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Would you date someone who was separated but not divorced?

(43 Posts)
Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:36:20

I know someone who's dating a man who is separated for two years but not divorced. (He is definitely separated rather than just claiming to be.)

I think there are issues involved in dating a man who still happens to be married to someone else. But that's my opinion. A lot of people disagree with me. I'm interested in finding out what others think.

I have done. As long as they are definitely separated and divorce is chugging forwards what's the issue?

MirandaWest Wed 01-May-13 16:39:40

Yes, I do smile Both my DP and I are separated but not divorced. We are both waiting for two years separation before divorcing. I am sure it could be an issue but so could dating a divorced person.
Does she seem happy about her situation? What do you feel is wrong about it?

KirstyoffEastenders Wed 01-May-13 16:40:16

Don't see what difference it makes, a divorce is just a piece of paper, who cares?

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:40:25

Neither he nor his wife have filed for divorce yet, nor seem to have any intention of doing so. It appears that there is always some reason why it's not quite the right time.

Maybe it's just me. Once I'd accepted my marriage was over I couldn't wait to tie up all the loose ends.

scaevola Wed 01-May-13 16:42:15

It all depends on the state of the separation and whether he is genuinely disentangled from STBX. It's not just the 'official' leaving, but state of admin between them.

And also (very importantly) whether he's actually over the marriage, and appears to have learned from its ending. I wouldn't want to be nursemaid to someone who is still in a bad place, or with someone who has problematic behaviour patterns which could recur.

SizzleSazz Wed 01-May-13 16:42:35

I am married to someone who I met when he was separated. However, he was keen to get the divorce moving on. If that hadn't been the case, I might have been a bit hmm

Crinkle77 Wed 01-May-13 16:44:06

yeah I would date someone who is separated. But I suppose it depends if the wheels of motion have been set with regard to a divorce.

fastdriver Wed 01-May-13 16:45:30

Are you a journalist?

FreckledLeopard Wed 01-May-13 16:46:16

I'm separated and not yet divorced and not actively pursuing the divorce thing yet either. But am living 120 miles away from ex, have seen him once in six months and am totally split from him. Will get divorced at some point, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

RugBugs Wed 01-May-13 16:46:50

Maybe they don't have the spare couple of hundred pounds it costs to file for divorce.
I certainly don't but wouldn't qualify for any of the fee assistance. My ex won't file any time soon, he knows he'll have to give me some money and he's a tight bastard.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:47:56

fastdriver no I'm not.

Miranda, I think your situation is slightly different as you and your DP are going through a similar process. Ironically, your respective divorces could bring y ou closer together because you could work through them together.

I had an amicable divorce and I got over my H very quickly really. But the process of divorce led to a lot of reflection about relationships and life in general, and that took a lot longer to work through. As a result of working through it, I ditched another relationship because I realised I wanted time to myself to be single. I guess that's my main concern - not just that the divorce may end the relationship full stop, but that it may take him a lot longer to reach the 'next stage; than her - leading to arguments about commitment issues, etc.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:50:13

He and his wife still own a property together held in joint names, although only he is paying the mortgage and living in the house. Neither one of them could get a mortgage in their own right. Although he doesn't ahve money to burn, he could afford to get divorced unless it all gets horribly nasty (no reason to suppose that as they get on reasonably well I think).

LulaPalooza Wed 01-May-13 16:52:05

My ex was married but had been separated for 4 years when we got together. I helped him sort the divorce out but only because we bought a flat together. His ex-wife had moved to the US so it was a bit complicated tracking her down but it was all amicable.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 16:53:54

Judging from the responses on this thread, it seems that most people don't have a problem with it. I find that interesting. It would really bother me. I don't think there's a right or wrong about it BTW, and every set of circumstances is different, but I just wanted to gauge the general consensus.

Mum2Fergus Wed 01-May-13 16:55:39

DP officially married but separated right up until DS was 3 months. His XW was in another country and did everything to avoid the papers. Court eventually gave up trying to serve!

fastdriver Wed 01-May-13 17:00:00

I'm separated but not divorced. Divorce is not yet in process and probably won't be until we've been separated for two years or however long you have to wait.

I wanted to separate but it's been really hard, like you said Dahlen lots of reflection. I still feel a long way off wanting a new relationship.

You are probably right it is a process that varies from one person to the next so it is a risk that the other isn't in the same place as you are.

Personally I'd feel very wary about getting seriously involved with someone who was separated. Separation is easily reversible. The person could go back to their spouse and it would be very difficult if that happened. On the other hand, someone separated might be looking for something without too much commitment which could work well if you felt the same.

