To be fair, I sooo understand this Question… and YES it is a relative one.
Been there… done that.
I was married for 20+ Years.
Then my Ex and I split up… Legally Seperated and spent aprox 18 months “working” on our relationship and trying to decide if it was worthwhile getting back together.
While that was going on, I continued to consider myself married… and so I did not look for “companionship” elsewhere (and as far as I know, neither did he)
Because, I am the sort of girl, who believes in the adage that you GIVE IT ALL (more than 100%) BEFORE YOU CALL IT OVER AND DONE WITH
Because in that way, you’ll have no regrets afterwards. As you have honestly tried your best.
Infact, I was the type of person (and still am) that always thought that as long as two people were married that ANYTHING outside of that relationship was indeed cheating.
However, like many things in life I’ve discovered… what one believes to be true… and how life actually presents itself can be two vastly diffrent things.
After it was very clear that there was no “saving” our Marriage… I filed for Divorce. And honestly thought great… this will be over soon and then I can get on with my life.
However, that is not what either my Ex-Hubby or the Court System had in mind.
My Ex-H intentionally dragged our case on and on delaying the process whenever and however he could muster
(For the record, I left because of ongoing abuse… Emotional – Physical – Financial – Sexual etc. I spent so long legally seperated because I had hoped that he would GET HELP… become a recovering alcoholic and get some serious counselling to come to terms with what he was doing with his life… and how he was treating me, our marriage and kids etc)
Anyhow… My Divorce took over 5 Years.
Needless to say… at some point my previous “religious” ideals waivered. As it was pointed out to me… I was being a martyr and it made no sense.
The only cheating going on on my side of the equation up to this point… and been the fact that between my horrible marriage, seperation & divorce… I was BEING CHEATED OUT OF LIFE.
MY LIFE WAS ON HOLD… not by my own doing… but by the fact that he was being a supreme @hole…
He had broken our Marriage Vows years before… the “Love, Honour & Cherish” part when he continually hit me and made me cower in my own home.
So even tho in the eyes of the Courts we were still married … surely in the “Eyes of God” we were not.
So after putting my life on hold for eons, I finally decided to get on with my life, and get back out there. Maybe not dating right away… but certainly being open to being single vs tied to “an anchor” that was pulling me down.
So I took of my rings and moved on with my life.
It was only after doing this that I was able to in many ways improve myself emotionally…
In the years that ensued, I rediscovered myself, and some interests I had forgotten, and also some new activities… where I also met new people. It was thru one of these interests that I met a nice group of people, a group to which Mr TTR belonged. And aprox 6 months later he asked me out… I warned him that I was pretty fragile, and although appreciative of his friendship I was not looking for a relationship per-se, as I had HUGE trust issues. He was patient. He was kind. He was my friend… long before anything else.
A few months later, I gave in, and said yes that clearly our friendship had blossomed into more.
And about 6 months after that my H3LLISH Divorce finally came to a close.
If I had waited out the whole time frame (close to 10 Years) I am sure that things for me would be vastly different.
1- I probably would be in a lot worse spot emotionally… as it was it took me years to recover post Divorce
2- I may have never met Mr TTR. Part of our relationship truly keyed being in the right place at the right time in life.
Hope this helps,
EDIT TO ADD – Since I’ve drafted my reply… you’ve added a Poll. IMO if you are married (as in still in the marriage relationship) and dating it is cheating. Even if IN YOUR MIND, the relationship is no good / over. If you haven’t told your spouce it is over… then it’s still on… and still cheating. Legally seperated and just waiting for the Divorce to be finalized… Not Cheating. As BOTH of those in the Marriage clearly know the relationship has come to a close / end even if the paperwork hasn’t caught up.