Wedding Woes

Yeah he's nice, but I'm still calling it 4 men in the world

Dear Prudence,
I have struck up a flirtation with one of my new neighbors. He is cute, funny, and I really feel a spark between us. We walked to a local bar and he told me he felt the same way about me, but that is he is in the middle of getting a divorce. They don’t have kids, but during the separation his wife got diagnosed with a serious illness and needs his insurance since hers is terrible. I have a rule about dating married men: don’t. But he was straight with me from the start and has lived in my complex since March. Should I give it a go? I am not looking to settle down anytime soon and it is hardly fair for him to live like a monk when he is being generous and kind here. Thoughts?

—Almost-Divorced Man

Re: Yeah he's nice, but I'm still calling it 4 men in the world

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    First off, I'd check the county records and make sure they really did file for divorce. Secondly, I might ask to speak to the soon-to-be-ex and if he's really against it, run the other way.
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Interesting one.   I agree with DSC though, and if she can - talk to the soon to be ex.  But it didn't say that the wife still lived with the man, right?  Just that they didn't file yet.  She could be living elsewhere, dating other men too and then why not?

    short+sassy
  • Is this a chronic illness that she'll need his insurance indefinitely, or something that will be treated with a particular time frame? I'd be wary about an indefinite hold on the divorce. 
    OliveOilsMomkimmiinthemitten
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Interesting one.   I agree with DSC though, and if she can - talk to the soon to be ex.  But it didn't say that the wife still lived with the man, right?  Just that they didn't file yet.  She could be living elsewhere, dating other men too and then why not?
    It's a bit unclear. She says "He's in the middle of a divorce" which implies that they've filed. I'm not sure where wife lives, but they were separated when she fell ill.

    Also, these aren't next door neighbors so it's not going to be that difficult to avoid each other if things don't end well.
  • Dating in same building is sometimes complicated. Find out more information on the situation on soon-to-be-ex. Is she living there? What does 'middle of divorce' mean? What does the illness mean to divorce? It's mentioned his is better, is he stopping proceedings until she gets care needed?
  • I would be worried about the length of the divorce, since he has told LW that he's tied to ex-wife.

    But a person in the midst of a divorce itself, nah, that wouldn't bother me- as long as that person was emotionally ready for a new relationship.
    short+sassycharlotte989875OliveOilsMomkimmiinthemitten
  • My friend's mom is in a similar situation.  She's actually dating my HS theater teacher (which was a trip for awhile...especially with the whole "Call me G, not Mr. R" stuff).  They've been together awhile.  I'm not sure if he has divorced his wife. Because he's a teacher with good insurance and she doesn't work due to her (chronic) condition, he felt an obligation to continue to provide for her since they were married for almost 20 years. 

    But, they didn't live in the same apt./neighborhood when they met.  They live together now, however it was awhile before that even happened. 
  • I'd be wary of getting into this situation - I'd probably tell him that we could be friends and hang out sometimes, but that I wasn't interested in a relationship until his divorce was complete. Even at that point, I would want a full understanding of what baggage I was taking on if I saw this as a possibility for a longer term relationship/marriage/partnership/etc. (E.g. if he would still be providing long term support to Ex-wife due to chronic issues, i would want to be aware of that to decided if it was something I was ok with.)
    mrsconn23cowgirl8238lc07
  • As long as the LW truly does not want a serious relationship, I don't see anything wrong with them dating.  I am assuming the LW knows for a fact the wife lives elsewhere, since LW lives in the same complex.  To me, that would be a pretty good indicator they are separated and I would feel no need to talk to the to-be-ex. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    @short+sassy I'd want to make sure that the STBex agrees that they're in the middle of a divorce and not working towards reconciliation.
  • I'd also want to know the state's divorce laws.  In some (like MD), it still counts as adultery even if you're separated and firmly in the divorce process.  My aunt found that out the hard way, even though her now ex was living with his mistress after they separated.  Wouldn't be LW's responsibility, but in case something goes screwy, I wouldn't want to be involved in that.
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I dated a guy who was separated and living apart; he was upfront about it, I thought it was okay.  Ironically, she was living with her boyfriend that she cheated on him with.

    But there were all sorts of little things that divorce would have resolved that did make a difference.  She paid his cell bill, he kept her on his insurance.  When she noticed an uptick in texting, she called him about it.  Because they didn't go through Friend of the Court, they didn't have a set parenting time schedule and she expected him to change his schedule to accommodate hers whenever she needed him to and he did.  I quickly realized their lack of divorce wasn't just a legal commodity, but it did impact their lives and how they treated each other, even if they denied it.

    I'd advise her to tread softly and not ignore the red flags.
    image
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