Dating a divorced man – advice on this situation?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
2020 posts
Buzzing bee

katy85 :  Hi, I feel like quite the expert on this since I’m divorced myself and my SO is also divorced.

They happen for so many reasons, with so many caveats as to the who/what/when/why.

His was almost a decade ago, and it was short lived. I think a lot of it can be attributed to being young, idealistic and not understanding how difficult it can be. Especially if she was moving to a new city to be with him, I think it probably brought their problems to the forefront and hit both of them like a ton of bricks.

If he seems like a good guy, and can articulate what he wants NOW, that is more important than a breakup 10 years ago.

Post # 3
956 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I think you might be overthinking it–for him this was almost 10 years ago and he’s likely a different person now than he was then. My Darling Husband was engaged and ALMOST married previously, and he knows now in hindsight that he didn’t make the right choice by proposing but he still doesn’t really know why she called it off. If you like this guy I’d continue getting to know him and see if any other issues pop up…hopefully not!

Post # 4
128 posts
Blushing bee

You’re overthinking it IMO. It was nearly 10 years ago and people change. What if he got hung up on why one of your relationships ended? It’s really not fair to hold someone’s past against them. Unless he cheated or was an addict or something I wouldn’t worry about it.  

Post # 5
6738 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

Hindsight is 20/20? It’s totally true. 

Anyway, it sounds like you haven’t even gone on an actual date with this guy? I can see why he’d be hesitant to talk about this sort of thing (though I don’t agree with him lying on his profile but there is a stigma). He’s probably embarrassed of having such a short marriage. Maybe there is more to the situation then he’s letting on at the moment, but I don’t really think an in-depth convo about all the things that went wrong in your first marriage is good first date talk. 

Post # 8
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Hmm, it’s worth “overthinking”, and you don’t need to feel badly for evaluating how you feel about things.  You’re trying to find the person you want to marry! And it’s better to think about it now then later.

Personally, as little as it is, I find the “never married” thing would bug me a little, so I’d just make sure I said something early on that it bugged me and I would expect full openness in a relationship.  I get his reasons, but obviously it would have been better for you to know to begin with because then it threw you off a bit later.  I would say though he gets kudos for telling you right away at least when you started chatting.

Personally, his marriage was 9 years ago if I do my math correctly?  I think I would just get to know him instead of holding this “against” him.  He will have changed, it doesn’t sound like there was particularly bad circumstances, and he may legitimately have just rushed into a marriage at a fairly young/immature stage.  People do that, and I don’t think that there’s always super logical reasons to explain why.  

Plus, he doesn’t have to make his case to you, you know?  He’s tried to explain the best he could.  You get to decide if the man in front of you, 9 years later, is someone you’re interested in.  Get to know him for who he is now.  It may or may not work out, but unless you are deeply opposed to dating a divorcee, I don’t think this would bother me or should keep you from continuing contact unless you feel there are other concerns.  

ETA: I saw your other comment.  It makes sense to wonder when someone doesn’t seem to own up to any fault in a failed relationship; but I still would get to know him and see if he takes responsibility in other areas.  It’s maybe something to be aware of, but I really wouldn’t let it overshadow things right now unless you see a pattern of him not taking responsibility for his part in your current relationship.

Post # 9
2123 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

katy85 :  My fiancé also married at 25 and they split 6 months later. He regrets it completely, and I hate that he went through such a horrible time getting over it. However, it made him who he is today. In my opinion, you’re definitely over thinking this. He owes you no explanation until he’s ready. Even then, it’s in the past. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with people who are and have been divored, they’re not any less able to hold down a relationship. I mean this in the nicest way, but you need to not be so judgemental here. I’m sure he’ll divulge more information when (if) he knows you well enough and is ready.

Post # 10
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

llevinso :  LOL, I think it is the number one thing dating coaches advise against.

Post # 11
244 posts
Helper bee

katy85 :  I think you’re making too big a deal out of the divorce itself.  Just think of it for what it was: he had a bad relationship that ended almost ten years ago.  Surely you have no problems with dating guys who have previously been involved.  What difference does it make that he was divorced versus dating someone seriously?  He made a big mistake, but that by itself does not show a major character flaw.

I’d be more concerned about his recent on-line lie about being never married.  It falls into the same category as lying about age, weight, height to lure dates.  Yes, he might be rejected by more women for being honest, but I think it’s sketchy to bait and switch.  There are plenty of women who will have no issue with dating a divorced man.  There is no need to lie about it.

Post # 13
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I would get to know him better before worrying about it. Some people, especially in the very beginning “honeymoon phase” of a relationship make stupid decisions without really thinking about it and come to regret it later on. Their judgment gets clouded and they do dumb things like sign a marriage license without really stopping to think about it. 

A good friend of mine eloped with his high school sweetheart at the age of 19. They hadn’t been dating for very long but both somehow thought that they had found “the one” and were ready to make it official. It was a stupid and impulsive decision on both sides and the marriage was a complete disaster. Less than 6 months later, she packed her bags and moved back in with her parents. To this day, he still has a hard time pinpointing an exact reason for their divorce. There were a million factors that played into it. Their age, lack of time dating, neither one having a steady full-time job, etc. 

Today he is happily married, and he was much more careful and far less impulsive the second time around. He waited until he was older, didn’t propose marriage right off the bat, waited until he had a steady job, etc. I wouldn’t hold the extremely brief marriage over his head right away. It sounds like it could have been one of those stupid impulsive decisions. The important thing is that he was forthcoming about it and admitted that there were red flags that he chose to ignore.

We all make stupid decisions from time to time, the important thing is learning from our mistakes. If he proposes to you after two months of dating, then he obviously didn’t learn anything and you should make a run for it. But if he seems like a decent man, respects you and treats you the way he’d want to be treated, and approaches big decisions with a lot of careful thought and consideration, then go for it and let the past be the past. 

Good luck, bee

Post # 14
865 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

So . . . he feels embarrassed about putting it on his profile because it was so short-lived and meaningless, but he brings it up and talks extensively about it on the first date? 

That makes no sense.

Post # 15
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2005

katy85 :  I think you are definitely overthinking it. I was married in my 20’s to someone who essentially did a disappearing act after I got pregnant. There were glaring problems before we got married, but because I was pregnant he insisted we get married. I didn’t want to raise a child alone and so my fears overtook my good sense. While I was still pregnant he packed some things for a supposed hunting trip. He called me from the road and said he couldnt do it anymore. It was all a mistake and he wasnt ready for fatherhood or marriage. 

It took me two years to find him to serve the divorce papers because he left the state because he knew I would seek child support. Counting the time we lived together we were together for less than 18 months of dating and 5 months of marriage. I felt like a failure as a person, as a wife and a mother. 

I never got answers as to why he left so suddenly. We werent fighting or anything, I was nesting for the birth of our child and was trying very hard to look at the positive and hopeful side of things. 

I was mortally embarrassed for years about it. If you say you are divorced people ask how long you were married and when you say 5 months they look at you funny, also before I met Darling Husband some people wouldnt even date me because 1.) They didnt want to date a woman with a child. 2.) A lot of them thought something must be horribly wrong with me because my marriage imploded so quickly and so suddenly.

I wouldnt hold it against him. It may be exactly as he says. They didnt date long enough, they ignored problems in their relationship, she moved near him and left her life behind and couldnt take it. How often do we see those kinds of problems right here on the Bee? 



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