The religious/legal side of it - the fact that someone is, on paper, still married wouldn't be an issue for me.

I think also the circs make a difference, how far on from each other the former spouses are, how amicable they are, etc. Plus whether there are practical issues to consider like if a new relationship might impact on a divorce or settlement.

Sorry lots of ramblings there, been sitting in the sun this afternoon.

Viviennemary Wed 01-May-13 17:01:38

If the person has no intention of divorcing then I think that would be a problem. But if they are just waiting for the divorce to go through then I think they should be free to date other people.

This would not bode well for me then.
I separated 3.5 years ago and still not even filed for divorce.
He does live in another country though.
And we still have property in both our names.
Does that make me a bad person??

filthypig Wed 01-May-13 17:10:39

I would usually say yes but a couple of years on MN has made me think that it is code for 'lying about his intentions!'

Runwayqueen Wed 01-May-13 17:13:38

I hope people do.... I'm seperated and have been since oct 2011. My divorce will be filed next week.

Fortunately my boyfriend doesn't have an issue with it. We met jan 2012. The only thing we won't do is live together until the divorce is complete, but that's just my personal choice

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 17:17:38

I wouldn't date anybody full stop because I hate people all of them.

Actually that's a joke I've just always wanted to say it and never had the opportunity.

I have been separated for nearly 3 years I am still married I currently have no intention of actually divorcing my ex will not divorce me as he does not think he should have to pay any court fees. However I have protected myself with a judicial separation and protection orders. I will keep up with my lack of intention until I feel like it ( sorry DV involved its a grasping back control thing for me) or of course he could pay to divorce me anytime he liked.

My ex is dating someone else obviously she has no issues about his lack of a divorce.

I haven't clapped eyes on the bloke since the armed response unit surrounded my house and then carted him off and I am unlikely to ever again.

I would view any separated person as a probable no go area unless I knew their ex had no issues with them as a person all children involved were catered for above and beyond the minimum contribution the csa asks for and they had resolved any outstanding emotional issues legally married or not.

Earlybird Wed 01-May-13 17:17:54

Consider it carefully, is my advice.

A friend did this, and ended up being named in the divorce petition with the cause for divorce listed as 'adultery'. It was ludicrous, but the ex was angry that her h had 'moved on' - think she hoped they would reconcile.

expatinscotland Wed 01-May-13 17:20:19

No. Been there, bought the tshirt.

MirandaWest Wed 01-May-13 17:20:50

What about people who haven't got married and then split up - is there a certain procedure you should go through before dating them?

As long as he was living separately and they were not having sex then why not?

filthypig Wed 01-May-13 17:25:56

I would be wondering about finances, kids (visitation, provision for), limits on where we could live... it's all longterm stuff I suppose but I have seen firsthand people say "I am living in the same house but separate rooms so it doesn't traumatise our DCs", and "her mother is terminally ill and we are waiting for her to die"(!)

So I would want the separation to be demonstrable. But because of the things I list above, for me if they had kids especially it'd be a no.

SunRaysthruClouds Wed 01-May-13 17:29:38

Dahlen from a separated but not divorced blokes pov...

I would have said a couple of years ago that it didn't matter. W and I separated 3 years ago, I met someone else and we used to talk about the future but I never really felt the urge to push the divorce through even though she wanted me to. I ended it after 18 months because it wasn't right, so perhaps I knew that all along? Not sure really, but I do regret upsetting her.

I have met someone else, been together 6 months and I can't wait to get the divorce finalised - we are completely on the same page (or I am blinded by lurve).

So house is being sold, hope to be divorced within a few months. I would marry in a trice. Just hope she feels the same!

Sunrays smile smile. Good luck!

akaWisey Wed 01-May-13 17:41:55

No I wouldn't unless the divorce was well, well under way.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 17:43:11

Thank you for all the replies. They all go to show how every situation is different I suppose.

In this particular case the man concerned seems like a genuinely decent guy, but I suspect the relationship may go the same way of SunRays first post-separation relationship (thanks for your POV Sunrays). It may not be that he's "just not that into her" as much as just not being ready to commit as soon as she would like. Which is a shame, because I suspect if the divorce had been finalised sooner they would have very much been on the same page.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 01-May-13 17:54:00

My DH was separated but not divorced when I met him.

As a condition of him moving in with me, he set the wheels in motion for his divorce which came through very quickly because there were no joint assets.
The only reason he hadn't done it was lack of money, there was absolutely no contact between them at all after they split.

