Should I leave this married man alone? Before I’m judged, let me say this is not a situation where I’m having a real life affair or anything. The guy I’m seeing is technically still married, but he’s in the middle of divorcing his wife. He filed for divorce about 7 months ago. Him and his wife are just waiting on their house to sell so they can finalize things. Now I’ve been dating this man going on 2 months, and things have been real cool for the most part. I can see us becoming an official couple. However, for the past week and a half I’ve been noticing he’s been talking to his ex-wife more and doing things for her.
Right now she still lives in the house they’re selling, and something was going on with the water heater. Instead of calling a plumber, she called my man over to come fix it. Keep in mind that he is nobody’s plumber. Then he pushed back a date with me so can help his ex-wife’s parents clean out their basement, because the ex-wife will be moving into it temporarily with their four year old daughter (yeah this man has a kid). I get that he and his ex will always have a bond because of their daughter, but I don’t want to get more serious with this man if I’m going to be on the bottom of his list of priorities. Or if he will run back to her. Kid can go before me, but an ex and her parents, absolutely not.
-Ms. Won’t Settle
Dear Ms. Won’t Settle,
Thanks for writing to me. Trying to date a married man who is in the midst of a divorce can be quite the tricky scenario. Especially, when there are kids involved. In fact, dating a married man who’s divorcing is kind of like the HGTV show Love It or List It. For those not as familiar, in the show, homeowners are introduced to a designer and a real estate agent because they’ve outgrown their current home. While the homeowners are inclined to sell their home and move (hence the real estate agent), they can be convinced to stay put if the designer spruces the house up enough. After seeing the different homes and the new renovations on their property, homeowners then decide whether to love their house or list it (stay or move).
If you got lost in my analogy, allow me to clean it up. This guy is the homeowner during an episode of the show, and his soon-to-be ex-wife is the old home, and you are one of the houses he is thinking of purchasing. While he’s inclined to go with the new house, you, under the right changes, he may be inclined to stay with his current one, the wife. Because there is this added layer of grey area involved with dating a man who says he’s divorcing, I typically don’t recommend it.
Furthermore with your situation, even if this man goes through with the divorce, he still has to work on establishing a new normal with his ex. Setting up boundaries about what she should and shouldn’t be calling him for. And that may take some time to do, which means you have to be a little patient. I know you see him prioritizing his wife and her family as an insult, and maybe even as an indication he still loves her, but there is a very real possibility he prioritizes the wife for the sake of their daughter. She’s young, and he probably wants to do everything he can to make this transition easy for her. If helping out his in-laws eases any tensions, that’s what he’s willing to do. By the way, cleaning out a space where his child will rest her head, and checking out a plumbing issue at a home he still owns, doesn’t sound that out of line to me.
Suggestions going forward
- This man is divorcing and has a young child in the mix, he has a lot to sort through at the moment. Unless you’re willing to be patient with him as he works through all of this, you should seriously think about leaving the situationship. At least until he’s had time to sort this all out.
- As you try to determine whether you should stay in this situationship, have a conversation with this man and see where his head is at. It should provide you with a little more insight as to what’s going on and what he wants in the future.
As always nothing but love,
Oh, and make sure you check out my new scripted show, Majoring in Me the Podcast.