the soon-to-be-over couple. Though this couple may have called it quits, they may not be ready to move on quite yet. This is where the situation gets tricky for you. Having no strings attached, you are ready to move forward in your relationship with your new man; however, he may not be ready to move at the pace you want. No matter how mutual the break up is, it is still a break up. If you're uncomfortable with the relationship he and his soon to be ex-wife still have, it may be worth talking to him about it. He may see how this is putting a damper on your relationship and choose to speed the process up. That being said, he may not be quite ready to start the process, and if this is something that is going to continually bother you, you may want to reevaluate the relationship and where you see things going.

I started dating a man who has been divorced for over a year, however his young children -- a daughter who is 8 years old and a son who is 10 -- do not want me to be with their dad. They make snide comments when he's not around and constantly refer to their mother (with whom he shares custody) when we're all spending time together. I feel like they're doing it on purpose, however they're just kids! How do I deal with this? 

Coming into a home with young kids can be tough. Nobody wants their parents to separate, and since they are children they aren't equipped with the coping skills and manners that come along with age. My advice, cut them some slack. This may just be their natural way of coping with divorce and handling him moving on. That being said, you do not need to sit back and let them constantly taunt you; let your new boyfriend know you're having trouble getting to know his kids. That way you do not seem like you are tattling on them and he may pay closer attention to whats going on. As for the mom comments, the kids may constantly be bringing up her to reaffirm that she's irreplaceable. Make sure they know that you're not trying to take over her role and they will not see you as a threat anymore.

When kids and are involved, the transition may be more difficult no matter what age range
When kids and are involved, the transition may be more difficult no matter what age range

My parents have been married for as long as I've been alive -- 35 years -- and I am much closer to my father than my mother. He constantly tells me how unhappy he is in the marriage and I can understand his point of view. I want both my parents to be happy but if I encourage my dad to pursue separate, I'm going to cause a huge divide in my family. Obviously this is a difficult situation but I feel I need to do something -- any ideas?

My suggestion: do not get involved in your parents relationship for the same reasons you would not want them involved in your's. It will only cause trouble. If you dad is really as unhappy as you think, suggest he go talk to a professional. Not only are you getting one side of the story, but you may potentially ruin your relationship with your mother. I'm assuming that, although you are not as close with your mom, you do not want to have a riff with her. This way, regardless of how this plays out for your parents, you are not causing a divide in your family and ruining many precious relationships.

One of my close male friends since college -- we've known each other for over a decade -- is in the process of getting a divorce from his wife of two years. We've always been "just friends" and I really like his soon-to-be ex, but he's leaning on me a bit too much with constant phone calls and asking me to get together. I'm engaged, don't feel comfortable with all this attention from him and don't want to cause a problem with my fiance. How do I help him and not jeopardize my own relationship?

As a friend, it's not up to you to put his life back together, especially at the expense of your own relationships
As a friend, it's not up to you to put his life back together, especially at the expense of your own relationships

First off, I would start by telling your fiance about your friend's current clinginess and your discomfort with the situation; this will make many potentially bad looking situations appear to be not as bad. Not only will your honesty benefit your relationship with your man, but he may also have some good advice for you involving your guy friend. He may have a perspective on the situation that you didn't think of. As for dealing with your friend, give him the amount of time you would your girlfriend to bash her ex, moan, and cling to you, and then tell him it's time to move on as nicely as you can. Focus on the positive aspects of being single. Let him know he can finally take that trip his wife would never take or work hard for that promotion that he thought would jeopardize his marriage. Though divorce is tough and an experience people would prefer to avoid, by looking on the positive side he will hopefully switch from pitying himself to seeing the many opportunities he now has.

My current boyfriend was married and was caught cheating on his wife of five years and he admitted it wasn't the only time he'd cheated on her. Now, when he doesn't answer his cell for long times and is gone over the weekend for a long time or going on impromptu business trips for days, I can't help but think that there may be another woman. Am I justified or do I just need to stop being so insecure?

Girls have always been told, "once a cheater, always a cheater" and although this is not always true, it does seem to be more accurate than we like to admit. In my opinion, disappearing on random business trips and not answering phone calls sounds a little shady and I would go with your gut; however, before you label him a cheater, a confrontation is a must. Tell him how you feel, explain that, when he leaves and constantly ignores your calls, you can't help but assume the worst. Though you cannot know for sure, hopefully your honesty with him will earn you an honest answer in return. If he knows how you're feeling, he may either confess or prove to you that he's being faithful. He may not even realize when he doesn't answer your call that you worry so much. My main point is this: in relationships, it is very important to follow up on your gut instincts, especially with a scenario like this, or else you'll drive yourself crazy. If you feel something is going on, you owe it to yourself to find out the truth, good or bad.