ChasingSquirrels Wed 01-May-13 17:58:02

I have been separated for 5 years and have just filed (not on 5 year without agreement, papers went just before the 5 year point - on 2 years and both agree).

Ex has been living with someone for about 3 years, I have been for 6 months.

We are totally separated, he moved on from the beginning (I would conjecture that he was involved with his new partner before he left), I started to accept it was over after a few months, and then fully accepted it when he told me he was seeing someone else (about 9 months after the split - old me because it was serious & planned to introduce to the kids).

Yet neither of us have done anything about the divorce - why?

Me: at first didn't want to accept it, then was waiting for 2 years, then just haven't bothered, dont want the cost, it made me sad (our relationship is totally over but I am sad about what we had and the kids). Now I just want the paperwork sorted & I would quite like to marry my DP at some point (and when I asked him he said he would prefer it if I was divorced - fair enough, I would prefer it if he was too).

Him: I have no idea!

Anonymous88 Wed 01-May-13 17:59:10

My partner was was separated when we first met and started seeing eachother. However, his ex had moved numerous people in since the split and the divorce proceedings had started but they found old divorce proceedings back from 2000 from their first separation so had to wait for that to be closed before they could continue on. They then decided because it was amicable to wait the 2 years until he'd moved out so they could do a straight forward divorce as all arrangements with the children and money were all sorted so wouldn't need any solicitors fighting their case.
We didn't get serious until his ex fell pregnant with someone else's child as this confirmed, to me, that it was a true seperation. It also helped that my brother knew partners son quite well so could confirm everything I'd been told.

cuillereasoupe Wed 01-May-13 21:58:36

I wouldn't. Colour me cynical but I want to see clear blue water between potential partners and their exes.

LucettaTempleman Thu 02-May-13 01:29:01

I would not.
People seem to not give themselves time to heal any more,just jump into the next relationship and give no time to grieve for the relationship just lost
I divorced 7 years ago, took me 3 years till I 'd dealt with the issues and was TRULY ready for another relationship.
IMO, jumping straight into another relationship is rather cruel to the new partner.

HollyBerryBush Thu 02-May-13 06:42:44

Yes, Dh was technically still married when I met him, been apart three years.

They too just trotted along without getting divorced, no particular need. Really it was the Ex's safety net, I think she thought she could snap her fingers and he'd be there.

Until I pointed out, if he suddenly died she would cop his house, his pension etc. Amazing how quickly DH saw a solicitor grin

She didn't like me much gringrin

MusicForTheMasses Thu 02-May-13 07:43:04

Well, I'm only seperated and although my Nisi is through the absolute is going to drag on because of my ex being an arse. I have been and am dating. To be honest if I didn't date because I was not yet divorced I would see it as yet another control the ex had over me, even after he left me for an OW.

StupidFlanders Thu 02-May-13 08:02:26

I was separated for years before divorcing. No particular reason, we both moved on quickly. We divorced when I was going to remarry.

Dahlen Thu 02-May-13 08:06:29

The last three posts really show up the contrast, don't they. I agree with you Lucetta, unless you are that rare exception who can date with the intention of never allowing your feelings to get involved on more than a superficial level and find people to date who feel the same.

OTOH I can see completely where Music is coming from, especially given the OW situation.

Personally, I would prefer the divorce to be completely done and dusted, but I think the difference for the last two posters is that the divorce had been started, even if not finalised. In the case I'm talking about, no one has even had a look online to check out the process and costs, let alone seen a solicitor. There is no will there as far as I can see, and yes, in the meantime, the man's wife would benefit from the house and pension etc should anything happen to him and would still be his official next of kin.

I know everyone is different and that I'm not 'right' and everyone else is wrong, but I would find that really quite horrendous to know that someone who no longer had a part in my life still had that degree of involvement and control. How on earth can you really go on to build a future with someone else with that hanging over you?

oldwomaninashoe Thu 02-May-13 09:18:30

Like StupidFlanders, I was separated for a few years and only divorced when I was going to remarry. There were no children involved no joint property and from the day the ex took his things we had no contact until he received the divorce papers.
It obviously made no difference to my now DH as we have been happily married for over 30 years.

Dahlen Thu 02-May-13 09:22:06

oldwoman - did it not bother you that you were engaged to someone else and yet your estranged H would still have had the right to determine what happened to you in the event of an accident, etc? I know it's not likely scenario for anyone, but it never is until it happens.

mouldyironingboard Thu 02-May-13 12:17:18

Personally I wouldn't ever get involved with someone who had so many ties to someone else unless they were prepared to move the divorce along because it means that they can't fully commit legally, financially or emotionally to a new relationship.

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