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At what stage do you ask why someone's marriage broke up?

(20 Posts)
Drogocat Wed 06-May-20 21:02:50

I know I am massively overthinking this but I could do with some advice. I am hoping to meet up with someone once it is all allowed. I've been divorced for years and he has been divorced a couple of years. Anyhoo, I know a bit about him because he is friends with people I know. He was married less than a year, which is quite unusual I should imagine. I have really got quite good at not going into any extraneous detail about the demise of my own marriage and I have been focusing on giving basic facts in a breezy manner. I've not really thought much about the other person's situation IYSWIM. Long story short but I was the cheated on party and as a result of that I have a firm rule that I would not go out with someone who had been unfaithful in their marriage. That's the only reason I am curious.

I'm not going to be chatting to him much before we do get the chance to meet up.

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Shoxfordian Wed 06-May-20 21:09:09

Ask the people you know if you're friends with them and can trust it not to get back to him

He had to have been married a year before divorce in the uk

Drogocat Wed 06-May-20 21:16:02

I should have said they broke up after less than a year smile

The people are much closer to him than to me so I don't want to ask outright. I have put out feelers but nobody seems to know.

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Shoxfordian Wed 06-May-20 21:24:05

Have a few dates then and see what happens
He could, of course, lie to you about it if he did cheat

Friendsofmine Wed 06-May-20 21:31:11

I think it will come up naturally in someone who is reflective and might comment on their post divorce growth etc. Something seriously went wrong there quickly so you'd hope he learned from anything he could have.

I always think that you can tell so much about a man by how they speak of their past partner or spouse. Anyone who trashes them with vague absolutes or general derogatory disrespectful terms such as "she was a psycho" makes me wary they are emotionally immature or lying and it has been the end for me.

Sugartitss Thu 07-May-20 07:48:02

you don’t as it’s none of your business.

crimsonlake Thu 07-May-20 08:12:15

It is indeed your business, if his marriage ended because he cheated I would want to know as I would be taking things no further with him.

btsky Thu 07-May-20 08:22:27

I would agree it is her business if cheating is a non starter.

suggestionsplease1 Thu 07-May-20 08:28:23

I think it's something that should be broached in person rather than through emails, online chats etc as you will get a better feel for what he is expressing. Emails, texts, people have more time to 'get it right' - what they want to convey to you, to perfect phrasing, and it's not so natural a conversation with facial expressions, body language etc.

I think it's a fair thing to try to discuss - but I would probably be bringing it up in the context of my own past - about how my last relationship broke down, and how hard that had been for me...This disclosure often naturally prompts the other party to share but if it doesn't automatically then you can just enquire 'Did you find the break up of your marriage hard?' or something along those lines.

Drogocat Thu 07-May-20 08:33:12

Thanks everyone. This has been helpful. I wouldn't be discussing anything not in person. I won't be chatting to him before we meet because I think it just creates false intimacy and it could be months and months.

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vikingwife Thu 07-May-20 08:35:49

I would ask as part of a normal conversation, to me that would be a natural question to ask when going on a date. Especially for such a short marriage. People usually are open about why their last relationship had ended, marriage or not in my experience ! But am not English, you guys tend to be more formal about airing dirty laundry

Mascotte Thu 07-May-20 08:43:14

I would also hope he'd tell you in the course of normal conversation. But if not I think I'd ask on the first date as it would be a dealbreaker for me too. In fact, I might ask before it as there would be no point in getting all glammed up then finding out!

OhioOhioOhio Thu 07-May-20 08:46:03

My abusive xh was always very respectful of his x partners.

Aposterhasnoname Thu 07-May-20 08:48:53

Of course it’s OPs business. What a ridiculous comment. If there was abuse, cheating, committed a crime etc they have every right to know before they get involved.

Bagelsandbrie Thu 07-May-20 08:53:50

I would imagine someone who cheated probably wouldn’t be honest about it anyway. My ex dh tells everyone I was so terrible he had to go out all the time as he couldn’t stand being around me - he leaves out the fact he got back in touch with his ex on Facebook and started shagging her (and staying at his mums while he did). I think you have to really get to know someone to know if they’re telling the truth or not.

OhioOhioOhio Thu 07-May-20 08:57:16

Yeah op it's a difficult thing. I mean you don't want to be hurt but my xh lied about everything he ever said and did. Its a leap of faith to trust someone.

Ragwort Thu 07-May-20 08:57:24

I think that very few people are going to admit that they cheated, they are likely to dress it up with all the usual excuses ‘we had an open marriage’, ‘my wife didn’t understand me’, ‘my wife didn’t like sex’, ‘my wife cheated first’ etc etc.

Do you honestly think he (or anyone) would just say ‘yes, I fancied a shag so I got a girlfriend’ hmm.

Reginabambina Thu 07-May-20 09:01:40

Well clearly something went terribly wrong. I’d never been put off if someone I dated asked why marriage ended (not in that position but all the same). It’s natural to want to know why someone has backed out of a commitment/has the other person leave. Especially after such a short time.

CurlyEndive Thu 07-May-20 09:01:41

I think it's ok to ask this fairly early on. But, in the same way you've developed a breezy description of the end of your own marriage, he'll probably have a similar one about his. Not that he's deliberately lying to you but just that it's hard to give the true situation to anyone who wasn't involved as these things are usually complex.

Drogocat Thu 07-May-20 09:08:16

Thanks. Yes, like I say I am massively overthinking things and not really taking into account that conversations happen quite naturally and just go where they go. I've only just found out about the brief marriage. It might never happen. Overthinking, overthinking blush

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